Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
Middle Atlantic States Pennsylvania  Allegheny

Allegheny, Pennsylvania

Allegheny was laid out 1788, incorporated as a borough in 1828 and as a city in 1840.  It was annexed to Pittsburgh in 1907.

The first water system in Allegheny was operating by the end of  1842, distributing water to four hydrants on Fleming Street (now Sandusky) through lead pipes supplied from a reservoir fed by a spring.  The reservoir property was advertised for sale in December, 1842, but no other information about this system has been found, including its owners.  

The 1840 charter for the city of Allegheny did not include any reference to water works, but rather gave the city councils "all the powers and authorities now vested by law in the select and common councils of the city of Philadelphia." The 1870 comprehensive charter revision gave the city councils "power to provide for a supply of water."

After engaging in numerous studies, including a potential supply from the adjacent city of Pittsburgh, the city of Allegheny built water works that began service in September, 1849, pumping water from the Allegheny River into an elevated reservoir.  The rapid growth of the city placed significant strains on the water works systems, which struggled to expand the system rapidly enough to deliver sufficient water at an adequate pressure.  The Allegheny system was merged with the city of Pittsburgh's water works after being annexed in 1907.

Water service is provided by the City of Pittsburgh.


References
1840 An act to incorporate the city of Allegheny.  April 13, 1840.

1842 Pittsburgh Daily Post, December 13, 1842, Page 3.
To Capitalists, or others wishing to make a good safe investment of funds.  The following described property for sale;  a lot 395 by 84 containing the reservoir of the Allegheny Water Works, or in other words, a capital spring furnishing sufficient water to supply an hundred families conveyed by lead pipes down Fleming st., into the city, 4 hydrants are now in operation, supplying about 50 families.

1844 Harris' business directory of the cities of Pittsburgh & Allegheny, 1844
Page 103:  It is contemplated to supply the city of Allegheny with water from the new basins, by laying a main pipe across under the Allegheny river.

1847 "Proposals will be received at the office of the Pittsburgh Water Works, until the first of October next, for erecting Engines and Pumps of the Allegheny City Water Works," Pittsburgh Daily Post, September 23, 1847, Page 3.

1849 "Water in Allegheny," The Pittsburgh Gazette, September 17, 1849, Page 2.

1849 "Water in Allegheny," The Pittsburgh Gazette, September 21, 1849, Page 3.

1851 An act ... relative to water rents in the city of Allegheny...  April 8, 1851.  Section 10 addresses collection of water rents in the city of Allegheny.

1857 An act relative to water rents in the city of Allegheny.  April 15, 1857.

1860 Relative to Taxes, Rates and Levies payable to the city of Allegheny.  February 28, 1860.  Section 7 refers to collection of water tax.

1864 An act relative to additional water works in the city of Allegheny.  April 19, 1864.

1865 An act supplemental an Act relative to additional water works, in the city of Allegheny.  March 23, 1865.

1866 An act to repeal an act, approved the nineteenth day of April, Anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four, entitled ďAn Act relative to additional water works, in the city of Allegheny," and its supplement.  April 11, 1866.

1869 An act authorizing the city of Allegheny to issue water bonds.  March 22, 1869.

1870 To reduce the charter of the city of Allegheny and the several acts amendatory thereof into one act, and to revise the same.  March 31, 1870.
Chapter Third - Powers and Duties of Councils.  Section 10. Councils shall have power to provide for a supply of water by the construction and regulation of wells, pumps, cisterns, reservoirs or water-works; to prevent and punish injuries to the works, and the pollution of thee waters; and for the purpose of establishing water-works, or for supplying the same with pure water, the corporation may go beyond its territorial limits, and its jurisdiction; to prevent or punish any injury to the water-works or pollution to the stream or source of water shall extend beyond 1ts corporate limits.

1872 A supplement to an act authorizing the city of Allegheny to issue water bonds, approved March twenty-second, Anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine.  March 8, 1872.

1873 A further supplement to an act approved the twenty-second day of March, Anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine, entitled "An act authorizing the city of Allegheny to issue water bonds."  March 12, 1873.

1881 Allegheny, from Engineering News, 8:243 (June 18, 1881)

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

1887 "The Water Supply of Allegheny," Proceedings of the Engineers Society of Western Pennsylvania, 3:97-99 (1887)

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

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

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

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

1987 "The Allegheny City Water Works, 1840-1907," Bruce W. Jordan, Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, 70(1):29-52 (January, 1987)





© 2016 Morris A. Pierce