The NSW Government has announced it will fast-track a feasibility study that will look at opening Prospect Reservoir up to the public for swimming.
Prospect Reservoir is one of the backup water supplies for Sydney. While there are already dams across the state that are utilised for both drinking water and recreation, Western Sydney Lakes, a pristine freshwater waterway at the foot of the Blue Mountains is being given little consideration as an alternate swimming spot in Sydney.
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Western Sydney is calling out for more swimming spots, particularly as we move into what is expected to be one of our hottest summers in years. While Parramatta and surrounds can visit the newly opened Parramatta Aquatic Centre and Lake Parramatta, as you move further west there are fewer options for the community.
Early investigations by Sydney Water’s Urban Plunge team at the Lakes have already identified that the water quality is primary contact (i.e. suitable for swimming) and after more than 10+ years of consistent testing data, all signs point to the Lakes as the perfect recreation spot for the community.
The Lakes are a purpose-built pristine series of freshwater waterways, set against the backdrop of the beautiful Blue Mountains. Of the three main large lakes, one is dedicated entirely to the conservation of local flora and fauna and this was gifted to NSW Government in December 2022 (Wildlife Lake), with the other two main lakes intended to be inland water recreational beaches for the community. Prospect Reservoir, by comparison, requires much more work to make it appropriate for community swimming, let alone delivering picturesque surroundings.
How do they compare?
Penrith Lakes Beach
Back up Sydney water supply
Purpose built lake (operating for more than 25 years)
Upgrades to water filtration and treatment required
Primary contact water achieved through Sydney Water
No sandy beach
700m sandy beach available now
38 Gigalitres total with a 7 Gigalitres lake built for passive use
Depth of 24m
Depth of 6-8m: accessible safe shallow sand gradient to the clean, fresh, tide-free waters
It's time for the Western Sydney community to be able to cool themselves on those long hot summer days in their own backyard!
We acknowledge the traditional custodians, the Darug Peoples, of the land on which Western Sydney Lakes is located.
We respect their enduring cultural and spiritual connection to this special place, most notably characterised by the Nepean waterways and the Blue Mountains escarpment. We will work in a respectful manner with Aboriginal people in Caring for Country and aim to celebrate Aboriginal history, culture, customs and beliefs.