Restler was a pupil with Messrs. John Aird and Sons and later trained under Messrs Harvey and Beck. Both companies supplied engines to Lea Bridge Waterworks.
In 1876, he joined the Southwark and Vauxhall Water Company,rising to Chief Engineer in 1883. He was renowned for the construction of large reservoirs,Thames tunnels under trunk mains.
He designed and constructed the Honor Oak Reservoir which, on completion, was believed to be the largest covered reservoir in the world.
Restler was appointed Chief Engineer to the Metropolitan Water Board in 1914.
Read Restler's obituary: More
Obituary: Sir James William Restler, K.B.E., 1851-1918