In 1881 the decade-old Water Works Company of Indianapolis was sold to a group of local businessmen and became the Indianapolis Water Company. Originally deriving its water supply from the Central Canal, which was used for power and by the Indianapolis Fire Department, the company grew to operate a waterworks system which also supplies drinking and waste water for residential, commercial, and industrial use in Indianapolis. The public utility has expanded and evolved numerous times in it's long history. In 1904 the first treatment plant, the White River Station Treatment Plant, began operation. As population grew in the middle of the 20th century, the company would construct Geist (1943) and Morse (1958) reservoirs to supplement the White River as a water supply. In 2011 the company was sold to Citizens Energy Group, a non-profit public trust founded in 1887 by Thomas Morris, Eli Lilly, and Benjamin Harrison as Consumers Gas Trust. It also provides natural gas services.
The maps, photographs, annual reports, and letters in this collection document the history of the Indianapolis Water Company and trace the complex expansion of water service utilities in Indianapolis, beginning with the original Waterworks Company founded in 1871. Photographs of the company’s employees, buildings, and water systems, including aerial photographs, provide a unique view of these utilities.