The Oklahoma River is quickly becoming a recreation destination. With the return of drag boat racing, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Devon Boathouse that will join the Chesapeake Boathouse and the inaugural Boathouse International triathlon, all in the month of June, the river has become a very busy place.
This is not a new phenomenon.
In 1909, the city waterworks plant was overworked. The Oklahoman for June 30, reported that the muddy water citizens were seeing when they turned on the faucet was safe to drink and would have to do until the new sedimentation basin was completed. When built, the waterworks plant was designed to purify two to three million gallons a day but demand was sending seven to eight million gallons to the filtering plant before mud had time to settle in the basins. The new basin when completed was to increase the capacity of the plant over 200 per cent.
An item from the Fourth of July paper brought the news that the city water was “a mite cleaner” than it had been. Construction on the new sedimentation basin had been slowed by heavy rains from the Colorado area, but workers expected the basin to be in use within the next few days.
The river served as Oklahoma City’s water supply until 1918 when the Overholser Lake and Dam was completed.