Lower Plenty Sewerage Project
We are investigating the sewerage servicing needs of properties in unsewered parts of Lower Plenty.
We are in the planning stages of this project, which will provide sewerage services to properties in Lower Plenty that cannot contain their wastewater onsite.
This project will benefit the Lower Plenty community by:
- Improving the health of local waterways
- Protecting public health
- Reducing sewer odours that are currently noticeable in the area
- Providing a more liveable environment for locals and visitors to the area.
Letters were sent this month, advising residents and property owners in Lower Plenty of the outcome of the Land Capability Assessment (LCA) for their property, and if their property is being serviced as part of the Community Sewerage Program.
We will be holding an information session about the project and the proposed sewerage servicing approach for the area. Details for the session are as follows:
Thursday, 2 November 2017
5:00pm to 7:30pm
Walter Withers Gallery
Eltham Community and Reception Centre
801 Main Road, Eltham
The session is an informal drop-in session, and attendance is not mandatory. There will be no formal presentation. Instead, information will be available about how Yarra Valley Water has determined which properties need to be serviced (i.e. which properties will connect to the new sewer pipeline).
Attendees will also have an opportunity to talk to the project team about the project, and have your questions answered.
We are designing the layout of where new sewer pipes should be built in the Lower Plenty area. We usually try to build our pipes under road verges and in parks or reserves, where we can easily access the pipes for future maintenance. This isn’t always possible, and sometimes we need to build our pipe under privately owned land, such as a residential backyard.
Our design consultant, Jacobs, has been investigating the local street layout, and they have a good understanding of where the hills and valleys are, and this will help them design the sewer layout. There’s a few more things they want to check, so they’ll be visiting the area over the next few weeks. During this time, you might see Jacobs representatives walking along the sides of roads, or in local parks and reserves.
Once the design is completed and we’ve got approvals, we’ll be ready to start building the sewer pipes in your area. Works are likely to start in October 2018, and should be completed in late 2019. It’ll then be time for properties to connect to the new sewer. That’s a while away though, and we’ll provide you with more information about connecting to the sewer soon.
Did you know?
Poorly performing septic systems in your area are discharging over 1,800 kilograms of nutrients and over 18 trillion viruses every year into your local environment.
This nutrient discharge to our waterways is equivalent to dumping over 1,200 bags of fertilizer into our waterways each year! Excess nutrients harm aquatic life and can make waterway conditions toxic.
Poorly performing septic systems can also be a nuisance for you and your neighbours by creating unpleasant odour and soggy backyards.
Not every property in Lower Plenty will be serviced
There are many properties in Lower Plenty, and not all will be provided with a sewerage service through this project.
We only provide a service to a property if that property is unable to contain all of its wastewater on-site. This means that wastewater from that property’s septic tank runs off, above or below ground, onto neighboring properties, and even a modern, well-maintained system would not be able to prevent run-off from occurring.
Each unsewered property is being investigated
We determine which properties can and cannot contain their wastewater onsite by undertaking a Land Capability Assessment (LCA) on each property.
The LCA assesses the property against the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria’s Code of Practice – Onsite Wastewater Management, which includes a range of individual property characteristics including the size of the property, land area available for irrigation, slope, and how close the property is to local waterways.
The LCA does not consider how well a property's existing septic tank system is performing. Property owners are responsible for their ongoing maintenance and compliance with relevant regulations administered by their local council (which for this project is Banyule Shire Council).
Some properties can contain their wastewater
If a property has been assessed as being able to contain all of its wastewater onsite, we will not provide that property with a new sewerage service. The property would be considered as being able to meet the EPA’s requirements for onsite containment.
Property owners would be expected to comply with any specific Council requirements regarding the operation and maintenance of their septic system.
For further advice on how to maintain your septic system, please refer to Banyule Council’s online information on septic tanks.
Some properties cannot contain their wastewater
If a property has been assessed as being unable to contain all its wastewater onsite, Yarra Valley Water will provide the property with a sewerage service, and will pay for and construct the sewerage pipe network for that property to be able to connect to.
How we assess properties
For more information about the Land Capability Assessment, and what if means if a property will (or won't) be provided with a sewerage service as part of this program, please refer to the following fact sheet.