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.

Happy World Rivers Day!

World Rivers Day is a celebration of the world's waterways and is officially on the fourth Sunday of September. We're too excited so we're celebrating World Rivers Day early by having a pop-up stall at John Peat Reserve, Camden.

Join us for a free cuppa, and chat to Council's Sustainability Team about all things river related, including what you love about the River! It's also a chance to check out our projects, learn about Emergency Ready Week, share your thoughts and discuss how we can all work together to protect our beautiful waterways.



World Rivers Day Pop-Up

 John Peat Reserve, end of Chellaston Street Camden

 Saturday 16 September 2023 

8:00am - 11:00am

To register, click HERE.

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 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.

How can you help?

A community planting event will be held in August where you will be able to help revegetate the floodplain adjacent to the project site. To register your interest for this event, please email sustainability@camden.nsw.gov.au.

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

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.

Connecting Camden White Gum

Council received funding for the ‘Connecting Camden White Gum’ project under the NSW State Government’s Greening our City Program in 2021. The project was developed in collaboration with the CSIRO Australian Tree Seed Centre (CSIRO) which saw the installation of 500 of the Nationally Threatened tree species, Camden White Gum (Eucalyptus benthamii).

 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.

 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

Gross Pollutant Trap (GPT) auditing

Camden has over 320 assets specifically designed to remove litter from our waterways. Council is auditing these gross pollutant traps to better understand them, determine how much litter they stop from washing downstream, and what improvements can be made to get the best out of them.

 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

Narellan Creek Water Quality Improvement Project

Through a Deed of Agreement with Sydney Water, Council has received $200,000 to undertake works to improve the water quality and amenity of the Narellan Creek Water Quality Management System.

The Narellan Creek catchment will be investigated and assessed to provide prioritised management actions for Council. Once this independent report is complete, Council will undertake improvement works in the Narellan Creek catchment, with some projects expected to be completed by December 2023.

 NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program

The NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program seeks to protect the health of the community and deliver a legacy of safe, quality public and open space. Partly funded by Camden Council, the project will deliver an almost 4.3 km extension to the current recreational pathway network in Camden and link with high quality features and facilities. It will also encourage connection and appreciation of the Nepean River and Camden Town Farm. The project is aimed for completion by 2024.

 Nepean River Bank Restoration Project

The banks of the Nepean River have been 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 riverbank. This will include restoration of the Critically Endangered Ecological Community, River-flat Eucalypt Forest, through woody weed control, and revegetation with native species, including the Nationally Threatened species Camden White Gum (Eucalyptus benthamii).

The project will also have a community engagement program and an event to celebrate World Rivers Day 2023.