A section of C.Y O’Connor’s original Goldfields Pipeline is now on display in Bernard Park in Northam.


It has been 115 years since the pumping machinery at Mundaring Weir officially started pumping drinking water through the pipeline on 22 January, 1903.


Work on the Goldfields Pipeline began in 1898 and involved the construction of Mundaring Weir and eight steam pumping stations to pump the water through a 565 kilometre long steel pipeline to Kalgoorlie. 


Over the years the eight original steam pump stations were replaced with 24 modern pump stations operating on electricity.


The Goldfields Pipeline has been extended over the years into what is now known as the Goldfields and Agricultural Water Supply Scheme - which supplies water to towns and farmlands in the Central Wheatbelt out to Kalgoorlie-Boulder. 


Water Corporation Goldfields and Agricultural Regional Manager, Sharon Broad said people who visited the park along the riverbank on Minson Avenue would see the steel pipeline’s original ‘locking bar’ design and read about its history.


“More than 200 kilometres of the original steel ‘locking-bar’ pipes are still in use, supplying water to more than 100,000 people,” Mrs Broad said.


“This particular section of pipe was located just west of Cunderdin and was upgraded in the 1980’s, and the old section was put in storage at our Cunderdin depot.


“We wanted to bring it out to display in Bernard Park, as there is always such an interest in the pipeline’s fascinating history as a globally recognised engineering feat.”


Did you know?


  • Half of the 76,000 tonnes of steel plate was shipped from America and the other half from Germany.  The locking bars and joint rings came from England and Wales. 
  • Since the historic pipeline opened in 1903, it has been upgraded throughout the decades to meet demand and maintain its status as a world class water supply scheme.
  • It takes between 5 and 11 days for a single drop of water to travel from Mundaring Weir to the end of the pipe in Kalgoorlie.

Media Enquiries:

Contact: Kathy Balt

Position: Goldfields and Agricultural Region Senior Advisor Customer and Stakeholder

Phone: (08) 9622 4808