Formed in 1905 to obtain, treat and distribute water supplies, the Bunbury Water Board has served the people of Bunbury for over 100 years.
Our city's early settlers knew of water stored naturally underground and tried to use it to replace the Collie River and the Preston River which were the only sources of water for drinking in those days.
The best they could do was to dig shallow wells but it was many years before the knowledge and equipment became available to drill down into the aquifers where the freshest water was stored and to bring the water to the surface.
In 1880 a bore was drilled to a depth of 35 metres to provide water for a brewery located in Carey Street. The drillers had to break through hard basalt rock to tap into the fresh water. The owner of the brewery sometimes allowed the townspeople to use the bore for their water.
A cool drink factory located in Wellington Street across the road from where the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries now operates, had a private bore which the owner, a Mr Stokes, used to make his cool drinks. Mr Stokes also offered his bore as a source of water for the community.
The Bunbury Water Board was formed to develop a permanent fresh water supply for the public and in 1906, with the help of a $3,000 loan from the government; the first attempt was made to construct a bore that could bring the water from deeper underground.
This was known as the old Town Well and it was the only public fresh water supply until the early 1920's.
In 1924 a concrete storage tank was constructed on Boulters Heights, which provided a holding tank for water.
However, the water was not treated until 1966 when equipment was installed to filter the water making it safer for residents to drink.
The move away from the historic Bunbury Water Board and the evolution of Aqwest occurred as part of the restructuring process in 1996/97.
A new Constitution, a new Board of Management structure, separation from the City of Bunbury and the development of a corporate image were the first major changes since Bunbury Water Board was constituted in 1905.
Despite the updated image and streamlined structure, the tradition of delivering quality water at reasonable cost to the people of Bunbury continues with Aqwest.
In recent years, using the latest technology and engineering know-how, Aqwest has become very efficient at producing and delivering high quality water for the expanding Bunbury community.
In November 2013 Aqwest became the Bunbury Water Corporation, a government trading enterprise operating under the Water Corporations Act 1995.