Through the 1890's this community depended entirely on springs and cistern for
water. In 1899 the town was virtually destroyed by fire. Realizing the need for
fire protection, construction soon began on the first water system which consisted
of a four-inch line taking water from a nearby lake to a large cistern near the
center of the downtown district.
By 1900 the population had increased to more than 4,000 citizens and in 1901 the
first Bond Issue was passed for construction of the first water works to serve
the expanding population. The facility was built on the west bank of the Arkansas
River, at the confluence of the Verdigris, Grand and Arkansas Rivers, some five
miles northeast of the downtown area, and is the same location as the present day
Water Treatment Plant.
The treatment plant was built in 1934 and has been expanded and renovated several
times. The last renovation took place in 1996. This work replaced the existing
control system with a computerized Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition
system better know as a SCADA system. This allows the operators to monitor and
control all of the treatment plant functions on a real time basis from a central
location. In addition, the filter media was replaced and new chemical feed
systems were installed.
As a result of these improvements along with the dedication and hard work of the
City's staff, Muskogee's water treatment plant was voted "Plant of the Year" in
1997 and 1998 by the Oklahoma Operators Association.
The City of Muskogee provides drinking water to six rural water districts and
four towns. The city receives its raw water from the Fort Gibson Reservoir,
located approximately 7 miles north of Muskogee. Occasionally the city uses a
secondary water supply which comes from the Grand River. These sources of water
are classified as a surface water supply.