The council has been pumping sewage from a residential street for weeks.
The council has been pumping sewage from a residential street for weeks. Mike Knott BUN020512SEW4

Council pumping sewage after builder blocks sewer line

THE Toowoomba Regional Council is still pumping and trucking raw sewage from a suburban street, months after a builder accidentally filled the pipeline with concrete while constructing a house.

The incident on Friend St in Harristown has become a major problem for the water and waste department, which broke a piece of equipment while trying to dig out the solid concrete from the pipeline.

Residents said they first alerted the council in December about an issue, which the TRC said it investigated the following month after complaints about backed-up sewage and foul smells.

Upon investigations, the council found the builder had damaged the sewer line that ran under the house without knowing, before accidentally filling in the concrete that formed the support piers for the house.

Water and waste general manager Damian Platts told councillors at the ordinary meeting on Tuesday it had reached out to a contractor.

Sewage floods home: A family home in Wilsonton Heights flooded with sewage due to a storm water blockage on the street.

"We're working with a contractor to try and clear that pipe," he said.

"At the end of February, we had about a metre and half fixed and then the hydraulic cutting robot actually broke so we're getting a new one.

"We're pumping out of there every other day from an access hole slightly upstream and we're drilling from the other end to try and get rid of the concrete out of the pipe and return that to service."

Mr Platts said the council believed the builder hadn't identified where the sewer line was and instead relied on plans.

"It was during construction and from the footings that were being put down," he said.

Deputy Mayor Carol Taylor suggested starting an education program with builders to avoid further incidents, which Mr Platts endorsed.

The council is expected to chase the builder to recover the costs of fixing the pipeline.