Seattle authorizes extension of Seattle water to Fort Lawton on January 25, 1898.

  • By Alan J. Stein
  • Posted 1/01/2000
  • Essay 2100

On January 25, 1898, Seattle Ordinance 4764 authorizes the laying of a water main from Blaine Street and 3rd Avenue W to the Fort Lawton Army Post on Magnolia Bluff. This is the first system to run outside of city limits to supply water to a distant point. The system is more than 18,000 feet long, and runs through a six-inch pipe.

A provision of the ordinance required that government authorities pay eight cents for every thousand gallons received. The United States War Department concurred, and construction began in April 1898. No meter was used on the system until 1900. From 1900 to 1904, the Fort used close to five million cubic feet of water at a cost of more than $3,000.

By 1910, the main proved to be inadequate. The W Dravus Street tank at 38th Avenue W and W Dravus Street was built under Ordinance 26205 in 1911. A 12-inch main was run along Dravus Street, and an electric pump was installed to supply 1,400,000 gallons a day to the Magnolia Tank and Queen Anne standpipes.


Mary McWilliams, Seattle Water Department History 1854-1954 (City of Seattle: Dogwood Press, 1955), 11-13.

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You