Pipehead, Water supply canal and associated works

  • Number
    4575805
  • Other name
    Headworks
  • Primary address

    100, Frank Street Guildford, 2161. NSW
    LGA: Holroyd
    LGA region: Sydney
    DUAP region: Sydney West

  • Owner
    Sydney Water
  • Current use
    Water supply through site - to Potts Hil reservoirs and Ryde
  • Former use
    Water sceening facility, supply canal and associated works.
  • Item type
    Built
  • Item group
    Utilities - Water
  • Item category
    Water Supply Canal
  • Parcels

    Parcel code: LOT
    Lot number: 1
    Section number:
    Plan code: DP
    Plan number: 865978
    Updated: 17 February 2003

  • Curtilage/Boundary
    The curtilage is defined by the boundary of Lot 1 in DP no.865978, as shown on the curtilage plan.
  • Statement of significance
    Pipehead Site is of significance for the State of NSW for the following reasons: Historically, for its importance in the history of water supply in Sydney, as one of the key components of the system from 1913 until 1995. Pipehead Site and its tangible historical components present evidence of a former work practice of water screening, unique in type and scale of operation in Sydney and NSW. Aesthetically and technologically, Pipehead Site features elements notable in the State context for their technological qualities and construction, including surviving Screening Deck components (basin, chambers, penstocks, and cranes) and associated minor and auxiliary items. Pipehead Site contains elements of research potential for further understanding of the cultural history of the water industry and specific technological processes in NSW. Elements of particular significance are the Screening Basin, Rotor Screen and Deck Area. Pipehead Site is unique in NSW for its technological role in the Sydney’s water supply system. Rare or unique notable elements of the site include the Rotor Screen and Deck Area elements (basin, chambers, penstocks, cranes). Pipehead Site is also of significance for the local area and Sydney Water for the following reasons: Aesthetically and technologically, Pipehead Site is notable in the local and organisational context for its design and technological role within Sydney’s water supply system. Pipehead Site has strong associations with two Government agencies: with the historical development of Sydney Water as one of the oldest continuously occupied Corporation properties, and with the Public Works Department who constructed the site and its original Basin in the 1880s. Pipehead Site contains buildings and areas of research potential for further understanding of the specific technological processes of water industry and clear evidence of former work practices of a unique type of operation in Sydney. Surviving cultural plantings contribute to this potential. The site contains artefacts from past uses and installations that, by their contextual association, contribute to understanding of the site’s development. The site also includes elements of qualities and construction notable in technological and research potential terms. Most important elements include: the Rotor Screen and Deck Area elements (basin, chambers, penstocks, and cranes), the segment of Lower Canal located within the site, segments of water supply mains within the site - including those from Pipehead to Potts Hill and from Prospect to Pipehead, surviving structures of the 1940s and earlier site configurations (including the 1917 Valve House and the Monitor Station for 2100mm and 1800mm pipelines), and associated minor elements.
  • Endorsed significance
    State
  • Circa
    No
  • Physical description
    The following significant items are listed in the Upper Nepean Scheme Heritage Study, 1992 and are the only items on the site considered to be included in this listing: Listed by Inventory Number, Precinct Name*, Item Name, Item Type*, Type No* (* if applicable). 1. Pipehead Deck (Basin and Screening Chambers), Screening Chamber 2. Screening Chamber No.2, Screening Chamber 3. Travelling Jib Cranes, Cranes 4. 72 inch mains, Pipehead to Potts Hill, Mains Pipe 5. Former Residence, now Environment Team office, Residence 6. Former Ryde Valve House, Valve House. 8. Supervisory Control Centre, Headworks, Control Room (now refurbished as an Incident Management Centre) (Note, this building is not of Heritage significance). The following significant items are listed in the Upper Nepean Scheme Heritage Study, 1992. Listed by Inventory Number, Precinct Name*, Item Name, Item Type*, Type No* (* if applicable). 