|One of the reasons Sydney is sited where it is, is because the scouting party in January 1788, spotted a stream of fresh water trickling into a wide, deep cove. The stream became known as The Tank Stream, and is now totally underground. The cove was named Sydney Cove. Where the Tank Stream meets Sydney Cove is Circular Quay.|
|This metal plaque is in the Pitt Street Mall. The Tank Stream was not long, perhaps a little over a kilometre, and it was more a trickle than a stream. It raised in a swamp as you can see from the diagram. I have included two views down Pitt Street, ie facing north. The second shows the storm-water drain that flows into the tunnel beneath the surface which is the current day stream. The first one shows a sliver of the harbour bridge right down and beyond the Quay. |
The Tank Stream provided fresh water for the colony for about 40 years, being replaced by the pipes of Busby's Bore which came all the way from the sandhills of Centennial Park. Very quickly the new settlers became aware of the fragility of water supply in a continent like Australia. And they did themselves no favours, by degrading and polluting the stream with human waste and the waste and carcasses of animals.