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Piece of Syracuse infrastructure celebrates 130 years



Piece of Syracuse infrastructure celebrates 130 years

(WSYR-TV) — You’ve probably been drinking more water to stay hydrated because of how hot it has been lately. It’s essential – we can’t live without it. And it’s something that often gets taken for granted.

Last week on July 3rd, the City of Syracuse celebrated the 130th birthday of its water supply.

If you live in the city and turn on the faucet, that water comes from Skaneateles Lake. Before July 3, 1894, Syracuse pulled its water from Onondaga Creek.

Bob Searing, the Curator of History at the Onondaga Historical Association said water from the creek caused many health problems.

He shared why Skaneateles Lake was and remains an ideal water supply.

“A. because the water is so pristine and B. really the thing that put it over the edge was it’s all gravity fed so they would not need any pumps,” Searing said. “So 19 miles of pipe end up being laid. It takes about a year to get it done. Nineteen miles from Skaneateles Lake, the intake there is about 54 inches wide, goes about 6,000 feet into Skaneateles Lake. There are some pictures of the machinery used to dig the 60-foot wide swath through the earth to build this pipeline, then brought the water into Syracuse.”

You can learn more about Central New York’s history by visiting the Onondaga Historical Association’s museum at 321 Montgomery Street in Downtown Syracuse.

You can also learn more online at

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