Upsizing Wonthaggi’s Sewer Pipes

Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

Sometimes size does matter, particularly when looking at our sewer systems.  Commencing in the coming month, South Gippsland Water will upsize 1,322 meters of old sewer pipe and replace old and dangerous sewer manholes in three separate areas of Wonthaggi.

Recent planning and modelling work by South Gippsland Water has identified and prioritised pipes that need to be upsized to cater for Wonthaggi’s development and population growth. In recent years, Wonthaggi has been one of South Gippsland Water’s fastest growing towns, at 4% each year. Without these upgrades to capacity, Wonthaggi’s sewer system will risk sewer spills during wet weather and storm events as well as experiencing compliance issues with respect to Environment Protection Authority (EPA) standards.

Over the next 10 months, South Gippsland Water will replace sewer pipes in 3 locations:

  • McKenzie Street (easement adjacent to the Wonthaggi Secondary College grounds) – 154 meters.
  • Graham Street in the vicinity of and within the grounds of the Wonthaggi Park Lane Holiday Park – 759 meters.
  • Murray Street (Between Bilson Street and Moyle Lane) – 409 meters.

The replacement program will utilise a trenchless technology called ‘pipe bursting’. Pipe bursting means that the old sewer pipes can be left in place. A larger diameter pipe bursting head is forced through the existing pipe (using a pneumatic hammer action), splitting it apart, whilst pulling the new section of pipe in place behind it.

This method of construction has some significant advantages;

  • Deep trenches are not required the entire length of the sewer, instead smaller excavations are made at each manhole. This means that roads and driveway access can be maintained for most properties.
  • The new pipe is located in the same place as old pipe, this is particularly useful in congested areas below ground with water, communications, and energy services to consider.
  • Limited service disruptions will occur, with by-pass pumping of sewer flows, for the duration of works in each area.

South Gippsland Water’s Managing Director, Phillipe du Plessis said that, “The Corporation is committed to reliable services and planning for a future of healthy and thriving local communities. These works, valued at over $1 million, are an initial investment into the reliability of Wonthaggi’s sewer system”.

Mr du Plessis continued, “Over the next three years some $9 million dollars of investment is planned for Wonthaggi’s sewerage system and treatment facilities to ensure they meet standards for reliability, provide for economic growth and protecting the environment”.

South Gippsland Water has recently contracted Harris Civil Pty Ltd to conduct these works. This contractor specialises in this type of pipe bursting works. South Gippsland Water will oversee the project and any customers or community who would like to know more or have concerns regarding the works, are encouraged to contact the Project Representative Chris Edwards on 1300 851 636

Further Information:

Frequently Asked Questions – Wonthaggi Sewer Augmentation