Bankstown Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 0007)

  • Number
    4575749
  • Other name
    (WS 0007)
  • Primary address

    40, Beresford Avenue Bankstown, 2220. NSW
    LGA: Bankstown
    LGA region: Sydney
    DUAP region: Hunter & Central Coast

  • Alternate Address

    41, Liverpool Road (Hume Highway) Bankstown, 2220. NSW
    LGA: Bankstown
    LGA code: BANK
    LGA region: Sydney
    DUAP region: Hunter & Central Coast

  • Owner
    Sydney Water
  • Current use
    Reservoir
  • Former use
    Reservoir
  • Item type
    Built
  • Item group
    Utilities - Water
  • Item category
    Water Supply Reservoir/ Dam
  • Parcels

    Parcel code: LOT
    Lot number: 10
    Section number:
    Plan code: DP
    Plan number: 872998
    Updated: 27 August 2010

  • Curtilage/Boundary
    The curtilage is defined by the boundary of Lot 10 in DP no.872998, as shown on the curtilage plan.
  • AMG easting
    318754683
  • AMG northing
    6246599390
  • Statement of significance
    Bankstown Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 7) is one of a small group of reinforced concrete reservoirs on concrete piers in the Sydney Water system. The reservoir is the oldest in this group. It possesses several ornamental or decorative features, which are missing on the more functional reservoirs in this group. The reservoir demonstrates the growing demand for water in Sydney suburbs, serving a large area of South Western Sydney. It is a landmark within both the local area and greater Sydney.
  • Endorsed significance
    State
  • Designer
    Metropolitan Board of Water Supply and Sewerage
  • Builder
    Metropolitan Board of Water Supply and Sewerage
  • Year started
    1920
  • Year completed
    1920
  • Circa
    No
  • Physical description
    Bankstown reservoir is constructed of reinforced concrete and consists of a circular tank utilising reinforced concrete for both walls and floor. It is supported by 36 reinforced concrete columns, with a decorative reinforced concrete arch surround to the whole structure. The inner columns are made of reinforced concrete while the outer columns are of plain concrete. Blue metal aggregate was used for the concrete in the elevated tank and supporting columns, with sandstone aggregate for the arched surround and below ground foundations. It possesses a rare feature in its central reinforced concrete access tower rising from ground level to the top of the tank, where it is connected by a foot bridge to the walkway around the top of the tank, and passes through the centre of the tank. The structure was strengthened to meet the current earthquake code in 2009.
  • Modifications made
    The reservoir has been roofed to safeguard water quality (1960s-1970s). The construction of Bankstown Reservoir necessitated a range of temporary work sheds. Once completed, the built elements on the site were the Reservoir itself and two workers' cottages. It is not known when these cottages, Pinegrove and Pineridge were demolished, it is likely that this occurred when Liverpool Road (now Hume Highway) was widened. Plans negotiating the sale of the land (as early as 1930) to the predecessor of the RTA indicates that the proposed area included part of the cottages and that these should be demolished and rebuilt ‘in brick’ (Sydney Water Real Estate Case History File 35). The initial road widening did not occur until 1939 and the two remaining cottages are identified on the plans during this period. It is likely that the cottages were demolished at this time. By the mid century, Board staff did not live on site. The cottages did not appear on an archival plan dated 1961. The 1920 fibro valve house superstructure was removed at some point with the concrete base and substructure retained. Access to the venturi meter and throttle valve house chamber was provided by lifting hatches. The only built addition to the site was a modest mid century office building used as a local water maintenance depot, currently disused. The Bankstown Reservoir structure is largely intact and has sustained few modifications thus retaining its integrity. Additional modifications to the reservoir include the aluminium roof constructed in 1962 to preserve water quality. It is likely that the concrete walkway was removed or covered by the roof, and the galvanised iron handrail removed. 2009 - completed earthquake strengthening and render repairs. Additional bracing for strengthening designed to minimise visual impact on the structure.
  • History
    Construction of Bankstown Reservoir commenced in October 1918. Sheds for an office, carpenter, cement store and a garage for motor lorry were built while the initial levelling off of the reservoir site was carried out. The ridge traversed by the Liverpool Road enabled the usual reservoir construction method, half bank and half excavation (Stone, 1923:4). Construction of the Reservoir was designed to alleviate pressure on Ashfield Reservoir and eliminate pumping from Ryde. In November 1918, the foundations for the piers were excavated in ‘stiff clay’ to a firm shale foundation, to an average depth of 9 feet. Concreting of the foundations was carried out concurrent to excavation due to a lack of funds, with work progressing as funds became available (Stone, 1923:13). The plant used to construct the reservoir is outlined in detail in the 1923 archival report (Stone, 1923). As usual with Board constructions, plant was borrowed or transferred from other sites, in this case from Potts Hill which was then under construction. The performance of concrete is dependent on the individual materials of which it is composed, the workmanship during construction and subsequent environmental conditions and maintenance. The concrete for Bankstown reservoir was made in situ, sandstone for the concrete obtained from a quarry at Potts Hill and trucked to a Robey plate crusher, crushed and elevated by a bucket elevator to 50 ton hoppers. Power was supplied by a portable steam engine. The rendering of the reservoir was conducted by ornamental exterior plastering by hand, waterproofing of the interior of tank by cement gun and cement washing of inner columns, underside of floor and portions not seen from the outside, by washing over surfaces with cement (Stone, 1923:19). Hand rendering commenced in February 1920, followed closely on the stripping, to obtain a better bond, steel and wooden templates (Stone,1923:20).
