Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Where can the water go?

A Seymour family wants a solution to a very wet problem.

CHALPAT SONTI October 2, 2013 10:06am

Dave Palmer shows how far up the water came in his Redbank Rd garage.


Dave and Naurelle Palmer are fed up.

The Seymour residents know every time it rains heavily — their Redbank Rd property is testament to the weather.

They’ve been trying to get Mitchell Shire council to do something about it, to no avail.

The problem started about 18 months ago.

After heavy rain the property was under water. Mr Palmer initially thought it was a blocked drain.

A problem easily solved, because he works for Veolia as an operator of cameras that are used to inspect drains. So he inspected the drains on his own property and was surprised by what he found.

The drain on their property abruptly terminated about 1m into the neighbouring block. The water thus has nowhere to go and pretty soon backed up on their property.

Mr Palmer said an easement drain at the back of the property — on railway-owned land — would be a simple solution, not only for him but for any neighbouring property owners who might have the same problem due to the lie of their land.

‘‘I rang the council and they came around and had a look but didn’t want to listen initially,’’ Mr Palmer said.

‘‘I told them this is what I do for a living and this is the deal.

‘‘They came around and had a closer look, realised what the story was and said they had to do something. And that was it.’’

But nothing was done, and recent heavy rain left the damage pictured, as well as destroying a fridge in the garage. Mr Palmer said the water took more than two days to drain away.

‘‘They came around again after I called them and said the (easement drain) didn’t make the budget. By law they’ve got to provide us with a point of discharge for our stormwater.

‘‘We’ve got a young (19-month-old) son walking around now and we can’t afford to have this water lying around.

‘‘All we want is what our rates entitle us to, and in our case that is adequate drainage.’’

Council engineering and infrastructure director Jeff Saker said the council was investigating different options to try and mitigate the drainage issue.

‘‘The geography of the area increases the complexity and hence detailed investigations are required,’’ he said.

‘‘One option being considered is the application of an easement at the rear to the properties and construction of an underground stormwater pipe that the properties can connect into.’’

‘‘Engineers would be on site in the next few weeks to collect further data and ‘‘review solutions for the short and long term.’’

Officers would also continue to liaise with affected residents.

‘‘The estimated cost of the solution will influence the timing of works,’’ Mr Saker said.

‘‘Options that have significant cost will need to be considered as part of a future capital works program.’’

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