aerial view of Ballarat

Construction of the $25 million Ballarat Sewer Build has reached a key milestone, with the successful installation of over 400m of sewer pipe beneath the Ballarat CBD. 

Stage 1 began in mid-April 2021, with the challenging CBD area completed by open excavation and micro-tunnelling. The sewer pipe was installed beneath Peel Street, from Scott Parade to Little Bridge Street. 

Works involved installing 600mm diameter pipe at a depth of up to 5.5m beneath the road surface. 

Construction of three large underground concrete access point structures, to serve as ongoing inspection shafts, as well as a new water main was also completed. 

Central Highlands Water (CHW) Project Manager, Mick Dwyer, said the organisation and its contractors were focused on completing the CBD section safely, but also as efficiently as possible, however the project has not been without its challenges.

“This critical section through the Ballarat CBD was always going to be one of the most complex, due to the proximity of Peel Street businesses to the sewer path plus the difficult ground conditions beneath the surface,” Mr Dwyer said.

“Our commitment has always been to keep roads open and traffic flowing for local businesses, and we are very pleased to announce that works are now finished in this area.” 

CHW’s construction approach included micro-tunnelling beneath three intersections so traffic could remain open. 

Micro-tunnelling was successful at the Mair Street and Curtis Street intersections, but unfortunately attempts at Little Bridge Street were unsuccessful due to unstable ground and the only option was to open excavate.

“The need to change our approach at the Little Bridge Street intersection was unforeseen, even with the significant amount of investigation works completed prior,” said Mr Dwyer. 

“We decided to complete the excavation works at night, to minimise impact on local traders and enable the intersection to operate as per normal during the day.

“We sincerely thank all businesses for their patience, as well as their input and feedback throughout construction.”

CHW Managing Director, Paul O’Donohue, said the project will secure Ballarat’s wastewater future.

“This major community infrastructure project builds on the legacy of those before us and will secure Ballarat’s wastewater future for another 100 years,” Mr O’Donohue said.

“Its success lies not only in the construction and operation, but the ongoing collaboration between Central Highlands Water, our contractors and our local community.”

With the CBD section now completed, works will move further down Peel Street to the south side of Little Bridge Street towards Eastwood Street, with Stage 1 finishing at Anderson Street West. 

For more information on the Central Highlands Water Ballarat Sewer Build, visit

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