About us > History
SADE was initially incorporated as “Société Auxiliaire des Distributions d’Eau” by the “Compagnie Générale des Eaux” in 1918 as part of the reconstruction of the French territory in order to bring assistance to the water distribution utilities and enterprises.
SADE’s corporate objects were “the execution of piping and plumbing works […], of all piping works as well as the acquisition and retransfer of all concessions in water and similar activities.”
Regional Divisions and agencies were created in Rouen in 1918, Lyon and Arras in 1919, Nevers in 1934, Bordeaux in 1967 and the South-East of France in 1978.
As early as 1919, SADE opened its own in-house Design Office to facilitate the setting up of complex contracts.
SADE gradually developed and extended across France and set up or took over subsidiaries in France and abroad.
In the 1950s and 60s the company launched two new departments, one specialising in drinking water treatment and the other in the depollution of waste and industrial waters.
Export activities began with a design study file concerning water and sewerage networks for the future Libyan capital, Al Bayda, entrusted to SADE in 1967. However, the project was abandoned due to the country’s political context.
The concrete start-up of international activities took place between 1968 and 1970 with the creation of a joint-venture purporting to allow SADE to make a commercial proposal leading to the construction of the Abu Dhabi water supply and sewerage networks.
At the same time SADE's Regional Division of Rouen won a first contract carried out in 1969-1970 in Belgium prior to the company’s installation in the country. In the 1980s SADE obtained other contracts in Gabon then in Vietnam.
Outlets were studied concurrently in Cameroon and the Central African Republic, leading to the development of the company’s activities in Burkina Faso (formerly the Republic of High Volta), Niger, Senegal, Gambia and Liberia through the 1970s to the 1980s.
In 1976, SADE developed its telecommunications activities. The SADE Telecom department was created in 2008.
SADE's trading services are now recognised in some thirty countries across the world.