Yarra Valley Water


Lockerbie Main Sewer Project

We have built a nine-kilometre-long sewer pipeline between Donnybrook and Beveridge to cater for growth in Melbourne’s northern growth area.

Catering for growth

Melbourne’s northern growth area is expected to accommodate a vast amount of Melbourne’s growing population. The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) is predicting that by 2050 the area will be home to around 300,000 people, with 100,000 homes and supporting around 80,000 jobs.

Project details

The Lockerbie Main Sewer runs next to the Melbourne to Sydney rail line and connects into the Amaroo Main Sewer at Donnybrook. The Lockerbie Main Sewer collects and transfers sewage flows from a majority of the proposed new developments and communities in the Donnybrook, Beveridge and Lockerbie area. The nine-kilometre-long pipeline incorporates 14 branch sewer connection points to service future development and collects  wastewater from Wallan Sewage Treatment Plant.    

Map of Lockerbie main sewer location


The project’s timeline is as follows:

  • Design was completed in late 2019
  • Construction started in March 2020
  • Construction was completed in October 2021 and the Lockerbie Main Sewer is now operating
  • Land around the pipeline is being restored until early 2022.

Project updates

October 2021

The Lockerbie Main Sewer is now operating and local customers, between Donnybrook and Wallan, are able to connect to our sewer network. Our contractors, Ventia and Jaydo, will restore nearby land to its existing condition until early 2022.

September 2021

Our contractors, Ventia and Jaydo, expect the Lockerbie Main Sewer to be operating by the end of October. Having this nine-kilometre pipeline operating is a great outcome for new residents, between Donnybrook and Wallan, that will soon be able to access our sewer network. They will continue restoring the project area to its existing condition, with most of the work finished by the end of December.

April 2021

We have constructed over half the new sewer main and expect the project to finish by the end of this year. Please see the map, located above, for more information on construction activities in your area.

We have also completed work with partners Jacobs and the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Corporation to identify the potential impact our excavation may have on culturally sensitive areas. Our collaboration resulted in us:

  • redesigning our sewer and extending tunnelled sections to avoid sensitive sites 
  • using trenchless construction techniques
  • minimising construction footprints, and 
  • preventing top soil disturbance through use of geofabric and crush rock. 

This 12 month cultural salvage program involved a combination of hand and mechanical archaeological digs to identify, record and preserve artefacts. The project engaged Aboriginal-owned and managed business Have a Dig which provided mechanical sieves and excavators. With careful oversight from Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung representatives, the salvage program uncovered over 6,000 artefacts from the project area. Many were from ‘stony rises’, which are significant cultural locations that used by Wurundjeri ancestors for camping or tool making. This is the first time that a large-scale salvage (total area of 10,200m2) of stony rises has occurred within Victoria.

Work happening on the Cultural Heritage salvage program as part of Lockerbie Main Sewer Project

November 2020

Yarra Valley Water’s contractor is halfway through building the Lockerbie Main Sewer. There will be reduced construction work over the holiday break, from Friday 18 December 2020 until Monday 4 January 2021.

What is still to be done early in the new year?
Depending on the weather, in early 2021 our contractor will be:

  • constructing the sewer in open trenches between Donnybrook Road and Merri Creek
  • tunnelling the pipe underground in the area shown on the map above.
September 2020

Depending on the weather, over the next three months you will see Broadspectrum and Jaydo:

  • constructing the sewer in open trenches between Merri Creek and Beveridge Road
  • continuing to tunnel the pipe underground, working opposite Donovans Lane and north of Merri Creek
  • installing construction access tracks between Donnybrook Road and Merri Creek
  • beginning to construct the sewer pipe in open trenches, starting their work near Donnybrook Road and moving north.
June 2020

Depending on weather conditions, between June and August, you will see our contractor, Broadspectrum and Jaydo:

  • using excavators to dig trenches for pipe installation, which is known as ‘open-cut’ construction (north of Minton Street, and between Donovans Lane and Beveridge Road) 
  • using machinery to insert or ‘tunnel’ the pipe underground (near Donovans Lane, in Beveridge)
  • starting to construct access tracks and fencing for properties between Donnybrook Road and Merri Creek
  • continue working in areas north of Merri Creek, using machinery to open cut and tunnel pipe underground.
April 2020

Our contractors have set-up fences and a site office. They will also start using earthmoving machinery to excavate a series of vertical access shafts, in preparation for the pipe to be tunnelled underground.

January 2020

In late 2019, Yarra Valley Water completed detailed design and tendered the works. The construction of the sewer has been awarded to a joint venture between Broadspectrum and Jaydo, both well established and experienced contractors in sewer construction.

We are preparing for work to commence in some areas of the alignment mid-February 2020. 

Most approvals have been confirmed, with the final approvals expected by the end of January 2020. These will be obtained prior to works commencing.

August 2018

The Lockerbie Main Sewer Project is currently in its detailed design stage, which involves investigating the ecology, cultural heritage, service location and ground conditions of the area where construction will occur, to support the design development.

Additionally, as part of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) construction approvals process, the Lockerbie Main Sewer Project needs to demonstrate how the design avoids or minimises impacts to the environment and waterways, including Merri Creek.      

Project design and approvals

Planning approvals

The planning processes for the project was previously established during the planning scheme amendment, approved by the Minister for Planning in November 2014. This was developed in consultation with Hume City Council, Mitchell Shire Council, Whittlesea City Council, the Victorian Planning Authority, the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (now DELWP).   

Following the approval of the planning scheme amendment, a Public Acquisition Overlay (PAO) was applied to the land required for the sewer. Yarra Valley Water will seeked approvals from DELWP, Melbourne Water and local councils, as needed.

Environmental considerations

Yarra Valley Water is committed to work in harmony with the environment, so minimising impacts to the Merri Creek and the surrounding environment were key considerations when we designed and constructed the sewer pipeline. 

We value our natural environment and waterways and worked to minimise the effects of site investigations, construction, operation and maintenance of the Lockerbie Main Sewer Project on areas that are environmentally sensitive. We  got approvals from DELWP to undertake these activities, as well as from Melbourne Water, to construct the sewer pipeline near Merri Creek and its tributaries.

Cultural heritage considerations

As part of the project’s design investigations, a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) was developed for the land through which the sewer pipeline passed underground. The CHMP was approved by the Registered Aboriginal Party for the area, which in this case is the Wurundjeri Tribe Land and Conservation Cultural Heritage Council.

Community Impacts

Our construction activities did not affect water and/or sewerage services in this area. Despite our efforts to minimise the impacts of these activities on the local community, people may have notice construction noise, dust, and vehicles.

Contact us

If you have any questions or feedback about the project, please contact Orry Thomas, Project Manager, on 9872 1575 or email [email protected].

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