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  • Floodplain Management

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  • Penrith City lies within the Hawkesbury - Nepean Catchment and is dominated by rivers, creeks, waterways and associated tributaries, the most significant being Nepean River and South Creek. Both systems are accompanied by wide open floodplains.

    We have 40 creek systems and associated catchment areas, all draining into either the Nepean River or South Creek, and all have been identified as requiring comprehensive floodplain risk management studies and plans.

    What Council is doing

    Councils are required to address flooding issues under the NSW Government's Flood Prone Land Policy. The NSW Floodplain Development Manual (April 2005) specifies a staged process:

    1. Data collection
    2. Flood Study
    3. Floodplain Risk Management Study
    4. Floodplain Risk Management Plan
    5. Implementation of the Plan.

    But we can't do it alone. Management of our floodplains is complex, sensitive and raises many challenges.

    Floodplain management plans are being put together for areas most at risk of flooding, looking at the causes and extent of possible flooding and what can be done to help affected areas. Reducing the risk of future flooding requires managing flood-prone areas properly with responsible development and drainage infrastructure.

    Council is a member of Floodplain Management Australia, as part of our commitment to sound floodplain management practices.

    Floodplain Management Australia logo

    Floodplain Risk Management Committee

    Council is developing Floodplain Risk Management Strategies and plans for the City's flood affected areas. The Committee meets every 3 months and includes Councillors, community representatives, Council staff, representatives from state agencies such as Office of Environment & Heritage and the State Emergency Services and representatives from relevant neighbouring Councils. We have selected 4 community representatives for the committee, which will give the community an important voice as we develop and implement floodplain management plans. For more information, contact Council's Engineering Coordinator - Policy and Projects, Myl Senthilvasan on 4732 7947 or email:

    Have your say

    We will make the draft Flood Studies and Floodplain Risk Management Plans available for public exhibition and comment. Council publishes the dates for public exhibitions and welcomes feedback. Visit our Have Your Say page for information about any currently on public exhibition. 

    Flood and drainage development controls

    To find out what controls may apply to your land, see Development Control Plans.

    Flood Planning Notations and section 149 certificates

    Under NSW legislation a contract for a sale of a property must include a current section 149 certificate from Council. A section 149(2) certificate shows the zoning of the property, its relevant state, regional and local planning controls and other property issues such as land contamination and road widening. A section 149(2)(5) certificate provides further detail and includes other information such as advice from other authorities, subdivision history, easements and flood related advice where that information is available. Council will put a flood notation on the s149 certificate for any property identified by flood studies as being flood prone and that may attract flood related development controls. For more information about flood planning notations and what they mean for your property, read our Floodplain Management and Planning Notations Fact Sheet (accessible pdf 50KB). If you’re considering purchasing land with a view to further development, we recommend you speak to Council first about any flood related or other development controls applicable to the property. There is no charge to speak with one of Council’s duty planners by phone or in person at our offices.

    Flood Safe

    For information about staying safe and what to do in the event of a flood please visit the State Emergency Service website.
  • Flood Studies

    Over the years, Council and relevant state agencies have undertaken various flood studies and flood assessment reports for various parts of our City.
    In 2006 we completed an Overland Flow Flood Overview Study (pdf 91.6MB) for our entire City, to:

    1. identify and map all major overland flow paths
    2. define local flood behaviour in the study area
    3. assess provisional flood hazard for properties at risk from flooding, and
    4. rank catchment areas in terms of severity of flooding to help prioritise catchment areas for further studies and risk management plans.

    It identified 40 creek systems and their catchment areas that will ultimately require Floodplain Risk Management Studies and Floodplain Risk Management Plans. Our progress so far:

    Nepean River

    Penrith City lies within the Hawkesbury - Nepean Valley of which the catchment area is about 21,000km2 extending as far as Goulburn in the South, Lithgow in the West and Newcastle in the North. Over the years various state agencies have undertaken flood studies and investigations. Currently the NSW Government is undertaking the Hawkesbury - Nepean Flood Management Review to address regional flooding matters.

    Council's Nepean River Flood Study will provide flood behaviour such as flood levels, flood velocities and flood hazard categorisation for the Nepean River flood prone areas within the Penrith LGA for the full range of potential flood events including the Probable Maximum Flood.

