FOR 30 years residents of Capitol Dr at Jindalee have fought a stinking battle with authorities over a leaking sewer.
Each time the neighbourhood received a heavy downpour a manhole positioned on a footpath would burst its lid spilling effluent out onto a street and into a park where children play.
Now fed up with the smell and the sight of faeces, toilet paper and sanitary items which carpet the ground after a rain event, resident Gary Walter said he was prepared to lead a class action if somebody became ill as a result of the effluent.
But Queensland Urban Utilities, who is responsible for Brisbane's water and sewer facilities, said the manholes were designed to spill out diluted sewage, otherwise it would be forced up through residents' toilet bowls.
Mr Walter said he had seen the manhole cover lift 30 centimetres off the ground due to pressure during the January 2011 floods.
"The problem stems back from illegal stormwater plumbing connections into the sewer," he said.
"Apparently at some point the Brisbane City Council were letting people put their swimming pool waste into the sewer.
"They are not allowed to do it anymore, but some of those who had the connections into the sewer are still doing it.
"It is sewage from across the highway at Sinnamon Park, it's not ours."
In 1997, Council set aside $250,000 to fix the notorious sewer drain.
"They put CCTV camera down sewer to try and identify the problem and changed the man hole from a square to a circle one and that cost $165,000," Mr Walter said.
"We pay sewerage rates so we don't have to have this problem.
"One resident refused to pay the sewerage fee on his water bill and was threatened with jail.
"He ended up paying the amount to keep out of trouble.
"People regularly use this footpath, so if somebody gets ill and they can point it to this drain, I will lead a class action."
Jamboree Councillor Matthew Bourke said the issue was in the hands of Queensland Urban Utilities and not the council.
"For the first year I was a councillor, Brisbane City Council controlled the water and sewer infrastructure," Cr Bourke said.
"We carried out a number of tests, including smoke tests, to try and find where the problem was coming from.
"It has been an ongoing nightmare."
Cr Bourke said he had sent a series of letters and petitions to Urban Utilities to request something be done, but according to residents QUU had only sent crews out after rainfall to sanitise and "hose down" the area.
"Urban Utilities wrote to me to say they had listed works on Capitol Dr for 2012/13," Cr Bourke said.
"I am trying to get more information about what they are actually going to do and if it will fix the problem of illegal sewer connections.
"The fact that it happens every second time it rains, is a serious issue."
QUU advised they were aware of the long-term issue and said they have worked to minimise the impact of overflows by bolting the lids of selected manholes.
"QUU has assessed the feasibility of installing an overflow relief structure that will allow some stormwater to exit the sewer network and further reduce the risk of overflows from the manholes in Capitol Dr," a spokeswoman said.
The structures will be constructed in the 2012/13 financial year as a part of a larger $89 million program to upgrade Brisbane and surrounds' sewer network.