The Metropolis Water Act of 1852 prohibited the taking of water from the tidal Thames.
The Metropolis Water Act of 1852 prohibited the taking of water from the tidal Thames. This meant that Thames river water had to be taken above Teddington Lock. In practical terms the first place above the lock, with suitable land available for Waterworks, was Hampton. As a consequence, by 1855 the Southwark and Vauxhall, the Grand Junction and the West Middlesex Water Companies had all established works at Hampton.
In 1903 these companies became part of the Metropolitan Water Board, later Thames Water Authority and then Thames Water plc. The Hampton Waterworks were, and still are, huge undertakings. The Waterworks employed large numbers of people and even had their own narrow gauge railway from 1915. Over 100 tons of coal were needed each day, and until the railway was built this was hauled by horse and cart.