Residents are asked to prepare for storm season, so are we at Council
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You have most likely heard a lot of warnings prompting you to prepare your home for Queensland’s unpredictable summer storm season.
But perhaps not much has been said about what we at Council are doing to make sure our city’s stormwater drain infrastructure is ready for the big rains.
Now drainage isn’t the most glamorous topic, nor something people often think about – the old out of sight out of mind. But I can tell you it can be a big issue to residents if our drains were constantly bursting or backing up.
And our drainage infrastructure will be put under real pressure during the summer storm season, so the importance of preparing it cannot be underestimated.
Stormwater drainage works help to improve the flood immunity of road networks, reduce stormwater infiltration into the sewer system, and reduce the overflow of stormwater into electrical and telecommunications underground networks in minor flood events. This ensures we keep the network as clean and free of blockages to ensure the system functions well and to safeguard the health of local waterways.
Council is pouring a $37.5 million investment to fund about 60 vital stormwater drainage projects this financial year, with a further $16.5 million allocated to repair and maintain the network.
Brisbane’s stormwater pipe network stretches more than 2600 kilometres! That’s the approximate equivalent of a return trip from Brisbane to Canberra. So it’s no small feat to keep it all working efficiently. And we’ve already completed 28 drainage projects so far this financial year.
Council is also fast-tracking three years’ worth of Backflow prevention devices so they can be installed this financial year to minimise the impact of flooding and prepare.
It’s about the health of waterways as well – Stormwater runs into a stormwater drain inlet and through a pipe network that flows out into local creeks, into the Brisbane River and ultimately Moreton Bay.
During the 2011 floods and Australia Day storm event large volumes of mud and silt were deposited in our waterways and ended up in the Bay.
We can all play a part in creating a healthier, happier waterway – and it starts in our local streets. It’s about ensuring our streets aren’t littered with rubbish that ends up clogging our drains, or getting flushed out in the bay.
Tidying our trees and gardens to stop it from restricting our drains can be a big help. In that regard, Council does its bit with planned street sweeping to remove leaf litter from gutters and gullies.
While I’m on the topic, I’d like to thank residents for taking advantage of our free green waste tipping offers in late September and early October to prepare for the summer storm season. It was a real success, seeing more than 2160 tonnes of green waste dumped over two weekends – a real load off!
It’s great to see residents are being proactive about their storm season preparations.
Residents from The Gap have been leading the charge in Early Warning Alert System sign ups – they don’t need much reminder of the ferocious storm that ripped through the suburb in 2008 with almost one in five people (18 percent) who live there already signed up to the service. Across Brisbane, more than 80,000 people have now signed up for the early warning alerts.
It was all too familiar across the suburbs in January this year when the Australia Day storm tore across the city, leaving widespread fallen trees and debris at suburbs like Bracken Ridge in the north and Forest Lake in the south-west and many suburbs in between.
So for more information on how we’re getting ready to prepare for the storm season, and to register for the alerts, visit brisbane.qld.gov.au or call 3403 8888.