Hely Hutchinson Reservoir and waterworks Museum

Hely Hutchinson Reservoir and waterworks Museum

Drinking Water SourceWildlife HabitatEco-Tour/Nature WalkHistorical Feature


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Between 1896 and 1907, five dams, the Woodhead, Hely-Hutchinson, De Villiers, Alexandria and Victoria reservoirs, were opened on the Back Table to supply Cape Town's water needs. A ropeway ascending from Camps Bay via Kasteelspoort ravine was used to ferry materials and manpower (the anchor points at the old top station can still be seen). There is a well-preserved steam locomotive from this period housed in the Waterworks Museum at the top of the mountain near the Hely-Hutchinson dam. It had been used to haul materials for the dam across the flat top of the mountain. Cape Town's water requirements have since far outpaced the capacity of the dams and they are no longer an important part of the water supply.

The Hely-Hutchinson dam's masonry wall is 528metres long with a maximum depth of 16metres. It has a capacity of 203million gallons(920 Ml).

The Waterworks Museum is found at the base of the Hely Hutchinson Reservoir wall and to get to it you need to follow the path and then make your way over a rocky stretch (about five metres in total). Follow the concrete road toward the Museum which is normally open seven days a week but if it’s not open the overseer should have a key.

The reservoirs are accesable via several hiking routes on Table Mountain. The easist being the hike from Constantia Nek or from Nursery ravine (leaving from Kirstenbosch).


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