Ryde Pumping Station and site (WP0005)

  • Number
    4572724
  • Other name
    WP0005, West Ryde Pumping station
  • Primary address

    258, Victoria Road West Ryde, 2114. NSW
    LGA: Ryde City
    LGA region: Sydney
    DUAP region: Sydney North

  • Alternate Address

    259, Hermitage Road West Ryde, 2114. NSW
    LGA: Ryde City
    LGA code: RYDE
    LGA region: Sydney
    DUAP region: Sydney North

  • Owner
    Sydney Water
  • Current use
    Water Pumping Station and offices, inlcuding Sydney Water and WaterNSW Historic Research Archive
  • Former use
    Water Pumping Station and administration
  • Item type
    Built
  • Item group
    Utilities - Water
  • Item category
    Water Pump House/Pumping Station
  • Parcels

    Parcel code: LOT
    Lot number: 5-7
    Section number:
    Plan code: DP
    Plan number: 819902
    Updated: 17 February 2003

    Parcel code: PART LOT
    Lot number: 1
    Section number: 1
    Plan code: DP
    Plan number: 3646
    Updated: 06 February 2008

    Parcel code: PART LOT
    Lot number: 8-12
    Section number: 2
    Plan code: DP
    Plan number: 3646
    Updated: 06 February 2008

    Parcel code: LOT
    Lot number: 3-7
    Section number: 2
    Plan code: DP
    Plan number: 3646
    Updated: 06 February 2008

    Parcel code: PART LOT
    Lot number: 1
    Section number:
    Plan code: DP
    Plan number: 131222
    Updated: 06 February 2008

