Documentary History of American Water-works

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Middle Atlantic States New York West Point

West Point, New York

West Point was the site of a fort during the Revolutionary War and since 1802 has been home of United States Military Academy.

The first water supply at West Point was proposed in 1825 and appropriations the follow years resulted in the installation being completed by 1830.  These works have been rebuilt numerous times.

1825 Documents from the Department of War, December 1, 1825. 19th Congress, 1st Session, H. Doc. 1.
Page 73:  Military Academy.  The want and importance of a constant supply of good water, is a subject which has engaged the attention of the Board, not only in connection with the health of the post, and all the purposes of household economy, but also for the sake of the means, which should ever be present, of extinguishing fires. These, in the nature of things, must be expected to occur, in an establishment, which, beside the ordinary uses of fire, requires several hundred lights to be burning at the same time. For the water now used, a precarious dependence is bad on one pump and two distant springs, that not unfrequently fail in dry seasons, and the use of which is always expensive by the waste both of time and labor. These evils can be removed by recourse to a copious and unfailing fountain of good water, at the distance of one thousand yards from the Academy, and at an elevation of fifty feet above its plane. The water of this spring might be conducted to the public buildings in iron pipes, which may be procured at fifty cents per foot, deliverable on the premises; and it is estimated that this object may be accomplished at an expense not exceeding two thousand dollars. This sum, in the judgment of the Board. is not to be calculated against all the advantages and conveniences it would procure, and especially against the means of rescuing from destruction by fire, the public buildings and their valuable contents.

1836 Letters about the Hudson River: And Its Vicinity. Written in 1835 & 1836, by Freeman Hunt.
Page 173:  The water-works, for supplying all the buildings with water, or extinguishing fire, were completed in 1830, at an expense of $4,500.

1887 "Water-works," from Annual Report of the Board of Visitors to the Military Academy

1888 "West Point National Military Academy," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.

1890 "West Point National Military Academy," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.

1896 "West Point's Bad Water," Water and Gas Review 7(6):8 (December, 1896)

1901 Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U. S. Military Academy
Page 324:  George W. Goethals, Class of 1880. At U.S.M.A., West Point, N. Y. in command of Engineer Company, as Instructor of Practical Military Engineering, and in charge of water works, December 15 1898 to ---  [Goethals was later chief engineer of building the Panama Canal.]

1902 Report of A. L. Mills in relation to [proposed sale to Government by Citizens' Water Works Company of Highland Falls, N. Y.]  of water rights for supply of water for West Point. Jan. 6, 1902. 7 pp. 2 maps. (H. doc. 172.)
Map 1 - Map of the Bogmeadow Pond and Cascades watersheds to be used as sources of water for the West Point Government Reservation. Colored map showing the Bogmeadow Pond and Cascades Watersheds which are to be conveyed to supply water for West Point. A portion of the government reservation is shown. Buttermilk Falls Brook, Mountain Lake (Bogmeadow Pond) and Round Pond are shown. Acreage for the watersheds are given.
Map 2 - Map showing the sources of the water supply for the post of West Point, N.Y. Colored map of the watersheds surrounding West Point, New York. Areas storing water to be conveyed to West Point are delineated. Water pipe lines are shown. Ponds and streams are labeled. Forts Putnam, Webb, Willis, and Clinton are shown. The extent of the government reservation is delimited. Roads are shown.

1904 The Centennial of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. 1802-1902.  Contains references to water supply at West Point.

1913 "Water Supply," from Annual Report of the Superintendent - United States Military Academy

1982  "Appendix H: Water Resources," from Ongoing Operations of the United States Military Academy: Environmental Impact Statement

2011 Water Sustainability Assessment for Ten Army Installations, by Elisabeth M. Jenicek, Rebecca A. Carroll, Laura E. Curvey, MeLena S. Hessel, Ryan M. Holmes, and Elizabeth Pearson. March 2011.  Information about West Point is in Chapter 12, pages 197-213.

2015 Morris A. Pierce