White’s Creek & Johnston Creek Sewer Aqueduct

These 1896 Aqueducts were the first structures in Australia to incorporate reinforced concrete using the Monier Patent. They were designed by W. Blatzer to carry the northern main sewer across Johnston’s and White’s Creeks. This new form of construction was investigated by Royal Commission and the contractor.

A bit of Historical Background

In 1859 Sydney had a rudimentary sewage system of five sewers draining to the Harbour and serving an area little larger than what is now the City area. By 1889, this had grown to some 10kim of main sewers and 103 km of subsidiary sewers serving 18,000 properties in the Sydney City area and about 25 km serving 6, 750 properties in the suburbs of Darlington, Paddington and Redfern. The System was controlled by the City Council and continued to discharge to the harbour until 1889 at which time two major projects, initiated by the Government (and constructed by the Public Works Department between 1880 and 1889), were commissioned.

The White’s Creek & Johnston’s creek sewer aqueduct is an original key component of the upstream extension of the BOOS Bondi Ocean Outfall Sewer.

The Aqueducts are listed in with the National Trust for the following reasons –

1. The status of aqueducts as being one of the first two major reinforced concrete structures to be built in NSW, and amongst the first to be built in Australia.

2. The historical significance of the aqueducts as being a key component of the first extension to the Bondi Ocean Outfall Sewer which was completed in 1889 to become the basis of the first of the three major ocean outfall sewers which served Sydney.

3. Its position as being a good example of a significant sewer structure which can be seen. The great majority  of any major sewerage system is hidden underground but there are places where crossing gullies, rivers or river flats at which the sewage carrying structures can be viewed, The White’s creek Aqueduct & Johnston’s Creek Aqueduct are such a case.

Information Provided from Leichhardt Library Vertical Files.


1.Leichhardt Library

2. Sydney Waterboard

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