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.

The Regional Flood Study, 2019 into flooding in our area has been prepared by Infrastructure NSW and is available at the Infrastructure NSW website.

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 Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (formally 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 Floodplain Engineering Coordinator 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.

Upcoming exhibitions 

There are no exhibitions currently planned.

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 section 149 Certificates will now be known as section 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 s10.7 certificate for any property identified by flood studies as being below flood planning level 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 more information potentially affected properties, contact Council's Duty Planner on 4732 7777

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

The SES has also prepared specific flood emergency information for the Hawkesbury Nepean region.  It can be accessed on the SES 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 July 2019, Infrastructure NSW released the Hawkesbury Nepean Valley Regional Flood study. The full study and its atlas of 382 maps can be viewed at Infrastructure NSW

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 currently working on the College, Orth and Werrington Creeks Catchment Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan. This follows the adoption of the catchment area’s Overland Flow Flood Study in 2017, which can be downloaded from the following links:

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 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 catchment area covers approximately 12 square kilometers across Werrington, Werrington County, Cambridge Park, Kingswood and Caddens, generally bounded by the M4 motorway in the south and Dunheved Road in the north. Download the College, Orth and Werrington Creeks Study Area Map for more information about the catchment area.

The primary objective of the Risk Management Study and Plan is to develop the most effective and robust plans for managing risk and responding in the event of flooding. It will take into account the potential impacts of climate change and incorporate local knowledge and experience.

The study has 2 phases:

  • Phase I – The floodplain risk management study will assess floodplain management issues confronting the study area, investigate management options and make recommendations.
  • Phase II – The floodplain risk management plan will be developed from the study, detailing how flood prone land within the study area is to be managed.

Council has engaged engineering consultants Catchment Simulation Solutions to prepare the study. We recently called for community input to the study and the flood information provided by the community is being reviewed and included. Thank you to all residents and business owners who completed our recent survey to help us identify flooding problems and preferred solutions. Throughout the process, Council will keep consulting with the local community. Council has engaged engineering consultants Catchment Simulation Solutions to prepare the study. We recently called for community input to the study and the flood information provided by the community is being reviewed and included. Thank you to all residents and business owners who completed our recent survey to help us identify flooding problems and preferred solutions. Throughout the process, Council will keep consulting with the local community.

An information sheet about the Risk Management Study and Plan can be downloaded here

The Emu Plains Overland Flow Flood Study was adopted by Council on 30 November 2020, after public exhibition of the draft report of the study (6 August to 3 September 2020).

The study covers the Emu Plains catchment including the suburbs of Emu Plains, Emu Heights and Leonay and provides details of flooding from local catchments, which generate flood flows in the local creeks, depressions and along the roads/streets in the study catchment.

The flood study 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. The flood study will help us understand better, plan for and manage the risk of flooding across the catchment.

The study was overseen by the Penrith Floodplain Risk Management Committee and is prepared with financial and technical support from the NSW Government under its Floodplain Management Program. The flood study report has three volumes and can be downloaded from the following links:

Emu Plains Overland Flood Study Vol 1

Emu Plains Overland Flood Study Vol 2

Emu Plains Overland Flood Study Vol 3

It is planned to undertake a Floodplain Risk Management Study and to develop a Floodplain Risk Management Plan (next stage, subject to availability of grant funding) for the suburbs of Emu Plains, Emu Heights and Leonay, to address the existing and future flood risks.

Council is currently working on the Little Creek Catchment Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan. This follows the adoption of the catchment area’s Overland Flow Flood Study in 2017, which can be downloaded from the following links:

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 catchment area covers approximately 4.8 square kilometers across Colyton, Oxley Park, St Marys and North St Marys generally bounded by the M4 motorway in the south and Christie Street in the north. You can download the Little Creek Study Area Map for more information about the catchment area.

The primary objective of the Risk Management Study and Plan is to develop the most effective and robust plans for managing risk and responding in the event of flooding. It will take into account the potential impacts of climate change and incorporate local knowledge and experience.

