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Lunchtime Local History Program: May 8

The History of the Lorain Water Treatment Plant

Part I – 1884 to 1904-The Jewell Filter Plant

May 8 at 11 am, Carnegie Center

In 1884, the Village of Lorain installed a water supply system on Lake Erie adjacent to the Black River.  The system consisted of an intake located 1,300 feet from the shore, and a forebay (wet-well) located on the beach.  The two structures were connected by a 12 inch diameter iron pipeline.  In addition, the city constructed a pump and boiler house.  Water was pumped directly from the lake to residents through a series of pipelines buried along village streets.  Eight years later, in 1892, the Village began the installation of a sewage collection system.  The pipeline emptied raw sewage into the Black River at the harbor, less than 2,000 feet from the water intake.  Thus began a multi-year outbreak of Typhoid Fever.

Part I focuses on the history of the existing plant, the typhoid fever problem and the discharge of sewage into the Black River, along with how the City of Lorain addressed the problem by purchasing the Jewell Filter Process.

Join Retired Lorain Water Purification Plant Superintendent Bill Gollnitz as he traces the highlights of the Jewell Filter process from "back in the day" through to the population growth in the City of Lorain that put a strain on the filtration process while attempting to maintain water quality.

Mr. Gollnitz is a 44+ year veteran of the drinking water industry and former Lorain water purification superintendent, and will be leading the discussions.  Mr. Gollnitz has managed water utilities in New York, Rhode Island and Ohio.  As a trained water resource manager and hydrologist, he has also provided consulting services in several other states.  Mr. Gollnitz holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Mount Union College, Alliance Ohio; and a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science-Water Resources from SUNY-College of Environmental Science & Forestry, Syracuse, New York.     

Note: A $5 admission charge applies to all programs and exhibits at the Moore House Museum and the Carnegie Center.