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Sydney's Drain Crisis to Worsen


It has been over a year since record flooding across Sydney, and though we haven't experienced a repeat of that same devastation, the drainage infrastructure still hasn't recovered.

The flooding crisis was fuelled by two main issues – the level of rainfall Sydney experienced, and infrastructure problems. The worst of the flooding impacted Lismore and Hawkesbury-Nepean, which are low-lying landscapes near bodies of water. It was a perfect storm for disaster, and unfortunately, the damage has been long-lasting.

It isn't just homeowners who are still trying to recover. There was heavy damage done to infrastructure including drainage and pipes.

Drainage issues are common during this point in the season because trees soak up all that water, and roots grow wildly, shooting out and breaking surrounding drains. Blocked drains in Sydney are becoming a major issue, and even though dryer weather is on the way, it isn't soon enough to prevent tree roots from doing damage.

From wild and wet to a big dry, Sydney is set to run the weather gamut. It's bad news all around because bushfires can also contribute to blocked drains. Bush fires contribute to erosion, as well as how metals and sediment are delivered to waterways – and all of this can contribute to drainage issues and flooding.

You shouldn't attempt to address drainage problems yourself. A qualified plumber should carry out any inspections and repairs regarding drainage and plumbing issues. Residents should keep the number of a licensed Sydney plumber on hand because drain issues are likely.

The overriding lesson from the Sydney floods is that the drainage infrastructure needs to be addressed, along with several other points, to ensure floods like this don't become the norm. Of course, managing the trees in your garden can also help avoid issues – a team of experts can address the tree roots to ensure no drainage issues occur further down the line.

With impending dry weather thanks to the newly announced El Nino, now is a good time to ensure you aren't contributing to your own drainage issues, so avoid flushing wipes, cotton buds, and too much toilet paper at once. If you notice any slow-draining sinks, low water pressure, bad odours, gurgling drains, or lawn with uneven patches of green, you may have a drainage problem on your hands.

The quicker you address it, the better – and it's cheaper to catch issues early, too. In doing so, you could avoid flooding problems related to both fires and rain.

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