Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
Middle Atlantic States New York Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls, New York

Niagara Falls was settled in 1759 and incorporated as a village in 1847.

The Niagara Water Works company was incorporated in 1829 by Augustus Porter, Samuel De Veaux, William G. Tuttle, Ambrose Thomas, Christopher H. Smith, Ebenezer O. Kelly, Henry W. Clark, and Samuel Hooker, "for the purpose of supplying the village of Niagara-Falls with pure and wholesome water."  No evidence has been found that this company built anything.

The Niagara Falls Water Works Company was incorporated in 1854 by Hollis White, Caleb S. Woodhull, Peter B. Porter, Walter Bryant, Peter A. Porter, Parkhurst Whitney, Marcus Adams, Henry W. Clark, and William O. Buchanan, "for the purposes of supplying the villages of Niagara Falls and Bellevue with pure and wholesome water."  No evidence has been found that this company built anything.

Another Niagara Water Works Company was incorporated in 1868 by James F. Trott, Augustus S. Porter, James Vedder, Daniel J. Townsend, William S. Watson, Theodore G. Hulett, John F. Neff, Hans Neilson and Sheldon T. Murray, "for the purpose of supplying the villages of Niagara Falls, and Niagara City, in the county foresaid, with pure and wholesome water."  No evidence has been found that this company built anything.

Another Niagara Falls Water Works was incorporated on January 10, 1877 by Stoughton Pettebone, D. R. Jerauld, F. R. Delano, Benjamin Rhodes, F. Spalding, and W. F. Evans "to supply the said Village of Niagara Falls with pure and wholesome water." This company built a water system in 1877 that distributed water purchased from the adjacent Village of Suspension Bridge.

The Western New York Water Company was incorporated in 1902 and acquired the Niagara Falls Water works in 1909.

The City of Niagara Falls was authorized to purchase or construct water works in 1905, and after fruitless negotiations with the Water Company, decided to built a new water system that would complete with the company, which began service in 1912.  The city's new sewer system discharged effluent into the Niagara River upstream of the company's plant, causing issues with the company's water quality.  The company sued the city and obtained an injunction preventing the city of discharging waste water at that location.  The city was finally able to purchase the local assets of the water company in 1927.

The system was acquired in 2003 by the Niagara Falls Water Board, which had been created in 2002.

Water is provided by the Niagara Falls Water Board.

References
1829 An act to incorporate the Niagara Water Works company.  April 21, 1829.

1854 An act to incorporate the Niagara Falls Water-Works Company.  April 1, 1854.

1868 An act to incorporate the Niagara Water Works company.  April 1, 1868.

1872 An act to extend the time for organizing the Niagara Water-works company and to amend the charter thereof.   March 29, 1872.

1881 Niagara Falls, Engineering News, 8:447 (November 5, 1881)

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

1888 "Niagara Falls," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.

1890 "Niagara Falls," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.

1891 "Niagara Falls," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.

1896 "The Jewell Mechanical Water Filter in 19 Cities," Engineering News, 35:354-359 (May 28, 1896)  Filter plant in Niagara Falls is mentioned on page 359.

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

1897  Landmarks of Niagara County, New York, by William Pool
Page 214: The Niagara Falls Water Works Company was organized January 10, 1877, with the following officers: Franklin Spalding, president; Benjamin Rhodes, secretary; Fr. R. Delano, treasurer; Franklin Spalding, Stoughton Pettebone, Alvah Cluck, Francis R. Delano, D. R. Jerauld, William F. Evans, and Benjamin Rhodes, trustees. During the year 1877 three and a half miles of water mains were laid, and twenty seven hydrants set, the water being taken from Niagara River by the Holly pump used in the Suspension Bridge Water Works. This company was a private corporation with a paid up capital of $25,000.
In 1896, after the Niagara Falls Company had purchased most of the stock of this company, a new pumping station and filter plant was added at the Falls, with a capacity of 6,000,000 gallons daily. The present cost of the plant is about $308,000. There are fifteen miles of water mains. William B. Rankine is president of the company; F. U. Wilcox, secretary and treasurer; S. T. Murray, superintendent.

1904 "Niagara Falls Water Works Company," from The Niagara Falls Electrical Handbook: Being a Guide for Visitors from Abroad Attending the International Electrical Congress, St. Louis, Mo., September, 1904, by American Institute of Electrical Engineers

1905 An act to amend chapter three hundred of the laws of nineteen hundred and four, entitled "An act to revise and consolidate the several acts relating to the city of Niagara Falls" in relation to the powers of said city to acquire a water works system.  May 26, 1905.

1915 Western New York Water Company vs. City of Niagara Falls, et al. Record on Appeal  Very complete record of the history of the company and system.

1915 Western New York Water Company vs. City of Niagara Falls, et al., 91 Misc. Rep. 73, Supreme Court, Equity Term, Niagara County, May 1915.

1916 Western New York Water Co. v. Whitehead, Mayor, et al., 97 Misc Rep 57, Supreme Court, Special Term, Erie County, October 4, 1916.

1919 Western New York Water Company vs. City of Niagara Falls, et al., 176 App. Div. 944, affirmed.  Argued April 29, 1919; decided May 20, 1919.

1920 "Pollution of Niagara River by Wash Water from Filtration Plant Enjoined," Journal of the American Water Works Association, 7(1):52-59 (January 1920) | also here |

1920 "Niagara Falls," from Annual Report of the State Department of Health.  Inspection on March 19, 1920.

1967 "Typhoid Problems Forced First City Water Solution," by Jack Marsh. Niagara Falls Gazette, October 8, 1967, Page F9.

2002 An act to amend the public authorities law and the executive law, in relation to the creation of the Niagara Falls public water authority.  July 30, 2002

2002 An act to amend the public authorities, in relation to the creation of the Niagara Falls water board. August 6, 2002.

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2015 Morris A. Pierce