Aberystwyth (Wales). Borough Council

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Aberystwyth (Wales). Borough Council

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Aberystwyth was one of a number of towns across England and Wales which established an elected borough council in the wake of the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835. Another local Act, passed in the same year, saw the establishment of Town Improvement Commissioners whose responsibilities included lighting, sanitation and the supply of water for Aberystwyth. In 1837 a reservoir was built at Brynymor Dingle and, following the drought of 1844, additional supplies were obtained by tapping springs near Plas Crug. Water was pumped to Brynymor by a steam pump, a system which remained until the 1880s.

A new waterworks was built to meet increasing demand following the Aberystwyth Improvement and Water Act of 1872, and in 1873 the powers of the Town Improvement Commissioners were transferred to the Council. The Brynymor Reservoir and other existing sources proved inadequate in supplying the town's growing population and the Council decided to transport water from Llyn Llygad Rheidol to Aberystwyth through a line of underground pipes from 1880. During the 1930s corrosion in the pipes affected this supply. The Aberystwyth Rural District Council (RDC), which was experiencing a shortage of supply in its own area, offered to contribute to the cost of renewing the pipes in exchange for a supply of water, but this scheme was rejected by the Borough Council. The Aberystwyth Rural District Council Act 1937 enabled the RDC to obtain water from the Llyn Craig y Pistyll reservoir instead, built c. 1877, and later provided additional supplies to the borough during the Second World War. Water shortages in the summer months by 1960 compelled the Borough and Rural District Councils to plan the transportation of water from Llyn Llygad Rheidol to Llyn Craig-y-Pistyll and on to the new filter plant at Bontgoch. Work on this scheme was completed in 1967 by the Cardiganshire Water Board which was formed in 1962 and administered the water supply for the town and surrounding area. This, in turn, was taken over in 1974 by the Welsh Water Authority.

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