Whites Creek Sewage Aqueduct

  • Number
    4570954
  • Other name
    Whites Creek Wastewater Aqueduct
  • Primary address

    162, Piper Street Leichhardt, 2040. NSW
    LGA: Leichhardt
    LGA region: Sydney
    DUAP region: Sydney South

  • Alternate Address

    163, White Street Leichhardt, 2040. NSW
    LGA: Leichhardt
    LGA code: LEIC
    LGA region: Sydney
    DUAP region: Sydney South

  • Owner
    Sydney Water
  • Current use
    Sewage aqueduct
  • Former use
    Sewage aqueduct
  • Item type
    Built
  • Item group
    Utilities - Sewerage
  • Item category
    Sewage Aqueduct
  • Curtilage/Boundary
    The curtilage includes the aqueduct carrier and supporting structure and 3 metres either side of the structure, as shown on the curtilage plan. The visual curtilage includes views of the structure from within the public reserve.
  • Statement of significance
    The Whites Creek Sewage Aqueduct was completed in 1897 and is a major and highly visible component of the Northern Main Sewer extension of the Bondi Ocean Outfall Sewer. The arches and carrier of the aqueduct are one of the first major constructions undertaken using reinforced concrete in NSW and one of the first in Australia. The slender proportions of the supporting arches and sewage carrier along with its historical technology value are a major landmark for Sydney. The aqueduct is a major element of the historic built environment of the local area, and a long held part of the recreational reserve. Elements of significance are the past and ongoing use, technology of construction and setting (inclusive of views) within the park reserve.
  • Endorsed significance
    State
  • Designer
    J.W. Baltzer, engineer, Public Works Department
  • Builder
    PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT
  • Year started
    1897
  • Year completed
    1898
  • Circa
    No
  • Physical description
    A series of slender reinforced concrete arches supporting the reinforced concrete sewer carrier seated on substantial concrete piers situated across a series of public streets and a small public reserve. The western terminus of the aqueduct is near Gladstone Street. The aqueduct then crosses the shallow valley of Whites Creek, continuing to the eastern terminus situated between Young and Annandale Streets. The aqueduct is a prominent feature within the park. Views of the eastern side of the aqueduct are largely obscured by the residences, but it is visible where it crosses a public street.
  • Modifications made
    In 1986 the Whites Creek aqueduct was fitted with a new liner. To reverse the problems associated with the expansion joints in the late 1990s, continuous HDPE lining was applied and welded at either side of each expansion joints to allow a 500mm length which can elastically absorb the differential movement at the expansion joint. In addition, a continuous lining over the entire internal perimeter of the conduit was introduced. The remedial works were carried out arch by arch.
  • History
    The Whites Creek Sewage Aqueduct was completed in 1897. The aqueduct was constructed as an extension of the Bondi Ocean Outfall Sewer (BOOS, completed in 1889) then known as the Northern Main Sewer. This sewer carried sewage from the densely populated inner-western suburbs of Balmain, Annandale and Glebe. The sewer necessitated the crossing of the ‘Johnstons Creek Valley’ and ‘Whites Creek Valley’ to deliver the sewage to the ocean outfall at the junction of Parramatta and City Roads. The Main Northern Sewer was one of the Board's major early sewer systems. The section of Northern Main Sewer, which embraces the aqueducts across Johnstons and Whites Creeks, was constructed under Government contract no.77 (basically the area between Catherine Street and Minogue Crescent). The design work for this contract was completed by early 1895. This proposed a sewer carrier supported on mass concrete and brick arches, and a lattice bridge. This scheme was subsequently abandoned in favour of using a carrier and supporting arches of reinforced concrete construction, the contract for which was let in mid 1896. The engineer credited with the design is W.J. Baltzer, an engineer in the Sewerage Branch of the Department of Public Works. Baltzer, a graduate of a German university, worked for the firm Carter Gummow & Co. which held the patent rights for the Monier system of reinforcing concrete. Carter Gummow & Co were instrumental in bringing reinforced construction into widespread use. The design provided for a sewer carrier internally U-shaped in section 3-ft. 6-in (1m.) by 4ft. 6-in (1.37 m) constructed in reinforced concrete. The sewer carrier is supported by a series of arches: there are 9 large spans, each of 81-ft 10-in (25 m.) centre to centre with a clear span of 75-ft (23 m.), and a number of smaller subsidiary arches at the western edge. The total length is 990-ft. (301.7 m.). Each of the arches is seated on mass concrete piers.
  • National
    Economy
  • State
    Technology
  • Local
    (none)
  • National
    Economy
  • State
    Health
  • Local
    Water Supply
  • National
    Settlement
  • State
    Utilities
  • Local
    Sewerage
  • Local description
    Relates to the planning, development, expansion and provision of sewerage services.
  • National
    Settlement
  • State
