SOUTHEND WATERWORKS COMPANY

Southend Waterworks Co Mobile Office photographed outside Head Office, 13 Cambridge Road, Southend on Sea, Essex.

THE HISTORY OF THE SOUTHEND WATERWORKS COMPANY

Next to Oxygen water is the most vital substance essential to life, it is most crucial to life forms on this and every other planet. Water is a chemical composition of Oxygen and Hydrogen. There are 1.4B km3 locked in our planet.

We all take clean water for granted its a part of every day life never a thought where it comes from or how its made the journey to our tap. The water supply to Southend and surrounding areas did not just happen by chance but evolved through careful planning and expert engineering.

In the early days up to the 1800s water was gathered from wells, ponds and brooks which often became contaminated. It was reported that there were numerous outbreaks of Typhoid and other water born diseases.

In 1865 the first water facility to supply Southend was built by the firm of Thomas Brassey a private company who had previously built the railway from London to Southend in 1856. A well/borehole, pumping station in Milton Rd, a reservoir and later a water tower in Scratton Rd/Cambridge Road supplied water to the area known as Cliff Town in central Southend.

In 1871 the Southend Waterworks Company became a limited company. In 1879 the company took on to supply the nearby surrounding areas and in 1894 included Thundersley 1907 the Billericay Rural District Council and the Leigh Urban District Council were purchased. By 1924 the company had expanded and now supplied water to Rochford and the Parishes of Buttsbury and Fobbing with further supply to Langdon Hills in 1959 and Shoeburyness in 1960.

This continued expansion ment from 1865 to 1921 extra wells/boreholes where sunk across the area of supply, yields were generally poor compared to the capital expenditure involved. In 1921 a bill was lodged in Parliament and received the Royal Accent giving powers to build the Langford Works and extract water from the rivers Chelmer, Ter and Blackwater. By 1927 most of the wells/boreholes were maintained as reserve sources.

Until 1945 96% of the Company’s water was obtained from Langford pumping to Oakwood service reservoir to supply Southend to the east and Canvey Island, Benfleet, Pitsea and Laindon to the west, water required by the high areas of Hockley, Rayleigh, Thundersley, Billericay, Ramesden Heath and Langdon Hills were all supplied by booster stations.

Before the war it was realised that all the Company’s resources would not meet demand. The normal growth of the undertaking was at a standstill during the war but new demands were being made on the Company’s resources with the advent of Basildon New Town and it was necessary to research and develop new sources. In the years 1947 to 1964 a policy of modernisation of the pumping plants at the more productive resources was pursued, 27 automatic electrically operated submersable borehole pumps and control equipment were installed at Barling, Benfleet, Bowers, Downham, Dunton Hall, Fambridge, Fobbing, Great Wakering, Hole Haven well 2, Leigh Beck, Mountnessing, Nevendon, Nobles Green, Oakwood, Pitsea, Prittlewell, Shoeburyness, Slices Gate, Southchurch, Vange, Wakering Wick and Wickford well/borehole sites to provide a more efficient extraction of local water.

Over the years demand for water supply has greatly increased, Hanningfield reservoir was constructed and completed in 1956 in this year the Company boasted 15 service reservoirs, 8 water towers and 17 pumping stations improvements are ongoing to this day.

The Southend Division has 1,300 miles of water mains, Raw water is pumped to reservoirs at Langford and Hanningfield. Treated – clarification, softening and sterilisation then pumped to service (covered) Oakwood reservoirs 17Mg (76.5Ml) 218.5 ft + OD Newlyn where it gravitates to Southend. Present approx 30MGD to Division.

THE SOUTHEND WATERWORKS COMPANY TIMELINE


1865 Messrs. Peto, Brassey & Betts, the famous firm of Railway Contractors build the Pumping Station Milton Rd and reservoir in Scratton Rd and supply water to Cliff Town, Southend on Sea. A private undertaking operated the works until 1871.

1871 These works transferred to the Southend Waterworks Company Ltd.

1879 The Company was incorporated as a statutory undertaking and the supply was extended to the surrounding villages.

1894 The Company becomes responsible for the water supply to Thundersley.

1907 The water undertakings of the Billericay Rural District Council and the Leigh Urban District Council.

1912 Construction of Vange reservoir at the Vange borehole site which became a major source of water to Southend before the Langford River Works was operational.

