A $20 million plant to treat odour and protect critical sewerage infrastructure in Port Melbourne has passed its two-week performance and reliability test, despite working under the extreme weather conditions of Melbourne’s recent heat wave.

The air treatment facility at Westgate Park virtually eliminates all offensive odours and helps prevent the corrosion of the Hobson Bay sewerage main at Port Melbourne, both caused by gases released from the sewerage system.

Built on land purchased from the Port of Melbourne Corporation to avoid using valuable public open space, the plant is located next to the ‘eastern drop structure’ which allows sewage flows to dip under the Yarra River to pass to the Western Treatment Plant.

Melbourne Water  General Manager of Asset Planning, Paul Pretto, said it was pleasing to see the facility prove its reliability under the toughest of conditions.

“The new air treatment facility will remove offensive smells from the surrounding areas. From an amenity standpoint, this is great news for residents, businesses, motorists on the Westgate Bridge and park users,” Dr Pretto said.

“The gases that cause odour also corrode the sewers, so this project is central to extending the life of the sewerage system. The facility will prevent damage to the sewer main underneath the Yarra.

“This minimises risks to the community resulting from damage to the pipes, and saves customers and the taxpayer millions in potential repairs or replacement costs down the line,” he added.

Dr Pretto thanked the Port of Melbourne Corporation for making the land available, and the local community groups for helping ensure the project preserved public open space.

“We are grateful to the Friends of Westgate Park for sharing their concerns with us, and we appreciate the Port of Melbourne Corporation for working with us to help the local community keep their parkland,” Dr Pretto said.​

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