Water facts and history

Discover the facts and stories behind our water data to inform, sate your curiosity or casually rule your next virtual trivia night. With in-depth knowledge acquired from managing Melbourne's water supply catchments, sewage treatment, river health and major drainage systems, we're keen to pay it forward. Select your topic of interest, and soak it up.

 

Winneke Water Treatment Plant at Sugarloaf Reservoir

Why our drinking water tastes great

Most of Melbourne's drinking water comes from forests high up in the Yarra Ranges, and is naturally filtered. That's one reason why our drinking water tastes great from the tap. Find out the other reasons, which step you through the manner in which water is supplied to you:
 

Water catchments

Water storage reservoirs

Water treatment

Testing water quality  
 

Discover the reasons why

 

 

Tip: Discover details about desalination, and how it helps to secure our water supply.

 

 

 

Melbourne Main Sewage Replacement Project (MMSR), Flinders Wharf, Wurundjerri Way bypass

The importance of sewerage

Did you know we built the underground sewerage system in the 1890s? Discover how sewerage continues to be integral to our city to ensure sanitation, and why it's super important to watch what you flush. 

 

See why sewerage is important

 

 

 

 

Aerial view of sewage treatment lagoons at the Western Treatment Plant

What happens after you flush?

Do you know where sewage goes? Find out what happens after you flush, from sewage disposal to treatment. Get to know the Western and Eastern treatment plants, and how we recycle water to ensure 'wastewater' is put to sensational use. 

 

Western Treatment Plant treatment processes

Eastern Treatment Plant treatment processes

Producing recycled water

Biosolids

 

Learn what happens when you flush

 

 

 

 

raining in Flinders St  CBD intersection

Does it flood in Melbourne?

Yes. Flooding occurs naturally and while we can’t stop floods happening, we can work together to plan for and manage the risks, prepare the community and reduce the consequences.

Learn about how we maintain our regional drainage network, coordinate flood management planning and boost community flood preparedness.

 

Being prepared for flooding

Drainage system

Retarding basins

 

Find out more about flooding

 

 

 

 

Overhead shot of Werribee River

Know your rivers, creeks and wetlands

If we lined up all the rivers and creeks that flow into Port Phillip Bay and Western Port, how long would it be? If you guessed 25,000 kilometres, you'd be right! Find out how we manage these waterways, and work to maintain their health and habitat. Know more about your local waterways, home to 36 species of freshwater fish and many other animals and plants.

 

Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands

Bass River

Dandenong Creek

 

Meet our rivers and creeks

 

 

 

 

 

Cocoroc township at Western Treatment Plant site

History and heritage

Check out our rich heritage inherited largely from our predecessor, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works, as well as the cultural heritage of the Traditional Owners of the land, rivers and creeks we care for today.

 

Timeline of our history

Heritage management

Water supply history

Sewerage history

Rivers and creeks history

 

View our history and heritage

 

 

 

Last updated:
10 November 2020