Sewage Pumping Station No 271 (SP0271)

  • Number
    4571727
  • Other name
    Marrickville Pumping Station; SPS 271
    Wastewater Pumping Station No 271 (WWP0271)
  • Primary address

    194, Carrington Road Marrickville, 2204. NSW
    LGA: Marrickville
    LGA region: Sydney
    DUAP region: Sydney South

  • Owner
    Sydney Water
  • Current use
    Sewage pumping station. Former Engineers House, Boiler House & Chimney. Includes the railway embankment, sandstone kerbing and trachy
  • Former use
    Sewage pumping station. Formerly powered by coal fired boiler.
  • Item type
    Built
  • Item group
    Utilities - Sewerage
  • Item category
    Sewage Pump House/Pumping Station
  • Parcels

    Parcel code: LOT
    Lot number: 1
    Section number:
    Plan code: DP
    Plan number: 182542
    Updated: 12 August 2010

    Parcel code: LOT
    Lot number: 1
    Section number:
    Plan code: DP
    Plan number: 182543
    Updated: 12 August 2010

    Parcel code: LOT
    Lot number: 1
    Section number:
    Plan code: DP
    Plan number: 1007789
    Updated: 17 February 2003

  • Curtilage/Boundary
    The curtilage is defined by part Lots 1 of DP no.182542, 182543 and 1007789 as shown on the curtilage plan.
  • AMG easting
    329846310
  • AMG northing
    6245662592
  • Statement of significance
    SP0271 is of State, historic and aesthetic significance. Historically, it is one of the oldest sewage pumping stations still in active service in the Sydney Water system and is technologically unique in having the dual function of carrying sewage and stormwater. SP0271 is one of only two pumping stations which were originally powered by steam. The importance of the station is reinforced by the provision of a substantial house for the site engineer, which survives intact. Aesthetically, it is one of the finest examples of a large scale Federation period public utility building in Sydney, displaying a high level of excellence in its design, construction and craftsmanship. The existing chimney is significant in its own right, being an excellent example of a substantial stack constructed in ornamental brickwork which is also a local landmark. The station reveals information about early steam and diesel technologies and is significant as a representative example of a sewage pumping station which still fulfils its role over 100 years after its introduction, as originally designed and constructed albeit with mechanical and electrical upgrading.
  • Endorsed significance
    State
  • Designer
    New South Wales Public Works Department
  • Builder
    New South Wales Public Works Department
  • Year started
    1898
  • Year completed
    1900
  • Circa
    Yes
  • Physical description
    Architecturally, the pumping station/boiler house was designed in a utilitarian version of the Federation Romanesque style. Externally there are tiled gable roofs with louvred monitors, exposed eaves and gable parapets. There are engaged brick piers with sloping sandstone copings, multi-paned timber awning windows with half round arches surmounted by rock faced sandstone and machiolations on the walls and gables. The gables have sandstone copings with bracketed decorated kneelers. The entrance consists of a timber framed, ledged and sheeted double door. Internally, there is an exposed hand-wrought Warren truss in the engine room strengthened internally with match-boarding. There are pilasters, which correspond with the external piers, which hold the beam for the overhead crane rail. The overhead crane is a simple undertrussed steel girder, hand operated crane. The chimney stack has polychrome brickwork on a square base which changes to an octagonal shaft some three metres above the ground. It is finished with an ornate cap. The residence is an early 20th century two storey brick building displays Federation period detailing. The SP0271 precinct includes the original pumping station building comprising the boiler house, engine house, office, chimney stack and above ground flue and a separate Federation house, the former Chief Engineer’s residence. The boundary is defined by a stone retaining wall supporting the railway line to the north, the railway line to the south, the boundary of the Chief Engineer’s residence to the West and the former creek to the east. The site includes a range of other elements including remains of an external toilet, sewer vents, access chambers, landscaping including gravel roads with remnant sandstone kerbing and trachyte paving around the pumping station building proper. Open space/an informal unsealed car park is located to the immediate west of the residence and a modern electrical substation is sited adjacent to the railway track to the southern boundary of the site. The site includes footings of the early coal bunker, remains of a demolished coal store, numerous subsurface pipes, sumps and valves. The electrical substation is a modern structure, positioned next to the railway line, subordinate to the pumping station on the southern boundary. Stormwater infrastructure on site includes several decommissioned stormwater pipes leading to the Marrickville Valley Central Channel and a diversion and take off weir. The Engineer’s House has a front and rear garden and within the open space of the pumping station grounds, a variety of introduced and indigenous flora species.