    Towns, suburbs and villages (Townships)
  • Local
    (none)
  • National
    Phases of Life
  • State
    Events
  • Local
    (none)
  • a) Historical
    The Whites Creek Sewage Aqueduct is a major and highly visible component of the Northern Main Sewer extension of the Bondi Ocean Outfall Sewer completed in 1897. The extension provided for the sewerage of the areas of densely populated inner-western suburbs of Balmain, Annandale and Glebe. The aqueduct is particularly associated with the engineer W.J. Baltzer, and the firm Carter Gummow & Co. early advocates of the use of reinforced concrete (the Monier system) in this country of which this is one. Completed in 1896-97, the White’s Creek Aqueduct is generally considered to be one of the first large-scale reinforced structures built in Australia employing the Monier system of construction. It is historically important as a major and highly visible component of the Northern Main Sewer extension of the Bondi Outfall Sewer. The sewage system was required to improve sewage disposal methods to improve the health of the rapidly expanding population of the inner-western suburbs of Sydney. This sewage system was a major engineering work of the late 19th century in Sydney. The provision of the sewer also provided for future development in western Sydney. The aqueduct still carries the sewage derived from these areas as part of the Bondi Ocean Outfall System.
  • b) Association
    The aqueduct is associated with W.J. Baltzer, who apart from designing the aqueducts, is responsible for introducing the Monier system to Australia. The aqueduct is associated with Carter, Gummow & Co., which was New South Wales agents for the Monier system. Gummow was the principle pioneer of reinforced concrete in New South Wales. His company built the Annandale aqueducts and dominated the early reinforced concrete bridge building in both New South Wales and Victoria.
  • c) Aesthetic
    The sewage aqueduct is a prominent element in the historic built environment of Annandale. The aqueduct in consideration of its length, height and slender proportions is an impressive sight, and a landmark in Sydney.
  • d) Social
    The aqueduct is a major element of the historic built environment of the local government area of Leichhardt and provides a focus for an understanding to the contemporary community of the historical development of the local area. It is listed by the National Trust of Australia (NSW), the Australian Heritage Commission, and the Institution of Engineers.
  • e) Research
    The aqueduct is one of the first major constructions undertaken using reinforced concrete in NSW and one of the first in Australia. The built fabric is therefore a unique repository for the study of the early development of reinforced construction.
  • f) Rarity
    Rare in Australia in consideration of the extent and date of the reinforced construction technique.
  • g) Representative
    Representative in its function which is widespread across Sydney.
  • List name
    Register of the National Estate
  • Name
    Whites Creek Sewer Aqueduct, Annandale NSW
  • Reference number
    D''base # 015945
  • Date listing listed
    18 April 1989
  • List name
    Local Environmental Plan
  • Name
    Leichhardt LEP 2000
  • Date listing listed
    22 December 2000
  • List name
    Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register
  • Reference number
    215148
  • Date listing listed
    01 January 1996
  • List name
    National Trust of Australia register
  • Date listing listed
    02 November 1987
  • List name
    Institution of Engineers (NSW) heritage register
  • Date listing listed
    01 January 1993
  • List name
    Heritage Act - State Heritage Register
  • Name
    Whites Creek Aqueduct
  • Reference number
    01354
  • Date listing listed
    18 November 1999
  • Title
    Public Works Department Annual Report
  • Published
    1901
  • Title
    Public Works Department Annual Report
  • Published
    1898
  • Title
    Public Works Department Annual Report
  • Published
    1896
  • Title
    National Trust of Australia (NSW) Listing Proposal
  • Author
    Collocott, J.M.
  • Published
    1987
  • Title
    The Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage of Sydney
  • Author
    Aird, W.V.
  • Published
    1961
  • Title
    Sydney Water Heritage Study
  • Author
    Graham Brooks and Associates Pty Ltd
  • Published
    1996
  • Item reference number in study
    215148
  • Title
    Whites Creek Sewage Aqueduct CMP & HIS
  • Author
    Graham Brooks and Associates
  • Published
    2006
  • Item reference number in study
  • Detail of typical section of carrier and arch of the aqueduct.
    Detail of typical section of carrier and arch of the aqueduct.
    Created by: CLS&P
    Creation date: 05 September 2000
  • Carrier and arches of the aqueduct crossing the park reserve. Looking east.
    Carrier and arches of the aqueduct crossing the park reserve. Looking east.
    Created by: CLS&P
    Creation date: 05 September 2000
  • The physical curtilage plan for Whites Creek Sewage Aqueduct.
    The physical curtilage plan for Whites Creek Sewage Aqueduct.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 14 July 2006
  • Data entry status
    Completed
  • Entered
    03 June 2000
  • Updated
    28 October 2016