18 October, 2018 15:00
Photo of Michelle Cull holding water container

As Queensland’s storm season fast approaches, residents in the south east are reminded to store enough water to help them survive a natural disaster.

While power is usually one of the first utilities to go during a storm or cyclone, many people don’t realise water and sewerage services can be affected as well.

Queensland Urban Utilities spokesperson, Michelle Cull, said residents did not want to be caught short during such a critical time.

“Drinking water needs to be an essential part of every emergency kit and we suggest people keep at least three days’ supply of fresh water in containers, which is about 10 litres per person,” she said.

“You may need more if someone in your family has a condition which accentuates dehydration such as diabetes.

“Don’t forget to put water aside for your pets as well. During hot weather animals can become dehydrated just as quickly as humans.”

Ms Cull warned a power outage could result in a water outage because water boosters in the network needed electricity to operate.

“Some homes in elevated areas rely on water boosters to pump supply, so if the power is cut, the water could be too,” she said.   

There are also some simple checks residents can do around their home to prepare for storm season.

“We’re urging everyone to make sure their downpipes are not connected to the sewerage network to prevent stormwater from inundating sewer pipes,” Ms Cull said.

“Also check your overflow relief gully (ORG) is raised and clear of debris to prevent sewage backing up inside your home during heavy rain.”

Bottled water can be stored for up to two years. If you are filling your own containers it is a good idea to use food-grade jerry cans and refresh them every three months.

Store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and chemicals.

Queensland Urban Utilities joined Queensland Reconstruction Authority to launch Get Ready Week, which runs from today until October 14, 2018.

The week coincides with the release of Bureau of Meteorology’s National Cyclone and Severe Storm Seasonal Outlook.

‘Get Ready’ checklist

  • Have an emergency plan
  • Store at least three days’ supply of water – about 10 litres per person
  • Identify where and how to turn off your water supply 
  • Ensure downpipes are not connected to the sewerage network
  • Check your gully trap or overflow relief gully is clear of obstruction
  • Know who to contact for help. For emergencies related to water and sewerage services call Queensland Urban Utilities 24/7 on 13 23 64

For more tips on how to be prepared for severe weather events, visit: www.urbanutilities.com.au/severeweather

Editor’s note: An overflow relief gully (ORG) is a drain-like fitting located in the ground outside your home, usually near the laundry area. 

About Queensland Urban Utilities
Established on July 1, 2010, Queensland Urban Utilities is one of the largest water distributor-retailers in Australia, providing water and sewerage services to more than 1.4 million residents across Brisbane, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and Somerset local authority areas. We are upgrading and improving the reliability of our infrastructure by investing $2.76 billion in a 10-year capital works program. Our service territory covers 14,384 square kilometres and we employ around 1,100 people.