Blockage or Sewer Outflow
Is your sink, bath or shower tray draining slower than normal, or is your toilet overfilling? Are you experiencing an overflow in the garden? This could be a sign of a blocked pipe.
If you notice sewage leaking or overflowing from Council’s network of pipes, please contact us immediately on 1300 972 753. We have a 24-hour call centre to respond to these types of enquiries. We are responsible for cleaning up the overflow.
If the sewage leak is on your property, call a licensed plumber immediately.
Always avoid contact with raw sewage. If you have any health concerns about contact with sewage, phone 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for advice.
As part of our regulatory conditions, we will notify the Department of Environment and Science when a sewer overflow spills onto any Council land or waterway. We are responsible to clean up the overflow.
Do not attempt to clear the blockage yourself. We recommend you call a licensed plumber to assess the problem. They will be able to tell you if the blockage is in your pipes or our pipes.
How do I fix my blocked sink?
If your sink is blocked, you should call a licenced plumber immediately. They can assist you in clearing your sink. We own, manage and have the responsibility of the sewage network outside of your property boundary, and therefore cannot assist with faults within your home or business.
How do I fix my blocked pipes?
To clear the blockage you can call a licensed plumber to remove the blockage for you.
It is your responsibility if:
- your neighbours are not experiencing the blockage;
- your drainage is not shared with other properties;
- there is no flooding in your local area.
What to do if the blockage is in Council pipes?
It may be our responsibility if we have sewers in the area and one of the following applies:
- The problem is visible outside your property boundary (e.g. beyond your water meter).
- Your neighbour(s) are experiencing the same problem.
- There is widespread flooding in your local area.
If your property has been flooded by Council’s sewer network or if the blockage is in Council’s pipes, please contact us immediately. We have a 24-hour call centre to respond to emergency works. We will send a crew to clean-up and clear the blockage. We do not charge for clearing a sewer blockage that occurs up to the property connection point.
What if my plumber determines the blockage is in Council’s network?
If your plumber has inspected your sewer pipe and identified that the blockage is in our infrastructure, please contact us on 1300 972 753. Alternatively, your plumber may choose to contact us directly and request one of our plumbers to inspect the site.
If the location of the blockage is within the sewer network outside of your property line, then the response crew will investigate and resolve the problem.
What should I do if I wish to be compensated for the out-of-pocket plumbing fees?
If the blockage occurred in a part of the sewer network that you are responsible for, you will need to pay for plumbing costs. If the blockage occurred on Council’s side of the network, we may be able to assist.
Regardless of whether the failure is in pipes that you are responsible for or in a part of the Council network, if you engage a plumber, you will need to pay for the plumbing fees, including any blockage investigation fees.
If the blockage is within Council infrastructure, you can then lodge a claim with Council for compensation. Please contact Council as soon as possible for assistance and provide details of the incident, compensation sought, plumber’s report and plumber’s invoice or account if available.
What causes blockages?
Sewage pipes are only designed to take away sewage and toilet tissue. Blockages are typically caused by:
- fats or solids being washed down household pipes or flushed down toilets,
- tree roots entering and growing inside pipes
- stormwater entering and overloading the sewage network.
Find out what you should not put in the sewer to prevent blockages in our Factsheet - What not to put in the sewers.
If your property is damaged because of a sewage overflow or burst water main, regardless of whether the overflow or burst occurred in a section of the network that you are responsible for, or in a part of our network, we recommend:
- you contact your insurance company as soon as possible, or
- tenants contact their property manager or landlord as soon as possible.
Who pays for the cost to repair my property?
Any costs associated with the damage to your property, including cleaning, repair and replacement costs, should be referred to your insurer.
Every home insurance claim is unique and the process varies, however, you will most likely need to supply your insurer with:
- your name and contact details,
- an incident description,
- details of any loss or damage.