    This study has been on hold since 2010 due to some significant changes to the Penrith Lake Scheme, which is the largest landform at the critical point in this catchment.

    Council recently held discussions with the Department of Planning and the Office of Environment and Heritage and we have now resolved these issues. The study has recommenced and we plan to complete the draft flood study and have it ready for public comments by October 2017.

    South Creek

    The South Creek Flood Study was adopted by Council on 24 November 2014, after public exhibition of the draft. The study covers about 240km2, an area from Elizabeth Drive in the south through to Blacktown Road - Richmond Road in the north. South Creek is a tributary of the Hawkesbury River that drains about 414km2 of catchment area into the Hawkesbury River at Windsor.

    Download the South Creek Flood Study report (pdf 17.9MB) and South Creek Flood Study maps (pdf 108MB).

    The study was undertaken by Penrith, Blacktown, Liverpool and Fairfield City Councils and the Office of Environment & Heritage in consultation with NSW State Emergency Services. It reviewed the flood studies previously undertaken by various councils and state agencies and updated the mainstream flood behaviour such as flood levels, flood velocities and flood hazard categorisation for the study area.

    We've started preparing a comprehensive Floodplain Risk Management Plan for the South Creek Catchment area within Penrith LGA. The objective is to develop a floodplain risk management plan for the study area that addresses existing, future and continuing flood problems, taking into account the potential impacts of climate change.

    The study will have 2 phases:

    Phase I - floodplain risk management study in which the floodplain management issues confronting the study area are assessed, management options investigated and recommendations made.

    Phase II – floodplain risk management plan developed from the study, detailing how flood prone land within the study area is to be managed.

    We've engaged an engineering consultant to do the study and plan. We called for information and ideas from residents to help develop solutions for the flooding problems and have now completed the review of submissions and questionnaire responses - thank you to all who responded. See our Information Sheet (accessible pdf 841KB) for more details. The consultant is currently assessing various flood management options. We plan to complete the study by June 2017 but will update this page along the way.

    For more information contact Council's Engineering Coordinator - Policy and Projects, Myl Senthilvasan on 4732 7947 or email

    Penrith CBD

    The Penrith Central Business District (CBD) Catchment Overland Flow Flood Study (pdf 80MB) was adopted by Council on 25 May 2015.

    The study covers about 3.4km2, located on the southern side of the railway line and generally bounded by The Northern Road in the east, Jamison Road in the south and Mulgoa Road in the west. The study area is highly urbanised and includes extensive pits and pipes drainage systems, including Corporation Drain, Showground Channel and Racecourse Channel. The study defines the flood behaviour, provisional hazard and hydraulic categories and estimates the flood damages for a range of flood events under current floodplain conditions.

    We have now started preparing a comprehensive Floodplain Risk Management Plan for the Penrith CBD Catchment area. The objective is to develop a floodplain risk management plan for the study area that addresses existing, future and continuing flood problems, taking into account the potential impacts of climate change.

    The study will have 2 phases:

    Phase I - floodplain risk management study in which the floodplain management issues confronting the study area are assessed, management options investigated and recommendations made.

    Phase II – floodplain risk management plan developed from the study, detailing how flood prone land within the study area is to be managed.

    We've engaged an engineering consultant to do the study and plan. We will be calling for information and ideas from residents to help develop solutions for the flooding problems soon.

    St Marys

    The St Marys (Byrnes Creek) Catchment Overland Flow Study (106MB pdf) was adopted by Council on 26 October 2015.

    We are now developing the Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan, based on the findings of the flood study.

    The study area covers approximately 3.1km2, generally bounded by the M4 motorway in the south, St Marys Levee in the west and discharging into South Creek in the north. It includes St Marys levee which was originally built to minimise the flooding impact from South Creek.

    College, Orth and Werrington Creeks

    The College, Orth and Werrington Creeks Catchment Overland Flow Flood Study was adopted by Council on 22 May 2017, after public exhibition of the draft.

    You can also download the full 441 page report (pdf 231 MB). Please note that due to the nature of these food study documents it isn't possible to provide them in an accessible pdf format. Please email or call 4732 7777 if you require assistance accessing the report.

