Warrnambool to clear backlog of blocked drains with new $500,000 truck | The Standard

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Warrnambool council will spend more than $500,000 on a new truck designed to clear the city’s backlog of blocked drains and storm water pipes. The purchase, which came in under budget at $511,600, will allow the council to instantly deal with blocked drains during a downpour without having to wait for contractors to come from Geelong or Melbourne. Cr Sue Cassidy said the council had spent about $300,000 on contractors over the past seven years to do the work that the council would now be able to do. Acting infrastructure director Glenn Riddick said the jet vac truck helped the city maintain its rapidly expanding drainage network. Mr Riddick said the council had 11,100 side-entry drainage pits – a number which grew by about 200 a year as more subdivisions were created. “Drainage is a critical facility for councils and not only does it prevent flooding but it has a huge environmental impact,” he said. “The purchase of this truck, while it’s a significant purchase, enables us to take a much more proactive approach to cleaning these drainage lines. “It also enables us to filter and recycle much of the drainage material that comes out of the drainage pits and remove contaminants such as plastic from compostable material to be reused in our many facilities.” Mr Riddick said the truck would mean they would be able to access high-risk areas. In response to a question from mayor Tony Herbert about whether the truck could be leased out to other municipalities, Mr Riddick said that was possible down the track after the backlog of work had been cleared. “The need for this piece of equipment is so great that initially it will be fully engaged in playing a catch-up role,” he said. Cr David Owen said it was a very sensible business decision which would allow the council to deal with issues without having to wait for contractors. Cr Cassidy described it as an exciting purchase and said drainage was one of the biggest costs to the city. The council had allocated $530,000 in its budget to purchase the Jet Vac drainage truck, but the purchase of the truck came in under budget at $511,609. At Monday night’s meeting, councillors gave the purchase their seal of approval. Our COVID-19 news articles relating to public health and safety are free for anyone to access. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

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