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Spotswood Pumping Station

Architect: Christian Kussmaul, 1890

West | W02

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Building Description

The Spotswood Pumping Station was built in the 1890s as a key component of the Melbourne Sewerage Scheme. Functioning as the heart of the system, the pumping station played a vital role in helping to overcome the city’s early public health and sanitation problems. For almost 70 years from 1898, all the sewage collected in Melbourne’s underground sewers passed through the pumps at Spotswood, on its way to the treatment works at Werribee. The original equipment consisted of four large pumping engines powered by steam from coal-fired boilers. By 1914, ten steam engines were in operation at Spotswood. The first electric powered pumps were installed in 1921, and by 1925 most of the daily flows were pumped by electricity. The rapid growth of Melbourne after the Second World War meant that by the 1960s, the Spotswood Pumping Station’s capacity had been exceeded. Corrosion of the iron and steel rising mains from Spotswood to the outfall sewer led to a decision to build a new pumping station at Brooklyn. The Spotswood Pumping Station buildings and entire contents were classified by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) in 1981, and the site is also listed on the Victoria Heritage Register.

Need to Know

  • Open: Thursday 3 & Thursday 1 January 10am-4:30pm

  • What's Open: Pumping Station North Boiler House and Engine Room

  • Tour Type: W02

  • Tour Details: Tours at 10:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm and 2:30pm, running for 30minutes, in groups of 60

  • Access: Fully accessible

  • Notes: Free Pumping Station entry does not include Scienceworks general entry.

  • Building Type: Cultural

  • Transport: Train stop: Spotswood Train Station via Werribee and Williamstown lines

  • Photo Credit: Images copyright Museums Victoria


Enter through Scienceworks, 2 Booker St, Spotswood, 3015, VIC


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