The Water Corporation is investigating ways to prevent overflow incidents after tree root growth within an access chamber caused sewage to overflow and stream down a footpath on Nannup Bend in Baldivis last Monday.

About 11.15am, the Water Corporation received a report about a manhole which had overflowed, with clean-up crews arriving on-site an hour after being notified. Water Corporation Perth regional manager Gary Monaghan said it took crews about four hours to clean up and clear the blockage, which was caused by tree-root intrusion into the access chamber.

“Tree roots can cause significant damage when planted too close to water and wastewater pipes as they try and seek out water from within the pipes, sometimes blocking and even breaking the pipes,” he said.

“Crews have cleared the tree-root growth from within the access chamber and are investigating what can be done in the long term to prevent further overflow incidents.

“This may involve removing the tree, but this is usually only done as a last resort.”

Baldivis resident Lisa, who requested that her last name be withheld, said it was the fourth time the area had been affected by sewage overflow in the last two years.

“It’s pretty disgusting having to deal with sewage flow all down our street and in our houses,” she said.

“It’s because the trees are growing right above the pipes.

“But they only fix the problem so it stops at the time.

“They don’t put anything in place so it doesn’t happen again.

“It’s something that makes our house lose its resale value … not to mention we have a primary school being built across the road from us, and if it happened in the morning during the school run that puts so many people at risk of catching diseases from the spillover.”

However, Mr Monaghan said Water Corporation records only indicated three blockages in the area since May, 2015.

He said the Water Corporation took wastewater overflows seriously and had strict protocols in place to minimise any impact.

The Water Corporation spends about $2.8 million clearing blocked wastewater mains in the Perth area each year.

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