Double Bay Compressed Air Ejector Station | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Double Bay Compressed Air Ejector Station

Item details

Name of item: Double Bay Compressed Air Ejector Station
Other name/s: Double Bay Sewage Ejector Station No 1 (decommissioned)
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Utilities - Sewerage
Category: Other - Utilities - Sewerage
Location: Lat: -33.8769135228 Long: 151.2446790980
Primary address: Cross Street, Double Bay, NSW 2028
Local govt. area: Woollahra
Local Aboriginal Land Council: La Perouse
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 DP137217
LOT7 DP15059
LOT1 DP188525
LOTD DP329926
LOT2 DP348429
LOT1 DP986525
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Cross StreetDouble BayWoollahra  Primary Address
Jamberoo LaneDouble BayWoollahra  Alternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Sydney WaterState Government27 Nov 98

Statement of significance:

Double Bay Sewage Ejector Station No 1 remains is of historic and technical/research significance. Historically, it was the first low level sewage pumping station constructed to serve Sydney in 1898 and is the only surviving ejector station of the five originally built to serve Double Bay. It is also significant for its historically integral association with the Bondi Ocean Outfall Sewer which it served. It has high scientific significance, having educational potential to reveal information about the shone ejector principle of lifting sewage by means of compressed air, which was superseded by present day electrical pumps. The remnant fabric is now unique and of high archaeological value.
Date significance updated: 24 Aug 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.


Designer/Maker: New South Wales Department of Public Works
Builder/Maker: New South Wales Department of Public Works
Construction years: 1895-1896
Physical description: The Double Bay Sewage Ejector Station No 1 is located under the road surface of Cross Street. It consists of a steel caisson approximately 3 metres diameter which received sewage through a reflux valve. When full, a float operated valve then allows compressed air to pressurise the vessel, closing the inlet reflux valve and forcing the sewage up the rising main into a receiving manhole on the main gravity sewer. The depth from road surface to the top of the ejector equipment is 3.35 metres. The compressor station was located near the intersection of Bay Street and New South Head Road.

The steel caisson is 2.97 metres wide and carries the inscription, "Pope Maher and Co Sydney 1896 Darlington Iron Works". Other inscriptions on the equipment read, "Shone and Aults Patent Manufactured by Hughes and Lancaster London Nos. 438 and 447, 1896".
Date condition updated:24 Aug 05
Modifications and dates: The steel caisson has been filled with sand.
Current use: Station decommissioned
Former use: Low level sewage pumping station - sewer ejector.


Historical notes: In 1859 Sydney's sewerage system consisted of five outfall sewers which drained to Sydney Harbour. By the 1870's, the Harbour had become grossly polluted and, as a result, the government created the Sydney City and Suburban Health Board to investigate an alternative means of disposing of the City's sewage. This lead to the construction of two gravitation sewers in 1889 by the Public Works Department: a northern sewer being the Bondi Ocean Outfall Sewer and a southern sewer draining to a sewage farm at Botany Bay. Low lying areas around the Harbour which could not gravitate to the new outfall sewers continued to drain to the old City Council sewers. Low level pumping stations were therefore needed to collect the sewage from such areas and pump it by means of additional sewers known as rising mains, to the main gravitation system. The first low level area serviced was in Double Bay where the PWD constructed five compressed air ejectors in 1898 and which served the BOOS until 1929. The first comprehensive low level sewerage system began at the beginning of the 20th century when the Public Works Department built a group of 20 low level pumping stations around the foreshores of the inner harbour and handed them over to the Metropolitan Board of Water Supply and Sewerage in 1904. Overall, greater Sydney now has over 600 low level sewage pumping stations.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
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 Double Bay Sewage Ejector Station No1 site is the only known remaining Shone Ejector Station of five which were constructed by the PWD in 1896 and the immediately following years. It is associated histrocially with the Bondi Ocean Outfall Sewer, which it served.This marked the beginning of the provision of sewerage for Sydney's low level areas.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Item is an underground station and does not have any notable outstanding aesthetic values.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The station has high educational potential to reveal information about the ejector principle, which was at its time an effective system for pumping liquids with a high solid content that was superseded by modern, special purpose electrical pumps.
SHR Criteria f)
The Double Bay Ejector Station No1(and its remaining fabric and components) are unique as the first low level station to serve Sydney and is the only known remaining Shone Ejector of the five constructed in Double Bay.
SHR Criteria g)
The Double Bay Ejector Station No1 is a representative example of a low level sewage pumping station with a Shone Ejector.
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
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
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.

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


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0132418 Nov 99   
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register 265063   
National Trust of Australia register      
Register of the National Estate     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Sydney Water Heritage Study1996265063Graham Brooks and Associates Pty LtdGRAHAM BROOKS AND ASSOCIATES PTY LTD 1 JULY 1996 Yes

References, internet links & images


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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5051425
File number: H05/00243

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