Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
North Central States
Ohio Bellevue

Bellevue, Ohio

Bellevue was incorporated  as a city in 1851.

The city started building a water system in 1873 that was designed to distribute water from a nearby reservoir, but it was necessary to add an elevated tank and steam-driven pumps.  Distribution was with Wyckoff wood pipes

Water is supplied by the city of Bellevue.

1873 The Sandusky Register, September 1, 1873, Page 2.
The contract for constructing the Bellevue water works has been awarded to Wm. McReynolds, of Cleveland.  the work is to be completed by the first of November.

1873 The Sandusky Register, November 1, 1873, Page 4.
The work upon the water works of Bellevue, so far as contracted for, has been completed.  All that now remains to be done is to erect the stand-pipe and lay the mains through the streets, which will be deferred until next season.

1874 The Fremont Weekly Journal, September 4, 1874, Page 3.
The recent fire at Bellevue has served to stir up the editor of the Gazette on the subject of the city water works, and Brother Hammer directs an excellent prompter to the City Council to carry the work out before the winter is advanced.  Hammer at them neighbor.

1879 History of the Fire Lands, Comprising Huron and Erie Counties, Ohio, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of the Prominent Men and Pioneers, by William W. Williams
Pages 403-404:  Water Works.  The village of Bellevue is situated in a comparatively level country, with no hills and no elevated land from which to obtain water by means of springs or natural reservoirs. Underlying it is a limestone formation, full of cracks and seams, by means of which the surface water is effectually drained ofi, thus forming a fine system of drainage for farms, but giving the town the reputation of a dry place. On the purchase of a hand fire engine, in 1869, cisterns were built in various parts of the town, but the supply of water was not thought adequate. About that time the subject of some system of water works was agitated, and the village authorities caused an experimental well to be bored, but the drill became stuck and it was given up.
In 1872, the village council submitted the question of a reservoir, to be fed by a large ditch on the eastern border of the corporation, to the people for a vote, which resulted almost unanimously in its favor, only two votes being recorded against the question. An ordinance was then passed authorizing the construction of water works, and providing for the issue of bonds of the village, not to exceed the amount of forty thousand dollars, the same to expire in 1880. A special election was held July 5, 1873, for the election of three trustees, for one, two, and three. years. J. W. Goodson, A. B. Smith, and B. Moore were elected, and immediately proceeded to work out the plan. A lot of five acres was purchased from McKim and Bates, with the right of way to the ditch before mentioned. Two more acres were subsequently added to the first purchase, making the present area seven acres. In digging out the reservoir, the dirt was piled up around the sides, making a substantial embankment. The gravel in the side of the ridge was struck in some places, and when the reservoir is full the water filters through the gravel into the ridge for a great distance, forming an almost inexhaustible supply, for one season at least.
In 1875, water conductors were laid through Main street, but it was found that there was not sufficient pressure to furnish all the water that was needed. In 1877, a tank house of brick was built, thirty-two feet high, and surmounted by a boiler iron tank, twenty-five feet high and eighteen feet in diameter, capable of holding fifty thousand gallons of water. A Knowles engine and pump were purchased, for the purpose of forcing the water into the tank.
About thirteen thousand feet of main pipe have been laid. For some time after the construction of the reservoirs the people of the town got along with their former facilities for obtaining water, but many are now using from the pipes, and the number is increasing weekly. There are fifteen hydrants for use in case of fire, and water is used by two mills and two factories. The present receipts amount to about hundred and fifty dollars per annum.
Though an ordinance was passed authorizing the issue of bonds of the village for forty thousand dollars, but about twenty-four thousand dollars have been issued. The total cost of the works thus far has been twenty-three thousand seven hundred dollars. The report of the water works trustees, made January 1, 1879, shows the sum of one thousand two hundred and sixty dollars and forty-five cents in the treasury, to the credit of this fund. It is expected that the receipts will pay all future expenses in the way of laying mains and making necessary repairs.

1883 Bellevue, from Engineering News 10:512  (October 27, 1883)

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

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

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

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

2018 Morris A. Pierce