Nottingham Water Works, 1856.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Drawing (Scale 1/4inch to 1 foot) showing a longitudinal section of the engine house and transverse section of the boiler house of the Nottingham Water Works. The rapid growth of the city of Nottingham in the late 18th and early 19th century led to increasing problems in providing a clean water supply. Traditionally water had been obtained from rivers and springs, but by the 1840s these sources had become heavily polluted with sewage and industrial wastes. In response to the problem, the Nottingham Waterworks Company built two new pumping stations in the 1850s, using 60 hp Cornish Beam engines to pump water from wells sunk into aquifers in the sandstone on which the city is situated. A third station was added in 1871.