Unique tests to protect Terang’s sewers

02 February 2015

Wannon Water will begin a ‘mist testing’ program in Terang next week to help protect the future reliability of the town’s sewerage system.

Wannon Water Managing Director Grant Green said the tests involve blowing a harmless mist into sewer manholes and monitoring where it escapes to identify where stormwater may be entering and putting strain on the system.

“Currently, the sewage flows that enter the Terang water reclamation plant in heavy rain are more than three times higher than in dry weather, which suggests that stormwater is getting in through leaks, faults or illegal connections,” Mr Green said.

“The sewerage network was not designed to accommodate stormwater flows, which can overload the sewers and cause spills, so it is important that we find out where the stormwater is coming from.

“The mist testing is an effective and cost-efficient method of finding sources of stormwater intrusion, cross connections between sewers and stormwater drains, and defective sewer connections.

“Once we have a clearer picture of where the stormwater is entering the sewers we can then take action to address any concerns.”

The mist is clean, odourless and harmless. Under pressure, it fills the sewer mains and any sewerage pipes connected to it, and may briefly be seen coming out from building roof vents, foundations, manhole covers or the ground.

The mist should not appear inside homes unless there is faulty plumbing. If it permeates up through the ground, it indicates breaks in the sewer line.

Wannon Water has mailed an information sheet to all sewerage customers in Terang to provide advance notice of the testing program.

“Should the tests identify any defects or unauthorised connections on customer properties, Wannon Water will notify those customers in writing, advising them to engage a licensed plumber to rectify the issue,” Mr Green said.

The program will test the sewerage connections of almost 1,000 properties in Terang by mid-March 2015 and won’t cause any disruption to sewerage services.

Further information on the Terang sewer testing program is available by calling 1300 926 666.