  • Curtilage/Boundary
    The curtilage as defined and illustrated by the curtilage plan. Lot and DP need to be added.
  • AMG easting
    323222941
  • AMG northing
    6257392780
  • Statement of significance
    Ryde Water Pumping Station and site is of high cultural significance to the State of NSW for the important role it serves in the history of water supply in Sydney. The site has association with the 1891 steam-powered water pumping station, operational from 1891-1930, and demolished in 1961. The Ryde Water Pumping Station site contains important landscape elements and has the ability to demonstrate important and distinct phases of its history. Ryde Water Pumping Station No.2 is a late and representative example of a Federation Free style utility building. The Ryde Water Pumping Station No.2 is representative of large steam powered water pumping stations used in the late 19th and early 20th century. The item features evidence of numerous past and present technological processes. Ryde Water Pumping Station No.2 was openned in 1921, originally powered by steam until its conversion to electric power in 1976-81, and remains one of the largest and longest operating water pumping stations in Sydney.
  • Endorsed significance
    State
  • Builder
    William Adams & Co. Ltd, State Monier Works, Refshaw & OBrien
  • Year started
    1891
  • Year completed
    1921
  • Circa
    No
  • Physical description
    The pumping station building which fronts Victoria Road comprises a small administration block, the engine house and the adjoining boiler house and economiser house. There is also a reinforced concrete viaduct at the south end, which allowed railway coal wagons to be transported to the top of the building and emptied over the coal bunkers inside. The boiler house occupies the central section of the pumping station and is much higher than the flanking engines and economiser houses. The boiler house contains its rail lines and coal bunkers at roof level, but the boilers have been removed. The economisers induced draught fans and the feed pumps and feed water heater for the boilers have also been removed. The site contains an original reservoir valve house, a red brick and stone Queen Anne Revival style valve enclosure, on original suction tank (reservoir), semi-submerged surrounded by battered earth walls and constructed of mass concrete walls and floor. In c.1930 Victoria Road was cut adjacent to the reservoir and there are mid to late 20th century trees and fence which now surround the reservoir. In the late 20th century a new roof was fitted to the top of the reservoir. To the south west of the original reservoir, historical evidence describes a railway spur to a coal dump which is now turfed. In the area shown on historical plans where the original pumping station was located is now a concrete paved car park adjacent to the railway line, and bordered by concrete and block walls which in part formed bins for stock piling of coal and aggregate for works purposes. Archaeological evidence remains clearly of the railway tracks which fed the coal bins to the former original pumping station in the area presently covered by a steel framed shed (No.3). North east of the original reservoir is located the original engineer's residence. It is a late Victorian brick residence using glazed cream brick and understood to be single storey originally with the first storey added soon after. The efficiency engineer's office is a brick building with steel frame windows and new sheet roofing. An amenity section is located at the southern end of this building. The main existing pumping station is brick with rendered details dating from 1921. The overall construction of the pumping station comprises a brick walled and steel framed interior economiser house with extant bases of the original reinforced concrete chimneys. Mid to late 20th century security bars have been fitted to the windows and verandah enclosure to the office. The existing pumps and engines in the engine house date from the mid to late 20th century following the electrification of the pumping station. On the eastern side of the engine house are the majority of pipes and valves (manifolds) which largely date from the mid and late 20th century. The roofing to the engine house is late 20th century sheet metal roofing with original timber louvred monitors to its ridge. At the southern end of the engine house were added some 6 bays which became known as the Mobbs Hill extension. Adjoining the Mobbs Hill extension to the south again is a mid to late 20th century workshop building constructed of brick walls, gable roof with sheet metal roof cladding and roof lights. To the west of this pump house is a turfed area which was formally an ash pit and it is understood a channel exists under the subsoil to the pumping station as archaeological evidence of the management of ash and the development of that management on the site. A considerable number of exotic plantings including Canary Island palms and Peppercorn trees surround the site dating from the original landscaping of the 1922 pumping station.
  • History
