Sewage spill ‘did not enter creek’ – SEW


SOUTH East Water says sewage that leaked from its pumping station in Pentecost Rd, Mornington, in August did not enter Tanti Creek.

The government authority’s general manager of network services, Mark McCormack, refuted a report in The News (“Delays to sewage station repairs”, 27/1015) and said the leak was contained before it entered the waterway.

“The leak at the Pentecost Rd pumping station … was due to infiltration of stormwater and groundwater into the old abandoned sewer rising main [pipe] at the lowest point adjacent to the pumping station,” he said.

He said fixing this problem cost about $30,000, not $100,000 as reported, but the authority had been forced to spend more money this month to fix a second problem and the cost was not yet known.

“While the [August] stormwater and groundwater leak was contained, South East Water notified the EPA as is normal practice. South East Water [not the EPA] sampled the creek at a number of locations to verify that the creek was not impacted,” he said.

“In October a small leak was detected on a coupling on the new rising main. It was unrelated to the earlier infiltration. This was also contained and again no sewage entered the creek.

“The repair is complex and custom-made fittings need to be manufactured, meaning the repair is taking longer than usual. It is expected the repair will be completed next week.

“While the cost of these works has not been finalised, it is expected to be a costly repair.”

Mr McCormack said there would be further works this month to “abandon the old rising main as part of continuing decommissioning works”.

“This will consist of the grouting of a number of road crossings and a section of the old rising main under … Pentecost Rd to the pumping station.”

A section of Pentecost Rd would need to be excavated to complete the works, he said. “This should be for less than a week and we will minimise the impact to local traffic as much as possible.”

Mr McCormack said South East Water had been working closely with businesses adjacent to the works to ensure any impact on them is minimised.

Traffic accessing Mornington’s light industrial area has been using alternate routes.

The Pentecost Sewer Renewal project, which included constructing the new rising main, was carried out between May 2012 and mid-2013

First published in the Mornington News – 3 November 2015


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