1913 The Company becomes responsible for the water supply to the Rochford Rural District Council’s area.

1924 Water was supplied locally by wells and boreholes. Area of supply now 200 sq miles bounded by River Crouch in the north and River Thames to the south, westerly to outskirts of Shenfield. At first increase in demand were met by the sinking of additional wells and boreholes in total 37 were spaced over the area of supply sunk below the London clay into the sands of the Lower London Tertiary Deposits. Many borings were made a considerable distance into the chalk and exceeded 100 ft in depth. The yields were generally poor and abstraction over the whole area resulted in gradual reductions in the initial yields. A Bill was lodged in Parliament for the construction of Langford River Works near Maldon. Water supply is added to the Parishes of Buttsbury and Fobbing.

1927 Langford Treatment Works near Maldon was constructed and water was abstracted from the Rivers Chelmer, and later Blackwater, treated then pumped into supply along a 28” diameter water main 20 miles long (later a 32” main was laid along side to increase capacity) to a covered service reservoir at Oakwood Reservoir. In 1929 the works were completed pumping additionally from the River Blackwater.

1939-45 During the war years the Company’s property was damaged by enemy action 89 times. On 59 occasions water mains were damaged, pumping stations, reservoirs and towers were damaged on 24 occasions one pumping station being totally destroyed. There was no loss of life among the staff.

1945 The normal growth of the undertaking was at a standstill during the war but new demands were being made on the Company’s resources with the advent of Basildon New Town and it was necessary to research and develop new sources. Meanwhile electrically operated automatic submersible pumps were installed in the wells and boreholes and the sites were modernised.

1950 Southend Waterworks Company in association with the South Essex Waterworks Company the Hanningfield Water Joint Managing Committee was formed to design and construct the Hanningfield reservoir with its associated treatment works and pumping stations supplying both companies.

1951 Construction of Hanningfield reservoir commenced.

1955 Hanningfield reservoir completed and took a further 200 days to fill.

1956 Hanningfield treatment works become operational.

1957 Official opening of Hanningfield reservoir and treatment works.

1959 The Company becomes responsible for the water supply to Langdon Hills.

1960 Work starts on Basildon reservoir. The Company becomes responsible for the water supply to Shoeburyness.

1965 Reconstruction of Oakwood reservoir.

1966 Reconstruction of Thundersley reservoir.

1968 Following the passing of the Water Resources Act 1963 the two companies together with the Essex River Authority promoted and developed the Ely-Ouse-Essex scheme by which water from the Ely-Ouse river is pumped to the River Stour a proportion of which is re pumped across to the River Blackwater and on to Hanningfield Reservoir.

1970/71 The Southend Waterworks Company, the South Essex Waterworks Company and the Hanningfield Joint Managing Committee amalgamated together with six local authority undertakings (Chelmsford RDC, Chelmsford Corporation Waterworks, Maldon RDC, Maldon Waterworks, Burnham on Crouch UDC and Witham UDC) formed the Essex Water Company, Three divisions were formed, The Southend Division, The Mid Essex Division and The South Essex Division. A new enlarged Langford treatment works was opened. First expansion of Hanningfield treatment plant.

1972 Ely-Ouse to Essex Transfer Scheme operational.

1980 Suffolk Water amalgamated and Essex & Suffolk Water was taken over by a French Bank.

1982 New Mid Essex Division Head Office opens at the old Marconi Factory in Chelmsford.

1983 Further expansion to Hanningfield treatment works.

1985 Modifications to Hanningfield administration block, staff move from Romford and Chelmsford offices as part of company reorganisation.

