Sewer Blockages

In the event your property experiences a blocked sewer contact Shoalhaven Water immediately. This is generally first noticed by drains or toilets not clearing quickly or by an overflow in the yard gully.

Tree roots

If you experience a sewer blockage, call us before you call a plumber. 

We will investigate and determine if the problem is in our sewer mains. If the blockage is in our mains, we will clear the line at no charge to you. 

If the problem is not in the mains, we will advise you to contact a plumber. 

Signs of a sewer blockage include:

  1. Toilets, basins, baths or tubs are slow to empty
  2. Toilets overflow or fill higher than usual
  3. Yard gully overflows when the toilet is flushed or when basins or baths are released
  4. Sewer access pits overflow
  5. Gurgling noises occur in sanitary drains

Report a problem

If you are experiencing a blocked sewer:

  1. Submit our online request form so that we can attend to investigate the problem. 
  2. Call us immediately if you are experiencing a sewer overflow.

Sewerage Access Points

It is good to know where your sewerage access points are. As a guide:

Boundary Risers are located close to the property boundary and in the event of a blockage should be inspected by the owner of the property before contacting Shoalhaven Water or a plumber.

Yard Gully (sometimes known as an Overflow Relief Gully) is drain-like in appearance and located outside your house. They act to release sewage in the event of a blockage and are designed so that the loose fitting grate be free to ‘pop off’ completely allowing the sewerage flow that has backed up in the pipes to escape through the Yard Gully outside, rather than inside of your home or business.

A yard gully generally looks like this:


How to prevent a blocked sewer

Only the 3 P’s should be flushed down the toilet – Pee, Poo and (toilet) Paper. 

Causes of a sewer blockage may include:

  1. Wet wipes, tissues, kitchen paper, and rags being flushed down the toilet
  2. Rubbish, children’s toys, tennis balls, nappies, clothing, sanitary pads/tampons, cooking waste, sand, and other wastes not suitable for flushing into the sewer system
  3. Tree roots infiltrating the property pipes
  4. Crushed or flattened pipes that have been damaged
  5. Pipes that have been laid poorly

Tree roots & sewers

Tree roots damage sewer lines and can lead to clogged, overflowing, and slow-flowing drains. If this occurs within your property it is your responsibility to contact a plumber and have it fixed.

Root damage can also let stormwater into the pipes. During heavy rain, this extra water can overload the sewerage system causing it to overflow into our waterways and pollute the environment.