Sydney Park

Sydney Park

Stormwater harvesting

The City of Sydney will begin building the second stage of Sydney Park's water reuse scheme after the tender recommendation was endorsed by Council in December 2012. The water reuse design scope is available to download at the end of this page.

The project will deliver the City's largest water harvesting system, and help us achieve our 2030 target for 10% of water demand to be met through local water capture and reuse.

Water will be reused to top up the wetlands and irrigate the park, and potentially be made available to other users throughout the local area. This project also provides an opportunity to enhance the existing landscape and improve the ecology, environmental sustainability and overall look of this 44 hectare park.

The developed design has been configured to allow works to be done in phases if necessary. Our Sydney Park Water Reuse scheme stage 1 harvested and treated 50 million litres of stormwater during 2012/13 for the topping up of its wetlands. Both phases 1 and 2 will also involve associated park improvement works. A determination on which level of water harvesting and associated works to implement will be made after design development and subject to available funding.

Sydney Park’s Water Reuse Scheme stage two follows the successful implementation of stage one, completed in 2010, which harvested stormwater from a smaller urbanised catchment to the southwest of the site.

This project is the first of a suite of initiatives being formulated under the Decentralised Water Master Plan and is being partially funded through the City of Sydney and the Australian Government’s Water for the Future initiative through the National Urban Water and Desalination Plan.

The developed design

The developed design for stage two not only aims to expand stormwater treatment and reuse in Sydney Park but also enhance the park’s look and recreation opportunities.

Work includes:

  • diverting stormwater through underground pipes
  • filtering water through a series of bio-retention beds to remove litter, coarse sediment and organic matter
  • revitalising the park’s wetland system to increase storage and improve water filtering
  • landscape improvement works to create more recreation and play opportunities
  • connecting wetlands via a picturesque series of water cascadesImproving the footpath network
  • installing new lighting, seating, and picnic areas
  • providing information to visitors within the park about the water treatment and ecological function of the wetlands.

Project timeline

The concept design plan was exhibited in October 2011. The Developed Design was endorsed by Council in December 2011.

Works started in April 2013 and will be done in phases. All up, works are due to be completed towards the end of 2014. A construction phasing plan is available to download below.

Water harvesting systems

Water harvesting is the diversion and storage of stormwater that would otherwise drain away. The system then treats the water in order to deliver a new sustainable water supply to the wetlands, to Sydney Park and potentially beyond to other water users in the local government area.

Sydney Park’s needs

Sydney Park has four wetland areas which are an important part of the park’s eco-systems as well as playing a role in flood mitigation. Prior to the completion of stage one, these wetlands did not have a sustainable water supply.

A sustainable water supply protects the wetlands from problems such as:

  • poor plant establishment
  • blue green algae blooms
  • rapid growth of unwanted, submerged aquatic plants, such as azolla, which block sunlight.

Stage two will expand the capacity of the wetlands to supply water for irrigation within the park, as well as offer a recycled water supply to other users, beyond the park.

Stormwater treatment process

Stage two, will involve diverting stormwater via a new underground pipe into the Sydney Park wetlands from the stormwater channel that runs within the park near the corner of Euston Road and Sydney Park Road.

The water will be treated using:

  • a gross pollutant trap which removes litter, coarse sediment and organic matter from stormwater via a physical screen
  • a bioretention system which collects water in shallow depressions and filters it through plant roots and soil
  • as water is drawn from the system for reuse, it will receive further treatment through filtration and UV cleansing processes.


Damon La’Rance
Project Manager
02 9265 9333

Last updated: Monday, 10 March 2014