Lockerbie Main Sewer Project
We are building 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.
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 will collect and transfer sewage flows from a majority of the proposed new developments and communities in the Donnybrook, Beveridge and Lockerbie area. The nine-kilometre-long pipeline will incorporate up to 14 branch sewer connection points to service future developments. Once finished and the sewer comes ‘online’ it will also collect and transfer wastewater from the existing Wallan Sewage Treatment Plant.
The sewer pipeline will be built between Beveridge and Donnybrook. The pipeline will extend Melbourne’s existing metropolitan sewerage system by nine kilometres from just north of Donnybrook Road, Donnybrook, to around one kilometre north of Minton Street, Beveridge.
The pipeline will be constructed along the western side of the Melbourne-Sydney railway line north of Minton Street, then crosses the railway line and hugs the eastern side of the rail line to its southern end in Donnybrook.
The project’s timeline for the design and construction is outlined below:
- Design was completed in late 2019
- Construction activities started in March 2020
- Construction is expected to be completed in late 2021
- The completed Lockerbie Main Sewer will begin operating in late 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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. As the project progresses, Yarra Valley Water will be required to seek approvals from DELWP, Melbourne Water and local councils, as needed.
As outlined in our 2020 Strategy, Yarra Valley Water is committed to work in harmony with the environment, so minimising impacts to the Merri Creek and the surrounding environment are key considerations when designing and constructing the sewer pipeline.
We value our natural environment and waterways and will work to minimise the effects of site investigations as well as the construction, operation and maintenance of the Lockerbie Main Sewer Project on areas that are environmentally sensitive. We will seek 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) will be developed for the land through which the sewer pipeline will pass underground. The CHMP must be approved by the Registered Aboriginal Party for the area, which in this case is the Wurundjeri Tribe Land and Conservation Cultural Heritage Council.
These construction activities will 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 notice construction noise, dust, and vehicles using Beveridge Road and Minton Street (mainly during the day, but also at night).