“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Annapolis in Anne Arundel County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The City Water System

Annapolis Charter 300 1708-2008


— Commemorating the 1708 Royal Charter under Queen Anne to the City of Annapolis —

The City Water System Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones, March 2, 2018
1. The City Water System Marker
Inscription.  The first important work on water sanitation, that of Edwin Chadwick in 1842, finally seemed to have caught local attention in the 1850s when the City Council passed the first ordinances governing disposal of human remains. A decade later, large numbers of Civil War troops stationed at Annapolis exposed the limitations of the 200 year old system of public and private wells the City had relied on. Sewage and medical waste further compromised wells. In 1865 Alexander Randall led a private group to found the Annapolis Water Company. Only the wealthiest homes enjoyed private connections; most citizens still obtained their water from public pumps located on major streets. The City purchased the outstanding private shares on AWC in 1912, making the company an agency of city government.

Persistent problems with typhoid fever, especially in Eastport, and the occasional tadpole emerging from the kitchen faucet, led to a system expansion, filtering chemical sanitation treatments in 1930. Today the system maintains 125 mils of pipes that provide a safe and dependable supply of drinking water to residential and business customers.

The City Water System Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones, March 2, 2018
2. The City Water System Marker
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most of the city's history, Annapolitans discharged wastewater into the harbor and neighboring creeks, a practice that killed aquatic life and produced an overwhelming stench, particularly during the summer months. In 1934, the city erected a wastewater treatment plant on Back Creek. A modern facility, owned by the City and Anne Arundel County and operated by the county, opened in 1972. The system today includes 130 miles of sewage pipes.

In 1930 the city assumed direct control of refuse collection and street sanitation.

Michael Parker, Community Historian
Erected by The City of Annapolis.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public WorkIndustry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1842.
Location. 38° 58.592′ N, 76° 30.179′ W. Marker is in Annapolis, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County. Marker is on West Street (Maryland Route 450) east of Park Place, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 261 West Street, Annapolis MD 21401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. An Environmental Perspective (here, next to this marker); Sharpening Our Governing Teeth: The 1708 Charter of Annapolis (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Brown-Leanos Memorial Park
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(about 400 feet away); Annapolis During The Civil War (about 500 feet away); Light House Bistro (about 600 feet away); A National Cemetery System (about 700 feet away); Annapolis National Cemetery (about 700 feet away); Anne Catharine Green (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Annapolis.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 4, 2019. It was originally submitted on March 2, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 168 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 2, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Oct. 2, 2022