A 7.2km section of the Maribyrnong River Main sewer will be relined as part of a $35 million project to secure wastewater services to 36,000 properties in Melbourne’s north west.

The sewer transports approximately 24 million litres per day of wastewater to the Western Treatment Plant. The work forms part of a broader sewer relining program which Melbourne Water is undertaking on a number of aging sewers around the city.

The work, which is part of a two year project to be completed in mid-2020, will ensure residents of Avondale Heights, Essendon West and Aberfeldie are provided with a secure and reliable sewerage service.

The Maribyrnong River Main (MRM) sewer is 8.8km in length and generally follows the Maribyrnong River from near the end of North Road in Thompson Street Reserve to Epsom Road. The sewer transfers flows from six City West Water catchment areas to the Western Treatment Plant via the North Western Trunk Sewer.

Senior Project Manager Rohan Escreet said the works would support the delivery of services to the community.

“It’s critical that our sewer mains are maintained into the future to ensure service reliability for the community,” Mr Escreet said.

“That is why we are undertaking this work.”

The project will reline 7.2km of the sewer from North Road in Avondale Heights to Orford Street in Moonee Ponds using innovative trenchless technology to significantly reduce the impact of works on-site and time required compared to traditional trenching methods.

“This technology allows us to reline the sewer without digging it up, which reduces impacts to the community and the significant environmental and cultural values of the landscape we’re working in,” Mr Escreet said.

Temporary above-ground sewer bypass pipelines and pumping equipment will be installed to allow local sewerage services to operate as normal while works are underway.

“We’re going to undertake the project in stages. The first section of the sewer to be upgraded will be from Canning Reserve near the sports oval in Avondale Heights, through to Steele Creek Reserve in Essendon West,” Mr Escreet said.

The temporary above-ground sewer bypass pipeline and pumping equipment will begin to be installed from Canning Reserve through to Steele Creek Reserve next to the Maribyrnong River Trail. Once these have been installed, crews will then begin sewer relining works and rehabilitating the manholes.

“Crews will be working in a number of different areas at once and won’t be at any given location for the entire stage of the works, or for the duration of the project.

“The majority of works will take place around existing manholes in the area, which are typically located in parkland, local streets and in some private properties. Works will move progressively along the sewer alignment of each section from manhole to manhole,” Mr Escreet said.

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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