Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
North Central States
Illinois Wilmington

Wilmington, Illinois

Wilmington was incorporated as a village in 1854 and as a city in 1865.

The city built a water works for fire protection that began service in 1877.  The system may have been rebuilt and expanded in 1907 and wells were dug in 1918 to provide a public water supply.

Water is provided by the city of Wilmington.

1878 The History of Will County, Illinois: Containing a History of the County ... a Directory of Its Real Estate Owners; Portraits of Early Settlers and Prominent Men; General and Local Statistics 
Page 461:   The system of water-works for the use of the city in case of fire was introduced last year, and connected with machinery at Whitten's flour-mill and Trott's planing machine. Hydrants, to which pipes are laid, connecting them with the pumps at the mills, are placed at convenient points in the city, so that all of the business portion and part of the residence property is fully protected. A fire company, of which C. W. Barnhart is Chief Engineer, has been organized, and this system, in connection with a hook-and-ladder company, which is organized on an independent basis, gives the city ample protection. At a moment's warning, the power of either mill can be transferred to the pumps, and in an instant two streams of water, each two inches in diameter, from any hydrant, can be made to play on a burning building. The whole system, consisting of the Holly pumps, pipes, hose and hydrants, has cost about $1,500.

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

1892 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Wilmington, Will County, Illinois. August 1892

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

1898 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Wilmington, Will County, Illinois. April 1898

1907 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Wilmington, Will County, Illinois. April 1907
Water works to be reconstructed 1907

1983 Public Groundwater Supplies in Will County, by Dorothy M. Woller and Ellis W. Sanderson.
Page 125:  Wilmington The city of Wilmington installed a public water supply in 1892. Two wells (Nos. 2 and 3) are in use and another well (No. 1) is available for emergency use.  In 1949 there were 900 services, 66 percent metered; the average pumpage was 270,000 gpd.  In 1980 there were 1740 services, all metered;  the average  pumpage was 536,224 gpd.  The water is chlorinated and treated with polyphosphate to keep iron in solution.  Initially, water was pumped directly from the Kankakee River for sprinkling and fire protection use.  Private wells furnished all residential and business demands until   1918   when  the  first well was drilled for the city. The waterworks plant at the river was then abandoned.


2017 Morris A. Pierce