The City water department was acquired from George and Nelly Southworth on September 25, 1897. The Southworth’s bought the property in a foreclosure sale from the Marshall Waterworks Company on September 13, 1897. This purchase included a standpipe, an artesian well, property, buildings, equipment and tools located at the site of the current water treatment plant. Also included were meters, services, mains and hydrants.
Water flowed from the artesian well into a reservoir beneath the old brick house where it was pumped to the distribution system by steam operated pumps. Those pumps were later replaced by electric motor driven pumps.
As the need for water resources in the City increased, additional wells were installed, replacing the original artesian well. The existing water supply is groundwater-based. The current wells were installed between 1950 and 1964. Well No. 1 was completed in 1950, Well No. 2 was completed in 1951, Well No. 3 was completed in 1953, and Well No. 4 was completed in 1964 at the time when the current Iron and Manganese Removal Plant was being built. The Filter plant went into operation in 1965 and at that time the 200,000 gallon elevated storage tank was constructed and the old standpipe on High Street was removed. The 500,000 gallon elevated tank was added to the system in 1978.