Tank Stream

River or creek

The fresh water course which supplied the fledgling colony, emptying into Sydney Cove. It was named for three storage tanks which were constructed in the sandstone beside the stream during a drought in 1790. The Tank Stream still flows in a covered storm water drain.

The Tank Stream

by Stephen Muecke, 2016 Creative Commons License

The Tank Stream, Australia's first water supply, was a series of tanks cut into the sandstone along the sides of a freshwater stream in Sydney Cove. Although abandoned as a water source by 1826, the technology of the Tank Stream and its name were shaped by the experience of British officers in India.
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Sydney Port Jackson, New South Wales, taken from the Rocks on the western side of the Cove, c 1803
Sketch and description of the settlement at Sydney Cove Port Jackson in the County of Cumberland...16th of April, 1788
Sydney Cove, Port Jackson 1788
Tank Stream 1842
Old Tank Stream Sydney c1852
Sydney from the western side of the Cove c1803
Drawing of old spear pump dug out of excavation in Wynyard Park
Sketch of Sydney Cove, Port Jackson in the County of Cumberland New South Wales July 1788, T Medland sculp, coastline by W Dawes, the soundings by Capt Hunter
Pitt Street, Sydney 1851
Millers Point and Dawes Point coastline 1832
Detail showing the Tank Stream from 'Plan of the town and suburbs of Sydney, August 1822'