The Australasian by

La Nina is coming back. Very recently, the Bureau of Meteorology has put Australia on La Nina “watch,” predicting that this climate pattern is likely to return later this year. 

We just had a very, very short El Nino period which means that we will be going through wetter weather next. And what does THAT mean? Sydney’s flooding will intensify.

Australia has already seen the effects. It’s been a record month of rain across New South Wales. And backyard drainage systems are getting damaged.

Sydney plumbers are urging residents to update their backyard drainage to handle the ongoing water inundations. Left unchecked, the safety of people and properties could be compromised.

La Nina – what is it again?

El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a 1-to-8-year cycle of ocean temperature, winds, and clouds in the eastern and central Pacific. The two main phases, El Nino and La Nina, affect the whole globe. 

The La Nina phase generally includes increased rainfall, cooler days hotter nights, and more tropical cyclones. Australia usually experiences La Nina every four years, but it seems that this time round, it might come much earlier. We are currently in a neutral phase.

Unfortunately, scientists can’t accurately say what our unpredictable climate is going to do next. But if we have this warning, it’s time to prepare Sydney for a flooding event.

How can we be prepared for the rainy season? 

If you are noticing your backyard filling up like a pond whenever it rains, it’s time to investigate your backyard drainage. Various issues can make flooding worse, like:

  • Blocked, damaged, or incorrectly installed gutters
  • Blocked stormwater drains 
  • Poor drainage design
  • Not enough downpipes and/or drains
  • Landscaping issues

Sometimes all you need to do is clear your gutters and drains. But because a lot of Sydney areas have older homes, you may need to call a plumber in to make your drainage sufficient for Sydney weather. Your drainage system might be damaged or not optimised for the area. Make notes or videos of what the flow of water looks like in your yard during rain and show your plumber. It can help them design a proper system.

Which areas are going to be the most affected? 

Ryde plumber Joe Rantino has been working across Ryde and other Sydney suburbs where homes have sustained damage to their backyard drainage from the recent rain bombs. He’s found that some systems are struggling so much that indoor drains are affected, too.

Joe recommends that residents of Ryde and West Ryde check their homes right away. These areas are notorious for flooding and will be heavily impacted by La Nina. Other places to look out for are Melrose Park and Putney, so if you live in these areas, it’s time to get your drainage checked.

Previous floods have had devastating effects on Sydney homes and infrastructure. However, by preparing for the worst and ensuring your plumbing and drainage systems are in good working order, you’ll give your property the best chance of coming through La Nina unscathed.


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