VIC Major Projects Conference 2019

27-28 November 2019
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
Melbourne, VIC, Australia

$3 million underground water tank to reduce city flooding

Posted On August 4, 2016

The City of Melbourne is working with the Victorian Government to install Australia’s first combined stormwater harvesting and flood mitigation tank in Carlton to protect against flooding in Melbourne’s CBD.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the $3 million underground tank in Lincoln Square is part of an overall program of works that will help to reduce the flood risk in Elizabeth Street from Extreme to High.

“Elizabeth Street was once a creek that flowed into the Yarra River so it has been the site of major flooding throughout Melbourne’s history,” the Lord Mayor said.

“By installing a two million litre tank at the top of the catchment we can reduce rainwater collecting around Flinders Street Station, which is one of the busiest areas in the central city.

“The system relies on new technology which allows the water to be either purged or recycled based on the weather conditions.”

The new tank will collect stormwater from surrounding areas of Parkville and Carlton via the Bouverie Street drain next to Lincoln Square, one of three heritage squares that were set out in the 1850’s.

“The water tank is larger than an Olympic swimming pool and will save thousands of litres of drinking-quality water a year. We will harvest this water to keep Carlton’s heritage squares lush and green during Melbourne’s long hot summers,” the Lord Mayor said.

While other major water harvesting infrastructure has been installed at Fitzroy Gardens, Birrarung Marr, Queen Victoria Gardens, Darling Street and the Royal Park wetlands, this is Australia’s first combined flood mitigation and storm water harvesting project.

Chair of Council’s Environment Portfolio, Councillor Arron Wood, said $40 million has been invested in Council’s stormwater harvesting network in the last 10 years.

“We manage 480 hectares of parkland across the city so it’s important that we use water wisely to protect our iconic gardens from drought and extreme weather conditions,” Cr Wood said.

“Water is a precious resource. Exciting projects like this will help us to reach our target of sourcing 50 per of our water from non-drinking sources in the coming years.”

Major floods to affect Elizabeth Street include:

  • 1891: The Yarra River swelled to 305 metres in width, causing at least one death and thousands of people to be left homeless
  • November to December 1934: Torrential rainfall of up to 350mm flooded the Yarra and left 35 dead, 250 injured and 3,000 people homeless
  • February 1972: Cars were submerged on Elizabeth Street after a massive downpour
  • 4 February 2011: A severe rainstorm caused flash flooding and disrupted public transport.

Excavation works to install the tanks are currently underway and are expected to be completed by September, 2016. For more information visit:


Source: City of Melbourne

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27-28 November 2019

Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
Melbourne, VIC, Australia



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