Waterway Projects

Nepean River Bass Habitat at Spring Farm

Council is committed to protecting our natural environment by improving the health of our waterways. We are actively working towards this through the delivery of on-ground projects, data collection and education initiatives.

If you own a residential or business property in Camden, you probably contribute to the Stormwater Levy that helps fund some of these projects that better our waterways.

Creek Restoration Project Elizabeth Macarthur Reserve

Council is partnering with Sydney Water and Downer BMD Joint Venture to remove weeds and restore native vegetation along the creek line in Elizabeth Macarthur Reserve.

What is riparian vegetation?

The plants that are found along waterways are also known as riparian vegetation. This vegetation is important as it helps to stabilise the bank of the waterway, slowing the flow of stormwater, preventing erosion, and filtering out pollutants. It also provides food and habitat for both land and water-based animals including birds, fish and frogs and provides a corridor that allows connectivity of plants and animals. The shade from vegetation can help to stabilise the water temperature and reduce the likelihood of algal blooms.

What is the project?

While there is existing riparian vegetation along the creek lines within Elizabeth Macarthur Reserve, this vegetation is made up of exotic species that have been introduced to Australia including many weed species such as African Olive (Olea europea subsp. cuspidata), Box elder Maple (Acer negundo), Chinese Celtis (Celtis cinensis), Privet (Ligustrum sp.) and Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos).

This project will involve the removal of existing weeds and replacement planting with local native species.

Weed removal will be undertaken by a mechanical tritter, with the material mulched and left in place on the bank to prevent erosion and the regrowth of weeds. The site will then be prepared for planting, including the removal and treatment of any weed species that do regrow in the area.

Planting of 2,000 native grasses, shrubs and trees will be undertaken to restore the original pre-European plant community of River Flat Eucalypt Forest (RFEF) which is recognised as a Critically Endangered Ecological Community.

When will the project be delivered?

Mechanical weed removal is expected to start in mid-June 2023, weather permitting. This will allow time for any weed seeds that remain within the soil to germinate, be treated and removed before planting. Planting of the site will take place with a community planting event on National Tree Day, Sunday 30 July 2023. Maintenance watering and weeding will be undertaken until the end of 2023.

How will this work affect me?

Mulcher machinery (tritter) will be used within the site over a one to two-week period commencing in mid-June, weather permitting. This will be followed by the periodic use of handsaws up until July 2023, as well as follow up spot spraying with herbicide.

These works will result in residents and users of the Reserve being exposed to noise on weekdays between 7am and 4pm. Sections of the shared use path may also need to be closed for short periods of time while the mechanical mulcher is in use. This is to ensure an adequate exclusion zone around the machinery. Temporary fencing will also be installed in these areas to prevent access while the machinery is in use.

How can I be involved?

There is an opportunity for residents to be involved in the project through a community planting day on National Tree Day, Sunday 30 July 2023.

You can also join Council’s Bushcare program. Led by an experienced and qualified supervisor, the Kings Bush Reserve group meets at Chellaston Street, Camden each Tuesday and on the first Sunday of the month from 9am – 12pm. No experience or tools are required.

Bushcare is a great way to stay fit, meet new people and contribute to your local environment.

Who can I contact if I have any questions?

For more information about the project or to register your interest for National Tree Day or Bushcare, contact Council’s Natural Resources Project Officer on 02 4654 7777 or email sustainability@camden.nsw.gov.au.

Elizabeth Macarthur Reserve Creek Restoration Map Updated

Figure 1. Site Location – blue areas show extent of project work.

Additional Resources

Review of Environmental Factors - Sydney Water WRP Rehabilitation Works - Elizabeth Macarthur Riparian Restoration

Review of Environmental Factors - Addendum - Sydney Water WRP Rehabilitation Works - Elizabeth Macarthur Riparian Restoration


Nepean River Bank Stabilisation Project - Ferguson's Land

What is the project?

