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Sewer blockages

Fixing a blockage at the first sign of a problem is much easier than if it's left unattended - a few hours could make the repair works and mess bigger and more expensive. 

 How do I know if its blocked?

  • Listen - can you hear gurgling noises coming from the sink?
  • Look - are the basins draining slowly?
  • Smell - are there unpleasant smells or sewage spilling from the sinks, toilets or drains?

How do I check?

Carefully remove the cover on your vertical inspection shaft. If it is empty, the blockage must be within your property and you should contact a local plumber. If the shaft is full or partly full, it is likely to be Council's responsibility, and you should contact us. 

Who owns what?

Property owners are responsible for sewer pipes within their property and up to the connection to Council’s sewer.


Diagram of Sewer Pipes


Surcharges and damaged infrastructure

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.

With residents on the frontline, we rely on you to contact us as soon as possible if there are problems with our sewer service.

If you suspect there’s an issue with the sewer system or damaged sewer infrastructure including manholes, or pipes please contact us. We will assess whether the problem needs to be taken care of by you or by Council. If the problem is Council’s responsibility we will undertake the appropriate repairs and arrange any necessary clean up. We will also report any surcharges to the EPA and other relevant authorities.


Council has a number of mechanisms in place to control sewer odours. If you have a complaint regarding odour, please consider first whether the odour is a result of:

  • Internal drainage on your property - if there is a sewer blockage on your property, you need to contact a local plumber
  • Wetlands or mangrove areas
  • Stormwater channels
  • Drainage

If you notice odour from Council’s facilities, please contact us.

Contact Us

  • Phone: 6581 8111
  • Email: council@pmhc.nsw.gov.au
  • After Hours Emergency Service on 6583 2225

This page was last updated on: 12 March 2021