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The Water Tower of the Fabric District

turn-apa-1-smallIt is situated on 16 Samuil Micu St.,
It was built from 1912 to 1914,
The project is signed by the following engineers: Mr. János Lenarduzzi, Mr. Richard Sabatich and countersigned by Mr. Stan Vidrighin;

The domestic water supply was always a major problem of Timisoara City. In a brief description of 1551, it was mentioned a deep well located in the premises of the castle. The archeological diggings from the castle yard, carried out in 2009 revealed a well without yet being certain if this was actually the well described in 1551.

The Turkish traveller, Evlia Celebi stated that in 1660 the „Timiş” river (actually the Bega river, whose branches mixed at that time with the Timis river branches, and therefore was often referred to as the „Timişul Mic” River) was flowing in two places in the fortress by means of the filters, and from where the inhabitants took their water necessary. Unfortunately, the "Timis" river was also the garbage dumpster. The water filtration was a positive fact, if we consider that, in a Northern European city, such as Hamburg, the domestic water started to be filtrated only after the cholera epidemics in 1892, which took over 9.000 lives in this town!

After the project of building an aqueduct that should bring the water from Girmata and which was actually started in 1729, was relinquished, in 1723 a "hydraulic machine" was designed and built on a isle of Bega which was located approximately in the current Mitropolit Sterca-Suluţiu Square in Fabric District. Here, after being passed through a sawdust filter, the water coming from the Bega river was pumped in a water supply system consisting in two wooden pumps (there were two such pumps because one should always function while the other was cleaned or repaired). This system supplied the domestic water in the fortress. In 1774, a water tower, which can be found on the current official emblem of the city, was built on the location of the "hydraulic machine".

Unfortunately, the water tower was destroyed during the siege from 1849. The water supply was provided by wells. In 1892, when the principle of military fortress  was abandoned, there was brought in discussion the idea of developing a "modern" water supply system. Numerous projects were drawn up. After the contribution brought by many developing engineers, a major role was played by the engineer Stan Vidrighin (who acted as the mayor of Timisoara City from 1919 to 1921 and from February 3rd 1922 to August 31st 1922 and who went blind in the communist concentration camps). From 1904 to 1907, Mr. Vidrighin drew up the projects for the water supply and drainage systems in Timisoara. In 1910 he was sent to study, in the field, the water supply and drainage systems used in cities like Dresden, Berlin, Hamburg (where, after 1892, a "modern' system was developed), Köln, Strasbourg, Karlsruhe and London. Mr. Vidrighin conducted the development of the water supply and drainage systems of Timisoara, systems which were first operated in 1912, respectively 1914, and which are functional even today.

A channel system has been built in the northern part of the Bega river; this system gathers the waters in a large underground channel (2,4 m width, 2,3 m height) and conducts them to the filtration plant built, at the same time, in the western part of the city. The second such system is built in the southern part of the Bega river, which gathers the waters in a second large underground channel which crosses the city towards the west, below the Bega river, discharging the waters in the basins of the filtration plant.

For the water supply purposes, there have been drilled deep wells in the SE of the city; such wells supplied the Water Plant located, at that time on the Calea Urseni St. Here, the water was filtrated and pumped in the water supply network system. In order to avoid the possible water supply troubles if any repair works or defaults occurred, two water towers were built, one in Fabric district, and the second in the Iosefin district. The water towers are provided with reserve water basins which would supply the water to the city for four hours if the main supply system failed.

From the town planning perspectives, the water towers, which are currently deallocated, dominate the urban field of the neighboring areas. They represent valuable industrial architectural masterpieces complying with the architectural style applicable in 1900, using an abstract plastic language underlying thus the final phase, the most developed one of this style. Particularly interesting is the entry gate, which is preserved in the water tower located in Fabric district. A series suggestions for their rehabilitation are available.

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