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Beechworth sewer improvement

Beechworth sewer improvement

We're working towards changing parts of Beechworth's sewer system to help resolve the town's sewer capacity issues during heavy rain events.

Project catch-up

Sewage transfer main project

Planning for this project began in 2016 and involved an extensive community engagement process. The project is necessary to address sewer overflows from an outlet structure on Church Street to the Historic Park. The existing pipe system that transfers sewage to the treatment plant is not able to cope with the infiltration of storm water during heavy rain events. By installing a larger transfer pipe, it will allow more inflow and protect against sewer spills.

The project involves construction of a new pipe from the bottom of Church Street, along Last Street, Sydney Road and Old Chiltern Road, then under the Historic Park to the sewage treatment plant on McFeeters Road near Woolshed Falls. A new pump station is also being constructed at the bottom of Church Street.

Sewage treatment plant upgrade plan

We have recently completed further planning work on options to upgrade Beechworth’s sewage treatment plant. The upgrade is expected within the next 10 years and will be necessary to take extra flow from the new transfer main, as well as accommodate future population growth.

We have identified several upgrade options and will soon be holding two feedback sessions to discover the community's preferences. Further detail on these sessions will be available soon.

What to expect during construction

Like any major project, there will some impacts on the community associated with the construction work. This includes:

  • Changed traffic conditions – access along some roads (including Church St, Last St, Sydney Rd, and Old Chiltern Rd) may be affected through partial closures and speed restrictions. Access for businesses and residences will be facilitated by the contractor.
  • Heavy vehicles – you may see heavy vehicles and construction related vehicles along the construction route and on local roads.
  • Vegetation – some vegetation along the route will be trimmed or removed (see more detail here).
  • Materials – at times there will be materials and equipment stored in areas along the construction route.
  • Noise – you may notice noise from construction activities during certain periods.

Long bore under historic park

A specialised contractor has been engaged to bore entirely underneath the Beechworth Historic Park using Horizontal Directional Drilling technology.

The ‘long bore’ has commenced at the base of the hill at the existing sewage treatment plant and emerge at Old Chiltern Road. It will allow for a continuous segment of pipe underground, with ground works only occurring at either end.

This is a change in alignment and construction method based on original plans. It is a major win for the environment and is significantly safer for construction crews within this section of the project.

Boring and open trench construction methods

Whilst installation of pipelines is ideally done using open-trenching methods, a mix of boring and open-trenching will be utilised to install the pipeline along its route.

The use of boring in the project has been selected in certain areas; guided by one of four reasons:

  • Presence of hard rock – due to the nature of the shallow granite in Beechworth, it will be difficult to open-trench if sections of the route is unrippable or consists of large granite outcrops.
  • Native Vegetation – the project has incorporated the use of boring in selected priority areas to avoid and minimise impacts on tree protection zones, high quality native vegetation and any threatened flora populations if detected.
  • Heritage – certain areas and trees were identified during the heritage assessment as requiring protection during construction. Boring will be used as the construction method in some of these areas where practical.
  • Roadways – the majority of roadways will be bored to reduce access disruption.
View the expected areas where boring and open trenching will be used along the route via the button below.

Vegetation protection & removal

The project has been carefully designed to avoid as many trees and shrubs where possible. However, some vegetation will need to be removed during construction. We may also need to trim tree branches if they are located in close proximity to work areas.

We have worked closely with Biosis (our environmental consultants), Parks Victoria, DELWP and Indigo Shire to minimise the amount of vegetation removal.

No large trees will be directly felled, but some will be counted as a loss because of construction activities occurring within their root zone.

All other trees to be removed have been identified and assessed by an independent ecologist. Our construction environmental management plan shows how we will ensure vegetation identified for removal and retention is managed appropriately.

A pre-clearance survey is also planned before the start of construction to ensure no threatened flora is present within the construction footprint. After the works have been completed, disturbed areas will be restored in accordance with an Environmental Management Plan approved by Parks Victoria, DELWP and Indigo Shire.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click the button below to read the FAQ's about the Beechworth Sewer Improvement project.


More information

You can contact North East Water Project Manager Nicole O’Keefe on 1300 361 622 or via email on

Project documents

Click here