Smoke testing starts tomorrow

11.30am: SMOKE testing starts tomorrow in Rockhampton as part of a program to identify houses where drainpipes have been illegally connected to the sewer network.

In coming weeks Fitzroy River Water staff will work through four areas to uncover the source of surcharges that blighted parts of Wandal, Koongal, Berserker and Park Avenue during the summer’s downpours.

Cr Greg Belz, chairman of the council’s water committee, said about 2500 properties would be inspected to ensure the sewerage and stormwater systems worked efficiently and as they should.

He said smoke testing involved injecting small amounts of non-hazardous white smoke between one sealed sewer manhole and another.

“Checking where the smoke comes out helps us to determine whether the section is operating properly or whether there are leaks or illegal connections that need to be rectified.”

FRW is convinced a significant number of properties have their stormwater diverted to the sewers.

“If your downpipes and groundwater are directed into the sewerage system, this is not only illegal, but it can cause sewage surcharges on properties and in our local waterways, which can result in serious health and environmental issues,” he said.

Offenders can be fined up to $16,500.

From tomorrow, smoke testing of up to 600 properties will start in Berserker and Koongal.

Workers will then move to Wandal on May 30 and into Park Avenue from June 21.



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