Melbourne Water is upgrading the Maribyrnong River Main (MRM) sewer, which transports approximately 24 million litres of wastewater each day to the Western Treatment Plant. 

The MRM is one of the main sewers in Melbourne Water’s 400 kilometre network. It’s approximately 8.8 kilometres in length and generally follows the Maribyrnong River from near the end of North Road in Avondale Heights, to Epsom Road in Ascot Vale. 

Works are underway to upgrade 7.2 kilometres of the MRM sewer in Avondale Heights, Essendon West and Aberfeldie. This is an important initiative for local residents as it ensures the sewer continues to provide a secure and reliable sewerage service.

Water and sewerage services will remain operational throughout the works. 

Why this project is important

Built in stages between 1963 and 1977, the sewer has deteriorated significantly in recent years and some sections are coming to the end of their working life. 
Urgent repairs were completed between November 2017 and April 2018 around Avondale Heights to ensure a reliable sewerage service was maintained for local residents.

Relining will extend the life of the MRM sewer for at least another 50 years.

How the sewer will be upgraded

The existing MRM sewer pipe is being relined. By accessing manholes along the alignment, we are applying a plastic liner to the inside of the pipe that will allow it to function effectively for at least another 50 years.

This includes:

  • installing a temporary above-ground bypass sewer pipeline to keep local sewerage services operating at all times 
  • creating access tracks to manholes to enable safe and easy access for maintenance crews 
  • cleaning and relining the sewer by inserting a new plastic sleeve into the existing pipe
  • filling the gap between the existing pipe and new sewer liner with cement (grouting)
  • assessing the 71 manholes and rehabilitating ageing and damaged manholes and decommissioning some that are no longer needed
  • reinstating areas affected by our works including re-grassing and re-planting

Manholes are typically located in parkland, local streets and in some private properties. In some locations, access tracks will need to be constructed to allow safe and easy access to manholes for maintenance crews.

There will be some disturbances will be undertake these essential works but in the long term, the local area will benefit from improved liveability and a thriving environment supported by world-class infrastructure.

Works will move progressively along the sewer alignment from manhole to manhole and conducted in four stages.
Melbourne Water has appointed CPB and Black & Veatch Joint Venture (CPB-BV JV) as our construction partner to deliver the project on our behalf.

Map of Maribyrnong River Main Sewer Upgrade

  • The map shows the Maribyrnong River alignment with the MRM sewer alignment above this- generally, the MRM sewer follows the alignment of the river. 
  • The works take place through the suburbs of Avondale Heights, Essendon West and Aberfeldie between Thompson Street Reserve, Avondale Heights and Aberfeldie Park Aberfeldie from near the end of North Road in Avondale Heights, to Epsom Road in Ascot Vale.
  • There are some sections of this alignment that do not require an upgrade, these are highlighted in contrast to the sections being renewed and are near Canning Street, Avondale Heights, and between Afton Street and Aberfeldie Park, Aberfeldie. 

•	The map shows the Maribyrnong River alignment with the MRM sewer alignment above this- generally, the MRM sewer follows the alignment of the river.

Proposed working hours 

Work started in August 2018 and is expected to be complete by mid-2020. 

Works will take place from 7.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday and 7.00am to 5.00pm on Saturdays. Residents will be advised in advance if works are necessary outside of these hours.

What to expect during construction

  • site offices, compounds and storage areas at Canning Reserve, Thompson Street Reserve and parkland reserve areas near Warrick Court and Barbara Crescent - these will remain in place until the project is complete in 2020
  • noise and vibration from trucks and other vehicles, machinery, reversing beepers and generators to power pumps and other equipment. Noise barriers will be put around the pumps and generators to reduce the sound.
  • odour when manholes are opened and the sewer is being cleaned 
  • trucks and other construction vehicle movements in the area
  • minimal traffic impacts in the local area – some local diversion in place while we access man holes on local streets, with traffic controllers on site to help the community move around the area safely. 
  • reduced access to the Maribyrnong River Trail in some locations, with temporary diversions in place for cyclists and pedestrians around construction areas.

We do not anticipate any impacts or interruptions to your water or sewerage services during the works. 

We will keep the community informed as works progress, using a range of notifications including letter box drops and door knocks if disruptions are expected.

Stage 1 works Canning Reserve, Avondale Heights to Steele Creek, Essendon West

Construction period: August 2018- March 2019 (weather permitting)

The first section of the sewer to be upgraded is from Canning Reserve near the sports oval (off Canning Street) in Avondale Heights, through to Steele Creek Reserve in Essendon West. 

Activities include: 

  •  August – October 2018 - setting up the site compound, ground investigations for the access tracks, and installing the sewer bypass pipeline from Canning Reserve through to Steele Creek Reserve. You may notice these black pipes on the ground next to the Maribyrnong River Trail. 
  • October – January 2018 -  upgrading the sewer including accessing manholes, cleaning and relining. Crews will be working in a number of different areas at once and will not be at any given location for the entire stage of the works, or for the duration of the project. 

Stage 2 works  Steele Creek Reserve in Essendon West and Smiley Crescent Reserve, Avondale Heights

Construction period: February 2019  to August 2019 (weather permitting)Activities include: 

  • Delivery and installation of lengths of black pipe for the temporary above-ground sewer bypass pipeline.
  • Creating access tracks in various locations along the sewer alignment to allow vehicles and machinery to safely and efficiently access the manholes to undertake the works.
  • Setting up a small site compound or lay down area where pipes will be temporarily stored and welded together.
  • Multiple activities along the sewer alignment including cleaning, relining and grouting.

Stage 3 works Thomson Street to Rhonda Street, Avondale Heights

Construction period: 18 February to end of 2019 (weather permitting)On Monday 18 February 2019, stage 3 of the Maribyrnong River Main Sewer Upgrade will commence between Thomson Street Reserve and Rhonda Street (Avondale Heights). 

Temporary closure of sections of the Maribyrnong River Trail. Detour arrangements, signage and traffic controllers will be in place to ensure cyclists and pedestrians are able to safely navigate around our work areas.

Activities include:

  • Delivery of black pipes for the temporary installation of above ground sewer bypass pipelines.
  • Creating access tracks on various locations along the sewer alignment to allow vehicles and machinery to safely and efficiently get to the manholes to undertake the works.
  • Setting up a small site compound and lay down area where pipes will be temporarily stored and welded together.

Stage 4 End of Rhonda Street to Canning Reserve, Avondale Heights

Construction period: April 2019 to mid-2020 (weather permitting)

Activities include:

  • Installation of temporary above-ground sewer bypass pipelinee
  • Construction of access tracks
  • Sewer cleaning and relining

We do not anticipate any impacts or interruptions to your water or sewerage services during the works. 

We will keep the local community informed as works progress, using a range of notifications including letter box drops and door knocks if disruptions are expected.

Melbourne Water thanks the community for your patience and understanding while we undertake these important works. 
 

For more  information see the Melbourne Water sewer relining program page

Related 

Media release - Maribyrnong Sewer upgrade in the pipeline

Contact us

For more information, please contact the MRM Sewer Upgrade Project Team: 

Community bulletins

Missing media.

Missing media.

Missing media.

Missing media.

Last updated:
26 February 2019