Wastewater (sewage)

If you notice damaged or overflowing sewerage mains or access-holes, please call us on 07 3412 3412 as soon as possible.

If you have a problem with the sewerage pipes on your property, please call a licensed plumber in the first instance.

We repair blocked and damaged sewerage mains outside of your property boundary.

Sewage Overflow

Heavy rain can cause stormwater to flow into the sewerage network. This can overload the network and make it overflow. Stormwater enters the sewerage network through:

  • illegal roof and property connections
  • damaged property drains
  • unsealed access-hole lids
  • leaks in the network due to damage.

We have designed our sewerage system to overflow at set points. This stops sewage from overflowing in private properties. To learn more, please download the following documents:

Overflow relief gully

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

A cut out image of a house showing a toilet, bath and basin where the pipes that drain the wastewater go down into the ground and flow along to the sewer. Along the way the overflow relief gully pipe connects with this pipe to drain to the sewer. The image shows where the property line is and that the overflow relief gullies are located inside the property boundary. The footpath and street are also depicted and indicates where the manhole is located in the street and connects with the main public sewer line


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

Do Don't
  • 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

A correctly installed ORG 75 mm above a concrete path.


Incorrectly installed ORG

An image of an ORG where a roofwater downpipe has been directed into the 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
  • covering wounds
  • 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.

For more information, please download the Correcting common defects factsheet (PDF 309 KB).