Drains need a $3m upgrade

CLOSE to $3 million and some drastic measures are needed to repair Warwick's stormwater drains which experts say would not cope during an extreme flood.

The multi-million dollar repair bill does not include money needed to fix the Easey St drainage channel that the Southern Downs Regional Council's Warwick Stormwater Drainage Mitigation Study also found to be under par for intense rainfall.

The report will be presented at tomorrow's general council meeting for debate.

Southern Downs Regional Council director of engineering services Peter See said in order to fix the Easey St drain system the council would need to buy back land from residents in the area.

"The channel needs to be widened and the culverts replaced with larger culverts which could handle the larger volumes of water predicted for these (maximum) flood events," he said.

"The completion of these proposed works would likely include the resumption of land from adjoining properties for the use of the channel and service areas."

Mr See said as it was only a preliminary design plan no cost estimate was available.

Southern Downs Regional councillors will decide at tomorrow's general meeting if they want to go ahead with a future resumption of land and widening of the culverts.

The other six problem-riddled drainage systems in town, outlined in a separate part of the council agenda, will also be discussed during the meeting.

Mr See said it was important to prioritise which systems needed to be fixed first.

"As the potential works are expensive council must select the optimal mitigation options by balancing cost against priority," he said.

The aim of the improvements is to reduce flood risks and impacts on surrounding homes.

Plans to repair the drainage systems include increasing drain capacity, creating bigger stormwater basins, raising footpaths, upgrading pipes and potentially raising nine homes along a drain path from Wood St to Tulloch Park on Grafton St.

Mr See said priority one was to fix the Horsman Rd drain, which he said could be done with money from the current budget.

The second is to raise the footpath in Fitzroy St. This is the most expensive of the projects, estimated to cost $1,139,220.

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