    The first pumping station at Ryde was built by the Harbours and Rivers Department, and handed over to the newly formed MBWS&S (Metropolitan Board of Water Supply and Sewerage) in 1891. Water was delivered from Potts Hill Reservoir to a balance reservoir at Ryde Railway Station. From here a pair of 146HP vertical, compound, direct-acting, surface-condensing pumping engines (by J. Watts & Co. Birmingham), lifted 3,400 gal/min of water to Ryde tank and Chatswood, to supply Sydney's northern distribution system. By 1916 the need to further increase pumping capacity could no longer be accommodated in the existing station. Land on the eastern boundary of the old station was acquired, and a second much larger pumping station built. The new station was completed during 1921 and commissioned on the 15th September. Gradually the new station took over the pumping duties of the old until the old pumping station ceased to operate during November 1930. The old station was used as a store until it was demolished in 1961. The new pumping station went through continual upgrades and amplifications to raise its pumping capacity. In 1921 the station was pumping to Chatswood, Pymble, Wahroonga, Hermitage, Mobbs Hill and Beecroft Reservoirs. By 1982 the conversion to electrification was completed. The combination of electrification over steam, more powerful prime movers and improved suction mains, rising mains and manifolds, resulted in the great increase in capacity at the new station. Turpentine-Ironbark forest on Wianamatta shale was the main vegetation type for much of the Ryde area. A typical sample is that within the small reserve (Wallumatta Nature Reserve) at Twin Road, Ryde and includes Turpentine and Grey Gum. During the 19th century much of the Ryde area was cleared for its timber and to provide land for farming while the post-WW2 suburban expansion resulted in the further loss of extensive remnant areas of bushland. More recent treatment of the grounds reflects an attempt to soften the impact of the introduction of the many office buildings and demountables associated with the use of the place by Sydney Water and, until June 2001, Australian Water Technologies.
  • National
    Economy
  • State
    Technology
  • Local
    (none)
  • National
    Economy
  • State
    Environment - cultural landscape
  • Local
    (none)
  • National
    Settlement
  • State
    Utilities
  • Local
    Water Supply
  • Local description
    Relates to the planning, development, expansion and provision of water supply.
  • National
    Settlement
  • State
    Towns, suburbs and villages (Townships)
  • Local
    (none)
  • a) Historical
    For its importance with the history of water supply system in Sydney, and the major water pumping operations in particular. The site has had a long and important association with the 1891 steam-powered water pumping station, operational from 1891-1930, and demolished in 1961. The opening of Ryde Water Pumping Station No.1 was a landmark in Sydney Water’s history and an important moment in application of the Nepean Scheme. • The site comprises the Water Pumping Station No.2 that, at its completion in 1921, was the largest in Australia. • The Ryde Water Pumping Station Site contains important landscape elements and has the ability to demonstrate important and distinct phases of its history. Notable are the pre-European vegetation remnants, farming phase evidence, and the distinctive 1890s earthworks and group of 1920s plantings associated with the major expansion of the water supply system. • The No.1 Station featured steam turbine driven water pumps, believed to be the first of their type in Australia. Other important innovations applied on this site included the forced draught and automatic pneumatic control in the stokehold, the change from manual to automatic ash disposal; the installation of the water tube boilers; the use of record-high pressure steam and the adoption of telemetric reservoir gauging.
  • b) Association
    Ryde Water Pumping Station has strong associations with the historical development of Sydney Water Corporation. The palms in the northwest corner of the site reflect the character of plantings usually associated with government-related projects by J H Maiden (Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens in the first quarter of the 20th century). Ryde Water Pumping Station has unique associations with the historical development of Sydney, being the key element in water supply for large parts of the metropolitan area. Its development and subsequent operation were closely connected with the activities of Public Works Department, as the construction authority until the mid-1920s, and the State Railways, as the provider of access for coal until the 1970s.
  • c) Aesthetic
    The Ryde Pumping Station buildings and cultural landscape are prominent elements in the townscape of Ryde. The main engine house and former boiler and economiser houses, along with the cultural landscape, reflect the importance of civic design at the time of their construction. The whole of the remnant building/landscape group addressing Victoria Road is an imposing local landmark within the local townscape.
  • d) Social
    The place is likely to be held in high regard by a broad range of community members and organisations. The historical significance and function the pumping station plays is recognised by organisations such as the National Trust and the Institution of Engineers of Australia. The familiar and distinct Victoria Road address likely holds high social value as an important local reference point.
  • e) Research
    Ryde Pumping Station has been the site of many innovative and substantial attempts at water supply technology. Such evidence includes the following: - the turbine and powered pumps in 1906 were an early use of a highly successful system. - the use of reinforced concrete instead of brick for the chimneys in 1918 was a relatively early use of that type. - the use of electrically welded steam piping in 1921. - the use of pneumatic ash collection in 1923. - the use of cement spray ("cement gun") rendering in 1923. - the pulverised coal fuel for boilers between 1922 and 1927. The site contains a number of elements which are now rare or if not unique in Sydney Water's system of former work practices including the coal staith, archaeological evidence of railway sidings for former use of the site, substantial late 19th century engineer's residence, amongst numerous other built elements and movable relics which give evidence to the work practices at the completion of the No.2 pumping station in 1921.
