Home Up Pre-History The District The Streets City Industry The Tenement Family Names North East Art

The Doric Columns

Northern District Sewer
It was at one time intended to construct a sewer to intercept the sewage from Woodside which entered the River Don and to take in also the sewage of Old Aberdeen and convey the whole to the sea near the mouth of the Don. In many towns in England the sewers terminate at the edge of the sea without any contrivance for regulating their discharge, and at a short distance from their mouths little evidence of the sewage is seen.  This may be owing to the fact that the sewage of a town usually enters the sea at many points in small streams and not in one of great volume.  In Aberdeen it was thought that a more elaborate outfall would be necessary for the sewage of the Northern District of the City, because it would be desirable  to preserve the amenity of the bathing place at the Queen's Links. This led to a new plan by which the sewage of Woodside and Old Aberdeen is conveyed to the Links sewer near the site of the Spital Irrigation Farm, lying on the east side of King Street, north of St Peter's Cemetery and thence to the main sewer at Victoria Bridge

The Great Northern Sewer begins a short distance above Grandholm Bridge and keeps along the south side of the Don till Tillydrone Hill is approached. It intercepts the sewage of Woodside and prevents it from entering the River.  It passes in a tunnel below Tillydrone Road and the sand quarries at Kettle Hill and then enters on the bed of the Loch of Aberdeen, which was drained many years ago. In crossing the site of the Loch an unexpected difficulty was encountered. It had been intended to make an open trench, construct the sewer in it, and cover it up; but on entering the bed of the Old Loch it was found to be composed of fine sand saturated with water. For 3 months an attempt was made to pump out the water in the trench but it was quite unsuccessful, and it was impossible to obtain a firm foundation for the sewer. Then recourse was had to compressed air to keep out the water, and by this means a Tunnel was made across the bed of the Loch, in the same way as the Tunnel under the Dee. The sewer passes along Cluny Wynd, under the Old Town-House, along School Road, crosses King Street and holds on eastward. Turning southward it crosses the Powis Burn, passes along Ardarroch Road, turns down Pittodrie Street, and rounding the east end of Piltodrie Park it joins the Links Sewer near the Links Well.  In this section beds of peat moss were found in what had been hollows excavated in the glacial epoch. In one 5 feet deep the trunk of an oak tree was found.

Before the construction of the great sewer beginning at Rubislaw Quarry, crossing Union Street between South Silver Street and Crown Street, and terminating at Girdleness, all the sewage of the higher part of Aberdeen passed along the sewer from the Links Well to the Abercrombie Jetty. Now much of it is diverted down Crown Street, and by an extension of the Northern Sewer, at present in the process of construction all the sewage of Aberdeen will be diverted from Abercrombie Jetty except what is collected by sewers on the north side of the docks and tidal harbour and in the hollow on both sides of the railway below Park Street.

From the Links Well the northern sewer will soon be extended to Victoria Bridge where it enters the Great Western Sewer on its way to Girdleness. It passes between Trinity Cemetery and The Broad Hill, along Park Road, Park Street, Justice Street, Castle Street, Shiprow, Shore Brae, Trinity Quay, and South Market Street. Large quantities of sewage will come in at Urquhart Road, Jasmine Terrace and the top of Shore Brae. From Shore Brae to Victoria Bridge the sewage is conveyed in 3 parallel iron pipes because the roof of an arched brick sewer would have been too near the surface of the Quay and Market Street. The south end of this section was already in use. At Shore Brae it is receiving the sewage of Union Street between Crown Street and Union Bridge and from both sides of the Denburn and the area between Market Street and the Railway.

Before the end of 1911 the Sewerage System of Aberdeen would have been completed, though minor improvements will continue to be made for some years. The cost of the operations carried out under the Act of 1899 will amount to £200,000. When completed there will be 4 outlets for the sewage of the City: — 2 at Abercrombie Jetty, one for the Low Level Sewer and another for the High Level; one below Victoria Bridge for the River side and the low area west of South Market Street; and the outfall at Girdleness for the great North-Western Sewer.


Send mail to jazzmaster@jazzeddie.f2s.com with questions or comments about the design of this web site.
Last modified: 01/09/2013