1986 Old Head office in Cambridge Road, Southend closes. All company laboratories centralised to Hanningfield site.

1988 Partnership with Lyonnaise des Eaux (Suez Group).

1989 Privatisation of water industry. Suez Group acquired East Anglian Water.

1991 New purpose built laboratory constructed at Hanningfield.

1994 Further expansion to Hanningfield Treatment Works, Essex and Suffolk Water merge.

1995 Suez acquired Northumbrian Water.

1996 Further expansion completed to Hanningfield treatment works.

1998 More staff moved from Dagenham and Southend sites to Hanningfield offices.

2000 Under the ownership of Suez, Essex and Suffolk Water merged with Northumbrian Water.

2003 Suez sold Northumbrian Water to a consortium of British blue chip investors.

2004 Northumbrian Water became plc and floated on London stock market.


Southend Waterworks Company Directors and Others 1865 - 1970

Mr. Thomas Brassey.

Founder of the Company.

World-renowned constructor of Railway and other Public Works.

A great philanthropic Captain of Industry.


Mr. John Ayris,

M. Inst. C. E.

First Managing Director of the Company. An eminent authority on the constant water supply and the management of Water Undertakings. Associated with Mr. Thomas Brassey in founding the Company in 1865, and afterwards by his arduous labours and skill ensured its success. Retired through ill health in 1900.

Mr. Henry Arthur Brassey.

Second Son of the Founder of the Company. He became the first Chairman of the Directors from 1879 - 1891; invested capital largely to extend the Works, to make the undertaking a success, and took great interest in the progress of Southend and Westcliff.

Mr. John Marshall.

A valued Director, who rendered the Company considerable service.


www.southend-on-sea.me.uk

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

SOUTHEND WATERWORKS COMPANY - ESSEX WATER COMPANY PHOTO/FILM COLLECTION

Southend Waterworks Co - Essex Water Co.

If photo player is missing please enable JavaScript on your device.

82 Photos, Category:Southend Waterworks Company - Essex Water Company.

AutoPlay: ≈08min. 45secs.

Sea of Change - Southend Waterworks Company - Essex Water Company Photo Collection.


