19th Century

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~Uitenhage: The district of Uitenhage was proclaimed in 1804 when a drostdy was established. Captain Alberti, officer in charge of Fort Frederick, laid out the town on the northern bank of the Swartkops River. Stone-age artifacts and pre-historic mammal teeth found at the present-day Uitenhage Springs indicate that the eyes of the artesian springs have been a constant source of water for living creatures for at least 200 000 years. (Ref.7)

~The first water facility to deliver water to an entire town was built in Paisley, Scotland in 1804 by John Gibb to supply his bleachery and the town and, within three years, filtered water was even piped directly to customers in Glasgow, Scotland. (WRC – History of Water Treatment).


~In 1806, a large water treatment plant began operating in Paris. The plant’s filters were made of sand and char-coal and where renewed every six hours. Pumps were driven by horses working in three shifts. (WRC – History of Water Treatment)


~Cape Town water supply:The wooden pipes serving Cape Town (water supply) were replaced with cast iron pipes, imported from the England. The Home Government appointed Mr.John Chrisholme (photo) for this task. At the same time fountains were replaced by swing-handle pumps. One ot it, the “Hurling Swaai Pomp” can be seen in the Gardens. Ref.1.


~Cape Town water supply:The shortage of water in Cape Town became apparent at the time of the British takeover in 1806, and the Home Government appointed the leading engineer of the day, John Rennie, to investigate augmentation of the supply. His solution was to build a 250,000 gallon reservoir in what is now Hof Street in 1814. (Ref.3.)


Ref.1. Woodhead Dam. 100 years. Centenary. City of Cape Town. ISBN 1-874924-72-4

Ref.2. Institute for Municipal Engineering in South Africa. (http://imesa.vdw.co.za/AM/Template.cfm?Section=History&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=1479)

Ref.3. Tony Murray. History of Rivers and Drainage in the Cape Metropolitan Area.

Ref.4. Wide Blue

Ref.5. Water, Water, everywhere… (http://www.joburg.org.za/2004/dec/dec24_water.stm)

Ref.6. Scanned document “THE HISTORY OF WATER SUPPLY TO PRETORIA” received from Mr.Koot Snyman of City of Tshwane.

Ref.7. Raymer, David Anthony. A HISTORY OF PORT ELIZABETH AND UITENHAGE’S WATER SUPPLY. Raymer, David Anthony, civil engineer. Employed as graduate engineer in July 1980. Promoted to Assistant Water Engineer in 1988 and Water Engineer (Operations) in 1990. Appointed Assistant Manager (Bulk Water & Water Management) in 2004. Resigned in February 2007 to work for consultants. He is the author of the book, Streams of Life: A History of Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage’s Water Supply. * Port Elizabeth 22.8.1953

Ref.8. Grobler, Roger R. (1996). A Framework for Modelling Losses arising from Natural Catastrophes in South Africa. University of Pretoria.

Ref.9. Grant, George & Flinn, Taffy (1992). Watershed Town. The History of the Johannesburg City Engineer’s Department.

Ref 10: Table Mountain

Ref 11: Discovering Southern Africa – T.V Bulpin

Ref 12: Wikipedia

Ref 13: Water Wheel November/December 2011 – Water History

Ref 14: DWA : http://www.dwa.gov.za/iwqs/rhp/state_of_rivers/berg04/berg2.pdf

Ref 15: ‘In the Footsteps of Giants’ – Exploring the history of South Africa’s large dams ~ Lani van Vuuren

Ref 16: Hydrogeological Heritage Overview: PRETORIA’S FOUNTAINS -ARTERIES OF LIFE ~ Matthys A. Dippenaar

Ref 17: South Africa ’77 Official Yearbook of the Republic of South Africa

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