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Do you know what impact your Stormwater has on the Waste Water Treatment Plant Operation and Waterways?

Stormwater has a significant impact on the Waste Water Treatment Plant Operation and Waterways.

Many people are not aware of the enormous impact that stormwater can have on the district's effluent drainage schemes. Stormwater from private properties, which is allowed to enter effluent drains, causes environmental damage and is costly to ratepayers, the wastewater treatment plant systems and the environment.

Effluent drains are not designed to take the extra volumes of water that comes with every rain. When there is a sudden influx of stormwater, sewage and septic effluent is displaced from these drains and escapes into the environment.

Ensuring that our creeks and waterways remain clean and healthy is the responsibility of everyone in the community.

Is your stormwater disposed of correctly?

Do the downpipes from your roof gutters discharge to the street or dedicated stormwater drain?

Does the overflow from any rainwater tanks discharge to the street or dedicated stormwater drain?

Does all other stormwater from your property discharge to the street or dedicated stormwater drain?

Is your flood gully finished sufficiently higher than the surrounding ground level so as to stop surface stormwater getting in?
(A flood gully can be either an outdoor trough, or simply a vertical pipe with a grate over the top and usually with a tap located above it).

Does the slope of the footpath around the flood gully fall away?

Is the lid of your septic tank, particularly if it is finished at ground surface level, adequately sealed?

If your stormwater is being discharged into the effluent drain then you are contributing to this problem.

Please help prevent this from happening. Ensure your stormwater is disposed of correctly.

Storm Water Intrusion Diagram

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Stormwater Intrusion Detection Program

Program of Smoke Testing to Identify Stormwater Intrusion into the Community Waste Water System (CWMS)

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.  Each of these schemes experience issues in the wetter months due to the unauthorized ingress of storm water.  Ingress of storm water places unnecessary strain on these schemes and additional costs are incurred through the delivery and the treatment of the additional water entering the system.

Council has now adopted a storm water detection program to better manage and reduce the ingress of storm water into the CWMS.

Council has also commenced an inspection program of its own infrastructure to identify any areas where stormwater might be entering the system through cracked/broken mains, manholes, pipe crossings over water courses etc.

A smoke testing program to audit all properties connected to CWMS will complement these activities.  Artificially generated smoke will be flushed through the pipe network.  The smoke enables breaks, cracks, pipe defects and stormwater connections to be detected.  Smoke emanating from a house gutters or downpipes provides an obvious link 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 Flyer provides examples showing where stormwater has been incorrectly plumbed.  Property owners are urged to review how stormwater is plumbed at their property prior to smoke testing being undertaken.

Questions and Answers - Sewer, Community Wastewater Management Systems and Stormwater

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.

Ongoing Awareness Program

Information regarding ingress of stormwater had been distributed to property owners to raise awareness of the issue.  All licensed plumbers within the district have been contacted to seek their cooperation in detecting and plumbing stormwater from properties correctly.

For more information on Stormwater Intrusion, please contact Damian Lethbridge, CWMS Technical Officer, telephone 8391 7241 or email