We’re investing over $100 million in a four-year program to upgrade ageing sewer pipes and manholes across Melbourne, so that they continue providing a safe and reliable service to the community for at least another 50 years.

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.

What’s happening and when

From February 2018 to 2021, Melbourne Water's sewer relining and manhole rehabilitation program will upgrade 15 kilometres of ageing sewer pipes in several locations across Melbourne. For more information, watch our Sewer Relining Program video.

Project locations

This is a map of Melbourne Water's sewer rehabilitation projects


Project Status Relining methodology
Pascoe Vale sewer upgrade Completed August 2019 Spiral wound-in-place liner
Maribyrnong River Main sewer upgrade Completed March 2020 Spiral wound-in-place liner
North Yarra Deviation sewer upgrade
(Stony Creek Backwash sewer)
Completed late 2018 Spiral wound-in-place liner
Brighton Main sewer upgrade Completed October 2018 Cured-in-place pipe
Hawthorn Main sewer upgrade Completed November 2020 Cured-in-place pipe and glass-reinforced plastic
Kew Pumping Station sewer upgrade Completed March 2020

Spiral wound-in-place liner

Sandringham sewer upgrade Completed August 2019  Spiral wound-in-place liner
Western Trunk sewer upgrade  Starts 2021, to be completed late 2022 TBC

Impacts on residents and visitors

We aim to minimise inconvenience where possible. However, we do anticipate potential impacts, including:

  • some changes to traffic conditions for drivers and cyclists while projects are underway
  • detours in place from time to time
  • some noise, dust and odour from project works.

Construction techniques

Sewer relining

Sewer relining is a trenchless method of repairing ageing or damaged sewer pipes. It minimises impacts on the community by avoiding the need to dig up pipes to repair them.

There are a number of sewer relining methods that can be used. The two main methodologies include spiral wound-in-place liner and cured-in-place pipe. Our project teams will match the properties from each of these state-of-the-art technologies with the needs of each project. Using either Wound in Place Liner or Cured in Place Pipe will add a minimum of 50 years to the life of these sewer assets.

Spiral wound-in-place liner

This involves dropping a machine down an existing manhole to coat the inside of the sewer pipe with a PVC liner. The machine moves along the sewer unwinding the liner and sticking it to the walls of the existing sewer. Once complete, grout is used to fill any gaps.

Cured-in-place pipe

This involves accessing an existing upstream manhole and running a liner from this manhole to one located downstream. The liner is then expanded to match the size of the sewer pipe and cured using UV light. The liner, once hardened, will strengthen the sewer, allowing it to provide many more years of service.

Manhole rehabilitation

This is the repair of ageing or damaged manholes.

Rehabilitation works involve removing the existing ladders and associated items within the manhole, cleaning and removing any debris from the surface and coating the walls with a protective coating. Ladders will be reinstated once the coating is dry. This will strengthen the manholes, allowing them to provide many more years of service.

Bypass pumping

Bypass pumping will be carried out in sections of the works program.

It involves connecting a temporary above ground pipe to an upstream manhole and diverting flows to another manhole located further downstream. This makes it safe to complete works and allows local sewerage services to keep operating at all times.

The location of the bypass pumping equipment will be determined closer to the start of the works. We will keep the local community informed about the location via door knocking and the distribution of community bulletins.

Your feedback

To enquire about a sewer relining project near you:

 131 722

 [email protected]

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