Item 82240 - Munjoy Hill Reservoir, Portland, 1921

Item 82240 - Munjoy Hill Reservoir, Portland, 1921
Contributed by Portland Water District
Item 82240
Munjoy Hill Reservoir, Portland, 1921
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*Credit line must read: Collections of Portland Water District
Image Info

This image depicts the Munjoy Hill Reservoir as it looked in 1921.

The Portland Water Company began distributing water to Portland in 1869 by pumping water from Sebago Lake into the Bramhall Reservoir in Portland. From the Bramhall Reservoir, water was then pumped to City distribution pipes. In the mid 1880s the population of Portland had grown such that the need for a second reservoir was necessary. Work began on a reservoir, located between North and Sheridan Streets, that would be called the "Munjoy Hill Reservoir".

The Munjoy Hill Reservoir was completed in 1889 and had a capacity of 20,000,000 gallons. Because of a defective overflow, the reservoir burst in 1893. The reservoir was rebuilt and strengthened. This reservoir remained on Munjoy Hill until 1970 as an emergency back up to the public water supply. The standpipe in the foreground was used to supply Hill residents with water, the overflow draining into the reservoir as needed.

During the first World War armed guards patrolled the rim of the reservoir to see that no one tampered with the water. When the war ended, guards were no longer needed but District officials inspected the reservoir once a week, primarily to ensure that no further breaks (like the one in 1893) would occur.

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