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Melbourne Water Docklands, Victoria

Formerly The Board of Works and Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), Melbourne Water is owned by the Victorian Government.

For 120 years we have managed Melbourne’s water supply catchments, treated and supplied drinking and (more recently) recycled water, removed and treated most of Melbourne’s sewage and managed waterways and major drainage systems in the Port Phillip and Westernport region.

We are also responsible for managing a large number of historic places and objects. These assets tell us about social changes, technical and creative achievements, and provide a tangible link to past events, processes and people.

As detailed in our cultural heritage strategy, it is our responsibility to not only maintain and protect these valuable assets, but when such infrastructure is no longer used, to ensure heritage values are documented and protected.

Contact Information

location
Melbourne Water PO Box 4342 Melbourne Vic 3001 (map)

Contact

Location

990 La Trobe Street Docklands Victoria

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The Melbourne Water collection consists of many historical objects, photographs, documents, films and oral histories ranging from the late 1800s up until the early years of 2000. Items that can be found within the collection are souvenirs, glassware, signs, textiles, books, photographs and documents relating to places such as the Metropolitan Farm (WTP), the Maroondah System, Yan Yean, Upper Yarra and the Silvan Reservoir. Also included are reports such as sewerage reports, annual reports and review of operations, as well as staff magazines and newsletters that were once distributed by the organisation itself. Promotional material is also included in this collection as well as tapes, DVD’s and CD’s relating to the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) and Melbourne Water. There are also many slides and negatives relating to Melbourne’s waterways that are stored in the collection.

42 items

42 items

Ashtray - Maroondah Dam, Healesville Souvenir

Melbourne Water, Docklands

This Souvenir glass ashtray, used as a receptacle for ash from cigarettes, features a black and white photograph of The Maroondah Dam on the base, with text reading “Maroondah Dam, Healesville”. The ashtray is round in shape with three indents on the rim to place cigarettes.

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir item has been curated by Melbourne Water as it represents an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally.

Ashtray - Graceburn Weir, Healesville Souvenir

Melbourne Water, Docklands

This Souvenir glass ashtray, used as a receptacle for ash from cigarettes, features a photograph of the Graceburn Weir on the base, with text reading “The Graceburn Weir, Healesville”. Rather small in size, this ashtray has a unique shape with four protruding glass points to place cigarettes.

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir item has been curated by Melbourne Water as it represents an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally.

Compensating Polar Planimeter

Melbourne Water, Docklands

The instrument is inside a black metal case with accessories including: Setting bar, screwdriver, Allen key and spare pole point. Inside is also the adjustable planimeter.

Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water. This item was used by MMBW employees as a measuring device to determine areas or figures on a plane surface having either straight or irregular boundaries.

Significance

The Compensating Polar Planimeter is of historical significance for its association with the former Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW). This measuring device is perfectly intact and a rare surviving object of standard Board issued equipment. The kit is significant for its representativeness of the theme of Technology in building Victoria's industries and workforce, which continues to resonate strongly within Melbourne Water today.

Dish - The Outlet at Maroondah Dam, Souvenir

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Small white porcelain dish with silver trim, 120x75x10mm, with drawing printed in the centre and text reading, "The Outlet, Maroondah Dam, Healesville, Vic."

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir dish illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir item represents an important historical aspect of the MMBW by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally. The souvenir dish is significant for its documentation of the Maroondah Water Supply System developed through the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, shaping the formative years of Melbourne. The dish is also historically significant for its association with the MMBW and is viewed as a noteworthy achievement of the organisation.

Inscriptions & Markings

Makers mark, Manufactured in Czechoslovakia

Dish - Maroondah Reservoir, Healesville Souvenir

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Souvenir dish made from bone china with gold trim, featuring an illustration of the Maroondah Reservoir in the centre reading, “Maroondah Reservoir, Healesville”.

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

Manufactured in England, this souvenir dish made from bone china with gold trim, features an illustration of the Maroondah Reservoir in the centre reading, “Maroondah Reservoir, Healesville”. On the back of the dish is the makers mark, Royal Stafford, one of the oldest pottery factories in Staffordshire, England. The Royal Stafford brand was established in 1845 and continues to provide high quality tableware in the present day. This souvenir item has been curated by Melbourne Water as it represents an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally.

Inscriptions & Markings

Makers mark, Royal Stafford.

First Aid Kit (plastic lunch box)

Melbourne Water, Docklands

First Aid Kit (plastic lunch box)

Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water.

Significance

This first aid kit is of historical significance for its association with the former Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW). The kit is relatively intact and a rare surviving object of standard Board issued equipment. The kit is significant for its representativeness of the theme of Safety that continues to resonate strongly within Melbourne Water today.

