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British Engineer Mr. H. S. Palmer
British Engineer
Mr. H. S. Palmer

As the first modern waterworks system in Japan, the service began in Yokohama on October 17, 1887.
Until then, Yokohama was a small village with only 87 households. However, the system allowed Yokohama to grow in population and develop dramatically.
Because Yokohama expanded by reclaiming land, the increased need for water couldn’t be met by digging wells as the water had a high saline content and was not suitable for drinking.
In order to cope with this situation, the governor of Kanagawa prefecture hired a British engineer, Mr. H. S. Palmer, to serve as an advisor in the construction of modern waterworks systems to secure water from the upper stream of the Sagami river. The plan was embarked on in 1885 and completed in September 1887
With the adoption of waterworks ordinance in 1890, the waterworks system came under the control of local authorities in Yokohama but in April of the same year, Yokohama city came to play the role of managing the system.
For about 110 years since the start of the service, Yokohama Waterworks Bureau has carried out expansion works 8 times to meet the increased demand for water.

*The term “modern waterworks” means distributing filtered and disinfected water under pressure through iron pipes.

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水道局噴水マーク Yokohama Waterworks Bureau, General Affairs Division - Created on 2011, 1, 20 - Updated on 2011, 1, 20
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