Community Notification of Sewerage Incident

Early Warning

Impacts on the community due to sewage distribution and treatment incidents are variable and depend on location, volumes of spills or other factors. Communication methods will be used on a case by case basis, however in all situations Ballina Shire Council will attempt to provide early warning to directly affected premises (either upstream or downstream depending on tidal impacts where relevant) by phone call or site visit. Early warning notification will include details of:

  • the nature of the imminent incident,
  • how those likely to be affected can prepare and respond, and
  • important advice such as avoiding contact and use of affected waterways.

Post Incident Notification

Where early warning is not possible Ballina Shire Council will provide notification and communication during and after an incident to advise those affected with information, advice and updates. Notification and communication methods will be determined on a case by case basis, but may include:

  • Phone calls
  • Media releases (radio/television/newspaper/internet/social media as required)
  • Website
  • Site visits/door knocking
  • Letter drops
  • Warning signs
  • Other methods as the situation requires

Chemical or Sewage Spill into Storm/Waterway

In the event of a chemical or sewage spill into a stormwater system or waterway, Ballina Shire Council staff will erect signage at prominent and/or high use areas of the affected waterway. The signs will warn water users of the contamination and advise them to avoid activities such as swimming, fishing, collecting shell fish and boating until contamination has cleared. Additionally, if the event occurred or was occurring during dry weather, Ballina Shire Council staff will attend popular sites and advise users directly.

Regular communication and notification is to be provided to the Community until the incident and clean up of impacted site and affected areas has been complete (e.g. faecal coliforms have returned to background levels). Ballina Shire Council is to take signs down and advise the public that regular activities can be resumed by (as required):

  • Phone calls
  • Media releases (radio/television/newspaper/internet/social media as required)
  • Website
  • Letter drops
  • Other methods as the situation requires
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