A new display of old items showcases just how far Parkes water infrastructure has come. The old Water Treatment Plant has been decommissioned, but rather than letting the past be forgotten, some items with heritage value have been retained for a display in the new Water Treatment Plant’s lobby.
The heritage items include antique glassware and instruments, old bronze plaques, and the original control panel. A photo series completes the display, providing a window into the past, capturing Parkes’ long held challenges with water management and supply.
The photographs date back more than 100 years, the oldest capturing Aldermen D. Geddes and O.J. Howard as they inspect the construction of Bearmagil Dam in 1915. Another photograph shows the surprising emergency water measures taken in 1966, where water was literally shipped in.
Dubbed “Operation Oasis”, the project involved transporting water from the Lachlan River via rail tankers to a temporary holding dam on the Southern end of East Street.
The photographic exhibition was curated by local history buffs, June and Lex Weaver, whose passion for the past has seen them collaborate on numerous projects over the years. Not only did they source the photos and research the stories behind them, Lex explained that they also framed the photos with bespoke frames they made themselves.
“Council is looking to the future with the new water infrastructure, but it’s important to value the past and preserve items that show where we have been on the journey,” said Julian Fyfe, Parkes Shire Council’s Technical Manager.
The heritage display is permanently located at the new Water Treatment Plant on Webb Street. While public access is restricted, interested residents may visit the Water Treatment Plant for the new Recycled Water Scheme Community Information Session on Friday 9 August at 12pm. Light lunch will be provided. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 6861 2305.