Cronulla Sewage Treatment Plant

  • Number
    4573705
  • Other name
    Cronulla STP
    Cronulla Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Primary address

    283, Captain Cook Drive Kurnell, 2231. NSW
    LGA: Sutherland
    LGA region: Sydney
    DUAP region: Sydney South

  • Alternate Address

    284, Elouera Rd Kurnell, 2231. NSW
    LGA: Sutherland
    LGA code: SUTH
    LGA region: Sydney
    DUAP region: Sydney South

  • Owner
    Sydney Water
  • Current use
    Sewage Treatment Plant
  • Former use
    Sewage Treatment Plant
  • Item type
    Built
  • Item group
    Utilities - Sewerage
  • Item category
    Sewage Farm/Treatment Site
  • Parcels

    Parcel code: LOT
    Lot number: 1
    Section number:
    Plan code: DP
    Plan number: 118810
    Updated: 17 February 2003

  • Curtilage/Boundary
    The curtilage includes Sydney Water's infrastructure to the boundary of Lot 1 in DP no.118810, to the east of Captain Cook Drive, as shown in the curtilage plan. The curtilage excludes the new works on the northern side of the plant.
  • Map name
    Port hacking
  • Map scale
    1 : 25000
  • Latitude
    34 01 54 S
  • Longitude
    151 09 46 E
  • AMG easting
    330487995
  • AMG northing
    6232911312
  • AMG zone
    56H
  • Statement of significance
    The Cronulla Sewage Treatment Plant is significant as the public utility which services the Cronulla-Sutherland area of Sydney, and as one of the four major treatment plants serving the greater metropolitan area. This plant contains a set of structures, equipment and facilities which are representative of their function and period and which together make up a complete treatment process. The process is demonstrated by the equipment and each element of the process is physically and logically displayed. The establishment and subsequent rapid amplification of the Cronulla Sewage Treatment Plant is evidence of the extent and rapid expansion of urban settlement in the district served by the plant. The level of treatment undertaken at Cronulla Sewage Treatment Plant is indicative of community expectations for sewage treatment at the time when it was designed, with subsequent alterations demonstrating rising expectations during its period of operation. The Cronulla Sewage Treatment Plant, therefore, has some historic and social values relating to its function and contains a set of equipment and structures that are representative of their period and type.
  • Endorsed significance
    Local
  • Designer
    Metropolitan Water Sewerage and Drainage Board
  • Year started
    1952
  • Year completed
    1956
  • Circa
    No
  • Physical description
    The Cronulla Sewage Treatment Plant is located on 73 acres (29.5 h.) of land on the eastern side of Captain Cook Drive, Kurnell. The treatment plant occupies approximately one third of that area, contained within a cyclone-wire fence. The rest of the area is covered by thick scrub leading to the Recreation Reserve behind Wanda Beach. The area contained within the cyclone fencing has four sub-areas which relate to the various usages of the site. In the centre of the western half of the site is the sewage treatment plant, in a loosely triangular area bounded by bitumen roads. North of this plant, the Water Board utilises the open ground for storing a variety of materials such as gravel and to locate a number of experimental treatment plants and facilities. A truck-wash area, workshop and a variety of portable buildings are scattered across this part of the site. South of the treatment plant is largely thick scrubland; the main administration and control centre building plus a small group of portable office buildings are located on the south side of the sewage treatment plant boundary road. The whole of the eastern side of the site forms the largest sub-area. It contains on the north a clear, flat area for stockpiling and drying treated sludge prior to its removal. This incorporates boundary drains and a sump for collection of run-off. In the centre is Keegan’s Lake, a depression in the land which was formerly utilised as an emergency effluent storage pond. It includes a concrete spillway leading from the treatment plant overflow channels and a concrete pump-out sump at its south end. Just south of the pump-out sump is a small brick building contained within a fenced yard, heavily overgrown. This is a redundant Explosives Store, once used to store explosives used in general construction and tunnelling work undertaken by the Board. The open space at Kurnell was seen as an appropriate location for this facility. The sewage treatment plant is a staged series of processes which function to remove the majority of solid and organic material from the incoming sewage. The sewage enters the plant at the south end and is progressively treated as it flows northwards, exiting as effluent at the north end, from where it then enters the outfall to Potter Point. Non-organic material is delivered to collection points along the east side of the plant, for removal by truck. Organic material is delivered to two sludge digestion tanks where it is treated. Sludge may be temporarily stored if required, then the liquid sludge is put through centrifuges to remove the majority of the water, after which this treated sludge (now known as 'biosolids') is taken to the Biosolids Stockpile area. It is tested and, if suitable, then trucked off site for use as organic fertiliser.
