Documentary History of American Water-works

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Middle Atlantic States New York Watervleit

Watervliet, New York

Watervliet was incorporated as the village of West Troy in 1836 and as the city of Watervliet in 1896.

The West Troy Water Works Company was incorporated on March 7, 1876 and built a system that began service early the following year by using water power to pump into an elevated reservoir.  The company sold water to the adjacent village of Green Island starting in 1878, but the village refused to contract for fire protection water after 1884.  The Green Island Water Company was incorporated in 1888, acquired the West Troy Water Works Company and built a new plant in Green Island.  This company was foreclosed in 1900 and the Watervliet system was reincorporated as the Watervliet Hydraulic Company.  The new company had difficulty in supplying clean water, and the city of Watervliet built a new gravity system that began service in 1918.

Water is provided by the City of Watervliet.


References
1873 Journal of the New York Legislative Assembly
Page 330:  Monday, February 24, 1873. Mr. Mosher introduced a bill entitled "An act to incorporate the Watervliet, West Troy, and Green Island Water-works Company," which was read the first time, and by unanimous consent was also read the second time, and referred to the committee on the judiciary.

1875 An act to authorize the president and trustees of the village of West Troy to issue village bonds for the purpose of providing water for public use in said village, and to provide for the payment of the same and the interest thereon.  April 29, 1875

1876 The Evening Telegram (New York, New York), June 17, 1876, Page 4.
The difficulty  between the West Troy water works contractors and laborers has been adjusted, and the men resumed work Wednesday at the old rate, $l.50 per day.  The trouble arose originally from a reduction of wages to $1.25  The laborers  were so overjoyed at  the amicable turn in affairs, that they formed in procession and, with a band, devoted Tuesday evening to the serenading of the various contractors.

1876 The Evening Telegram (New York, New York), November 3, 1876, Page 4.
The West Troy Water Works will be completed December 10.

1877 An act authorizing the board of trustees of the village of West Troy to contract for a supply of water for public purposes.  March 30, 1877.
Section 1. The board of trustees of the village of West Troy are hereby authorized and empowered to contract with the West Troy Water-works Company, from time to time for terms of not more than four years' duration, for a supply of water for public purposes in said village, at a rate not exceeding seven thousand dollars per annum for eighty-five hydrants, or other public taps and the number of said hydrants or other public taps shall not exceed eighty-five unless such excess shall be authorized by a vote of the taxable inhabitants of said village in the manner provided for in the charter of said village for voting other taxes.

1881 An act to amend chapter eighty-seven of the laws of eighteen hundred and seventy-seven, entitled "An act authorizing the board of trustees of the village of West Troy to contract for a supply of water for public purposes."  April 14, 1881

1882 West Troy, Engineering News, 9:91 (March 18, 1882)

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

1886 The City of Troy and Its Vicinity, by Arthur James Weise
Page 343:  The West Troy Water Works Company, incorporated, 1876, began supplying the village with water in 1877.  The water is pumped from the Mohawk River near Niskayuna.  The storage reservoir is about a mile west of the village.

1886 Bi-centennial History of Albany: History of the County of Albany, N.Y., from 1609 to 1886, Volume 2, by George Rogers Howell
Page 991:  The Village of West Troy. Water Works Company.
The West Troy Water Works Company was incorporated in 1876, under the provisions of the general act of the Legislature of this State, of 1873, for the formation and incorporation of water works companies, the water being introduced into the village in the early part of 1877. The first Board of Directors of this company were as follows: George R. Meneely, Alfred Mosher, George M. Wiswall, Jesse C. Dayton, Lorenzo D. Collins, John Reiley, George Tweddle, William B. Williams, Richard S. Lobdell and George B. Mosher. The water supplied by this company is obtained from the Mohawk River, at a point near Niskayuna, and is carried from this point, where it is pumped from the river, to a large storage reservoir located on the hill, about a mile west of the U. S. Arsenal, from whence it flows into the mains which run through the streets of this village. In 1877 this company introduced the water into the village of Green Island by extending their mains through the village streets. The expense or cost of construction of this system of water works was about $275,000, the village of Green Island being supplied with twenty hydrants and this village with ninety hydrants, which are used for extinguishing fires by the village fire department. This company has in use about sixteen miles of pipe, and supplies the water to consumers at a pressure of about seventy pounds to the square inch.

1888 An act to authorize the commissioners of sewers of the village of West Troy to contract with the West Troy Water Works Company, for a supply of water for flushing the sewers of said village.  March 16, 1888.

1888 The Saratogian, March 29, 1888, Page 9.
The West Troy water works plant has been sold to the Green Island water company, who will operate the same.  The establishment of electric light works in connection with the pumping station at Green Island is now under consideration.

1888 "West Troy," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.

1889 The Daily Leader (Gloversville, New York), May 4, 1889, Page 4.
The board of trustees of the village of West Troy met Wednesday evening.  The contract for furnishing the village with water was awarded to the Green Island water works for $8,000.

