The Water Works Museum - The Quest for Pure Water!

Step inside the Water Works Museum to see the history of Louisville's water come to life! Located inside the west wing of Louisville Water Company's original Pumping Station No. 1 on Zorn Avenue at River Road, the Water Works Museum highlights Louisville Water’s vast archive of historic photographs (some dating back to 1860), films and memorabilia, and allows visitors to discover the company’s contributions to safe drinking water through its innovations in science and engineering.  Visitors can see original architectural drawings, pieces of original water mains, meters and tools used to keep water flowing over the years, and a silent movie produced in 1938 showing the steam engines operating and mules cleaning out the reservoir. Special exhibits, such as the original steam mud pump, as well as lessons about Louisville Water’s groundbreaking efforts such as riverbank filtration, rotate throughout the year. 

Built between 1858 and 1860 as part of the city’s original Water Works, the Original Pumping Station was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1971. The Original Pumping Station is located on the site that features another of Louisville’s National Historic Landmarks, the iconic Water Tower. The entire site has been branded as “Louisville Water Tower Park” to highlight the more than 150-year connection between Louisville Water and the community.

The museum also plays host to student field trips, utilizing curricula aligned to Kentucky Common Core Standards. Field trips focus on the science of clean drinking water, as well as the importance of the architecture and engineering innovation involved in supplying consistently safe and healthy water to the community.  Opened in March, 2014, the WaterWorks Museum is an enhancement to Louisville Water’s extensive education inititiave, which reaches over 50,000 people annually with programming that extends into classrooms throughout the region, as well as through tours of Louisville Water facilities by collaborations with schools, community organizations and cultural attractions. 

Admission to the WaterWorks Museum ranges from $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for youths. Children under five are free.  The museum offers discounts for families and those with a military and student ID. Admission to the museum includes a tour of the grounds and working pumping station.