Sydney’s biggest flood mitigation project since the Warragamba Dam officially opened last week at Penrith Lakes.
A system of weirs, pipes, lakes and wetlands constructed over 30 years will benefit the community in the event of flooding, while simultaneously creating a western Sydney oasis in the future.
Penrith Lakes Development Corporation (PLDC) Chairman Keith Carew said the works carried out at the Castlereagh location were “staggering”.
“The scheme with its large lakes, sandy beaches, its wildlife havens and its extensive tracks of revegetated Cumberland Plains forest covers nearly 2000 hectares,” he said.
“We believe this is the largest ever flood mitigation scheme ever built by the private sector in Australia.
“This infrastructure, the lakes, interconnecting pipelines and weirs, provides an additional five hours of notice time for our local region, and up to an additional three hours for downstream catchments.”
In a major flooding event, millions of litres of water will enter the lakes over the weirs and the connecting infrastructure, meaning the lakes will rise at the same rate as the river before being gradually released.
In ordinary operation, the scheme takes run-off from Penrith streets and treats it to high quality by natural filtration through ponds, wetlands and main lakes.
“The water in our lakes is pristine, perfect for swimming, fishing, boating and water sports,” Mr Carew said.
WATCH: A new chapter is beginning at Penrith Lakes. More details: https://westernweekender.com.au/2017/10/next-chapter-begins-for-penrith-lakes/
Posted by The Western Weekender on Monday, 23 October 2017
“There’s two and a half kilometres of sandy beaches on the lake foreshores that are set to become a western Sydney institution in future years.”
Penrith MP Stuart Ayres officially opened the infrastructure indoors as guests were ironically rained out of the planned plaque unveiling last Friday afternoon.
“There’s no doubt that the NSW Government takes the long-term development of western Sydney incredibly seriously,” Mr Ayres said.
“We have come a long way since 1987… it’s definitely the start of a new chapter in the life of the Penrith Lakes.”
As part of the project, native plant seeds from the area were collected and over 160,000 trees were planted to protect the unique flora of Castlereagh. The site also contains hiking, cycling and nature trails.
Emily Newton is the Weekender’s police and political reporter. Emily is also the Weekender’s Senior Journalist.