At the beginning of the 19th century the inhabitants of Szeged still got water from the river Tisza. Scoops - floats - were put in the bed of the river and the water was carted away in wooden barrels on two-wheelers. In 1887, taking some geologists' advice, the authorities decided to ensure water production from deep artesian wells. After some development, water of good quality could be led first to the courts into common wells, later into the houses. The realization plan to provide permanent water supply was agreed on 31st March, 1894, and it prescribed a daily production of 5,411 m3 for the inhabitants.
At the end of the 19th century, there was real progress in water supply: five wells (depth: 220-275 m, O 150 mm, lined with wooden pipe) were bored as from 1900, and water was led to the first water station (now 88 Tisza Lajos Bld.) that was under construction. (Now the central building of the company and the renovated engine-house are located at that site.)
In the engine house the Worthington steam-pumps brought up the water to the Szent István water tower of 1000 m3
Under Szeged lies a several-hundred-kilometre long pipesystem often running inside hundred-year-old brickwalls. One tenth of the recent pipes were constructed in the middle of the 1800 century or in 1879 during the Great Flood. The construction of the system was a European-scale investment using the most modern technologies of the time. The formulas employed when drafting are still taught at universities.
In the public administration area of Szeged and Algyő, Szegedi Vízmű Zrt. supplies drinking water, drains wastewater and rainwater, regularly inspects the drinking and sewage water network, treats contaminated water and also performs maintenance as well as reconstruction work.
The Company also performs public water utility planning and advisory services.
The drinking water of Szeged comes from deep wells situated at water supply layers of 180-560 m deep. The age of this water is over 10 000 years, which means Szegedi Vízmű Zrt has the responsibility to take good care of such a natural treasure.
The average daily drinking water production is approximately 30 - 35 000 m3. This volume is produced by 85 deep wells, supplied by the operation of 7 water stations, 4 water towers and a network of over 650 km.
The water tower is an Art Nouveau building of industry historical importance, and a major landmark in Szeged. It is the first - still functioning - reinforced concrete water tower built in Hungary. It was built in an Art Nouveau style between 1903 and 1904 according to the plans of engineer Dr. Szilárd Zielinski (1860-1924), who was also the first Hungarian physician for technical sciences and a pioneer in reinforced concrete constructions.
The history of the Water Tower in Szent István square