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The sky is not the limit. The sewer is!

07 Apr 2016

The sky is not the limit. The sewer is! Image

Southbank’s sewerage system can’t cope with projected growth and will have to be upgraded, according to the responsible water authority.

South East Water says it will be working with the City of Melbourne and other relevant planning authorities to future-proof the ageing infrastructure.

According to the City of Melbourne’s development monitor, Southbank is currently home to 8238 apartments and a further 16,180 are under construction, applied for, approved or mooted.

South East Water’s media and issues advisor Matt Mollett said that, while the existing system had the capacity to allow for more growth, works would be required to cater for the huge influx of development.

“South East Water has rigorous monitoring and planning processes in place for the Southbank area, which oversee existing flows and capacity and predict future network requirements based on anticipated development,” he said.

“While the area’s existing sewer infrastructure still has room to allow for growth, its original design was for commercial and industrial use and, therefore, significant upgrades are planned for its two sewer mains.”

“As with all major infrastructure projects, we’ll be working closely with local authorities and developers to deliver these improvements in a timeframe that supports new developments.”

All of us can see the effects of population pressure on Southbank traffic and pedestrian use, with the latest ABS figures revealing that more than 18,000 people now call our suburb home.

And, with a finite amount of public space, there is a physical limit to growth.

So too, is there a physical limit on the subterranean services such as storm water, sewerage, potable water and, to a lesser degree, gas, electricity and telecommunications.

A large proportion of Southbank's water and sewerage system dates back to the 19th century. It stands to reason that, as one of the oldest parts of Melbourne, Southbank has more than its fair share of ageing infrastructure.

While the water authority didn’t provide a timeframe for which upgrade works would get underway, it is clear that the need to address growing development in Southbank is high on its radar.

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