Sewer Vent | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Sewer Vent

Item details

Name of item: Sewer Vent
Other name/s: Lewisham Sewer Vent, The Boulevarde Sewer Vent
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Utilities - Sewerage
Category: Other - Utilities - Sewerage
Location: Lat: -33.8950428313 Long: 151.1494402010
Primary address: The Boulevarde, Lewisham, NSW 2049
Local govt. area: Marrickville
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT2 DP173378
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
The BoulevardeLewishamMarrickville  Primary Address
Hunter StreetLewishamMarrickville  Alternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Sydney WaterState Government 

Statement of significance:

The strategic use of polychrome brick work and moulded brick details along with a considerably intact entrance fence and shaft make this structure arguably the most elaborate one of its type left in the Sydney Water system, or in NSW. The quality of workmanship and detailing is unlikely to be seen again in this type of structure. The shaft is a landmark in the area which can be seen as far as surrounding ridge tops.
Date significance updated: 04 May 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 South Wales Public Works Department
Construction years: 1909-1909
Physical description: Located some 25 metres north of Hunter Street and fronting the Boulevard is a Queen Anne revival brick and stone fence and timber entrance doors behind which is the brick and stone vent shaft. This shaft is an excellent example of the brick and stone masons craft built in 1909. The overall height of the vent shaft is approximately 9 storeys with rubbed red and cream glazed brick decoration. The pedestal is octagonal in plan with the shaft emanating at a stone transition to circular in plan with entasis from the base. The bottom of the pedestal is coursed rock faced stone to rusticated stone to 19 courses of English bond brick, upon which is the stone transition course from octagonal to circular. The pedestal extends in a circular brick form of 36 courses in English bond to a stone coursed base of the shaft, the brick shaft being surmounted by a stone course with brick cap. It is possible there was a decorative cowl however there is no evidence of that now. Directly around the base is a reconstructed federation period domestic dwelling (using the base as part of their land use). Across the road in the Boulevard is a public school and the remaining houses surrounding the vent shaft are generally detached late Victorian and Federation period dwellings. The vent shaft is particularly noticeable on the vista from Wardell Street.

The pediment above the entrance reads MBW-S&S 1909.

The entrance doors are in timber and likely to be original although the panels may be later.

The structure is substantially intact and in good condition apart from the need for repointing in strategic places particularly of the fence and in areas of the shaft. Three steel bands are fitted to the upper portion of the shaft to assist in stabilising the fabric. The fence in its design and scale sits well with the adjoining streetscape.
Date condition updated:20 Jun 00
Modifications and dates: Steel straps to the shaft added mid to late 20th Century.
Current use: Sewer Vent Shaft
Former use: Sewer Vent Shaft


Historical notes: The Northern Branch Main sewer was partly completed by 1901 and was completed before the Western Main Branch. This Branch was a siphon at the low point in Illawarra Road near Sydenham Road. The siphon is maintained by the sewage being diverted temporarily to SPS 271 for flushing purposes. This pumps it to the Eastern Branch Main Sewer.

The Dobroyd Submain discharges into this Branch at Lewisham at the point where the Lewisham Vent Shaft is located. This vent was completed in 1909 and is only one of a handful of like shafts in Sydney Water system.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Technology-Activities and processes associated with the knowledge or use of mechanical arts and applied sciences (none)-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Utilities-Activities associated with the provision of services, especially on a communal basis (none)-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The vent shaft is an important historical element in the operation of the northern branch main and Dobroyd submain.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The sewer vent is a landmark and highly visible and well detailed element of the townscape.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The vent shaft is likely to be held in high regard by the local community as a landmark structure in the locality, and has been recognised by the National Trust of Australia (NSW).
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The vent shaft exhibits qualities of craftmanship which is highly detailed and well executed, the likes of which is difficult to consider will ever be repeated again.

The vent performs an essential function in the proper operation of the sewer system.
SHR Criteria f)
As part of a small collective number of like Sydney Water Vent shafts, and in the quality they have been undertaken, they are a State wide significant piece of infrastructure.
SHR Criteria g)
In terms of venting function solely, it is representative of like items in the systems.
Integrity/Intactness: Substantially intact.
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
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for endorsementSewer Vent, The Boulevarde, Lewisham CMP, prepared by Sydney Water for Sydney Water, not dated (December 2003?) CMP endorsed by Heritage Council 20 October 2005 for a period of five years, expires 20 October 2010. Oct 20 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 0164015 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

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenSydney Water2005Sewer vent, The Boulevarde, Lewisham : 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: 5053879
File number: H04/00015

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

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