“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Leandro in Alameda County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Filtration Basins

Lake Chabot Historical Walk

Filtration Basins Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 3, 2014
1. Filtration Basins Marker
Captions: The hand cut stone used for the tunnel was quarried from creeks nearby and pulled by steamboat on a barge like the one above. (top right); The Chinese laborers employed techniques similar to those used in building the Transcontinental railroads. (bottom right).
Inscription. Public outcry led Oakland councilman George Pardee, who later became Governor of California, to campaign Contra Costa Water Company for a clean reliable water system. The Hyatt filters were installed, along with pump houses and filtration basins, to form “one of the West’s first” filtration systems, now part of a Historic Engineering Landmark.

The peaceful meadow you face was the site of one of two large filtration basins. The innovation of rapid filtration was new in 1884, patented by John Hyatt, and continued in use at Lake Chabot for well over 50 years. Water in the basin had a coagulant added to assist in clumping and filtering out mud and other particulates. The water from the basins was then forced through the Hyatt filters (see separate panel) to further purify it, delivering greater improved water quality to customers in Oakland and San Leandro.

In the 1890s “water wars” between Contra Costa Water Company (CCWC) and a rival company broke out, leading to verbal and physical clashes. One written attack on CCWC was included in an 1895 issue of the Oakland Tribune. “The water stored in Lake Chabot and Lake Temescal contains more animal rottenness than any other in the world... It is the perfume of the morgue.”
Erected 2012 by
Filtration Basins Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, February 3, 2014
2. Filtration Basins Marker
E Clampus Vitus.
Location. 37° 43.912′ N, 122° 7.649′ W. Marker is in San Leandro, California, in Alameda County. Marker is on Estudillo Avenue. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1799 Estudillo Avenue, San Leandro CA 94577, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Memorial to the Chinese Laborers (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Roots From Another Land (about 400 feet away); Lake Chabot Historical Walk (about 700 feet away); Giant Water Filters (about 700 feet away); A Zoo, a Monkey, and a Mansion Here Too! (approx. 0.2 miles away); Tunnel No. 1 Control Shaft (approx. 0.2 miles away); Yem-Po: Chinese Labor Camp (approx. ¼ mile away); Taming the Waters’ Flow (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in San Leandro.
More about this marker. The one mile Lake Chabot Historical Walk begins at the parking lot at the end of Estudillo Avenue. This marker is about 1/4 mile from the beginning of the trail.
Categories. Man-Made Features
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 266 times since then and 65 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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