March 2018 Update

M41 water main renewal project

Work to replace the M41 water main from Holden Street, North Fitzroy to Wellington Parade, East Melbourne will start with investigative works from next week.

Contractor appointed

Melbourne Water officially appointed CPB Black and Veatch Joint Venture last week to construct the new M41 water main. 

Proposed alignment changes

CPB Black and Veatch’s tender submission included a proposal to alter the alignment originally planned by Melbourne Water during the earlier functional design phase. Melbourne Water accepted this proposal. CPB Black and Veatch Joint Venture is now progressing planning for the new alignment, including locating existing services to ensure its viability. The map in the attached community bulletin shows this proposed change to continue the alignment from the tunnel retrieval shaft on the corner of Cecil and Napier Streets (near the Fitzroy Pool) along Napier Street, turning left at Kerr Street and then right into George Street to continue to Victoria Parade.

We acknowledge this change is unexpected for residents of Kerr Street and Napier Street, between Cecil and Kerr Streets and apologise for the disruption this will cause.

Why change?

The new alignment avoids Cecil Street, which is very narrow, bluestone structures and vegetation in George Street. While we will need to trim trees in Napier Street, trees will not need to be removed. Tree trimming will be done with a qualified arborist on site during the trimming to ensure the health of the tree is protected. The new alignment also avoids power lines in George Street, improving safety for our workforce.

Start of work

This week our community engagement team delivered the attached investigative works bulletin to residents along the M41 water main renewal alignment. Work will start on 5 March to carry out geotechnical drilling at a number of locations along the route, as well as service location works.

Construction for the water main replacement is expected to start in May 2018.

Community information sessions

Date: Tuesday 6 March 2018, Time: 4pm to 6pm, Location: Smith Reserve, Alexandra Parade, Fitzroy

 Date: Thursday 8 March 2018, Time: 3pm to 6pm, Location: Bargoonga Nganjin, North Fitzroy Library

Date: Thursday 15 March 2018, Time: 4pm to 6pm, Location: Condell Street Reserve, (between Napier and George Streets) Condell Street, Fitzroy

Date: Saturday 17 March 2018, Time: 10am to 12pm, Location: Edinburgh Gardens Rotunda, North Fitzroy

Phone : 1800 316 713, email, web :

M41 Pipeline - November 2017Update

M41 water main renewal project

Early works

Works have started to replace a valve on the corner of Eades Street and Victoria Parade in East Melbourne. Replacing the valve will allow the M41 water main to be isolated in both the northern or southern sections and protect a City West Water main which supplies to hospitals along Victoria Parade. Works are expected to be finished by the end of November. 

Tender Phase

The M41 project is currently in the tender phase. Once a contractor is appointed at the end of this year, they will spend early 2018 refining the design of the M41 water main renewal, in consultation with stakeholders, and develop a detailed schedule for the project. Once the design, methodology and schedule detail is available Melbourne Water will provide more information, this includes speaking again with directly affected residents to let folks know what to expect and when. Construction of the new M41 water main is expected to begin in early to mid-2018. 


Community comments and feedback received have been provided to address issues that have been identified as important. These include:

  • resident parking,
  • construction impacts, particularly vibration, and
  • tree protection.

The project team at Melbourne Water welcomes additional feedback or comments via email or telephone 1800 316 713 (option 1).

Announced - M41 Pipeline - Community Information Sessions

10th August - 4pm to 8pm - Fitzroy Town Hall
12th August - 11am to 3pm - Bargoonga Nganjin (New North Fitzroy Library)

Official Melbourne Water's Commmunity Page with more details
Click Here

High Level Project Schedule

Late 2016 - Project Announced

Late 2016 to Mid 2017 - Functional Design

August 2017 - Community Information Sessions

Late 2017 - Construction Begins

Late 2019 - Project Completion

Q&A with Melbourne Water on the M41 pipeline

On June 8 Liz and Peter from Melbourne Water had a chat in Edinburgh Gardens with a few of the folks from PFN, as part of community engagement on the new M41 Water Main Project.

Why was PFN meeting with Melbourne Water ?

The amazing response from our community to the M41 path Melbourne Water, through their feedback on the Melbourne Water M41 pipeline community consultation webpage. The Melbourne Water M41 Project Page

Melbourne Water are speaking to individuals and community groups all along the pipe-line path. Melbourne Water wanted to make it very clear minimising impact on all the trees along the new main is a key project goal.

Link to Interactive Google Map summary and way points along the new pipe path

Note : The interactive Google MyMap was done from meeting notes, it was not a map provided by Melbourne Water.

What is the new M41 pipe ? and why is Melbourne Water doing it ?

There is more background on the Melbourne Water webpage, but basically the M41 is the fresh water main from the Merri Creek to the MCG. It was installed nearly 100 years ago to supply the CBD, and surprise surprise, it needs to be upgraded to a new higher capacity main. The new one will be a pipe about 2m in diameter, carrying fresh water under high pressure.

How did Melbourne Water say they will protect the trees ?

The Melbourne Water plan is drawn up with each tree individually marked with the extent of its roots shown on the map as a no-go zone for digging. This approach complies with the AS 4590 Standard 2009.

The path of the new main has been chosen to avoid sewer mains, minimise disruption, and not damage trees. Two trees bordering the bike path will be moved, then put back after the pipe is laid. A link to an interactive google map showing the proposed path of the new main, drawn from my meeting notes, not supplied by Melbourne Water.

We were also told the project will include a "path maintenance window" of 18 months after the pipe is laid, where they will come back to check and fix any problems along the path which may show up after the works are done.

How long will the whole process take ?

We were told Melbourne Water expects the entire project end to end to take two years, with the construction period taking up to 18 months. This does not mean the park is a construction site for the whole time.

How much disruption ?

It was explained Melbourne Water have minimising disruption as a project principle when making decisions, and diversions will be put in place while paths or roads are affected. You can expect disruption to the places along the proposed path for between between a few days and a few months.

What happens next ?

Melbourne Water let us know they will be organising an open community information session before the project is finalised and goes out to tender. Melbourne Water said they will publicise the information session. PFN will put the details up on the facebook and website when we are notified.