Darling Mills Creek Sewage Aqueduct | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Darling Mills Creek Sewage Aqueduct

Item details

Name of item: Darling Mills Creek Sewage Aqueduct
Other name/s: Aqueduct at Parramatta River
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Utilities - Sewerage
Category: Sewage Aqueduct
Primary address: Board Street, North Parramatta, NSW 2151
Local govt. area: Parramatta


UBD Sydney Street Directory. 27th Edition. Map 52. Grid 4F. The whole of aqueduct length and height situated between Board Street, North Parramatta to Boundary Street, Northmead.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Board StreetNorth ParramattaParramatta  Primary Address
O'Connell StreetNorth ParramattaParramatta  Alternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Sydney WaterState Government 

Statement of significance:

The Darling Mills Creek sewer aqueduct was completed in 1938 and is an interesting example of the development of the design of such structures by the engineers of the Water Board by the end of the 1930s. The aqueduct is historically significant in providing for the extension of the Northern Suburbs Ocean Outfall Sewer to service the northern and north-western areas of Parramatta and Westmead. The significant elements are past and ongoing use and technology of construction.
Date significance updated: 20 Dec 00
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Designer/Maker: Metropolitan Water, Sewerage & Drainage Board
Builder/Maker: Metropolitan Water, Sewerage & Drainage Board
Construction years: 1938-1938
Physical description: A large unpainted reinforced concrete sewage aqueduct being principally the reinforced concrete carrier supported by two reinforced concrete piers. The structure is utilitarian in its design, its appearance being only relieved by decorative capping at the carrier support points. There are a series of steel access manholes along the top of the carrier. Darling Mills Creek is very overgrown in vegetation and the aqueduct is not readily visible from the creek banks, although clearance of this overgrowth would reveal quite a distinctive element of the built environment. The eastern end of the carrier is situated adjacent Parramatta Goal.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The aqueduct continues its original use and has been maintained. The condition of the structure is fair. The creek banks however are very overgrown. There is no archaeological potential.
Date condition updated:07 Jun 00
Modifications and dates: Fencing at either end of the carrier to prevent trespass, c. 1980s.
Current use: Sewage Aqueduct
Former use: Sewage Aqueduct


Historical notes: Darling Mills Creek sewage aqueduct completed in 1938 is part of the Northern Suburbs Ocean Outfall Sewer (NSOOS). Work commenced on the construction of this scheme, designed and built by the Water Supply and Sewerage Branch of the Public Works Department, in 1916 at the sewer’s ocean outfall North Head. The Metropolitan Water Sewerage and Drainage Board completed the scheme in 1930. The scheme discharged sewerage into the ocean at Blue Fish Point near North Head collected from a catchment area of the northern shores of Port Jackson and Parramatta River as far west as Dundas. Completion of the scheme obviated the need for a number of local treatment works and outfalls situated at Manly, Mosman, North Sydney, Chatswood, and Parramatta. In 1938 the scheme was extended from Dundas to Boundary Road, Northmead. This, the 8th Section of the system, was designed to service the northern areas of Parramatta and Westmead. The crossing of Darling Mills Creek is part of Contract 2388 prepared by the Water Board in 1936 and 1937. The sewer aqueduct was one of two (the other at Vineyard Creek) necessitated in completing this section of the extension of the NSOOS.

The design work for the aqueduct was prepared in mid 1936. The design provided for a ‘boat’ shaped reinforced concrete sewer carrier 7-ft 8 in by 4-ft. 6in (the total height of the carrier is 9-ft 2-in) supported by two reinforced concrete piers. The total length of the aqueduct is 220-ft. (67 m.). The distances of the spans are of 67-ft. (20.4 m.) at each end with a centre span of 86-ft. (26.2m.). The two end spans are each fitted with an expansion joint, and the north west pier is also fitted with an expansion rocker.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Health-Activities associated with preparing and providing medical assistance and/or promoting or maintaining the well being of humans (none)-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages (none)-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Utilities-Activities associated with the provision of services, especially on a communal basis (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The aqueduct is a major and albeit overgrown in weed still visible component of the extension of the Northern Suburbs Ocean Outfall Sewer to Northmead.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The unpainted utilitarian appearance of the aqueduct demonstrates the development of the design philosophy in regard to such an item of public work infrastructure by the end of the 1930s, the aqueduct being reduced to the basic components of sewer carrier and necessary supports. Most of what followed in the post-Second World War years was of a similar philosophy.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The aqueduct is an element of the historic built environment of the local government area of Parramatta and provides a focus for an understanding of the development of the local area.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The aqueduct is constructed of reinforced concrete and demonstrates the widespread dominance of this construction technique by the end of 1930s.
SHR Criteria f)
The aqueduct is rare as a potentially highly visible and readily understood component of the NSOOS extension in the local area.
SHR Criteria g)
The aqueduct is representative of the design of aqueducts constructed for the extension of NSOOS. The use of reinforced concrete is representative of contemporary public work infrastructure developments for the era of construction.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

Where no Conservation Management Plan, Heritage Assessment or Statement of Heritage Impact is in place, or where works are outside the scope existing heritage documentation, assess heritage impacts of proposed works in accordance with Sydney Water Environment Impact Assessment procedures. Undertake a Heritage Assessment and/or Statement of Heritage Impact as required. Liaise with the Sydney Water Heritage Manager when major changes are planned for the item. Undertake archival and photographic recording before major changes, in accordance with Heritage Council guidelines. Lodge copies of the archival record with the Sydney Water Archives and the NSW Heritage Office.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register  01 Jan 00   

References, internet links & images


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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: State Government
Database number: 4574712

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