About the Study PDF Print E-mail

Fairfield City Council is in the process of preparing a Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan for the Smithfield West catchment. The extent of the catchment is shown in the image on the right (click on the image to enlarge). The catchment covers an area of 152 hectares.

Prior to settlement of the region, large proportions of rainfall infiltrated into the underlying soil with the excess runoff being directed along natural drainage gullies and creeks. However, development across the catchment has increased the amount of impervious surfaces and reduced the opportunities for rainfall to infiltrate into the underlying soils. In addition, as urban development has progressed, many of the smaller drainage gullies and creeks have been built over and replaced by stormwater pipes / culverts.


During most rainfall events, the stormwater system has enough capacity to carry stormwater runoff below ground and into Prospect Creek. However, during periods of heavy rainfall, there is potential for the capacity of the stormwater system to be exceeded, leading to overland flooding. Overland flooding has been experienced on a number of occasions in the past including February 1990 and more recently in April 2012. These historic floods resulted in a number of houses and garages being flooded as well as several key roadways being cut by water (refer photograph on the right which shows floodwaters during the 1990 flood in Smithfield). As such, overland flooding can place a significant financial burden on the community. During severe rainfall events, flooding can also place lives at risk.


Council has undertaken considerable work in the past to help reduce the impact of flooding on the community. This includes house raising, installation of open fencing as well as stormwater upgrades. Despite these improvements, a number of areas across the Smithfield West catchment remain at risk of flooding. Therefore, Council prepared a flood study to help identify the flooding problem areas across the catchment. The flood study was completed in 2016.

Fairfield City Council is now proceeding with the preparation of a Floodplain Risk Management Study for the catchment. The study will evaluate measures for managing the existing, future and continuing flood risk across the catchment. This will include an assessment of a range of structural and non-structural measures to ensure the risk is appropriately managed across the full range of floods that could potentially occur.

The study is being completed as part of Council’s Floodplain Risk Management Program, which aims to reduce the impact of flooding on the community. It is funded by Council and the NSW Government’s Office of Environment and Heritage. It should be noted that this website does not necessarily represent the opinions of the NSW Government or the Office of Environment and Heritage.

The study is being prepared by engineering consultants Catchment Simulation Solutions and Molino Stewart with assistance from Council and the Office of Environment and Heritage. 

To learn more about the study, including how you can contribute to the study, click the "Next" button below.



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