Flood mitigation

Council invests heavily in drainage improvement works to reduce the impact of flooding caused by king tides and heavy rainfall.

Tide gates

Three sets of tide gates are installed at the sea-facing end of waterways in central Cairns. The gates are lowered into the waterway when very high tides (king tides) are forecast to help stop saltwater from flooding low-lying areas of land. When stormwater levels are higher than tidal water levels, the tide gates open wider to allow stormwater to flow to the ocean.

Backflow prevention devices

Backflow prevention devices have been installed in locations around Cairns to prevent the re-entry of tidal waters into the stormwater network. Council use various devices including a memory rubber type that is opened by minimal water pressure to allow free drainage. Any pressure on the front of the device seals the opening.

CBD flood mitigation scheme

Featuring a $9 million tidal outlet and underground pump station in Lake Street, the scheme can move four tonnes of stormwater per second into Trinity Inlet. Designed to cope with 1-in-100 year flooding events, the project has significantly reduced the impact of king tides and intense rainfall on businesses and properties in the Cairns CBD.

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Last updated: 23 December 2020