Inscriptions & Markings

MMBW 1339 (burnt into plastic) Board of Works Decal

Glass Bowl - Maroondah Dam, Healesville Souvenir

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Clear glass flower shaped 'depression ware' bowl with photograph of Maroondah Dam Healesville in the base.

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir item has been curated by Melbourne Water as it represents an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally.

Glass Bowl - Maroondah Dam, Healesville Souvenir

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Glass bowl with a photograph of the Maroondah Dam in the middle, and text overlay reading "Maroondah Dam, Healesville".

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir item has been curated by Melbourne Water as it represents an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally.

Handkerchief - Maroondah Dam, Healesville Souvenir

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Pink handkerchief with lace trim. The handkerchief features a print of the Maroondah Dam, with text “Maroondah Dam. Greetings from Healesville Vic”.

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir item has been curated by Melbourne Water as it represents an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally.

I'm not a Wally with Water badge

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Round metal badge with printed cartoon image and text.

Historical information

Following the 1983 Victorian drought The Board of Works (MMBW) ran a television, radio and print campaign to encourage water conservation called ‘Don’t Be a Wally with Water’. The campaign followed Wally, a bumbling, habitual water waster, and is an early example of educating the public on water sustainability both environmentally and financially. Wally was both a cartoon character and played on television by the comedian Peter Moon. The campaign ran for several years and was designed to change attitudes towards water wastage.

Significance

This MMBW branded item is associated with ‘Don’t Be a Wally with Water’ campaign, and demonstrates an early water sustainability education program. These badges would have been given out as promotional merchandise and at public events.

I'm not a Wally with Water badge

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Round metal badge with printed cartoon image and text.

Historical information

Following the 1983 Victorian drought The Board of Works (MMBW) ran a television, radio and print campaign to encourage water conservation called "Don't Be a Wally with Water". The campaign followed Wally, a bumbling, habitual water waster, and is an early example of educating the public on water sustainability both environmentally and financially. Wally was both a cartoon character and played on television by the comedian Peter Moon. The campaign ran for several years and was designed to change attitudes towards water wastage.

Significance

This MMBW branded item is associated with "Don't Be a Wally with Water" campaign, and demonstrates an early water sustainability education program. These badges would have been given out as promotional merchandise and at public events.

Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works Flag

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Navy and gold Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) flag with the Southern Cross and MMBW coat of arms. The coat of arms incorporates Melbourne and the United Kingdom, and the motto of the board 'Publica Merces Salus Mea', 'Public Health is my Reward'.

Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water

Significance

This MMBW flag is of historical significance for its association with the former Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW). This flag is relatively intact with only two of its kind held in the collection. The flag is significant as is represents a proud organisation and demonstrates the organisations historical development of services, a strong theme of the collection. The flags navy and gold colour is aesthetically pleasing while the coat of arms represented on the flag holds great meaning.

Melbourne Water Watch

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Gold plated, black leather band watch with the Melbourne Water logo on the face with accompanying black suede case with gold corners. The watch also comes with a warranty inside.

Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water. This Melbourne Water watch was gifted to a Melbourne Water staff member by her manager when she left the organisation in 1996. The watch was part of a branding campaign as the water industry became segregated in 1994.

Significance

This item is of historical significance for its association with Melbourne Water at the time when the water industry became segregated in 1994. This watch is a perfectly intact object and is significant for its representativeness of the theme of Women in the Workforce within the MMBW and Melbourne Water as it was gifted to a female employee. The watch is also aesthetically pleasing in style and represents the trends of the 1990s.

MMBW briefcase

Melbourne Water, Docklands

MMBW brown leather briefcase with MMBW gold embossed on the lid.

Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water.

Significance

This MMBW briefcase is of historical significance for its association with the former Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW). This item is perfectly intact and a rare surviving object of standard Board issued accessories. The briefcase is significant for its representativeness of the theme Staff and in building Victoria's industries and workforce, which continues to resonate strongly within Melbourne Water today. The style of this briefcase also demonstrates early 19th century design.

MMBW Federation Journal

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water.

Significance

Formally titled, The Official Organ of the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works Employees’ Federation, this series is an exhaustive collection of monthly articles published by MMBW staff. This voluminous collection highlights the accomplishments and social agenda of MMBW employees throughout WWII and its impact on the organisation.

MMBW Hand Tool "Pick"

Melbourne Water, Docklands

MMBW hand tool, "Pick" with wooden handle and 'MMBW 'stamped on the metal head.

Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water.

Significance

This hand tool is of historical significance for its association with the former Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW). This tool is a rare surviving object of standard Board issued equipment. It is significant for its representativeness of the theme of Technology in building Victoria's industries and workforce, which continues to resonate strongly within Melbourne Water today.

