$50 million sewage treatment plant upgrades in the pipeline for Yarra Valley Water

Yarra Valley Water’s Upper Yarra Sewage Treatment Plant. Picture: SUPPLIED

Yarra Valley Water has signed a five-year contract with Waternish Engineering and Service Stream to upgrade sewage and recycled water treatment plants across its entire service area. The program will ensure extra capacity for the sewerage network to meet the needs of the Melbourne’s growing population.

The initial term is for five years, with the possibility of extension for up to ten years.

Under the $10 million annual Treatment Plant Improvement Program, Waternish and Service Stream will deliver small to medium projects to upgrade the existing infrastructure.

Yarra Valley Water’s Growth Futures General Manager, Bridie Fennessy, said the program is set to benefit Melbourne for decades to come.

“We’re looking forward to working with Waternish, and our joint partner Service Stream, to renew and upgrade our treatment plants to meet the needs of our growing community in the region,” Ms Fennessy said. “Waternish brings a wealth of experience from working in the South Australian water market and is growing its capacity in Victoria,”

“Service Stream and Waternish will support us in providing design and construction services at our sewage and recycled water treatment plants as we move into a new period of delivery.”

As Melbourne’s largest water corporation, Yarra Valley Water is responsible for providing essential water and sanitation services to more than 2 million people and over 61,000 businesses. The water utility operates nine sewage treatment plants and three recycled water treatment plants in total.

“Through deeper relationships and a focus on sharing innovations and learnings, these partnerships provide a strong foundation to ensure the reliable operation of our critical infrastructure and efficient delivery of services to our customers,” Ms Fennessy said.

The Treatment Plant Improvement Program started in 2023, with a $1.2 million upgrade to the Kinglake West Sewage Treatment Plant.

Waternish Managing Director Simon White said it marks the first permanent presence for Waternish outside South Australia.

“This program really allows us to create a relationship with Yarra Valley Water. It is a refreshing partnership for us, and it forms the cornerstone of our Victorian expansion, and the beginning of us being able to duplicate what we have already achieved in South Australia,” White said.

The company is investing in new plant and equipment for the program and is working towards maximising procurement opportunities with local social enterprises.

Service Stream, Managing Director, Leigh Mackender, also welcomed the partnership.

“We’re proud to continue our partnership with Yarra Valley Water and we’re excited to contribute to the success of the Treatment Plant Improvement Program. By working together, we’re building a stronger, more efficient, and environmentally friendly water infrastructure for the communities we serve,” Mr Mackender said.