Customer: City of Koszalin
Products: VAG Gate Valves, VAG Hydrants, VAG House Connection Valves
In Koszalin, water is referred to as the city’s biggest treasure. And so it is not surprising that handling this precious resource has had a long tradition in the Polish city. As early as in the 18th century, people began to develop and install a professional water supply system in the city then called Köslin and belonging to Prussia.
At the end of the 19th century, the wooden water pipelines were replaced by pipes made of cast iron, and this as the birth of the city’s first modern water supply system. The renovation of household water supply systems all over Poland, which was completed by the beginning of the 20th century, was partly effected using VAG valves (formerly called Bopp & Reuther). Gate valves, standpost and underground hydrants, house connections, even entire water supply systems were exported from Mannheim, Germany to Poland and to other countries. This is also true for the hydrants installed in Koszalin. Until 2004, i.e. for over a century, they worked completely trouble-free. Now the old-age pensioners made of cast iron are exhibited in the Muzeum Wody as witnesses of the history of Koszalin and its water.
The history of the city of Koszalin is a history of the handling of water. When in the early 18th century Koszalin was given the status of a governmental and garrison town, it also had to meet the related sanitary requirements. And thus it became the first place in ommerania to supply the drinking water the city needed by way of gravitation through the pipeline system. After the devastating fire in the year 1718, which destroyed over two thirds of the city, Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm I donated 2278 thalers for the reconstruction of the water supply system. The entire system was built to state-of-the-art technology and citizens, soldiers and horses alike were able to enjoy clean water.
After this reconstruction, no further work for handling the precious resources was to be done for 150 years. Around 1870 the city fathers startedthe construction of a modern, individual water supply system using cast-iron pipes which were to replace the old wooden pipes. The effects of this measure soon became obvious: the sanitary conditions kept improving noticeably and also the outhouses gradually disappeared. At that time, the supply system comprised 5542 meters of pipelines, 23 gate valves, 50 standpost hydrants and 119 direct house connections all of which were the first exports by VAG-Armaturen, then called Bopp & Reuther. The age of the individual household water supply had begun in Koszalin.
When in 1906 the city’s water and gas works were merged to become the Köslin Public Utilities, this was used as an opportunity to improve the city’s water supply and sewage water system. To implement this project, the city commissioned H. Scheven Consulting Engineers, founded in Düsseldorf in 1874, to plan and realise a modern and efficient sewage system. The partner of the company specialising in the construction of sewage and pipeline systems was, and still is, VAG-Armaturen GmbH.
The project was planning the construction of a sewage system to remove waste and storm water, as well as a biological treatment plant. VAG’s Mannheim plant supplied all the necessary valves: gate valves, house connections, surface boxes and installation equipment. It took five years to install the sewerage which reached into the suburbs and was needed to dispose of and clean the waste water of the steadily growing city. In the year 1919, the construction of the bio-mechanical treatment plant was completed and in 1924, the associated pumping station took up operation. The first joint project of Heinrich Scheven GmbH and VAG-Armaturen GmbH, which have been partners since then, proved to be a complete success for the city and its planners.
Visitors to the city’s Water Museum can take a step back in time and explore its history of water supply. The great number of exhibits and models retraces the history of the now Polish city of Koszalin in respect of water as a resource.
And so one will also find the most faithful servants of a long history there: The hydrants, gate valves and house connections made by VAG. For over a hundred years the hydrants helped to fight fires like the devastating one in 1718 and they ensured that the city did not have to go through such a nightmare again. Today, the cast-iron retirees are the witnesses of a unique city history.