Sydney Water Corporation & Thompson Berrill Landscape Design and Total Earth Care
Alexandra Canal Rehabilitation at Tempe Reserve

Sydney Water has reconstructed three hundred metres of Alexandra Canal, adjacent to Tempe Reserve near Sydney Airport.

The main objectives of the project were to:

  • Stabilise the existing collapsing banks
  • Reduce risks to public safety
  • Protect and improve the heritage values of the canal within the project area, and to
  • Improve the environmental and aesthetic values of the canal within the project area

Constructed in the 1890’s the heritage listed, contaminated and collapsing canal is a tributary of the Cooks River and one of only two navigable canals in NSW. The canal also provides trunk drainage for a 1,141 hectare catchment of inner southern Sydney. The project presented a unique set of design and construction challenges. A key feature of the design is hand cut sandstone blockwork that references the original fabric of the canal but also incorporates intertidal rock pools as well as niches for plants within the new wall itself. This example of ‘living infrastructure’ showcases how stormwater renewal can improve waterway health and liveability through the provision of ecosystem services.