Aqwest was previously known as the Bunbury Water Board and was formed in 1905 to establish a permanent, fresh water supply for the community. Prior to this, Bunbury’s early settlers relied on the water from the Collie and Preston rivers, but knowing there was water stored naturally underground, they tried to reach it by successfully digging shallow wells. Many years later they developed the knowledge and equipment to drill down into the aquifer to draw the freshest water to the surface.
In the 1880s, local business owners drilled private bores to establish water supplies for a brewery in Carey Street and a cool drink factory in Wellington Street, across the road from the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries is now located. The community was allowed to use the bores for their water.
A year after the Bunbury Water Board was formed, with the help of a $3,000 loan from the government in 1906, 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 1920s.
In 1924 a concrete storage tank was constructed on Boulters Heights, which provided a holding tank for water. The water was not treated until 1966 when equipment was installed to filter the water making it safer for residents to drink.
The Bunbury Water Board evolved into Aqwest as part of a restructuring process in 1996/97 which included a new Constitution, a new Board of Management structure, separation from the City of Bunbury and the development of a corporate image.
In November 2013, Aqwest became the Bunbury Water Corporation, a government trading enterprise operating under the Water Corporations Act 1995. More than 100 years since its formation, the delivering of quality water at a 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.
Aqwest operates an integrated treatment and distribution system which includes 12 bores, six treatment plants, four reservoirs, one water tower, one pump station/transfer main, approximately 380km of water reticulation network and an administration office.