In Melbourne, a safe, clean and healthy environment is essential to our way of life. Through an extensive network of underground pipes and sewers we manage and treat our city's sewage, ensuring the health of our environment, our communities and our families. Without improvements and innovations, that enormous sewerage network would reach capacity and our waste would impact on the health of your environment. That's why, at Melbourne Water, we are upgrading sections of the North Yarra Main (NYM) Sewer between Heidelberg and Ivanhoe East. Ensuring we maintain our world class sewerage system today, tomorrow and for generations to come.

Why is this important?

The North Yarra Main (NYM) sewer transports sewage from Melbourne’s north-east to the Western Treatment Plant. The sewer was constructed in the early 1900s, and some sections are coming to the end of their working life. That’s why at Melbourne Water, we will be relining the sewer to ensure a safe sewerage service for local homes and businesses today, tomorrow and for generations to come.

North Yarra Main Project - Upper Section

What is happening and when:

In October 2023, we will begin major construction works to rehabilitate the upper section of the North Yarra Main Sewer.

The rehabilitation of the sewer involves:

  • Cleaning, scanning, and relining the sewer by inserting a new plastic sleeve into the existing pipe.
  • Constructing temporary and permanent access tracks to maintenance holes
  • Rehabilitating ageing and damaged maintenance holes.

Reinstatement night works - starting Sunday 26 May 2024

We have completed relining works on the North Yarra Main Sewer Section A. Reinstatement works within the maintenance holes used for relining are scheduled to start.

Works are scheduled to start Sunday 26 May 2024 and take 2-3 weeks.

These works will be completed as part of night works between 7pm to 6am from Sunday to Thursday.

Please refer to the notification below.


Reinstatement night works

We have completed relining works on the North Yarra Main Sewer Section B. Reinstatement works within the maintenance holes used for relining are scheduled to start.

When: from Sunday 28 April 2024 - will take 4-5 weeks

Time: 7pm - 6am 

Night works - Sunday to Thursday evenings

Please refer to the notification below.

Project Timeline





February 2023

Functional design


August 2023

Tender and Award for Construction


October 2023 to November 2024

Section A- Cleaning, scanning, maintenance hole rehabilitation


December 2023 - January 2024

Section A- Relining


February 2024 - March 2024

Section B- Cleaning, scanning, maintenance hole rehabilitation


March 2024 - Mid 2024

Section B- Relining

Not Started

Mid 2024


The lower section of the NYM sewer from Yarra Flats Park, Ivanhoe East to Farm Rd, Alphington (3.5km) will be relined as part of a later project planned for 2024/2025.

What to expect

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 plastic sleeving without having to dig it up, which has several benefits, including:

  • Significantly reducing the impacts on the important cultural and environmental values of the landscape, we are working in
  • Ensuring that disruptions and inconveniences at street level are kept to a minimum, and residents and businesses don’t have to worry about open trenches on their doorsteps
  • Allowing upgrade works to be completed more quickly and efficiently compared to traditional trenching methods
  • Ensuring the structural integrity of the sewer is maintained for decades to come.

Watch our video on sewer relining - YouTube 

Access tracks to maintenance holes

Some maintenance holes are located in steep and difficult terrain; these can be up to 40 metres deep (equivalent to the height of a 15-storey building). 

Access tracks for construction vehicles and machinery need to be created to safely and efficiently get to the maintenance holes to complete the works. This may require earthworks in some areas due to the landscape. Some access tracks will remain in place to enable ongoing maintenance activities to be performed safely into the future.

All temporary access tracks will be reinstated and planted over with grasses.

Construction impacts

As a guide, we have listed a number of potential impacts that you may notice during major construction works:

  • Night works are required for some of the relining works when sewage flows and traffic flows are at their lowest.
  • Noise: There will be a short-term increase in noise in the area, but we will do as much as possible to reduce the construction noise. We will monitor noise and dust levels throughout works to ensure they don’t exceed Environmental Performance Agency thresholds.
  • Odour: Some odour is expected when carrying out the works due to harmless gases escaping from the maintenance holes when they are opened.  We aim to minimise and localise this as much as possible.
  • Traffic, parking, cyclists, and pedestrians: There will be temporary changes to traffic conditions, including lane closures, road closures and parking restrictions. Some work will occur within sports fields, parks and reserves. For your safety, work areas will be fenced, restricting access, while work is being completed. We encourage you to follow all directions and take care around work areas.
  • Cultural Heritage: Cultural Heritage conservation is an important part of valuing and preserving our traditions and culture. Melbourne Water will comply with the Heritage Act for the delivery of each section of the works and engage with traditional owners throughout the project.
  • Environment: To safely access maintenance holes, there will be some instances where trees and vegetation need to be trimmed or removed.

We will make every effort to minimise the impact of these works on the local community and the environment.

Reinstatement of affected areas 

After the works are completed, we focussed on reinstating areas affected by our work activities, including re-grassing and re-planting in the local region to rehabilitate disturbed areas. This will be undertaken in accordance with revegetation and reinstatement plans approved by Council and Parks Victoria.

When are we working?

Works will be undertaken between:

  • Night works: 9 pm to 7 am, Sunday to Thursday
  • Day works: 7 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday
  • Weekend hours: 9 am to 3 pm Saturdays (if required)

Thank you for your understanding and patience during these essential works.

On occasions, we may need to undertake works out of hours. We will notify you in advance if these works are required. The timings and dates are indicative and subject to change with no prior notice due to weather conditions and fluctuating sewer flows. 

Keeping you informed

Prior to and during construction, we'll provide information in several ways:

  • door knocking directly impacted businesses and residents
  • bulletins/newsletters in the surrounding area
  • community information sessions
  • social media
  • web page updates

 Community Bulletins

Contact us

If you would like more information about the North Yarra Main sewer rehabilitation project, please contact us on:

 1800 725 892

 [email protected]

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