Stormwater 'play pool' fixed
Stormwater improvement work recently completed on properties in Turenne Street and Owen Road has finally rid one family of the backyard ‘play pool’.
Council has recently completed the work to install 60m of pipes, manholes, laterals and sumps in Turenne Street and Owen Road at no cost to the landowners.
The upgrade is part of a 10-year programme to reduce the number of emergency discharges of wastewater to rivers.
Turenne Street homeowner Tamsin Wilson says her children Sofia (5) and Corbyn (7) would happily play in the knee-deep water that built up in the back yard after heavy rain.
“The kids would use the slide to slide down into it. Lemons off the tree would be floating around and it would leave a huge mud pit afterward.”
For years, the family and several neighbouring properties have put up with excessive flooding due to poor stormwater drainage.
“The ‘pool’ would cover nearly the whole back yard and the water would come up into the shed every time it rained, ruining the carpet and other equipment,” says Ms Wilson.
Stormwater team leader Joss Ruifrok says that with the number of residents affected, Council could assist rather than leaving it to the owners to sort out.
“Some deep ponding was occurring on five adjacent properties because the area is low lying and in some places it was lower than the main stormwater pipes in the road.”
“When it rained, this water was spilling over into gully traps and getting into the wastewater system. This can cause sewerage to overflow onto peoples properties and some households in the wider neighbourhood can’t use their toilets because the pipes are full.
“So there were a lot of properties that the stormwater was affecting.
Mayor Meng Foon supports the work and says it’s a matter of public health.
Council staff have been door-knocking in areas with historic stormwater drainage and wastewater issues to find out about the problems and work with property owners to find solutions.
“We know some of these areas may already have sufficient drainage but many may not. These residents, like Ms Wilson, may have given up telling us about it.”
“We can fix old cracked pipes that we own in the road,” says Mr Ruifrok “but to solve the problem we need to start looking at the issues on private property – things like defective pipes or running downpipes into gully traps.
“The wastewater system can’t cope with large volumes of stormwater getting in. To prevent sewage overflows, we sometimes have to discharge into the rivers. Nobody wants that to happen.”
“We need to work together on proper stormwater solutions or we’re not going to reduce the discharges problem.”
Ms Wilson says she’s pleased the proper drainage is now in and working. “I’m looking forward to having a dry back lawn and even mowing the grass.”
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Sofia (5) and Corbyn (7) playing in the pool created by stormwater in their back yard, and in front of the new stormwater drain put in by Council below.