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$10 million in backflow devices to reduce flood impacts

27 June, 2012

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has announced new backflow prevention devices are planned for 11 locations in a move that could benefit 80 per cent of the 1781 properties that were impacted by backflow flooding during the January 2011 floods.

The backflow initiatives are part of the Lord Mayor’s election commitment of up to $10 million to implement the recommendations of the independent report he commissioned into the feasibility of backflow devices across Brisbane.

Cr Quirk said following the release of the Backflow Feasibility Investigation Report, a total of 39 backflow prevention devices would undergo detailed design and planning before being installed across the 11 stormwater systems over the next four years.

“My team has led the way in getting Brisbane back in business after the floods,” he said.

“During the January 2011 flood, parts of Brisbane were affected by water which came up from the river through the drainage networks and into our streets, which is commonly referred to as backflow flooding.

“Backflow devices are one of many flood mitigation tools but they won’t address all issues of flooding. There were some areas that received both river and backflow flooding in January last year.

“I make no apologies for being thorough in our assessment of the appropriateness of backflow devices across Brisbane.

“The installation of new backflow prevention devices at 11 stormwater systems could benefit almost 1400 properties impacted by backflow flooding last year.”

He said a further 40 feasible stormwater systems, benefiting the remaining 20 per cent of impacted properties, would be prioritised for installation with Council’s other major drainage programs.

Council has already invested $2 million on investigations, designs and construction which is complete in Moray Street, New Farm and nearing completion in Cribb St Milton and the CBD. There are 43 other backflow prevention devices in Brisbane that existed prior to the 2011 floods.

Cr Quirk said the next three areas scheduled to receive backflow prevention devices were at Castlemaine Street at Milton, Leybourne Street at Chelmer and Creek Street in the Brisbane CBD.

“In addition to this major work, we’ve carried out vital flood repairs to 406 parks, 2200 km of road, 28.85km of footpaths, 60 km of waterways, 453.5 km of stormwater drains and 23 ferry terminals.”

In the 2011/12 budget $129 million was committed to manage the impact of flooding including initiatives such as constructing, upgrading and maintaining stormwater drainage, enhancing public flood information, and implementing its Flood Action Plan.


Stormwater system Work expected to begin No of backflow prevention devices
• Castlemaine Street, Milton 2012/13 (5 BFDs)
• Creek Street, Brisbane 2012/13 (5)
• Leybourne Street, Chelmer 2012/13 (3)
• Lang Parade, Rosalie 2013/14 (1 major gate on water channel)
• Queenscroft Street, Chelmer 2014/15 (2)
• James & Sydney Sts, New Farm 2014/15 (9)
• Ryan Street, West End 2014/15 (1)
• Harrison, Johnston & Tennyson Sts, Bulimba 2014/15 (1)
• Coronation Drive, Auchenflower 2015/16 (5)
• Vivian Street, Tennyson 2015/16 (1)
• Gailey Road, St Lucia 2015/16 (6)

Backflow devices have already been installed this year at:
• Moray Street, New Farm
• Cribb Street, Milton (expected completion early next month)
• Margaret, Charlotte and Alice St, CBD (expected completion later this month)

There are 43 other backflow devices installed around the city.


Backflow devices are attached to the end of storm water drains, allowing water to exit the pipe but not re-enter. This stops water from washing back into the drain network and out onto local streets.


This backflow study was a proactive recommendation from the independent investigation into Council’s handling of January’s devastating flood, with the final backflow report outlining the locations of more backflow devices to be handed down May 2012.

The Lord Mayor commissioned the independent report into the feasibility of backflow devices at 39 sites across Brisbane.

The sites were identified based on the advice of engineering experts and consultation with more than 250 residents who attended Council’s 10 public information sessions.

The sessions were spread across areas such as New Farm, Kenmore, Morningside, Hamilton, Milton/Rosalie, the Brisbane CBD and Mount Ommaney and were open to all Brisbane residents.

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