    The study covers approximately 12km2 across Werrington, Werrington County, Cambridge Park, Kingswood and Caddens generally bound by the M4 motorway in the south and Dunheved Road in the north. Download the College, Orth and Werrington Creeks Study Area Map (71.6MB pdf). This study will update Council’s existing flood information and will help us plan, predict and manage the risk of flooding across the catchment.This study will update Council’s existing flood information and will help us plan, predict and manage the risk of flooding across the catchment.

    The primary objective of the flood study is to define the flood behaviour under the existing floodplain conditions. The study provides information on flood levels, extents, depths, velocities, flows, hydraulic and hazard categories for a range of flood events.

    Next we will be preparing a comprehensive Floodplain Risk Management Plan for the College, Orth and Werrington Creeks Catchment area that addresses existing, future and continuing flood problems. It will take into account the potential impacts of climate change.

    The study will have 2 phases:

    Phase I - floodplain risk management study in which the floodplain management issues confronting the study area are assessed, management options investigated and recommendations made.

    Phase II – floodplain risk management plan developed from the study, detailing how flood prone land within the study area is to be managed.

    Once we have engaged an engineering consultant to do the study and plan we will be calling for community input.

    Little Creek

    The Little Creek Catchment Overland Flow Flood Study was adopted by Council on 22 May 2017, after public exhibition of the draft.

    You can also download the full 427 page report including all appendices (pdf 350mb). Please note that due to the nature of these flood study documents it isn't possible to provide them in an accessible pdf format. Please email Myl Senthilvasan or call 4732 7777 if you require assistance accessing the report.

    The study covers approximately 4.8km2 across Colyton, Oxley Park, St Marys and North St Marys generally bound by the M4 motorway in the south and Christies Street in the north. Download the Little Creek Study Area Map (77.4MB pdf).

    This study will update Council's existing flood information and will help us plan, predict and manage the risk of flooding across the catchment.

    The primary objective of the flood study is to define the flood behaviour under the existing floodplain conditions. The study provides information on flood levels, extents, depths, velocities, flows, hydraulic and hazard categories for a range of flood events.

    Next we will be preparing a comprehensive Floodplain Risk Management Plan for the Little Creek Catchment area that addresses existing, future and continuing flood problems. It will take into account the potential impacts of climate change. The study will have 2 phases:

    Phase I - floodplain risk management study in which the floodplain management issues confronting the study area are assessed, management options investigated and recommendations made.

    Phase II – floodplain risk management plan developed from the study, detailing how flood prone land within the study area is to be managed.

    Once we have engaged an engineering consultant to do the study and plan, we will be calling for community input.

    Peach Tree & Lower Surveyors Creek

    Council is preparing an overland flow flood study for the Peach Tree and Lower Surveyors Creeks catchment, which includes the suburbs of Penrith, South Penrith and Jamisontown. The flood study is the first step in better understanding, planning for and managing the risk of flooding across the catchment. For more information about the flood study and why it is being prepared see our Peach Tree & Lower Surveyors Creek Information Sheet (accessible pdf 640kb)

    Council has engaged Catchment Simulation Solutions, an independent consultant specialising in flood studies, to prepare the study. The study will be overseen by the Penrith Floodplain Risk Management Committee, and is receiving financial and technical support from the State Government under the Floodplain Management Program. 

    Council recognises that the community holds important information about past floods. We would appreciate you sharing your flooding experiences by completing a short questionnaire at peachtree.floodstudy.com.au/ before Friday 25 August 2017. The community’s responses to the questionnaire will help to identify existing flooding problems across the catchment and develop a computer flood model that will be used to define flood behaviour over a range of flood magnitudes within the catchment.

    Future flood studies

    We have committed to undertake Floodplain Risk Management Studies and Floodplain Risk Management Plans for all 40 catchment areas identified in the Penrith Overland Flow Flood Overview Study. The catchment areas have been grouped into 24 study areas and prioritised based on their severity of flooding, size of catchment areas, proximity to catchments in the group, hydraulic connectivity and dependency of other adjacent catchments. For more information contact Council's Engineering Services on 4732 7777.

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