Second harbour water pipe line completed, Shing Mun reservoir to Hong Kong island, 1935

IDJ has sent the following newspaper report about the construction of a second water pipe running from Shing Mun reservoir to Hong Kong Island, the first being laid in 1929.

Thanks to SCT for proofreading the retyped article.





The second step to ensure that the Colony will have an adequate water supply has been taken with the laying of the second Harbour pipe line which is now complete with the exception of a few finishing touches – the first was the Mount Parker Tunnel. The work has been completed in almost record time, having occupied only 2½ months. It will now be possible to bring a supply of water from the Shing Mun Valley to the Island.

The pipes used in the construction were manufactured by Messrs. Humes who have their local branch situated on the Castle Peak Road. The laying of the pipes was effectively executed by the Netherlands Harbour Works Co., whose cranes and barges became familiar to all ferry users during the period in which the work was being carried out.

Weather conditions constantly interfered with progress as divers can only descend in the most favourable conditions. Altogether three divers were engaged and it was gratifying to those responsible to discover that these men could work no less than three times faster than had been originally estimated.

The distance across the Harbour where the pipe is laid is approximately 5,700 feet, so 57 pieces of 100 feet in length were built up. The path of the pipe on the Harbour bottom was lined by small concrete blocks, each 300 feet apart. To form a foundation for the pipe where the bottom was muddy, as it was in several places, dredgers had to be used and the holes filled with rubble.

Laying The Pipe

The next step was the actual laying of the pipe, and to accomplish this an intricate plant had to be used. Tubular steel sheer-legs with a capacity of 20 tons, and mounted on a barge which was then anchored in the middle of the Harbour. The composite pipes were loaded on to lighters and towed to the barge. The pipes were laid from the barge to the Hong Kong side near Queen’s Pier where they were connected with pipes on land. The Kowloon side was then joined up. The most difficult portion of the laying was the joining of the sections and this was where the divers proved their skill. Although it had been anticipated that only one joint could be made a day, three joints were often completed.

Protective Measures

The pipe before laying was dipped in hot bitumastic solution, double wrapped with hessian cloth, and afterwards drained through hot bitumastic solution.

It was next rolled in sand to make the surface durable and capable of standing corrosion.

After the joining was completed the water test was applied at 280 pounds pressure.

The pipe is 18 inches in diameter, has walls of ¼ inch thickness, and in addition to the protective measures on the outside of the walls, has a cement lining inside of ½ inch thickness. It is estimated that it will carry 3,500,000 gallons a day delivering up to 288 feet above sea level, and 4,500,000 gallons a day when delivering to 180 feet above sea level.

The first pipe line was laid in 1929 and the new one is six feet away from this running parallel.

Reservoirs, Cachment Areas And Pipelines Of Kowloon District, The Far East Review Oct 1934 Chinarail Gwulo

Reservoirs, Catchment Areas and Pipelines of Kowloon District, The Far East Review October 1934 Courtesy: Chinarail through

Source: The China Mail 14th May 1935

This article was first posted on 5th September 2021.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Hong Kong Water Supply – official opening of the Jubilee (Shing Mun) reservoir, newspaper report
  2. Geoffrey Binnie, Engineer 1932–1936, Jubilee Dam, Shing Mun reservoir
  3. The Shing Mun (Jubilee) Reservoir
  4. Shing Mun Reservoir, expert visits and prepares report on problem with the dam, 1937
  5. Hong Kong Water Supply – second pipe line to be laid under the harbour to bring water from Shing Mun reservoir, newspaper article 1934
  6. Gordon Burnett Gifford Hull – Needle Hill Mine, Shing Mun Reservoir
  7. Hong Kong Water Supply – Shing Mun Reservoir
  8. Hong Kong Water Supply – Shing Mun First Section
  9. Cross harbour road tunnel – link to planning of Shing Mun reservoir, late 1920s?
  10. Shing Mun Dam and Reservoir – article from the late 1930s
  11. The Governor opens the Jubilee Dam (Shing Mun) Reservoir today, newspaper images
  12. Hong Kong Water Supply – Lower Shing Mun Reservoir
  13. John ‘Jock’ Inglis – General Manager, Hume Pipe (Far East) Ltd, Hong Kong
  14. The Hume Pipe (Far East) Ltd – Jock Inglis -The Peninsula Hotel and Clark Gable!
  15. Netherlands Harbour Works Company – dredging HK harbour / reclamation at Kai Tak 1927
  16. Hong Kong Water Supply – second pipe line to be laid under the harbour to bring water from Shing Mun reservoir, newspaper article 1934

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *