Projects 2, 3 & 4 - Proposed Odour Control Units (OCUs)


See our fact sheets on:

Public Consultation

The Development Applications (DA’s) for Projects 2, 3 and 4 have been lodged with the ACT Government’s Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) for assessment. The consultation period is expected to commence mid to late June 2019.

Community drop-in 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 Locations

The maps below show the proposed locations for Projects 2, 3 and 4. The footprint of the OCUs is 20 metres long by 7 metres wide and 4.5 metres high. The ventilation stacks for these projects is 14 metres high.

Project 2 site: Corner of Florey Drive and Southern Cross Drive, Latham

Project 3 site: corner of Krefft Street and Kingsford Smith Drive, Florey

Project 3 site: Ginninderra Drive, Evatt

Building Finishes

Icon Water is seeking feedback relating to how the OCU buildings will be finished. Please send us an email, or talk to us on 6248 3111 (option 9) if you have any feedback. 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.


Vegetation Restoration

Icon Water will work with Ginninderra Catchment Group to help re-establish grass cover with native grassland vegetation surrounding the structures. Please let us know if you have questions or thoughts on revegetation or restoration of the area.


Icon Water is proposing to commence the construction stage for these projects in late 2019. Construction will take place on weekdays between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm and and if required, 7:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday. Construction is expected to take approximately 3 months per site. While some heavy machinery will be required, due to the distance from homes it is not expected to impact on residents. During construction the area will be fenced to ensure public safety. Upon completion of works, the fences will be removed. Following construction the area will be restored and revegetated.  



  • What are the projects?

    These three projects are proposed for:

    • Latham (Project 2)
    • Florey (Project 3)
    • Evatt (Project 4).

    These projects each involve the installation of a new structure called an Odour Control Unit (OCU), and the connection of these new OCUs to the existing sewer network.

  • What is an OCU? Why are they needed?

    Odour Control Units - OCUs are a vital part of the sewer network as they protect the sewer pipes from corrosion and reduce odour issues 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 odours from sewerage systems. 
  • Why do you need to build these OCUs when you already have vents nearby?

    Vent stacks located near these proposed project locations are either passive vent stacks or those with forced ventilation. Both of these release gas from the sewer but do not filter the air first. The proposed OCUs will filter the air first, resulting little to no odour. The OCUs will extend the life of the sewer reducing maintenance and associated costs. In most instances, passive ventilation located nearby to these projects will be removed.
  • What does an OCU look like?

    From the outside, OCUs can look very different: some resemble a small shipping container or they can be buried or partially buried in the surrounding landscape. You probably drive past an OCU every day without noticing. Inside the unit there is ductwork to extract gas from the sewer. The gas is fed through an activated carbon filter. Odour particles stick to the filter, and a ventilation stack releases the filtered air back out again.

    The proposed design of the OCUs for the Belconnen trunk sewer projects is a box shaped structure measuring 20 metres by 7 metres wide and 4.5 metres high with a ventilation stack located next to the main structure and a driveway for access. The stack on the OCU at North Latham (project 1) may be up to 24 metres in height. The vent stacks for projects 2, 3 and 4 (the OCUs at Latham, Florey and Evatt) are likely to be up to 14 metres in height.   

    The stack height takes into account the topography around the OCU, distance from nearby residences and wind patterns. Whilst odour from the OCUs is unlikely, having a tall vent, allows for any residual odour to be dispersed at a height that will further reduce the likelihood of odour impact to the community.  

    The outside finish of the structures will be influenced by community feedback but could be finished in a neutral colour to help blend in to the surrounding environment. Other finishes may include indigenous artwork or mural artwork. Please send us an email, or talk to us on 6248 3111 (option 9) if you have any feedback on a preferred finish.

  • Are there other OCUs in the ACT? Do they smell?

    There are already 9 OCU’s and nearly 60 sewer ventilation structures in place across the ACT. They are designed to control odours through carbon filters, so they are very unlikely to smell.