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Tampa's first water supply began in 1887 to serve more than 600 people.
Tampa's first water company was Tampa Water Works, a private company. The water came from 45 wells.
The first water customer applied for service in 1891.
Ultimately, 21 of 45 wells failed and bottled water companies sprung up to supply water.
To ensure Tampa had a reliable water supply, a site on the Hillsborough River was selected to build a water production plant.
The new plant was built to last. This filter house built in 1926 remains integral to the production of Tampa's drinking water today.
The plant included a steam plant, electric generators, a chemical house and laboratory.
Water production in early Tampa relied on TECO's nearby dam.
In 1944, the dam was acquired from TECO after it was damaged several years earlier by flooding. It was rebuilt and put back into use.
In the flood of 1960, many of the flash board on the crest of the dam spillway failed.
New power-operated crest tainter gates were installed in 1963-64 to replace failed flash boards.
Plant upgrades and expansion allow this original 1926 production site to continue to meet Tampa's growing demand for water.
Today, the Tampa Water Department supplies an average 77 million gallons of water a day to residents, visitors and businesses.
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