Home » Case Studies » Melbourne’s Waste Brings Future Treasure


As Melbourne’s population grows over the next 50 years, so will its sewerage output, presenting a need for future planning. Sewerage presents a large untapped water resource, prompting City West Water to enlist the skills of engineering PhD student, David Ebbs from Federation University Australia to discover sustainable solutions.

David was carefully selected as part of an APR.Intern PhD internship, to provide specialist expertise to a broader industry wide Melbourne sewerage strategy with City West Water. The project investigated and analysed opportunities for sewage recycling through the availability of water, carbon and nutrients as a resource.

The internship has highlighted the benefits of, and opportunities for short term research collaboration. Often research is viewed as 4-year PhD projects, where timeframes are too long for industry. The APR.Intern approach has shown the value that research interns can bring to very discrete project work,”


Elisa Hunter, City West Water Manager Strategy & Policy

David’s background as a contract engineer, extensive work with Central Highlands Water and passion for assessing the impacts of wide scale storm water capture and reuse, presented City West Water with the perfect candidate for the project.

This internship has helped me to clarify the next steps of my career which will be to teach and undertake water research at Federation University. I was also able to develop new relationships which may assist with finding opportunities for future research work,”


David Ebbs, PhD Intern at City West Water

David and the City West Water team were successful in identifying five major areas for future sewerage use which will inform the broader sewerage strategy to start planning for a sustainable Victoria.