Whites Creek Stormwater Channel No 95

  • Number
    4570343
  • Other name
    Whites Creek SWC No 95
  • Primary address

    155, Railway Parade to Parramatta Road Annandale, . NSW
    LGA: Leichhardt
    LGA region: Sydney
    DUAP region: Sydney South

  • Owner
    Sydney Water
  • Current use
    Stormwater Drain
  • Former use
    Stormwater Drain
  • Item type
    Built
  • Item group
    Utilities - Drainage
  • Item category
    Storm Water Drain
  • Curtilage/Boundary
    The curtilage includes the stormwater channel bed, walls and coping as shown on the curtilage plan.
  • AMG easting
    314885550
  • AMG northing
    1248777315
  • Statement of significance
    The Whites Creek Stormwater Channel was constructed progressively during the period 1898 to 1938 (although most of the channel was completed before 1909). Prior to 1890, stormwater was carried by either combined sewers or natural water courses. This led to unsanitary public health conditions and in 1890 Bruce Smith, the then secretary of Public Works, proposed a separate system of stormwater drains be built to alleviate the problem. By 1900 numerous stormwater drains, including Whites Creek SWC, had been completed or were under construction. Consequently Whites Creek SWC is of historical significance as it was one of the earliest purpose built stormwater drains to be constructed. In addition the channel has added significance due to its connection with Whites Creek Sewer Aqueduct which passes over the channel. The aqueduct is historically significant as it was one of the first reinforced concrete aqueducts to be built (refer to Listing Card SHI 4570954 for more details). The operational curtilage of Whites Creek SWC includes the channel bed, walls and coping. The visual curtilage of the channel will vary along the length of the channel depending on the surrounding landuses. The visual curtilage will vary along the length of the channel depending on the surrounding landuse. To formulate a specific curtilage statement that includes details of surrounding landuse and encroachment of various developments would require further investigations and is beyond the scope of this study. However, in general the visual curtilage can be described as follows: 1) The upper reaches of the channel, located south of Booth and Moore Streets Annandale, is an underground structure, and holds no cultural landscape value. 2) The open sections of the channel stretches from Booth and Moore Streets to the discharge point at Rozelle Bay. 3) At its lower reaches visual curtilage is limited to where the channel can be observed between the Rozelle Rail Yards and Railway Parade and from within the Whites Creek Valley Parkland.
  • Endorsed significance
    Local
  • Designer
    Public Works Department / Sydney Water / RTA
  • Builder
    Public Works Department / RTA
  • Year started
    1898
  • Year completed
    1938
  • Circa
    No
  • Physical description
    This channel drains an area of 262 ha lying to the south of Rozelle Bay and is located approximately between Balmain Road, Leichhardt and Johnston Street, Annandale. The catchment area of the channel is comprised within the municipalities of Leichhardt and Marrickville. From the outlet in Rozelle Bay, the drain proceeds in a meandering course in a southerly direction crossing Brennan, Piper, Booth, Styles and Albion Streets before terminating at Parramatta Road. The channel is 3.92 km in length and is predominantly brick (56%) and concrete (42%) in fabric. The channel cross section is composed of the following; circular (38%), covered (30%) and open channel (27%). The main channel has the following Branches stemming from it; Piper Street, Moore Street, Styles Street and Parramatta Road. The size of the channel outlet is 7.4m x 1.3m. Part of the stormwater drain runs through Whites Creek Valley Park, a picturesque recreational area. Various bridges are built over the channel and they add to the historic and aesthetic values of the drain. In addition the highly significant Whites Creek Aqueduct (Bondi sewer) passes overhead.
  • Modifications made
    The contract D.O 35592 was carried out in 1938. This work involved extending the channel from near Wisdom Street upstream to Parramatta Road. The work also consisted of covering the entire length and raising the walls of the channel where required.
  • History
