gmhTODAY 14 gmhToday May June 2017 - Page 63

Don’t miss a single issue of Uvas overflowed its banks, sweeping through the west side of town. Between Sixth and Seventh Streets, a foot or more of water stood in spots, seeping into homes and stores at the south end of town. Railroad tracks buckled and fences washed away. The new flume under construction at the Uvas Dam was destroyed. Construction was back on target by March, 1872. That month, the Common Council (later renamed the City Council) enacted City Ordinance Number 5, giving the Gilroy Water Company a 25-year contract to supply “good and pure” water to the towns- people. The new reservoir was finished by the end of summer. Plans included shade trees around its perimeter and a boat for locals to enjoy paddling about or fishing in its waters. The Gilroy Water Company sup- plied the community, the cemetery, and farms with an adequate water supply for about twelve years. Then in August, 1882, testing revealed that the water was unfit for consumption. The company was served notice and ordered to either correct the situation, or the city would assume control over the operation. Initially it had been assumed that Gilroy’s average use of 76 gallons per person per day was adequate and that there was more than ample supply for the 2,000 residents. A drought in 1881- 82 exacerbated the unsanitary water problems. The Uvas Creek dried up and despite the installation of additional city cisterns, the town’s fire hydrants were made useless. Accordingly, the City stepped in, pumped in water to refill the reservoir, and negotiated to purchase the operation from the water company. Nearly fifteen years later, an 1896 Santa Clara promotional book called the purchase “a grand system,” and lauded Gilroy’s purchase of the public water- works as “a wise stroke of policy.” Subscribe Today and have a pristine copy delivered right to your door. Perfect gift for a friend in the South Santa Clara Valley or someone who has moved away. Fill out this form and send it to us with your check. ❏ YES! Start my 1-year subscription ($14.95) ❏ PLUS, I’d like a 1-year subscription for a friend/family member ($14.95) My Name - please print Address City State Zip Email Address My Friend/Relative’s Name (please print) Address City State Zip Make checks payable to: InfoPowerCommunications Mail to: 7446 Rosanna Street, Gilroy, CA 95020