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Melbourne Water has renewed the last two-kilometre section of the M102 water main. These essential works delivered between Paramount Road, West Footscray and Williamstown Road in Yarraville have helped secure a reliable water supply for the growing western Melbourne suburbs.

Project update

Work to replace the 80 year old M102 water main is now complete. Melbourne Water thanks residents and local businesses for their patience throughout the works period.

Map showing the areas of work along Somerville Road for the  M102 Water Main Renewal Project

What happened

Work to renew the M102 water main involved:

  • constructing a new 900mm diameter water main through approximately two kilometres of local streets and major roads between Paramount Road, West Footscray and Williamstown Road, Yarraville
  • reinstating the area as close as possible to pre-construction condition
  • decommissioning the existing 80 year old M102 water main that runs under Somerville Road.


Stage Estimated timing Description
Site investigations

Early 2017 to mid 2017

Locating underground services
Understanding ground conditions
Procurement Late 2017 Project is put to tender
Preferred construction partner chosen
Site mobilisation May 2018 Set-up of site offices
Machinery and equipment delivered to site
Construction starts July 2018 Main construction activity to renew M102 Water Main
Pipe construction complete (including connections and decommissioning) Mid 2019 Laying of new pipes completed along the new alignment. 
Connect renewed M102 water main into the wider system.
Decommissioning of existing M102
Construction complete October 2019 Project completion
Final reinstatement of project and surrounding infrastructure

Impacts on local residents and visitors

Like any major project, there were impacts associated with the renewal of the M102 water main. We worked closely with Maribyrnong City Council, VicRoads, local businesses and residents, schools, user groups and other projects in the area to manage impacts.

A Dig, Lay, Bury methodology and reinstatement was used as the pipes were installed. This process involved:

  1. Dig – A trench is dug along the alignment where the new water main pipe is to be installed. When digging, the project needs to be aware of existing utility services ensuring care is taken not to damage these. Once the trench is dug, it is made safe to start laying pipes.
  2. Lay – New pipe is laid into a trench using expert lifting equipment, and sections are welded together to ensure there are no leaks. Any additional connection works to existing services may also take place at this stage.
  3. Bury – The last stage in the installation process is to cover the new pipe by filling in the trench with appropriate rock, soil and asphalt. This also ensure that the ground level conditions are made safe for all vehicle traffic and pedestrians. 


Why was this project important?

The previous M102 water main was in operation for over 80 years and a critical part of Melbourne's water supply network, supplying the areas of Footscray, Altona and Werribee.

Inspections of the water main revealed the pipeline was at the end of its operational life and needed upgrading to meet Melbourne Water’s service standards. The new M102 will also secure a reliable water supply for the growing west of Melbourne.

The West Footscray to Yarraville Water Main Renewal was the last of three separate projects to renew 13 kilometres of the 15-kilometre M102 pipeline. The project renewed the last two kilometres of pipeline between Paramount Road, West Footscray and Williamstown Road, Yarraville.

Keeping you informed

Throughout the works, the project team worked to keep local residents and businesses informed about progress through letters, newsletters, localised bulletins, works notifications, door knocks, web updates and social media posts.


Last updated:
25 February 2020