Waterways projects

Our waterways projects include stormwater naturalisation and creek revitalisation in the Annandale, Brighton-le-Sands, Campsie, Canterbury, Croydon Park, Glenwood, Kellyville and Strathfield areas.

Creek with plants and rocks on sides of embankments

Naturalising river banks improves local habitats for native birds and other animals.

About waterways projects

We're working to naturalise creeks and river banks. This involves removing old concrete walls and replacing them with stabilised banks of native plants, trees and rocks.

We're also revitalising creeks that are already natural, but need to be stabilised and improved with native plants, trees and rocks.

Our naturalisation and revitalisation projects improve the stormwater system, the local environment and provides habitat for native birds and animals.

Cooks River - Campsie, Canterbury and Croydon Park

The Cooks River was originally a natural river, but by the mid-1900s concrete panels were built along the 'unruly' natural river banks.

Some sections of the concrete channel were in poor condition and needed to be replaced with more natural riverbanks. Our work has helped improve the natural environment and character of the river.

Strangers Creek - Kellyville

Strangers Creek is a tributary of Caddies Creek, which has undergone significant urban development since the 1990s. We've started work to revitalise a 1.9 kilometre section of Strangers Creek. 

This revitalisation project involves rehabilitating the creek banks and establishing a habitat for fauna. This will help to restore the natural environment and character of the creek.

Powells Creek - Strathfield

Powells Creek was a meandering natural water channel until the mid-1930s when the current concrete channel was constructed.

We're currently naturalising Powells Creek and expect to finish this work in mid-2018. This naturalisation project will improve the environment and ecological value of Powells Creek. We're also building new cycleways, boardwalks and seating for the community to enjoy.

Caddies Creek - Glenwood

We're revitalising the section of Caddies Creek between Meurants Lane and the M7 motorway in Glenwood. We're currently finalising the design and we'll let the community know before construction starts.

Johnstons Creek - Annandale

Johnstons Creek is a concrete lined channel in Annandale, between Federal and Jubilee parks. The naturalisation project will improve the environment and social amenity of the creek. We're currently in the design stage of this project and construction is proposed for around 2019.

Future projects

We're looking at other areas where we can potentially naturalise current concrete channels. We've developed designs and will do more investigation to make sure these are feasible. Locations include:

  • St Lukes Park canal, Concord
  • Muddy Creek, Brighton-le-Sands
  • Iron Cove Creek, Haberfield/Five Dock
  • Whites Creek, Annandale.

Cooks River - Campsie, Canterbury and Croydon Park

Construction started in July 2013 and finished in early 2015.

Strangers Creek - Kellyville

Construction is underway. We'll update stakeholders and the local community as the project progresses.

Caddies Creek - Glenwood 

Construction should start in 2019. We'll update stakeholders and the local community as the project progresses.

Powells Creek - Strathfield

Construction is underway. We'll update stakeholders and the local community as the project progresses.

What is creek or river bank naturalisation?

Naturalisation can take different forms. It generally involves removing some, or all of the steep concrete banks and creating a more gently sloping bank. The bank is then stabilised with native plants, trees and rocks.

Naturalisation creates a softer landscape feel and greatly improves the river bank habitat for native birds and other animals.

Wetlands can also be established as part of the naturalisation process. Wetlands have a significant role in improving the river’s ecology and health by treating stormwater run-off from streets and industrial areas before it enters the river.

Why can’t we naturalise all concrete creek and river banks?

We can only naturalise banks that have deteriorated and where we have enough space and a suitable budget to do the work.

Will naturalisation make flooding worse? 

During the design of the project, extensive investigations are done to identify any problems. We 'test' the design and how it would work through different levels of flooding. Naturalisations either maintain the existing flood capacity of the creek or improve it slightly.

Won't the naturalisation provide a home for unwanted pests? 

The naturalisation won't increase mosquito or rat problems. Creek banks are designed to build a balanced ecosystem which will manage populations of pests and support native wildlife.

To learn more, contact our Community Relations Team by:

Sydney Water
Community Relations                        
PO Box 399