Baltimore City Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Filtration Plant

downloadIn Baltimore City, members of the community celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the opening of the city’s first water filtration plant. Even after 100 years and many upgrades to the system, the original filter tanks that are housed inside the red brick building built in 1915 are still being used. Baltimore’s water is considered to be in the top 20 cities with the best municipal water in the U.S. The city marked the event with a great deal of celebration that included live music, zoo animals and attractions for kids of all ages.

When the original gatehouse and reservoir lake were constructed around 1880, Baltimore’s water was unfiltered. According to Kurt Kocher, Baltimore’s public works spokesman, water ran directly from Loch Raven Reservoir to Lake Montebello. Before they had a filtration system the water was treated with alum at the gatehouse before it was released into Lake Clifton. Kocher said that in those days there were frequent complaints of water that smelled bad, was discolored, and carried illness.

Photographs from the city’s historical archives were available to show what the Gate House next to Lake Montebello looked like in 1915 when they installed the filtration system. On the day that it opened, nearly 5000 people came to taste the filtered water. Even though the water was much more appealing to drink after filtration began, the issues surrounding water-borne bacteria in the water were not fully addressed until the 1920’s when chlorination was introduced.

The cost of the facility when it was built was an estimated at $1.75 million, which is approximately the equivalent of $28.3 million today. The filtration system in Baltimore was considered state of the art in its day.

A lot has changed in 100 years since that filtration system was installed. Many advances have been made in helping communities keep their drinking water supplies clean. At Metro Water Filter, our focus is in helping businesses and communities find the best solutions to ensure water quality. Contact us today to discuss the ways that we can help you have clean, clear water.