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Your home is connected to the sewer system by a single pipe. Each connection has points for access, inspection, repair and surcharge.
The overflow relief gully (ORG) usually has a loose grated lid which allows sewage to surcharge if a blockage or significant wet weather event occurs to prevent flooding inside your home.
The ORG should be a minimum of 75 mm above ground level to stop surface water and stormwater entering the sewer system.
All your wastewater from the laundry, kitchen, bath and shower goes through the ORG so it needs to be lower than all the drains inside your house.
A vertical inspection shaft (VIS) usually has a small concrete surround and a flat PVC cover. They are located within your property, near the boundary where your drains meet Council’s sewer system. Removing this cover allows you to identify a blockage or problem in the system.
Stormwater includes water collected from roofs, gutters, downpipes, driveways, lawns and any other surface during rainfall events. Our sewer system is not designed to carry or treat stormwater. Excessive stormwater in the sewer system can cause surcharges.
A sewer surcharge occurs when the sewer system is overloaded beyond its design capacity. This often results in sewer coming out of manholes and private overflow relief gullies.
Directing stormwater into Council’s sewer system is illegal. Under the Section 638 of the Local Government Act, you could receive a penalty of up to $2,200 if you direct stormwater into the sewer system.
To check if your stormwater is entering the sewer system pour some water into your downpipe - if you can’t see where it comes out there may be an illegal connection.
You can also inspect the area around your Overflow Relief Gully (ORG) to make sure stormwater can flow away - in a rain event, if water pools around the ORG you may need to adjust the landscaping or remove an obstacle to prevent this from happening.