COVID-19 update: As an essential service provider, we are continuing construction and field work where it is safe to do so. We’re following up-to-date State health advice, including specific hygiene and social distancing protocols. Read more.

Melbourne Water is upgrading the Hawthorn Main Sewer and manholes for 1.7 kilometres along the existing sewer alignment, along Denham Street, Hawthorn and Murphy Street, Richmond.

The Hawthorn Main Sewer was constructed over 100 years ago in 1903. A program of renewal works is now needed to keep this vital asset functioning well into the future, ensuring that the local community continues to receive reliable sewerage services.

There are two separate phases associated with this works program:

  1. Relining along the existing sewer alignment, starting at Power Street and running along Denham Street in Hawthorn, then continuing along Murphy Street to Burnley Street in Richmond. This phase is expected to be completed by mid-2020.
  2. Replacing the twin siphon pipes under the Yarra River, in the concept design stage. We have completed investigative works along the banks of the river in Yarra Bend Reserve. Construction is expected to commence after the relining phase is completed.

What's happening and when


The following map shows the sewer manholes and full alignment of the relining project. Once works are complete, the manholes, shared path and roads will be reinstated.

Hawthorn Sewer Upgrade manholes map


Works will be staged, and we will notify residents and businesses before commencing and after completing each stage.

Stage What's happening When
Site investigations Inspecting existing manholes and cleaning and scanning of sewer line Completed July 2019
Site mobilisation Equipment and machinery will be delivered to the project area  Completed August 2019
Manhole preparation and service location Removal of ladders and landings from within manholes; identifying existing underground and overhead services Completed November 2019
Hawthorn Bypass setup Set up of Hawthorn sewer bypass system from Lynch Street (manhole 14) to Denham Street (manhole 7.1) Completed November 2019
Power Street relining CIPP lining between manholes 9 & 10 Completed November 2019
Denham Street relining CIPP lining between manholes 8 & 9 Completed November 2019
Hawthorn Bypass pack down

Removal of bypass pipeline by sections

Completed November 2019

Denham Street relining
  • GRP lining between manholes 7 & 8
  • Grouting works
  • Rebuild and backfill around manhole 8

Completed March 2020

Completed March 2020

Completed April 2020

Denham Street relining
  • GRP lining between manholes 6 & 7
  • Grouting works
  • Turning jacking rig around at manhole 6

April 2020

late April 2020

early May 2020

Denham Street relining

GRP lining between manholes 4 & 6

May - June 2020
Murphy Street relining GRP lining between manholes 1 & 3 April - June 2020
Richmond Bypass setup Set up of Richmond sewer bypass system June - July 2020
 Murphy Street relining CIPP lining between manholes 23 & 1 June - July 2020
 Manhole decommission Decommission manhole 5 July 2020
 Manhole rehabilitation
  • Reline and reinstate ladders and landings in manholes 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10
  • Reinstate ladders and landings in manholes 11, 12 & 14
July 2020
 Reinstatement Restoring any areas affected by our works to their original or similar condition Ongoing throughout project

What the relining works involve

The sewer relining will occur progressively in sections:

  1. First, the pipe gets cleaned and scanned so we can assess the condition before we begin works. This involves removing the ladders to ensure our equipment can be safely lowered into the sewer pipe. Some cutting of the road and concrete will also be needed to set up our equipment above the manholes.
  2. Once the new sewer lining is in place, we will remove all the equipment from the manholes, repair the insides and put in new ladders. We will also repair the road surface around the manholes.
  3. Repairing the surfaces of concrete and roads that had to be cut to place sewer bypass pipelines safely across roads, driveways and footpaths.

We are using two techniques to reline the Hawthorn Main Sewer: Cured In Place Pipe (CIPP) and Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) processes. Read more about the stages and timings associated with each method.

Cured in place process

This method involves inserting a flexible, sock-like, resin-infused pipe liner into the existing sewer, and hardening it using UV lights or steam until the pipe is cured in place.

