The Bundaberg East Water Tower, completed in 1902, is believed to be the only circular brick tower in Queensland.
The Bundaberg East Water Tower, completed in 1902, is believed to be the only circular brick tower in Queensland. Newsmail

Facility helped fuel growth of the city

BUNDABERG'S first reticulated water supply, known officially at the time as the Bundaberg Waterworks, was commissioned on Friday, September 19, 1902 by J.B. Henderson the Queensland Government Hydraulic Engineer.

It was handed over to the Municipal Council the next day.

According to a Bundaberg Regional Council history of the facility, completion of the scheme marked a significant stage in the development of the town's infrastructure. The scheme was a long time in coming.

According to the history the council first secured Henderson's services in1884 to report on the source, means and cost of providing a water supply for the town but the initial schemes investigated proved too expensive for the council's available revenue.

The economic depression of the early 1890s further delayed a water supply for the town and it was 1896 before the council again considered the matter and invited Henderson to visit Bundaberg to discuss it.

Design criteria were agreed on. and the council adopted the scheme design submitted by the Water Supply Department, estimated to cost £20,000, in November 1898.

Construction started in April 1901 and was completed in September 1902.

The Bundaberg Waterworks provided an adequate, reliable and safe water supply for many years to come at a cost the community could afford.

The Bundaberg Waterworks sourced its supply from Baldwin Swamp in East Bundaberg via a deep waterhole on the upper reaches of Bundaberg Creek.

The pumping station was located at the end of Victoria St, East Bundaberg and comprised a boiler and pump house constructed by David R. Jones between December 1901 and June 1902.

The station originally drew water direct from the waterhole on Bundaberg Creek through a suction pipe fitted with a strainer and foot valve submerged about eight feet.

By 1907 this had been replaced by a well measuring six-feet by four feet by 40-feet deep adjacent to the pump station.

The well had four bores.

Water was pumped through a cast iron rising main to the water tower.

The water tower comprised a 40,000 gallon mild steel tank on top of a 29 feet diameter, 106 feet high cylindrical brick tower.

The tower was constructed by Bundaberg builder N.C. Steffensen and the tank by the Bundaberg Foundry Company.

Construction started in April 1901 and was completed in September 1902.

From the tower, water was reticulated to the town through a 10-inch cast iron trunk main via Sussex St to Bourbong St, the town's main street, and was distributed to about 800 premises in Central and South Bundaberg through a network of smaller mains.

The reticulation network was constructed by the council's "day labour" workforce.

Construction started in July 1901 and was completed by September 1902.



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