Documentary History of American Water-works

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

West Chester, Pennsylvania

West Chester was chartered as a borough in 1799.

The borough was given permission to build water works in 1838 and constructed a system that began service in July, 1841, pumping water from Bath Springs into a reservoir using a steam engine.  An additional supply was built in 1854 from Chester Creek, and a new reservoir was built in 1881 under the direction of engineer Isaac S. Cassin.

The Borough of West Chester formed the West Chester Area Municipal Authority in December, 1971 to operate its water system.

In January 1998 Aqua America, then known as the Philadelphia Suburban Water Company purchased water utility assets of the West Chester Area Municipal Authority.

Water is provided by Aqua Pennsylvania.


References
1838 A further supplement to the act entitled "An act to incorporate the town of West Chester, in the county of Chester, into a borough."  April 16, 1838.

1839 A further supplement to the act entitled "A further supplement to the act, entitled An act to incorporate the town of West Chester, in the county of Chester, into a borough," passed the sixteenth day of April, Anno Domini, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight.  March 23, 1839.

1840 Philadelphia Public Ledger, July 8, 1840, Page 4.
West Chester - The loan advertised for by the Corporation of West Chester, has been taken, and we suppose proposals for erecting Water Works and the introduction of water will soon be invited.  The citizens are nearly unanimous for the experiment, and we trust it will be made effectually. Village Record

1841 Philadelphia Public Ledger, July 15, 1841, Page 4.
The Water Works of West Chester are nearly completed.  The basin was filled on the 5th instant, and the water was subsequently let into the pipes along one of the streets.

1842 A further supplement to an act entitled "An act to incorporate the town of West Chester into a borough."  June 18, 1842.

1842 Philadelphia North American, September 27, 1842, Page 2.
Water has recently been introduced by means of steam power from a copious Spring near the Borough.

1844 An act to authorize the burgesses and assistant burgesses of the borough of West Chester, to levy and collect a protection tax, and for other purposes.  April 27, 1844.

1855 A supplement to the act to incorporate the town of West Chester, in the county of Chester, into a borough.  April 26, 1855.

1882 West Chester, from Engineering News 9:229 (July 8, 1882)

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

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

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

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

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

1998 Philadelphia Suburban Corporation Form 10-Q Quarterly Report Filed May 15, 1998
In January 1998, Philadelphia Suburban Water Company ("PSW") purchased the water utility assets of West Chester Area Municipal Authority ("West Chester") for $22,600,000 in cash, subject to minor adjustment related to the final value of current assets transferred and recent capital expenditures. The West Chester service territory covers 16 square miles and is contiguous to PSW's territory. The annual revenues of the West Chester system approximate $4,500,000.

1999 West Chester to 1865: that Elegant & Notorious Place, by Douglas R. Harper.  This book includes an excellent history of the early water system.
Pages 514-522:  Chapter 73 - Water Flows Uphill
Pages 669-670:  Expansion of water system in 1854-57





2016 Morris A. Pierce