Locals Seek Installation Of Backflow Devices In Norman Park

After the record-breaking flood in Brisbane earlier in 2022, locals are calling on authorities to install backflow devices across Norman Park and other flood-prone areas in the Morningside ward.          

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Nearly 300 residents have signed a petition calling on authorities to urgently install backflow devices and identify other possible locations where they can be installed.  

The petition was launched by Councillor for Morningside Ward Kara Cook, who has been actively campaigning for backflow devices to be placed in the city’s flood-prone areas.

Cr Cook noted in the petition that residents understand that the installation of backflow valves will not prevent flooding but would help lessen its impact during flood events.

An example of a backflow device, which was installed in Chelmer along the Brisbane River (Photo credit: CC-BY-SA-4.0/Kgbo/Wikimedia Commons)

Backflow Prevention Devices or simply backflow devices are designed to help minimise water flowing back up stormwater pipes.

During this year’s severe weather event, Norman Park was considered as one of most affected areas in Brisbane. 

“Now is the time to make sure our community’s voice is heard. I have spoken to many residents who want to see the backflow devices identified as feasible back in 2011 in our local area installed,” Cr Cook said.

Brisbane City Council has conducted investigations into backflow reduction measures for priority areas following the January 2011 flood event.

Backflow device locations in Brisbane (Photo credit: brisbane.qld.gov.au)

Some of the identified locations in Norman Park include Adina and Frank Streets, Brentnall St, Waite St, and Wendell St. However, there has been no device installed in the area. In all, there are 66 backflow devices at 16 priority localities, along the Brisbane River.

Cr Cook has also been reviewing the 2022 Brisbane Flood Review, particularly the information in relation to backflow devices.

The report states that of the 15 devices installed post 2011, seven demonstrably mitigated the effect of flooding in 2022.

An excerpt from the report reads: “The effect of the rest could not be gauged, either because the river levee overtopped rendering the device ineffectual (in five cases) or because, the devices being “passive” (meaning manual intervention was not needed for activation), there were no nearby monitoring gauges (in four cases).”

Meanwhile, Cr Cook is urging those who haven’t signed yet to sign the petition, which will close on 11 June 2022.