Centennial Park Ponds Management Plan 2012

Popular ponds undergo a sustainability facelift

The Centennial Parklands are an iconic destination in Eastern Sydney visited by over 3 million people per year. The Centennial Park ponds comprise 12 ornamental ponds covering an area of 26Ha, representing stormwater assets that require ongoing management.

The ponds are one of the most popular features of t he Parklands. It is imperative to maintain customer satisfaction and service levels that are generated from and inherent within the ponds. Visitors want to see the ponds clean and healthy and they want to play at the water’s edge being safe and healthy when they do so.

However, because the ponds are subject to major stormwater inflows, they are also sinks for pollution. In the past, this uncontrolled pollution caused stagnation and gave rise to blue-green algal blooms. This causes ponds to turn green with floating scums that rot and stink. Therefore there is a history of rapid pond water quality degradation, especially during dry periods. This creates a need to act with proactive interventions that will prevent this system decline.

With such a large and complex pond system to manage, a comprehensive and strategic approach was required responding to the many issues and constraints of working in the Parklands. The Plan developed for the pond system must not only provide water quality improvement, it must provide a broad range of benefits and not cause conflict with the Heritage elements of the Parklands, as well as being acceptable to visitors.

The Ponds Management Plan 2012 delivers all this and more.

The strategic nature of the Plan is rooted in the principles and approaches adopted, including catchment analysis, stakeholder collaboration, system-wide and individual pond objectives that align, ecological design refinements, least-cost feasibility assessment.  The actions that have been proposed as a result of this are targeted specifically at solving water quality problems and priority is assigned according to water quality benefit.

The Ponds Management Plan 2012 provides a balance of strategies to ensure long term success in management of the pond system, comprising: catchment stakeholder consultation, investigations to fill data gaps, capital works and life cycle maintenance activities.

To round off the success of this Plan, there is a clear commitment and ability to deliver on the various actions. Over the period 2009-2012 major capital works and maintenance activities were completed in two of the most important ponds.

The Centennial Park Ponds Management Plan 2012 was conferred a Merit Award of Excellence by Stormwater NSW in the category of Asset Management.

→ Download the award nomination

see a video about water management in Centennial Parklands – Part 1

see a video about water management in Centennial Parklands – Part 2