  • Modifications made
    In 1964, work on amplification of the treatment plant commenced and over the next decade, the whole works were reconstructed. Various expansions were planned as part of this scheme. The final stages of this plan were implemented in the early 1990s, whilst further investigations were already underway for the addition of tertiary treatment facilities. In the late 1990s, following years of investigation, construction of tertiary treatment facilities was commenced in the northern part of the site. Simultaneously, the plant was leased to a private company, Australian Water Services, to operate.
  • History
    Kurnell is a place which is mostly associated with its brief but seminal role as the first place of landing in Australia of James Cook’s voyage through the South Seas in 1770. Evidence of this event is ephemeral, with only imprecise references to waterholes and wells but during subsequent centuries, a number of monuments have been erected to commemorate the event, mostly close together on the south shore of Botany Bay. After the Second World War, interest in the Kurnell area was boosted and in 1947, a regular bus service commenced to Kurnell Village along the rough bush road. In 1953, the Australian Oil Refinery Limited established its plant at Kurnell, built a sealed road to Cronulla and attracted associated industries to the area. Kurnell then grew as a residential area for the refinery and other workers. Sand mining commenced in the sandhills and in 1952, the Metropolitan Water Sewerage and Drainage Board commenced the Cronulla Sewage Treatment Plant, with the first stage put into service in 1956. Associated with the sewage treatment plant is its outfall to the ocean at Potter Point. Originally intended only to extend to Boat Harbour, the potential for pollution of Cronulla beaches was recognised and the line extended to Potter Point. A 10 acre reservation was placed around the outfall to prevent any development in the vicinity. In 1964, work on amplification of the treatment plant commenced, and over the next decade, the whole works were reconstructed. Various expansions were planned as part of this scheme. The final stages of this plan were implemented in the early 1990s, whilst further investigations were already underway for the addition of tertiary treatment facilities. In 1967, the Captain Cooks Landing Place was declared a Historic Site under the National Parks and Wildlife Service legislation and control was transferred to the new organisation. With only a short time until the planned 1970 bi-centennial of Cook’s Landing, considerable work was undertaken renewing facilities and refurbishing the park. In 1988, the existing park, plus other Government reservations such as Military and Crown Lands, were combined to create the Botany Bay National Park. This park largely now covers the area of the outfall to Potter Point. In the late 1990s, following years of investigation, construction of tertiary treatment facilities was commenced. Simultaneously, the plant was leased to a private company, Australian Water Services, to operate. New works are under construction on the northern side of the existing plant and elements of the earlier facilities, particularly the former overflow storage lake, are being rehabilitated.
  • 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.
  • a) Historical
    The Cronulla Sewage Treatment Plant has significance as the fourth in the series of large sewage treatment plants with ocean outfalls built to service the growing population of Sydney during the 20th century. The site processes and the arrangement of the treatment works and outfall are a product of a century of development of sewer construction and sewage treatment undertaken by the MWS & DB and its predecessors. The development of an organised, centralised sewerage system for the Cronulla-Sutherland area is a product of the urban development of the area and is indicative of the period and extent of urban settlement at the time of its construction. The almost-immediate redesign and amplification of the works subsequent to its completion is further evidence of the rate of suburban expansion in the outer areas of Sydney in the post-World War 2 period. The extension of the sewerage outfall line to Point Potter in 1956 is indicative of the size of the local population, its attachment to the local beaches and the need to provide the protection of them