The scheme will improve the performance and resilience of the water company’s network in Roker, Seaburn and St Peter’s.
Planned work aims to reduce the amount of surface water that enters the sewer network, freeing up capacity within the pipes during periods of heavy rainfall.
The project will also reduce flood risk in parts of Roker and Seaburn.
Northumbrian Water’s wastewater director, Richard Warneford, said: “Our sewer network improvement scheme comes at a time when there is a significant amount of work being carried out by many organisations, big and small, to help make Sunderland a great place to work, live and visit.
“We appreciate how much our customers in Sunderland, and across the region, rely on us to provide them with the best service we can and reducing flood risk and looking after the environment are two of our top priorities.”
New sewer pipes will be constructed between Fulwell Road, Roker Baths Road and Harbour View, in Roker, to transfer surface water to Roker Marina where it will discharge to the River Wear via existing pipework.
Furthermore, underground storage tanks will be constructed in farmland in Seaburn, however the size of the tanks will be minimised due to the new surface water removal systems.
“As well as installing new pipes to transfer surface water away from the sewer network, and new tanks to store storm water, we are also hoping to use sustainable drainage solutions, where possible,” added Mr Warneford.
“These may include rainwater gardens, ponds or grassed detention basins and have wider social and environmental benefits, including providing a green space for people to go to in an urban area and creating valuable wildlife habitats.”
Work is due to begin in November 2016 and is estimated to be completed by the following year.