Mount Crosby Pumping Station

Mount Crosby Pumping Station

Mount Crosby Pumping Station, from north, 2019
Location Stumers Road, Mount Crosby, City of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Coordinates

27.5380°S 152.7991°E / -27.5380; 152.7991

Design period 1870s-1890s Late 19th century
Built 18911892,18921915, former water intake, culvert, silt chamber and tunnel site (1892,18921949,1899,19021918, remnant weir (1902,1913,1913,19141926,1915,19261928,1926,1926,1941
Architect Charles H McLay
Official name Mount Crosby Pumping Station Complex
Type state heritage
Designated 25 October 2019
Reference no. 650236
Type Natural feature: River/creek/watercourse; Residential: Cottage; Residential: Detached house; Residential: Duplex; Transport-rail: Tramway; Transport-road: Bridge-road; Utilities-water supply: Weir; Utilities-water supply: Pumping station
Theme Exploiting, utilising and transforming the land: Exploiting natural resources; Exploiting, utilising and transforming the land: Managing water; Exploiting, utilising and transforming the land: Protecting and conserving the environment; Developing secondary and tertiary industries: Lodging people; Working: Organising workers and workplaces; Moving goods, people and information: Using rail; Moving goods, people and information: Using motor vehicles; Building settlements, towns, cities and dwellings: Establishing settlements and towns; Building settlements, towns, cities and dwellings: Developing urban services and amenities; Building settlements, towns, cities and dwellings: Dwellings; Creating social and cultural institutions: Sport and recreation

Location of Mount Crosby Pumping Station in Queensland

Mount Crosby pumping station is a heritage-listed pumping station and weir (the Mount Crosby Weir) at Stumers Road, Mount Crosby, City of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It is located on the Brisbane River and extends into Chuwar on the other side of the river. The facility supplies water to Brisbane and nearby cities and towns within the SEQ Water Grid. It was originally designed by Charles H McLay and built from 1891 to 1892. The historic parts of the facility were added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 25 October 2019.[1] It is also listed on the Brisbane Heritage Register, together with numerous associated facilities which were not included in the state heritage listing.

The Mount Crosby pumping station was originally steam-powered. A tramway was originally created for construction purposes, but was later used to transport coal to fire the boilers to create the steam that drove the pumping engines; [2] The facility originally pumped untreated water from the north or eastern bank of the River, but water treatment was added later.[3]

The Mount Crosby pumping station complex has been an important part of Queensland’s industrial history since first established in 1892. Several important technological phases in Queensland’s history are reflected in the buildings, infrastructure, and industrial remnants. In continuous operation, the station has provided generations of workers with employment and accommodation in the adjacent worker’s houses, reflecting the importance of providing accommodation to company workers in remote locations in the late 19th century. The prominent waterworks operation, incorporating daily life as place of employment, residence, and recreation, and the relatively remote location, fostered a close-knit and social community of workers and their families.[1]

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The Mount Crosby pumping station complex is located 24km southwest of Brisbane’s CBD. There is a single lane bridge over the Mount Crosby Weir enabling easy access across the Brisbane River; it is a public road.[4]

Established in 1892 by the Brisbane Board of Waterworks as a means of providing Brisbane residents with a reliable source of clean water, the pumping station is situated alongside the Brisbane River from which the water is taken. The complex consists of the 1892 pumping station and a series of contemporaneously-built workers’ houses, which provided accommodation for employees. Associated infrastructure and industrial remnants throughout the site represent the pumping station’s technological phases. Mount Crosby pumping station continues to provide Brisbane and its surrounds with clean, safe and reliable water.[1]

The Mount Crosby district forms part of the traditional land of the YuggeraUgarapul people. John Oxley first sailed up the Brisbane River in the early 1820s and named the area now known as Mount Crosby, Belle Vue. It was not until the mid-late 1850s that land at Mount Crosby began to be settled, with small farms emerging, and by the 1870s the majority of the land at Mount Crosby had been selected. Ipswich, the closest regional town, became the centre for supplies and market for the Mount Crosby farmers.[5][1]

Brisbane’s water supply during the convict era came from a reservoir in present-day Tank Street in the Brisbane central business district. There was no pipe network; the water was delivered by water carts to households who stored their water in barrels. The water was described as having “a pea-soup colour and consistency” which required the householders to add wood ashes or alum to their water barrels to precipitate the yellow sediments.[6] On establishment of the Brisbane Municipal Council in 1859, one of their first tasks was to plan a better water supply for the growing town.[7]

The Brisbane Waterworks Act 1863 was introduced to alleviate this problem. The legislation enabled the Brisbane Municipal Council to construct reservoirs, supply water to the town and to charge for services, but allowed the Queensland Government to influence decisions with the establishment of a Board of Waterworks. The Enoggera Dam was completed in 1866 and provided reticulated water to the town, and in 1871 the first of Spring Hill’s Service Reservoirs the supply of water to Brisbane residents. Further improvements to the water supply were made with the construction of the Gold Creek Reservoir in the early 1880s.[8][1]

As the population of Brisbane grew and the water supply became increasingly stretched following a series of droughts, the Brisbane Board of Waterworks recognised the necessity for expansion of water infrastructure. In 1880, government hydraulic engineer, JB Henderson, recommended the construction of a pumping station at Mount Crosby, and in 1889 the Board’s chief engineer, Alexander Stewart, prepared plans for a new waterworks following the passing of legislation in 1889 (the Brisbane Water Supply Act 1889), when permission was granted to draw fresh water from the Brisbane River at Mount Crosby.[9][10][11][1]

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