An incredible history lays beneath the surface of Melbourne

They’ve been described as a marvel of engineering. Melbourne’s sewers, some of which are over a century old, have stood the test of time.

You probably didn’t know that Melbourne’s first sewerage system was built by unskilled workmen who dug into a swamp with spades and escaped methane explosions.

Before it was built Melburnians had no choice but to dump their raw sewage in the streets causing serious health issues. Today Melbourne Water operates over 400 kilometres of sewers around the city and treats around 320,000 [three hundred and twenty thousand] million litres of sewage every year.

It’s Sewer Relining Program is currently underway and will upgrade about 15 kilometres of sewer. The $100m project includes work on 6 sewer mains and will continue for about three years.

Melbourne Water’s Colin Neathercoat spoke with ABC Radio Melbourne about the incredible history that lays beneath the surface of Melbourne.

Welcome to the newest addition to Melbourne Water's news and communications - the Melbourne Water podcast. 


Colin Neathercoat of Melbourne Water talks to ABC Radio about the history of Melbourne's Sewer System. Courtesy of ABC Radio.

Media contact
Caitlin Rode, Senior Media Advisor. Ph. 03 9679 6742