Bundaberg Regional Council has been taking work underground to maintain sewer relining located below main roads throughout the region.
Council's Network Program Coordinator Geoff Tansley said the program, which was expected to be completed in May, focused on older or “at risk” sewer pipes.
“The most risk and consequence are normally associated with large high flow sewer mains and locations near roads, rivers, creeks or stormwater,” he said.
“Most of the sewer mains being relined in the current program are between 50 to 70 years old.”
What is sewer relining?
Geoff said sewer relining was the renewal (replacement) of sewer pipe by inserting a new pipe inside the existing aged or damaged pipe.
“The benefits of sewer relining are being able to install a new pipe in the same place without having to dig up the original pipe,” he said.
“As the process happens from within, it eliminates the need to interrupt the service and has little impact or interference with traffic and residences.
“The resulting new pipe is much stronger than the original, is expected to have a longer life and is constructed without joints which removes weak points where tree roots and ground water could eventually penetrate the pipe.”
While work continues over the next two months, Geoff said residents would likely be unaffected by what was happening underground.
“Mostly the residents will see the trucks and workers in the street or possibly in their yard while they access the sewer chambers to clean, camera and install the liner,” he said.
“Those residents who have a sewer chamber within their yard will have a letter delivered and a worker will also speak with them to discuss the work and individual impact.
“Other residents within the work area will only have a notice delivered to property to explain the work and the expected timing.”
Geoff said sewer relining was important in keeping pipes maintained and services operating as per normal.
“If we didn't reline, this would eventually result in failure of the sewer main, loss of service, discharge of sewage and a much greater expense to fix the problem,” he said.
“Typically, once the sewer fails, it collapses and this will require Council to excavate the pipe and replace it.”
Geoff said while the current program was expected to be completed by the end of May, plans were already in place for future work.
“Planning and scheduling for next year’s work is already well underway, with a rolling five-year program being developed,” he said.
“Water Services have established an associated program of proactive cleaning, survey and condition assessing our entire sewerage system to identify and quantify any defects in the network.
“The information gained from this survey will be used to identify, cost and establish a rolling program of relining work for the future.”