Ovoid Sewer Aqueduct
E.G Stone & E.J Siddeley
date of commission:
date of completion:
42 Leather St, Breakwater, VIC
– National Trust
– DOCOMOMO Australia
The Ovoid Sewer Aqueduct is a major landscape feature that runs across the Barwon River. The aqueduct was designed by Edward Giles Stone and Ernest J Siddeley and constructed between 1913-1915 as part of Geelong’s first sewerage system. It is a rare and internationally unusual example of reinforced concrete in the Considere system. The Ovoid Sewer Aqueduct was classified by the National Trust in 1987 as a place of State Significance. The Aqueduct is also on the Victorian Heritage Register (H0895) and is of architectural, historical, scientific (technical), and aesthetic significance to the State of Victoria. (source: TrustAdvocate Website)
Statement of Significance (VHD)
The structure is nationally significant as an early and inventive use of reinforced concrete in the Considere system. Internationally eminent civil engineer Professor Roger Lacroix has reported that there are very few similar bridges of this age left in the world, and “none of the scope and imagination displayed in the design and construction of the Geelong aqueduct”.
The aqueduct was designed by Edward Giles Stone and Ernest J Siddeley, whose firm undertook a number of marine projects in southern and eastern Australia, including reinforced concrete ships and pontoons. EG Stone had previously designed the concrete bowstring of roof trusses of Geelong’s Dennys Lascelles wool store (now demolished). His work was probably the most advanced expression in the world of the Considere system of reinforced concrete.
The aqueduct was modelled on Scotland’s famous Firth of Forth railway bridge and constructed between 1913 – 1915. It represents an internationally unusual example of this form in concrete.
Both the overall length and the maximum span length were far in excess of any other Australian reinforced concrete structure; the first structure to exceed its maximum span being the 1932 William Jolly bridge in Brisbane. The members of the aqueduct are unusually light, and of elegant proportions.
The great length and horizontal aspect across expansive flood plains – which are a significant natural habitat – constitute the aqueduct as a rare and major landscape feature.
Classified: 22/06/1987 (Source: Victoria Heritage Database)