Utilities
   Electricity. Communal service was implemented by an act of the city council of 4 August 1892. A concession was given to the India Rubber Company to establish an electrical works, which began operations in 1896. A trial run was made in supplying power at the Parc de Bruxelles and at place Rogier. Early electric lighting of public spaces was subsequently furnished only at the Grand' Place. The Tramways bruxellois company installed masts to carry overhead wires to service its trams at the turn of the 20th century. In 1929 the Intercommunale Bruxelloise de l'Électricité was created among Brussels and several surrounding communes. Production was ended in the 1950s and the city contracted for delivery of services from Société Gazelec. This was followed by service from Société Sibelgaz in 1974 through the Intercommunale bruxelloise de Gas et de l'Électricité. Today Electrabel is the largest power company in Belgium supplying electricity and natural gas. The Institut bruxellois pour la Gestion de l'Environnement (IBGE)/Brussels Instituut voor Mi-lieubeheer (BIM) regulates markets for electricity in the Brussels Capital Region (BCR).
   Gas. The first gas works in continental Europe opened in Brussels on 24 August 1819. The first streets lit by gas were the new boulevards of the inner ring road from the Willebroeck Canal to the porte de Schaerbeek. The first works were located on the rue Saint-Roch and built by the Brian and Fischer Company of Manchester, England. A vast new facility opened on rue des Échelles in Laeken in 1875, which was operated by the city. A modern addition was built in 1909. In 1929, the Intercommunale Bruxelloise de Gaz was created among Brussels and several neighboring communes. The city discontinued production in the 1950s and contracted for delivery from the Société Gazelec. Public distribution was ended by a decree of 17 October 1974 when the Intercommunale Bruxelloise de Gaz et de l'Électricité secured service from the Société Sibelgaz. The gazomètre constitutes the sole surviving building from the city's early gas distribution network. Built in 1892 in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, it is classed as a historical site. The IBGE/BIM regulates markets for gas in the Brussels Capital Region.
   Water. Water was first secured from the Senne River, from reservoirs, and from wells. The Groote Pollepoel still stands in the Parc d'Egmont as a representative well. Nonpotable water was secured through reservoirs, dug as early as 1300, of which there existed about 15 by the mid-15th century. Water to power mills along the sluggish, shallow Senne was secured by means of basins dug along the river bank, which collected rainwater descending from higher elevations. Wells dug at the foot of the upper town on the eastern slope of the Senne valley brought water to the lower town by means of pipes, first made of wood and glazed pottery, and then lead. At the beginning of the 17th century sources outside the city began to be extensively tapped. In 1661, the city bought two plots in Saint-Gilles and the many pools in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean were sourced. In 1857, the city organized a water service for delivering potable water available through harnessing freshwater sources in Etterbeek and Braine l'Alleud. An intercommunal company serving many suburbs was created in 1891. The Compagnie Intercommunale Bruxelloise des Eaux/Brusselse Intercommunale Watermaatschappij/Brussels Intercommunal Water Company delivers drinking water to the BCR. Water is sourced largely from Wallonia (97 percent) with the remaining 3 percent obtained from subterranean sources in the Forêt de Soignes and the Bois de la Cambre. It is stocked in four reservoirs located around the region. The water is then distributed throughout the region by the Intercommunale Bruxelloise de Distribution d'Eau/Brusselse Intercommunale voor Waterdistributie/Brussels Intercommunal for Water Distribution. Two wastewater treatment plants were built in the north and south of the BCR following a 1980 purification plan. A decree of 23 March 1994 designated the Senne basin as a "sensitive zone" (zone sensible) in mandating that 80 percent of phosphorus and nitogen deposits be removed in the purification process. Annual consumption in the BCR totals approximately 60 million cubic meters.
   There were many fountains throughout the city through the course of history, notably the Manneken-Pis and the fountain at the Steen-porte, the latter in place from 1642 until 1825.

Historical Dictionary of Brussels. .

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