28 - North Judson Water Works

posted Mar 3, 2016, 2:20 PM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library   [ updated Mar 3, 2016, 2:21 PM ]
Since the water towers in town are scheduled to be worked on, it seems appropriate to share information about the NJ Water Works that appeared in the 1966 North Judson Centennial book. The photo is from "Marv Allen Photographic History of Starke County."

North Judson Water Works 

An adequate supply of good water is one of the prime necessities of any town or city.  For domestic requirements the need was met for the first sixty years by means of driven wells on each property, and indeed the supply of ground water was adequate and usually of good quality. 
An adequate supply for firefighting was not always available, however, the hand pumper was ordinarily supplied by a bucket brigade from the surrounding wells to a barrel of large tub at the pumper.  At one time, a number of pipes were driven at strategic places, to which the pumper was attached directly. 
As buildings were built higher and fire hazards increased, the need of a town water system became evident.  A public election on the question of a public water supply carried by 156 to 9.  In 1921, the North Judson Water Co. was organized.  The first officers were F. D. Pixa, C. W. Weninger and G. N. Peterson.  The company was originally capitalized at $50,000.00.  Bonds were sold, the town of North Judson purchasing a considerable share of the total.  A contract was let to F. J. Cole and Son of South Bend to construct a water building, a below ground air pressure storage tank and an initial distribution system and fire hydrants.  The wells were drilled approximately 200 feet deep.  These have served to give a flow of good water to this day. 
As the original bonds were paid off the water system became the property of the town.  In 1954, the below ground storage tank was replaced by a 125,000 gallon storage tank, and the mains were extended.  This has ensured a steady supply of water at a constant pressure of about 55 lbs. per square inch. 

Drainage and Sewers

North Judson lies almost on the dividing line between the Kankakee and Tippecanoe river basins.  However, practically all drainage was and is directed to the northwest, most immediately into Pine Creek. 
In the very early days, open ditches served but as the population increased, field tile came into use.  When the railroads came, their fills across the northern edge of the town blocked natural drainage and large cast iron culverts were installed.  A number of these 1-inch thick pipes still serve for drainage. 
As need for undergrounds drains increased, property owners petitioned the Town Board for drains along specific streets or alleys.  The cost was born by the property affected.  Examples of such drainage line, constructed of glazed bell tile, are Main Street from west of the Pennsylvania Railroad to the outlet; Keller Ave., north under the New York Central Railroad to the outlet. 
All of the tiling was for surface drainage only, and the increase of population and pollution of Pine Creek, made a sanitary sewer system mandatory.  Accordingly, in 1961 and 1962 a sanitary sewer system and stabilization pond was constructed.