Western Australia's 120-year-old water supply infrastructure designed by CY O'Connor has been included in the State Register of Heritage Places. The pipeline itself was added to the National Heritage List in 2011.
The Goldfields Water Supply Scheme – also known as the Golden Pipeline – runs over 566 kilometres, delivering water from the Mundaring Weir to the Eastern Goldfields.
When it opened in early 1903, the scheme included a series of steam pumping stations, reservoirs and receiving tanks, and was the longest overland pipeline in the world.
“Since 1997 the National Trust of Western Australia has been managing these places, and the many stories associated with them, in collaboration with a number of other organisations, including Water Corporation and various local governments,” said Julian Donaldson, National Trust of Western Australia CEO.
“CY O’Connor’s vision and design for the pipeline was an example of Victorian engineering that made WA the wonder of the world. We’re thrilled with the inclusion of these 22 sites on the State Register.”
The newly-registered sites are across 17 locations, and include:
- the original steam pump station buildings
- a selection of staff accommodation
- original and second-generation reservoirs and tank sites
- archaeological sites
- equipment associated with the construction and operation of the pipeline.
The pipeline remains in service today, with parts of the system removed or replaced over time to ensure continued water delivery to more than 100,000 people from Mundaring to Kalgoorlie-Boulder, and parts of the Great Southern.
“The success of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme over more than a century is a great legacy of the robust design and construction – that also helped shape our economy and identity,” said Heritage Minister David Templeman.
The Water Corporation will explore ways to interpret and recognise the heritage significance of the scheme’s retired sections, to suit their respective communities.
The associated Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail offers a unique heritage tourism experience that explores this history of struggle and survival, with 25 stops at key places along its length.
The first of eight steam pump stations constructed as part of the Goldfield Water Supply Scheme sits at the foot of Mundaring Weir and is open to the public. Visit No 1 Pump Station and marvel the infrastructure built 120 years ago.
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