Heritage items, including those which belonged to Blue Mountains explorer William Lawson, have been discovered at Prospect Reservoir.
Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson announced the start of a $13.7 million upgrade of the reservoir on Monday.
She said the previously submerged heritage items were recently discovered by Sydney Catchment Authority staff at Prospect Reservoir when the level of the storage was temporarily lowered to allow for work to begin on the upgrade.
“The find is timely as it coincides with the 125th anniversary of the Upper Nepean system – of which Prospect Reservoir is the centrepiece,’’ she said.
“Early investigations suggest the find is part of an early estate in the area and that the items found date back to before the reservoir was completed in 1888.’’
Ms Hodgkinson said among the possible owners of the estate is William Lawson, who is famed for his part in the first crossing of the Blue Mountains 200 years ago, in 1813.
She said the SCA would continue investigations to find out as much as they could about the items and determine who was the most likely owner.
Ms Hodgkinson said the program of works represented one of the most significant upgrades to Prospect Reservoir since the Upper Nepean system was completed in 1888.
“Prospect Reservoir is an important part of Sydney’s water supply and the upgrade will ensure the people of Sydney continue to enjoy a reliable and secure water supply,’’ she said.
The program of works include reshaping work along the crest and to the downstream face of the dam wall.
To allow the essential upgrade to take place, the Prospect Reservoir grounds will be closed to the public until the end of 2014.