Sewers beneath central Ballarat will be doubled as part of a once-in-a-century, $25 million project.
A new pipeline will be built from the Brown Hill Hotel to the bottom end of Humffray Street South, joining the original infrastructure finished in 1925.
Works are set to begin in mid-March, with the first stage - Peel Street to White Flat Oval - construction is expected to be finished in about 16 weeks, before the southern section begins.
Contractors will use a mix of trenching and micro-tunneling machines to dig along Peel Street and beneath major roads like Mair Street to lay the new Australian-made, glass-reinforced pipes.
Project manager Mick Dwyer said disruption would be kept to a minimum for traders and residents, particularly around the Bridge Mall.
The second stage, from White Flat Oval to Prest Street, will then follow, before work begins on the final stage, Peel Street to Brown Hill Reserve via Morres Street.
It's expected works will take between three to five years to complete.
The existing sewerage infrastructure will remain, with the new lines to follow the same routes.
This doubled capacity will provide for Ballarat's booming growth, and the City of Ballarat's plans for more in-fill in the CBD.
CHW managing director Paul O'Donohue said the project is about "making sure (we're) building projects that can be in front of the demand that's going to come at us".
"(The existing sewer is) 100 years old, and still in working order, which is a fantastic testament to the people who designed and built it, but Ballarat is growing quickly," he said.
"It's not just growing out to the west, which is a major growth area, we're seeing a lot of in-fill development in Ballarat and certainly in this area.
"It's really important we're in front of the curve and putting infrastructure in the ground that'll be there for another 100 years."
Mr Dwyer added the new pipe will be a larger diameter, which "gives us a lot of extra volume, and it gives us some redundancy if we need it in the system to make it a lot more robust or easier to operate".
"Our calculations were starting to suggest that while we've still got capacity in our system, we need to plan for the future," he said.
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"So we've done so in a way that we haven't only planned for this generation today, but we're going to make it bigger, larger, and much improved so it'll be there for many years to come, and only impact traders once for the next 100 years."
The micro-tunnelling will be used to avoid digging up Mair Street again so soon after it was upgraded by Regional Roads Victoria.
"We don't want to reopen any of those works or cause any more pain than we need to for traders in the area," Mr Dwyer said.
"We know they're going to feel some forms of impact, and we'd love for it all to go smoothly without any noise or impact but it will cause minor forms - we want to make sure we're on top of that and I'll be personally around at any time for any one of the traders or residents."
Speaking at the project's official launch on Tuesday, CHW chair Jeremy Johnson said planners were also dealing with rapid growth and a pandemic when designing the first sewer system.
"The things we're doing now are probably the very things they were sitting down doing 100 years ago," he said.
"The great cities of the world - Paris was being rebuilt, London had its great redevelopments - they were all being built at that time, and Ballarat was a contemporary city that saw itself as a world city, so to do this task, world cities were doing civic engineering works, and this was seen to underpin Ballarat's growth into the most remarkable of regional cities in Australia.
"In 1925, visiting experts came along - it was described at the time as the most up-to-date sewer project in the world, a "gem of the Empire", according to media at the time."
CHW is a statutory agency under the state government - state Buninyong MP Michaela Settle noted the original system was built for 20,000 residents, with Ballarat's population now above 110,000 and still growing.
"This investment is really about acknowledging where Ballarat is going, I think everybody is aware of the absolute boom we're going through in Ballarat," she said.
"This is a really fine example of everyone getting together and saying we're alright at the moment but let's keep our eye on the future."
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City of Ballarat mayor Daniel Moloney said the extra capacity will be important as planning is finalised for the Bakery Hill Urban Redevelopment Plan.
"The water and sewerage engineers of the past played a crucial role in the building of our city, and they're going to play a crucial role in the future of our city as well," he said.
"Working together with CHW to make sure that the infrastructure's done once and done properly is going to be important - everyone knows we're going to be working on the Bridge Mall over the coming couple of years, and integrating with that will be crucial too."
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