Documentary History of American Water-works

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

Otego, New York

Otego was incorporated as a village in 1892.

1807 The Aqueduct Association in the village of Otsego was incorporated in 1807 by Elihu Phinney, John Russell, Farrand Stranahan, Lawrence McName, and Elijah H. Metcalf.  No evidence has been found that this company built a system.

The Otego Water Company was incorporated on June 19, 1889 and built a system that began service around October 1890.

The village bought the water system in 1900.

Water is currently provided by the Village of Otego, PWS # NY3800155

1807 An act to vest certain Powers in the Freeholder; and Inhabitants qf the Village of Otsego, in the County of Otsego.  April 3, 1807.
§VII and VI refer to the aqueduct association

1886 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Otego, Otsego County, New York.  March 1886

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

1891 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Otego, Otsego County, New York.  July 1891

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

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

1907 A History of Otego New York, by Stuart Banyar Blakely | also here |
Page 125:  The Otego Water Company was formed in 1889, and sold its plant to the village in 1900. The reservoir is claimed to have an elevation of 180 feet, producing a pressure of 75 pounds to the square inch.

1976 A Bicentennial History of Otego
Water Supply
Years ago most people in the village depended on wells and outdoor toilet facilities. A few home owners still know the location of cisterns once used for storing water. Most have been filled as a safety precaution.
As the town grew there was a need for a more convenient method of obtaining water. Therefore the Otego Water Company, formed in 1889 was sold to the village in 1900. The village purchased land, build a concrete reservoir near a spring on the West Branch of the Otsdawa. This was the only water supply until 1930. It was located on what was a part of the Reginald Reeves farm.
C. D. Wager who owned a farm at Shepherd's Corners became interested in the problem of lack of water in dry summers. He investigated the idea of drilling wells, putting down pumps and building a water tower so water was available to keep water pressure at satisfactory levels for a growing community.
Geologists were consulted and the village board were informed that underlying the land above the Otsdawa glen was an underground lake. In 1930 it was decided to install the pumps on land the village bought off the Candace Meyers farm now owned by Douglas McLaud.
A steel tank was erected on Mill Road on land purchased from the Dayton Mallette farm. Thus the village was assured a sufficient amount of pure water to meet any needs that could be foreseen at that time. 
To pay for the convenience, meters were installed and people now pay for water at a flat rate of $25 for 25,000 gallons, plus .60 cents per thousand gallons over the specified amount. Meters are read every six months, in May and November. The original charge was $10 a year.
Now people are using more water with the surge in home building, use of more bathrooms, automatic washers and dishwashers. This required the village board to prepare for a larger supply of water. 
Plans are for additional wells near the river at the west end of the village boundary south of Meadow Lane development. An additional storage tank will be constructed, water mains connected to the existing tank and a supply of water made available for future construction needs for the entire village community. The cost will exceed $500,000.

© 2020 Morris A. Pierce