Sewer Upgrades To Service Melburnians For Generations

01 August 2023

Major tunnelling works are set to begin on the $206 million Hobsons Bay main sewer project, which will future proof Melbourne’s main sewer network and transfer up to 30 per cent of Melbourne’s wastewater.

Minister for Water Harriet Shing launched the start of tunnel boring works and officially announced the name of the tunnel boring machine.

The Minister was joined by students Clara and Xavier from Spotswood Primary School to officially name the tunnel boring machine as Lucey.

Lucey was named after Lucey Alford, the first female bacteriologist and scientist employed by the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works – now known as Melbourne Water.

The tunnel boarding machine will be working 36 metres underground to dig a 670 metre long sewer under the Yarra River between Westgate Park, Port Melbourne and Scienceworks, in Spotswood.

The completed sewer will be capable of transporting 5,200 litres of sewerage per second. At this speed it would fill an Olympic swimming pool in 8 minutes.

The project will allow sewage flows to be diverted to the Melbourne Water Western Treatment Plant during the rehabilitation of the existing sewer - which was built in 1960 and has reached the end of its service life.

The new sewer, and the upgrade of the existing sewer, will provide a significant increase in the sewer system’s capacity given Melbourne’s population is expected to double by 2050.

The project is being delivered by Melbourne Water, John Holland and Museums Victoria and is due for completion in mid-2024.

Quote attributable to Minister for Water Harriet Shing

“The work being undertaken on the Hobsons Bay main sewer network will future proof Melbourne’s sewer needs as our population continues to grow, ensuring our infrastructure is keeping up with future demand.”

Quote attributable to Member for Williamstown Melissa Horne

“An essential project that’ll improve the sewer connection between Greater Melbourne and the west, I’m delighted that Spotswood Primary School will be forever linked to this significant infrastructure project.”

Quote attributable to Member for Albert Park Nina Taylor

“Melbourne’s population is set to boom and we’re getting on with building the infrastructure the city will need now, so that we can thrive into the future.”

Quote attributable to Melbourne Water Managing Director Dr Nerina Di Lorenzo

“The Hobsons Bay main sewer project forms part of a broader Melbourne Water capital infrastructure program that will enhance the reliability of our sewerage network and services for the benefit of Melburnians today and for generations to come.”

Reviewed 01 August 2023

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