Ballard is authorized to receive Seattle water on May 27, 1902.

  • By Alan J. Stein
  • Posted 1/01/2000
  • Essay 2101
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On May 27, 1902, the City of Ballard signs a contract with the City of Seattle, permitting Ballard to connect an eight-inch water main with the Lincoln Park reservoir supply. The price agreed upon is $60 per million gallons, water to be delivered only in excess of Seattle needs.

Between May 12, 1902, when the meter was set, and March 15, 1905, Ballard bought nearly 17 million cubic feet of water at a cost of $7,614.16. Contracts were extended, but in 1907 Seattle annexed Ballard. In the process of annexation, the Seattle Water Department absorbed Ballard’s pump station, located at West 45th Street and 14th Avenue NW, and a one million-gallon reservoir site located at 24th Avenue NW and W 72 Street.

The Ballard water system was no prize. An analysis of the water in 1908 found that it contained a large amount of decomposing organic matter, and that it was potable only if thoroughly boiled. Never used by the City, the properties were sold in 1938.


Mary McWilliams, Seattle Water Department History 1854-1954 (City of Seattle: Dogwood Press, 1955), 13-16.

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