Project 1: Belconnen Trunk Sewer Augmentation

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Public Consultation 

The EIS and DA for Project 1 have now been lodged with the ACT Government’s Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) for assessment. As part of this the project is now open to public consultation until 22 July 2019.

Representations should be made directly to EPSDD and should be addressed to the Chief Planning Executive and can be submitted by:

Email to:
Mail to: EPSDD Customer Service, GPO Box 158, Canberra ACT 2601
Hand delivered to the EPSDD’s Customer Service Centre at 16 Challis Street, Dickson.

Community drop-in and information sessions

The Icon Water project team will be hosting information sessions to provide information and answer questions relating to the projects and the EPSDD public notification period. You can drop in anytime during the times detailed below.

Event venue: 
Melba Copland College, Verbrugghen St, Melba

Event times/dates: 
Saturday 29 June, 9:00 am - 11:00 am 
Wednesday 3 July, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Project location

The map below shows the route of the proposed 2.4km pipeline between Copland Drive, Melba and Tillyard Drive, Flynn.

Odour control unit

The proposed location of the odour control unit (OCU) for project 1 is in north Latham on Ginninderra Drive, opposite Tillyard Drive (as seen on the map below). An artist’s impression of what the OCU will look like is also provided.

Building Finishes

Icon Water is seeking feedback relating to how the OCU buildings will be finished. Icon Water uses a range of different techniques to paint or finish our infrastructure ranging from graphic art through to simple painting. Icon Water would like to gather community feedback relating to preferences for the finishes on these structures. Below are some example finishes from other projects or that may be applied. Please send us an email, or talk to us on 6248 3111 (option 9) if you have any feedback about the building finishes.


Pipe bridge 

As part of the construction, a pipe bridge will need to be built. Pipe bridges are used when pipes cross waterways, in this instance the pipe will need to cross Ginninderra Creek. Below is an artist’s impression of how the pipe bridge might look. A schematic of the pipe bridge is also found below.


  • How are the Belconnen Trunk Sewer projects related to the wetlands project on the corner of Ginninderra and Copland Drive?

    The wetlands project is being managed by the ACT Government. It is part of the ACT Healthy Waterways initiative to improve the quality of water flowing into our lakes and waterways and downstream into the Murrumbidgee River system and the wider Murray-Darling Basin. 
    The Belconnen trunk sewer upgrade is a separate project managed by Icon Water. The trunk sewer upgrade will increase the capacity of our sewerage network to transport more waste to our sewage treatment plant. The increased capacity will also reduce the risk of any sewage overflow into Ginninderra  Creek during extreme wet weather events.  
    It is proposed that the additional trunk sewer will connect into the existing sewer network near the wetland, on a neighbouring site. We are in discussions with the ACT Government to ensure that the two separate projects do not impact on each other. We anticipate that the wetlands project will be finalised before works on the Belconnen trunk sewer upgrade begin.
    Whilst these are separate projects, each has a focus on protecting and improving the water quality in the local waterways. 

  • What is it?

    Project 1 is the largest of the upgrade projects and it includes construction of:

    • approximately 2.4 kilometres of predominately underground sewer pipe;
    • a pipeline bridge that will support the new sewer across over Ginninderra Creek; and
    • an OCU at Latham North.
  • What will happen to the playground at the end of Delany Court, Melba during construction?

    Icon Water are working with the ACT Government to look at ways in which the playground can be temporarily or permanently relocated so that it is available during the construction period.  Further information will be made available upon completion of these discussions. We are also seeking feedback from the community about how we may minimise impacts on local families. Please send us an email, or talk to us on 6248 3111 (option 9) if you have any feedback about the playground.
  • Why is this project needed?

    As Canberra grows, the demand on our water and sewer infrastructure increases too. When the Belconnen trunk sewer was completed in 1968 the population of Canberra was approximately 60,000 and whilst future population growth was planned for, it is not efficient to build for what you may not need. So demand is constantly reassessed as the needs of the community change. Today the population of Canberra is over 400,000 and additional capacity is now needed. Increasing the capacity of the sewer also ensures that any risk of overflow into Ginninderra Creek is significantly reduced providing additional protection to the environment and this important waterway.
  • Will the bike path that runs close to Project 1 be usable during construction?

    We appreciate that the area where these projects are planned is used and enjoyed by the local community. We will be making effort to ensure impacts are minimised. During construction sections of the bike path will need to be closed temporarily, however alternate cycle and walking routes will be provided. At this stage we are yet to confirm details of the alternate routes, however we have been consulting with recreational users and various community groups to establish suitable alternate routes.
  • How long will construction take?

    Construction is estimated to commence in mid-2020 (subject to planning approval) and would take up to 2 years before being operational.  Construction works will be undertaken in stages along the corridor.

  • How will this project be constructed?

    Depending on each location along the alignment, a different construction method may be used. These methods will include:

    • Open cut trenching: this will be used for most of the pipeline, where the works occur within open space
    • Trenchless/micro tunnelling: this will be used where the pipeline passes under existing roads, major services, other structures or environmentally significant vegetation.

    The works for the new sewer main and OCU at Latham North are proposed to be constructed in stages so it is not anticipated that any location would be impacted for a long period of time.

    Icon Water will work with the local community to minimise temporary disruptions caused by construction of this project. As specific works are planned notification will be provided to neighbouring residences, at least seven days prior to works commencing. Any works that are expected to generate significant noise will be undertaken in accordance with ACT Government guidelines relating to noise level and times.

    The potential impacts and required management measures were determined as part of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process. The EIS and DA for Project 1 have now been lodged with the ACT Government’s Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) for assessment. The EIS process is being undertaken in accordance with ACT planning approval requirements under the Planning and Development Act 2007.


  • How does the new length of sewerage pipe connect into the existing sewer network?

    The new length of sewer pipe will connect into existing sewerage infrastructure (i.e. Latham Trunk Sewer) at Tillyard drive which flows south to the existing Belconnen Trunk Sewer and on to the treatment plant at Lower Molonglo.
  • How will you restore the area?

    Icon Water will return the area to as close as possible to its original condition. The majority of the construction would be located below ground and constructed within open grassed areas. Restoration will occur progressively. As one part of the pipeline is completed, restoration will commence. This will continue along the whole pipeline corridor. 

    Where elements of the project are above ground, including the OCU facility and the proposed pipe bridge, these areas will be restored or landscaped. Icon Water will work with the ACT Government, who own the land, and other stakeholder groups to ensure the restoration of these areas.

  • How did you decide upon the location for this project?

    As part of the initial stages of this project, Icon Water developed several options and undertook a series of feasibility studies to investigate the best location for this project to meet the project needs and objectives. Four key options were considered and assessed against factors including impact on neighbourhoods, community value, safety, environment, financial implications, and potential design effectiveness. 

    Following consideration of the options, Icon Water identified the proposed project as the preferred option.

  • What is a pipeline bridge?

    A pipeline bridge is a structure that supports a pipeline across a low area such as a gully or creek. In the case of a trunk sewer pipeline, the bridge is necessary to maintain the correct level of the sewer and to ensure appropriate flow is maintained. The pipeline bridge will support the pipeline  above any areas where flooding may occur. The proposed location of Project 1 will mean that a pipeline bridge will be needed to cross Ginninderra Creek. 
  • How deep will the sewer pipe be?

    The sewer will be laid at a depth of 1.5m to 6m. The depth will vary along the alignment in order to ensure appropriate fall of the gravity fed pipe, and due to the overland topography.