URBAN Utilities has announced it will retain the water tower at Madsen Close in Eastern Heights in recognition of its heritage value to the Ipswich community.
Urban Utilities spokesperson Michelle Cull said the decision was made as a result of considering the feedback from Ipswich City Council and the community. “Initially, we planned to remove the water tower because it hadn’t been in use since 2009 and had no future use in the network, and we had confirmed it wasn’t listed on any heritage registers,” she said.
“Following feedback from Ipswich City Council and the local community, we stopped the project and carried out detailed heritage and condition assessments.
“The independent heritage assessment recognised the tower is of local significance due to its historic and aesthetic values and possible rarity, and recommended we consider retaining the tower, if it was structurally sound and any necessary repairs wouldn’t compromise its heritage value.
“Based on this recommendation and the condition assessment, we’ve made a decision to retain the water tower to preserve its heritage significance to the Ipswich region.”
The tower has been part of the Ipswich skyline since it was built in 1929 to supply water to the eastern suburbs of Ipswich using a gravity feed system.
It was decommissioned in 2009 when a new water booster pump was installed in the area, allowing the local water network to operate more efficiently.
Ms Cull said the tower would remain decommissioned, however Urban Utilities would carry out works which were scheduled to start in early May in 2023.
“We’ve carried out a condition assessment which confirmed the tower is structurally sound and identified the need for some works,” she said.
“The works will include repairs to the reservoir and roof, concrete repairs and removing external maintenance access ladders.
“We’d like to thank Ipswich City Council and the community for their feedback and we’re pleased the water tower can remain as a local landmark for years to come.”