Documentary History of American Water-works

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Pacific States
California Santa Clara

Santa Clara, California

Santa Clara was incorporated in 1852.

The first water works were built by the San Jose Water Company in 1870.

The city built water works in 1896 supplied by artesian wells.

Water is provided by the City of Santa Clara, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

1867 "Santa Clara," Sacramento Daily Union, October 31, 1867, Page 3.
The Town Trustees have granted a franchise to Donald McKenzie to introduce water from the mountain streams of the coast range.

1871 The History of San José and Surroundings: With Biographical Sketches of Early Settlers, by Frederic Hall
Pages 305-306: 1866. November 26th. The San Jose Water Company was organized by Messrs. D. M. Kenzie and John Bonner, of San Jose, and A. Chabot, of Oakland, with a capital stock of one hundred thousand dollars. The company obtained the exclusive water privileges for the city of San Jose and town of Santa Clara, for the term of twenty-five years. They constructed tanks, engines, laid water-pipes through the main streets in San Jose, and supplied the city with water from artesian wells, for the term of two years and six months. The volume of water thus obtained was insufficient to meet the demand, and the right to the use of the water in Los Gatos creek was procured.  A reorganization of the company took place on the twelfth of December, 1868, at which time, the capital stock was increased to three hundred thousand dollars.
In November, 1869, the company commenced to build flumes and lay pipes, to convey the water from Los Gatos creek. In June, 1870, this water was thus conducted to the city. There has been constructed, and now in use, two miles of flume, and eight of thirteen-inch pipe to San Jose, and two miles of seven-inch, to Santa Clara.  At about seven miles from San Jose, there is situate a reservoir with a capacity of two and one half millions of gallons.  Within a distance of three and one half miles from the city; another is in process of construction, which is to have the capacity of three and one half millions of gallons.  Twelve miles of the main pipe have been laid in San Jose, and it will be extended from time to time, as may be required. The officers of the company at present, are as follows: President, N.H.A. Mason; Treasurer, E. McLaughlin; Superintendent, C.H. Hobbs; Secretary, Wm. B. Rankin; Directors, N.H.A. Mason, A. Chabot, J.G. Bray, E. McLaughlin, and C.H. Hobbs.

1881 History of Santa Clara County, California: Including Its Geography, Geology, Topography, Climatography and Description
Pages 534-534:  San José Water Company.— On November 26, 1866, Donald McKenzie and John Bonner of San Jose., and A. Chabot, of Oakland, Alameda county, with a capital stock of one hundred thousand dollars established the concern now under notice. The city of San Jose. and the town of Santa Clara granted the exclusive water privileges for the term of twenty-five years, while to carry out their plan tanks were constructed, engines built, and the city supplied with water from artesian wells. At the end of two years the volume of fluid thus obtained was found insufficient for the growing wants of the community, therefore the right to use the water of the Los Gatos creek was obtained, and a new company formed in 1868 with an increased capital of three hundred thousand dollars, the incorporators being Donald McKenzie, A. Chabot, N.H.A. Mason, C.X. Hobbs, E. McLaughlin; and the officers, N.H.A. Mason, President: D. McKenzie, Vice-President, William B. Eankin, Secretary; C. X. Hobbs, Superintendent; E. McLaughlin, Treasurer. On the assumption of responsibility by the new association their first work was the condemning of the waters of the Los Gatos creek and the bringing of the fluid from the mountains. A reservoir was constructed on that road, about four miles from San José in that year; another was made four miles farther on, and the necessary pipes laid, those first put into position in the city being on First and Santa Clara streets, with lateral pipes to the other thoroughfares. It has been mentioned in our history of Redwood township that the water is taken from the tail-race of the mill at Los Gatos. It was originally conducted therefrom by flumes, but now it finds its way through pipes to the proper receptacles, whence it is carried into the town. In case of emergency the company have pumping works situated near Santa Clara street, on the west bank of the Los Gatos creek, whence they are prepared to supply the public. In the year 1870 water was conveyed to the town of Santa Clara, thus making the total length of piping belonging to the corporation to be about fifty-six miles. Including both San José and Santa Clara the average daily run is estimated at nearly two million gallons; San Jose, Santa Clara and Los Gatos are supplied free of charge for fire purposes, as is also the county. Water rates for the city of San Jose and town of Santa Clara are fixed by them; those outside of the corporate limits are established by the Board of Supervisors. The present officers are, President, E.D. Williams; Superintendent, Return Roberts; Secretary, D.A.S. Eyster; Treasurer, E. McLaughlin; Directors, E. D. Williams, Josiah Belden J. A. Moultrie, W. H. Ware, Frank Bray.

1882 Santa Clara from "The Water-Supply of Certain Cities and Towns of the United States," by Walter G. Elliot, C. E., Ph. D.

1888 "Santa Clara," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.

1890 "Santa Clara," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.

1891 "Santa Clara," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.

1897 "Santa Clara," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 4.

© 2020 Morris A. Pierce