Council has entered into an agreement with Sydney Water to deliver a bank stabilisation project along a section of the Nepean River at Ferguson’s Land Cricket Facility. The project is part of a pilot project to offset nutrients released into the environment from Sydney Water’s wastewater treatment plants. Sydney Water will fully fund the restoration of a 200-metre section of eroded and degraded riverbank within the Ferguson’s Land site.

When will the project start?

These works are set to start on Monday 24 July 2023, with site preparation works occurring from Monday 3 July 2023.

The site preparation works will involve:

  • Ecologist surveys;
  • Removal of woody weeds for geotechnical surveys;
  • Installation of construction site fencing; and
  • Installation of sediment and erosion controls.

Where is the project?

The project site covers an area up to 200 metres along the Nepean River within the Ferguson’s Land Cricket Facility, located off Exeter Street, Camden (refer to the map below).

This site was selected as it has experienced severe erosion, with some parts experiencing more than 30 metres of riverbank retreat since 2016. Measurements show that more than 6,500 cubic metres of soil was lost between December 2021 and May 2022 due to the impacts of flood events. That’s enough material to fill more than two and a half Olympic sized swimming pools!

What will the project involve?

Sydney Water are funding this project which will include:

  • Removal of woody weeds, including African Olive (Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata), Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos), and Broad-leaved and Small-leaved Privet (Ligustrum sp.);
  • Staged earthworks of the bank to regrade it to safer gradients, maintain flood conveyance, and reduce erosion caused by overland flow;
  • Installation of rock ballast and log jams within the toe of the bank secured by timber pins and steel cables;
  • Installation of a rip rap drainage channel to protect the bank from overland flow from the Ferguson’s Land facility;
  • Installation of timber log fields with rootballs and pins up the bank to slow the flow and reduce the erosive potential of flood waters;
  • Placement of jute matting and revegetation with approximately 30,000 native tubestock plants from the Endangered Ecological Community of Cumberland Riverflat Forest; and
  • Installation of herbivore control fence around the revegetation area.

Timber for the project will be sourced from Transport for NSW M12 project. This provides a great opportunity to effectively reuse waste as part of a best practice riparian restoration project.

How will this project affect me?

Delivery of project materials will continue until works commence mid-2023. The works are expected to take approximately eight weeks to complete, weather permitting.

All works and delivery of material delivery will only be undertaken on weekdays between 7am and 4pm. These activities may result in some residents and users of Ferguson’s Land Cricket Facility and neighbouring properties/facilities being exposed to sporadic noise.

Who can I contact if I have any questions?

For more information about the project, contact Council’s Catchments Project Officer on 4654 7777 or sustainability@camden.nsw.gov.au

Additional Resources:

Site Plan for Nepean River Bank Stabilisation Project

Nepean River Bank Stabilisation Project Fact Sheet - 2023

Nepean River Bank Stabilisation Project - Rotary Cowpasture Reserve

Why is Council undertaking efforts to stabilise the Nepean river bank?

To repair damage to the river bank that occurred during the flood events of 2022 and to prevent further erosion, Camden Council will be undertaking bank stabilisation works at four locations along the bike path at Camden.

 Where will it be?

The first stage of this work will be undertaken on the Nepean River at the southern end of Rotary Cowpasture Reserve, Camden. View the map HERE.

 Who is funding these works?

Funding for this project was assisted by NSW Government through its Environmental Trust, and funded under the joint Australian Government – NSW Government Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements 2018.

 What will the project involve?

The project will include:

  • bank stabilisation and erosion control;
  • addition of large woody debris as fish habitat;
  • removal of weeds including African Olive (Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata) and African Lovegrass (Eragrostis curvulata);
  • planting with local native species from the Endangered Ecological Community of River-Flat Eucalypt Forest to stabilise the bank and provide habitat; and
  • maintenance of the plants, including watering as required.

 How will these works affect you?

The works are expected to start in early December 2023, with the bank stabilisation works expected to take four to six weeks to complete, weather permitting. The bank stablisation works will be followed by weed removal and replanting in early 2024. The project will result in minor noise and temporary disruptions to pedestrian traffic as vehicles access the site from Rotary Cowpasture Reserve to access the site. All works will occur between 7am and 5pm Monday to Friday, and 7am and 1pm on Saturdays, with no work on Sundays.

