The Southend Waterworks Co

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) who also acquired Suffolk Water Company.

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.

2011 The group were taken over by the Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings.

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