Johnstons Creek Sewage Aqueduct

  • Number
    4570956
  • Other name
    Johnstons Creek Wastewater Aqueduct
  • Primary address

    164, Hogan Park, Off Nelson Street Annandale, 2036. NSW
    LGA: Leichhardt
    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 is defined as shown in the curtilage plan. The visual curtilage includes views of the structure from within the public reserve.
  • Statement of significance
    The Johnstons Creek Sewage Aqueduct was completed in 1897 and is a major and visibly strong component of the Northern Main Sewer extension of the Bondi Ocean Outfall Sewer. The aqueduct arches and carrier 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 historic technological 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. The significant elements are its location within a park setting, technology of construction and past and ongoing use.
  • Endorsed significance
    State
  • Designer
    J.W. Baltzer, engineer, Public Works Department
  • Year started
    1897
  • Year completed
    1898
  • Circa
    No
  • Physical description
    A series of slender reinforced concrete arches supporting the reinforced concrete sewage carrier seated on substantial mass concrete piers situated across Hogan Park through which the stormwater channel of Johnstons Creek is situated. The western terminus of the aqueduct is the western side of Nelson Street (which the aqueduct crosses), where there is a concrete retaining wall and public stairs. The aqueduct then crosses the shallow valley of Johnstons Creek continuing to the eastern terminus near Taylor Street. The aqueduct is a prominent feature within Hogan Park. There is a mature fig tree situated close to one of the main central spans, its canopy encroaching over the sewer carrier.
  • Modifications made
    Repaired during the mid 1980's, consisting of the insertion of a plastic liner in the flume. The arches are in a stable condition.
  • History
    The Johnstons Creek Sewage Aqueduct was constructed in 1897. The aqueduct was constructed as an extension of the Bondi Ocean Outfall Sewer (BOOS, completed in 1889) which was 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 junction at the junction of Parramatta and City Roads. The Northern Main Sewer was one of the Board's early major sewer schemes. 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, and which proposed the sewer be carried 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 concrete construction to the fore. 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 reinforced concrete arches. There are 8 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 eastern edge. The total length is 924-ft. (281.6 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
    Phases of Life
  • State
    Events
  • Local
    (none)
  • a) Historical
    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. The Johnstons 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.
  • c) Aesthetic
    The sewage aqueduct is a prominent element in the historic built environment of Leichhardt and Forest Lodge. 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 the contemporary community for an understanding of the historical development of the local area. It is listed by authorities such as the National Trust of Australia (NSW), the Australian Heritage Commission, and the Institution of Engineers (Australia).
  • 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
    Johnstons Creek Sewer Aqueduct
  • Reference number
    015944
  • Date listing listed
    01 January 2000
  • List name
    Local Environmental Plan
  • Name
    Leichhardt LEP 2000
  • Date listing listed
    01 January 2000
  • List name
    Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register
  • Reference number
    215183
  • Date listing listed
    01 January 2000
  • List name
    National Trust of Australia register
  • Date listing listed
    01 January 2000
  • List name
    Heritage Act - State Heritage Register
  • Date listing listed
    01 January 2000
  • 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
    215183
  • The aqueduct looking south down Hogan Park.
    The aqueduct looking south down Hogan Park.
    Created by: CLS&P
    Creation date: 04 September 2000
  • The aqueduct looking west over Hogan Park.
    The aqueduct looking west over Hogan Park.
    Created by: CLS&P
    Creation date: 04 September 2000
  • The physical curtilage plan for Johnstons Creek Sewage Aqueduct.
    The physical curtilage plan for Johnstons Creek Sewage Aqueduct.
    Created by: SWC
    Creation date: 29 June 2006
  • Data entry status
    Completed
  • Entered
    03 June 1998
  • Updated
    05 December 2014