Historical information

In 1891​ The Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) was formed and became responsible for Melbourne's water supply. Melbourne had grown to a city of half a million people. To provide water to this rapidly growing city (especially the eastern suburbs), and to supplement the 1857 Yan Yean Reservoir, Melbourne's first water supply, the Watts River (near Healesville) was tapped. It supplied water to Melbourne, via the Maroondah aqueduct.​ In May 1892 the MMBW's first engineer-in-chief, Mr William Thwaites began construction on Melbourne's sewerage system. A treatment farm was built at Werribee and a pumping station was built at Spotswood (now the site of the Scienceworks Museum) to send the city's waste to Werribee. The first Melbourne homes were connected to the sewerage system in 1897.


This book showcases the MMBW's infrastructure achievements and documents costs, requirements and key personnel involved in the development of the water supply and sewerage schemes.The introduction states "The water supply sources and headworks are in many cases situated in remote places and the sewerage works are chiefly underground. The Board has therefore resolved that these photographs of some of the scenes and works should be collected and bound for general information. August 1908" This book is in excellent condition and provides a detailed insight into the previous 17 years of work and the Board personnel of the MMBW leading up to 1908. It is of historical importance to the history of Melbourne for the photographic documents of places that were not generally open to the public, and for Melbourne Water in its detailed history of the MMBW in the early twentieth century.

Physical description

Photographic view book with hard khaki coloured cardboard cover and blue fabric binding. 120 Pages. Glossy paper with black and white plates and text about the MMBW, and scenic views and places of interest in association with the MMBW.

Inscriptions & markings

The Melbourne & Metropolitan Board of Works - Water Supply, Sewerage etc. ...Photographic Views...