Wells and streams channels on HK Island

Submitted by liusteph on Tue, 03/15/2016 - 00:59

I have been conducting some research on the early water supply of Victoria City, and came across descriptions about the construction of 4 wells by the British government, as well as many more others by locals and foreign residents (For e.g. research publication by Dr. Pui-yin Ho from CUHK). Anyone knows where I could find historical images of such wells? Are there any remnants left at present?


I have also come across some old channelized streams when I was walking around the Mid-levels. These stream channels have edges and ornamental features built by stone, for e.g. Robinson Road / Castle Road / around HKU. I wonder when stream channels in the Mid-levels started to be built, and whether they are solely for stormwater drainage, or whether they have played other roles in the early history of Hong Kong. 

Thse are interesting questions. Have you been in touch with the Water Supplies Department to see if they have any answers? They only have a brief history online, http://www.wsd.gov.hk/en/education/history/wsd_milestone/index.html, but maybe they've done further research or can put you in touch with someone who has.

I've read of wells, eg the well at the old Chartered Bank was re-opened in December 1941 after mains water supplies were cut off during the fighting.I haven't seen any photos though.

The process of converting a stream into a stone-lined nullah is referred to as "training" in the old government documents, so you may find references to that in HKGRO. A quick search returned a result from 1890, Government notice 365, asking for tenders to train the Albany Nullah: http://sunzi.lib.hku.hk/hkgro/view/g1890/656353.pdf

Please let us know what you discover,

Regards, David