Sewerage Decontamination of Common Area Carpets

Last January a blocked body corporate sewer pipe caused raw sewerage to back flow up into one of my apartments and the apartment above. As a result raw sewerage contamination was transferred to common area carpets outside apartments 1 through 5 and 12 through 12A.

It took more than 5 months to get my apartment decontaminated, cleaned, repaired and ready for human habitation. The contaminated sections of my carpet were torn up and safely disposed of by a bio hazard team and after full decontamination of my apartment new carpet was installed under insurance.

My understanding of the situation is that, if the body corporate and strata management had raised the contamination of common areas with the body corporate insurer at the time that it occurred, the contaminated common area carpet would probably have also been torn up, disposed of safely and replaced with new carpet but ... more about that in the future.

Due to the fact that I saw people walking through the raw sewerage up and down the common area corridors and into other apartments, I was concerned for the safety of owners, staff and guests using Stage 1 of Squatters Run.

Several months ago I emailed all the apartments owners (using contacts from a copy of the Strata Roll), the councillors and Alpine Strata and sent them the following publicly available information exposing the dangers and serious nature of a sewerage spill.

During the 5 months my apartment was being repaired I was never advised of any decontamination of the common area carpets. With my apartment getting close to being ready to accept bookings I sent the following question to the body corporate council via Alpine Strata on 3/06/2014:
"When and who decontaminated the carpeted common areas outside apartments 1 through 5 and 12 through 12a following the contamination by raw sewerage in January 2014?"
(Please note: this did not affect apartments 6 to 11).

After a week and no answer, I contacted the NSW Health Department for advice.

10 days later (on 20/06/2014) I received a courtesy call from a NSW Health officer saying "I have spoken to strata management who admitted there could be contamination due to people walking through the contaminated areas and that strata management said they would approach the body corporate for permission to get the carpet cleaned".

Three days later I received a second courtesy call from NSW Health saying that Alpine Strata had "organised a cleaner to attend this week".

A further two weeks later (on 7/07/2014) I asked Alpine Strata if the decontamination had been done. The reply I got was "Carpet cleaning is happening tomorrow it had to be postponed last week the Dept. of Health is aware of this."

However it was another 10 days later (on 17/07/2014) that the carpet cleaner told me that he had cleaned the contaminated carpets in Stage 1 of Squatters Run.

For 6 months owners, staff, guests and their children had been put at a possible risk of contracting Hepatitis A, B & C, Tetanus or other horrible things that can be found in raw sewerage. Why?