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 half-decade. Numbers in parentheses indicate works proposed but apparently not built by the end of 1865.

Region 1795 1800 1805 1810 1815 1820 1825 1830 1835 1840 1845 1850 1855 1860 1865 1870 1875 1880
New England 11 36 (6) 52 (9) 57 (9) 66 (9) 73 (10) 80 (13) 87 (16) 98 (16) 107 (18) 113 (19) 119 (20) 127 (23) 132 (29) 142 (33) 158 190 217
Middle Atlantic 9 (2) 17 (2) 29 (3) 39 (7) 40 (11) 55 (14) 64 (17) 76 (24) 80 (29) 82 (34) 92 (33) 101 (33) 119 (42) 141 (54) 147 (60) 180 236 280
South Atlantic 1 (1) 1 (3) 3 (4) 6 (2) 7 (3) 9 (3) 12 (4) 15 (4) 19 (5) 21 (6) 23 (5) 24 (5) 27 (4) 27 (5) 27 (5) 27 32 36
South Central 0 0 (1) 2 (1) 4 (4) 4 (4) 5 (5) 8 (3) 9 (2) 12 (2) 13 (4) 13 (4) 13 (5) 14 (6) 15 (8) 16 (7) 18 24 29
North Central 0 0 0 1 (0) 2 (0) 6 (0) 6 (0) 7 (2) 9 (5) 12 (6) 13 (8) 14 (11) 16 (22) 20 (26) 21 (26) 35 78 118
Northwestern 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 (6) 3 (6) 7 15 32
Southwestern 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 (1) 2 (2) 2 9 21
Pacific 2 3 3 4 6 6 6 6 6 6 (1) 6 (1) 8 17 29 (1) 41 (8) 57 74 96
Total 24 (3) 58 (12) 90 (17) 112 (22) 126 (27) 155 (32) 177 (37) 201 (48) 226 (57) 243 (69) 262 (70) 281 (74) 322 (97) 366 (130) 399 (147) 484 658 829

This table shows the number of water works systems built in each half-decade.

Region 1800 1805 1810 1815 1820 1825 1830 1835 1840 1845 1850 1855 1860 1865 1870 1875 1880
New England 25 16 5 9 7 7 7 11 9 6 6 8 5 10 16 32 27
Middle Atlantic 8 14 10 1 15 9 12 4 2 10 9 18 22 6 33 56 44
South Atlantic 0 2 3 1 2 3 3 4 2 2 1 3 0 0 0 5 4
South Central 0 2 2 0 1 3 1 3 1 0 0 1 1 1 2 6 5
North Central 0 0 1 1 4 0 1 2 3 1 1 2 4 1 14 43 40
Northwestern 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 4 8 17
Southwestern 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 12
Pacific 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 9 12 12 16 17 22
Total 34 34 22 14 29 22 24 25 17 19 19 41 44 33 85 174 171


2018 Morris A. Pierce