  • Modifications made
    Various works from 2003-2008 included removal of the roof to former coal store, new paving and new wire mesh security gates to the former Boiler House. Reinstatement of timber verandah boarding and new security screens to the windows. Slates reinstated to roof. Restoration of roof lining timbers to pump hall, trusses repainted in former boiler house.
  • History
    SP0271 was constructed in the late 1890's by the PWD and handed over to the Metropolitan Board of Water Supply and Sewerage in 1900. The station has pumped continuously since its commissioning, though through several changes in equipment and technology. Power for the pumps has been supplied by steam, diesel engines and electric motors and tangible evidence remains for interpretation of each technology. The SWSOOS CMP outlines the historical development of the System in detail and the social context leading to the construction of SP0271. As outlined in the historical discussion in that document, Sydney’s environmental policy was built around the idea that disease was caused by malodorous waste and the push for improving Sydney’s sewage system was centred around protecting the health and amenity of citizens (Coward, 1988:239). As Sydney developed, the Harbour became increasingly polluted. Outbreaks of typhoid prompted the creation of the Sydney City and Suburban Health Board in 1873 (Aird, 1961:130) and a rapid succession of public health statutes seeking to regulate the protection of hygiene and health. SP0271, originally known as the ‘Meeks Road or Marrickville Pumping Station’, was in design by 1896 and built between the years 1898 to 1900. In the PWD Annual Report of 1900 (PWD, AR:121) it was reported that the sewers gravitating to the pumping station and the buildings connected had been completed. The station was under the Board’s operation by March 1900, formally transferred in 1902 (MBWSS, Annual Report, 1901). The construction of SP0271 punctuated the end of a significant phase in the establishment and reformation of Sydney’s water and sewerage utilities. The Nepean Water Supply system was in place by 1888 and the concurrent development of the sewerage system saw the establishment of the Bondi Ocean Outfall Sewer (BOOS) and the Southern Sewer to the Botany Bay Sewage Farms completed in 1889. Work had commenced by 1890 to separate stormwater disposal and sewage treatment and the design of SP0271 fulfilled this by separating the pumping of storm water and sewage. SP0271 was the third station to utilize steam power, the first being a temporary pumping station at St Peters (c.1894), commissioned as a short term solution to resolve the delay in constructing the Wolli Creek and Cooks River aqueducts. The second was Homebush Steam SPS, transferred to the Board in 1903. This station operated for some ten years, superceded in 1914 by the construction of the electric SPS 41, which served the local abattoirs and Homebush area. Construction progress of SP0271 was recorded in the Public Works Department Annual Reports of 1897-1901.
  • 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
    SP0271 is one of the oldest and largest sewage pumping stations still in service and, originally, was one of only two in the Sydney area which were powered by steam. It is the only sewage pumping station in the Sydney area which also pumps stormwater, as well as but separate from, sewage. The size and quality of the pumping station, in addition to the construction of the superintendents residence, indicates the importance of sewage disposal at the time.
  • b) Association
    In its surviving fabric SP0271 is an excellent example of the importance of the quality of design, craftsmanship and innovation of the then Department of Public Works. The Engineer’s Residence and site is associated with a succession of Officers-in-Charge of the station, commencing with the 15 year tenure of Engineer-in-Charge, Mr J F Furness, which is of some significance for the history of Sydney Water Corporation. SP0271 does not meet this criterion for State significance.
  • c) Aesthetic
    SP0271 is an excellent example of a large scale Federation Romanesque industrial building which displays in its surviving fabric a high standard of design, construction and craftsmanship. The unity of materials evident in the brick facades, stone dressings and timber windows are fine examples of 19th century public utility buildings. The external fabric is intact and in good condition. It exhibits a range of fine craftsmanship rare in industrial buildings. The trachyte paving blocks is one of the few remaining original trachyte block precincts in Sydney. SP0271 is one of Sydney Water’s finest architectural assets and is an intact precinct with a complete set of buildings, relics and remains. The chimney stack of the pumping station is a landmark in the local area.