MMBW Notice

Melbourne Water, Docklands

The Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works Notice by direction of the Officers and Servants' Committee,Officers and Employees of the Board are notified that they must not absent themselves from duty for the purpose of taking part in Parliamentary, Municipal, or other Elections. GEO. A. Gibbs, Secretary.

Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water.

Significance

This MMBW notice is of historical significance for its association with the former Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW). This item fits under the theme of staff/employees at the MMBW.

Photograph - Typists at the Board

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Colour Photograph

Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water.

Significance

As the MMBW employed men to undertake secretarial work within the first few decades of operation, it wasn't until 1912 when the first female 'typiste' was employed. This photograph, showing a group of typists employed by the Board, is historically significant as it represents the kinds of jobs that women were employed in during the 1970s.

Photograph - Upper Yarra Dam Personnel

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water. In 1946, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) approved a site for a new dam for Melbourne's domestic water. This is now known as the Upper Yarra Dam. Due to the construction of the dam, the workforce had to be accommodated on site; domestic quarters were built for single men, families and staff. The township also had kitchens, laundry facilities, a canteen, a recreation hall, mess areas and a co-op store, with one of the first houses being seconded to accommodate for a school.

Significance

This photograph shows personnel at a Kindergarten party at the Upper Yarra Dam, a time where workers were housed during its construction. The photograph is historically significant as it captures a purpose built community that supported the workers undertaking the construction of the dam.

Photograph - North Cocoroc State Primary School

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water. The township of Cocoroc was created in 1894 at the Metropolitan Sewage Farm (now the Western Treatment Plant) to house the workers it employed. The name 'Cocoroc' means 'frog' in the language of the Wathaurung people — the Traditional Owners of the land the treatment plant was built on. By the early 1950s there were nearly 100 houses, a town hall, football ground (and team), swimming pool, tennis courts, four schools and a post office, and by the 1970s some 500 people were living in Cocoroc. As it became too expensive for the MMBW to subsidise, Cocoroc was abandoned. By 1973 most of the houses and other buildings were demolished or moved to Werribee. All that is left now of Cocoroc are two small, empty, concrete swimming pools, a few weatherboard sheds and a big iron water tank.

Significance

This photograph detailing an exterior view of the North Cocoroc State Primary School, is historically significant as it captures children at play within a purpose built community. The School that was one of four was built to educate the children of the MMBW workers. As the school no longer exists, this photograph is the only tangible evidence left of the building, also showcasing the style of buildings in this era.

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

Melbourne Water, Docklands

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.

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.

Significance

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.

Inscriptions & Markings

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

Photograph - Steel Pipeline

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Black and white photograph

Historical information

The Upper Yarra Reservoir supplies the Silvan Reservoir, which distributes water throughout the Melbourne metropolitan area. The dam was completed in 1957 and is a rolled earthfill and rockfill embankment. This photograph shows a 68" diameter steel pipeline that was to convey the water from the Upper Yarra Reservoir to the Silvan Reservoir.

Significance

This photograph is significant as it provides a detailed insight into the Boards activity and construction of one of Melbourne's most important water supply systems. Furthermore, it is of historical importance to the history of Melbourne while it is representative of shaping Melbourne's environments, transforming and managing land and natural resources, and providing urban infrastructure and services. The photograph itself is aesthetically pleasing, through its depth of field and use of shape with an interesting composition.

Photographs: The Maroondah Dam Wall Under Construction

Melbourne Water, Docklands

These images are part of a series of eight photographs which document the construction of the Maroondah Dam in the 1920s.

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance

Significance

These photographs are invaluable in providing insight into many aspects of the Maroondah Reservoir’s early development. The dam wall is a distinctive example of early engineering techniques, with its gravity arch design and concrete construction. The construction of the dam wall represents an important advancement in the technology of dam-building.

Photograph - Tunnel at the O'Shannasy Dam

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Black and white photograph

Historical information

The O'Shannassy Reservoir supplies water to the Silvan Reservoir, which distributes it to most parts of Melbourne. The dam was completed in 1928 and is an earthfill embankment with a reinforced concrete core wall.

Significance

This photograph is significant as it provides a detailed insight into the Boards activity and construction of one of Melbourne's most important water supply systems. Furthermore, it is of historical importance to the history of Melbourne while it is representative of shaping Melbourne's environments, transforming and managing land and natural resources, and providing urban infrastructure and services. This photograph also covers the theme of Safety, depicting the safety standards of the time particularly with clothing.

