Grand scheme for new Wodonga waterworks

A precis of a Border Morning Mail report on 9th November 1949, headlined “Wodonga to have a better water supply”.

The responsibilities of Wodonga Waterworks Trust have been growing steadily during the past 25 years. Now the Water Tower of 75,000 gallons has become incapable of meeting full demands, and a million gallon reservoir is to be built.

Wodonga first got its water from a dammed creek three miles south of the town on the Rats Castle Road, a reservoir being built on a hill on Mr H. Heckendorf’s property.

In 1924, water was pumped from the Murray River.

Nearly 10 years ago, with new plant, the Trust began to draw from Wodonga Creek, a powerful tributary of the Murray.

The old Murray River plant consisted of an eight inch pump which sent the water through an eight-inch rising main to the Water Tower, which was completed in 1924.

At the same site, the Victorian Railways Department had a four inch plunger pump and began supplying to the railways.

In 1940, the Trust transferred to the present Wodonga Creek site and a six inch centrifugal pump, electrically driven and capable of delivering 27,500 gallons an hour, was installed. It takes the water and sends it to the Water Tower one mile away through an eight-inch rising main.

The Trust now has on order an eight inch centrifugal pump which will deliver 60,000 gallons an hour. Two eight inch rising mains will be connected to the Water Tower and a 12 inch main from the tower to the 1,000,000 gallon reservoir to be built on Ashdown’s Hill at the old rifle range about 1½ miles from the town.

The plant will operate at night on a low electricity tariff and automatically deliver 1,440,000 gallons in 24 hours, or 480,000 gallons overnight. Three miles of new pipes are on order to replace old mains.

The Trust’s newly-appointed Engineer, Mr R.J. Martin, will take over the work and Mr E. Fulford will be caretaker.

The plan for a reservoir on Ashdown’s Hill did not go ahead.  In 1959 the current water storage on Huon Hill began to supply the town and the water tower was decommissioned.