Sewer protection - outside your home

Stamp out sewer inflow

If the rain that falls on your place is going into the sewer, it's a waste of precious drinking water.

The rainwater mixes with dirty water (from your toilet, kitchen sink and washing machine) and goes straight to the sewage treatment plant.

During storms, up to 35 times more water enters our sewers. This places extra pressure on our system and can add large costs to our maintenance bills. Sometimes, in heavy rain and flood situations, our system can't cope with the volume and sewage overflows can occur. Yuck!

Although it's illegal to connect stormwater to the sewer system, it can often happen accidentally. We want to work with you to help make sure your connection is legal and safe for the environment.

Fact Sheet: What is sewer inflow?(PDF, 778KB)

It's simple to fix

Download our home checklist to make sure the rainwater at your place goes to the stormwater system and not the sewer.

Home checklist(PDF, 1MB)

This is important because:

  • sewage could overflow into your home
  • sewage could overflow into other people’s yards, in the street or into our waterways
  • it's illegal! Fines can apply to homeowners who are aware of the problem but don’t do anything about it.

Call (02) 7955 7777 to find out more.

What we do to fix sewer inflow

We inspect the sewerage system to find where rainwater is getting in. Some of our methods include:

  • Closed circuit television (CCTV) - a remote controlled camera is used to take a detailed look inside the sewerage system
  • Dye testing - a non-toxic bright coloured dye is pumped into the sewerage system to find defects
  • Smoke testing - a harmless gas (mostly water vapour) is pumped into the sewerage system to find defects and illegal connections
  • Visual property inspections - authorised council employees may enter properties and inspect visible areas of the wastewater system, such as overflow relief gullies, downpipe connections and manholes. 

Want to do even more to save the rain at your place?

Once you've ensured the rain that falls at your place is not going into the sewerage network, you can go even further to incorporate some water sensitive design principles into your home and garden.

Hints and tips to make the most of the rain that falls at your place:

  • Rainwater tanks - collecting the rain from your roof can give you a valuable source of water for your garden
  • Raingardens - building a special raingarden at the right point on your property can prevent the rainwater draining off into the street untreated. Raingardens can remove excess nutrients and pollutants from rainwater (picked up as the water moves off hard surfaces like your roof) and slow down the fast flow of water into stormwater drains.

Find out more here about applying water sensitive urban design.

Download handy fact sheets below on how to build and maintain a raingarden: