If you see a sewage overflow, on private or public property, please follow these steps:

Step 1
Be safe
  • Avoid all contact with sewage water and keep clear of contaminated items
  • Stop using your toilet(s) or flushing water
  • Turn off any taps
  • Check your ORG (Overflow Relief Gully) is not blocked or obstructed
Step 2
Call us immediately
  • Please call 1300 086 489
Step 3
If sewage is overflowing inside your house:
Contact your insurance company as they can provide practical assistance on the clean up and damages. Please read our property damage guide for residents after an overflow.  

Sewer overflow FAQs

No, we recommend that you avoid flushing the toilet or putting more water down drains until the problem has been investigated as this may make the problem worse. This applies to any toilets and drains in the house, not just the ones that have been affected.  

We advise that you do not touch anything.  It is a health and safety risk to you and your family.

We will dispatch a field crew promptly to investigate and begin repairs to our services where possible. It is important to call your insurance company immediately. They can provide advice and practical assistance on the clean-up.

If you are a tenant, call your property manager or landlord immediately.

Unitywater does not assist with internal cleaning. This is best completed by a professional cleaning agency nominated either by you or your insurance company. Any costs associated with damage to your property including repairs, cleaning and replacement costs, should be referred to your insurance company. 

You can help protect yourself and your family after an overflow with some simple actions:

  • Avoid contact with sewage or dirty water.
  • If you have any medical concerns about skin contact or ingestion of dirty water or sewage, please contact your doctor. Wash your hands frequently, especially if you have been in contact with sewage, dirty water or contaminated items, and before eating.
  • Keep children and pets away from areas affected by sewage or dirty water until cleaning is completed.
  • Do not eat or drink any food exposed to sewage or dirty water and do not use any utensils exposed to sewage.
  • Keep contaminated items, water and/or hands away from your mouth, eyes and nose.
  • Disinfect all areas and equipment that have been in contact with sewage or dirty water using an appropriate disinfectant applied in accordance with its usage instructions.
  • Sunlight is a powerful disinfectant and can typically kill bacteria within 48hrs, so keep windows and curtains/blinds open to let as much natural light in as possible.
  • Tenants should contact their property manager or landlord immediately to advise them of the incident.

As a property owner, you are responsible for all plumbing, including the pipes, fixtures and fittings, from the water meter, irrespective of whether the meter is located within or outside your property boundary.

Unitywater owns and is responsible for the infrastructure up to and including the water meter. In some instances, the water meter may be located within your property boundary, however, it is still the responsibility of Unitywater.

Council owns and is responsible for the stormwater pipes (the pipes that take away rain-water) outside your property. They are also responsible for private plumbing and drainage compliance.