Power and Water’s Overflow Relief Gully (ORG) advertising and community education campaign has proved successful, greatly reducing stormwater sewer inflow within Darwin (NT).

The Gardens and Rapid Creek catchments located south west of Darwin centre have often suffered from stormwater flowing into and infiltrating the sewer network. This can overwhelm the network and has sometimes caused sewage backflow during extreme rainfall events.

In Millner and Rapid Creek, 2759 properties have been inspected for illegal stormwater connections to the sewer network, which include ORGs.

Two hundred and three customers have been issued with non-compliance letters to rectify their ORGs and 47 properties (23 per cent of those non-compliant) have fixed their ORGs and illegal connections. This represents a considerable reduction to sewer inflow in the Rapid Creek catchment.

In The Gardens catchment, 464 properties have already been inspected and this data is currently being processed so that non-compliant customers can be notified of any issues.

This important project continues into the next wet season when temporary flow monitoring devices will be installed to determine flow data comparisons with the previous year. This will verify the level of success of the ORG campaign and rectification works. The Water Services team continues to work with non-compliant customers to help them rectify outstanding issues.

In partnership with the television advertising campaign, brochures have also been distributed in water and sewerage bills to help educate customers about the importance of keeping stormwater out of the sewer system within their own properties.

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