The Yarra Valley’s sewerage system is set to see considerable expansion, allowing hundreds of properties to switch from septic tanks to a reticulated sewerage system.

The new sewerage system will improve the quality of local waterways and the environment by eliminating sewage run-off from leaking or poorly maintained septic tanks on properties that cannot contain their wastewater on site. This run-off ends up in drains and eventually local waterways.

Odour on properties and in residential streets will also be improved, and the new system will eliminate the need for customers to maintain their septic tanks after they connect.

Yarra Valley Water General Manager of Growth Futures, Chris Brace, said when finished, the project would benefit the local environment as well as boost convenience for customers.

“We’re performing this upgrade to make managing sewage a more seamless and easy process for customers.

“Sewage run-off from septic tanks can pollute waterways, and this project will help to prevent this as well as soggy backyards and odours in the community which also sometimes occur.”

Approximately 5.2km of pipe will be constructed in Yarra Junction that eligible customers can connect to. Once complete, gravity and pressure sewers will carry the wastewater to Yarra Valley Water’s existing wastewater treatment plant in Launching Place

Works have already begun to enable 150 properties in Yarra Junction to connect to the new system. An additional 200 properties in Wesburn and 150 in Launching Place and Don Valley will be able to connect to the new system in 2020.

The new system has been designed to allow all properties to connect. However, some properties are suitable to continue on-site wastewater treatment and can choose to retain a septic system or connect voluntarily to the new sewerage network.

Up to 11,000 properties in the Yarra Valley, the Dandenongs, and the outer northern and eastern suburbs of Melbourne were built before sewerage was available and still operate on septic tanks.

Many septic tank systems do not meet current standards and can be inconvenient and difficult for customers to maintain. Some customers do not realise that their septic tank is leaking and this can cause sewage run-off in backyards, drains and local waterways.

Works in Yarra Junction are expected to finish later in 2019.

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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