Belconnen Trunk Sewer Upgrade Projects

Work on the Belconnen trunk sewer project commenced in April 2021 and is progressing well. Construction teams continue to lay the new sewer within public lands parallel to Ginninderra Drive between Copland Drive Melba and Tillyard Drive, Charnwood. The project has also commenced construction works at the four (4) Odour Control Units (OCU) sites.

Please see below for key project information and FAQs.  


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. Work is expected to be completed by mid 2023, weather permitting. 





Belconnen trunk sewer installation May 2022


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 (OCUs)
  • restoring all impacted areas including the replanting of predominantly native species

The new sewer pipe is being installed within public lands parallel to Ginninderra Drive between Copland Drive Melba and Tillyard Drive, Charnwood. Please refer to the map below for the pipeline location overview.
In addition to improving capacity, the network also requires extra ventilation and OCUs to protect new and existing sewerage infrastructure and minimise impacts to the surrounding community. See our factsheet on the project need.

Progress to date

As of May 2022, the following works have been completed:

  • Laying approximately 1600 meters of new sewer pipe along the full alignment 
  • Installing 14 of the 18 required manholes across the sewer main  
  • Completion of the Kingsford Smith Dr micro tunnelling activities and connections  
  • Commenced the 220 metre long micro tunnelling section east of Kingsford Smith Dr under protected habitat areas. 
  • Commencement of the 170m long pipe bridge to cross Ginninderra Creek including concrete piers, abutments and pre-welding of the pipework 
  • Relocating existing stormwater pipes and approximately 350m of NBN services. 
  • Commencement of reinstatement and revegetation works and reinstatement of several bike and pedestrian paths. 
  • Commencement of clearing and civil works at three of the four OCU sites
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:

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



Status of Project

Construction Start

 Est. Completion Date

Project 1

Belconnen trunk sewer (Project 1)



Latham North Odour Control Unit (OCU)

- EIS (201800022) complete

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

March 2021



 Mid 2022


 Late 2022

Early 2023

Project 2

Latham OCU (Project 2)

- Development Approval granted (refer Notice of Decision 201935629)

Mid 2022


 Early 2023

Project 3

Florey OCU (Project 3)

- Development Approval granted (refer Notice of Decision 201935628)

Mid 2022

  Early 2023

Project 4

Evatt OCU (Project 4)

- Development Approval granted (refer Notice of Decision 201935627)

Mid 2022


  Early 2023