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Park Orchards Sewerage Project

Yarra Valley Water is undertaking an innovative project in Park Orchards.

Yarra Valley Water is undertaking a trial in Park Orchards to understand the feasibility of providing sewerage services to properties using onsite wastewater treatment systems (or septic systems).  This is different to how we normally provide our sewerage services, which is by connecting properties to a sewer pipeline in the street.

The trial will help us determine the best way to service properties on our Community Sewerage Program.

Note, outside of the trial area, the Park Orchards and Ringwood North Community Sewerage Area is scheduled for sewerage servicing in 2026/2027. 

What's involved?

There are 100 properties in the trial area. 

Park Orchards Sewerage Project map

Of these, 87 can, based on land capability assessment, use a modern onsite wastewater treatment system to manage their wastewater.  We offered to upgrade the existing or install a new onsite system on these properties.  Sixty-one homeowners agreed to these works, and to participate in the trial.    

The remaining 13 properties in the trial area cannot install an onsite system that would meet current standards. This is generally due to limited space (e.g. the commercial precinct).  We will service these properties via a connection to a sewer pipeline. 

This small section of sewer is not being designed to service the whole of Park Orchards and Ringwood North. 

Pending approvals, construction of the sewer will commence in the first half of 2019. 

Evaluation Plan

We are undertaking a trial in Park Orchards to understand the benefits, challenges and feasibility of providing sewerage services onsite by installing and managing onsite wastewater treatments systems (septic systems) on customers' properties instead of connecting them to a reticulated pressure or gravity sewer network. Take at look at the approach we will be taking to evaluate the Park Orchards Trial. 

Park Orchards Onsite Trial - Evaluation Plan

What's next?

We will monitor the performance of the onsite systems for at least two years to see how well they work, what the benefits of onsite systems are and what challenges they present. 

This information will inform how we service other properties on our Community Sewerage Program. 

Project Manager

For information on the sewer being constructed for the trial, contact Michelle Lowry by phone 9872 1483 or email [email protected] .

For information about the rest of Park Orchards and Ringwood North, which will be serviced in 2026/2027, contact the Community Sewerage Programs team on 9872 2551 or [email protected].

    Project updates

    • March 2018

      There are 100 properties in the trial area surrounding the Park Orchards Primary School and main shops.

      Of the 100 properties:

      • 84 have been classified as able to treat and manage their wastewater on site. We have now completed upgrades of on-site systems on most of these properties as of September 2017. Some irrigation performance improvements and maintenance works will continue to occur over the coming months. Thank you for your patience as these works are occurring.
      • Nine properties have been classified as unable to contain their waste onsite. This includes the shopping precinct and some residential properties in the trial area. We are designing a sewer pipeline to service these properties and expect to commence construction by mid-2018.
      • Four properties have been classified as partly able to contain their wastewater onsite. We are currently developing a new type of onsite system for these properties. They will also require a connection to the sewer pipeline. Installations will commence near the conclusion of the construction of the sewer pipeline.


      In August 2017, residents outside the trial area were provided with a trial project update. Another update will be provided in August 2018.

      We will commence an environmental monitoring program in the trial and broader Park Orchards area in July 2018. Monitoring will continue for approximately 2 years (until July 2019).

      A small sewer extension is planned for the Colman Reserve in Ringwood. This sewer will only provide sewerage services to the reserve and will not impact the outcomes of the trial project.

      Next steps

      Our upcoming actions are to:

      • Finish designing of and construct the sewer, pending relevant approvals.
      • Continue environmental monitoring for two years (until at least July 2019).
      • We will evaluate the trial and determine the best sewerage servicing approach for the 1,200 properties in the Park Orchards and Ringwood North Community Sewerage Area. This may take until the end of 2020.
    • August 2018

      Recently, Yarra Valley Water sent this factsheet to all residents in the Park Orchards and Ringwood North Community Sewerage Area

      Download factsheet (363KB)


    • November 2018

    • March 2019

      We are currently confirming permit requirements for the section of sewer being constructed to service some properties in the trial area. 

      Our contractor will start preliminary construction activities in March 2019.  Pending approvals, we anticipate construction will commence in April 2019.

      Our environmental monitoring program will also begin in March 2019.  We will monitor: climate, the performance of onsite systems, groundwater, and impacts on local creeks and waterways.  This data will be compared against baseline monitoring that occurred between 2014-2016. 

    • Park Orchards Trial Community Engagement Panel (POTCEP)


      A panel has been operating since 2013 to liaise with relevant customers and community groups regarding the provision of a sewer servicing trial in the Park Orchards and Ringwood North community. The panel provides feedback on communication strategies for the trial project and seeks to obtain feedback from panel members regarding considerations to be addressed.


      A broad range of representation was selected for POTCEP. This includes residents inside the trial area and also those from the broader Park Orchards sewerage project area. 

      Members include:

      • Elizabeth Hanson
      • Robyn McKenzie
      • Andrew Prout
      • Trevor Street
      • Matt Wagenfeld
      • Frank Walker
      • Peter White



      You can view the presentations and minutes from each panel meeting below.


      Terms of Reference

      If you would like further information regarding the panel, please contact Katherine Collette via 9872 1832 or email [email protected].