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Epping Main Sewer Project

We are constructing new sewerage infrastructure in Lalor, Campbellfield and Epping to reduce the likelihood of sewage spills occurring during storm events, and to cater for growth in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

Project details

The project involves our contractor, John Holland Pty Ltd, building a 2.4-kilometre-long large-diameter sewer pipe at depths of up to 35 metres.

The pipe will be constructed by tunnelling underground using large Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs), and the tunnel will cross under the Merri Creek and Hume Freeway.

Map of where works for the Epping Main Sewer Project will occur
The red line represents where new sewer pipes will be tunnelled.
The red circles represent deep shaft sites.

Construction details

John Holland Pty Ltd needs to build five construction shafts to enable the underground tunnelling to occur, and four of these shafts will become permanent access manholes after the project works have been completed.

The first stage of works involves excavating the shafts to depths of up to 35 metres. Once this is done, we will use cranes to lower the TBM down into the shaft, ready for tunnelling work to begin.


  • September 2018

    From September 2018, the Horne Street Park will be closed to the public, as the area is temporarily being used as an access point for construction vehicles. The site will be fenced off to ensure the safety of the local community.

    The Horne Street Park will be reinstated and reopen in mid-2019, when construction activities for the Epping Main Sewer Project have been completed.

    Pedestrians and cyclists can still access the shared trail through the Merri Creek Parklands via nearby Misty Court and Oberon Boulevard.

    As underground tunnelling is occurring 24/7 for this project, the Horne Street Park access point may be accessed at any time. We will make every effort to complete noisy activities during regular business activities, where possible. 

  • May 2018

    The first stage of works commenced in early December in land to the west of the Hume Freeway (near Rotino Crescent).

    John Holland Pty Ltd is working above-ground to set up construction sites, including excavating the shaft sites. The shaft sites should be completed by October 2018.

    A photo of a crane lifting an excavator out of a shaft site
    A crane lifts an excavator out of a shaft.
    A photo of workers being lowered into a shaft via a safety cage
    Workers are lowered into a shaft via a safety cage
    Shaft excavation works near Rotino Crescent
    Shaft excavation works near Rotino Crescent 



Construction activities started in early December 2017, and should be completed in mid-2019, depending on weather and ground conditions.

The first stage of works involves excavating deep shafts, and this will occur between December 2017 and October 2018. 

The second stage of works involves the TBM tunnelling, and this will occur between May 2018 and early 2019.

The proposed timeline for tunnelling works is:

  • ‘Freeway’ shaft towards the ‘Whittlesea Gardens’ shaft (March 2018 - June 2018)
  • 'Barry Road' shaft to 'Freeway' shaft (June 2018 - September 2018)
  • 'Barry Road' shaft to 'Temporary' shaft (August 2018 - December 2018)
  • 'Horne Street' shaft to 'Temporary' shaft (December 2018 - March 2019).

Please note these dates are subject to change. 

John Holland Pty Ltd is working at ground level Monday to Friday, between 7.00am and 5.00pm. Some Saturday works will also be required. Once tunnelling works have started, tunnelling activities will occur 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, though these activities should not be noticeable at ground level.

Community impacts

The works associated with this project will not have any impact on customers’ water and sewerage services.

People close to the work sites may notice some noise from construction equipment and truck beepers during work hours.

While there will be visible construction activities near the shaft sites, local streets and the walking tracks in the Merri Parklands will remain open.

The ‘Whittlesea Gardens’ shaft site is only be used as a ‘retrieval shaft’, where the TBM will be lifted out after it has tunnelled there from the ‘Freeway’ shaft. The TBM will be dismantled and transported away with trucks.

Yarra Valley Water and John Holland Pty Ltd is making every effort to minimise the impact of these works on people in the community, and on the natural landscape.

Contact us

If you have any questions about this project, please contact the project manager, Ashley Hamer, on 9872 2661 or by email [email protected]