Root cause of sewerage stink

October 25, 2017

An overflowing main has been causing problems for 'four or five' years.

Some residents are said to be planning to move to get away from the stench.

TREES are at the root of Coliban Water’s ongoing sewer problems.

Residents from Ross Street and Redgum Court have seen no end to their sewerage stench problems as the mains continue overflowing out a manhole and running down road gutters at the front of their properties.

The source of the problem is roots that are attracted to the nutrient-rich lines, breaking through the clay pipe and causing blockages.

Steve Dunlop, manager of assets and operations for Coliban Water, said the overflows are getting to be more common in the area as the roots grow.

‘‘We’ve experienced a number of blockages and subsequent minor overflows from a sewer manhole that services properties in and around Redgum Court. This year, five blockages have been reported and cleared in this area,’’ he said.

‘‘Tree roots infiltrating the sewer main are the predominant cause of the blockages, resulting in the overflow from the sewer manhole.’’

Residents have expressed concern over the matter, with some questioning just how often it has to occur before something is done.

A resident – who did not want to be named – said up until recently his calls to Coliban had resulted in nothing but frustration.

“I’ve called the EPA. I’m over it all, it was happening the same time last week too,” he said.

“It’s been happening for the last four or five years, sometimes it’ll go two months without a problem and all of a sudden we’ll get a run like we have now.

“Last Tuesday it happened and now it’s happening again. It’s going down the gutters on the side of the road.”

He said that while it was a major health and safety issue, the smell from the gutter had got to be too much for some residents.

“I know some people who have just got sick of it all and decided to move to get away from it. They shouldn’t have to do that, it’s ridiculous,” he said.

Coliban Water also said there are no line capacity issues with the network.

‘‘Fifty-five properties are connected to the collection area of this sewer network through seven sewer mains. The blockages are occurring on two of these sewer mains,’’ Mr Dunlop said. ‘‘It’s not a capacity issue within the sewer network.

As a result of the flooding and complaints, Coliban Water has bought the mains-cleaning works forward.

‘‘These mains were last cleaned in February 2016, additional cleaning work will be completed by Friday, October 27.

‘‘If there is a larger issue found and relining is required, this work could be completed during November.’’

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