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Sewer types

While Yarra Valley Water is responsible for the maintenance and improvement of the sewer network, home owners also need to know about sewer systems that could be installed in their area.

  • Gravity sewer systems

    Gravity sewer systems are considered the traditional method for sewage disposal.

    They are a good way of collecting and disposing of sewage from properties in areas where the landscape has a gradual slope, a low water table and flooding is rare. 

    Gravity sewer systems rely on gradually sloping pipelines to allow the sewage to flow naturally downhill, away from your property and into the collection network. This network ultimately transports flows to a local or regional treatment plant.

    If the area surrounding your property is very hilly, does not slope in the direction required for sewage to flow naturally downhill, or is prone to flooding, a pressure sewer system may be a better solution.

  • Pressure sewer systems

    Pressure sewer systems are an economical and environmentally friendly way of collecting, transporting and disposing of wastewater from households.

    They are often used in areas when the landscape is either very hilly or very flat, in areas that regularly flood or have high water tables, or where it is impractical to install other types of sewerage systems.

    A pressure sewer system is made up of a network of fully sealed pipes which are fed by pumping units located at each connected property. The pumping unit processes the household wastewater and transfers it to the pressure sewer located in the street via a small pipeline within the property.

    The pressure sewer forms part of the overall pipe network which ultimately transfers the wastewater to the nearest sewerage treatment facility – this could be within the surrounding area or many kilometres away. Once installed, the only visible parts of the pressure sewer system are the lid of the storage tank, boundary valve kit and the control panel.

    Further information

    For more information on pressure sewer systems and how they work, please refer to the following documents.

    If you have installed a pressure sewer system, the owner's guide includes:

    • What you need to know
    • Conditions of connection
    • How they work and how to care for the unit
    • What to do when landscaping or renovating
    • What to do before you go on holidays
    • Repair and maintenance information

    Your Pressure Sewer System - an Owners Guide (4MB)

  • STEP sewer systems

    Septic Tank Effluent Pumping (STEP) systems are used in areas where some preliminary sewerage treatment is conducted at the property.

    This reduces the requirements and costs for downstream treatment, and saves costs on infrastructure in remote areas where it may not be feasible to install large scale metropolitan sewerage infrastructure.

    STEP systems are installed on each property, and comprise of an underground tank with a pump connection into a small sewerage network. STEP systems work by separating household wastewater solids inside the tank, with the solids periodically collected similar to how excess sludge is pumped from septic tanks. Wastewater liquid from each household is pumped into the sewerage network to flow to the nearest sewerage treatment plant for treatment.

    Information for residents in Kinglake West

    If you already have a STEP system, the Home Owners Manual includes:

    • What do you need to know about the STEP sewerage system in Kinglake West
    • Conditions of connection
    • How do they work and how to care for the unit
    • Landscaping and renovating information
    • What procedures need to be put in place before going on holidays
    • Information about repairs and warranties

    STEP System Home Owners Manual (1.2MB)