The Arvada Water Tower has been a local landmark since 1910, when it began operations. Before it was constructed, citizens hauled their water from creeks and ditches. There were only a few known wells, which were expensive to dig, and they required an equally expensive windmill to bring the water to the surface.
After the town was incorporated in 1904, the Town Board began plans to construct a “waterworks”. In 1909, the voters approved issuing a $40,000 bond to finance the construction. The final cost of construction was about $30,100. After investigating several sources of water, including Tucker Lake and a spring at the Lee Ranch, it was decided to supply the water from two artesian wells.
The site for the Water Tower was chosen from a handful of offers to sell by nearby property owners. The Town Board chose to use cast iron pipe, which was more expensive than wooden stave pipe but considered more durable. The initial price for the water was set at $1.00 per month for the first 1,000 gallons. When the “waterworks” was completed, the population of Arvada was 840.
“Celebration Day” was held on October 12, 1910, under the auspices of the Commercial Club, to mark the formal opening of the Water Tower. After a luncheon and appropriate speeches in the Bank Hall, the attendees adjourned to Grandview Avenue. There Arvada’s volunteer firemen staged a water fight to demonstrate the pressure of the gravity-fed system. The pressure was so great that it knocked the firemen off their feet!
The Water Tower held 150,000 gallons, with the water pumped from two artesian wells. It stands 150 feet high and is supported by steel trestles. The gravity-fed system delivered water at a pressure of 55 pounds per square inch. By 1917, 3 ½ miles of pipe had been laid, and the average daily consumption by the entire town was 35,000 gallons.
In 1977, the Water Tower was decommissioned. The cost of maintaining the wells, combined with rapid population growth, resulted in securing a more reliable source from Denver Water.