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Water Works Department (0414)

The Manchester Water Works protects public health by providing city residents with drinking water of the highest quality. The department is responsible for providing drinking water and fire protection to the City of Manchester and portions of Auburn, Bedford, Derry, Goffstown, Hooksett, and Londonderry.

According to an 1871 ordinance of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen (and the Common Council), the management of the Manchester Water Works is vested in the Board of Water Commissioners. The governing body consists of seven members, of which the mayor is an ex-officio member.


Aerial Photographs, 1940-1967 (0414.006)

This collection consists of three sets of black and white aerial photographs which were created by private companies hired by the Water Works Department in 1940, 1957, and 1967. These photographs are of Lake Massabesic and surrounding land, known departmentally as the watershed area. The images were originally used to determine strategies for drainage, forestry, road planning, real estate, and for the general management of the watershed area. The photographs show how the landscape of the area has changed, including housing developments, road construction, forest cover, etc.

Board of Water Commissioners Meeting Minutes, 1871-2013 (0414.004)

The collection consists of 18 bound ledgers of the official meeting minutes of the Board of Water Commissioners. The meeting minutes document the official actions and decisions made by the board.

Photographs, 1886-1993 (0414.002)

Photographs created by the Water Works Department between circa 1886 and 1993, documenting various projects, events, buildings, equipment, and personnel, including: the construction of reservoirs, dams, and canals; the excavation of land and laying of pipe; buildings used by the department for office space or the treatment of water; cars, trucks, excavation equipment and construction equipment used by the department; staff events such as picnics, parties, and dinners; portraits and group photographs of staff and commissioners.

Materials are arranged in the original order they were received from the department of origin, in folders with descriptions created by the department based on topic or location. Folders include: airport pipeline; Amoskeag Street pipeline; Amoskeag Water Works; Auburn pipeline; accidents; Beltline and Interstate Highways; Black Brook Toll Road; Booster Station; Bremer Street; Building (Water Works office); bypassing; Calef Road; claims; Clark's Pond; cleaning and lining; Cohas Brook; equipment; Ferry Street tunnel; Forestry Fire Tower; Granite Street; gauging station; Gold Street; Grasmere pipeline; Harrison Street; High Pressure Reservoir; High Pressure Station; hydrants; landscaping projects; Lincoln Street; Little Massabesic Pond; lowering mains; Low Pressure Station; Mill Dam, Massabesic Lake; Myrtle Street; Notre Dame Bridge; Notre Dame Bridge High Pressure Tunnel; Notre Dame Bridge Low Pressure Tunnel; Oak Street; Parade of Progress Exhibition; personnel; pipe construction jobs; pipe yard; Queen City Avenue; Second Street; Slager Brook; Tower Hill Dam/Reservoir; Traction Street; Union Street; water pipe; and winter, 1945.

A digital gallery for digitized items from this collection is accessible on Flickr. Only about one quarter of the collection is digitized at this time, without item-level descriptions.

Water Works Reports, 1869-2015 (0414.001)

This collection consists of reports created by the Water Works Department. It includes three record series: Annual Reports, Miscellaneous Reports, and Water Quality Reports. Digital files (PDFs) are available for Annual Reports and Water Quality Reports via the finding aid. Some PDF files may be large (over 2MB).