Water Pipe

1890 - 1900 in unknown place
cast iron water pipe taken from Liverpool Road; connected the

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cast iron water pipe taken from Liverpool Road; connected the
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Cast iron water pipe taken from Liverpool Road, Manchester. It connected the Liverpool Road Station site with the mains water supply. It probably dates from the late 1890s. It was extracted by United Utilities during water pipe replacement which took place in Manchester city centre 2007-2009.

This water pipe helped quench Manchester’s thirst for over 100 years. It carried clean, fresh water from new reservoirs built in the Pennines and then the Lake District to industrial Manchester.

Many of Manchester’s ingenious water supply projects were led by civil engineer John Frederick Bateman working under Manchester Corporation’s waterworks department. From the mid-1800s Between 1848 and 1884, Bateman masterminded the Longdendale Chain, a sequence of six reservoirs on the River Etherow designed to draw fresh water from Derbyshire toward Manchester’s growing population.

Between 1890 and 1925, Manchester Corporation Waterworks, again at Bateman’s suggestion, built the pioneering Thirlmere Aqueduct to help supply the ever-growing industrial city of Manchester with clean water from the Lake District.

These engineering feats helped to relieve Manchester’s water crisis which had been created by the city’s rapid and unplanned industrial and urban growth during the 19th century. These water schemes still supply the city today.

Now it is United Utilities’ job to manage the water pipes that crisscross Manchester. United Utilities came into existence following the privatisation of the water industry in 1989.


Water Supply & Sanitation
Object Number:
Cast Iron
overall: 1270 mm x 620 mm, 330 mm,
water pipe