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The Historic Waterworks Station ‘ZAWADA’ in Karchowice has been a landmark in the borough of Zbrosławice since 1895, when the first deep well was officially opened and started supplying drinking water to the residential parts of the western counties in the Upper Silesian Industrial Region including such cities asZabrze,Bytom, Ruda Śląska,Gliwiceand others. It was built and  financed by the Royal Prussian Chief Mining Department and exploited the rich supplies of high quality water drilled as deeply as 180 metres underground. Since the beginning, the station was equipped with steam-powered pumping machines and it was modernized and expanded throughout the years. Thanks to successive managers of the station and some coincidence, a lot of equipment has been preserved from the early years and nowadays we can still see two piston pumping sets, a pumping turbine set, steam compressors and other steam-powered machines from the 1930s, as well as the old boiler house with two boilers produced by Deutsche Babcock & Wilkox Dampfkesselwerke A.G. from Oberhausen and A. Borsig G.m.b.H. Berlin-Tegel Company.Visitors can also have a look at the oldest deep well drilled in 1882, which is still in use.

The historic waterworks was a witness of stormy times in Silesiaat the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, being a part of the Upper Silesia Waterworks PLC in Katowice, it delivers potable water to inhabitants of Upper Silesia and is the biggest waterworks inPoland and one of the biggest inEurope.

After modernizing completed in 2001, the station is equipped with up-to-date pumping machinery powered with electricity and controlled electronically. The latest technology, the staff working here for generations, and above all, superb underground springs continuously controlled under strict demands in modern laboratories contribute to the highest quality and the best taste of the water produced here.

It is not common that the ‘retired’ equipment and modern machinery can be seen at the same place. That is why the managers of the company have been making attempts to adapt the station for those interested in how water is supplied to  houses. The place was officially opened to visitors on 12th,October, 2004.

The Historic Waterworks Station was included in theIndustrial Monuments Routeof the Silesian Voivodeship since the beginning of its existence.

Historical outline

1874 – first drillings in the area of two villages i.e. Zawada and Karchowice

1882 – completion of the drilling work on the deepest well  (215 metersdeep) – the so-called ‘Abyssal Well of Karchowice’

10th June 1891 – project of the ‘Zawada’ waterworks in Karchowice

25th June 1895 – establishment of the National Waterworks Company in Zawada - Zabrze

Beginning of 20th century – installation of new steam boilers

1921 – 1929 – major phase in modernization of the ‘Zawada’ Waterworks

1924 – establishment of the German – Upper Silesian Waterworks Company, Llc. for the supply of water to the German part of the Upper Silesian Industrial Area

1930 – activation of the biggest pump turbine set made by Borsig

1967 – steam driven installation starts to be driven by electric power

1991 – waterworks complex included on the List of National Cultural Heritage

2004 – the establishment is included in theIndustrial Monuments Routeof the Silesian Voivodeship


The station is open to  individual visitors daily from 8am to 6pm.

Groups are asked to book in advance for sightseeing from Monday to Friday calling at +48 32 233 78 34.

Guided tours around the station can be booked on the second Saturday at 10.00 every month.

Access from Pyskowice or Wieszowa along the national road no. 94

Address: 42-674 Karchowice, ul. Bytomska 6;
tel: +48 32 233 78 34 (76).
e-mail: zpw.zawada@gpw.katowice.pl

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