Temporary above-ground sewer bypass pipelines and pumping equipment is being set up along a 7.2km section of the Maribyrnong River Main sewer in Melbourne to ensure minimal disruption while relining works take place.

The sewer transports approximately 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, which is 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 8.8km 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.

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,” Mr Escreet said.

“That is why we are undertaking this work.”

The project will reline 7.2km 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.

The above-ground sewer bypass pipelines and pumping equipment used will 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,” Mr Escreet said.

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 begin 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.

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