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It is important to keep yourself safe during flood recovery clean-ups.

  • Wait until authorities have declared the area safe before entering a flood zone. Before entering your house, wait until water has fallen below floor level.
  • Before returning to your property, consider that gas or electricity supplies may be damaged – these hazards need to be confirmed as safe by a qualified electrician or plumber.
  • The structural integrity of your home may also be affected – this needs to be declared safe by a qualified building surveyor.
  • Keep children and pets away until the clean-up is completed.
  • Buildings may have asbestos-containing material. Take all necessary precautions when handling asbestos-containing debris. Extensive demolition, repair and renovation work involving asbestos-containing materials should be carried out by licensed asbestos workers.
  • Flooding can cause mould growth, which must be cleaned up before moving back into your home.
  • Flooding may cause sewage to overflow inside your home. Contaminated areas must be cleaned and disinfected.
  • Drinking water may be contaminated – do not drink any water unless you know it is safe.
  • Food may be contaminated by floodwater or spoiled due to a power failure.

Here is some important information about electrical safety

  • VOLUNTEER SAFETY: Three cheers for the amazing people helping friends, neighbours and community with the clean-up – let’s keep everyone safe, and take particular care when you’re cleaning or working around power poles and pillars.
  • GETTING RECONNECTED: If your place was inundated, a licensed electrical contractor needs to check wiring and make it safe. Don’t enter ceiling spaces or try to check things yourself – wet wiring can be lethal. More important safety info:
  • NOT INUNDATED? If we proactively disconnected your power for safety but your property avoided inundation, you just need to give us a call to arrange reconnection.
  • GENERATORS: Never use them indoors, or try to rig them up to your switchboard without an isolating switch installed by a licenced electrician.

For more electricity information go to Home - Energex

To clean-up:

  • Use rubber gloves and boots, and eye protection.
  • Throw away contaminated household materials that cannot be cleaned or disinfected, such as carpet and childrens soft toys.
  • Clean and disinfect all contaminated areas with hot water and detergent, then disinfect.
  • Do not use high-pressure water jets on asbestos-containing materials.

Please stay safe on the roads as flood waters recede:

  • Obey road closure signs.
  • When floodwater starts to go down, don't drive over the roads until the road is open again. Sometimes the road damage is not known until the road is completely dry and is being driven on again.
  • Drive carefully on roads that have been reopened because they may still be drying out.
  • Look out for landslides as many roadsides will have exposed layers of rocks and soil that could slip.

On-site Treatment Systems:

Certain on site sewerage facilities require a constant power supply to operate. Systems that require pumps or aeration will not treat sewage or dispose of effluent without power.

These types of systems have a limited storage capacity to contain waste without power, however prolonged usage will result in sewage surcharge from drains or from the system itself.

The most common types of systems are listed below.

  1. Septic, no pump (gravity system) – Will operate normally without power.
  2. Septic, with pumpwell – Without power, these systems will not be operational – Will likely require a service by a licensed plumber or pump out by a licensed carrier if used without power.
  3. Modern Treatment Plant – Without power, these systems will not be operational  - Will likely require a service by your service agent if used without power.

Other notes:

  • If you have maintained power to the system (i.e. generator) to the system, the system should be OK.
  • If you have not maintained power, and continue to use without power or without getting a service agent to assess system, there may be a sewage backup into your house, around the treatment tank or damage to system components and effluent disposal area.
  • If you have power restored and your system is alarming (lights flashing etc), seek the advice of a service agent.

If you have queries or concerns regarding your onsite sewerage facility please call Ipswich City Council, Plumbing on 3810 6130 during business hours.

For the weekend (Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 March) call 3810 6666 and our contact centre will be able to connect you to a plumbing inspector.

For more information visit

The QLD Government also fact sheets available to provide advice and guidance post a flood event:

Flies and mosquitoes

Food safety

Water safety


Hazardous Waste
Council can already handle the disposal of a multitude of hazardous materials, including Oils, Paints, E Waste, Tyres and Batteries etc. at our Recycling and Refuse Centre's and also other materials such as Disinfectants, Drain Cleaners via the red lid general waste bin. Refer to Council’s Hazardous Waste page for more details on how to dispose of the various hazardous waste materials: