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Hidden Depths

Reservoir Park / Kangatilla (Park 4)

Did you know that beneath this mound is a brick-vaulted reservoir?

Piped water was first supplied to Adelaide in 1861 via a series of pipes from the Thornden Park reservoir. Here is the North Adelaide service reservoir, built in 1879 to improve water supply to Port Adelaide. Recognising the importance of piped water to the development of a modern city, a major expansion of water supply to Adelaide’s city and suburbs occurred in the 1870s.

This reservoir is a concrete base with brick walls and a roof supported by a series of brick columns, covered by an earthen mound.

At the time the North Adelaide reservoir was constructed, there were newspaper reports of complaints from residents in the area between Bowden and Port Adelaide (north-west of the City) about an insufficient supply of water at certain times of day. This was apparently due not to a lack of water, but to the narrow diameter of the pipes. This reservoir could supply 3 days’ worth of consumption during summer. Well-constructed, the reservoir remains part of the water supply system today.

The Kaurna people are the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the Adelaide Plains. Kangatilla is a word from the Kaurna language, named after the “kangatta’’, a kind of berry first recorded by missionaries in 1840. The language was last spoken on a daily basis in the 1860s but has been revived in recent times.

City of Adelaide acknowledges the traditional Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains and pays respect to Elders past and present. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today. We also extend that respect to other Aboriginal Language Groups and other First Nations.

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