Cooks River Sewage Aqueduct | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Cooks River Sewage Aqueduct

Item details

Name of item: Cooks River Sewage Aqueduct
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Utilities - Sewerage
Category: Sewage Aqueduct
Location: Lat: -33.9224676255 Long: 151.1479282650
Primary address: Pine Street, Undercliffe, NSW 2204
Local govt. area: Canterbury
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT3810DP1142
LOT3910DP1142
LOT4010DP1142
LOT1 DP745578

Boundary:

The curtilage includes the whole aqueduct structure inclusive of supporting structure in embankment. Includes 1929 pipe. Refer to Heritage Council Plan 2012.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Pine StreetUndercliffeCanterbury  Primary Address
Thornley Street (off)MarrickvilleMarrickville  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Sydney WaterState Government27 Nov 98

Statement of significance:

The Cooks River Valley sewage aqueduct, completed in 1895, is an integral and highly visible component of the original Main Western Carrier (now part of Southern and Western Suburbs Ocean Outfall Sewer System), which was one the Board's major early sewerage schemes. The aqueduct being a combination of brick arches and steel bridges is an excellent and rare example of a late-nineteenth steel truss bridge (in non railway construction), and decorative face brick work in NSW. The two original sewer carriers are likely to be rare examples of large diameter, long run wrought iron pipes used for such a purpose. Elements of significance are past and ongoing use, construction technologies and setting with the Cooks River valley (inclusive of views).
Date significance updated: 21 Apr 05
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.

Description

Designer/Maker: Sewerage Construction Branch, Department of Public Works
Builder/Maker: J.F. Carson, contractor
Construction years: 1895-1895
Physical description: The aqueduct comprises the sewer carrier of three 1.8 m. diameter wrought iron and steel pipes supported on a series of brick arches, and steel bridges. The brick arches are particularly decorative, being white glazed face bricks laid in English bond with decorative motifs picked out in red coloured brick. The springing points of the arch and cornice are constructed of dressed sandstone. The sewer carrier emerges from the brick faced northern abutment below Thornley Street, Marrickville crossing the river by the steel trusses and then continuing further across the river and Wanstead Reserve by brick arches to embankment at the end of Wanstead Avenue, Undercliffe. The northern most terrestrial arch is used as a public path. The original contract drawings indicate that the original river crossing entailed only the two 80ft. steel bridges, today it also requires 2 1/2 spans of the brick arches. The aqueduct is a major built item in the Cooks River valley basin.
Modifications and dates: The barrels were overhauled between 1981 and 1984, and the surface of the cast iron pipes was coated with a modern fibre-glass lining. The steelwork on the two bridge spans has been replaced where necessary. Fencing at either end of the carrier to prevent trespass.
Current use: Sewage aqueduct
Former use: Aboriginal land, farm, Sewage aqueduct

History

Historical notes: The Cooks River sewage aqueduct was completed in 1895. The aqueduct was constructed as the Main Western Carrier , later part of the Southern and Western Suburbs Ocean Outfall Sewer System (SWSOOS). The aqueduct was designed and built by the Sewerage Branch of the Public Works Department (Contract No. 64), the design work being completed by 1893. The engineer-in-chief of this department at the time was Robert Hickson, who was also a Water Board member. The Main Western Carrier was designed to serve the western suburbs of Sydney. The line extended from the Rockdale end of the Arncliffe sewerage farm (which was enlarged for the scheme) to the sewer penstock at Premier Street, Marrickville. The contract necessitated the construction of aqueducts over the Cooks River, Wolli Creek and at Arncliffe between Rocky Point Road (Princess Highway) and Illawarra Road (Arncliffe Street) and extensive tunnelling. The work was undertaken in two contracts relating to the different construction types. The contract for the aqueducts was let to J. F. Carson. The original design of the aqueduct provided for a triplicate 6-ft. (1.8 m.) diameter wrought iron sewer carrier (although only two pipes were initially laid) supported on 560-ft. (171 m.) of segmental 17 brick arches of approximately 32-ft. (10m.) span, two 80-ft. (24 m.) by 25ft. (7.6 m.) steel lattice girder bridge spans, and 80-ft. (24 m.) of a series of mass concrete arches within embankment. The total length of the aqueduct is approximately 720-ft. (220m.). The bridge spans are of mild steel riveted construction, the sewer carrier pipes being carried on cross beams on two simple lattice girders (on trusses), with a series of small cross lattice girders for wind bracing. The bridge spans are supported on two metal circular piers. The piers of the brick arches are constructed from mass concrete, faced in decorative brick and seated on mass concrete foundations founded on a raft of timber piles. The arches are a combination of brick and sandstone and mass concrete construction. The two original sewer carrier pipes were fabricated from wrought iron and riveted. Expansion joints of 6ft. sections were installed at the junction of the brick arches and the steel lattice bridge and above the ninth arch south of the bridge. The third (western) sewer pipe of welded mild steel was laid in 1929. The original pipes have been maintained over the years to the present, with selective replacement of defective sections. The Cooks River is one of six sewage aqueducts in Sydney completed in the period 1895-1901. Others include the reinforced concrete ‘Monier’ arches at Whites Creek and Johnstons Creek (1897), the mass concrete/brick arches and iron pipe at Wolli Creek (1895), the Mosman Bay steel arch (1901), and the stone/concrete and steel pipe at Lewisham (1900).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Changing the environment-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Developing local, regional and national economies-National Theme 3
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 Developing suburbia-
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 19th Century Infrastructure-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Utilities-Activities associated with the provision of services, especially on a communal basis (none)-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. State government-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - administration of land-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - building and operating public infrastructure-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - conserving cultural and natural heritage-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - providing sewerage treatment-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Cooks River sewage aqueduct, completed in 1895, is an integral and highly visible component of the Main Western Carrier which subsequently evolved into the Southern and Western Suburbs Ocean Outfall Sewer System. This sewer was one of the Board's earliest major sewer schemes, and was designed under engineer-in-chief Robert Hickson, a foundation board member of Sydney Water .
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The arches of the aqueduct are excellent examples of decorative face brick (in a basically utilitarian structure), which are unlikley to be built again . The aqueduct is now attractively sited within a public reserve adjacent the Cooks River.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The aqueduct is a major element of the historic built environment of the local government areas of Canterbury and Marrickville and provides a focus for an understanding to the contemporary community of the historical development of the local area. It is listed by groups such as the National Truct of Australia (NSW).
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The aqueduct is an excellent example of a late-nineteenth steel truss bridge (in non-railway construction). The wrought pipes are likely to be a rare examples of a large diameter, long run of wrought iron pipe fabricated in 1895. The welded steel pipe of 1929 may also be of significance in consideration of the application of this technology at this early date on a pipe of this length. The face brickwork is a textbook example of the trade in a basically utilitarian structure.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Rare in consideration of its scale, siting and mixed use of materials and construction techniques.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Representative in its function which is widespread across Sydney.
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.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for endorsementCooks River Sewage Aqueduct, by Sydney Water for Sydney Water, July 2005 CMP endorsed by Heritage Council 29 July 2005 for a period of five years, expires 29 July 2010. Jul 29 2005
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0132218 Nov 99   
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register 215134   
National Trust of Australia register      
Register of the National Estate     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Sydney Water Heritage Study1996215134Graham Brooks and Associates Pty LtdGRAHAM BROOKS AND ASSOCIATES PTY LTD 1 July 1996 Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenSydney Water2005Cooks River Sewage Aqueduct - Conservation Management Plan

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5051423
File number: H04/00049


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