Welcome to Life Images by Jill

LIFE IMAGES BY JILL............."Stepping into the light" and bringing together the stories and images of our world........
Through my writing and photography I seek to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.

.....................................

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........
I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. I have a day job, but my passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography. For now my day job supports me until I can pursue my passions full time.
I am a member of South Side Quills in Bunbury, the Fellowship of Australian Writers Western Australia, Photography Group of Bunbury and the Western Australian Photographic Federation.

I hope you enjoy scrolling through my blog. To visit other pages, please click on the tabs above, or go to my Blog Archive on the side bar. Please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of any of my posts. I value your messages and look forward to hearing from you.

If you like my work, and would like to buy a print, or commission me for some work, please go to my "contact me" tab. Thank you for visiting my blog and helping me "step into the light".

Welcome!

Welcome!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

The need for water on the goldfields - Perth to Kalgoorlie Pipeline Project - Western Australia

Welcome back. 
Last week we continued our tour north from Cave Hill along the Woodlines to Coolgardie and I told you a little about the goldrushes and the Perth to Kalgoorlie Pipeline. 
Click here if you missed it - Coolgardie - Gold Fever

Most Australians have probably heard of the Perth to Kalgoorlie pipeline in Western Australia. It is a feature of the Great Eastern Highway as you travel between Perth and Kalgoorlie. You can follow the Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail and stop at interpretive sites along the way where you can learn more about this huge engineering project.


When gold was discovered at Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie, thousands of prospectors flocked to the goldfields. In the arid and hot dry conditions of the goldfields, water was scarce and was sold by the can and became more expensive than whiskey. Water supplies from artesian bores, wells (such as Hunt's well at Gnarlbine - see previous post) and condensing plants, provided some water, but not enough for the thousands of people and livestock at the goldfields The lack of fresh water led to poor sanitation and diseases such as typhoid. 

John Aspinall in 1895 described condensed water as "inspid, resembling boiled water with a dash of galvanized iron and several other unrecognizable substances including smoke".

In 1895 the first plans were prepared by Engineer-in-Chief CY O'Connor, for an engineering feat that would stagger the world — an attempt to pump fresh water uphill 560 kilometres from Mundaring Weir in the Darling Ranges near Perth to the goldfields of Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie.

The story of the CY O'Connor and the pipeline is revered in WA history. Built between 1898 and 1903, the pipeline has delivered water to Kagloorlie for over 100 years.


What I didn't know was that sections of the pipe were replaced with wooden pipes wrapped in wire in the 1930s.  As we travelled along the Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail, just east of Yellowdine we found coils of wire laying by the old pipeline and wondered what they had been used for. 


The original pipes were constructed from steel but over the years corrosion and leakage occurred. During the 1930s the pipes were lifted, repaired or replaced, lined with concrete, re-laid above ground on concrete blocks and the lead-packed joints were replaced with welded joints. 

 
 Unemployment was very high during the Depression. The Goldfields Water Supply Department was put under political pressure to replace damaged sections with wooden pipes, providing jobs, boosting the timber industry and saving costs. 
 
The wooden pipes were made of karri planks bound together with galvanised wire, and then coated with tar and bitumen. 64 kilometres of wooden pipes were used in low pressure sections. However they were plagued with leakage problems, termite damage and dry rot, and were all replaced in 1971.



Where possible the pipeline was built alongside the route of the existing railway line to enable the pipes to be easily transported. Interestingly, the length of the train carriages determined the length of the pipes (28 feet or 8.5 metres). Eight pump stations were built along the length of the pipeline to push the water along the pipe. Below you can see the old Merredin Pumping station. 


 CY O'Connor was a great visionary and is much revered in Western Australian history.  He was responsible for planning and building major public works during the 1890s that stimulated the development of Western Australia including the Fremantle Harbour.  

The pipeline project was one of Australia's greatest engineering feats of the nineteenth century. Sadly he never lived to see the pipeline operating. Funding delays, political resistance and extreme criticism took a toll on O’Connor and he tragically took his life in the ocean near Fremantle on 10 March 1902, ten months before the pipeline’s completion. 


 C Y O'Connor, 1897
Lord and Lady Forrest officially opened the scheme ten months after O'Connor's death, in three separate ceremonies at Mundaring, Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie on 22 and 24 January 1903. The scheme cost £2 655 220, only slightly more than O'Connor's estimate made seven years earlier (which did not include the extension to Kalgoorlie). 

Today the Goldfields and Agricultural Areas Water Supply Scheme supplies water for domestic, stock and mining purposes to 33,000 rural and town services, to over 100 000 people throughout the goldfields and surrounding agricultural areas, through 8,000 km of pipe over an area covering 44 000 square kilometres. An average of 90 million litres of water is pumped daily taking 5-11 days to reach Kalgoorlie. The pipe network holds 300 million litres of water.


