The city of Brno is situated on the confluence of the rivers Svratka and Svitava on the border of the Dyjskosvratecký vale. According to the archeological sources, the first inhabitants settled in this locality in the remote past and important trade routes ran through this area. The oldest historic records mention the Brno castle founded by Prince Břetislav between 1021- 1034 on the rocky promontory Petrov and Brno is also mentioned in the foundation charter of the Benedictines monastery in Rajhrad from 1048. People settled below the castle and thus this area quickly extended and developed into town as early as after 1200. The economic, political and legal status of the town was confirmed by King Václav I., who granted the first privilege to Brno in January 1243. In 1356, Brno had 8 700 inhabitants and it was the third largest town in the Czech kingdom.
Brno never suffered from a lack of water. There were enough wells everywhere supplied abundantly with water from gravel alluvium sediments in the Svratka river. It was not only domestic wells, but water was also provided for the public from wells in the streets and squares. Problems with water occurred at the end of the 12th century. With extension of the town, the water quality in the wells was deteriorating. There was no sewerage and the sumps, often overloaded and leaking, contaminated the surroundings. The sumps often leaked to the wells, which were in many places in their immediate vicinity. The medieval Brno suffered from frequent and destructive fires. Most houses were wooden or half-timbered and when a fire broke out, it was often the whole districts that were reduced to ashes. It was the lack of fire-fighting water that necessitated the construction of the first Brno water supply pipes.
The oldest water supply pipeline supplied service water from the Svratka. It was councilor Václav Haze, who played an important role in its construction by funding the construction and on 2nd December 1415 he signed an agreement with the master and builder of the water pipeline, Prokop Peysk. The agreement on construction of the water pipeline was confirmed on 3rd July 1416 by King Václav IV. and he granted Brno a permanent right to abstract water from the Svrratka via (Petrov) into two fountains in the Lower and Upper Markets (Svoboda Sq. and Zelný trh) with a possibility of bringing water to breweries and two municipal malt plants. Lead water connections were only permitted to the most prominent representatives of the town, nobility, clergy and monasteries. Other inhabitants had to use the fountains.
The water plant shared the town development as well as all troubles during the years of war. It was burnt out several times and badly damaged by the Swedes who destroyed it completely when retreating from the town. However, it was soon renewed as the town badly needed water. The water pipeline was significantly extended and in 1853 when the pumping system delivered on average up to 20 000 buckets of unfiltered river water a day. However, this extension of the water plant was not final. Despite the extension of the water pipeline from the Svratka, the system was becoming insufficient and failed to accommodate the needs of the growing town both in terms of the quantity of supplied water and its quality and the problem of water supplies had to be addressed.
The existing efforts focusing on cheap sources of water for Brno had no effects and thus the city organised a competition for construction of a new water supply system in 1863. The most eligible solution out of four submitted offers was accepted in 1869 based on a design of a London builder, Thomas Docwry. The construction of the water treatment plant in Pisárky started in autumn 1869 according to the best English experience with water treatment and the construction was finalised in 1872. Raw water from the Svratka was abstracted upstream the weir in Kamenný mill and it was treated in three open biological filters with a total surface area of 2 940 m2. Water from Pisárky was pumped into two pressure zones. The first, lower, was provided with water reservoirs on Žlutý kopec, the higher zone had a reservoir in Špilberk. The construction of the water plant was accompanied by extension of the water supply system. Between 1870 – 1874 a total of 1 800 meters of pipes were laid. For financial treasons, further construction of the water pipelines continued at a lower pace.
The history of establishment of our predecessor, Brněnská vodovodní akciová společnost, dates back to 1872, when the Pisárky water treatment plant was constructed
History of water and sewerage system management in the city of Brno:
1872 - 1902 Brněnská vodovodní akciová společnost
1902 - 1949 Městské vodárny v Brně
1950 - 1952 Krajská vodohospodářská služba
1953 - 1958 Zásobování vodou a kanalizace
1958 - 1960 Krajská správa zásobování
1960 - 1976 Vodohospodářská správa města Brna
1977 - 1989 Jihomoravské vodovody a kanalizace, odštěpný závod Brno - město
1990 - 1992 Brněnské vodárny a kanalizace, státní podnik
1992 Brněnské vodárny a kanalizace, a.s.