Melbourne Water is completing upgrade works to the Epsom Road main sewer (EPS) as part of a four-year, $100-million program to upgrade ageing sewer pipes and maintenance holes across Melbourne.
The EPS is part of our 400-kilometre network of underground pipes and tunnels, safely transferring over 320,000 million litres of sewage to our treatment plants each year. Some sections of this world-class sewerage system were built more than a century ago and are coming to the end of their working life.
Upgrade works on the Epsom Road Main Sewer will be focused along Epsom Road, Ascot Vale and Macauley Road, Elizabeth Street and Arden Street, Kensington.
Why is this project important?
The EPS transfers sewage flows from Melbourne's inner western suburbs to the North Yarra Main (NYM) to the Western Treatment Plant in Werribee.
Routine inspections identified that upgrade work is needed to keep this vital asset functioning.
The project is an important initiative for the residents of the inner western suburbs. It will ensure the sewer continues to provide the community with a secure and reliable sewerage service for decades to come.
What are we doing?
Melbourne Water will rehabilitate approximately 1.6km of the EPS, along Epsom Road Ascot Vale and Macauley Road, Elizabeth Street and Arden Street, Kensington.
The rehabilitation of the sewer will involve:
- Modification works to the top collar of the maintenance hole (below ground level) to allow space for the relining activity and personnel access
- Sewer cleaning the sections that will be relined to ensure there are no obstructions
- Installation of an above ground sewer bypass system in the area to maintain network operation
- Reline the sewer by inserting a sleeve into the existing pipe and setting it with UV light to form a new sewer wall with a 50-year design life
We will be awarding the contract for these works late 2021 with work to commence early 2022. The project will take approximately 18 months to complete.
What to expect
Before and during construction, we'll provide information in several ways:
- bulletins/newsletter in the surrounding area
- door knocking directly impacted businesses and residents
- social media posts
- web page updates
As a guide, we have listed some potential impacts that you may notice during construction
- Working hours: When work can be maintained to day shift working hours will be 7 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday, and 7 am to 1 pm Saturday. Some activities including the relining works will require work outside these hours. Notification will be provided.
- Night works will be required for the project: Night works will be undertaken for sections of the bypass network installation when traffic changes are required. The relining works will operate day and night (24/7) as the process cannot stop once it has commenced.
- Noise: Noise will be generated from the operation of machinery including large trucks that clean the sewer and suck out the content removed during the process. Generators, cranes and noise from the work crew is also expected. Mitigation measures for noise will be implemented where possible.
- Odour: Some odour is expected when carrying out the works due to harmless gases escaping maintenance holes when opened.
- Traffic changes: There will be temporary changes to traffic conditions, including lane closures, road closures, parking restrictions and driveway closures for some properties. Detours will be implemented when required. We encourage you to be careful around work areas and observe new signs.
- Vegetation impacts: There is no vegetation removal expected. In some cases, we may need to undertake trimming with the appropriate approvals.
Utilising 'trenchless' technology
To upgrade the sewer, we will use a trenchless technology technique called 'relining'. This technology allows us to reline the inside of the existing sewer with new, structurally sound liner which becomes the new wall of the sewer. The trenchless approach has several benefits including;
- disruptions and inconveniences at street level are kept to a minimum, and residents and businesses don't have to worry about open trenching construction techniques to install new sewer pipes
- upgrade works will be completed more efficiently compared to traditional trenching methods
Frequently asked questions
- What do I do if I have a problem with my water or sewerage services?
We do not anticipate any impacts on your water or sewerage services during the works.
If you experience an issue with your sewerage service, contact your retail water company: Greater Western Water (13 44 99).
- What is the above ground pipework you have installed for?
You will notice the project will install lengths of pipe above the ground in various areas. The pipework is an important part of the sewer bypass network which will allow local sewerage services to operate while relining is underway. Pumps and generators will be set up as part of the network and operate during the works. In some areas for example across driveways and roads, the pipework will be buried to allow vehicle access.
- Why are you working at night?
Night works will be required for the relining works when sewer and traffic flows are at their lowest. Additionally, the relining process cannot stop once it has started and curing the line takes many hours.
- Will the works generate any noise?
Noise will be generated from the operation of machinery including large trucks which clean the sewer and suck out the content removed during the process. Generators, cranes and noise from the work crew is also expected. Mitigation measures for noise will be implemented where possible.
- Will there be any odour?
Some odour is expected when harmless gases escape maintenance holes when opened. We aim to minimise and localise this as much as practicable.
We recommend keeping doors and windows closed when we are working near your property.
- What are the impacts on traffic (parking, cyclists and pedestrians)?
There will be changes to traffic conditions, including lane and road closures, parking restrictions and alternative driveway access for some properties.
Detours will be in place for traffic, pedestrians and cyclists. We encourage you to be careful around work areas and observe signage.
- How do you respect heritage and the environment?
No vegetation removal is expected for the works. In some cases, we may need to undertake trimming of vegetation in accordance with the appropriate approvals.
Cleaning and CCTV of maintenance holes
Bypass sewer network installation
Keeping you informed
Further information will be provided before starting each stage as works.
If you would like more information about the Epsom Road main sewer renewal project, please contact us on:
1800 027 517