Manage your Sewer Service

Overview

Our goal is to provide customers with cost effective and environmentally responsible sewer services which meet mandatory standards and Council’s Level of Service.

Largely unseen, Council provides sewerage services in many parts of the Southern Highlands, preventing harm to our waterways and the environment.

We supply and maintain one service connection per property. Additional service connections are only permitted in accordance with our Provision of Water & Sewer Services policies. To apply for a sewer connection, please visit our Connecting to Water or Sewer page.

 Report potential sewer overflows, blockages or odours by calling us on 02 4868 0888 (24 hours) 

Keep Wipes out of Pipes - The Three P’s

Wet wipes are not of the same material as toilet paper. They don’t breakdown in water and can block sewer pipes. Once they are flushed through the toilet, they stay intact and as they travel through the sewer system they get caught on debris, roots and on pumps and machinery leading to blockages, overflows and equipment failures. Despite the claims from the manufacturers - wet wipes are not flushable.

It is estimated that more than half of all our sewer blockages are a result from flushed wet wipes and other common foreign objects (e.g. rags, nappies, sanitary items, cotton buds, dental floss, cigarette butts, cooking fats and oils etc.) that don’t belong in the sewer system. 

The only items that should be flushed down the toilet are the Three P’s – Pee, Poo & (toilet) Paper. All other items should be disposed of correctly in your household waste collection bins.

Understanding Your Responsibility 

As the property owner, you are responsible for all the fittings and pipes inside the property up to the connection point with Council’s sewer main, this includes the Boundary Riser (may be known as a Boundary Trap). This includes any repairs, replacements or maintenance costs associated with these pipes and fittings.

It is also your responsibility to ensure that any manholes, lamp holes, boundary risers, gully traps that are within your property boundary can be seen and accessed in the event of a sewer blockage or overflow. They should be clear of any surface objects or debris.

The diagram below shows an example of sewer service connection including where the responsibility for repairs and maintenance starts and ends:

Owners Responsibility

Understanding Your Sewer Service

Gully Trap / Overflow Relief Gully (ORG)

A gully trap is one of the most important fixtures on your property. It will generally have a loose-grated metal or plastic removable lid to allow sewage to overflow if a blockage has occurred. This prevents sewage from flowing inside your house. Please note: 

• A gully trap is not for stormwater

• Gullies can be damaged or become too low when the surrounding ground level is raised, such as landscaping

• Damaged and low-lying gullies must be repaired or replaced by a licensed plumber

• The gully opening must be at least 75mm above the ground to stop stormwater entering

• The gully must be at least 150mm below internal floors or from the lowest point to be drained

• Keep your gully clear of all objects and debris

• You should not glue or fix the removable lid on the concrete surround

Boundary Riser / Boundary Shaft

This is an access point to your property’s sewer system that allows you to inspect for and clear blockages. If you suspect a blockage, first locate your boundary riser (it looks like a plastic cap with a concrete surround) before contacting a licensed plumber. Your boundary riser must have a water tight lid and it is important that it is easy to locate.

Manhole / Lamphole

Where a sewer main changes horizontal or vertical direction, you will find a manhole or lamphole. These are concrete structures about one metre in diameter and are essential for the maintenance of the sewer. They provide an access point for dealing with any blockages which may occur in a sewer main. If a manhole / lamphole is within your property, then it is important to ensure they can be seen and accessed. Keep your manhole / lampholes clear of all objects and debris both from on top and around so that it is easy to locate when required. 

Pressure Sewer Systems (PSS)

Pressure Sewer Systems are small on-property units that collect, grind and pump household sewage into a pumped sewer system to the sewer main. They are generally in areas where a gravity system cannot be installed. 

Wingecarribee Shire Council have Pressure Sewer Schemes in areas where Council owns and maintains the Pressure Sewer System. All maintenance issues related to Pressure Sewer Systems outside of these schemes are the owner’s responsibility. 

On-Site Sewage Management Systems (OSSM)

On-Site Sewage Management (OSSM) systems process household wastewater and dispose of the treated effluent at the property. For more information on OSSM systems, please refer to our On-Site Sewage Management page.