We are relining sections of two sewer systems in Seddon and Footscray as part of a four-year, $100-million program to upgrade ageing sewer pipes and manholes across Melbourne.
These sewers are part of Melbourne Water’s 400-kilometre network of underground pipes and tunnels, which safely transfer over 320,000 million litres of sewage to our treatment plants each year. Much of this world-class sewerage system was built over 100 years ago, and some sections are coming to the end of their working life.
Why this is important
These two sewers transfer wastewater from Melbourne’s inner western suburbs to the North Yarra Main sewer, and onto the Western Treatment Plant where it is eventually treated. Routine maintenance inspections found that upgrades are needed to keep these vital assets functioning and providing a safe and reliable service to the community for at least another 50 years.
The sewer systems include the:
- Youell Street branch sewer (YOU), constructed in 1897 as a single ring of bricks and stoneware ceramic pipes.
- Youell Street intercepting sewer (YSI), constructed in 1983 from pre-cast reinforced pipes and vitrified clay pipes. It intercepts flows upstream of the YOU.
What’s happening and when
The works involve installing a watertight sewer liner and repairing manholes, and are being undertaken by Safety Focused Performance Joint Venture (SFP JV) on Melbourne Water’s behalf.
Relining will occur progressively through 16 manholes situated along the sewers. Once works are complete, the manholes, footpaths and roads will be reinstated.
The upgrades will be delivered along approximately 1.1 kilometres of sewer located west of Whitehall Road in Seddon and Footscray.
Refer to the project map for the full project alignment and manhole location.
Early works commenced in November 2020. Relining works will begin in early 2021 and take about eight months to complete.
Works will be staged, and we will notify residents and businesses before starting and after completing each stage.
Cleaning: December 2020
Before any relining works can commence, the sewer needs to be cleaned and scanned to assess its condition.
Manhole preparation: February 2021
Removal of ladders and landings from within manholes
Albert Street Bypass setup: February 2021
Set up bypass system on Albert Street opposite Victoria University
Relining: February–April 2021
This stage will involve relining the sewer using the selected technique, either UV CIPP or spiral-wound SRP.
Albert Street Bypass pack down: April 2021
Pack down bypass system on Albert Street
Manhole rehabilitation: June 2021
Reline and reinstate ladders and landings in manholes
Reinstatement: August 2021
We will reinstate road and concrete surfaces surrounding each manhole to their pre-existing condition or better.
What the relining works involve
The sewer relining will occur progressively in sections:
- First, the pipe gets cleaned and scanned so we can assess the condition before we begin works.
- We then remove the ladders to ensure our equipment can be safely lowered into the sewer pipe.
- Once the new sewer lining is in place, we will remove all the equipment from the manholes, repair the insides and put in new ladders.
We are using a number of techniques to complete the upgrade:
Bypass pumping will be carried out in sections, making it safe to complete works and allowing local sewerage services to keep operating at all times. This involves connecting a temporary above-ground pipe to an upstream manhole and diverting flows to another manhole further downstream.
A sewer bypass system will be set up between manholes on Albert Street, Footscray in front of Victoria University.
What to expect
Working hours are as follows:
- Night works: 9pm to 7am, Sunday to Thursday
- Day works: 7am to 6pm, Monday to Friday
- Weekend hours: 9am to 3pm Saturdays (if required)
Some extended work hours may be needed to complete critical work processes. Affected residents and businesses will be informed of this beforehand.
Frequently asked questions
- What do I do if I have a problem with my water or sewerage services?
We do not anticipate any impacts to your water or sewerage services during the works.
If you experience an issue with your sewerage service, contact your retail water company: City West Water (132 642).
- What is the hose running alongside the footpath?
You may notice lengths of pipe on the ground, including along the footpath on Albert Street. This sewer bypass pipe will allow local sewerage services to continue operating at all times while relining is underway, and will be set up for each stage of the project and removed once complete. Pumps and generators will be set up at one end of the bypass pipeline to manage sewage flows.
We will maintain access to properties and bury the pipeline when it crosses the road. This will be reinstated once works are complete.
- Why are you working at night?
Night works will be required for most of the relining, when sewer and traffic flows are at their lowest. This is the safest time for crews to be working in the busier streets, and reduces the impact on the wider traffic network.
- Will there be any noise generated by the works?
During work hours there will be noise from motor vehicles, machinery and generators. Some noise is expected as part of the night works. We will do as much as possible to reduce these impacts, including setting up sound matting around generators and site barriers.
- Will there be any odour?
Some odour is expected when carrying out the works, as a result of the plastic resin used in the sewer lining and harmless gases escaping manholes 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 temporary changes to traffic conditions including lane and road closures, parking restrictions and alternative driveway access for some properties. These changes will be along the following streets.
- Walter Street
- Albert Street
- Pole Street
- Lyons Street
- Nicholson Street
- Bristow Street
- Hyde Street
- Youell Street
- Whitehall Street.
Minor detours may be required for pedestrians and cyclists, and we encourage you to be careful around work areas and observe temporary signs.
We will work with residents and businesses near the work areas to reduce any impacts associated with these temporary changes, and to make sure access to private property is maintained at all times. Further information will be provided before starting the relining phases of the project, and at each stage as works progress.
- How do you respect heritage and the environment?
There is no vegetation removal expected. In some case we may need to undertake some trimming or alternations where trees are close to the area of works.
We will be working closely with Maribyrnong City Council.
Keeping you informed
We will notify residents and businesses about our activities before starting works:
- Door knocks and letters will be used to inform residents, businesses and schools directly next to the work areas.
- Signs will be used around our work areas to inform pedestrians, cyclists and drivers of changes to road conditions.
- Community noticeboards will be set up near each manhole for regular work updates.
To stay up to date, join the Youell Street Sewer Renewal Facebook Group.