    Before 1890, the watercourses which served to carry stormwaters were almost entirely in their natural state. These were receptacles of sewerage from the population and led to health problems within the community. By 1900 numerous drains had been constructed, causing the mortality rate to be greatly decreased in these areas. The Whites Creek Stormwater system was constructed by the PWD and the Board between the period 1898 to 1938. The section from the outlet in Rozelle Bay upstream to Piper St was constructed by the PWD in 1898 under Government Contract 141. From Piper St upstream to Booth Street, Annandale was also undertaken by the PWD in 1898 under Government Contract 177. The section extending from Styles Street, Annandale, to Ferris Lane was constructed by the Board in 1909. The work comprised of reconstructing the existing drain which at that time consisted of a concrete invert and earthen sides. The section from Booth Street and Hill Street, Annandale to beyond Styles Street was completed in 1925. The section from Piper Street to Parramatta Road had the walls raised in 1935. This was undertaken as part of the Unemployment Relief Program.
  • National
    Economy
  • State
    Technology
  • Local
    (none)
  • National
    Economy
  • State
    Health
  • Local
    Water Supply
  • National
    Settlement
  • State
    Utilities
  • Local
    Drainage
  • Local description
    Relates to the planning, development, expansion and provision of drainage and stormwater services.
  • a) Historical
    Whites Creek SWC is of historical significance because it is a good example of one of the earliest purpose built stormwater channels to be constructed in Sydney around the early 1900 period.
  • c) Aesthetic
    Part of the stormwater drain runs through Whites Creek Valley Park, a picturesque recreational area. Various bridges are built over the channel and they add to the historic nature of the drain. In addition the Whites Creek Aqueduct (Bondi sewer) passes overhead.
  • d) Social
    One of a group of the first stormwater channels to be built in Sydney around the 1900's. Of social significance as it improved public health and reduced illness in the Leichhardt area in the early 1900's. Consequently it is likely to be valued by the general community for the function it serves. Prior to this period stormwater was carried by either combined sewers or natural water courses and this lead to unsanitary public health conditions.
  • e) Research
    The channel provides a good example of engineering techniques of the early 1900's. It is of technological significance as it contains concrete inverts and provides an example of the early use of concrete. In addition Whites Creek Sewer Aqueduct, which was one of the first of two Monier reinforced concrete aqueducts to be built, passes over the stormwater channel.
  • f) Rarity
    One of group of similar channels built during the late 1890's and early 1900's.
  • g) Representative
    Representative of one of a group of the first purpose built stormwater channels to be constructed in Sydney around the 1900 period.
  • Integrity assessment
    Considerably intact to the 1930's period.
  • List name
    Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register
  • Date listing listed
    01 January 2000
  • List name
    National Trust of Australia register
  • Date listing listed
    01 January 2000
  • List name
    Royal Australian Institute of Architects register
  • Date listing listed
    01 January 2000
  • Title
    Sydney Water Heritage Study
  • Author
    Graham Brooks and Associates Pty Ltd
  • Published
    1996
  • Item reference number in study
  • Whites Creek SWC facing downstream from Piper Street Bridge.
    Whites Creek SWC facing downstream from Piper Street Bridge.
    Created by: AWT ES&T
    Creation date: 01 July 2000
  • Whites Creek looking north from Piper Street. Located in Whites Creek Reserve.
    Whites Creek looking north from Piper Street. Located in Whites Creek Reserve.
    Created by: AWT ES&T
    Creation date: 01 July 2000
  • Whites Creek SWC passing under the goods railway viaduct (now tramway near Whites Bay).
    Whites Creek SWC passing under the goods railway viaduct (now tramway near Whites Bay).
    Created by: AWT ES&T
    Creation date: 01 July 2000
  • Picture of Whites Creek SWC downstream of Brenan Street Bridge. N.B. the Railway Department drain enters this drain (top of screen).
    Picture of Whites Creek SWC downstream of Brenan Street Bridge. N.B. the Railway Department drain enters this drain (top of screen).
    Created by: AWT ES&T
    Creation date: 01 July 2000
  • Whites Creek prior to the construction of the storwater channel. Picture of  Whites Creek Aqueduct.
    Whites Creek prior to the construction of the storwater channel. Picture of Whites Creek Aqueduct.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 20 June 2000
  • The physical curtilage plan for Whites Creek Stormwater Channel No.95.
    The physical curtilage plan for Whites Creek Stormwater Channel No.95.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 31 May 2006
  • Data entry status
    Basic
  • Entered
    03 June 1998
  • Updated
    05 March 2014