Yarra Valley Water


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Lower Plenty Sewerage Project

We’re constructing a new piped sewerage system to properties in Lower Plenty.

Once complete, the project will provide sewerage services to approximately 230 properties in Lower Plenty that can’t contain their wastewater on-site. 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.

Map showing Lower Plenty Community Sewerage area

Project updates

October 2023

Construction work has started to build the new sewerage system in Lower Plenty. Our contractors, Melbourne Pipelines, will be installing new pipes in the streets and building connection points into every property along the pipe route.

Works in the area

Most of the work will focus on constructing sewer pipelines in local streets. While we make every effort to limit disruption and inconvenience, you may notice:

  • A horizontal directional drilling machine which we use to install the pipeline. By boring under driveways and nature strips, it minimises disturbance to the ground and vegetation above.
  • Some noise from machinery. We’ll limit its use as much as practically possible.
  • Our crews digging in nature strips, driveways and roadsides. We’ll restore these areas as close as possible to the condition they were in before these works, when construction is finished.
  • Short traffic delays or diversions and minor changes to parking in your street, but you will be able to access your property.

We’ll notify you and put alternative arrangements in place if you’re directly affected by works. For example, if your driveway is blocked for a short period of time.

Your water supply and pressure will not be affected during the works.

January 2023

We're putting the finishing touches on the design of the sewerage system for the Lower Plenty project area. In the coming months we'll be going out to tender for the work and expect construction will begin mid-year. 

Our specialist contractors have undertaken extensive surveying and investigative work in your neighbourhood, including:

  • General surveying and assessments.
  • Locating existing power, gas, water and telecommunications infrastructure.
  • Geotechnical investigations.
  • Aboriginal cultural heritage investigation.
  • Ecological and tree surveying.

We'll be in touch in the coming months with more information about what you need to do to get ready to connect to the new sewerage system.

January 2022

What’s happening in your neighbourhood this year?

We'll be undertaking investigative work in Lower Plenty this year. It involves:

  • Surveying and assessments – our surveyors and engineers will be walking around the area doing general surveying, reviews and assessments.
  • Service locating – we’ll be using ‘non-destructive digging’ to find existing power, gas, telecommunications, water and sewerage services in the ground. This investigation work involves ‘digging’ into road reserves and pathways using a high pressure water to dislodge soil. Using this equipment minimises risk of damage to existing pipes and infrastructure, as well as tree roots and vegetation. 
  • Geotechnical sampling – small bore holes are drilled in different areas and soil and rock samples are analysed to help decide the best location for the sewerage pipes.
  • Cultural heritage investigation – to assess the potential impact of any proposed activity on Aboriginal cultural heritage. This is part of a Cultural Heritage Management Plan required under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.
  • Ecological and tree surveying – to help determine the route of our pipelines, reduce the need to disturb vegetation and to protect the environment.

This information will allow us to refine our engineering plans for the sewerage system, and prepare for construction in 2023. 

How will the works affect local traffic?

The geotechnical surveying work will involve some temporary road closures, speed reduction and detours in the area.

The investigations will be done progressively, and we’ve planned the works to minimise disruption for residents and visitors to the area. 

Our contractors and traffic management will work closely with you to keep you moving.

What can I expect during these investigations?

You may notice:

  • Extra vehicles in the area.
  • Some noise from drilling equipment and machinery reversing and using beepers for safety. 
  • Some paint or chalk markings on the ground.
  • Our staff and contractors walking around the area, and looking into individual properties.

Your water supply and pressure will not be affected during the works.

April 2021

We’re continuing work on the design of a piped sewerage system for Lower Plenty, recently completing a site walk to progress the engineering of a sewerage system suited to the area.

We expect the new sewerage system to be available in late 2023.

We encourage you to continue maintaining your existing sewerage system, and we’ll provide further updates as we progress.

February 2020

Over the past 12 months we have reviewed the sewerage service needs of properties in the unsewered parts of Lower Plenty and captured feedback from property owners.

The initial design, presented to the community at an information session in November 2017, provided sewer connections to properties that were unable to contain wastewater within their boundary. This was approximately half of the properties in the investigation area.

Following feedback from the community, we have revised our service delivery approach and will provide sewerage connections to all properties within the investigation area. The properties impacted by this decision are shown on Lower Plenty Sewerage Project area map.

View Lower Plenty Sewerage Project Area Map

We will now need to undertake additional work which will delay the delivery of this project. We expect the new sewerage network to be available in 2023.

We encourage you to continue maintaining your existing sewerage system and apologise for any inconvenience.

December 2018

In November 2017 we presented the initial design of the sewerage network for the Lower Plenty area at a community information session. This design involved providing a sewerage network service to approximately half the properties that were referred to Yarra Valley Water by your local council. We had determined that the remaining properties could contain their wastewater on site and so were not going to be provided with a sewerage service.

Because of concerns expressed by the community about this sewerage servicing strategy we decided to re-assess opportunities for a better overall outcome for the community in the longer term. This work has required further investigations which have had an impact on the project timeline. This work is ongoing, and we will get in touch with you once it is completed.

The project is now anticipated to be completed early 2021. Please bear in mind the timing is dependent on many factors, including obtaining planning permits and favourable ground conditions, and therefore could be subject to further delays.

We sincerely apologise for the delays and we will keep you updated as the project progresses.

March 2018

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.

October 2017

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.

Did you know?

Poorly performing septic systems can be a nuisance for you and your neighbours by creating unpleasant odours and soggy backyards.

Contact us

If you have any questions or feedback about this project, please contact the project manager, Nova Irawati, on 9872 1248 or email [email protected].