 Who can I contact if I have questions?

If you would like more information about this project or our local waterways, call Council’s Sustainability Team on 13 CAMDEN or email sustainability@camden.nsw.gov.au

Additional resources

Project Flyer – Bank Restoration – Rotary Cowpasture Reserve

Review of Environmental Factors – Bank Restoration – Rotary Cowpasture Reserve

Nepean River Bass habitat at Spring Farm

Why is Council installing fish habitat and stabilising the Nepean riverbank?

To support Camden residents’ desire to fish on the Nepean River, Camden Council will be installing fish habitat structures and erosion control to promote the increase in population and passage of Australian Bass.

Where will it be?

The fish habitat structures and bank stabilisation measures will be installed on the Nepean River near Burrell Road, Spring Farm (refer to the map below for more details).

Nepean River Bass Habitat Spring Farm map

What will the project involve?

The project will include:

  • Bank stabilisation and erosion control;
  • Addition of large woody debris as fish habitat;
  • Ongoing removal of balloon vine (Cardiospermum grandiflorum);
  • Planting with local native species to stabilise the bank and provide habitat; and
  • Maintenance of the plants for around two years, including watering as required.

Nepean River Bass habitat at Spring Farm project plan

Who is funding these works?

Funding for this project was assisted by NSW Department of Primary Industries Fisheries’ Recreational Fishing Trust’s “Habitat Action Grant Program”, which is financed from funds generated through collection of the recreation fishing licence fee in NSW.

How will these works affect you?

The works are expected to start in the week commencing 29 May 2023 and take approximately four weeks to complete, weather permitting. Project materials will be delivered to the site a week prior. There will be minor noise and disruptions to pedestrian traffic as vehicles cross the Burrell Road footpath to access the site. All works will occur between 7am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

Additional resources

Final Concept Design - Nepean River Bass habitat at Spring Farm

Project Flyer - Nepean River Bass Habitat at Spring Farm

Review of Environmental Factors - Nepean River Bass Habitat at Spring Farm

Projects in the Flow

Update on Harrington Park Floating Wetland

In 2020, Council installed a floating wetland raft in Harrington Park Wetlands to help remove nutrients, sediment, heavy metals and some hydrocarbons from stormwater. The floating wetland raft was planted with native wetland plants that also provide habitat to aquatic wildlife. These works were funded by the Australian Government’s Communities Environment Program and can be seen at the end of Dillon Court, Harrington Park. Through regular water quality testing at the Harrington Park Wetlands over three years, the site has seen total phosphorous levels stabilise and total nitrogen levels reduce. The wetland plants on the floating wetland raft continue to thrive, provide habitat to wildlife, and improve on the quality of water in Narellan Creek.

Narellan Creek improvement at Eskdale Reserve

The improvement works at Eskdale Reserve, Mount Annan were completed on schedule in early March 2022 and are expected to help improve the water quality of Narellan Creek. The works included removal of litter, accumulated sediment, and weeds. The creek channel was also realigned, new native trees and plants added, and the adjacent pathway fitted with solar lighting. A low height fence was also installed to prevent windblown and dumped litter entering the pond and creek.

 Nepean River, Our River

Council developed and published the ‘Nepean River, Our River’ video series in partnership with Penrith City Council. This video series explores the history and use of the Nepean River, what both Councils are doing to improve water quality and how you too can help limit your impact on our waterways. The videos can be viewed on Council’s YouTube Channel or website.

 Waterway Walks

There are Waterway Walks at Kolombo Creek (Oran Park), Narellan Creek (Harrington Park) and Narellan Creek (Mount Annan). All three Waterway Walk guides and Bingo cards can be downloaded here.

Aquatic weed control

Aquatic weeds have the ability to cover waterbodies, suffocate native vegetation and negatively impact water quality. Council manages aquatic weeds, including Alligator Weed, Frogbit and Kidney-leaf Mud Plantain, throughout the local government area and also works with neighbouring councils to protect the Nepean River and other waterways.

