Flooding concerns as council works on Raceview drain
RACEVIEW resident Alan Muhling says efforts to improve a drainage channel flowing into Deebing Creek could increase the flooding risk for residents and businesses near Briggs Rd.
The long-term local said a rapid increase in the number of houses in the suburb had increased run-off into the concrete drain, which is part of a major Ipswich City Council naturalisation project.
The second half of the Small Creek project is preparing to turn another 800 metres of concrete drain into a natural living waterway.
Ipswich City Council has sought community input on the project and has acknowledged some concerns from the community.
Briggs Road marks the halfway point between the two sections of the Small Creek project, with the section flowing towards Warwick Rd transformed into a meandering stream between leafy trees and plants that opens up into larger pools.
On the other side, heading toward Whitehill Road stages 3 and 4 remain a concrete drain that has been in place for decades.
While council says its main drivers are to improve water quality through the removal of sediment and nutrients before the water flows into Deebing Creek and the Bremer River, Mr Muhling said he was concerned the improvements would slow the flow of water and cause localised flooding.
"Already, with just a brief storm last month, you could see how quickly that small amount of water built up into a small stream," he said.
"With a decent downpour you could expect it to back up a lot more.
"I spoke to an engineer down there one day and he just flat out told me I don't know what I'm talking about, but I have lived here for a long time and I have seen what happens."
An Ipwich City Council spokesman said council was aware of some concerns raised through the public consultation process in September.
"The risk of flooding to private property is council's foremost concern and is taken into consideration in the design phase," he said.
"All designs will be modelled using up-to-date computer modelling looking at potential heavy rain/flow scenarios to check if they make the situation worse, better or the same.
"Council has a duty not to increase flood risk on private land."
Stages 1 and 2 of the project involved major re-profiling of the channel to increase the width and capacity to ensure there was no increased flow of water on to private properties, the council said.
"It's also worth noting that prior to stage 1 being built, the culvert on Briggs Rd was also upgraded to a larger size, which will also be an improvement from a flood risk perspective since the last flood event there," the spokesman said.
The design for the remaining stages is expected to be completed in early 2020.
The design and works to date have received numerous state and national awards, including from Stormwater Queensland and Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.