A 100-year-old sewer main is being renewed beneath one of Bendigo’s major intersections, with minimal impact expected for traffic and no disruption to sewer services.

Coliban Water is managing the renewal, with Interflow acting as the contractor for the works.

Coliban Water Manager Infrastructure, Corey Bourne, said the works at Charing Cross, close to the Alexandra Fountain, have been scheduled to take place at night when there are low flows in the sewer main.

“As with all our works, we give careful consideration to how we can minimise disruption to customers, businesses and traffic,” Mr Bourne said.

“The sewer main is around 100 years old and will be renewed using a trenchless technique, which enables us to keep the road open to traffic at all times and have no interruption to our customers’ sewer service.

“We are relining 88m of 450mm diameter pipe and 77m of 375mm diameter pipe, two of our large mains that transfer wastewater to our Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant in Epsom.”

A trenchless technique called Rib-Loc is being used to renew the main. This involves relining the pipe with a spiral bound PVC that restores the structural integrity and reliability of the sewer main.

The relining is carried out from the sewer maintenance holes, eliminating the need to excavate, and will increase the pipe’s life expectancy by at least another 50 years.

“The ongoing renewal of sewer mains across our region is an integral part of our operations to ensure we maintain and deliver services to customers,” Mr Bourne said.

“We inspect sewer mains by feeding through a CCTV camera. The footage is then reviewed to identify sections of the main that have been damaged and need to be renewed.

“The main under Charing Cross was constructed in 1923 and is the original concrete pipe from the first Bendigo sewer system.

“When the Bendigo sewer system was completed in 1923 it had an instant impact on people’s lives, dramatically reducing the number of deaths related to water-borne diseases, such as cholera and typhoid.”

There are 1957km of sewer mains in the Coliban Water region, which is the equivalent distance from Bendigo to Alice Springs.

In 2017/18, Coliban Water renewed 6.1km of sewer main at a cost of $1.2 million.

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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