Parramatta River

The Parramatta River is one of Sydney’s most iconic waterways. It extends from Blacktown Creek in the west to where it meets the Lane Cove River in the east and flows into Sydney Harbour. Approximately 21 km in length, the Parramatta River catchment encompasses 11 local government areas including the City of Ryde and is home to more than 750,000 people from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds.  

The City of Ryde is a member of the Parramatta River Catchment Group (PRCG). The PRCG is an alliance of local and state government agencies and community groups, working to create a healthy, liveable and sustainable river catchment for wildlife and the community to thrive.  The mission of this group is to improve the health of the Parramatta River making it swimmable by 2025.  

Towards achieving this Council has been involved in a number of activities improving the foreshore, waterway and community education about the river health which include:

  • Installation of steps at Putney Park to improve foreshore access to the water. 
  • Received a NSW Government ‘Places to swim’ grant of over $697,000 to deliver a new in-river swimming site at Putney Park by 2023/2024. 
  • Completion of Stage 1 & 2 of the Greater Sydney Harbour Coastal Management Program (replaces the Parramatta and Lane Cove River Coastal Zone Management Program) for foreshore and water quality improvement long term. (This is in development) 
  • Meadowbank and Putney litter reduction project resulting in a 27% reduction of littering in the area.  
  • Installation of various water quality improvement devices including; Bioretention systems, gross pollutant trap devices and other water sensitive urban design features e.g. at Meadowbank Park, Shrimpton’s Creek, Looking Glass Bay and in private developments to help capture and purify incoming stormwater before it enters certain creeks. 
  • Installation of stormwater harvesting systems (Meadowbank Park and Bill Mitchell Park) which capture stormwater flows and clean the water for onsite use or before it re-enters the river.
  • Participation in a multi-catchment water sensitive urban design audit to test the functionality and maintenance of devices on private lands towards building improvement programs. 
  • Biannual ‘Get the site right’ education and compliance campaign targeting erosion and sediment controls on commercial and residential building sites across NSW. 
  • ‘See it, Report it, Stop it’ education campaign to residents in surrounding catchment zones encouraging people to dob in an illegal dumper. 
  • Promoting stormwater, the urban water cycle and water catchment incursions and excursions through our Ryde Environmental Educators Network.  
  • Community Education through our monthly the Smarter, Cleaner Greener newsletter, and via information sessions and interactive stalls at council events including the annual Sustainability Festival and Granny Smith festivals. 
  • Drain stencilling education on stormwater drains in the Meadowbank area as a reminder for residents that ‘the drain is for the rain’ and anti-litter murals at Anderson Park and Trim Place, Gladesville.
  • Regular water quality monitoring in the 5 main creeks that drain into the Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers including Shrimptons, Archers, Terrys, Buffalo and Porters creeks, in addition to surface water and sediment sampling of the Parramatta River at Putney Park.  
  • Ongoing community supported clean up days along our foreshores with community, community groups and schools.
  • Delivery of the Ryde River Walk, a 12km long landscaped pathway that skirts along the banks of the Parramatta River, between Kissing Point Park and Melrose Park, meandering into bays, parks and playgrounds, through bushland, mangroves, art installations and cultural sites. It aims to improve foreshore access and recreational opportunities.
  • Riparian restoration projects, planting to restore valuable creek line vegetation improving waterways.
  • Working with Sydney Water to improve wastewater overflow incidences to reduce the number and occurrence of old infrastructure and water quality impacts.
  • Upgrading and repair work of Parramatta River seawalls, extensive creek and riparian protection restoration at Archers Creek, Kissing point, Banjo Patterson Park. 

To find out more about the Our Living River initiative visit the Our Living River website.