  • f) Rarity
    The West Ryde Pumping Station site and its significant components comprise the most substantial example of such technology in the Sydney Water system and in NSW. The 1920's plantings are rare specific Government landscape design.
  • g) Representative
    Ryde Water Pumping Station No.2 is a late and representative example of a Federation Freestyle utility building. • The Ryde Water Pumping Station No.2 is representative of large steam powered water pumping stations used in the late 19th and early 20th century. • In addition to this, the item features evidence of numerous past and present technological processes, believed to be the site of the largest steam powered water pumping station in the Southern Hemisphere from creation of Ryde Water Pumping Station No.2 in 1921 until its conversion to electric power in 1976, and remains one of the largest and longest operating water pumping stations in Sydney until today.
  • Integrity assessment
    The integrity of West Ryde Pumping Station is high as it continues to operate for the purpose it was designed. While a considerable amount of original (1921) technology in terms of plant and equipment has been removed, substantial tangible evidence remains of historical functions.
  • 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 June 1991
  • List name
    Heritage Act - State Heritage Register
  • Name
    State Heritage Register
  • Reference number
    01634
  • Gazette number
    220
  • Gazette page
    9709
  • Date listing listed
    15 November 2002
  • Title
    Ryde Pumping Station - Heritage Assessment for Maintenance and Stabilisation Works
  • Author
    AWT EnSight
  • Published
    1996
  • Title
    Ryde Pumping Station Heritage Study
  • Author
    Doring, C & MJ
  • Published
    1991
  • Title
    Ryde Water Pumping Station & Site Conservation Management Plan
  • Author
    Sydney Water Corporation
  • Published
    2004
  • Item reference number in study
  • Interior of existing Engine house.
    Interior of existing Engine house.
    Created by: Don Truman
    Creation date: 10 August 2000
  • West elevation of former engineer''s residence and rear buildings (no longer owned by Sydney Water).
    West elevation of former engineer''s residence and rear buildings (no longer owned by Sydney Water).
    Created by: Don Truman
    Creation date: 10 August 2000
  • Original Reservoir Valve House.
    Original Reservoir Valve House.
    Created by: Don Truman
    Creation date: 10 August 2000
  • Pumping Station from Victoria Road, prior to demolition of chimney stacks.
    Pumping Station from Victoria Road, prior to demolition of chimney stacks.
    Created by: MWS&DB
    Creation date: 04 April 2060
  • Engine House
    Engine House
    Created by: MWS&DB
    Creation date: 04 April 2060
  • Boiler/Economiser House
    Boiler/Economiser House
    Created by: MWS&DB
    Creation date: 04 April 2060
  • Former ash slurry pit and gantry crane which were located near the current Hermitage Road site entrance.
    Former ash slurry pit and gantry crane which were located near the current Hermitage Road site entrance.
    Created by: MWS&DB
    Creation date: 04 April 2060
  • Engine House interior from Control Room.
    Engine House interior from Control Room.
    Created by: Don Truman
    Creation date: 10 August 2000
  • Plan showing Ryde Pumping Station distribution paths.
    Plan showing Ryde Pumping Station distribution paths.
    Created by: MWS&DB
    Creation date: 05 July 2058
  • The physical curtilage plan for Ryde Pumping Station and site.
    The physical curtilage plan for Ryde Pumping Station and site.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 30 June 2006
  • Ryde Water Pumping Station, view from Victoria Road showing Palm trees.
    Ryde Water Pumping Station, view from Victoria Road showing Palm trees.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2009
  • View from Victoria Road showing extent of Pumping Station.
    View from Victoria Road showing extent of Pumping Station.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2009
  • Ryde Pumping Station
    Ryde Pumping Station
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2008
  • View of Boiler house and Economiser house.
    View of Boiler house and Economiser house.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2009
  • View showing viaduct entering Boiler house.
    View showing viaduct entering Boiler house.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2009
  • View from Victoria Road.
    View from Victoria Road.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2009
  • View from Victoria Road
    View from Victoria Road
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2009
  • Rail viaduct following conservation work.
    Rail viaduct following conservation work.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2009
  • View showing rail viaduct and entrance into coal staithe.
    View showing rail viaduct and entrance into coal staithe.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2009
  • Pumping Station No.2. Officials at Opening Ceremony 1921.
    Pumping Station No.2. Officials at Opening Ceremony 1921.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2021
  • Historic photo- Ryde Water Pumping Station.
    Historic photo- Ryde Water Pumping Station.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date:
  • View showing inside of coal staithe.
    View showing inside of coal staithe.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 01 January 2009
  • Data entry status
    Basic
  • Entered
    10 March 1999
  • Updated
    20 April 2017