Documentary History of American Water-works

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Middle Atlantic States New York Ballston Spa

Ballston Spa, New York

Ballston Spa was incorporated as a village in 1807.

The first water works in Ballston Spa was built in 1804 to supply water to the Sans Souci Hotel.

A franchise for village water works was granted to Isaac Rice on May 10, 1826.  In 1839, the privileges were transferred to Dr. Samuel Freeman.  These were transferred in July, 1840 to Amaziah Ford and Joseph Kelso were granted the same privileges.  Nothing seems to have been done under these franchises.

The inhabitants of the village were supplied with drinking water until 1869 by wells; and by the private springs of Richard Chase, James M. Cook, George Thompson and Edwin H. Chapman, the water being conducted through wooden logs, with a boring two inches in diameter.  No further information on these private springs has been found.

The village built a gravity water system in 1870.

Water is provided by the Village of Ballston Spa.


References
1803 Letters from George White, Nov. 6, 1803, Jan. 28 July 9, 1804, and March 30, 1805, to Nicholas Low. Low Collection,  Box 35, Library of Congress

1820 "For Sale," The Evening Post (New York, New York), October 24, 1820, Page 3.
Sans Souci Hotel, Ballston Spa

1866 Map of Ballston Spa

1868 An act to amend an act entitled "An act to amend and consolidate the several acts relative to the village of Ballston Spa," passed April 12th, 1855.  May 9, 1868.

1869 An act relative to the village of Ballston Spa.  April 29, 1869.

1870 An act relative to the water debt of the village of Balston Spa.  March 17, 1870.

1872 An act to amend an act entitled ''An act to amend and consolidate the several acts relative to the village of Ballston Spa," passed April twelve, eighteen hundred and fifty-five, as amended by "An act to amend an act entitled An act to amend and consolidate the several acts relative to the village of Ballston Spa," passed May ninth, eighteen hundred and sixty-eight, -and for the purpose of securing an additional supply of water for the use of said village.  May 9, 1872

1874 An act relative to the village of Ballston Spa, to provide for completing the water works and paying all indebtedness incurred on account thereof.  February 21, 1874

1875 Reminiscences of Saratoga and Ballston, by William Leete Stone

1877 An act authorizing the trustees of the village of Ballston Spa to issue bonds, to be known as "Extended Water Bonds," to pay a portion of the water bonds now outstanding of said village, maturing in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-seven and thereafter.  April 6, 1877

1878 History of Saratoga County, New York: With Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers, by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester
Pages 228-245: Village of Ballston Spa

1883 "Ballston Spa," from Engineering News 10:460 (September 29, 1883)

1888 "Ballston Spa," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.

1890 "Ballston Spa," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.

1891 "Ballston Spa," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.

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

1907 Centennial History of the Village of Ballston Spa: Including the Towns of Ballston and Milton, Edward Fabrique Grose
Pages 110-111:  Water Works.
The first franchise for village water works was granted to Isaac Rice, May 10, 1826, and thirteen years later, in 1839, the privileges granted to rice were transferred to Dr. Samuel Freeman, and in July, 1840, Amaziah Ford and Joseph Kelso were granted the same privileges.  Nothing seems to have been done under these franchises.
The inhabitants of the village were supplied with drinking water until 1869 by wells; and by the private springs of Richard Chase, James M. Cook, George Thompson and Edwin H. Chapman, the water being conducted through wooden logs, with a boring two inches in diameter.
For fire purposes there were a number of small reservoirs or cisterns, to which the surface water was conducted. There were three such reservoirs on High street, and three on Front street. The streams were used in other parts of the village.
July 23, 1868, a public meeting was held in Waverly Hall, and it was voted to bond the village for $20,000 to construct water works. Water mains were laid through the streets, fire hydrants established, and the reservoir known as the Palmerton reservoir, just beyond the northern limits of the village, was constructed. A larger supply of water being required to meet the needs of the village, the large reservoir near Cady Hill was built some years later. To secure greater elevation for fire purposes, and a better supply for residents on the high grounds, the stand-pipe on Low's hill was erected in 1900, and two streams of pure spring water added to the supply. To day Ballston Spa has a first-class system of water works, and a potable water which ranks among the best in the State. The cost to the corporation has been, in round numbers $200,000.
With the opening of the sewage disposal plant the past summer, the village now has a perfect system of sewers. An appropriation of $100,000 was required to construct and equip the plant.

1921 The Records of Ballston Spa, Saratoga County

1970 "The Sans Souci, a Fashionable Resort Hotel in Ballston Spa," Nancy Goyne Evans, Winterthur Portfolio 6:111-126 (1970)
Page 115:  The waterworks Low built to convey an adequate supply of water to the hotel for use in cooking, bathing, and household chores was a necessity for an establishment the size of the San Souci.






2018 Morris A. Pierce