In the wake of North Queensland's flooding disaster, health and safety must remain a key priority for people as they return to their homes.
Master Plumbers' Association of Queensland (MPAQ) is warning people not to become complacent and to place plumbing checks at the top of the priority list along with electrical work.
MPAQ President, Mr Kent Vickers, said "checking the properties plumbing, drainage, gas and fixtures needs to be a priority after such events if disease and public health are to be safeguarded. I would urge people now facing the daunting task of a post-flood clean up to pay particular attention to those key plumbing issues that can impact on health."
Mr Vickers said residents need to contact a licensed Master Plumber to check on:
- Drainage or septic overflows (contamination of surrounding area due to a surcharge or the ingress of water)
- Silted or blocked drains (drains being full of silt due to muddy flood waters)
- Gas regulators and burners on appliances such as hot water systems, ovens and barbecues, which could be wet and blocked with silt
- Gas bottles that may have floated or moved with flood waters causing leaks in the gas system
- Valves exposed to floodwaters may need replacing or retesting to ensure correct operation
- Tank water and other alternate water systems should also be checked
Mr Vickers said residents will also need to be cautious of downpipes that are connected to underground storm water drains that may be blocked with silt. Any further rain may overflow from the gutters as the water cannot drain away.
"Water tanks that have had flood water enter the tank will not be fit for consumption and need to be checked for contamination levels. This is especially important where tank water is the drinking water supply or supplying other fixtures in the house," he said.
Parents need to be aware of the dangers of letting kids play in flooded drains, waterways, or puddles of flood water that may be left in yards.
"Flood water is dangerous; it is not only often fast moving but it could contain sewerage surcharge and other contaminates including E.coli," said Mr Vickers.
In the case of significant damage, where you may need to replace plumbing fixtures and/or fittings in rooms or behind wall sheeting, people should be mindful that all plumbing work will need to be done by a licensed person.
Residents and home owners can contact MPAQ from Monday to Friday on 07 3273 0800 to locate a licensed Master Plumber in their area or visit www.mpaq.com.au/find-a-plumber.
Consumers are also being told to beware of scammers offering repairs or services in the wake of the wild weather and should call a Master Plumber as they hold the appropriate plumbing QBCC licenses.