Photograph - Turning Of The First Sod

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Black and white photograph

Historical information

The 19th of May marks the anniversary of the turning of the first sod of the outfall sewer. In 1888, a Royal Commission into Melbourne’s public health led to an ambitious plan to construct a sewerage system of underground pipes, sewers and drains to carry sewage from homes and factories to a sewage treatment farm. The commission also supported the establishment of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), the authority that would build the sewerage system and manage Melbourne’s water supply. This photograph is from The Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works Water Supply, Sewerage, and etc Photographic Views, 1908

Significance

This photograph is in excellent condition and provides a detailed insight into Board personnel of the MMBW. It is of historical importance to the history of Melbourne in the turning of the very first sod.

Postcard - The Car Park at Maroondah Reserve

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Souvenir coloured rectangular postcard with a framed picture of the carpark at the Maroondah Reserve.

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitian Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aestethically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir postcard illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir item represents an important historical aspect of the MMBW by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally. The souvenir postcard is significant for its documentation of the Maroondah Water Supply System developed through the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, shaping the formative years of Melbourne. The postcard is also historically significant for its association with the MMBW and is viewed as a noteworthy achievement of the organisation.

Souvenir confectionery bowl

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Clear glass flower shaped 'depression ware' confectionery bowl, with photographic image of Maroondah Reservoir outlet tower on base

Historical information

Melbourne Water inherited many of its water assets, such as reservoirs from its predecessor the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW). They have served the organisation well and have long been celebrated for both their natural beauty and engineering ingenuity. In the nineteenth century Victoria’s fundamental need for water infrastructure went beyond merely functional solutions and reflected the English ideal of the romance and beauty that was embodied in expanses of water. The MMBW further enhanced this notion by incorporating beauty and function in to the Classical and Italianate designs of its infrastructure such as pumping houses and reservoir outlet towers. The reservoir gardens and picnic areas were landscaped with ornamental stonework, exotic trees, decorative flower beds, fern glades pools and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir item has been curated by Melbourne Water as it represents an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally.

Souvenir lapel pin/brooch Maroondah Dam

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Blue enamel and metal lapel pin/brooch depicting Maroondah Reservoir and outlet tower. Oval shaped with words 'Maroondah Dam' at the top and a ribbon banner containing 'Healesville' at the bottom.

Historical information

Melbourne Water inherited many of its water assets, such as reservoirs from its predecessor the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW). They have served the organisation well and have long been celebrated for both their natural beauty and engineering ingenuity. In the nineteenth century Victoria’s fundamental need for water infrastructure went beyond merely functional solutions and reflected the English ideal of the romance and beauty that was embodied in expanses of water. The MMBW further enhanced this notion by incorporating beauty and function in to the Classical and Italianate designs of its infrastructure such as pumping houses and reservoir outlet towers. The reservoir gardens and picnic areas were landscaped with ornamental stonework, exotic trees, decorative flower beds, fern glads pools and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir item has been curated by Melbourne Water as it represents an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally.

Inscriptions & Markings

Maroondah Dam. Healesville

Souvenir Manicure Set - Maroondah Dam, Healesville Souvenir

Melbourne Water, Docklands

This rare pocket grooming kit features a scene of the Maroondah Outlet and Dam. The handle is manufactured from mother-of-pearl, encasing four steel utensils. The utensils contained inside the kit were used for filing and manicuring.

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir item has been curated by Melbourne Water as it represents an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved on the back of the last utensil is the manufacturer’s mark “ELOSI”. ELOSI is the acronym from Ernest Lohr and Otto Stiehl of Solingen, Germany. In 1935, this company was the first to manufacture thin plastic covers for low cost (5-25 cents). This is one of the most successful and profitable inventions in the history of cutlery and utensils.

Souvenir Pennant

Melbourne Water, Docklands

Navy in colour, the pennant is double sided, with an image of the Maroondah Dam surrounding the word “Maroondah” on both sides.

Historical information

The Maroondah System was first and foremost developed as a functional component of Melbourne's Water Supply System. In addition to functionality, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) envisioned the Maroondah Reserve to be enjoyed aesthetically and recreationally by the public. This souvenir illustrates the realisation of the Maroondah System as a local recreational and tourist attraction in the early 20th century. The Maroondah Reserve gardens were landscaped with English-style ornamental stonework, exotic trees, flower beds and rose gardens. All features of the water supply system became widely celebrated as beauty spots that continue to be very popular to this day with tourists and locals alike. This souvenir is a product of that flourishing tourist trade. These water supply sites continue to enhance Melbourne’s charm and liveability and are now recognised as places of cultural and historic significance.

Significance

This souvenir item has been curated by Melbourne Water as it represents an important historical aspect of the organisation by demonstrating the popularity of its water asset sites as recreational places and tourist attractions, and although these sites are functional parts of the water supply system, they were also designed to be enjoyed by the public both aesthetically and recreationally.