We are in the decade that matters, when the actions we take now will define our future. That's why we're taking action to reduce flooding in the Elster Creek catchment by increasing the capacity of the drainage network.

The Elwood Main Drain Duplication project will provide an improved flood mitigation system with capacity for future stormwater flows whilst ensuring local amenity, environment, heritage and community interests are protected and enhanced during delivery of the project.

Why is this project important? 

Storms and floods are an inevitable and natural part of the weather cycle, but we know that the risk of flooding is a constant concern for people. The Elster Creek catchment has a long history of widespread flooding affecting our communities in Elwood and Brighton. Continuing intensification of urban development in this catchment, as well as climate change - with more severe and unpredictable storms and floods - will add to our future challenges.

For several years now, Melbourne Water has been working in partnership with the cities of Bayside, Glen Eira, Kingston and Port Phillip to take a holistic approach to reduce flood risk in the Elster Creek Catchment. This collaboration recognises that flooding cannot be eliminated entirely, but through comprehensive planning there are a range of interventions that can be undertaken to reduce flood risk, including building community understanding and preparedness. The Elster Creek Catchment Flood Management Plan 2019-2024 outlines a five-year program of works that builds on previous investments to reduce flooding across the catchment. The investigation of flood mitigation options in and around Elsternwick Park was one of the key initiatives under the plan. The Elwood Main Drain Duplication project was developed as an outcome of this investigation.

What are we doing?

The project will involve building approximately 660 metres of new underground drain alongside the existing Elwood Main Drain from Elsternwick Park to Port Phillip Bay. 

The project will also include the construction of:

  • a new drain inlet next to the existing inlet structure in the southern corner of Elsternwick Park
  • a new outlet structure on Elwood Beach (which means doubling the Elwood Pier in width)
  • a diversion structure in Elster Creek to divert overland floodwaters through the Elsternwick Park retarding basin
  • maintenance pits above or next to the drain.

Project area

Alignment of new drain alongside the existing Elwood Main Drain



Concept development: 2021 - 2022

We investigated the possibility of many different options for the location of the new drain, but the highly-developed nature of the area means that the available options are severely constrained.

The most technically feasible and cost-effective option with the least community impacts overall is to construct a new drain next to the existing Elwood Main Drain between Elsternwick Park and Port Phillip Bay.


Site investigations: 2022 - 2024

Site investigations need to be completed to help us understand more about the soil types and conditions in the area. They include inspections of the existing drain, ground surveys and geotechnical investigations, which involve using a drill rig to dig small boreholes. The results from these investigations will be used to inform the detailed design.


Detailed design, planning and approvals: Late 2023 - late 2024

We’re working with City of Port Phillip, Bayside City Council and other agencies in the planning, design and approvals for the project.

Not Started

Construction: 2025 to late 2026

Construction is anticipated to start in 2025 and will take approximately 12-18 months to complete. 

Not Started

Reinstatement: 2026 to 2027

Restoration of areas affected by our works.

This is a complex construction project due to the constraints of its location across both urban and marine environments. The project timeframes listed above may change as more information becomes available. We will keep you updated on the timing of the project as we progress through the next stage.

Community benefits 

Although flooding cannot be eliminated entirely, the Elwood Main Drain Duplication project will reduce flood risk for the Elwood community and help to address our future challenges of continued urban development and climate change impacts. The project will provide an improved drainage system with capacity for future stormwater flows whilst ensuring local amenity, environment, heritage and community interests are protected and enhanced during delivery of the project.

Managing impacts

We’re working with the City of Port Phillip and Bayside City Council in the planning, design and approvals for the project to ensure it’s delivered safely and efficiently, and to minimise large disturbances to our communities in Elwood and Brighton as much as we practically can.

However, like any major project, there will be some disruptions during construction. These disruptions will vary in their timing, duration and degrees of impact. We’ve been speaking with people who will be the most affected, and we’ll continue to plan for and manage local impacts by working closely with councils, residents, businesses, Elwood Park sports clubs, Elwood Croquet Club and others.

Keeping you informed

We will inform the local community, impacted residents and businesses through a variety of communications and engagement activities. This will include signage, community newsletters and notifications, door knocks, social media and more. We'll provide more information, including the timing of activities, as the project progresses and more details become available.

Visit the project's website to view frequently asked questions, ask the project team a question and sign up to receive email updates.

Contact the project team

 1800 841 444

 [email protected]

Visit the project's website for more information.

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