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Northern Sewerage Project – Liner Selection in a Corrosive Environment


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Author G W Davidson, M E Trim, D G Franklin, J V Myers and P J Hansen


The Northern Sewerage Project (NSP) is an upgrade to one of Melbourne’s
ageing, under-capacity trunk sewers. It will reduce the volume and frequency of
wet-weather overflows to the Merri and Moonee Ponds Creeks and facilitate new
housing developments in the northern suburbs of the city. A total of 12.4 km of
tunnel and eight vertical access shafts will be excavated as part of the two
project stages: Stage 1 (NSP1) will be owned and operated by Melbourne Water
(MW) and Stage 2 (NSP2) will be owned and operated by Yarra Valley Water

The owners require the project to have a service life of 100 years, a
requirement significantly beyond many of the current Australian Standards, which
aim to achieve service lives greater than 60 years but are typically assumed to
achieve 40 to 60 years. Because of the potentially corrosive natures of the
external environment along the tunnels and the internal sewer environment,
durability was a key concern for NSP1 and NSP2. Stringent specifications were
applicable to the tunnel lining systems. This paper describes the corrosive
environments impacting NSP1 and NSP2, explains the key design differences
between the two stages and details the lining systems considered and selected to
achieve the clients’ desired 100-year service life. The project design is
complete and construction began in 2007.