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Yarra Valley customers to benefit from new sewerage system

Over 1300 properties in Don Valley, Launching Place, Yarra Junction, Wesburn and Monbulk will soon be able to progressively connect to a reticulated sewerage system instead of using septic tanks.

The new system will improve the quality of local waterways and the environment by eliminating sewage run-off from leaking or poorly maintained septic tanks on properties that cannot contain their wastewater on site.  This run-off ends up in drains and eventually our local waterways.

Odour on properties and in residential streets will also be improved and the new system will eliminate the need for customers to maintain their septic tanks after they connect.

Yarra Valley Water Managing Director, Pat McCafferty said the project would benefit the local environment as well as boost convenience for customers.

“This upgrade will bring the sewerage system in the area into line with the majority of Melbourne and will make managing waste a more seamless process for residents.

“We’ve listened to the community and through this project we are fixing the problems caused by leaking septic tanks such as run-off pollution in waterways, soggy backyards and odours,” Mr McCafferty said.

Approximately five kilometres of pipes are being constructed in Yarra Junction that eligible customers can connect to. Once complete, gravity and pressure sewers will carry the wastewater to Yarra Valley Water’s existing wastewater treatment plant in Launching Place.  

A further 20 kilometres of pipes will be constructed in the area over the next three years.

The new system has been designed to allow all adjacent properties to connect. Some properties are suitable to continue onsite wastewater treatment and can choose to retain a septic system or connect voluntarily to the new sewerage network.

Up to 11,000 properties in the Yarra Valley, the Dandenong Ranges and the outer northern and eastern suburbs of Melbourne were built before modern sewerage services were available.

These properties still operate on septic tanks, but many septic tank systems do not meet current standards and can be inconvenient and difficult for customers to maintain.

Some customers do not realise that their septic tank is leaking and this can cause sewage run-off in backyards, drains and local waterways.

Work on the Launching Place and Monbulk community sewerage projects will continue until 2022, with eligible customers able to begin connecting to the new system from late 2019.