Floodplain Management

Floodplain Management

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.

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

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 Infrastructure NSW, the 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 on 4732 7947 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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 website for information about any currently on public exhibition.

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

There have been changes to the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 in reference to Planning Certificates. Planning certificates formerly known as 149 Certificates will now be known as 10.7 Certificates. This change is effective as of Thursday 1 March 2018.

Under NSW legislation a contract for a sale of a property must include a current section 10.7 certificate from Council. A section 10.7(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 10.7(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. 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.

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

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 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:

Council is preparing an overland flow flood study for the Emu Plains Catchment, which covers the suburbs of Emu Plains, Emu Heights and Leonay. It will help us to better understand, plan for and manage the risk of flooding across the catchment. For more information see our Emu Plains Flood Study Information Sheet.

Council has engaged an engineering consultant 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.

Thank you to all residents who completed our recent survey to help us identify existing flooding problems across the catchment and validate the flood model. We have now reviewed all responses. We expect to complete the study by the end of 2019 and will update this page along the way.

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.

The Nepean River Flood Study was adopted by Council on 26 November 2018, after public exhibition of the draft. The study covers the section of Nepean River and its floodplain from Glenbrook Creek confluence upstream of the M4 Motorway in the south to Yarramundi Bridge on Springwood Road, Agnes Banks in the north.

Download the Nepean River Flood Study Volume 1 Report & Appendices (pdf 22.4mb) and Nepean River Flood Study Volume 2 Maps (pdf 177mb).

Council completed the study in consultation with Office of Environment & Heritage, Department of Planning and Environment, Infrastructure NSW and State Emergency Services. It provides information about flood behaviour such as flood levels, velocities and hazard categorisation for the full range of potential flood events including the Probable Maximum Flood.

We have started preparing a Floodplain Risk Management Study and a comprehensive Floodplain Risk Management Plan for the Nepean River and its floodplain within Penrith LGA, to address the existing, future and continuing flood risks.

We have engaged an engineering consultant to undertake the study and plan. We recently ran a resident survey to gather information and ideas to help us develop solutions for the flood problems and are now in the process of reviewing all submissions and responses. Thanks to everyone who shared their experiences of flooding issues.

For more information contact Council's Engineering Coordinator - Policy and Projects, Myl Senthilvasan on 4732 7947 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The South Creek Flood Study was adopted by Council on 24 November 2014, after public exhibition of the draft. The study covers about 240km2 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 and South Creek Flood Study maps.

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 are currently undertaking a Floodplain Risk Management Study and developing a 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 problems taking into account the potential impacts of climate change.

A Floodplain Risk Management Study and Floodplain Risk Management Plan for the study area are in the final stages of development. The consultant has assessed the floodplain management issues experienced in the study area, investigated management options and made recommendations. They are currently preparing the draft study report and developing a plan detailing how flood prone land within the study area is to be managed. We expect to complete the study by May 2019.

For more information contact Council's Engineering Coordinator - Policy and Projects on4732 7947 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Penrith Central Business District (CBD) Catchment Overland Flow Flood Study 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 defines the flood behaviour, provisional hazard and hydraulic categories and estimates the flood damages for a range of flood events under current floodplain conditions.

Based on the study, we 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 have already completed a resident survey to seek information and ideas from residents to help us develop solutions for the flooding problems. We have reviewed all submissions, thank you to all who responded. The consultant is currently assessing various flood management options. We expect to complete the study by June 2019. Visit the Penrith CBD Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan project page to learn more and have your say.

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

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.

A Floodplain Risk Management Study and Floodplain Risk Management Plan for the study area are in the final stages of development. The consultant has assessed the floodplain management issues experienced in the study area, investigated management options and made recommendations. They are currently preparing the draft study report and developing a plan detailing how flood prone land within the study area is to be managed. We expect to complete the study by May 2019.

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 College, Orth and Werrington Creeks report and the 349 page College, Orth and Werrington Creeks appendices document. 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 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. 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 in May 2018.

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 Little Creek Catchment Flood Study report including all appendices. 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 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.

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.

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. It will help us to better understand, plan for and manage the risk of flooding across the catchment. Council has engaged the consultant Catchment Simulation Solutions 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. The consultant has now completed flood analysis and defined the flooding behaviour under existing conditions for a range of design flood events including the Probable Maximum Flood. The study is progressed to its final stage and will be on public exhibition from 14 February to 21 March 2019. The draft Flood Study and the details regarding the exhibition can be viewed at yoursaypenrith.com.au. Hard copies are also available for viewing at Council’s Civic Centre and Penrith Library. Submissions close at 5pm on Thursday 21 March 2019.

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.