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

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

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

1897 Landmarks of Albany County, New York, by Amasa Junius Parker
Pages 418-419:  The West Troy Water Works Company was incorporated in 1876, the supply being taken from the Mohawk in the extreme northeast part of the town, whence it is pumped into a reservoir on the hill about a mile west of the Arsenal ; from that it flows by gravity through the village mains. The cost of the system was about $275,000, and the water is largely used. The first board of directors of the company were George R. Meneely, Alfred Riosher, George M. Wiswall, Jesse C. Dayton, Lorenzo D. Collins, John Reiley, George Tweddle, William B. Williams, Richard S. Lobdell, and George B. Mosher. The company has recently been reorganized, with new officers, and is planning for large extension of the system. With the introduction of this water supply the steam fire engines of the village were largely disused, though two of them are at the present time kept in commission on account of the weak pressure of the water in the mains.
Page 431:  After the establishment of the West Troy Water Works, that company extended its system into this village and supplied water until the spring of 1884.

1900 "Waterworks Company Reorganized," Buffalo Evening News, October 19, 1900, Page 6.
Articles of incorporation of the Watervliet Hydraulic company, capital $300,000 were filed yesterday with the secretary of state.  The company is a reorganization of the former West Troy waterworks, whose reservoirs and other property were sold under mortgage foreclosure in July last.  The directors of the reorganized company are Henry W. Miller, Alfred H. Dobson, Levi H. Birdseye, all of Utica; Francis W. Marsh, Ebenezer Burr Orange Mervin and John C. Chamberlain, of Bridgeport, Conn.

1904 Annual Report of the New York State Department of Health
Pages 546-556:  Watervliet (impurity of water supply)

1906 Annual Report of the State Water Supply Commission of New York
Page 123:  Application of the City of Watervliet.

1910 "Watervliet Waterless," The Burlington Free Press, December 28, 1910, Page 10.

1914 An act to establish and maintain a water department in and for the city of Watervliet.  April 18, 1914.

1914 "Damage around Troy, N.Y.," The Boston Globe, August 22, 1914, Page 2.
The water works plant of the Watervliet Hydraulic Company was wrecked by lightning and the huge smokestack was hurled from its foundation.

1915 Fifth Annual Report of the State Conservation Commission
Page 265-278: Application of the Watervliet Water Board for the approval of plans for the aquisition and construction of a proposed new water supply for the city of Watervliet N.Y.  Approved April 1, 1915.
Between the pumping station and the distribution reservoir a force main was to be constructed, 20 inches diameter for about 11 miles and 16 inches in diamater for the remaining distance.  The greater part of this line was to be of machine banded wood stave pipe.

1916 Annual Report of the New York State Department of Health
Pages 670-672:  Watervliet
Watervliet is the only city of the capitol district which had continued, up to 1916 and in the face of repeated warnings and advice, to permit the use by its citizens of an unlit and dangerous water supply, and accordingly has continued to have a high typhoid fever rate.

1917 Watervliet Hydraulic Co. v. State, 163 N.Y.S. 939, March 7, 1917, Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department

1917 "Modern Practice in Wood Stave Pipe Design and Suggestions for Standard Specifications," by J.F. Partridge, Presented at the meeting of May 16, 1917.  Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers 82(2):433-514 (April, 1917)
Page 481: The use of wood stave pipe is somewhat limited in the East, but a pipe of this material has been completed recently for the water supply of Watervliet, N. Y., under the direction of G. K. Solomon and P. H. Norcross, Members, Am. Soc. C. E.

1918 "Watervliet Pumping Station Shuts Down After Forty Years," Fire and Water Engineering  63(2):26 (January 9, 1918) | Also here |

1918 Fire and Water Engineering 63:493 (June 26, 1918)
The new water system at Watervliet, N.Y., has undergone a successful test.

1920 Annual Report of the State Department of Health
Page 108:  Rules and regulations for the protection from contamination of the public water supply of the city of Watervliet.

1921 Annual Report of the New York State Department of Health for the year ending December 31, 1921.
Pages 273-274: Watervliet.  On May 19, 1920, a serious break occurred in the wood stave piope leading from French's Hollow to the raw water storage reservoir.  The work of repair on this pipe was line was not completed until June 15, 1920, when the filter plant was again operated.  During this interval water was supplied to the city by pumping from the Hudson river through the pumping station located at the Arsenal. Again on June 18, 1920, a small break in the pipe line occurred. Pumping was started again on June 24 to fill the storage reservoir and the filter plant again started on August 1st. During this' period. also water was furnished to the city by pumping from the Hudson river through the Arsenal pumping station. The Hudson river water was chlorinated, using approximately 2 parts per million before being delivered to the distribution system for consumption.

1933 "Broken pipe Perils Watervliet's Water," Star Gazette (Elmira, New York), July 14, 1933, Page 18.

1933 "Line Break Threatens City Water Shortage" Middletown Times Herald, July 21, 1933, Page 9.

1934 "Watervliet Benefits," The Post-Star (Glens Falls, New York, January 4, 1934, Page 1.
Loan and grant, $215,000 for use in improvements in waterworks system comprising replacement of existing wood stave supply line with cast iron main.

1934 "The Importance of a Water Waste Survey in a Gravity System," by Laurence C. Hough, Journal of the American Water Works Association 26(7):868-873 (July 1934)
Page 868:  A good example of the second case is Watervliet, N.Y., which depended on some 14 miles of 20-inch pipe between the dam and the city.  In 1928 a section of this main burst, and before could be shut off, some 160 feet of it had been washed away  and the hole resulting from the wash was no large that it was simply too big to fill in, so 325 feet of new main was laid around the area eroded, at considerable extra cost.  When the water was finally turned on again there was less than six inches of storage left in the clear well.

2017 A Short History of Watervliet Water Works, by Kevin Franklin on July 24, 2017






2018 Morris A. Pierce