Belconnen Trunk Sewer Upgrade Projects

Following a pause on construction due to COVID-19, work will now recommence from 8 November 2021. Our work hours will be 7am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays.  

Our construction teams and contractors will continue to comply with all ACT Government COVID-19 health advice and work conditions. 

We thank you for your patience and appreciate your support while we manage our works in line with health advice. The Canberra community and our workers remain our top health and safety priority.


Quick links

Project Overview 

Icon Water is currently performing upgrades to the Belconnen trunk sewer. The Belconnen trunk sewer was built in the 1960s and is a critical part of the Belconnen sewerage network which serves Belconnen, Gungahlin and Hall. Icon Water is planning for the future of Belconnen and these projects are important to ensure we can continue to provide services for generations to come.

The project consists of:

  • installing approximately 2.4km of sewer pipe (with a combination of trenching and underboring)
  • installing 18 sewer manholes and four odour control units
  • installing a 170m long pipe bridge to cross Ginninderra Creek
  • installing four Odour Control Units
  • restoring all impacted areas including the replanting of 
The new of sewer pipe is being installed within public lands parallel to Ginninderra Drive between the intersections of Ginninderra Drive and Copland Drive Melba, and Ginninderra Drive and Tillyard Drive, Charnwood. Please refer to the map below for the pipeline location overview.

In addition to improving capacity, the network also requires some extra ventilation and odour control units (OCU) to protect new and existing sewerage infrastructure and minimise impacts to the surrounding community. See our factsheet on the project need

Progress to date

Prior to the COVID-19 pause, the construction teams have been busy completing the necessary early works including tree clearing, site fencing and environmental controls to protect our waterways. This ensured a smooth transition to start on the main construction works including laying new sewer pipe and sewer manholes.

To date, the project has complete the following: 

  • establishing temporary work compounds and access tracks
  • laying over 600 meters of new sewer pipe between Kingsford smith Drive and Companion Crescent
  • relocation of existing stormwater pipes which are over 1.8m in diameter
  • the large entry and receival pits (6 metres deep!) for the underbore machine were excavated
  • site preparations on the four Odour Control Unit sites
  • the sewer crossing of Companion Crescent, Flynn.
Why do we need to upgrade the sewer?
Like most of Australia’s capital cities, Canberra’s population is growing and this increases demand on our water and sewer infrastructure. Major development has recently occurred in the Gungahlin region, and planned development at the University of Canberra, the new suburb of Lawson, CSIRO's Ginninderra Field Station and an increase in infill development generally, mean that the sewer is nearing capacity and needs to be upgraded to ensure it can continue to meet demand. 

During extreme wet weather events, rainwater and an already steady flow in the sewer can result in sewage escaping from the sewer pipes into Ginninderra Creek. Icon Water appreciates how valued the environment and waterways are and these projects will ensure that any risk of overflow into local waterways is significantly reduced.

In addition to the new sewer pipe being installed, the projects will also include four OCUs which will be constructed within public lands in Latham, Florey, Evatt and North Latham.

Odour Control Units (OCUs)

Odour Control Units - OCUs are a vital part of the sewer network as they protect the sewer pipes from corrosion and reduce odour through filtration and ventilation. Ventilation using an OCU extends the life of a sewer by reducing the amount of maintenance that the pipeline needs allowing more efficient management of the existing network.

The filters used in the OCU and ventilation stacks absorb gases such as hydrogen sulphide, which is a common source of odour from sewerage systems.

We are seeking feedback regarding how the exterior of the OCU buildings will be finished. Please contact us using the details below. We use a range of different techniques to paint or finish our infrastructure ranging from graphic art through to simple painting. We have received some great feedback to date including mural art and local indigenous themes. We look forward to hearing more of your ideas!

See our factsheet on OCUs.

See the latest community update on OCUs. 

To submit your ideas or feedback relating to how the OCU buildings will be finished please contact us using one of the methods below:

Who is paying for the Belconnen trunk sewer upgrade projects?

Icon Water’s charges are regulated by the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission (ICRC), which sets the prices for water and sewerage in the ACT. Every five years we prepare a submission detailing what the cost of operations will be for the next five years. The ICRC then sets the prices that Icon Water will charge to cover those costs. We have an obligation to deliver value to the community, and to ensure that our operations are prudent and efficient. In the last regulatory submission, we included the price of the Belconnen trunk sewer upgrade projects in our calculations, and the cost of this project has already been accounted for in the current water and sewerage pricing. 

The Belconnen trunk sewer upgrades comprises of four projects. They include:



Status of Project

Construction Start

Project 1

Belconnen trunk sewer



Latham North Odour Control Unit (OCU)

- EIS (201800022) complete

- Development Approvals granted (refer Notice of Decisions 201935509 and 202037223)

March 2021




Early 2022


Project 2

Latham OCU

- Development Approval granted (refer Notice of Decision 201935629)

Early 2022


Project 3

Florey OCU

- Development Approval granted (refer Notice of Decision 201935628)

Early 2022


Project 4

Evatt OCU

- Development Approval granted (refer Notice of Decision 201935627)

Early 2022



Proposed locations for each project