Balmain Reservoir (Covered) (WS 0006)

  • Number
    4575753
  • Other name
    (WS 0006)
  • Primary address

    173, Gladstone Park, Booth Street Balmain, 2041. NSW
    LGA: Leichhardt
    LGA region: Sydney
    DUAP region: Sydney South

  • Alternate Address

    174, Darvall Street Balmain, 2041. NSW
    LGA: Leichhardt
    LGA code: LEIC
    LGA region: Sydney
    DUAP region: Sydney South

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

    Parcel code: LOT
    Lot number: 1
    Section number:
    Plan code: DP
    Plan number: 724348
    Updated: 14 February 2003

  • Curtilage/Boundary
    The curtilage is defined and illustrated by the curtilage plan.
  • AMG easting
    331856350
  • AMG northing
    6252001789
  • Statement of significance
    Balmain Reservoir (Covered) (WS 6) is one of a small group of covered reservoirs in the Sydney Water system. Together they demonstrate the variation and development in construction technology and the high level of engineering skill available to the Metropolitan Water Supply & Drainage Board (MWS&DB). Balmain Reservoir (Covered) (WS 6) is the only reservoir in Sydney where a pumping station is so closely integrated into the reservoir structure, as it stands in the position usually occupied by the valve house or entrance chamber. All covered reservoirs are highly significant within the Sydney Water system, since all differ in construction technology, design and architectural detailing. All therefore contribute to our understanding of the development of covered reservoirs in NSW.
  • Endorsed significance
    Local
  • Designer
    Metropolitan Board of Water Supply and Sewerage
  • Builder
    Metropolitan Board of Water Supply and Sewerage
  • Year completed
    1915
  • Circa
    No
  • Physical description
    Balmain Reservoir (Covered) (WS 6) is a covered reservoir largely excavated into bedrock, resulting in little change to the surface topography of Gladstone Park above. It is a rectangular reservoir, although its corners are shaped in a pair of 45 degree angles. The walls and columns are cut out of sandstone bedrock and capped with concrete, supporting reinforced concrete beams and a concrete roof. The reservoir is divided into two equal halves by a concrete dividing wall capped with a walkway with concrete railings. Access to the reservoir is via the pump house, erected in 1919, on the Booth Street frontage of Gladstone Park. The pump house is constructed in brick, with casement windows, a rendered parapet and pitched roof. It still contains older style electrical switchgear, mounted on slate, and the pumps, which enabled the supply of the higher parts of Balmain. The style of the building is in sympathy with the Queen Anne style of Balmain Hospital, which is situated directly opposite. The recreational and open space usage of the roof of the reservoir is a historical and important feature of most covered reservoirs. Initially constructed as a valve house, pumping units were later located in a subterranean chamber of reinforced concrete construction. It still contains older style electrical switchgear, mounted on slate, and the pumps, which enabled the supply of the higher parts of Balmain. Access to the chamber is via a floor of heavy gauge metal plate. The reservoir is now disused and pumping equipment largely removed. Conservation works were undertaken to the valve house in 2005. Full Service Level: 39 m. Capacity: 11 ML.
  • Modifications made
    The reservoir is now disused and pumping equipment largely removed.
  • History
    Balmain Reservoir (Covered) (WS 6) was constructed in 1915 and was originally supplied by gravity from Potts Hill. It was made redundant by the commissioning of Petersham Reservoir (Elevated) (WS 204) in 1965. Water is now supplied to the higher parts of Balmain by mains independent of Balmain Reservoir. The restoration of Gladstone Park and the erection of a bandstand was made a condition of construction of the reservoir. The footings of the bandstand survive, together with the planting of the park, including archontophoenix palms.
  • National
    Settlement
  • State
    Utilities
  • Local
    Water Supply
  • Local description
    Relates to the planning, development, expansion and provision of water supply.
  • a) Historical
    Very early or first use of "Gunite" process to apply cement mortar to reservoir walls.
  • c) Aesthetic
    Balmain Reservoir (Covered) (WS 6) is the only reservoir in Sydney, where a pumping station is so closely integrated into the reservoir structure, standing in the position usually occupied by the valve house or entrance chamber. This reservoir demonstrates the broad range of construction techniques and high level of technical expertise available for covered reservoir construction. This reservoir demonstrates the high level of technical expertise available to the MWS & DB for reservoir construction.
  • e) Research
    All covered reservoirs are highly significant within the Sydney Water system, since all differ in construction technology, design and architectural detailing. All therefore contribute to our understanding of the development of covered reservoirs in NSW.
  • f) Rarity
    One of a small group of large covered reservoirs in brick or concrete, each demonstrating differences in construction, design and architectural detailing.
  • 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
  • Date listing listed
    01 January 2000
  • List name
    National Trust of Australia register
  • Date listing listed
    01 January 2000
  • WS 6.  Interior of Antechamber, showing switchboard for pumps, pump and cover to access chamber to the reservoir itself.
    WS 6. Interior of Antechamber, showing switchboard for pumps, pump and cover to access chamber to the reservoir itself.
    Created by: Edward Higginbotham
    Creation date: 02 July 2000
  • WS 6.  Roof of covered reservoir, showing footings for bandstand in foreground and Antechamber or Valve House at rear.
    WS 6. Roof of covered reservoir, showing footings for bandstand in foreground and Antechamber or Valve House at rear.
    Created by: Edward Higginbotham
    Creation date: 02 July 2000
  • WS 6.  Antechamber or Valve House to covered reservoir.
    WS 6. Antechamber or Valve House to covered reservoir.
    Created by: Edward Higginbotham
    Creation date: 02 July 2000
  • Location Plan
    Location Plan
    Created by: Edward Higginbotham
    Creation date: 01 January 2000
  • The physical curtilage plan for Balmain Reservoir (Covered)(WS 0006).
    The physical curtilage plan for Balmain Reservoir (Covered)(WS 0006).
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 26 May 2006
  • Data entry status
    Basic
  • Entered
    18 December 2000
  • Updated
    05 December 2014