Making our waterways swimmable

Taking the Urban Plunge®

Swimming in healthy local waterways is the future that we're bringing to life through Urban Plunge, an exciting Sydney Water project. Urban Plunge has been designed to accelerate the delivery of more swimming and recreation opportunities in the rivers, creeks, lakes and inlets of our cities and suburbs.

Find your nearest swim spot

Visit the Urban Plunge website to find your nearest swim spot and learn how we're making your waterways swimmable.

We need partners to take the plunge with us

Urban Plunge Sydney needs partners, technology, processes and investment to support opening new swimming sites. Your organisation's support will make it easier and more cost-effective for government, the private sector and the community to deliver on this bold vision for Sydney, the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains. To find out more about partnering in Urban Plunge, email

Our vision

Water is at the heart of creating green and connected places, and we have a strong cultural connection to water. Making it possible to swim in rivers has the capacity to transform amenity, recreation, health and enterprise across Greater Sydney. That's what Urban Plunge is about. Our ambition is to support local councils, government agencies and private enterprise to open new swimming sites throughout Greater Sydney. Sydney Water has partnered with councils to support the delivery of new swim sites across Sydney's waterways. Email us at if you are interested in joining the movement.

Projects leading up to this moment

Developing places to swim on the Parramatta River

Urban Plunge builds on and expands work that's been delivered on the Parramatta River. Through our partnership with the Parramatta River Catchment Group (PRCG) over more than a decade, it's been possible to safely and swiftly open new recreational areas to swim, splash and play in. There are now several swimmable areas in the Parramatta River, and many more are on the way.

Find a swim spot near you.

RiverWatch® water monitoring program

RiverWatch, established in 2019, is Sydney Water's recreational water quality monitoring and reporting program. It supports councils and government agencies to open new swim sites, and provides ongoing monitoring and support once sites are open.

Lake Parramatta was officially opened for public swimming and water recreational activities in 2015. It had been closed for 72 years due to poor water quality. Photo courtesy of PRCG.

RiverWatch helps us measure and report on recreational water quality at swimming and kayaking locations. It provides real-time advice on daily and forecast suitability, and information on long-term water quality trends.

Our expertise in water quality modelling and monitoring through Sydney Water Monitoring Services, our National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited lab services, together with our network of technology partners means we can help local councils, agencies and developers open new swimming sites faster.

Naturally, RiverWatch will support Urban Plunge. It will be providing real-time swim site data in 2022. Feel free to email us for more information at

Urban Plunge Tech Summit 2022

The free one-day Urban Plunge Tech Summit 2022 was an industry-based event showcasing techniques and innovations that can make swimming and aquatic recreation in our waterways easier, cheaper and safer to deliver.

Missed out and want to find out more? Watch the presentations.

Places to Swim grants

The NSW Government Places to Swim program supports the creation of great places for people to enjoy our rivers, lakes, dams and other inland waterways. Grants have been available for councils and eligible state agencies to improve access to water, allowing people to get in, on, or around water.

See details of the successful projects from the 2022–23 grant program.

We can help with your project

Councils and government agencies throughout Greater Sydney can contact us for advice on:

  • identifying suitable sites
  • designing and delivering a water quality monitoring program
  • understanding key constraints
  • developing appropriate solutions to enable safe aquatic recreation.

We can help you navigate the approvals processes and provide expertise on the requirements for water quality monitoring. Find out more about the Urban Plunge offer.