Sewage At Home

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Sewage At Home

​​If you have a problem with you sewer service contact Coffs Harbour City Council 24-hour Emergency Service on 02 6648 4000.

  • Sewer blockages - If you and your neighbours have sewer overflows at the same time, it probably means there is a blockage in the sewer. Call Coffs Harbour City Council and they will respond as soon as possible.
  • Sewage spills - If you can see raw sewage on your property call Coffs Harbour City Council and they will respond as soon as possible. If the sewer overflow is inside your home, it probably means a blocked drain or toilet, but still call Council first and we will assess the spill and advise if you need to call a private plumber.

The pipe between your house and the Council sewer main has an inspection opening with a white plastic cover over it. About the size of a bread and butter plate, this inspection opening is referred to as an IO. This IO will be used if there is a blockage or a problem with your connection to the sewer.

Division of responsibility for sewerage at your property
One important way of maintaining your sewer is to protect the sewer Inspection Opening. Please help Coffs Harbour City Council provide an efficient and effective sewererage system for you by following the steps below:

  • Don't break the IO cover.
  • Don't remove the IO cover.
  • Don't drive over the IO cover with your car or mower.
  • Don't connect the downpipes from your roof, or allow any other stormwater runoff, into our sewer system. This is an offence. Coffs Harbour City Council conducts smoke testing to identify these illegal connections to our sewer system and offenders will be under legal obligation to rectify the connection/s at their own cost.

By abiding by these steps at your house, rain or stormwater is prevented from entering the sewer and overloading the system, which can cause spillage of raw sewage into residents' homes or our local environment, such as your favourite fishing spot on the creek.​

 

  
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​Water always moves towards the lowest point, so Coffs Harbour Water uses the natural force of gravity to collect sewage from all the different homes, schools and businesses throughout the sewered areas of our community and deliver all of this sewage via pipes called "mains" to the Water Reclamation Plant for treatment.

However, gravity needs a helping hand when all the sewage in a sewerage main reaches the bottom of a hill and the sewage can't get over the next hill, so Coffs Harbour Water uses pumps in strategic places - usually the lowest point in the area, eg, near the creek or at the bottom of a hill -  to get the sewage moving to the Water Reclamation Plant.

Coramba and Nana Glen villages do not have reticulated sewerage systems. Each property in these villages deals with their own individual sewage through onsite wastewater management strategies, such as septic tanks or Biocycle systems. 

Did you know that harnessing the power of gravity to provide residents with a sewerage system is not a new concept? Gravity has been used since ancient times to move sewage away from homes! It is thought that the first gravity sewer system was used by the residents of Mahenjo-daro (Mound of the Dead) in present-day Pakistan around 2000BC. The first toilet resembling the flushing toilets we know in Australia today is thought to have been used by the Minoan civilisation on the Isle of Crete at their Royal Palace at Knossos around 4,000 years ago.

  

​Your home is connected to the Council sewer system by a pipe called a house drain.  It's a good idea to look after your sewer because if you keep it in good working order it will save you money.

 

  

​Your workplace is also connected to the Council sewer system by a pipe with an inspection opening. You need to look after the IO at your workplace for the same reason you need to look after the IO at your home.

However, the quality of the used water entering the Council sewer system at work can be much worse than what is generated at home. Water used for personal hygiene at work, eg, washing hands or flushing the toilet, is classified as "Domestic" sewage and does not pose an increased impact on Council wastewater treatment plants. All other sewage from your workplace, eg, manufacturing, restaurant and vehicle washing wastewater, is termed Liquid Trade Waste.

Your workplace needs a Liquid Trade Waste Approval from Council to discharge any of this type of sewage into system. 

  

​Coffs Harbour City Council has developed a guideline and private sewer pump station policy to detail the responsibilities of the developer and individual property owners with respect to construction, maintenance and operation of associated infrastructure and provides a basic guide to Council’s expectations from such systems.