51, Canal Overbridge, Canal Overbridge, 18. Additional heritage items include: WPS 22. Guildford, pumping to Holroyd Reservoir. WPS 42. Pipehead. WPS 189. Pipehead - Ryde. The Pipehead complex is situated off Frank Street, Guildford, at the termination of the Lower Canal from Prospect Reservoir, at 46 3/4 miles (74.8 kilometres) from the commencement of the Upper Nepean Scheme. The Pipehead complex includes a wide range of buildings and ancillary structures to facilitate this purpose. These include steel sheds for equipment storage and maintenance, other ancillary plant, recent offices and administration buildings, and the former main supervisory control centre for the "Headworks" water supply system. A former residence is now in use as the Catchment Control and Management Office. The complex also retains several items, which specifically relate to the supply of water to Sydney under the original Upper Nepean Scheme. Most notable amongst these is the Pipehead Deck, comprising the basin and screening chambers, located at the end of the Lower Canal. Although two of the screening chambers (the two on the north, Nos. 1 and 3) have been modified, the No.2 chamber on the south side was "retained for emergency stand-by" and remains essentially in its original configuration with timber-framed plate screens, which are lifted by two travelling jib-cranes. On the east side of the Pipehead Deck is the commencement of the three mains. The first screening chamber at Pipehead was completed in 1913. On the west side of the Lower Canal, just before it enters the basin is a concrete lined inlet, entering at an oblique angle. This was formerly the inlet for the woodstave pipeline, constructed in 1927 to amplify the supply between the Upper Canal, Pipehead and Potts Hill. A section of this woodstave pipe and an associated butterfly valve were displayed at the Pipehead complex for many years, but have now been relocated to Prospect Reservoir. There is also a steel "trash rack" and stop-board grooves across the canal at the entry to the Pipehead Basin, which are typical of the remnant evidence throughout the Upper Nepean Scheme of past uses and operational technology. Near the north-east corner of the Deck stands the picturesque, former Ryde Valve House constructed in 1917. A "Venturi" flow meter from this valve house is on display inside the main administration building.
  • History
    See main listing - Upper Nepean Scheme.
  • National
    Settlement
  • State
    Utilities
  • Local
    Water Supply
  • Local description
    Relates to the planning, development, expansion and provision of water supply.
  • a) Historical
    The Pipehead site is of considerable historic significance as an integral part of the region's gravitational supply of water known as the Upper Nepean Scheme, on of NSW earliest and most enduring schemes. Identifiable remains such as the Engineer's Residence (1913), the Valve House (1917), the Monitor Station (for 2100mm + 1800mm pipelines), Rotor Screen and Deck Area (basin, screening chambers, penstocks and cranes) (1913-1929), the Lowe Canal (1888) and water mains are of historical significance as remnants of one of NSWs earliest and most enduring water supply schemes and as evidence of past work practices and technologies. The height of the Pipehead site's importance within the water supply scheme and as evidence of past work practises and technologies.
  • b) Association
    The Pipehead site and its structures are associated with the Upper Nepean Scheme commissioned in 1888,
  • c) Aesthetic
    Pipehead Site features the Rotor Screen and Deck Area elements (basin, chambers, penstocks, cranes), notable in the State context for its technological qualities and construction. Several buildings at the Pipehead Site complex are notable in the local context for their aesthetic qualities, including the 1917 Valve House, the 1913 Residence and the Monitor Station for 2100mm an d1800mm Pipelines. The buildings, pipelines and canal are prominent features which as a collection visually display change in water supply construction and technology from 1888 to 1995. The site is notable for the introduced plantings including the Canary island palms and Washington Palms west of the Deck Area and along the canal to the northwest. These exotic common species create a parklike atmosphere.
  • d) Social
    The Pipehead Site has been the place of employment for many people including many prominent engineers.
  • e) Research
    The Pipehead Sites was the operational "Headworks" for the Upper Nepean Scheme. Substantial fabric survives at the headworks as do many recorded providing a major research, educational and interpretive resource.
  • f) Rarity
    The Pipehead Site is unique in Sydney's and NSW water supply system. the Pipehead Site contains the unique screening works that operated from 1913 until 1995.
  • g) Representative
