Documentary History of American Water-works

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Middle Atlantic States Pennsylvania Slatington

Slatington, Pennsylvania

Slatington was settled in 1738 and incorporated as a borough in 1864.

The first water works in Slatington was built in 1853 by John and George Ramaly, who installed wooden pipes to distribute water from a local spring. 

The Slatington Water Company was incorporated with a capital stock of $6,000 on March 29, 1861 by D. D. Jones, Robert M'Dowell, William Overfield, Jr., William Carr, Charles Peter, John Remaley, Lewis C. Smith, Moses Kuntz and Hugh M'Dowell.  This company installed iron pipes. 

An 1884 history states that a second water company was formed later, but its name is not known.  This may refer to the purchase of the Durward Springs by a group of local citizens, who sold it to the borough in 1883.

The Borough of Slatington bought the works 1883.

Water service is provided by Slatington Borough.

1861 An act to incorporate the Slatington Water Company.  March 29, 1861.

1882 Slatington, from Engineering News, 9:58 (February 18, 1882)

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

1883 Slatington's New Water Supply, from 1883 Timeline of Slatington History

1884 History of the Counties of Lehigh and Carbon, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, by Alfred Mathews, Austin N. Hungerford
Page 565: Water-Works.—In 1853, John and George Ramaly, who owned the spring from which a portion of the present water-supply is obtained, laid wooden pipes from it down to the town, and supplied a few customers with water. In 1859 they leased the system to Moses Kuntz for five years, at eighty-five dollars per year. In 1861, D. D. Jones bought the farm on which the springs are located, and two years later Kuntz gave up to him the lease. Mr. Jones then transferred the lease and privilege which it covered to the Slatington Water-Works Company, who put in iron pipes. A second water company was organized later, and brought water to the village from springs below D. D. Jones’ house. Subsequently they connected with the upper pipes. In the fall of 1883 the borough bought the works, and also the spring property of the Dorward estate, from which eight-inch pipes were laid. The water-works now have a capacity of twenty gallons per minute, and are fully adequate to the demand upon them.

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

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

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

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

1911 Report of the Water Supply Commission of Pennsylvania
Page 105:  Slatington Water Company incorporated March 29, 1861.

1914 History of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, Volume 1, edited by Charles Rhoads Roberts, John Baer Stoudt, Thomas H. Krick, William Joseph Dietrich
Page 677:  Water-Works. Remaly Springs.-John and George Remaly owned a farm which lay to the south of the town of Slatington, and on it there was a strong spring of water. In 1853 they laid wooden pipes from this spring to the town and supplied several families with water until 1859, when they leased the system to Moses Kuntz for five years at an annual rental of $85, to facilitate collection of rents. In 1861, Daniel D. Jones bought the farm, and shortly afterward, Kuntz surrendered his lease. Jones then transferred the reservoir together with the pipes laid and the privileges secured to the Slatington Water Company.
About 1870 the Water Company secured the right to take water from the spring of Paul Kern about three-quarters of a mile on the hill to the southwest and laid an iron pipe line around the knoll to the small reservoir on Main street in order to increase the supply of water.
Dorward Springs.-The water-supply from the Remaly and Kern springs becoming too small and unreliable for the rapidly increasing borough a number of public-spirited citizens, including David D. Roper, David McKenna, John D. Emack, Samuel Caskie, David Williams, Robert H. Dolby, and Lewis C. Smith, purchased from Phaon Dorward, a tract of hill-land in Washington township, along the Welshtown road about one mile and a half northwest from Slatington, containing about 23 acres on which there was a large supply of superior spring water, and this they granted and sold to the borough with the express stipulation that it should forever be used as a supply for its inhabitants and for domestic purposes, otherwise it should revert to the grantors, the proposition having first been approved at a public election. This was in 1883, and immediate steps were taken to impound the water and convey it by gravity in pipe-lines to the borough, by means of a public loan. Two large reservoirs were constructed with cement interior (one then and the other in 1891), and placed under cover, one having a capacity of 240,000 gallons and the other of 260,000 gallons; and two iron mains were laid along the Welshtown road to the borough, one from each reservoir. Since then this source has afforded an abundant supply of the best water; and the Remaly and Kern supply was discontinued. The elevation is nearly fifty feet higher than the Remaly supply was.
In 188o, Oscar Neff and his father, Edward B. Neff, obtained control of the Slatington Water Company, a private corporation, and they continued to supply the town from the springs mentioned until the fall of 1883, when they sold the plant established with all rights and privileges to the borough.

1920  "Slatington Borough, Lehigh County, Municipal Water Works," Pennsylvania Water Resources Inventory Report

2014 Slatington at 150 Years: More Stories to Share 
The area at the southern end of town, and beyond, that had been settled by Ambrose Remaley, was the original source of drinking water for the fledgling borough. It was on the farm of Ambrose's descendants John and George, that a strong spring of water was present. In 1853 they laid wooden pipes from the spring into town, which supplied several families with potable water. Six years later they leased the system to Moses Kuntz, who ran the system until Daniel Jones purchased the Remaley Farm, and Kuntz surrendered his lease. Jones then transferred his interest to the Slatington Water Company. The town's first reservoir: the 20' x 40' stone structure along Main Street was located at the former Springside Fire Company. Several years later a group of public minded citizens purchased a tract of land of 23 acres outside the borough limits along Walshtown Road, which contained a large supply of spring water.  Two large reservoirs were built on the land., and two iron mains were laid to the borough, thus ensuring a constant supply of fresh water for the growing borough.

© 2017 Morris A. Pierce