Our History & Heritage

The Hunter Water that exists today has had a long and rich history from its humble beginnings in the 1880s when water was first delivered to Newcastle from a temporary pumping station on the Hunter River at Oakhampton.

The constitution of the first Board was approved in 1892 and New South Wales' second water authority was born. We are governed under the State Owned Corporations Act 1989 and in 1992 the Hunter District Water Board was corporatised under the Hunter Water Act 1991 and began trading as it is known today - Hunter Water Corporation.

125 Year Logo

This year marks Hunter Water's 125th anniversary, 18 July 2017 from when the Act was first introduced.

To mark this milestone we're giving the public access to fascinating historic photos, memorabilia and tools of a bygone era to showcase how our local water and sewer system has evolved over time through a traveling exhibition we will be at Morpeth Museum from 1 Friday February and then at SEEN Swansea  from Friday 6 April until Sunday 3 June 2018 (please check the venues opening hours). 

Visitors will have the opportunity to see our dams, pipelines and treatment facilities from a new perspective, and engage with stories about how their construction has enabled our region to go from a fledging coal mining settlement, to industrial powerhouse, to diverse regional economy.

The exhibit will also highlight Hunter Water's people, with 'The Board' once being the region's second largest employer. Visitors will learn about changes employees have made over the years, current trends in water and sewerage technologies and the next steps for Hunter Water.

Below our timeline of events provides a look into the past, and our heritage assets provides insight into the works of our system.


Download a printable version of our special 125 year anniversary timeline here.

Our History - A Timeline of Events 

We are proud of our long history of service to the local community, our environmental stewardship, our record of leadership in water industry reform and the individual and collective contribution and achievements of our staff and partners.

Our Drinking Water Sources
Find out about the different types of water sources we use.

Wastewater Systems
Find out more about our wastewater treatment works.

Recycling and Reuse
Find out more about the ways we are recycling water to be used for other purposes.
Education Programs
Find out information about our current education facilities and programs available.
Our Heritage Assets

Hunter Water's heritage assets represent a rich heritage of over 100 years of work to collect, treat and deliver fresh water to consumers, remove, treat and dispose of the region's wastewater, and maintain efficient and effective drainage of stormwater.