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is a vertically mounted water wheel that is rotated by the water in a water course striking paddles or blades at the bottom of the wheel.This type of water wheel is the oldest type of horizontal axis wheel.Stream wheels mounted on floating platforms are often referred to as ship wheels and the mill as a ship mill.The earliest were probably constructed by the Byzantine general Belisarius during the siege of Rome in 537.

A typical flat board undershot wheel uses about 20 percent of the energy in the flow of water striking the wheel as measured by English civil engineer John Smeaton in the 18th century. Stream wheels gain little or no advantage from head, a difference in water level.Undershot and stream wheel use large flows at little or no head.There is often an associated millpond, a reservoir for storing water and hence energy until it is needed.Larger heads store more potential energy for the same amount of water so the reservoirs for overshot and backshot wheels tend to be smaller than for breast shot wheels.Overshot and pitchback water wheels are suitable where there is a small stream with a height difference of more than 2 meters, often in association with a small reservoir.

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