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Shattuck, S. F., et. al (ed.) / A history of Neenah

Public utilities,   pp. 430-434 PDF (1.2 MB)

Page 430

Water System
As NEENAm entered the last decade of the igth Century, the citizens
were still using water from private wells for cooking and for drinking.
For all other domestic purposes everyone had a cistern in his base-
ment, getting rain water from the roof. To replenish cisterns in dry
seasons, several enterprising members of the community installed
tanks on trucks and did a brisk business in raw lake water. This was
before water treatment had become an exact science-therefore, when
in the early '9o's the city fathers responded to public pressure for a
city water system, they did the normal thing and drilled a deep well.
The well water was turned into newly laid city mains in 189.3.
  It was a reasonable supposition that a city water supply would
eliminate cisterns, but what a disappointment to discover that the
newly found water supply was so hard (6o grains per gallon) that it
was useless for washing of dishes and clothes, or for use in washbowls
or bathtubs, and not much good for cooking! Eventually it proved too
hard for flushing toilets and for use in heating systems. The excess of
mineral salts coated and finally clogged the piping.
  The city limped along for forty years under this handicap. Mean-
while, our sister city of Menasha pointed the way, installing a treat-
ment plant to filter and purify river water, producing a potable, all-
purpose supply. It was not until it became obvious that Neenah
was losing out with home builders and new industry that a group of
citizens, known as the Neenah Advancement Committee, organized
to do something about it. Members of this Committee were:
H. J. jung, Chairman             R. A. Vanderwalker
C. F. Gerhardt, Sec'y-Treas.     E. H. Nicholson
L. 0. Schubart                   T. D. Smith
N. H. Bergstrom                  Max W. Schalk
G. E. Sande                      C. E. Clark
Geo. H. Williamson               Gilbert Courshon
S. N. Pickard                    E. J. Boehm
James Webb                       S. F. Shattuck
Gaylord C. Loehning              Kim Stuart

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