The Spotswood Pumping Station is an important industrial heritage site in Victoria. Built in the 1890s, it played a vital role as the key component of the Melbourne Sewerage Scheme. It helped turn "Smellbourne" back into Melbourne by pumping all the sewage collected in underground sewers throughout the city to the Werribee treatment works.
Today, you can visit the pumping station at Scienceworks, either at leisure or with a guide. We opted for the guided tour, which is free once you've obtained your general museum entry ticket. The guide took us through the boiler room, extensive pipe tunnel, straining wells, and engine room. In the engine room, an Austral Otis Pumping Engine was powered up for us to see and I was really amazed at how smooth the whole thing ran. It was an engineering feat indeed.
Tours are available at 11.30am from Monday to Friday and 11am or 1pm on weekends as well as during school holidays. You will need to book at the Information Desk when you arrive. The usual duration of the tour is 30 minutes, but ours went much longer than that which was fine with us.