Impacts of sewage overflows on an urban creek

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Title Impacts of sewage overflows on an urban creek
Author Pollard, Peter; Leeming, R.; Bagraith, S.; Greenway, Margaret; Ashbolt, N.
Journal Name Water
Editor PeterStirling
Year Published 2005
Place of publication Artarmon, Australia
Publisher Australian Water Association
Abstract Across Australia sewerage systems are designed with emergency overflow structures to discharge untreated sewage into local waterways in case of system overload or breakdown. Our aim was to determine the impacts of sewage overflows and potential risks to the public and ecosystem health in the tidal waterways of the coastal suburb of Lota. Expectations for improved sewerage system performance are driven by the belief that sewage overflows cause significant environmental harm. However, the research presented here shows that during a large wet weather event, stormwater, and not the overflow, was the dominant stressor of ecological health. Even during dry weather the impacts of overflow events were likely to be low and restricted to the mixing zone at the point of overflow. However, sewage overflows, in dry and wet weather, did pose an unacceptably high public health hazard to potential swimmers in Lota Creek until the overflow stopped and there was a complete tidal exchange with the estuary. This Brisbane City Council/Brisbane Water and Coastal CRC project has provided a sound scientific basis for quantifying overflow impacts and prioritising management of overflows and stormwater. It has also identified the need to develop programs to educate and raise community awareness, assess waterway use and potential pathways that can pose a risk to human health from wet and dry weather overflows both locally and into Moreton Bay.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI
Copyright Statement Copyright remains with the author[s] 2005. The attached file is posted here with permission of the copyright owner[s] for your personal use only. No further distribution permitted.For information about this journal please refer to the journal’s website. The online version of this work is licensed under a Creative Commons License, available at
Volume 32
Page from 27
Page to 32
ISSN 0310-0367
Date Accessioned 2006-03-19
Date Available 2015-01-27T05:02:35Z
Language en_US
Research Centre Australian Rivers Institute
Faculty Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology
Subject PRE2009-Applied Hydrology (Drainage, Flooding, Irrigation, Quality, etc.)
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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