When Melbourne has very heavy rain, which is not too often, Melbourne Water is forced to dump raw sewerage into our rivers and streams at different locations. The sewerage system gets overloaded with storm water run off and the consequences of Melbourne Water not dumping the sewerage into our waterways is not something you really want to think about. Let me just say the words, back up.
I'll expound with my ignorance.
Our street was originally occupied by mostly very large houses with front and rear gardens, porous places where water would be absorbed into the ground. The street itself was lined with bluestone pitchers, with water seeping down to the earth through the gaps, and not solid concrete. Now our street is mostly high rise buildings with minimal grassed areas. There is little opportunity for water to seep anywhere. It runs into solid gutters and into the stormwater system. That all happened quite a number of years ago and the system coped.
But now in the inner and even medium suburbs, single houses with gardens and lawns are being replaced by multi storey unit developments with at best tiny areas for water to seep away. There are so many of them and excess water is just going straight to gutters and into the storm water system.
Being reasonably au fait with Melbourne's inner suburbs, I have a pretty good idea how many multi storey developments have replaced single storey housing. The number is monstrous. I am not sure if it is to Melbourne Water's credit that the problem is not much worse, but an excess of storm water gets into our sewerage system, hence the dumping of sewerage when the system gets overloaded.
I really don't have any doubt that flooding of inner areas has also become much worse as most seepage opportunities have disappeared. Unproven, but I think so.
I have made it clear in the past that I have serious issues with our huge population growth. But all these new people pay taxes, pay rates, pay for services. That is a significant amount of extra money to provide infrastructure, and yet we don't have the infrastructure.
So where is the money going? Profits to overseas companies that now own our infrastructure? Are our taxes being unwisely spent or are we not paying enough or both?
I don't know, but it all seems to be terribly wrong to me.