Below you can see the end of the pipe at the Mt Charlotte Reservoir in Kalgoorlie and a view of Kalgoorlie from Mt Charlotte. Today, Mount Charlotte Reservoir is used as a reserve tank. A new main holding tank is located on Mt Percy to the north.



 To learn more, please go to: Golden Pipeline
Valuing Heritage - the Pipeline 



The boys enjoyed exploring the pipeline too!
Thank you for stopping by - I hope you have enjoyed the continuation of our tour. 
 I look forward to hearing from you.

My story about the Perth to Kalgoorlie pipeline was published in "Curious Australis" - January 2014 edition of On The Road magazine. 

 
I am linking up to Mosaic Monday, Our World Tuesday and Travel Photo Thursday.  Please click on the links to see other contributions from around the world - Mosaic Monday -  Our World Tuesday   Travel Photo Thursday
You might also like - 



32 comments:

  1. Hi Jill ... what an amazing project... water is everything! I noticed while reading through Family research papers that one of my relatives died on the Coolgardie gold-fields, he was only 18years .... The pic of your boys walking the pipe-line is gorgeous.

    "Adelaide and Beyond"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh amazing Dianne! I wonder if he has a head stone at the Coolgardie cemetery. You could contact the Coolgardie museum and ask them. My grandfather arrived there at about the age of 15, and worked selling condensed water before working on the pipeline and Mndaring weir.

      Delete
  2. How interesting this is. Love your photo,s. have a nice week.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, that is awesome. Have an enjoyable week:)

    ReplyDelete
  4. How interesting Jill! I just love those trees...something about them just calls to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes I love our Australian trees too.

      Delete
  5. We travelled sections of the Golden Pipeline last year. The history is fascinating. The Trail is much more interesting than the highway too.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jill, interesting post on the water pipeline and trail. The last shot is great. Thanks for sharing, have a happy week!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love the way the pipes deliver water - and a history lesson!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Interesting bit of history there but what dummy came up with wooden pipes, oh I know some one making money from wood. Impress by your bit of history.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Interesting set of pictures. I spent a few days in Perth recently, but did not have enough time for much exploration! Next time!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    ReplyDelete
  10. An amazing engineering feet and makes one realize again how precious water is on this dry continent of ours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, I meant to say a great set of photos!

      Delete
  11. What an interesting story you have shared Jill and your images are outstanding. Those little guys are just way too cute!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great photos! I lived near a large water pipe as a child and loved to walk across it too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think there is something about pipes or logs and kids - they can't help it!

      Delete
  14. Fascinating read and lovely pics!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Interesting. I have not heard of wood being used as pipe for waterline. But then you also answered my question whey it is not being used now. Sound like an a massive project and an engieering feat indeed. Goes to show to what extent people would go for one of the most important on earth.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I also didn't know about the wooden pipes...fascinating. It was great to be reminded of the history of the pipeline..it certainly is an important part of the State's history. Would you believe I have never been to Kalgoorlie..it is something I must remedy in the not to distant future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes you must add Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie to your travel list, and make sure you go along some of the Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail - much more interesting than the highway.

      Delete
  17. I had never heard of, or seen photos of the pipeline. What an interesting story, love the way you incorporated the history of the wooden pipes.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Interesting article, Jill. We don't hear a lot about the history of Australia over here in Europe. But oddly, I'm just now reading a crime novel partly set during the gold rush in Victoria in the 1850s.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess the "European" part of Australian history is very short span of time compared to European or Asian history.

      Delete
  19. What an incredible engineering project! Hard to imagine someone at the time thinking that pumping water uphill for more than 500 kilometres was even possible and very sad that O'Connor didn't live to see it accomplished.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Seems that this area has a need for water just like Southern California who pipes theirs in from very far away too! Love interesting history like this.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hello there, those pipes are so very dead straight, I've not seen photos of the pipe before, very interesting, and a sad story amongst the achievement too.Thanks for this.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Love the history lesson - and understanding why the pipeline and the train went hand in hand together. Looks like a great place to work on keeping your balance - and a very cute photo of your boys.

    ReplyDelete
  23. An interesting piece of Australian history, and you've told it so well!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Jill, I absolutely agree with Nancie. That's what I love during my Blogging Time - travel around the world in several minutes and learning and enjoying so much!

    Thanks for this.

    ReplyDelete
  25. The Gap Adventures travel agency works with various agencies around the world to provide only green vacations for individual and family packages.
    Other opportunities for smaller animal-centered trips are available
    in the Kruger National Park. There are only two main ways to view it: your own
    safaris with your own car where you set your own hours and choose your own routes,
    or a paid and guided tour with a Kruger Park ranger.


    Also visit my web site - get info here

    ReplyDelete

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I read and very much appreciate every comment and love hearing from you.

However if you are a spammer please don't bother, because your comment will be deleted!