An ORG is a plumbing fitting located outside your home designed to release wastewater if there is a pipe blockage or network overload.
How does it work?
If a sewerage blockage occurs, the ORG grate should pop off to release the pressure from the pipes and direct wastewater away from the home.
Plumbing regulations apply to the installation of ORGs (AS/NZ 3500.2:2021). An ORG should be installed:
at least 150 mm below the lowest internal drain fixture (e.g. bathrooms, toilets and the laundry), and
75 mm above the surrounding finished ground level (except where the gully riser is in a path or a paved area, in this case it must be finished at a level that prevents rainwater inflow into the wastewater system during rain events).
The image below shows the ORG network
Whose responsibility is the ORG?
It is the property owner’s responsibility to make sure the ORG is properly fitted and maintained. If you are unsure of the condition of your ORG, please contact a registered plumber. If you have more than one bathroom in your house, you may have more than one ORG.
Do you have an illegal or incorrect stormwater connection?
A common point where stormwater can enter the sewerage system is the ORG. Stormwater run-off from water tanks or downpipes should not be directed to your ORG. Preventing stormwater from entering the sewerage network helps reduce sewer overflows.
Caring for your ORG
hire a licensed plumber to carry out any works to your home
check with a registered plumber to make sure it is compliant
think before planting trees and shrubs
remove any pot plants or pavers you may have put over the ORG
ensure the ORG cover is loose so it can pop off or outwards,
build over or cover your ORG
plant trees and shrubs over or close to your ORG
connect stormwater pipes or direct water into your ORG.
A correctly installed ORG
Incorrectly installed ORG
Downpipes should not be directed into an ORG.
Risks of a sewage overflow
Sewage can contain micro-organisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungus and parasites. These can be harmful to humans, animals and the environment.
Sewage overflow can lead to illnesses such as:
gastroenteritis (diarrhoea or vomiting)
giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis (severe stomach cramps, diarrhoea or vomiting)
viral infections such as hepatitis (liver infections)
infections of the skin or eyes.
You can lower your risk of exposure by:
washing your hands
disinfecting wounds straight away if you have been in contact with sewage.
Sewage can also impact the water quality of our streams if it overflows near waterways.
Reducing sewage overflow
We work to reduce overflows by:
regularly inspecting and repairing damaged pipes and access holes
providing controlled overflow points
monitoring the performance of the network
reducing how much stormwater can get into the sewerage network.
You can reduce the amount of stormwater going into the sewerage network by:
making sure your roof water or garden drainage do not connect to overflow relief gullies
replacing faulty and damaged household drainage pipes.