The First Water is Delivered to Newcastle

By the end of 1885 most phases of the long overdue water supply scheme were completed, including the trunk pipelines. However, not all sections of the pumping plant were finished.

Water was first delivered to Newcastle from a temporary pumping station on the Hunter River at Oakhampton. A Tangye engine and four pumps, with a capacity of 45,461 litres an hour, were erected at the intake on the Hunter River, permitting the scheme to be brought into use.

People gathered at the reservoir in Tyrrell Street to observe the slightly discoloured Hunter River water arriving in the city for the first time.

Image: Newcastle East [from Obelisk] NSW, 1885. Image published with permission from photographer (Ralph Snowball), collection (Norm Barney Photography Collection) and the University of Newcastle (Cultural Collections).