    The Pipehead Site is representative of water screen facilities in Sydney and NSW. The surviving fabric at the site allows interpretation of work practices from 1888 until 1995.
  • Integrity assessment
    The integrity of the Pipehead site is exceptional as it is mostly intact since being bypassed in 19995. It no long functions but its former operation is fully interpretable from the remaining fabric.
  • List name
    Local Environmental Plan
  • Name
    Holroyd 1991
  • Gazette number
    159
  • Date listing listed
    01 January 1991
  • 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
  • Reference number
    01629
  • Date listing listed
    01 January 2000
  • Title
    Heritage Study of the Upper Nepean Scheme
  • Author
    Edward Higginbotham & Associates Pty Ltd
  • Published
    1992
  • Item reference number in study
  • Pipe Head.  Former Residence, now offices. 
(Item 5).
    Pipe Head. Former Residence, now offices. (Item 5).
    Created by: Edward Higginbotham
    Creation date: 01 January 2002
  • Pipe Head.  Pipe Head Deck, Screening Chamber No. 1.  (south side)  with electric cranes (Items 1 - 3).
    Pipe Head. Pipe Head Deck, Screening Chamber No. 1. (south side) with electric cranes (Items 1 - 3).
    Created by: Edward Higginbotham
    Creation date: 01 January 2002
  • Pipe Head Screening Chamber No. 3 (north side) with rotary microscreen strainer, installed in 1970s (Items 1 - 3).
    Pipe Head Screening Chamber No. 3 (north side) with rotary microscreen strainer, installed in 1970s (Items 1 - 3).
    Created by: Edward Higginbotham
    Creation date: 01 January 2002
  • Pipe Head. Deck.  Stoney gates controlling flow of water from Lower Canal into the screening chambers (Items 1 - 3).
    Pipe Head. Deck. Stoney gates controlling flow of water from Lower Canal into the screening chambers (Items 1 - 3).
    Created by: Edward Higginbotham
    Creation date: 01 January 2002
  • Pipe Head.  72 inch (Item 4)  and 84 inch (1800 and 2100 mm) pipelines from Prospect Reservoir to Pipe Head.
    Pipe Head. 72 inch (Item 4) and 84 inch (1800 and 2100 mm) pipelines from Prospect Reservoir to Pipe Head.
    Created by: Edward Higginbotham
    Creation date: 01 January 2002
  • Pipe Head.  Termination of the 84 inch (2100 mm) pipeline from Prospect Reservoir to Pipe Head in a concrete valve house.
    Pipe Head. Termination of the 84 inch (2100 mm) pipeline from Prospect Reservoir to Pipe Head in a concrete valve house.
    Created by: Edward Higginbotham
    Creation date: 01 January 2002
  • Pipe Head. Lower Canal, looking towards screening chambers.
    Pipe Head. Lower Canal, looking towards screening chambers.
    Created by: Edward Higginbotham
    Creation date: 01 January 2002
  • Pipe Head. Lower Canal bridge (Lower Canal Item 51), with the former Control Centre, Headworks in the background (green building). (Item 9).
    Pipe Head. Lower Canal bridge (Lower Canal Item 51), with the former Control Centre, Headworks in the background (green building). (Item 9).
    Created by: Edward Higginbotham
    Creation date: 01 January 2002
  • Pipe Head.  Former Ryde Valve House (Item 7).
    Pipe Head. Former Ryde Valve House (Item 7).
    Created by: Edward Higginbotham
    Creation date: 01 January 2002
  • Pipe Head.  72 inch (1800 mm) mains from Pipe Head to Potts Hill. (Item 4).
    Pipe Head. 72 inch (1800 mm) mains from Pipe Head to Potts Hill. (Item 4).
    Created by: Edward Higginbotham
    Creation date: 01 January 2002
  • Map showing item numbers (Upper Nepean Scheme Heritage Study, 1992).
    Map showing item numbers (Upper Nepean Scheme Heritage Study, 1992).
    Created by:
    Creation date: 01 January 2000
  • Location Plan
    Location Plan
    Created by:
    Creation date: 01 January 2000
  • State heritage curtilage (OEH)
    State heritage curtilage (OEH)
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 20 April 2017
  • Former valve house (for water supplying WP0005 Ryde) 2015
    Former valve house (for water supplying WP0005 Ryde) 2015
    Created by: Phil Bennett
    Creation date: 20 April 2017
  • Former screening decks and crane 2015
    Former screening decks and crane 2015
    Created by: Phil Bennett
    Creation date: 20 April 2017
  • The physical curtilage plan for Pipehead, Water supply canal and associated works.
    The physical curtilage plan for Pipehead, Water supply canal and associated works.
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 14 September 2010
  • Historic photo illustrating screening deck
    Historic photo illustrating screening deck
    Created by: Sydney Water
    Creation date: 20 April 2017
  • Data entry status
    Basic
  • Entered
    18 December 2000
  • Updated
    01 November 2016