A CELEBRATION has been held to mark 160 years of clean drinking water in Hereford.

Before 1856, city residents took their water from seven wells around the city or directly from the River Wye.

But the water was tainted and in 1853 a government board of inquiry directed Hereford City Council to provide clean piped drinking water for the population.

Shortly after, municipal engineer Timothy Curley installed a water intake on the River Wye upstream of the city, together with a pumping station above the flood plain.

The water treatment works was constructed on nearby Broomy Hill to supply the city by gravity and the whole infrastructure project was completed on time and below budget.

It saw water flowing to connected properties by June 1856 and disease caused by contaminated water was a thing of the past.

To mark 160 years since that event, Chris Jones, chief executive of D?r Cymru Welsh Water, unveiled a plaque at Hereford's Waterworks Museum.

Mr Jones said: "We are looking back on the solid achievement of piped drinking water 160 years ago in Hereford.

"In just the same way today, D?r Cymru Welsh Water has a duty to plan for the continued provision of drinking water decades into the future."

He added how pleased he was that the original pumping station was now preserved as the Waterworks Museum and gave praise to all the volunteers who manage and run the Museum with its unique range of working engines.

The party of official guests was also able to see the permanent exhibition of Hereford's unique role in the Second World War and the newly created Heritage Water Park for children.