The process has 2 phases:

  • Phase I – The floodplain risk management study will assess floodplain management issues confronting the study area, investigate management options and make recommendations.
  • Phase II – The floodplain risk management plan will be developed from the study, detailing how flood prone land within the study area is to be managed.

Council has engaged Catchment Simulation Solutions to prepare the study. We recently called for community input to the study and the flood information provided by the community is being reviewed and included. Thank you to all residents and business owners who completed our recent survey to help us identify flooding problems and preferred solutions. Throughout the process, Council will keep consulting with the local community.

An information sheet about the Risk Management Study and Plan can be downloaded here.

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 the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (formally 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. We have now reviewed all submissions and included the information and ideas for the study. 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 Penrith CBD Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan is now complete and was adopted by Council on 23 March 2020, after public exhibition of the draft. The Penrith CBD Catchment Study Area is located on the southern side of the railway line and is generally bounded by The Northern Road to the east, Jamison Road to the south and Mulgoa Road to the west. The study covers an area of approximately 340 hectares (or 3.4 square kilometers) and comprises the Penrith Central Business District and surrounding suburbs.

Download the Penrith CBD Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan Volume 1 Report and Penrith CBD Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan Volume 2 Maps.

Completion of the Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan follows Council’s adoption of the Penrith Central Business District (CBD) Catchment Overland Flow Flood Study

The Peach Tree and Lower Surveyors Creeks Flood Study was adopted by Council on 29 April 2019, after public exhibition of the draft.

You can also download the full 324 page Peach Tree and Surveyors Creeks Flood Study Volume 2 - Figures and the 719 page Peach Tree and Surveyors Creeks Flood Study Volume 3 - 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 includes the suburbs of Penrith, South Penrith and Jamisontown. Download the Peach Tree and Lower Surveyors Creeks Catchment and 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 Peach Tree and Lower Surveyors 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.

The South Creek Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan is now complete and was adopted by Council on 27 April 2020, after public exhibition of the draft.

The South Creek study area covers that part of the South Creek floodplain in the Penrith LGA that is roughly bounded by Elizabeth Drive to the south, The Northern Road to the west, Ropes Creek/LGA boundary to the east and Blacktown Road/Richmond Road to the north. The study area covers the suburbs of Berkshire Park, Llandilo, Werrington, Werrington County, St Marys, Oxley Park, Claremont Meadows, St Clair, Erskine Park, Twin Creeks, Mount Vernon and Luddenham.

A map of the catchment area is available for downloading.

You can download the South Creek Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan here:

Completion of the Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan follows Council’s adoption of the South Creek Flood Study report and South Creek Flood Study maps.

The St Marys (Byrnes Creek) Catchment Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan is now complete and was adopted by Council on 23 March 2020, after public exhibition of the draft. The St Marys (Byrnes Creek) catchment covers an area of approximately 310 hectares (or 3.1 square kilometers), generally bounded by the M4 Motorway to the south, St Marys levee to the west and discharging into South Creek to the north. It includes the St Marys levee, which was originally built to minimise the flooding impact from South Creek.

Download the St Marys (Byrnes Creek) Catchment Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan Volume 1 Report and St Marys (Byrnes Creek) Catchment Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan Volume 2 Maps.

Completion of the Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan follows Council’s adoption of the St Marys (Byrnes Creek) Catchment Overland Flow Study.

With the support of the NSW Government’s Floodplain Management Program, Penrith City Council is preparing a flood study for the Cranebrook Catchment, which includes the suburbs of Cranebrook and North Penrith. This study will update Council’s existing flood information and will help us plan for, predict and manage the risk of flooding across the catchment.

Council has engaged Lyall and Associates to prepare the study. We recently called for community input to the study and the flood information provided by the community is being reviewed and included. Thank you to all residents and business owners who completed our recent survey to help us identify flooding problems and preferred solutions. Throughout the process, Council will keep consulting with the local community.

For more information about the flood study please contact Council’s Engineering Services on 4732 7777 or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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 25 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.