 Platypus monitoring

Results from environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling in September 2021 detected the presence of platypus in the northern sections of the Nepean River, downstream of the suburb of Camden. Sampling in 2022 was unable to be conducted due to the condition of the Nepean River after multiple flooding events. Resampling is planned for February 2023 and will include some of the smaller tributaries of the river to gain further understanding of platypus habitat, range and population dynamics.

 Canopy Enhancement – Ferguson’s Land

Another NSW State Government Greening our City funded project is underway at Ferguson’s Land. This project enhanced the original landscape plan for the Ferguson’s Land Cricket Facility and saw the restoration of a section of riparian vegetation through weed removal and revegetation.

Stormwater assets

Rainwater that runs off driveways, roads, roofs, car parks, footpaths and gardens is known as stormwater. Council uses Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) to improve water quality and control water quantity before it reaches our waterways. In 2022/23 Council took ownership of eight new gross pollutant traps (GPTs) bringing the total to 332 across the LGA, and now maintains 130 basins to detain and filter stormwater

Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) Operational Guidelines

To better understand stormwater treatment measures and provide clarity for Council and the community on how these should be maintained, Council has developed the Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) Operational Guidelines. If you have a rainwater tank or other stormwater asset, this document will also help guide you on how to best operate it.

Projects in the Creekline

Bringelly Reserve Riparian Improvement Works

Bringelly Reserve includes open space, a creek tributary and environmentally sensitive land where the remnant native vegetation comprises of RFEF. The Reserve is within, and part of, the Upper Wianamatta South Creek Floodplain which discharges stormwater north to the Transport for NSW drainage channel at Bringelly Road.

The Reserve was overgrown with woody weeds as well as the sporadic accumulation of debris and organic material in the creek line which may have been contributing to the inundation of adjoining properties during high intensity rain events. A contractor was engaged to remove woody weeds and sediment from the creek line to improve the environmental sustainability of the site. Planting of the banks will be undertaken to provide further soil stability.

Narellan Creek Water Quality Improvement Project

Through a Deed of Agreement with Sydney Water, Council received $200,000 to undertake works to improve the water quality and amenity of the Narellan Creek Water Quality Management System. The key existing water quality feature in the Narellan Creek catchment is the Harrington Park Lake system which was built in the late 1990’s.

Additional lake systems were constructed in the early 2000’s which completed the Narellan Creek Water Quality Management System. Consultants have reviewed water quality issues, catchment threats and hot spots that are contributing to current poor water quality and have identified and recommended actions to improve water quality in the Harrington Park Lake system.

The focus of short term actions is to reduce observed water quality impacts, whilst the long term actions are targeted at sustaining a long term improvement in water quality. This independent report is being considered with short term actions to be prioritised for implementation in the coming year.

NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program

The NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program (PSLP) is a significant investment in high quality public open space. In May 2021, Council was awarded $5.1 million through this grant program to deliver an almost 4.3 kilometre extension to the current recreational pathway network to connect the Nepean River to Camden’s main street via Camden Town Farm, Ferguson’s Land, and the Bicentennial Equestrian Park. Council has completed the design and consultation phases of the project and are currently delivering a range of works expected to be completed by December 2023.

 Greener Places, Healthier Waterways

Council’s draft Greener Places, Healthier Waterways Vision outlines an aspirational goal to create greener places and healthier waterways across Camden. It recognises the ‘Green Grid’ is related to the ‘Blue Grid’ and that management of them together provides clear benefits to both. The draft Vision will be reported to Council for consideration in early 2023.

Projects in the Pipeline

Nepean River Bank Restoration Project

The banks of the Nepean River were significantly impacted by flooding in March, April and July 2022, as well as in March 2021 and February 2020. These eroding banks are encroaching on some public assets, such as the Nepean River Cycleway and Rotary Cowpasture Reserve.

With funding from the NSW Environmental Trust Restoration and Rehabilitation grant program, Council will be stabilising sections of the river bank. This will include restoration of RFEF through woody weed control, and revegetation with native species, including the Critically Endangered species Camden White Gum (Eucalyptus benthamii).