Waterways projects

Naturalising and revitalising

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

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

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. For more information, visit sydneywatertalk.com.au/johnstonscreek.

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

Strangers Creek – Kellyville

Strangers Creek is a tributary of Caddies Creek, which has undergone significant urban development since the 1990s. We're revitalising 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.

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.

Future projects

We're looking at other areas where we can potentially naturalise current concrete channels. We've developed designs and will continue to investigate 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.
Johnstons Creek

Construction started in January 2020 and is expected to finish in early November 2021. We'll update stakeholders and the local community as the project progresses.

Strangers Creek – Kellyville

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

Caddies Creek – Glenwood

We're currently finalising the design and we'll let the community know before construction starts. We'll also 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 riverbank 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.

Will 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, call us on 13 20 92 during working hours.