01, 1879 The First Pumping Station, Milton Road, Southend on Sea. 02, Late c1800s The First Pumping Station, Milton Road, Southend on Sea. 03, 1911 Head Office, 13 Cambridge Road, Southend on Sea. 04, 1911 Workshops at Rear of Head Office, 13 Cambridge Road, Southend on Sea. 05, 1911 Water Tower and Reservoir Scratton Road, Southend on Sea. 06, 1911 Covered Oakwood Reservoir on the hill back of Oakwood Pumping Station. 07, 1911 Covered Reservoirs and Stand Pipe on Thundersley Hills. 08, 1911 Covered Service Tank at Billericay. 09, 1911 District Office in High Street Billericay. 10, 1911 Eastwood Pumping Station, Prince Close, Southend on Sea. 11, 1911 Leigh on Sea Pumping Station, Canvey Road, Leigh on Sea. 12, 1911 Oakwood Pumping Station nr Grovewood Ave, Eastwood. 13, 1911 First Pumping Station, Milton Road, Southend on Sea. 14, 1911 Pitsea Pumping Station. 15, 1911 Pumping Station East of Wickford under construction. 16, 1911 Prittlewell Pumping Station, North Road, Prittlewell. 17, 1911 Slicesgate Pumping Station nr Billericay. 18, Thundersley Pumping Station. 19, 1911 Vange Pumping Station and Engineers workshops, Fobbing Parish. 20, 1912 Vange Reservoir under construction. 21, 1929 Langford Works. 22, 1929 Langford Pumping Station. 23, 1929 Pumping Engines, Langford. 24, 1929 Electric Generators and Switchboard, Langford. 25, 1929 River Blackwater Intake for Langford Works. 26, 1929 River Chelmer Intake for Langford Works. 27, 1929 River Ter Intake for Langford Works. 28, 1929 Storage Reservoir, Langford. 29, Southend Waterworks Mobile Office first introduced in the 1930s. 30, 1950 Repairing a water main at Thorpe Hall Ave, Thorpe Bay. 31, 1950s Company Vehicle on Pumping Station site. 32, 1952 Land Survey for the new Hanningfield Works. 33, 1954 Downham Reservoir under construction. 34, 1954 Downham Reservoir under construction. 35, 1954 Hanningfield Works under construction. 36, 1954 Hole Haven, Canvey Island, Electrified Borehole Pumping Station. 37, 1954 Inside Hole Haven Pumping Station, Canvey Island. 38, 1950s Aerial View of Scratton Road Water Tower and Reservoir, Southend on Sea. 39, 1960 Southend Waterworks Head Office, 13 Cambridge Road, Southend on Sea. 40,  1961 Aerial View of Hanningfield Reservoir. 41, 1961 Inside Pumping Station at Hanningfield. 42, 1961 Staff Housing nr Hanningfield Reservoir. 43, 1961 Basildon Reservoir under construction. 44, 1961 Pumping Station, Langford Works. 45, 1960s Vange Silo and Treatment/Pumping Station. 46, 1965 Oakwood Reservoir. 47, 1966 Aerial view of Langford Works. 48, Southend Waterworks Mobile Air Pump Truck. 49, 1966 Reconstruction of Thundersley Reservoir. 50, 1966 Thundersley Water Tower. 51, 1968 New Langford Works. 52, 1968 New Langford Works under construction. 53, 1968 New Langford Works Chemical House under construction. 54, 1968 New Langford Works Chemical House under construction. 55, 1968 New Langford Works Chemical House under construction. 56, 1968 New Langford Works Filter Room under construction. 57, 1960s Typical Control Panel for Pumping Station. 58, 1970 New Pumping Station, Langford Works. 59, Aerial View of the new Works at Langford. 60, Disused Lilleshall Engines at Langford. 61, 1974 Aerial View of Hanningfield Treatment Works. 62, Water Tower at Shoeburyness. 63, 1978 Aerial view of Abberton Reservoir. 64, 1978 Aerial view of Chigwell Row Reservoir. 65, 1978 Aerial view of Hanningfield Reservoir. 66, 1978 Aerial view of Hanningfield Treatment Works. 67, 1978 Aerial view of Langford Works. 68, 1978 Aerial view of Layer de la Haye Treatment Works. 69, 1978 Aerial view of Sanford Mill Treatment Works. 70, Essex Water Company carrying out Road Works. 71, 1982 Aerial view Hanningfield Treatment Works. 72, 1982 Essex Water Co, Chemical House, Hanningfield. 73, 1982 Control System, Chemical and Pumping, Hanningfield. 74, 1982 Essex Water Company Mid Division, Head Office in the Old Marconi Building, Chelmsford. 75, 1985 Detecting Underground Water Leaks, Long Riding, Basildon. 76, 1985 Detecting Underground Water Leaks, West Street, Southend. 77, 1990 Southend Waterworks Company Plaque at Old Head Office now Retirement Apartments, 13 Cambridge Road, Southend on Sea. 78, 1993 Old Southend Waterworks Head Office now Retirement Apartments, 13 Cambridge Road, Southend on Sea. 79, 1993 Old Southend Waterworks Head Office now Retirement Apartments, 13 Cambridge Road, Southend on Sea. 80, 2015 Maldon Reservoir. 81, 2016 Abberton Reservoir. 82, 2017 Shoebury Water Tower now part of a Housing estate.

Images Subject to Copyright

Southend Waterworks Company Oakwood Reservoir.

If photo player is missing please enable JavaScript on your device.

1965 - 1966 The Reconstruction of the Oakwood North Reservoir East and West.

Originally built in the early 1900s and a second reservoir added later, these now supply water to Southend on Sea and surroundings, there are a set of three reinforced concrete tanks (Covered treated water storage reservoirs) two 6 million gallons and one 5 million gallons  - Total 17mg of water.

42 Photos, Category:Southend Waterworks Company.

AutoPlay: ≈04min. 30secs.

Sea of Change - Southend Waterworks Company Photo Collection.


