Stormwater infiltration affects Sunshine Coast water quality
  • Thursday 21 May 2009

An unprecedented volume of rainfall over the last few days is the primary reason for sewage overflows in some Sunshine Coast residential areas.

Mr Gary Sabburg, Regional Manager for Sunshine Coast Water Operations, said the heavy rainfall was a key issue for the network.

“The systems are designed to a capacity of five times a dry weather flow, which is normally sufficient to manage the risk of wet weather events,” Mr Sabburg said.

“However, like any system, it strains under the weight of extremity, particularly in low-lying areas.”

Field teams are cleaning up overflows and tankers are working to pump sewage out of the system and transport it directly to treatment plants to help alleviate the affect of stormwater infiltration on the network.

Surcharges have predominately affected the Golden Beach area in Caloundra, and signs have been erected to advise the community not to enter waterways in the area. “We are conducting water quality testing to monitor the affect of this wet weather event on our waterways, and signage is in place to indicate affected areas,” Mr Sabburg said.

“Residents are reminded that during heavy rain events, large amounts of run-off via land and stormwater do end up in our waterways. As always, we recommend that people stay out of the water during and immediately following this type of wet weather event when the water quality will be at its poorest and there are risks from submerged objects, snags and other hazards.”