Floodwaters leaves foul residue in Warilla

A Warilla resident is kicking up a stink after recent floodwaters left raw sewage on his property and a nearby sporting field.

Gary Southwell, who lives in Woodford Avenue, was appalled to find bits of used toilet paper sticking out of a drain leading to a creek behind his property following last month's flash floods.

Mr Southwell said his property was inundated by about 60 centimetres of water and sewage.

"I was walking around thinking it was floodwater, not knowing there was raw sewage in the same area," he said.

Freak storm takes toll on Warilla residents

"That's just not right, I'm not living in some Third World country.

"It's definitely a health hazard."

Mr Southwell said he only learnt sewage had poured through the drain last week, after a neighbour told him about the bits of used toilet paper that remained.

Mr Southwell's property wasn't the only one affected by the floods.

Bensons Creek, into which the drain flows, acts as the main stormwater drain for the entire suburb, passing behind houses and King Mickey Park on its way to the ocean.

Mr Southwell said children who played at the park often also went into the creek.

"I see kids out there all the time playing in the stuff, it's accessible to anyone," he said.

A Sydney Water spokesman confirmed raw sewage had flowed out of the drain during the flood.

"Sydney Water has an emergency relief structure [overflow] that discharges during extreme high flows to a council stormwater channel south of Woodford Ave, Warilla," he said.

"Our wastewater systems are designed to cope with four times the amount of dry weather flow. During heavy rainfall, like we had last month, the flow may exceed this capacity, and a diluted release of wastewater can occur."

The spokesman said a pump station downstream had been progressively renewed in recent years to minimise the frequency of wastewater overflows in the area.

"Our crews have also cleaned the screen on the relief structure recently and will be inspecting it again shortly," he said.

The spokesman said water flooding into homes was the responsibility of Shellharbour council, not Sydney Water.

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