Sewage Pumping Station 271 | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Sewage Pumping Station 271

Item details

Name of item: Sewage Pumping Station 271
Other name/s: SPS 271
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Utilities - Sewerage
Category: Sewage Pump House/Pumping Station
Location: Lat: -33.9157000001 Long: 151.1593999990
Primary address: Carrington Road, Marrickville, NSW 2204
Local govt. area: Marrickville
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Carrington RoadMarrickvilleMarrickville  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Sydney WaterState Government 

Statement of significance:

SPS 271 displays a high level of architectural sophistication in the execution of Federation Queen Anne and Romanesque styles. It has the highest level of aesthetic significance of pumping stations within the Sydney Water sewerage system and is the most intact example of a pair of stylistically complete Federation industrial buildings. It is technologically unique (one of only three of its type), having the dual function of carrying both sewage and stormwater. It has a high level of industrial archaeological value evidenced by the Blackstone three cylinder diesel pump (steam driven until 1954) which dates from c.1920, and an outstanding level of technological significance due to the manner and method in which it functioned within the SWOOS system. It had the unique capability of pumping waste from the sewage wells to either the high-level sewer or the eastern stormwater channel. It is one of the oldest SPS's still functioning, and presently discharges into the SWOOS.
Date significance updated: 26 Aug 04
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.


Physical description: The Marrickville SPS complex consists of a combined boiler house and engine room, a large chimney stack and a residence. The residence is an unadorned two storey brick building designed in Federation Queen Anne style. Masonry is English bond and the facade is accentuated by timber filgree detailing. The pumping station/ boiler house is designed in classic Federation Romanesque style. Decorative Gothic buttresses with steep copings flank its sides, round headed windows surmounted by arches of rusticated sandstone typify the window openings, and the walls and gables are accentuated by machicolation motifs. The gables have sandstone copings with bracketted kneelers. The windows are small paned figured glass with pivotal awnings typical of the Federation style. The internal doors are round headed diagonal panelled double doors and are similar in style to the external doors. The building originally had a slate roof with terracotta hips, ridges and finials. Both the boiler and engine house have since been clad in terracotta tile. The gable roofs have monitors, which are centrally placed and continue approximately half the length of the roof and are fitted with fixed steel louvres. The roof truss in the engine house is a delicate hand-wrought Warren truss strengthened internally with matchboarding. The exposed rafters are rounded on the ends and this attention to detail is typical of the quality of carpentry throughout. The internal pilasters, which correspond with the butresses, hold the overhead crane rail. The overhead crane is a simple undertrussed steel girder hand operated crane typical of the early twentieth century. The chimney stack is polychromatic brickwork on a square base which changes to an octoganal shaft some three metres above the ground. It is finished with an ornate cap. The stack is a local landmark.
Modifications and dates: The Station is substantially intact and in good condition. The Residence building is in good condition and the fabric is substantially intact.


Historical notes: In 1889, the newly constructed Board of Water Supply and Sewerage assumed responsibility for the water and sewerage service from the City Council. This instigated a gradual move away from the practise of combining sewerage and stormwater and led to the commencement of the BOOS which discharged into the ocean at Bondi and the South Western system which drained to a sewage farm at Botany. A series of low level sewage pumping stations were constructed to transport waste against gravity by means of a series of rising mains. The low level portions of Marrickville, Newtown, Erskineville, Alexandria and St Peters are still serviced by a low level sewer which discharges into the wells of Marrickville Pumping Station. The sewage is then pumped to the high level of the Eastern Branch of the SWOOS. Marrickville SPS also receives stormwater discharge from the Central stormwater channel during certain high tides in the Cooks River.

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 f)
This item is assessed as historically rare statewide. This item is assessed as scientifically rare statewide.
SHR Criteria g)
This item is assessed as aesthetically representative locally.
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 endorsementSewage Pumping Station SP0271 CMP prepared by Sydney Water for Sydney Water, undated 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
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 0134218 Nov 99   
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register 261598   
National Trust of Australia register      

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Sydney Water Heritage Study1996261598Graham Brooks and Associates Pty LtdGRAHAM BROOKS AND ASSOCIATES PTY LTD 1 JULY 1996 Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Management Plan (HC endorsed)Sydney Water Corporation2005Sewage pumping stations SP0271 : 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: 5051444
File number: H04/00045, 261598

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