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Contributed by Flagstaff City - Coconino County Public Library

Since the community of Flagstaff formed in the 1880s, water for domestic and industrial purposes proved challenging. Relying on springs and aquifers around town became impractical to accommodate the town’s rising population. A more bountiful water retention system was needed. Malapais and limestone formations commonly found in the region discouraged the building of dams in many areas including Switzer Canyon due to their porosity and inability to hold water. The matter of water accessibility and storage was resolved upon the approval of the Lake Mary Water Project comprised of a treatment and pumping plant buildings and units along with a pipeline from Lake Mary to the treatment plant and from the treatment plant to the city water distribution system. Both the Upper Lake Mary Dam and Lake Mary Treatment Plant were built in 1941 costing $200,000 valued today at over $3 million. A decade later the dam was raised 10 feet and currently has a storage capacity of 16,300 acre-feet. This operation continues to store, treat and deliver surface water to the City of Flagstaff. Additional sources of water are also discussed including the Inner Basin of the San Francisco Peaks, Woody Mountain Well Field, Leupp, Mormon Lake, and the Colorado River.

This collection encompasses a variety of governmental, institutional and private correspondence and agreements relating to Lake Mary, 1939-2003., Mormon Lake and Anderson Mesa, water wells, 1950-1961., general historical documents, 1899-1976., proposed Switzer Canyon dam and proposed Lake Mary pumping stations, water treatment plant, and pipelines, 1921 - 1940., pipeline improvements and Twin Peaks reservoir (the 2-50 million gallon reservoirs constructed in 1915 and 1926), 1946-1950, and sewage treatment plant (Rio de Flag), 1943-1945, 1954-1956.

 
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