As Melbourne's population grew, so did its waste

In 1888, a Royal Commission was carried out to come up with a solution to Melbourne’s waste problems.

Famously dubbed 'Smelbourne', methods for disposing human waste were very basic. Sewage had been collected in open channels that ran into the Yarra River and Hobsons Bay, and cholera and typhoid were common.

The birth of Melbourne's first water treatment plant

The Commission’s findings led to an ambitious plan for the construction of a sewerage system. A series of pipes, sewers and drains were built underground to carry sewage from homes and factories to a sewerage treatment farm, called Werribee Farm.