Storm Water Intrusion Testing
Smoke Testing for Storm Water Intrusion Program
The Mount Barker District Council owns and operates Community Wastewater Management Systems (CWMS) for the townships of Mount Barker, Littlehampton, Nairne, Echunga, Meadows, and Macclesfield.
During wet weather events, the collection system (pipes & pumps) and treatment plants can get overloaded due to storm water intrusion. In some instances this may result in short term uncontrolled overflows occurring and polluting creeks and rivers.
Council has adopted a storm water detection program to better manage and reduce storm water entering into the CWMS.
Council has undertaken an inspection program of its own infrastructure to identify any areas where storm water might be entering the system through cracked/broken mains, manholes, pipe crossings over water courses etc.
All licensed plumbers within the district have also been contacted to seek their cooperation in detecting and correctly plumbing storm water from residential properties to seek to ensure that no storm water from residential properties is connected into the CWMS.
A smoke testing program to identify potential locations for storm water entry complements these activities. Artificially generated smoke is flushed through the pipe network. The smoke enables breaks, cracks, pipe defects and storm water connections to be detected. Smoke emanating from house gutters or downpipes will indicate a potential incorrect connection to the septic tank and CWMS network. The generated smoke is commonly used for entertainment venues, and is low temperature, non-toxic, odourless and dissipates within a few minutes.
The Questions and Answers Leaflet provides examples showing where storm water has been incorrectly plumbed. Property owners are urged to review how storm water is plumbed at their property prior to the smoke testing being undertaken.
Where properties are identified to be incorrectly plumbed, a letter will be sent to the property owner to advise of the results of the smoke testing. Council will require remedial works to be undertaken within a reasonable timeframe.