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As a result of the recent high rainfalls and subsequent flooding Melbourne Water is working with emergency services and other relevant agencies to review the impacts to our waterways and assets. 

For flood or storm emergency assistance, contact the VIC SES on 132 500 and for life threatening emergencies call 000. 

You can access current emergency information by calling the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226 or sign up to receive regular updates regarding flooding via the emergency.vic.gov.au website and app.

Melbourne Water is committed to enhancing life and liveability for Melburnians. To maintain our world-class sewerage system, we have upgraded the last remaining section of the Maribyrnong River Main (MRM) Sewer in Essendon West and Aberfeldie.

Maribyrnong River aerial view

Why this project was important

The MRM Sewer is 8.8 kilometres long and one of the main sewers in Melbourne Water's 400-kilometre network. Each day, it transports approximately 24 million litres of sewage from 36,000 properties in Melbourne's north-western suburbs to the Western Treatment Plant in Werribee, where it is treated.

Built in stages between 1963 and 1977, the condition of the MRM Sewer had deteriorated and needed to be upgraded.

Between 2018 and 2022 we progressively relined the sewer, which was  an important initiative for the residents of the north-west suburbs, to ensure they continue to be provided with a secure and reliable sewerage service for decades to come.

What’s happened and when

Project timeline

Complete
 

April to September 2021

Planning, design and approvals

Pre-construction activities 

Complete
 

Stage 1: October – December 2021

Sewer upgrade works Stage 1: Along The Boulevard from Riverside Park to Maribyrnong Park

The project's first stage involved relining one kilometre of the MRM sewer under The Boulevard (from Riverside Park near Fawkner Street to Maribyrnong Park), and the rehabilitation of 14 maintenance holes.

Complete
 

Stage 2: January – April 2022

Sewer upgrade works Stage 2: Afton Street Conservation Reserve

The second stage of the project involved relining 250 metres of the Maribyrnong River Reliever (MRR) which is a section of sewer pipe that helps to remove and hold extra sewage flows from the MRM Sewer, particularly during peak wet weather events.

This section, located at Afton Street Conservation Reserve, included the rehabilitation of three maintenance holes. Works in this section were completed at night when sewer flows are low. 

Works for this project have now been completed, with the exception of one manhole, which will now be completed as part of the Epsom Road Main Sewer Renewal. The remaining manhole is expected to be relined in mid to late 2022.

Complete
 

Project Completion – April 2022

Works for this project have now been completed, with the exception of one maintenance hole, which will now be completed as part of the Epsom Road Main Sewer Renewal. The remaining maintenance hole is expected to be relined in mid to late 2022.

Location

Maribyrnong River Main Sewer Upgrade work area map
Maribyrnong River Main Sewer Upgrade work area map

How was the sewer upgraded?

Spiral wound in place sewer liner diagram

Upgrading the sewer involved:

  1. Cleaning the sewer
  2. Relining the sewer by inserting a new plastic sleeve into the existing pipe
  3. Filling the gap between the existing pipe and new liner with cement
  4. Rehabilitating ageing and damaged maintenance holes.

The technique we used to upgrade the sewer is called 'Spiral Wound PVC'. This involves unwinding the relining material as a flat strip from a spool at the top of the maintenance hole. The new plastic sleeve is wound into place, lining the inside of the existing sewer pipe. The gap between the existing pipe and new liner is then filled with cement (called grouting).

Being a trenchless technology, relining is the best way to repair ageing or damaged sewer pipes as it means we do not need to dig up the pipe, minimising impacts on the local environment and the community. This work can be performed by accessing existing maintenance.

 

 

Last updated:
21 September 2022