  • National
    Settlement
  • State
    Utilities
  • Local
    Water Supply
  • Local description
    Relates to the planning, development, expansion and provision of water supply.
  • a) Historical
    Bankstown Reservoir is illustrative of the growth of Sydney and the corresponding development of the water supply network over this period. The design of Bankstown Reservoir illustrates the Victorian and early twentieth century attitude that the provision of public infrastructure was evidence of cultural and material progress and that the arrival of such structures within a community was a matter of achievement. The boldness of its landmark design qualities and the attention to the aesthetic details of its fabric show the pride and confidence of the designers and their supervisors. Bankstown Reservoir meets the State level of significance for this criterion.
  • b) Association
    The site on which the Reservoir was built may also be associated with the earliest period of Bankstown’s European settlement, early transport routes, the bushrangers which traversed Liverpool Road and the emergence and implementation of law and order in the district. Bankstown Reservoir does not meet the State level of significance for this criterion.
  • c) Aesthetic
    The Bankstown Reservoir is a prominent skyline feature and a landmark in its area. It is visible in all directions for a considerable distance. It is a simple, functional structure which has been designed with deliberate architectural stylisation. The arched substructure and tank are fine examples of Federation Free Classical architecture. The Bankstown Reservoir is an aesthetically pleasing structure. It has style and character, good proportions and demonstrates attention to detail both in design and construction. Its scale is in proportion to its context and its materials and finishes are typical of the building materials common in the area. Bankstown Reservoir meets the State level of significance for this criterion.
  • d) Social
    Bankstown Reservoir is valued for its historical, technological and aesthetic qualities. This is evidenced by its entry in the National Trust Register.
  • e) Research
    At the time of construction, Bankstown reservoir was the largest elevated reinforced concrete elevated reservoir in Australia. The Bankstown Reservoir, completed in 1920, was fully built in reinforced concrete, and is notable as the first concrete reservoir to be elevated on concrete piers. After its completion, planned for before the end of the First World War, elevated reservoirs fully built in reinforced concrete became standard until the 1950s. Bankstown Reservoir has potential scientific value in the analysis of the longterm performance of its construction method, being the oldest Sydney Water elevated reservoir fully built in reinforced concrete. Bankstown Reservoir meets this criterion on State level.
  • f) Rarity
    Bankstown Reservoir is the oldest of the class of elevated reinforced concrete reservoirs. Its central reinforced concrete access tower is a rare feature. The tower rises from ground level to the top of the tank, where it is connected by a foot bridge to the walkway around the top of the tank, and passes through the centre of the tank. Bankstown Reservoir meets this criterion on a local level.
  • List name
    Register of the National Estate
  • Reference number
    100870 indicative
  • List name
    Local Environmental Plan
  • Name
    Bankstown LEP 2001
  • Reference number
    Water Reservoir, at Stacey Street intersection
  • Gazette number
    49
  • Date listing listed
    01 January 2001
  • List name
    Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register
  • Name
    Sydney Water Heritage Register
  • Date listing listed
    30 June 2002
  • List name
    National Trust of Australia register
  • Date listing listed
    02 January 2000
  • List name
    Heritage Act - State Heritage Register
  • Name
    State Heritage Register
  • Reference number
    01316
  • Date listing listed
    18 November 1999
  • Title
    Amplification of Waterloo Pumping Station in Sydney Water Board Journal
  • Author
    Anon.
  • Published
    1963
  • Title
    Bankstown Reservoir (Elevated) (WS0007) Conservation Management Plan
  • Author
    Sydney Water
  • Published
    2005
  • Item reference number in study
  • Bankstown Reservoir, showing earthquake strengthening completed in 2009.
    Bankstown Reservoir, showing earthquake strengthening completed in 2009.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 04 December 2009
  • Detail of mouldings and circular motif above each column.
    Detail of mouldings and circular motif above each column.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2003
  • WS7. Concrete apron of reservoir, showing concrete steps, side walls and posts.
    WS7. Concrete apron of reservoir, showing concrete steps, side walls and posts.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2003
  • Concrete walkway and roof.
    Concrete walkway and roof.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2003
  • Bankstown Reservoir, showing earthquake strengthening completed in 2009.
    Bankstown Reservoir, showing earthquake strengthening completed in 2009.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 04 December 2009
  • Top of reservoir showing corbell and detail.
    Top of reservoir showing corbell and detail.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2003
  • The physical curtilage plan for Bankstown Reservoir (Elevated) (WS0007).
    The physical curtilage plan for Bankstown Reservoir (Elevated) (WS0007).
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 03 September 2010
  • Data entry status
    Partial
  • Entered
    18 December 2000
  • Updated
    20 April 2017