A series of sewer management programs have been designed for the Melbourne suburb of Frankston to lessen the impact of spills on the environment.

These include working closely with Frankston City Council to better communicate and manage significant sewer spills, and deploying a first of a kind sensor technology on the region’s sewer network.

Working with the council allows the organisations to be closely aligned with improved communications to minimise any potential impacts on local waterways, creeks, the beach and the communities who use them, should a significant spill occur.

Responsibilities between the two organisations include:

  • Coordinating clean up responses to minimise any impact on the community
  • Working together to inform the community of any impacts on beaches or waterways
  • Working with key stakeholders to minimise any impacts of a spill
  • Maintaining contact throughout spill and clean up activity, 24 hours a day if necessary

South East Water has also started deployment of Advanced BlokAid technology in the Frankston area. Developed by South East Water, the sensor technology is installed at the top of manholes, and monitors sewer levels, flow rates and detects corrosive gases. Data is sent in real time to South East Water’s operations team to detect and remove blockages before a spill occurs.

This technology has already helped South East Water detect blockages and prevent potential spills in its network and is expected to have a positive impact on the Frankston area moving forward.

South East Water’s General Manager Future Water Strategy, Philip Johnson, said his organisation is pleased to work together with the council to minimise spills to the environment.

“We’re committed to reducing the number of spills in our network to zero. In the meantime, our collaboration with Frankston City Council allows us to act faster than ever to protect people’s health and limit the impact of significant sewer spills on the environment,” Mr Johnson said.

Mayor of Frankston City Council, Colin Hampton, said Frankston City is known for its beautiful beaches and photo worthy creeks, which are huge attractions for visitors and locals alike.

“Protecting our waterways is incredibly important, and we are pleased to be working with South East Water so that we are prepared should the worst happen. By working together we can reduce impact to the community and environment as quickly as possible,” Mr Hampton said.

In addition, South East Water is implementing a proactive Sewer Cleaning Program, which targets sewers which have had previous blockage history to prevent a recurrence.

South East Water has also committed to minimising sewage spills to the environment through a five-year customer commitment. This includes committing to donate up to $10,000 to a community group affected in the event of a dry weather spill that results in a beach closure.

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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