Technical Tour

Two Technical Tours have been organised on Friday 12th October.  Tours will depart Sydney Olympic Park at 8.30 am and return at 4.00 pm.


Tour No 1

Powells Creek Naturalisation Project – Sydney Water

Sydney Water owns and manages Powells Creek in Homebush, a concrete lined channel that was built in the mid-1930s and runs along the boundary of Canada Bay Council and Strathfield Municipal Council. Powells Creek had been identified as needing repair due to deteriorating banks and Sydney Water chose to naturalise and stabilise 750m of the creek with native plants and sandstone instead of relining it with concrete.

Powells Creek is an integral part of recreational open space in both Local Government Areas, with a heavily utilised key north south link bicycle pathway for the inner city and proximity to dog parks and sporting facilities. Adjacent to the Channel are wetlands managed by Strathfield Council. The wetlands are an endangered coastal saltmarsh vegetation community and provide habitat for a range of threatened species, such as the short-leafed Wilsonia.

Naturalising Powells Creek involved:

  • removing the concrete lined banks
  • replacing concrete banks with grouted faced sandstone, stabilised rock banks, native planting and widening the channel
  • installing block pools for silt deposition and saltmarsh establishment
  • building a new walkway section and realigning the existing cycleway
  • constructing a rest area with seating and signage to appreciate the wetlands
  • minor earthworks to modify the banks and to reduce bank slope
  • including in-stream features to promote diverse habitat for native wildlife

By balancing the expertise and expectations of stakeholders, including Council, the project manages to use innovation to manage stormwater issues as well as enhance the liveability of the area and improves the ecological and social value of the channel. Flood mitigation, ecology and liveability form the focus of this naturalisation.

This project is a finalist in the 2018 Stormwater NSW Awards for Excellence.

Cooks River Naturalisation and Wetland – Sydney Water

Sydney Water remediated 1.1km of deteriorated concrete stormwater canal along the Cooks River to incorporate more natural bank features with sandstone blocks and native plants. The $8.6 million project included over 100,000 local native plants, creating new areas of endangered saltmarsh, a freshwater wetland, as well as social amenities such as pathways, seating, interpretive signs, an outdoor classroom and a picnic shelter.

A total of 1.1km of steep concrete banks across three sites were returned to a more natural slope and stabilised with sandstone and native plants. The degree of naturalisation for each site was customised depending on hydraulics, available space, adjacent services and other constraints. Contingencies in the budget and project time frame were required due to the identification of contaminated soil and poor geotechnical conditions, two of the many pitfalls of working around waterways. Coffer dam design and implementation was also crucial so as to provide a suitably dry working area. Various technologies and approaches were tried during construction. The best and lowest risk approaches identified involved working on small sections of bank at one time. New saltmarsh and wetlands were created adjacent to the riverbanks where these important habitats had been lost.

The project has delivered increased diversity of native riparian habitat types and improved connectivity for flora and fauna between reaches of the river that had been disconnected. The local community has a greatly improved sense of pride and positivity in the local area. Their involvement in the design process allowed them to feel comfortable with the designs and to take ownership of the project. Vastly improved aesthetics of the reach and the provision of a new social amenity via pathways, seating and interpretive signage has provided an opportunity for local communities to reinstate a sense of place and reconnect with each other in the context of a natural river. The project represents value for money considering the longer asset life expected by the natural system and the flow-on economic benefits the restoration will realise in the local community.

Wangal Park Wetland – Burwood Council

Wangal Park exemplifies integrated design for the liveability of Sydney’s inner west community.  Within this four-hectare reserve, the jewel in the crown is its stormwater treatment, harvesting and reuse system that provides aesthetic and aquatic habitat water features within the park and a sustainable alternative source of water for irrigation. Visitors from nearby and afar are drawn to the central wetlands where the catchment’s stormwater is treated and harvested to support a beautiful asset for their enjoyment. While reducing pollutant loads to Canada Bay and substituting mains potable water for irrigation, what really differentiates this facility from others is found in its integrated design. The wetland provides an impressive environmental, cultural, recreational and educational space for locals and visitors to appreciate and enjoy.  As you enter the area, your first impression is sheer amazement with the beauty and functionality of the facilities.  Interpretative signage informs you of the history of the site and the intricate relationships between treatment and resources, aesthetics and habitat that have been woven into landscape through sensitive design.

Wangal Park expresses a new generation in stormwater management.  Its ingenuity of integrated design is recognised in its relationship to the landscape where the wetland fits seamlessly into the park landscape.  This discrete melding of blue and green elements while providing essential ecosystem services makes this facility stand out well beyond other stormwater facilities in Australia.

This project is a finalist in the 2018 Stormwater NSW Awards for Excellence.

Member – $275

Non Member – $325

Powells Creek nearing end of construction Wangal Park - pond and vegetated wetland


Tour No 2

Cintra Watershed – Water for our Community Project – City of Canada Bay

In October 2015, the City of Canada Bay officially opened the Cintra Watershed, securing water for the future of our community, open space and recreational areas. The Cintra Watershed is the water treatment plant delivered as part of the Award winning stormwater harvesting – Water for our Community project.

Key project objectives were:

  • Providing water security for the highest volume end use in the City of Canada Bay Community and Council open space facilities.
  • Securing and enhancing the quality and amenity of grounds, in particular during periods of water restrictions.
  • Reducing drinking water consumption.
  • Reducing the heat island effect

The stormwater harvesting project supplies water to two golf courses and 15 playing fields. Adequate treated water storage at each park and golf course ensures each site’s daily irrigation needs are met.

SOPA Water Reclamation and Management Scheme (WRAMS) – Sydney Olympic Park

The Park’s Water Reclamation and Management Scheme (WRAMS) commenced operation in 2000 and was Australia’s first large-scale urban water treatment scheme.

WRAMS recycles water from sewage and stormwater to supply irrigation, ornamental fountain and toilet flushing applications across Sydney Olympic Park and in the suburb of Newington.  Office buildings, sporting and entertainment venues and Newington residences are all connected to this recycled water, which is supplied to customers through separate meters and at a lower cost than potable water supplied by Sydney Water.WRAMS saves more than 850 million litres of potable water annually by avoiding its use for non-drinking purposes.  In addition, the sewer-mining function of WRAMS treats approximately 550 million litres of sewage each year, which would otherwise be discharged to ocean outfalls.

Blacktown International Sportspark – Angus Creek Stormwater Harvesting Scheme – Blacktown City Council

The Sportspark is an elite international sporting facility. It has hosted over 5,000 events and attracts over 750,000 visitors a year. The Sportspark requires large volumes of water for irrigation, and we recognised the need to improve the drought resilience of its facilities. Angus Creek is a tributary of Eastern Creek. The Angus Creek catchment is 655 hectares and generates about 2 billion litres of stormwater a year, which runs off the suburbs of Rooty Hill and Minchinbury and into Angus Creek.

The Scheme diverts peak flows from Angus Creek and collects stormwater generated from hard surfaces such as the Sportspark stadium roof and surrounding carparks. Harvested stormwater is then used to irrigate the Sportspark and neighbouring Anne Aquilina, Kareela and Charlie Bali reserves. It is also used to top up the Nurragingy ornamental lakes. Community consultation (via online and face-to-face forums) showed overwhelming support for a stormwater harvesting and reuse system. Community participants indicated that the Scheme made economic sense, was a good use of resources, was a great way to save water, and improve the condition of local waterways.

This project is a finalist in the 2018 Stormwater NSW Awards for Excellence.

Member – $275

Non Member – $325

floating wetlands.jpg