  • d) Social
    SP0271 has provided an essential community function for some 100 years but the nature of its function renders it largely invisible to the general public. SP0271 is known to be valued for its historic industrial fabric and for its role in the development of Sydney’s sewage system by special interest groups such as the Institution of Engineers and the National Trust of Australia (NSW). SP0271 does not meet this criterion for State significance.
  • e) Research
    SP0271 represents not only the technique of sewage pumping but the technology and infrastructure enabling the development of low-lying areas of Sydney. SP0271 was built at the end of a major construction program signalling the development of an Australian engineering and construction industry. Any archaeological material, potentially discovered on the site in the future, is not likely to exceed this level of significance and make an important change to this aspect of significance. SP0271 does not meet this criterion for State significance.
  • f) Rarity
    SP0271 is the only sewage pumping station in the system which pumps both sewage and stormwater and is one of the earliest of both types. SP0271 is one of only three pumping stations which pump stormwater. SP0271 is the only pumping station to have had steam, diesel and electric power to operate the pumps. The in situ Blackstone diesel is an important and rare engine.
  • g) Representative
    SP0271 is a representative example of a large scale Federation Period industrial building construction designed in the Romanesque style. It is representative of the low level sewage pumping station system.
  • List name
    Local Environmental Plan
  • Name
    Marrickville LEP 2001
  • Gazette number
    86
  • Date listing listed
    01 January 2001
  • 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
  • List name
    Heritage Act - State Heritage Register
  • Name
    Sewage Pumping Station 271
  • Reference number
    01342
  • Date listing listed
    18 November 1999
  • Title
    Sewage Pumping Station 271 CMP
  • Author
    Sydney Water Corporation
  • Published
    2005
  • Item reference number in study
  • Title
    Sydney Water Heritage Study
  • Author
    Graham Brooks and Associates Pty Ltd
  • Published
    1996
  • Item reference number in study
  • Title
    Marrickville Low Level Sewage & Stormwater Pumping Station SPS 271 Conservation
  • Author
    Don Godden & Associates Pty Ltd
  • Published
    1989
  • Item reference number in study
  • Title
    Heritage Study of the Upper Nepean Scheme
  • Author
    Edward Higginbotham & Associates Pty Ltd
  • Published
    1992
  • Item reference number in study
  • Side view of former Engineers House.
    Side view of former Engineers House.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2008
  • View of Boiler House showing detailed brickwork and sandstone copings.
    View of Boiler House showing detailed brickwork and sandstone copings.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2008
  • View of former Boiler House, showing detailed brickwork.
    View of former Boiler House, showing detailed brickwork.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2008
  • View of former coal store and Boiler House.
    View of former coal store and Boiler House.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2008
  • Internal view of entry hall to Engine House.
    Internal view of entry hall to Engine House.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2008
  • Engine House Interior - Warren Truss, Lantern & Crane.
    Engine House Interior - Warren Truss, Lantern & Crane.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2008
  • Storeroom in Boiler House.
    Storeroom in Boiler House.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2008
  • Interoir of former Boiler House.
    Interoir of former Boiler House.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2008
  • View showing window detail.
    View showing window detail.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2008
  • Photograph of the Chimney.
    Photograph of the Chimney.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2008
  • Former Engineers House - front elevation.
    Former Engineers House - front elevation.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2008
  • The physical curtilage plan for Sewage Pumping Station No.271 (SP0271).
    The physical curtilage plan for Sewage Pumping Station No.271 (SP0271).
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 30 June 2006
  • Data entry status
    Completed
  • Entered
    10 March 2000
  • Updated
    01 November 2016