The Official Austrian Euro Coin Set 2023 celebrates the 150th anniversary of the inauguration of the First Vienna Spring Water Main, which provides the Austrian capital with drinking water.
In Vienna, by simply turning on the tap, one can drink high-quality spring water from the Alps. But that was not always the case. The population of the Austrian capital obtained its drinking water from domestic wells up until the 16th century, when a pipeline was eventually constructed after a major fire had shown there was insufficient water to prevent such disasters. In the mid-19th century, the poor quality of Vienna’s drinking water led to typhus and cholera epidemics.
In 1873, the First Vienna Spring Water Main began bringing fresh water to capital from the Schneeberg-Rax-Schneealpe massif south-west of the city. The brainchild of geologist and city councillor Eduard Suess, the construction of the water main was an impressive feat of civil engineering involving thousands of workers, yet it took just three years to complete.
Built to improve and safeguard drinking water supply, thereby excluding any further health hazards for the population, the water main now supplies Vienna with 220 million litres of spring water every day. On its 24-hour journey, the water passes over 30 aqueducts from its source to the Rosenhügel reservoir in Vienna, from where it is distributed via a vast network of pipes. Not only is the water of exceptional quality, as it flows purely because of gravity, the system that supplies it is environmentally friendly.