Documentary History of American Water-works

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Middle Atlantic States Pennsylvania Emmaus

Emmaus, Pennsylvania

Emmaus was incorporated as a borough as 1859.  From 1759 to 1830, the settlement's name was spelled Emmaus, and until 1938 the community used the Pennsylvania Dutch spelling of the name, Emaus.  The name was changed back to Emmaus in 1948.  

The borough built a gravity water system that began service in 1871,

The Mountain Water Company was incorporated on May 24, 1891 to serve Upper Milford Township.  The borough annexed part of Upper Milford Township and came into conflict with the company. 

The borough bought the water company in 1929 and in 2007 sold the assets outside the borough boundaries to the Lehigh Valley Authority.

Water is provided by the Borough of Emmaus.

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

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

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

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

1908 Fire and Water Engineering 44:377 (December 9, 1908)
The court has granted the Mountain Water company the right to go ahead and lay water pipes and make other necessary arrangements for the introduction of water into the borough of Emaus, Pa. The borough had passed an ordinance, which the plaintiff held to be unconstitutional, restricting the laying of pipes and fixtures and providing rules, conditions and penalties for violating these restrictions. The court points out that controversy had “narrowed down to one part of the ordinance—namely, that which provides that no rights and privileges be granted said Mountain Water company to lay pipe and fixtures on any streets, lanes or alleys in said territory until the same are regularly adopted, located and opened by ordinance and graded to the required grade under the rules and regulations of the borough. The water company has certain chartered rights. It had the authority given by the State of Pennsylvania to supply water to the inhabitants of the township of Upper Milford. The territorial limits for the exercise of its chartered rights are the confines of the township of Upper Milford as it existed at the time the certificate of incorporation was recorded. Within these limits it could do for the purpose of its incorporation without let or hindrance from any one, except when individual rights were affected. When the borough of Emaus annexed a certain portion of the township, it obtained by such annexation power to regulate the operations of the water company, so far as the welfare of the borough reasonably demanded. They could not prohibit the exercise of the rights of the water company. Now, if we examine the section in question, we find that its provisions are virtually a prohibition. The water company cannot lay pipes within said annexed territory, except upon streets which are regularly adopted, located and opened by ordinance and graded to the required grade. This is certainly a hard regulation and very unreasonable. What right of the borough is to be preserved by any such ordinance? Why must the water company wait to supply houses along an ungraded street until the borough sees fit to have the street graded ?”

2007 Application of the  Borough of Emmaus for approval  to transfer certain assets and customers located  outside ofthe Borough  limits to Lehigh County Authority and for the  Borough to abandon providing water service  to the public outside of the Borough limits in Upper Milford, Salisbury  and  Lower Macungie Townships,  Lehigh County, PA.  January 26, 2007.
The Borough of Emmaus began providing water service to its residents in 1929 following the purchase ofthe Mountain  Water Company, a privately owned utility which  had been serving residents ofthe Borough for  some years prior.  The Borough's service territory  has since  been expanded  on several  occasions  to include areas in  Upper  Milford, Salisbury, and Lower Macungie Townships (Townships).  In addition to the customers  located within  the Borough's corporate limits, service is also currently provided to 413 extraterritorial customers  who are  located in the Townships

© 2019 Morris A. Pierce