It really is the last ‘spill’ anyone would want, but it can and does happen, so be prepared.
Western Water is urging their customers to regularly check their overflow relief gully (ORG) to prevent a sewer overflow in their property.
Dean Barnett, Acting General Manager at Western Water said for an ORG to function effectively it should be clean, clear and installed at the correct height.
“We’ve seen some customers cover their ORG with stones, plants, or garden beds. In other cases, they have altered the height or location of the ORG to correspond with a new deck or renovation.
“In the unfortunate event of a blockage in the sewer pipes, this can lead to disastrous and costly consequences,” Mr Barnett said.
Whilst the sewer mains are managed and maintained by water corporations, property owners are responsible for ensuring their home is fitted with a properly designed and functioning ORG.
The ORG is an external plumbing system designed to redirect sewage away from inside the property in the event of a sewer pipe blockage.
Mr Barnett said in the case of a sewer blockage the ORG needs to be able to release pressure and the grate lid should ‘pop-off’ easily.
“To do so, the ORG should be uncovered and free of any weeds, roots, or debris”, he said.
“The ORG should also be lower than any other waste outlet in your home and needs to be raised-up from the surrounding ground area to prevent stormwater from flowing into it.”
Most properties constructed after 1976 have an ORG located near an external wall of the laundry, kitchen, or bathroom.
Buildings connected to the sewer system prior to 1976 may not have an ORG, unless additional work has been undertaken.
For more advice on how to maintain and check your ORG, please visit the Western Water website at www.westernwater.com.au/ORG