As residents visit their destroyed properties for viewing or for sifting led by Team Rubicon, they may notice some sections near or on their properties have been excavated or are in the process of being excavated.
These excavations do not affect sifting efforts. Sifting is done within residential foundation walls and excavation is done outside residential foundation walls and on streets. This work is very important to ensure that storm, sewage and water services that have been compromised as a result of the fire are protected. This is to avoid the following situations:
- Precipitation carrying debris into the sewer trunks to potentially cause blockages in the sewer mains putting non-damaged structures at risk of flooding.
- Debris and other materials damaging the wastewater treatment plant or potentially posing risks to the river.
To date, approximately 700 properties need to be excavated to perform urgent work to prevent sewer backup to the homes still in the area.
This contract work is being done by local residents with extreme care in a deliberate and co-ordinated effort. In fact, some of the contractors performing the work have also been affected by the fires.