  1. Set up the sewer bypass pumping system 
  2. Clean pipes, modify existing manhole and measure existing pipe 
  3. Lay the flat, resin-infused pipe liner into the existing pipe; inflate liner with air to expand to the existing pipe size 
  4. Harden the liner using UV lights that move along the inside of the pipe, from manhole to manhole 
  5. Upgrade the manhole with new lining and ladders and reinstate the work area to existing conditions

Hawthorn Sewer - CIP Diagram


Glass reinforced plastic method

This method involves inserting short sections of plastic pipe down existing manholes.

  1. Clean pipes, modify existing manhole and measure existing pipe
  2. Insert short sections or plastic pipe down existing manholes. Each piece is pushed, or 'jacked', to the next manhole to form a new pipe
  3. Pump grout into the void between old and new pipe
  4. Upgrade the manhole with new lining and ladders and reinstate the work area to existing conditions 

Hawthorn Sewer - GRP Diagram

What to expect

We do not anticipate any impacts to your water or sewerage services during the works.
If you experience an issue with your sewerage service, contact your water retailer: Yarra Valley Water (132 762) or City West Water (132 642).

Sewer bypass pipelines

You may notice lengths of pipe on the ground including in the Hawthorn Main Drain (stormwater culvert), some of which are several hundred metres long. These sewer bypass pipelines allow local sewerage services to continue operating at all times while relining is underway, and will be set up for each stage of the project and progressively removed once complete. Pumps and generators will be set up at one end of the bypass pipeline to manage sewage flows.

We will maintain access to properties and bury the pipelines when crossing driveways and roads, which may require digging some of them up. All affected driveways and roads will be reinstated once works are complete. We will notify you to make arrangements beforehand if we need to dig up your driveway.

Hours of work

Night works will be required for most of the glass reinforced plastic relining, when sewer and traffic flows are at their lowest. This makes it the safest time for crews to be working in the busier streets and reduces the impact on the wider traffic network.

Other working hours are as follows:

  • Standard working hours: 7am to 6pm, Monday to Friday
  • Weekend hours: 7am to 1pm Saturdays (if required)
  • Night works: 9pm to 7am, Sunday to Thursday

Some extended work hours may be needed to complete critical work processes. Affected residents and businesses will be informed of this beforehand.


During work hours there will be noise from motor vehicles, machinery and generators. Some noise is expected as part of the night works. We will do as much as possible to reduce these impacts, including setting up sound matting around generators and site barriers.


Some odour is expected when carrying out the works, as a result of harmless gases escaping manholes when opened and the plastic resin used in the sewer lining. We aim to minimise and localise this as much as practicable.

Traffic, parking, cyclists and pedestrians

There will be temporary changes to traffic conditions including lane closures, road closures, parking restrictions and alternative driveway access for some properties. These changes will be along Murphy, River, Palmer and Burnley streets in Richmond, and Denham, Power and Lynch streets in Hawthorn.

Minor detours may be required for pedestrians and cyclists, and we encourage you to be careful around work areas and observe new signs.

We will work with residents and businesses near the work areas to reduce any impacts associated with these temporary changes, and to make sure access to private property is maintained at all times. Further information will be provided before starting the relining phases of the project, and at each stage as works progress.

Respecting heritage and the environment

There is no vegetation removal expected. In some cases, we may need to trim or alter trees that are close to the area of works, such as within Yarra Bank Reserve.

Keeping you informed

We will notify local residents and businesses about our activities before starting works:

  • Doorknocks and letters will be used to inform residents, businesses and schools directly next to the work areas
  • Signs will be used around our work areas to inform pedestrians, cyclists and drivers of changes to road conditions
  • Community Noticeboards will be set up close to each manhole for regular work updates

To stay up to date, join the Hawthorn Sewer Upgrade Facebook Group.


Works notifications and updates

Works notifications


Community bulletins and FAQs

Community bulletins

Your feedback

If you have any questions, please contact Melbourne Water on:

 1800 960 911

 [email protected]

Last updated:
5 May 2020