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South East Water celebrates 2,000th connection to pressure sewer

South East Water celebrates 2,000th connection to pressure sewer

23 January 2017 , 0

South East Water has celebrated a milestone on Australia’s largest pressure sewer project, Peninsula ECO (PenECO).

The 2,000th customer was recently connected to the PenECO project, which replaces ageing septic tanks and onsite treatment plants, which can pollute groundwater and waterways.

PenECO was established with the goal of connecting 16,500 homes on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula with an intelligent, remotely operated reticulated sewer network.

The network is capable of coping with the region’s peak season usage without the need for large-scale excavation, and removes the need for the maintenance of onsite systems.

The first stage of the project utilised horizontal directional drilling (HDD) to install approximately 246 km of pipelines over 22 months, and was the first time HDD had been used on a large scale pressure sewer network in Australia.


South East Water General Manager for Asset Creation Charlie Littlefair said “Ageing and failing septic systems can pollute the waterways around us, but with most problems often hidden belowground, not every customer is immediately aware of the benefits of connecting to PenECO.”

“We set about communicating the broad range of benefits of connecting by engaging other community stakeholders, such as plumbers, builders and estate agents, who helped us explain the value PenECO delivers to homeowners.”

“The results speak for themselves. Last financial year connections increased by 300 per cent, and we’ve expanded our contractor capabilities to keep up with demand.”

South East Water is now connecting more than eight properties a day to the PenECO network.

The project has also been with an award for best Customer Engagement Project at the 2016 Australian Utility Innovators Awards.

The award recognises creative marketing, engagement and innovation in creating positive customer experiences while achieving specified project outcomes.

For more information visit the South East Water website.

If you have a project you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Assistant Editor Nick Lovering at


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