from the polluting potential of the sewerage outfall. The Cronulla Sewage Treatment Plant is one of a group of sewerage facilities in Sydney whose effect upon the water quality of Sydney urban beaches has been the focus of social agitation and controversy over recent decades. The current proposal for upgrading and amplification of the plant is itself a product of the current social debate. The Cronulla Sewage Treatment Plant contains remnant structures from its first generation of operating technology which have been incorporated into the current phase of operations, particularly the former Digester tanks and the former Pump House. Modified and adapted to new applications, these structures demonstrate the on-going development and expansion of the plant over time.
  • c) Aesthetic
    The sewage treatment plant at Cronulla contains a collection of processes and technologies which together represent the most developed form of primary sewage treatment utilising shallow ocean outfalls currently in use in Sydney.
  • d) Social
    Cronulla Sewage Treatment Plant has no identifiable social significance
  • e) Research
    The Cronulla Sewage Treatment Plant utilises a set of processes and technologies which, when in operation, provide an opportunity for the investigation of sewage composition, treatment and reticulation in a local context. It is one of several facilities which are capable of providing this opportunity.
  • f) Rarity
    The Cronulla Sewage Treatment Plant is the only sewage treatment plant operating for the Cronulla-Sutherland area and is one of four ocean-outfall treatment plants serving the greater Sydney Metropolitan area and is the only one of these four still utilising a shallow ocean outfall.
  • g) Representative
    The Cronulla Sewage Treatment Plant is a typical sewage treatment plant for the Sydney area in terms of the general processes undertaken, structures used and the layout and operation of the plant. It contains equipment which is representative of the equipment in use at a wide range of sewage treatment plants in NSW and, in relation to the general process, is a representative example of any moderately sized sewage treatment plant with ocean effluent disposal available. The former Sludge Digesters are representative examples of the design of Digestion tanks of the middle of the twentieth century, though now modified and utilised only for temporary storage. They have comparative examples surviving at other SWC sewage treatment plants, notably Liverpool and differ little from more modern designs, except in appearance.
  • Integrity assessment
    The Cronulla Sewage Treatment Plant is an operating plant. It has some historic fabric which has been modified and adapted to new functions.
  • List name
    Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register
  • Date listing listed
    01 January 2000
  • Title
    Plan: Cronulla Sewage Treatment Works Amplification - General Arrangements
  • Author
    Metropolitan Water Sewerage and Drainage Board
  • Published
    1964
  • Title
    The Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage of Sydney
  • Author
    Aird W.V.
  • Published
    1961
  • Title
    Draft Plan of management for Captain Cooks Landing Place Historic Site
  • Author
    National Parks and Wildlife Service
  • Published
    1970
  • Title
    Sutherland Estate Report
  • Author
    Walker, R.C.
  • Published
    1868
  • Title
    An Archaeological Survey of the Kurnell Peninsula
  • Author
    Murray, T.
  • Published
    1979
  • Title
    Cronulla Sewage Treatment Plant - Amplification - Heritage Issues Statement
  • Author
    Godden Mackay Pty Ltd
  • Published
    1997
  • Item reference number in study
  • Title
    Cronulla Sewage Treatment Plant - Amplification - Heritage Issues Statement
  • Author
    Godden Mackay Pty Ltd
  • Published
    1997
  • Item reference number in study
  • Sedimentation tanks in the Cronulla STP.
    Sedimentation tanks in the Cronulla STP.
    Created by: Tony Brassil
    Creation date: 23 May 2000
  • The entrance to the Pump House in the Cronulla STP.
    The entrance to the Pump House in the Cronulla STP.
    Created by: Tony Brassil
    Creation date: 23 May 2000
  • The original sludge digesters  in the Cronulla STP are now used as sludge holding tanks.
    The original sludge digesters in the Cronulla STP are now used as sludge holding tanks.
    Created by: Tony Brassil
    Creation date: 22 May 2000
  • The physical curtilage plan for the Cronulla STP.
    The physical curtilage plan for the Cronulla STP.
    Created by: Godden Mackay Logan
    Creation date: 20 July 2000
  • The physical curtilage plan for Cronulla Sewage Treatment Plant.
    The physical curtilage plan for Cronulla Sewage Treatment Plant.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 29 May 2006
  • Data entry status
    Basic
  • Entered
    01 December 2000
  • Updated
    19 March 2015