Kiama Reservoir (WS 0232) | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Kiama Reservoir (WS 0232)

Item details

Name of item: Kiama Reservoir (WS 0232)
Other name/s: WS 0232
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Utilities - Water
Category: Water Supply Reservoir/ Dam
Location: Lat: -34.6735062550 Long: 150.8437665180
Primary address: Irvine Street, Kiama, NSW 2533
Local govt. area: Kiama
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Illawarra
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT10 DP708076
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Irvine StreetKiamaKiama  Primary Address
Elouera PlaceKiamaKiama  Alternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Sydney WaterState Government 

Statement of significance:

Kiama Reservoir (WS 232) is one of a small group of cylindrical concrete reservoirs, serving the needs of small local communities.
Date significance updated: 27 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.


Designer/Maker: NSW Department of Public Works ?
Physical description: Kiama Reservoir (WS 232) is located to the north of WS 231 (see separate listing). It is a circular reinforced concrete reservoir, but its sides are stepped or tapered, with a thickened rim or rib. There is no visible concrete apron or foundation, which is a standard feature of most surface reservoirs. Standard features include: handrail in tubular steel, depth gauge board, davit, access ladder, inlet and outlet valve chambers.

Full Service Level: 90 m.
Capacity: 2,3 ML.

A modern welded steel reservoir has been constructed at the northern end of the site. Kiama Reservoir (WS 231) is located at the south end of the site (see separate listing). A modern brick building is located next to WS 231.
Modifications and dates: The reservoir has been roofed to safeguard water quality (1960s-1970s).
Current use: Reservoir
Former use: Reservoir


Historical notes: District history:
The first recorded reference to the district was by George Bass who anchored his 28ft whaleboat in the sheltered bay (now known as Kiama Harbour) in December 1797. Cedar getters were the first to the area, among those was David Smith, who became the first permanent white settler when he built a residence in Kiama in 1832.

The site of Kiama Township was reserved by the Government in 1826 and proclaimed in 1836. Kiama was proclaimed a Municipality in 1859.

In the 1870s the dairying industry was supplemented by basalt (blue metal) quarrying, now one of the district's major income earners alongside tourism.

Kiama Railway station opened in 1893 as part of the first completed stage of the Kiama to Jervis Bay Railway which terminated at Bomaderry (Nowra).

Downtown (Collins Street) history:
Much of this land was bought by William Geoghagen. In 1867 when he bought his first parcel his occupation was given as wharfinger. He later built the terraces facing Collins Street and sold land to the Temperance Hall, now the Masonic Lodge. It is probable that he built No.5 Collins Lane in the 1880s as his home.

The oldest building of the group is the Masonic Temple (1870s).

Nos 42-44 Collins Street was built in the late 1870s to house quarry workers. The terrace No.s 24-40 Collins Street was built in stages during the 1880s. No. 24 was originally an inn, with 26 the inn-keeper's residence; No.s 28-38 housed quarry workers, and No. 40 was originally a post office.

The stone crushing industry began in Kiama in 1871 and by 1880 the Bombo quarry (north of Kiama) was operating.

The Depression and World War II caused the decline and closure of most of the quarries (NTA (NSW) Precinct Classification card, 1984).

South Coast Supply System.
The Metropolitan Water Supply & Drainage Board initially used water from the Cordeaux River, the nearest of the Upper Nepean tributaries to supply the South Coast, Wollongong and its suburbs. A series of dams were constructed on the Cordeaux River, the principal dams being completed in 1903, 1915 and 1926 respectively.

Because of the height of the ridge (O'Briens Gap) above the coastal area, pressure in the trunk main was too high to be directly connected to reticulation mains. The pressure was broken down by the construction of 5 service reservoirs at the highest points on the coastal plain.

The initial supply scheme from the Cordeaux River to Wollongong was constructed by the NSW Department of Public Works in 1902-1903. It was transferred to the MWS&DB in 1903. The second major stage of development occurred in 1909 with extension to Port Kembla and Unanderra. The third stage of expansion was completed in 1915 with water supplied to Figtree, Mount Kembla, Kembla Heights, Mount Keira, Keiraville and town to the north of Wollongong, namely Balgownie, Corrimal, Bellambi, Russell Vale, Woonoona, Bulli, Thirroul, Austinmer, Coledale, Scarborough and Clifton. The extensions of supply to Dapto in 1920 and to Mount Drummond (now Mangerton), Tarrawanna, Reidtown, Fern Hill and Fairy Meadow, all in 1922, were supplementary to the third stage of expansion.

Since that date, expansion has occurred in all of the South Coast water supply, although Kiama and Jamberoo, and other southern areas were not connected to the Avon supply until after 1961. In the 1960s, supply was made available from Avon Dam, this dam being originally completed in 1928. Water is now supplied from Avon Dam, via filtration plant, to Mount Keira, Berkeley and Dapto, from whence all other reservoirs receive their supply.

Kiama Reservoir (WS 232).
This reservoir was not incorporated into the South Coast or Illawarra Region water supply until after 1961.

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)-
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]
This reservoir has an historical association with an independent water supply. This reservoir or site demonstrates the amplification in demand due to growing population.
SHR Criteria f)
One of a small group of concrete surface reservoir with no apron.
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:

Manage the place and its significant components in accordance with the Heritage Council State Owned Heritage Asset Management Guidelines and the Minimum Standards of Maintenance and Repair in the NSW Heritage Regulations. Manage significant site elements in accordance with a Conservation Management Plan (CMP). If no CMP exists, consult with Asset Management Commercial Services with respect to commissioning a CMP. When commissioning a CMP, do so in accordance with the Model Brief for CMPs available on ConnectNet. Seek endorsement of the CMP from the Heritage Council of NSW. Works undertaken in accordance with a Heritage Council-endorsed CMP do not require further approval under the NSW Heritage Act. Involve heritage professionals as required under the terms of the CMP, or as otherwise determined necessary. Review CMP every 5 years or in a major change of circumstances, whichever is sooner. Review of a CMP should only be undertaken following consultation with Asset Management Commercial Services . When commissioning a CMP review, do so in accordance with the Model Brief for CMPs available on ConnectNet. Where no CMP is in place, or where works are outside the scope of the existing CMP, assess heritage impacts of proposed works in accordance with Sydney Water Environment Impact Assessment guidelines (e.g. undertake a Heritage Assessment and/or Statement of Heritage Impact as required, obtain Heritage Council approval as required). Consult with the Heritage Manager, Environment and Innovation, when major works are planned which affect items of State heritage significance. 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. Where the item is listed in a Local Environmental Plan Schedule of Heritage items, determine if works are exempt from approval under the LEP provisions. Where works are not exempt, obtain necessary approvals from the local council, in accordance with SWC EIA Guidelines.

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 0162715 Nov 02 2209709
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Alexandra Canal Conservation Management Plan2004 NSW Department of Commenrce, Heritage Design Services  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: 5053865

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