01, 04 May 1965 Oakwood Reservoir. 02, 04 May 1965 Oakwood Reservoir. 03, 06 May 1965 Oakwood Reservoir. 04, 21 May 1965 Demolition of West Reservoir . 05, 01 June 1965 Demolition of East Reservoir.  06, 01 June 1965 Demolition of West Reservoir.  07, 01 June 1965 Demolition of East Reservoir. 08, 10 June 1965 Demolition of Reservoir. 09, 16 June 1965 Demolition of West Reservoir. 10, 29 June 1965 Floor Excavation Reservoir. 11, 29 June 1965 Excavation East Reservoir. 12, 31 July 1965 Casting, sliding layer bays floor Reservoir. 13, 18 Aug 1965 East Reservoir. 14, 02 Sep 1965 East Reservoir. 15, 16 Sep 1965 East Reservoir. 16, 16 Sep 1965 East Reservoir. 17, 19 Oct 1965 East Reservoir. 18, 19 Oct 1965 East Reservoir. 1965 19, 19 Oct 1965 East Reservoir. 20, 19 Oct 1965 East Reservoir. 21, 19 Oct 1965 West Reservoir. 22, 19 Oct 1965 West Reservoir. 23, 19 Oct 1965 East Reservoir. 24, 20 Oct 1965 East Reservoir. 25, 21 Oct 1965  East Reservoir. 26, 02 Nov 1965 East Reservoir. 27, 02 Nov 1965 East Reservoir. 28, 08 Jan 1966 East Reservoir. 29, 18 Jan 1966 East Reservoir. 30, 18 Jan 1966 East Reservoir. 31, 18 Jan 1966  East Reservoir. 32, 14 Feb 1966 West Reservoir. 33, 14 Feb 1966 East Reservoir. 34, 14 Feb 1966 Bramble Crescent. 35, 01 Mar 1966 West Reservoir. 36, 23 Apr 1966 Link Main Oakwood Reservoir. 37, 08 Jun 1966 Pipe Oakwood Reservoir. 38, 14 Jun 1966 Pipe Oakwood Reservoir. 39, 14 Jun 1966 Oakwood Reservoir. 40, 03 Nov 1966 Oakwood Reservoir. 41, 03 Nov 1966 Oakwood Reservoir. 42, 05 Dec 1966 Oakwood Reservoir.

Images Subject to Copyright

Images Subject to Copyright

8mm Cine Film - Southend Waterworks.

1968 The New Langford Treatment Works, Essex.

Southend Waterworks Co - Essex Water Co. Charts, Diagrams, Document PDF Files and Maps.

29 Images, Category:Southend Waterworks Company - Essex Water Company.

Sea of Change - Southend Waterworks Company - Essex Water Company Image Collection.


01, Complete Working Drawing of a Typical Water System. 02,Illustration of domestic water supply from Cassell’s household guide 1863-71. Hand pump in Rayleigh High Street set up by the Southend Waterworks Company. 3, 1898 Southend Waterworks Company Description of Wells and Supply. 04, 1905 Southend Waterworks Company Area of Supply, Principal Works and Trunk Mains, Southend Waterworks Company. 05, c1911 Southend Waterworks Company Sketch of Company’s Works. 06,1912 SWC Short Article and Diagram of Billericay Borehole. 07, 1912 Vange Reservoir and Pumping Stations  08, Odeon Cinema posters from the Southend Waterwork’s campaign just after World War 2. 09, 1955 Southend Waterworks Company advert. 10,1961 Hanningfield Reservoir Map. 11, 1963 Map of Oakwood Reservoir Prior to Reconstruction. 12,1966 Langford softening and purification plant. 13, 1966 Southend Waterworks Company River catchments and supply. 14, Circa Late 1960s Southend Waterworks Company’s Senior Staff Dinner at Garons. 15, Circa Late 1960s Southend Waterworks Company map of Town Centre water supply. 16, 1970 Maldon Hall Reservoir Scheme details. 17, 1970 Southend Waterworks Company New Langford Works Brief Description, Luncheon Invitation and Memo. 18, 1970 Map of  Langford New Treatment Works. 19,1970 Farewell Southend Waterworks Company Dinner Dance invitation. 20, South Essex Waterworks Short Description of Sources and General Supply. 21, 1974 Essex Water Company Map of Hanningfield Reservoir. 22, 1974 Essex Water Company Principal works and trunk mains. 23,1978 Essex Water Company Map of Mid Essex Division. 24,1978 Essex Water Company Map of South Essex Division. 25,1978 Essex Water Company Map of Southend Division. 26,1982 Essex Water Company Plaque taking over Marconi Building. 27, 1984 Essex Water Company Principal works and trunk mains. 28, Emergency water sources list of Wells/Boreholes. 29, 1992 Water consumption and population chart.

