Sydney Park

Sydney Park

Sydney Park water reuse project launch

On Saturday 18 July we celebrated the completion of the Sydney Park water re-use project. Local residents and the wider community enjoyed free entertainment, refreshments and fun all-ages activities including costume-making and a Taronga Zoo animal display.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore spoke at the event and City staff were on hand with information about the project, which is Sydney's largest stormwater harvesting and water re-use facility. See our photo gallery for highlights of the event.

International award for Sydney Park

Sydney Park has been recognised with a prestigious Green Flag award, an international accolade that acknowledges great parks for their value to the community.

The 4.8 hectare property was a waste dump and industrial site from the 1880s until the City of Sydney transformed the site into a world class urban park.

The award is the City’s 3rd Green Flag, with Redfern Park and Hyde Park winning the prize over the past two years.

Sydney Park is our largest and we’ve been working to improve recreation and relaxation areas as well as revitalising the park’s entire wetland system.

City staff holding the Green Flag award in Sydney Park.

Stormwater harvesting

The City of Sydney is close to completing Sydney Park's water reuse scheme. Work began in April 2013 and the final stages of the project are underway.

The $10.5 million upgrade will allow around 850 million litres of stormwater a year to be captured and cleaned. 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. This project also enhances the existing landscape and improves the ecology, environmental sustainability and beauty of this 44 hectare park.

Stage 1, completed in 2010, harvests stormwater from a small urbanised catchment southwest of the site. During 2012/13, stage 1 harvested and treated 50 million litres of stormwater to top up its wetlands. Stages 1 and 2 involve other works to improve the park.

This project was funded by the City and built in partnership with the Australian government’s water for the future initiative, through the national urban water and desalination plan.
Stage 2 aims to expand stormwater treatment and reuse in Sydney Park and enhance the park’s look and recreation opportunities.

Work includes:

• diverting stormwater through underground pipes
• filtering water through a pollutant trap and series of bio-retention beds
• revitalising the park’s wetland system to increase storage and improve water filtering
• landscape improvement to create more recreation and play opportunities
• connecting wetlands via a picturesque series of water cascades
• improving the footpath network
• installing new lighting, seating, and picnic areas
• installing a dog water station to keep dogs away from the wetlands and give them somewhere to cool off
• installing an artwork comprising a series of elevated terracotta channels that reflect the site’s history and aerate and distribute water throughout the wetland system.
• providing information to visitors within the park about the water treatment and ecological function of the wetlands.

You can review the project design scope and construction plan.

What is water harvesting?

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

Sydney Park’s needs

Sydney Park has 4 wetland areas which are an important part of the park’s ecosystems as well as playing a role in flood mitigation. Before stage 1 was completed, 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 2 expands the capacity of the wetlands to supply water for irrigation within the park. 

Stormwater treatment process

Stage 2 diverts stormwater through a new underground pipe into the Sydney Park wetlands, from the stormwater channel 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
  • more filtration and UV cleansing processes as water is drawn from the system for reuse.


Damon La’Rance
Project Manager
02 9265 9333

Last updated: Monday, 28 September 2015