Nevertheless, the company is committed to approaching the situation in a way that can further mitigate risk and prepare for similar events in the future.
Feedback from water managers in recently flooded areas has been characterised by shock and awe. Likewise, much of the feedback has been centred on how stormwater infrastructure is supposed to cope with the levels of water that submerged towns and cities such as Byron Bay, Lismore, Brisbane and Sydney.
Interflow and other water and pipeline infrastructure companies have been doing their utmost to control unprecedented volumes of water. The solutions for which are heavily dependent on localised conditions and challenges.
“It’s a mistake to walk into a council area and assume they all have the same problems and they all should be taking the same approach,” said Interflow contracts manager John Weaver. “It depends on the age of the area, on population growth, ground type and much more.”
It appears the best way to mitigate the fallout and impacts of similar flooding events in the future is to spread awareness around Australia’s stormwater infrastructure and the condition of underground assets.
Additionally, utilising modelling to plan future developments of water infrastructure and residential and commercial building with larger scale flooding events in mind.
“Look to New Zealand for an excellent example of preparation for the effects of climate change on water infrastructure,” said Weaver. “Asset owners and town planners are focussing management strategies on flood events increasing and rising sea levels.”
“In Australia, our focus has been on water security, on getting ready for the next drought. It’s correct to focus on water security. But at the same time, increasingly regular and extreme rainfall events also deserve attention, as the recent floods proved.”
Interflow concedes that outside of emptying dams and preparing communities, little more can be done in the way of emergency responses to similar dramatic flooding events. Nevertheless, Interflow highlights that the focus should be on developing a greater awareness around the current state of existing infrastructure. Additionally, developing management plans that extends the useful lives and improves performance of stormwater infrastructure is crucial.
All stormwater assets gradually deteriorating. This is a certainty. However, if a water manager constantly monitors those assets they will know exactly why and when they require maintenance.
Therefore, this grants asset holders and stormwater infrastructure professionals an insight into the preparedness of each individual asset when flooding season comes around.
Interflow has carved out its place as a leader in the Australian and New Zealand water and pipeline infrastructure industry. Synonymous with the phrase challenging the status quo, Interflow is at heart a humble business that values the wellbeing of the communities it serves above all else.
The company urges other water managers to take on a proactive approach when it comes to stormwater infrastructure by taking on the informed advice and input of those who’ve been there before.
To read more about Interflow’s statement on the floods, click here.