1508 West Ryde Pumping Station
West Ryde Pumping Station
West Ryde Pumping Station itself is still in operation and plays a vital role in supplying potable water to the northern suburbs of Sydney. It is the largest of it’s kind in the southern hemisphere.
Coincidentally at the time of writing, the grounds of West Ryde Pumping Station also house the office I work from for my day job as an Assistant Hydrographer. UPDATE: Not anymore!
Click to read more
Credit to Sydney Water for the history below.
The first of West Ryde Pumping Station was built by the Harbours and Rivers Department and handed over to the newly formed MBWS&S (Metropolitan Board of Water Supply and Sewerage) in 1891.
Water was delivered from Potts Hill Reservoir to a balancing reservoir at Ryde Railway Station. From here a pair of 146HP vertical, compound, direct-acting, surface-condensing pumping engines (by J. Watts & Co. Birmingham), lifted 3,400 gals/min of water to Ryde tank and Chatswood, to supply Sydney’s northern distribution system.
By 1916 the need to further increase pumping capacity could no longer be accommodated in the existing station. Land on the eastern boundary of the old station was acquired, and a second much larger pumping station built. The new station was completed during 1921 and commissioned on the 15th September.
Gradually the new station took over the pumping duties of the old until the old pumping station ceased to operate during November 1930. The old station was used as a store until it was demolished in 1961.
The new pumping station went through continual upgrades and amplifications to raise its pumping capacity. In 1921 the station was pumping to Chatswood, Pymble, Wahroonga, Hermitage, Mobbs Hill and Beecroft Reservoirs. By 1982 the conversion to electrification was completed.
The combination of electrification over steam, more powerful prime movers and improved suction mains, rising mains and manifolds, resulted in the great increase in capacity at the new station.
Turpentine-Ironbark Forest on Wianamatta shale was the main vegetation type for much of the Ryde area. A typical sample is that within the small reserve (Wallumatta Nature Reserve) at Twin Road, Ryde and includes Turpentine and Grey Gum.
During the 19th century, much of the Ryde area was cleared for its timber and to provide land for farming while the post-WW2 suburban expansion resulted in the further loss of extensive remnant areas of bushland.
More recent treatment of the grounds reflects an attempt to soften the impact of the introduction of the many office buildings and demountables associated with the use of the place by Sydney Water and, until June 2001, Australian Water Technologies.
Like what you see?
Selected photos from the Lost Collective, like the one illustrated, can now be purchased at our online shop. These superior quality prints are available in a range of sizes ready for framing.
Join the growing conversation within the Facebook album or share this page with friends using the buttons below.