Manuscripts and Special Collections

Timeline of water-related developments and legislation in Nottingham and the East Midlands


Date Event
1531 Statute of Sewers passed, enabling the appointment of permanent Commissioners of Sewers
1626 Charles I gives a commission to Cornelius Vermuyden to drain the Hatfield Level
1629 Court of Sewers for the Level of Hatfield Chase founded
1696 The [Old] Nottingham Waterworks Company established
1725 Earliest records of The Sewers Commission of the County of Lincoln, City of Lincoln and County of the said City and part of the County of Nottingham acting for the wapentakes of Manley, Corringham and Aslacoe (the Brigg Court of the Lincolnshire Commissioners of Sewers)
1783 Trent Navigation Company established by Act of Parliament
c.1790 Zion Hill Water and Marble Works established in Nottingham
1824 Nottingham New Waterworks Company established
1826 Trent Waterworks Company established in Nottingham; Thomas Hawksley, Engineer until 1880, designed England's first constant high pressure water supply
1831-1832 Nationwide cholera epidemic
1832 Poor Law Commission set up
1832 The Trent Waterworks Company opened a constant pumped water supply system to taps in streets and yards in Nottingham
1835 Municipal Corporations Act
1842 Edwin Chadwick's report on the Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Classes
1844 Royal Commission on 'Large Towns and Populous Districts'
1845 J.R. Martin's report on 'The State of Nottingham and Other Towns'
1845 Nottingham Water Act authorises amalgamation of water companies
1845 Nottingham Waterworks Company established
1847 Nottingham Borough Sanitary Committee established
1847 Nationwide typhus epidemic
1848 Nationwide cholera epidemic
1848 Public Health Act
1857 First modern pumping station built in Nottingham, Bagthorpe/Basford at Haydn Road, Radford, engineered by Thomas Hawksley, extracting water from sandstone beds
1861 Land Drainage Act amended the powers of the Commissioners of Sewers and allowed for elected, as opposed to appointed, Drainage Boards
1862 Act of Parliament to Incorporate the Participants of the Level of Hatfield Chase, establishing the Corporation of the Level of Hatfield Chase
1866 The Board of Conservators of the Trent Fishery District established following the Salmon Fishery Act (1865)
1869 Royal Commission on Water Supplies
1872 Nottingham and District Sewerage Act. Nottingham and Leen Valley Sewerage Board established. Leased 638 acres of land at Stoke Bardolph for a sewage farm
1879 Nottingham Improvement Act, giving powers to Nottingham Corporation to take over water undertakings
1880 Nottingham Corporation Waterworks formed from the Nottingham Waterworks Company, Engineer Marriott Ogle Tarbotton (Borough Engineer from 1859)
Stoke Bardolph sewage plant became operational (the start of today's modern sewage system)
1884 Papplewick Pumping Station opened, designed by Tarbotton
1898 Burton Joyce Pumping Station opened, the first to pump water from boreholes to Nottingham
1899 Derwent Valley Water Board formed to begin supplying Nottingham, Leicester, Sheffield and Derby with water
1906 Wilford Suspension Bridge, Nottingham opened
1923 Board of Conservators of the Trent Fishery District reconstituted as the Trent Fishery Board, following the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act
1930 Land Drainage Act sets up Catchment Boards to have oversight over Main Rivers
1931 Trent River Catchment Board established
1936 Inauguration of new Sewage Disposal works at Stoke Bardolph, a new pumping station at Sneinton, and new sewers in Nottingham
1940 Trent River Catchment Board takes over the powers of the Trent Navigation Company and the Brigg Court of Lincolnshire Commissioners of Sewers
1941 Trent River Catchment Board takes over the powers of the Corporation of the Level of Hatfield Chase
1948 River Boards Act. Drainage, fisheries and pollution responsibilities brought together under single authorities
1951 Trent River Catchment Board and Trent Fishery Board amalgamate as the Trent River Board.
1963 Water Act establishes River Authorities
1965 Trent River Board becomes the Trent River Authority
1967 Derwent Scheme started (storage reservoir and treatment works at Church Wilne, Derby to supply river water for Nottingham)
1973 Water Act establishes new Water Authorities with comprehensive management of the entire water cycle.
1974 Severn Trent Water Authority formed, taking over the powers of the Trent River Authority, the City of Nottingham Water Department, and the Derwent Valley Water Board
1983 Water Act restructures Severn Trent Water Authority to bring it in line with nationalised industries
1989 Severn Trent Water formed to take responsibility for water supplies and sewerage
National Rivers Authority established, with responsibility for managing water resources, pollution control, flood control and land drainage
1996 National Rivers Authority replaced by the Environment Agency


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