Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography

Geography of American Water-Works

Water works systems were developed throughout the United States and always adapted to local geography and politics.  Moses Nelson Baker categorized American waterworks into eight geographic regions in his 1888 Manual of American Water-works, which he adopted from Poor's Manual of Railroads except he moved Kansas into the Northwestern area.  Baker shows data for each of these areas in this and subsequent volumes, which will be included here.  A table showing the states in each of the eight areas is shown below, along with a separate alphabetic table of states.  Baker's "Middle" area has been renamed "Middle Atlantic" for this work. Systems in Canada have been excluded and Hawaii has been added to the Pacific region.

New England
Middle Atlantic
South Atlantic
South Central
North Central
Northwestern
Southwestern
Pacific
Maine New York Virginia Alabama Ohio Iowa Missouri Washington
New Hampshire New Jersey West Virginia Mississippi Indiana Minnesota Arkansas Oregon
Vermont Pennsylvania North Carolina Louisiana Michigan Kansas Texas California
Massachusetts Delaware South Carolina Tennessee Illinois Nebraska Oklahoma Arizona
Rhode Island Maryland Georgia Kentucky Wisconsin North Dakota Colorado Nevada
Connecticut District of Columbia Florida

South Dakota New Mexico Utah





Wyoming
Idaho





Montana
Alaska







Hawaii

The following table shows the number of water works built in each region at the end of each decade. Numbers in parentheses are works proposed but apparently not built.

Region 1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860
New England 33 (7)
53 (10)
68 (11)
82 (17) 97 (20) 109 (22) 125 (34)
Middle Atlantic  16 (2)
38 (7)
54 (14)
71 (25) 75 (34) 92 (35) 127 (62)
South Atlantic 1 (3)
5 (2)
7 (3)
13 (4) 19 (5) 22 (4) 27 (6)
South Central 0 (1) 5 (2)
6 (3)
9 (2) 13 (5) 13 (7) 14 (12)
North Central 0 1
6
7 (1) 10 (5) 12 (10) 16 (21)
Northwestern 0 0
0
0 0 0 0 (4)
Southwestern 1 1
1
1 2 2 2 (1)
Pacific 3 4
6
6 6 8 19 (1)
Total 54 (13)
107 (21)
  148 (31)
189 (49) 222 (70) 258 (78) 331 (141)




2016 Morris A. Pierce