Maribyrnong Sewer upgrade in the pipeline

Over 7.2 km of the Maribyrnong River Main sewer will be upgraded as part of a $35 million project to secure wastewater services to 36,000 properties in the north western suburbs of Melbourne.

The sewer transports around 24 million litres per day of wastewater to the Western Treatment Plant. The work forms part of a broader sewer relining program which Melbourne Water is undertaking on a number of aging sewers around the city.

The work, due to begin in August as part of a two year project to be completed in mid-2020, will ensure residents of Avondale Heights, Essendon West and Aberfeldie are provided with a secure and reliable sewerage service.

The Maribyrnong River Main (MRM) sewer is 8.8 km in length and generally follows the Maribyrnong River from near the end of North Road in Thompson Street Reserve to Epsom Road. The sewer transfers flows from six City West Water catchment areas to the Western Treatment Plant via the North Western Trunk Sewer.

Over the coming weeks, the community will notice contractors setting up site offices and facilities in Canning Reserve near the sports oval.

Senior Project Manager Rohan Escreet said the works would support the delivery of services to the community.

“It’s critical that our sewer mains are maintained into the future to ensure service reliability for the community,” he said. “That is why we are undertaking this work.”

The project will reline 7.2 km of the sewer from North Road in Avondale Heights to Orford Street in Moonee Ponds using innovative ‘trenchless’ technology to significantly reduce the impact of works on site and time required compared to traditional trenching methods.

“This technology allows us to reline the sewer without digging it up, which reduces impacts to the community and the significant environmental and cultural values of the landscape we’re working in,” Mr Escreet said.

Temporary above-ground sewer bypass pipelines and pumping equipment will be installed to allow local sewerage services to operate as normal while works are underway.

“We’re going to undertake the project in stages. The first section of the sewer to be upgraded will be from Canning Reserve near the sports oval in Avondale Heights, through to Steele Creek Reserve in Essendon West,” he said.

In August the temporary above-ground sewer bypass pipeline and pumping equipment will begin to be installed from Canning Reserve through to Steele Creek Reserve next to the Maribyrnong River Trail. Once these have been installed, crews will then commence the sewer relining works and rehabilitating the manholes.

“Crews will be working in a number of different areas at once and won’t be at any given location for the entire stage of the works, or for the duration of the project.”

“The majority of works will take place around existing manholes in the area, which are typically located in parkland, local streets, and in some private properties. Works will move progressively along the sewer alignment of each section from manhole to manhole,” Mr Escreet said.

The Maribyrnong River Trail will remain accessible at all times during the project. In some areas, the bypass pipeline will cross over the trail with ramps set up to maintain accessibility for path users. There will be signage in place to identify where cyclists may prefer to dismount and walk their bikes over the ramps.

“We’re mindful of the impacts of our work on the local community and would like to thank all of the residents, cyclists, Moonee Valley City Council, local businesses, visitors and sporting groups in the area for their support and patience for the works in advance.”

Important information for residents during the construction period:

  • Works will take place from 7.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday and 7.00am to 3.30pm on Saturdays. Residents will be advised in advance if works are necessary outside of these hours.
  • Residents may experience changes to traffic conditions, including some lane and road closures and temporary restrictions to street access and parking.
  • Minor detours may be required for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Residents will maintain access to their homes if they are subject to street closures or driveway works.
  • Please obey traffic and pedestrian management rules including project construction signs. This ensures public safety as well as safety of construction personnel.

For more information, please contact the MRM Sewer Upgrade Project Team by calling 1800 027 517, emailing [email protected], or visiting the project webpage at

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