Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
Middle Atlantic States
New Jersey Passaic

Passaic, New Jersey

Passaic was incorporated as a village in 1871 and as a city in 1873.

The Acquackanonk Water Company was incorporated in 1867 and built a gravity system in 1872 that was supplemented by water pumped into an elevated reservoir using water and steam power.  The company was later supplied from the reservoir of the Passaic Water Company in Paterson.

The Passaic Consolidated Water Company was formed in 1923 to own the water companies, in Patterson, Passaic, and Clifton.

The Passaic Valley Water Authority was formed in 1927 and took control of the Passaic Consolidated Water Company on October 24, 1930 after a legal battle over valuation.

Water is currently supplied by the Passaic Valley Water Commission, which has a history page and timeline.

1867 An act to incorporate the Acquackanonk Water Company.  April 9, 1867.

1882 Passaic, Engineering News, 9:189 (June 10, 1882)

1882 History of Bergen and Passaic Counties, New Jersey: With Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men
Pages 384-385:  Water-Works.—In 1871, C. M. K. Paulison induced several citizens of Paterson and Passaic to join him in the formation of a company for the supply of Passaic with water. The Acquackanonk Water Company was formed, with a capital stock of two hundred thousand dollars, and was incorporated in August, 1872. The works of the company are located on Monroe Street near Vreeland's Lake, and the water for the supply of the city is taken from the Passaic River,—that portion of it which passes through the canal of the Dundee Water-Power and Land Company. It is pumped up into a reservoir about one mile distant on Passaic Heights, and supplies for daily consumption in the city about seven hundred thousand gallons. The cost of the works was something over one hundred thousand dollars. The officers of the company are John Reynolds, president; R. A. Terhune, M.D., vice-president; John J. Brown, treasurer, Paterson, N. J.; W. Paulison, secretary and superintendent.

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

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

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

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

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

1922 The New Jersey Law Journal, Volue 45
Pages 249-252:  In Re Acquackanonk Water Co., et al., Board of Public Utility Commissioners, April 20, 1922.

1923 An Act to authorize two or more municipalities in this State by means of a commission to acquire, either by purchase or condemnation, and operate privately owned water works now or hereafter supplying water therein, and in other municipalities, if any, in which water is supplied by the same water works, together with the franchises, rights, and any or all other appurtenant property of the owner or owners, of such works, and to enlarge and extend the same.  March 23, 1923.

1930 New York Herald Tribune, October 22, 1930, Page 42.
3 Cities in Jersey to Get Control of Water System.  Paterson, Passaic and Clifton Take Title Friday.
Paterson, N. J., Oct 21.--The cities of Peterson, Passaic and Clifton will take title Friday to a large part of their combined water system, through the Passaic Valley Water Comission.  Representatives of the various interested banks, members of the commission and their counsel will formally take over the holdings of the Passaic Consolidated Water Company at 10 am Friday at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  At the same time $16,400,000, the price of the holdings, will be paid to the clerk of the Court of Chancery.
A condemnation commission set $12,000,000 as the value of the water company's holdings, but when appeal was threatened a price of $13,000,000 was agreed upon.  The remaining $4,400,000 represents the value of property acquired subsequent to condemnation proceedings.  Including the Wanaque reservoir and aqueduct, the total cost of the system will be about $23,000,000.
James Wilson, president of the water commission, said an increase of about 15 percent in the water rates probably will be necessary, but he did not take it would last more than five years.

1936 "History of the Development of the Use of Water in Northeastern New Jersey,"  Charles H. Capen, Jr., Engineer, North Jersey District Water Supply Commission,  Newark, N. J., Journal of the American Water Works Association, 28(8):973-982 (August, 1936)

© 2018 Morris A. Pierce