What is significant?
The tank at the Western Treatment plant, Werribee is a 150 000 gallon water tank erected originally in 1854, near the corner of Albert and Gisborne Streets, East Melbourne. John Davis, a master mason, was hired to build the tank base. The tank, originally constructed to supply water to Melbourne, was constructed on an arched bluestone base and assembled of pre-fabricated cast iron rimmed plates bolted together. Originally holding Yarra River water, the tank held reservoir water from 1857 onwards. In 1892 the tank, together with its bluestone stand, were dismantled and re-erected at the Metropolitan Sewerage Farm, Werribee. The tank was used as a stand-by in case of mains failure up until 1925 when it ceased to provide this function. In 1929 the tank was drained.
How is it significant?
The water tank at the Western Treatment Plant, Werribee is of historical and architectural importance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
The water tank at the Western Treatment Plant, Werribee is of historical importance for its associations with the development of early Melbourne. Built in 1854, it was the first public water supply system in Victoria and today serves as a link in the chain of understanding between the primitive services available to the public in early Melbourne and the relatively sophisticated services of the 1860s. The water tank has strong associations with the Yan Yean water supply system, as it was the first step in supplying clean water to Melbourne until the Yan Yean supply was turned on 31 December 1857. The water tank exists today as an important reminder of the early provision of services to the city of Melbourne.
The tank at the Western Treatment Plant, Werribee is of architectural importance as a particularly early example of an engineering structure in Victoria. The tank is rare because of its combination of form, size and method of construction. The tank is illustrative of design and construction practice in the 1850s and is a notable example of an early Victorian engineering structure. Of particular note is the high quality of design and construction in the arched bluestone base. The use of imported pre-fabricated cast iron plates in the tank's construction is significant as few extant structures demonstrating prefabrication techniques and including imported prefabricated elements still survive in Victoria.