City Assumes Ownership in 1900
Public dissatisfaction with the Waterworks Company culminated a passage of a public referendum approving city ownership of the waterworks. Following lengthy negotiations with the owners, the Dubuque Waterworks was sold to the city on June 1, 1900 for $545,000 and was renamed the Dubuque City Waterworks.
The original board of trustees appointed to manage the City Waterworks also failed to undertake the needed improvements. Continued water supply problems and public dissatisfaction prompted the appointment of a new board in 1907. They authorized the development of a series of six-inch sand wells to augment the two artesian wells already in service. These sources were able to meet the increasing demand for water until 1913 when a large sand well, eight feet in diameter, was sunk to depth of 100 feet. It initially yielded water at a rate of 3 MGD but the rapid accumulation of fine sand necessitated its abandonment within five years.
Additional supplies were then obtained by developing more six-inch wells and drilling two 1,450 foot artesian wells. All of these wells have since been taken out of service.
West 3rd Reservoir
In 1914 the Waterworks Trustees had a large reservoir built at the 230 foot elevation of West 3rd St. to provide storage for the large quantities of water needed for emergency fire protection purposes. The 7.5 million gallon concrete reservoir was completed at a cost of $83,000 and is still in service today. A concrete cover was added in 1922 to eliminate problems with algae growth.