Images Subject to Copyright

www.southend-on-sea.me.uk

Explore

1900s-1930s

Collection of Old Time Photos + Amateur Home Cine Film on the Seafront at Southend-on-Sea

1940s-1970s

Collection of Old Time Photos of Southend-on-Sea

Railway Bridge Removal Photos from the High Street

Southend-on-Sea

Bridge High St

2013

Old Photos of the Civic Centre  Southend-on-Sea

Civic Centre

Old Photos of the Cemetery North Road Southend-on-Sea

North Rd Cemetery

Old Photos of Peter Pans Playground Southend-on-Sea

Peter Pans Playground

Old Photos of Pier Hill & Seafront + Amateur Home Cine Film Southend-on-Sea

Pier Hill & Seafront

Old Photos of Priory Park Southend-on-Sea

Priory Park

Old Photos of Queensway

Southend-on-Sea

Queensway

Victoria Avenue

Old Photos of Victoria Avenue Southend-on-Sea

Victoria Circus - High Street

Old Photos of Victoria Circus-High Street + Amateur Home Cine Film Southend-on-Sea

Old Town Centre Maps of

Southend-on-Sea

Southend Maps

The Changing Face of Southend-on-Sea Public Information Booklet

Changing Face of Southend

Profiling Carol Edwards

Local Author

Carol Edwards

Southend Waterworks Co

Old Photos of The Southend Waterworks Co/Essex Water Co Southend-on-Sea + Amateur Home Cine Film at Langford

Mixed Collection of Town Photos from 2000 onwards

Southend-on-Sea

21st Century Southend-on-Sea

Old Town Photos of Southend

Collection of Old Town Photos from Categories in

Southend-on-Sea

Old Photos + Amateur Home Cine Film of the Carnival Southend-on-Sea

Carnival

Old Photos  of the The Pier + Amateur Home Cine Film

Southend-on-Sea

Pier

Old Town Photos of The Royals Shopping Centre & High St Southend-on-Sea

Photos by Craig Smith

Royals Shopping Centre & High St

Victoria Shopping Centre

Old Photos of Victoria Shopping Centre Southend-on-Sea

Profiling Roy Dilley

Local Author & Cinema Enthusiast

Roy Dilley

Old Advertisements

Southend-on-Sea

Advertisements

1750-1900s

 A Seaside Town,A Brief History Southend-on-Sea

01:1968, 22 August, Under Construction, The New Treatment Works, Langford. 02:1968, 23 September, Under Construction, The New Treatment Works, Langford.

Langford Works, Essex.

The Langford Works has been extracting water from the Rivers Chelmer, Ter and Blackwater and supplying water to Southend-on-Sea since the late 1920s. The pumping station originally powered by steam delivered purified water to Oakwood Reservoir. To maintain an efficient water supply to the ever growing population a new electric plant came into operation in 1963 as part of an extension of the Hanningfield Raw Water Pumping Station. Problems renovating and difficulties with extensions of the pumping station and treatment plant half a mile away it seemed practical to construct a new works and in 1970 the new works were completed. Since, further expansion has taken place, the old pumping station is now home to the Museum of Power which is open to the general public, the old treatment plant was demolished.

Home

Cookies

Search

SEA OF CHANGE SOUTHEND-ON-SEA

Contact info@southend-on-sea.me.uk

Website Info

Copyright & Acknowledgements

Credits & Acknowledgements

Privacy Policy

Terms of Use

Home

Main Menu

Comments

Links of Interest

Cookies

A Brief History 1750 - 1900s

1750 - 1900s A Brief History A Seaside Town

Old Time Photos 1900s - 1930s

1900s - 1930s

Old Time Photos 1940s - 1970s

1940s - 1970s

Bridge High St 2013

Bridge Removal High St 2013

Old Photos Carnival

Carnival

Old Photos Civic Centre

Civic Centre

Old Photos North Road Cemetery

North Road Cemetery

Old Photos Peter Pans Playground

Peter Pans Playground