With a cloud hovering over Mullumbimby’s drainage system and its role, if any, in the floods, Byron Shire Council has announced a program of drainage maintenance that has begun in Mullumbimby this week.
Council says that every drain will be inspected and assessed for urgent repairs and maintenance.
Council’s Director Infrastructure Services, Phil Holloway said Council has heard and understands the community’s concerns around drainage. ‘We’ll be moving methodically around Mullumbimby in October, November and early-December to look at every drain and assess and triage repairs and maintenance.
Underground piped network
‘In addition, our crews are also doing a visual inspection of the underground piped network so we can look for any sediment blockages and remove them.’
Holloway said Council hopes this gives the community some reassurance that they are taking action on drainage in Mullumbimby. ‘We are keeping up maintenance and making improvements to the network. It will remain a priority for us over the longer-term.
‘At any given time, Council has two streams of drainage works going on – immediate repairs and maintenance works in response to blockages and breakages which in times of flooding can result in huge volumes of work, and our ongoing schedule of upgrades and improvements. These are mostly grant-funded and require larger-scale project management over months and years.
Urban drains not designed to cope with floods
‘It’s also important for the community to understand that urban drains are not designed to cope with the force and quantity of water that we experienced during this year’s floods. The sheer volume of rain meant that no drains were able to cope.’
Council has applied for a grant from the NSW Government to fund an Overland Flow Path Study. As the name suggests this study will look beyond the flooding of creeks and rivers to the flow of floodwater across the landscape and will assess the capacity of infrastructure in the shire (drains, bridges etc) and the results will then be used to prioritise and seek funding for the upgrade infrastructure as part of the Stormwater Capital Works program.
Council crews will be moving around Mullumbimby in October/November – Mullumbimby East; November – Mullumbimby North, and; November/December – Mullumbimby South.