NEWS FROM DOWN UNDER: Ex-stream adventure below Sydney's streets as Tank Stream opens to public



Historical Stormwater

“People standing in line for stormwater? It’s happening in Sydney, Australia, where folks are actually competing for tickets to enter a storm drain,” writes Janice Kasperson, Editor of Stormwater Magazine in her blog.

“Officials in Sydney open the ‘Tank Stream’ twice a year, offering just 320 tickets each time, and thousands of people apply for them. The Tank Stream is the site of a more-than-two-century-old water supply line, and an important piece of the city’s history. The brick-lined belowground channel is part of a tributary of Sydney Cove, first used as a water source by aboriginal people—many stone artifacts have been found at the site—and later by the first European settlers. The location of the freshwater stream, in fact, helped determine the location of the city.”

“As early as 1790, settlers began building tanks to hold water during droughts—thus the name. The channel was eventually abandoned as a water source and eventually became a sewage drain. It was covered over in the 1860s and now serves as a stormwater channel.”

“Most cities don’t have stormwater infrastructure this old, or with such an interesting history, but kudos to Sydney for maintaining interest in (and generating a bit of revenue from) this historic structure,” concludes Janice Kasperson.


To Learn More:

To read the complete story published in the Sydney Sun Herald, click on A SIMPLE white line marks the spot above ground but below lies centuries of history – and people queue by the thousands to go down there