Construction of the permanent waterworks of Pest, that is, the Káposztásmegyer plant was built from 1893 until 1904 together with the construction of the associated pipe network and the 17,000 m3 reservoir on the Gellért Hill. Originally, the system had three main parts: the pump house I and II in the Main Plant, the pump station No. 1 (today: Left Bank I. and Island I.) and the pump station No. II (today: Left Bank II. and Island II.). Steam machines were placed in the pump houses, because – it seems – electrical systems that already existed back then were not considered reliable enough. According to the contemporaries, Europe’s most up to date and most beautiful waterworks was built.
This operation method was used until the 1930s. It was then that the large-scale renewal work began, the most important element of which was the transition to electric-based operation which was considered to be reliable by then. Boiler houses were replaced with transformer stations, and oil tanks were installed into the coal storages. Electrical equipment were installed also in the water booster stations. Further wells were built in the Horány and Monostor bank sections of the Szentendre Island during the decade. Their water was transferred partially to the main plant and partially – through a so-called culvert – to the newly built Békásmegyer powerhouse. No significant development occurred during the years of the war.
In order to meet the increasing water demand, in the years of 1959 and 1960, a so-called Worthington engine room was established in one of the side rooms of the Main Plant II, and, in order to increase the capacity, two pumps were installed here. Between 1963 and 1965 – also in the area of the Main Plant – the IIIrd REKO (reconstruction) powerhouse was built with two Ganz-pumps between the twin- and backup channels. Finally, between 1970 and 1975, the high-pressure pump house IV was built with six vertical-axis pumps also between the channels mentioned above North from the Szilas stream. In the meantime, production capacity was also expanded with the Pócsmegyer, Kisoroszi, Tahi, and Surány well lines. With that, the Island became “full.”
Last but not least, the computerised automatic Northern operation control system was completed in November 1999. In this framework, twenty production plants and pump houses with the necessary disinfection and chlorination equipment, three main pump houses and the 10 kV substations supplying them and with the switching and measurement protection system of the cable systems became under computerised operation control. In addition to the remote operation, the central measurement data logger displays the current operating data and specific energy consumption. The computer renders their time course by storing the data for the effective control of the operator’s work and for the record of the electronic log book.
The new Northern and Southern operation systems are both connected to the central dispatch system, thus by monitoring the specific energy consumption and costs, the operation is significantly more efficient.
The amount of water produced in Szentendre Island is divided between the Left Bank plants and the Békásmegyer plant. Water arrives here also through the culverts below the Danube. The pumps of the old pump house built in 1934 and in 1936 and the new pump house built as an expansion in 1977 push water into the pipe network. The three main lines (two 800 mm ones and a 1,200 mm one) starting from the plant supply the Buda side, their end points are the Krisztinaváros and the Gellért Hill reservoirs. Machines supplying the Békásmegyer housing unit were placed in the old pump house. These supply the Róka Hill reservoir. The area of the plant is actually a park on many hectares that is also home to our Company’s resort.
The amount of water produced in Szentendre Island is divided between the Left Bank plants and the Békásmegyer plant. Water arrives here also through the culverts below the Danube. The pumps of the old pump house built between 1934-1936 and the new pump house built as an expansion in 1977 push water into the pipe network. The three main lines (two 800 mm ones and a 1,200 mm one) starting from the plant supply the Buda side, their end points are the Krisztinaváros and the Gellért Hill reservoirs. Machines supplying the Békásmegyer housing unit were placed in the old pump house. These supply the Róka Hill reservoir. The area of the plant is actually a park on many hectares that is also home to our Company’s resort.
The first permanent waterworks was built in 1881 in Óbuda, which is now our oldest operating pump house. It has a dual role: on the one hand, it produces water from some of the Margit Island wells and those among the Danube and forwards it into the pipeline between Békásmegyer and Krisztinaváros. On the other hand, it transfers the water from the same system to the Rózsadomb, the Józsefhegy, and the Csatárkadűlő hills.
The water coming from the Békásmegyer plant and stored in the two reservoirs of the plant is transferred to the central Buda area. Due to the topography of the supply area, the machines work for four pressure zones: Lipót, Castle district, Sas Hill, and the machine house in Diana Street. The last one also provides water to three zones: the upper and lower part of the Szabadság Hill, and to the zone of the tower in Eötvös Street. From the Lipót zone, the machine house in Budakeszi Street supplies the water to Budakeszi, and the machine house in Bükkfa Street delivers it to Pesthidegkút. The machine house built for steam engine operation in 1882 is located in the area of the Krisztinaváros plant, which also houses the power generator in case of power failures.
Unilateral supply only from North would mean that pressure outages and supply difficulties would arise in the Southern areas. About 50 years ago, the wells by the pump house in Csepel Island were built which was called Szigetszentmiklós pump house back then, so the produced water provided “counter pressure”, and with that supply security to the city. Today, the special horizontal well lines in Csepel, Tököl, Ráckeve, and Szigetújfalu are in full operation. Their water is transferred through a low-pressure pipe system to the pump house. The water of the Danube is more contaminated below the city than up in the Northern section; therefore, iron and manganese contamination can be detected in some of the wells. For the iron ion and manganese ion removal, water treatment plants were built in Csepel and Ráckeve. As the result of the treatment, the quality of the released water is excellent.
The first dispatch system was established here in the pump house of Csepel, through which the work of the Csepel Island production and treatment plants can be controlled and monitored. The pump house fills the reservoirs of Kőbánya and Gilice Square through the system.
The so-called base zone of Pest is supplied by the Main Plant and Csepel. This area is the largest: its borders are the Danube, Újpest from the North, the line of the Hungária Boulevard and Könyves Kálmán Boulevard, Csepel, and the lower part of Kelenföld and Budafok from the East. Its reservoirs are to be found on the Gellért Hill, in Rákosszentmihály, Kőbánya, and on the Gilice Square. The upper zone of East Pest is located just East from this zone, which is supplied by the three pump houses in Pest mentioned above, and its reservoir is located in Cinkotai Street. The area of the Kőbánya Plant is a smaller arboretum where a number of rare plant species can be found. Also we can found here the oldest working structure of our water supply, the 2 × 11,000 m3 brick reservoir which was built between 1868 and 1871. As an expansion, 4 more reservoirs were built with a capacity of 5,000 m3 each in 1970. (The old water tower was demolished because of their space requirement). The pump house supplies the upper zone of Eastern Pest, Kőbánya itself, the reservoir in Cinkotai Street and through this the 17th district.
The plant is the result of the developments carried out in the 1970s. A 10,000 m3 reinforced concrete “piano-shape” reservoir was built here that is a part of the lower zone of Pest. A modern pump house right next to it was established which transfers the water from here to the upper zone of East Pest. Its supply area includes Rákosszentmihály, Sashalom, Mátyásföld, and Cinkota.
The plant is located on a typical circular area, in the middle of the Gilice Square roundabout. The first round-shaped reservoir was established to supply Kispest and Wekerle area. After the union in 1950, the Budapest Waterworks took the plant over and after this it was expanded with more reservoirs which are filled by the pump house of Csepel. The new pump house also built during this time lifts the water of the reservoirs into the water tower in Lakatos Street to supply the tower houses of the housing estates in Pestszentlőrinc and Kispest.
We distinguish almost 90 zones in the water supply of Budapest. In addition to the main facilities, there are about another 90 pump houses with different capacity. These were built to supply in part the smaller higher areas and in part the housing estates.