A critical sewer pipeline that carries one fifth of Melbourne’s total sewage in the inner west is being upgraded after almost 90 years of continuous service.

Melbourne Water’s North Yarra Deviation sewer services many inner suburbs including Footscray, Kensington, Carlton and Fairfield.

The sewer was constructed in the early 1930s as an upgrade to the original sewer which was dug by hand in the late 1800s.

Senior Project Manager, Rohan Escreet, said the project was vital to ensure safe and reliable services for the future.

“It is a vital link in Melbourne’s sewerage network, transferring almost 20 per cent of Melbourne’s wastewater to the Western Treatment Plant in Werribee every day,” he said.

“It is a testament to the original engineers who constructed Melbourne’s sewerage infrastructure that it has served us so well for so long, but now it is time for it to be rehabilitated so it can continue to serve Melbourne, particularly the inner north and west.”

Early works and site set-up is currently underway inside the Stony Creek Backwash park on Hyde Street to establish construction for the $10 million project. A site office has also been located at VicRoads’ West Gate Bridge storage area off Simcock Avenue, Spotswood.

“Approximately 90m of the sewer will be relined, helping to extend its life. These works will take about six months to carry out and are expected to be completed by late December 2018,” Mr Escreet said.

Bypass pumping will be in place to divert sewage flows around the works zone from August 2018. The bypass pipeline will run from the northern end of Stony Creek Backwash Park, along the shared user path on Hyde Street, then divert underneath the West Gate Bridge. This bypass pumping will operate 24 hours a day during construction.

The shared path on the Hyde Street Bridge over Stony Creek will also be temporarily narrowed due to the bypass pumping pipeline. Cyclists will be asked to dismount for approximately 200m while the pipeline is in place.

Pedestrian access to the southern track entry point of Stony Creek Backwash Park will also be closed for a short period, as will the car park adjacent to the West Gate Bridge Memorial. Pedestrian detours will be clearly marked and alternative parking clearly sign-posted.

“We would like to thank the community for their patience and support during these important works and we look forward to delivering an asset that will support our growing city for many years into the future,” 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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