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Creation of the Waterworks Museum of BVS, a.s.

The Waterworks Museum was founded on 01.11.2007 on the 120th anniversary of the first Bratislava water company. The founder of the museum is BVS, a.s. The Waterworks Museum is a specialised technical museum that focuses on the water industry across Slovakia. The museum is located at the historical site of the first pumping station in Karlova Ves; the building itself was first built at the end of the 19th century and was expanded at the beginning of the 20th century. It was one of the first facilities during the establishment of the Bratislava waterworks. Expositions are located in the area of the original machinery hall.

The museum regularly joins various programs for the public including International Water Day in March, the "Bratislava for All" event and the Night of Museums and Galleries.

History of the Bratislava Water company

Construction of the waterworks

In the second half of the 19th century the city had around 50,000 inhabitants and around 1,200 water wells. Public water wells and fountains were of course insufficient to meet both potable and non-potable water demands. The idea of creating a complete city-wide water network and the construction of a waterworks facility was considered by the city council for the first time in 1868. After a number of unsuccessful negotiation attempts the company joined the Prague-based C. CORTE and Associates in 1879. Bernhard Sallbach, a construction advisory from Dresden, personally represented the company; he was an extraordinary European hydrological expert. Sallbach proposed the site of the first water source, after a tour of the city, on the island of Sihot between Bratislava and Devin.

In 1881 a contract was concluded that gave Sallbach and company C. CORTE the right and duty to provide the entire city with healthy drinking water for a period of 50 years. The first test water well on Sihot was excavated in 1882 and a commission at the first pump test on 22 July 1882 determined that the water has excellent physical and biological characteristics and in particular that the water was plentiful. These facts led the project work to begin in earnest. The groundbreaking for the work took place on 25 August 1884. Before 5 May 1884 Sallbach and C. CORTE withdrew from the contract with the city's permission and the "Austrian Waterworks Company", which completed the water network, placed the entire system into operation on 4 February 1886.

City purchase of the waterworks

Construction of the waterworks was led by C. CORTE and after construction it was turned over to its owner, the "Austrian Waterworks Company." The city council later decided to purchase the waterworks facility as the company was prospering. This occurred on 1 February 1894 when the waterworks became the property of the city of Bratislava. The purchase price was 2,227,542.78 koruna.

At the end of the 19th century demand for drinking water increased and the pump station in Karlova Ves was gradually expanded and modernised. On the island of Sihot additional water wells were constructed and at the beginning of the 20th century another pump station was installed, and is still in operation to this day. For water piping supplying Bratislava with drinking water was built a tunnel under the arm of the Danube. This was the only fixed connection between the island and solid ground and remains functional to this very day.

In 1949 the city water company was reformed into a communal company. The company named Bratislava Waterworks and Sewerage was established on 1 January 1967. In spite of the changes that occurred to the city, water company during its existence continued to perform its duties, uninterrupted, even during World War II.

Creation of Bratislavská vodárenská spoločnosť, a.s.

Bratislavská vodárenská spoločnosť, a joint-stock company, was founded on 7 January 2003 on the basis of a decision from the Ministry for the Administration and Privatisation of National Assets. The merger of Bratislava Waterworks and Sewerage property along with similar property in the Districts of Malacky, Myjava, Senica, Skalica, Senec, Pezinok and a number of other towns in the Districts of Trnava and Piešťany put forth some demanding tasks in front of the newly-formed company. The quality of drinking water had to be secured in all locations where local water sources were insufficient or of poor quality, did not secure local development and did not support the quality of life of the residents.

Currently 99.8% of all household in Bratislava are supplied with drinking water and 98.5% are provided with sewage removal. The numbers are about the same for wastewater treatment. This data puts Bratislava and its surroundings among the most advanced European cities.

Vodárenské múzeum BVS, a.s.
Devínska cesta 1
841 10 Bratislava
tel.: +421 2 6020 1915

Bratislavská vodárenská spoločnosť a. s.