Most of the records in this collection are those of the Nottingham Corporation Waterworks and the City of Nottingham Water Department (in existence 1880-1974). Although a few earlier documents have survived, including a minute book of the Northern Waterworks Company (MS 880), there are no official records of the Nottingham Waterworks Company or its predecessors beyond a small series of annual accounts, 1852-1856. Likewise, there is only a very small amount of material, dated 1974-1975, from the Severn Trent Water Authority's ownership of the waterworks.
Other records in the collection relate to the supply of water in central Nottinghamshire and the sewerage system of Nottingham. Thus, there are some records (mainly plans) from the Central Nottinghamshire Water Board (1965-1969), Newark upon Trent Waterworks (1889-1959), Borough of Mansfield Water Department (1958-1965), Sutton in Ashfield Urban District Council (1949-1963) and Sheffield Regional Hospital Board (1963-1966).
The collection is composed chiefly of maps and plans. These are primarily technical drawings showing, for example, sections of pipes and sewers, routes of pipes, geological sections, reservoir construction, pumping machinery etc. Many of the plans are hand drawn. All are of importance in reflecting the development of systems for supplying water and the provision of a sanitary sewerage system, from the age of pioneering engineers such as Thomas Hawksley to more recent years.
The collection also includes the minutes of various committees, Engineers Reports, Accounts, and a large number of Ordnance Survey Sheets. Many of the latter have been annotated to show routes of water mains etc. There are also uncatalogued or partly catalogued accruals of maps and plans, and some photographs.