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Ross-on-Wye

The Towns Water Supply

Alton Court Water Works

The Alton Court pumping station (20-06-06)
The front of the Alton Court pumping station (Click for a larger image)

The Ross Waterworks (at Alton Court) were established in 1887 and was run by the Trustees of the late H. T. Blake. It supplied "hard water of good quality" and was originally supplied from four artesian boreholes in the Old Red Sandstone. The works had no water filtration facilities and pumped the water up to the tank in Tank Meadow. This was done by an oil pump and by a windpump.

The boreholes were 37, 45, 62 and 100 foot deep respectively and no. 1-3 were 6 foot in diameter whilst no. 4 was 24 foot. The yeild from each was 72,000, 96,000, 144,000 and 277,200 gallons every 24 hours.

Borehole no. 1 flows into a reservoir tank, no. 2 & 3 feed into suction-wells and no. 4 was pumped directly.

The side of the Alton Court pumping station (20-06-06)
The side of the Alton Court pumping station
(Click for a larger image)

The back of the Alton Court pumping station (20-06-06)
The back of the Alton Court pumping station (Click for a larger image)

Borehole no. 4 was sunk by Messrs. C. Isler and Co. Ltd in 1929 and was the only one still in general use by 1935.

The pump for this borehole was submerged at 35 feet from the surface and was capable of pumping 25,000 gallons per hour. During the pumping the water level dropped by 33 feet and remained there during the pumping and rapidly recovered when pumping stopped and during the winter the borehole overflowed into the ponds (which are normally fed by natural springs).

During the drought in 1921 all the borehole rest levels slowly dropped to 20 feet from the surface and then held this position.

Water pump by the Wye
The Alton Court works and Ponds
Reproduced from the 1937 Ordnance Survey map. Crown copyright

A well top (20-06-06)
A well top at the pumping station
(Click for a larger image)

The water works was able to supply a daily average of 200,000 gallons per day which was increased to 240,000 gallons per day during the summer; the maximum available was 312,000 gallons per day.


Tank Meadow
Tank Meadow
Reproduced from the 1937 Ordnance Survey map. Crown copyright


1 Wells and Springs of Herefordshire - HM Stationary Office - 1935


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[Page updated: Feb 15 2011 13:31:58]






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