General sewerage


General sewerage of the Pest side (1869-1910)

For the resolution of the regular sewerage of Pest, the English entrepreneur Sir Morton Peto submitted a design to the chief mayor of Budapest in 1869. The title of the design is: "Report and Design in the subject matter of betterment of the underground sewerage of the free royal city of Pest. Petitioned on decree of Sir Morton Peto by Bazalgette W. 1., chief engineer of London. In Pest, in the month of June, 1869."
The entrepreneur gave a GBP 250,000 offer for the construction of the main sewers. Bazalgette got to know the network in Budapest and took into account the possibilities of regulation of the Danube while preparing the design. He recognised the topographic endowments – Pest lies in a big half-basin surrounded by hills inclined towards the Danube – thus he chose a track defined by the natural environment for the main sewers. The sewerage of the city would happen in a unified (tout á légout) system, that is to say in a system in which household and industrial wastewater, as well as rainwater would flow in a single section. The sewerage of London, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Berlin and Munich are also of tout á légout nature.
In June 1869, the city gave the Bazalgette design to a four-member expert committee for evaluation, whose members were William Lindley, chief engineer of the Pest Water Works, and engineers Ferenc Reitter, Pál Szumrák and József Vogler.
The first water conduit of the city of Pest was built in 1868 according to the designs of English engineer William Lindley. Although it significantly moderated the epidemic threat, it further hastened the issue of the standard creation of the sewerage. 
 

The plan by Ferenc Reitter (1873)

Ferenc Reitter completely accepted Bazalgettes track for the main sewers for the sewerage of the left shore, he only deviated from it as far as the new urbanism plan required it. He suggested an independent and new main sewer for Kőbánya. The Capital Public Works Council stated in a decree "this sewerage work will cost millions and will be made for centuries" and suggested that the city issues a design tender. In March 1875, Lajos Bodoky, French engineers Durand, Clay and Mille, Lajos Lechner and József Vogler were invited to prepare the sewerage designs on the basis of the Reitter concepts.
The engineering office invited Ottó Martin to prepare the general sewerage plan on the basis of the suggestions and designs prepared so far, with the following instruction: "the boulevard main sewer shall be taken into the plan anyhow, the whole inhabited area of the Pest part shall be included in the sewerage network, the cellar soil shall also be dewatered." After that, a decision was taken on the construction of the Ferencváros pump station on Soroksári út. 
 

General sewerage of the Buda side (1873-1914)

The Bazalgette plan did not deal with Buda, it is Ferenc Reitters merit that he prepared the sewerage for the Buda part as well.
The streams of the Buda side served as wastewater and rainwater downcomers. The Ördög ditch was arched in 1873 so that the stench of the stream does not contaminate the air. The catastrophic shower that hit Budapest on June 25, 1875 ripped open the arch of the ditch. The re-arched Ördög ditch is the biggest size and water collection capacity main sewer of Budapest.
The first collection sewer emptying into the Danube, connecting sewers on the Pest side was built according to the designs of Reitter, which made possible the closing of sewers in case of floods. This protected Pest already during the 1876 flood, while Buda was again flooded through the sewers. In Pest, the water of the closed sewers was pumped into the Danube through steam pumps.
On the basis of the tender work of Lajos Lechner, made in 1876, the new designs were prepared by the sewerage department organised in 1883. Ottó Martins work was evaluated by József Fodor and Mihály Klimm. On the basis of this expertise, the capacity of the main sewer and the pump station was increased to 27 m3/sec. It is thanks to this extreme forethought that the main sewer network still serves the needs of the Pest side and will serve them in the future as well.
The central pump station of the capital city was built from 1889 to 1894. Six pairs of pumps pumped the incoming wastewaters of Pest into the Danube. Each pair of pumps was operated in pairs by a 200-horse power steam machine. The main sewers connecting to the station were built until 1907, their length is approx. 25 km.
In his design, Ottó Martin did not boggle at audacious technical solutions. He put the Szalag utca section of the main sewer located under the castle hill at a 24 m depth and planned the execution with a tunnel-boring method in protection of a hydraulic shield. Therefore, he planned the tapping of the wastewater at Fehérsas square and so that he lead the Danube-shore main sewer to this point through the Apród and Virág Benedek streets. At the Fehérsas square, the bottom level of the Ördög ditch of +4,13 m (chain bridge gauge) makes it possible to build the Danube shore main sewer under it and to deflect the dry weather wastewater into it.
The main sewer and the pump station were built between 1912 and 1917 in Óbuda. The station equipped with electric operation machines was located the wells of the Budaújlak water works not be endangered by wastewater intrusion. The Villányi út main sewer serving as collector of the hillside waters was built between 1915 and 1917.
After World War I, a construction boom started. New sewerage basic installations were necessary to serve the increased needs. It is during this period that the Angyalföld and Kelenföld pump stations were built and the sewerage of the outer districts of Pest and Kelenföld was completed. The developments were carried out in accordance with the 1917 and 1938 general designs.
Besides the increase of the sewer availability of Budapest, an important task was the proper maintenance of the network. This means the regular inspection of the sewers, the discovery and repair of failures and the cleaning of the network. Until 1916, the cleaning and repairs were executed by entrepreneurs on order of the district authorities. The work was carried out by manpower; every year only 1000 pounds (approx 1900 m) could be cleaned. 

From 1928, three organisms independent from each other carried out the repair, inspection, cleaning and maintenance tasks on the main sewers and water effluents.