Weather creates challenges – but clean-up continues

Published on 22 October 2022

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Rain overnight and this morning forced the temporary suspension of the hard waste collection of flood damaged possessions in Maribyrnong.

There were concerns for the safety of contractor crews working with excavators near power lines in the rain. Collections will continue when it is safe to do so. Council has sent out some of its trucks to do what they can, in the meantime.

More than 1,500 tonnes, just over 4,000 cubic metres, of hard waste has so far been collected from the flood impacted area.

A new flood watch advice was activated for the Maribyrnong River yesterday afternoon and remains in place. Residents are being urged to ‘stay informed’.

Melbourne avoided the worst of the predicted heavy rainfall overnight, but the Bureau advice is the threat remains until the front moves east. Tomorrow should be more settled, but a decent downpour is anticipated on Monday. Authorities say this brings a risk of some additional minor flooding, though not of the magnitude of last week.

Council has been using hydro pumps to clearing silt from the drainage system, so any additional run-off from the already saturated catchment can be accommodated, as much as possible to mitigate the potential for road closures.

After the initial removal of silt from impacted roads, Council is also continuing to sweep the streets to keep them clean to support residents continuing the clean-up and to support motorists and others navigate through the flood impacted area.

Crews have also been undertaking a high pressure gurney clean of the bike path along the Maribyrnong River so that it can reopen next week.

Portable toilets have been placed at just shy of a dozen locations and taps have been attached to fire hydrants on multiple streets in the flood impacted area. This is to facilitate access to fresh water to support clean up works, and drinking if required, not because of any issues with water quality. Greater Western Water has the water is safe to drink. 

A full suite of results from Council’s soil and water testing from public spaces, such as parks and sports fields, along 7km of the riverbank is expected early next week. Initial results show no cause for concern.

Soil and water testing by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has also revealed only low levels for E-Coli – the bug that causes gastroenteritis. But, as floodwaters carry a range of bacteria, it is still recommended residents avoid contact with any water that may still be lying around.

Stagnant water is also a prime breeding ground for mosquitos, and residents are being advised to cover up and use mosquito repellents to reduce the risk of being bitten.

EPA officers are also going door to door collecting samples from individual properties and additional water quality monitors have been placed in the River.

The Relief Centre remains open at the Maribyrnong Community Centre from 9am-5pm.

Stay informed

Residents are encouraged to keep an eye on the VicEmergency website for updates.