This filtering station is the oldest and largest from water suppliers in Warsaw which supplied water to the inhabitants of Warsaw since a half of 19th century. In July and August, visitors are invited to see that historic technology.ul. Koszykowa 81 (map)
Of the three water suppliers in Warsaw, the Central Department of Water (Zakład Wodociągu Centralnego, or ZWC) is the oldest and largest. Built between 1883 and 1886, it has supplied water to the inhabitants of Warsaw since that time and continues to meet 50% of the capital’s water needs. Its technology today remains largely faithful to the original, and was first designed by William Lindley and his son William Lindley Heerleina; this design was enriched and improved in 1933 by the Department of Rapid Water Filters. The second wave of technology was launched in 1972, in which specially fired, moisture-resistant bricks were used.
The outbreak of WWII brutally interrupted the successful distribution of water in the city, with the bombing of September 1939 and the Warsaw Uprising in 1944 causing massive damage, as the main buildings and their networks suffered a direct attack. On September 22, 1944 Warsaw's water supply was completely cut off, and was not restored again until May 29, 1945. The damage was worsened by the fact that much of the water filtering machinery was stolen by the retreating Germans, and so both reconstruction and replacement of equipment took several years.
Currently, the ZWC uses an ultra-modern, fully equipped laboratory to test the water at all stages of its treatment and supply. In addition to water quality control continuously being performed by the laboratory, selected parameters are constantly monitored by an on-line measuring device.
The filtering station has open days in July and August, and invites visitors to see the historic technology that has functioned for over 120 years. Visits must be pre-arranged, and are by invitation only; the booking office begins accepting requests in the last week of June, at which time ZWC security issues as many invitations as possible, based on one's preferred date, time and number of guests.