Phew! Contractor says he's found sewage leak in Coolum
EARTHMOVING contractor Eddie Marshall wants a quick fix to a nasty surprise he discovered while quoting a job at Coolum Beach.
Mr Marshall is sure raw sewage is bubbling from the ground at a vacant block on Pacific Tce, making its way downhill into stormwater drains and then to the ocean.
But the claim is disputed by Unitywater, whose staff determined the flow to be stormwater after an inspection of the site in March.
Mr Marshall felt compelled to raise the alarm after finding the stinking stream while inspecting the site on Sunday.
"There was tissue paper, fresh faeces; it is all a sign of sewage," Mr Marshall said.
The surging nature of the flow also suggested to Mr Marshall it was related to flushing, showering or laundering.
"There is absolutely no doubt it is raw, normal sewage from the unit blocks above it," he insisted.
His confidence was backed by his experience working with civil contractors on sewerage mains.
"They just need to attend to it as soon as possible."
A nearby neighbour, who did not want to be named, said he had noticed the flow emerging from underneath dense scrub and making its way into stormwater, but he was not bothered by it.
"It does have that (sewage) smell, but it's not overpowering," he said.
Unitywater infrastructure services executive manager Glen Babington said calls from the land owner had been received on March 23 to report a strong odour and suspected sewage leak and then again on April 14 to advise of the continuing smell.
"Within two hours of the initial call on March 23, Unitywater had sent a field crew to investigate," Mr Babington said. "They inspected the mains pipework and manholes in the area and did not find any breaks or damage. They did not find any evidence of a sewage overflow, however, they did notice stagnant water in an area where stormwater had drained."
The field crew members also noted severe thunderstorms and rainfall had lashed the area for two days prior to the inspection.
Mr Babington said Unitywater treated genuine sewage overflows as priorities.
"In this case, reports from the field crew indicated the stormwater run-off collects in a drain near a sewer manhole, which could cause some confusion about the source of the leak.
"Whilst I am confident the job was completed at the time of the initial call, we are happy to re-investigate this matter at the landowner's request if the leak is indeed contaminated with sewage."
A Sunshine Coast Council spokeswoman said the council had not been notified of the issue but would inspect the site.