Rain forces delay to major sewer main repairs

Published: 17 May 2022

Unprecedented rainfall last week has forced council to delay the major repairs to the section of damaged sewer main located on Paradise Street.

The works, originally planned for this Saturday (May 21) have been postponed until June 4 to allow for the excessive flow to alleviate.

Mayor Greg Williamson said the sewer main was currently pumping double the amount of wastewater than usual due to inflow and infiltration.

“With more rainfall forecast for this weekend it would be imprudent to go ahead with the works on Saturday night.

“It is essential that we avoid sewage overflows at all costs and our responsibility to do that comes first,” Mayor Williamson said.

Council had asked all residents in the Mackay urban area, except the Northern Beaches, to reduce their water usage on the night of the works and until 8am Sunday.

“We are now asking residents in the included area to mark June 4 on their calendar as the night they need to watch their water usage.

“This is not a water interruption and council crews have accounted for water usage by businesses on the night, but any reduction in water entering the system by our community will ease the burden during the works,” he said.

“Remember, if it’s yellow let it mellow! Have an early shower and leave those dirty dishes and the laundry until Sunday.”

The work being undertaken is the largest coordinated repair job done by council to date.

More than 55 crew members across five locations will complete the repairs to the damaged sewer main on Paradise Street. The works will be weather permitting.

To complete the replacement of the damaged pipe, crews will need to partially drain 11kms of the sewer line, or 900,000 litres of sewage from the main.

This will involve turning off 88 sewerage pump stations in the Mackay sewerage scheme. These pump stations enable the sewage to continue to flow throughout the length of the sewerage network and out to the Mackay South Water Recycling Facility.

By switching them off, sewage will cease flowing at the required location enabling the crews to repair the pipe.

Residents and businesses who might be impacted by reduced car parking and road closures will be notified directly by council of the change in date.

Council apologises for any inconvenience to residents during this essential work. Residents can contact council on 1300 MACKAY (622 529) if they have any questions.