Flooding in the Inner West

Inner West Council is bounded by three primary water bodies – Parramatta River to the north, Cooks River to the South and Sydney Harbour to the east – and contains 5 tributary creek systems – Dobroyd Canal, Hawthorne Canal, Whites Creek, Johnstons Creek and Alexandra Canal. Generally, storm water north of New Canterbury Road and Enmore Road flows to Parramatta River and Sydney Harbour, while storm water south of New Canterbury Road and Enmore Road flows to the Cooks River.

Inner West Council can be divided into 9 primary catchments (and suburbs)

Catchment Affected Suburbs
Dobroyd Canal Haberfield, Ashfield

Hawthorne Canal 

Dulwich Hill, Leichhardt (west of Norton Street), Lewisham, Petersham (north of New Canterbury Road), Summer Hill
Whites Creek  Annandale (west of Johnston Street), Leichhardt (east of Norton Street), Lilyfield, Stanmore (west of Percival Road)

Johnstons Creek

(shared with City of Sydney)

Annandale (east of Johnston Street), Camperdown, Enmore (north of Enmore Road), Newtown (north of Enmore Road), Stanmore (east of Percival Road) 
Marrickville Valley  Marrickville, Sydenham 
Marrickville South  
Eastern Channel East Enmore (south of Enmore Road), Newtown (south of Enmore Road), St Peters
Alexandra Canal  St Peters (south of Princes Highway), Tempe 

 Foreshore

(a combination smaller catchments draining directly to Parramatta River or Sydney Harbour)

Balmain, Birchgrove, Lilyfield, Rozelle 
 

There are also two smaller areas that contribute to flood management within Burwood Council and City of Canada Bay Council.

Categorising flood events

Flooding within Inner West Council can generally be described as flash flooding – flooding which is sudden and unexpected (typically within 6 hours of the contributory rain) – often caused by sudden local or nearby heavy rainfall. This is generally attributable to the age of the existing stormwater system, the nature of the topography of the LGA, the heavily urbanised nature of the LGA and the associated history of development, as well as the impact of the major waterways within the LGA.

Flooding in Inner West Council can be categorised in three ways:

  • Overland flooding, where water flows along and through natural valleys and constructed drainage channels through streets and properties on its way to the river, creek or harbour
  • Riverine flooding, also called mainstream flooding, where the banks of the creek or river are exceeded inundating adjacent low lying areas
  • Coastal impacts, largely confined to areas of the Parramatta River and Sydney Harbour foreshore, where tidal forces and wave action may over top the foreshore level and run‑up the seaward land area

Some properties within Inner West Council may experience a combination of the above flood impacts.

What actions Council  has undertaken to date ?

Floodplain management is coordinated by Council’s Infrastructure Planning team within the Footpaths, Roads, Traffic and Stormwater Group. Inner West Council, and its predecessors, has been undertaking food risk studies across the 9 primary catchments within its LGA since 2009 in accordance with the NSW Flood Prone Land Policy. The policy specifies a staged approach to the floodplain management process, as identified in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1: Summary of the floodplain risk management process
Figure 1: Summary of the foodplain risk management process

To date Council has completed Overland Flood Studies for 8 of its 9 catchments, a tide and storm levels study along the Parramatta River and Sydney Harbour foreshore, as well as contributing to the Cooks River Flood Study and the Parramatta River Estuary Coastal Zone Management Study and Plan.

Council has also completed flood risk management studies and plans for all areas within the former Leichhardt LGA, Marrickville Valley and Eastern Channel East. Council is currently finalising its Flood Risk Management Study and Plan for the Hawthorne Canal and Dobroyd Canal. These plans assess existing and potential flood management issues within the associated catchment and potential management and mitigation measures.

Links to Studies

Alexandra Canal Flood Study (PDF 50.3MB)

Cooks River Flood Study (PDF 53MB)

Cooks River FRMSP (PDF 47.4MB)

Dobroyd Flood Study (PDF 47.8MB)

Eastern Channel East Flood Study (PDF 44.1MB)

Eastern Channel East FRMSP (PDF 29.9MB)

Hawthorne Canal Flood Study (PDF 55.1MB)

Johnstons Creek & Whites Creek Flood Study (PDF 55.3MB)

Johnstons Creek Capacity Assessment - Sydney Water (PDF 1.8MB)

Leichhardt Estuarine Planning Levels Study (PDF 5.7MB)

Leichhardt  Flood Study

Leichhardt FMRSP

Marrickville Valley Flood Study

Marrickville Valley FRMSP

 

Parramatta River Costal Zone Management Plan (PDF 47.7MB)

Whites Creek Catchment Management Study  (PDF 2.4MB)

Current Studies on Exhibition

If you would like to see current studies please contact our Your Say Inner West Page

How to get a Flood Certificate

Flood Certificate are produced via Section 733 of the Local Government Act 1993.Please note that Flood Certificates are not currently available for all properties. If your suburb / catchment is not listed below, a flood certificate is not currently available from Council.

  • Alexandra Canal : St Peters (south of Princes Highway), Tempe
  • Eastern Channel East : Enmore (south of Enmore Road), Newtown (south of Enmore Road), St Peters
  • Foreshore : Balmain, Birchgrove, Lilyfield, Rozelle
  • Hawthorne Canal : Dulwich Hill, Leichhardt (west of Norton Street), Lewisham, Petersham (north of New Canterbury Road), Summer Hill
  • Johnstons Creek : Annandale (east of Johnston Street), Camperdown, Enmore (north of Enmore Road), Newtown (north of Enmore Road), Stanmore (east of Percival Road)
  • Marrickville Valley : Marrickville, Sydenham
  • Whites Creek : Annandale (west of Johnston Street), Leichhardt (east of Norton Street), Lilyfield, Stanmore (west of Percival Road)

For more information on this permit and to be taken through the application process, please use the link below:

Flood Certificate

Stormwater

Property owners are responsible for stormwater outlets from their property to the kerb and gutter. Please contact council if you believe your stormwater outlet has been impacted by works.

Stormwater may present issues for residents, especially if it is coming from a neighbouring property.  The flow of water in these instances may lead to disputes, and Council does its best to ensure that proper action is taken if required and/or possible.  If you want to know more about how council deals with Stormwater or check to see if Council may investigate issues relating to the overland flow of water from one property to another property - please check the below page for more information:

Stormwater

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Page last updated: 21 Apr 2022