City of Corry Water Department
History of the Corry Water Works
In the year of 1884, Isaac Brown saw a need for a public water works. On January 24, 1884, he filed for a charter in the name of Corry Water Works Company. On January 20, 1886, he received a franchise from the City of Corry. By February of that year wells were being drilled and on April 28, 1886 brush was being cleared for the reservoir.
Samuel Bullock and Co. was hired as the contractor for new pump house located just north of the City along Hare Creek. Work for the pump station, wells, water mains, hydrants and reservoir was to be completed by January 1, 1887.
All work was performed either by hand or by teams of horses. Men cut trees and blasted stumps. Work was hard and the number of stumps was great. Throughout the summer the work force grew. At one time there was up to 17 teams of horses and 60 men plowing and shoveling dirt and rock. The very hard material had to be blasted before it could be removed. By July the reservoir was nearly finished to the depth of 20 feet. August 9th, was ready for its lining of clay. On September 7th work started to put clay on the bottom of the reservoir, and on September 23rd it was ready for water. More than 400 wagon loads of clay was hauled and spread on the bottom and walls. By November 30, 1886, after all pipe was installed, the only work to be done was stretching barbed wire on top of the fence around the reservoir.
The Corry Water Works Co., was accepted by ordinance on October 7, 1886, and on March 17, 1891 changed its name to the Corry Water Supply Company and was incorporated. Isaac Brown then became owner and president of the company.
The company drilled as many as 30 wells which was pumped by pumps powered by steam. Inside the pump station were two huge furnaces. These created the steam for the steam engine to pump all the water. These furnaces and steam engines have now become a thing of the past. Today the water is pumped by electric motors and bowl type turbine pumps. There 7 wells today.
The City of Corry bought the company in 1973 and has made several changes since then. The City has installed 50 horsepower electric motors on three pumps and 25 horsepower pumps on 2 other wells. One well had a natural gas powered engine, but is no longer in use. A roof has been put on the reservoir and the inside walls and floor are now covered with concrete. The roof is quite large in size since the reservoir is 232 ft. by 158 ft. at the very top of the walls.
The well field is a great producer, since on the average day 1.5 million gallons of water is pumped. This is enough water to supply about 7500 customers. The water is tested 3 times a month for purity, and is about as pure as it can be. Chlorine is added to the amount of 2 parts per million.
Water Project 2017 - 2020
In October of 2016 the City experienced several watermain breaks, which caused the City's 3 million gallon reservoir to completely drain. This left Corry without water service and many of the City's businesses had to shut down for over a week. This caused the need for a major water system upgrade. In 2017, the City embarked on a water system upgrade that would cost in excess of 17 million dollars. The project is to occur over two major phases. Today in the first half of 2019, Phase 1 is nearing completing and Phase 2 is scheduled to begin in the Spring of 2020.
Phase 1 of the water project included improvements to the water wells, water pumps and the water mains throughout the City. Over 6 miles of water mains were replaced with brand new water pipes and brand new well houses were built for all wells. In addition, all of the City's residents and businesses received new electronic water meters that are far more accurate and provide the City with much more detailed data about water usage. There was also a new leak detection system that was installed that provided immediate benefits to City residents.
The previous water system was very old and manual. The new water system automates many previously manual tasks and is a huge benefit to the City moving forward.
Phase 2 will consist of replacing the old water reservoir located at the top of the hill near the Corry Lawrence Airport. The reservoir will now be two large tanks as opposed to the current open reservoir with a roof over it. Also, the old water buiding on Sciota St. will be reconstructed. Construction on phase two is scheduled to begin in early 2020.
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