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Construction of an organised sewerage system in Zagreb began in 1892 with the construction of a drainage channel entering the Sava near Žitnjak and crossing of the Medveščak creek from Tkalčićeva street to Ribnjak. The initial location of the main drainage channel was in Petruševac; following its extension in the period from 1928 to 1930, the mouth into the Sava river was moved eastwards to Ivanja Reka.

The construction of the main drainage channel was a prerequisite for further development of systematic drainage in the city of Zagreb. 

The late 19th century saw the construction of the main drainage channel Branimirova-Vodnikova-Mihanovićeva-Jukićeva. In 1900, a north channel was built in Ilica, and the embankments of the Main drainage channel also became defensive embankments protecting against the high water levels of the Sava. They were a prerequisite for the city's expansion into the lowlands.

During construction of the Zagreb Fair the 1960s, the channel network was expanded to the right bank of the Sava with the construction of the collection channel in V. Holjevac Avenue and the first pumping station in the sewerage system. Three independent sewerage systems developed in the area of the city:
  1. The area of the city on the left bank of the Sava river, north Zagreb and the western part of Sesvete;
  2. The area of the city on the right bank of the Sava river, Novi Zagreb;
  3. The area of the eastern part of Sesvete in the area of the Crnec creek drainage basin with independent wastewater treatment facilities.
Nowadays, there are over 2.200 km of public canals of various profiles built in the area of city of Zagreb which are cleaned by modern machinery. Other than public sewerage channels, stormwater drainage is also organised in the City of Zagreb, amounting to approximately 54,500 annual cleanings of stormwater drains and stormwater catch basins along horizontal collection channels. Other than cleaning, the Maintenance service monitors the quality of new channels via TV camera recording.

Vodoopskrba i odvodnja d.o.o. is in charge of directing all wastewater to the Central Wastewater Treatment Facility in Zagreb (CUPOVZ), as well as maintenance of the drainage system.