Pymble Reservoir No.1 (Covered) (WS 0097) | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Pymble Reservoir No.1 (Covered) (WS 0097)

Item details

Name of item: Pymble Reservoir No.1 (Covered) (WS 0097)
Other name/s: (WS 0097)
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Utilities - Water
Category: Water Supply Reservoir/ Dam
Location: Lat: -33.7413453761 Long: 151.1391059160
Primary address: Pacific Highway, Pymble, NSW 2073
Local govt. area: Ku-Ring-Gai
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 DP551850
LOT4 DP744950
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Pacific HighwayPymbleKu-Ring-Gai  Primary Address
Telegraph RoadPymbleKu-Ring-Gai  Alternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Sydney WaterState Government 

Statement of significance:

Pymble Reservoir No.1 (Covered) (WS 97) is one of a small group of covered reservoirs. Together with Pymble Reservoir No.2 (Covered) (WS 98), they demonstrate the variation and development in construction technology and the high level of engineering skill available to the MWS&DB.

The two reservoirs on the Pacific Highway at Pymble form an important group of covered reservoirs, integral with fine examples of valve houses. The valve houses preserve their original valve control gear, which is extremely rare in the SWC system.

All covered reservoirs are highly significant within the SWC system, since all differ in construction technology, design and architectural detailing. All therefore contribute to our understanding of the development of covered reservoirs in NSW.

The listing includes the reservoir and all associated features, pipework, valves and valve houses to the property boundary.
Date significance updated: 02 Dec 02
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: Pymble Reservoir No.1 (Covered) (WS 97) is a circular brick covered reservoir with an octagonal brick entrance chamber constructed at the centre of its roof. The entrance chamber has a concial Marseilles tile roof. The reservoir has cast iron roof ventilation caps, as at Petersham Reservoir (Covered) (WS 89), Waverley Reservoir No.1 (Covered) (WS 132) and Randwick Reservoir (WS 101).

Adjacent to the reservoir, on the Telegraph Road frontage is an octagonal valve house, of rendered brick, with parapet and flat roof. The valve house has a steel grated floor and an access ladder to the valve below.

Plantings include: oleander.

The site is occupied by the Pymble Bowling Club clubhouse, while the adjacent covered reservoir (Pymble Reservoir No.2 (Covered) (WS 98)) is used as the bowling green for the club. The recreational and open space usage of the roof of the reservoir is a historical and important feature of most covered reservoirs.

Full Service Level: 173 m.
Capacity: 2.3 ML.
Modifications and dates: Pool type fencing added in the late 20th Century.
Further information:
See other listings in Covered Reservoir Group.
Current use: Reservoir.
Former use: Reservoir.


Historical notes: Pymble Reservoir No.1 (Covered) (WS 97).

Northern Suburbs Supply.

When the Board took over from Sydney City Council in 1888, the only supply to the northern suburbs was by a submarine main from Dawes Point to Milsons Point, taking water by gravitation from Paddington Reservoir. The level of Paddington Reservoir limited supply to the lower areas of the N Sydney.

In 1888, in order to overcome this problem, the Board erected a pumping station in Junction Street, N Sydney, with two storage tanks in the grounds of St. Thomas’ Church, to meet demand for the higher parts of N Sydney. The plant was dismantled in 1892, the pump being transferred to Carlton and the tanks to Wahroonga. The above submarine main was abandoned in 1917.

In 1892 the Ryde Pumping Station was commissioned, supplied by mains from Potts Hill (via Rookwood Cemetery, along the Concord Peninsula and attached to the 1889 railway bridge at Meadowbank), with reservoirs at Ryde Pumping Station (disused 1930) and Ryde Hill and then by mains to a pair of reservoirs at Chatswood (previously constructed in 1888).

With increasing population of the N Shore, brought about by the construction of the railway, new storage reservoirs were required. The tanks, originally at N Sydney, were transferred to Wahroonga in 1896. A steam powered pumping station was erected at Chatswood in 1895 for the supply of Wahroonga. A new steel surface reservoir was constructed at Wahroonga in 1898.

From Wahroonga the main from Chatswood extended to Hornsby, with a branch to Thornleigh and Beecroft.

Pymble Reservoir was constructed in 1900 to meet local supply.

The mains from Chatswood to Wahroonga had deteriorated by 1905, necessitating new direct mains from Ryde to Wahroonga, and from Chatswood to Pymble to connect to the former main.

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]
This reservoir demonstrates the high level of demand by a populous suburban community.

This reservoir or site demonstrates the amplification in demand due to growing population.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The two reservoirs on the Pacific Highway at Pymble form an important group of covered reservoirs, integral with fine examples of valve houses, most of which preserve their original valve control gear.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
This reservoir demonstrates the broad range of construction techniques and high level of technical expertise available for covered reservoir construction.

All covered reservoirs are highly significant within the SWC system, since all differ in construction technology, design and architectural detailing. All therefore contribute to our understanding of the development of covered reservoirs in NSW.
SHR Criteria f)
One of a small group of large covered reservoirs in brick or concrete, each demonstrating differences in construction, design and architectural detailing.
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 0163215 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: 5053870

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