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Reservoir News Article

A Suggestion about the Hemlock Lake Water Supply

Unknown Author - The Livonia Gazette

29 May 1885

“Iron Point” makes some good suggestions to the Rochester Union Newspaper regarding the city’s water supply. What he suggests is nothing more nor less than that the city buy Canadice lake and let Hemlock lake go entirely.

Rochester people strain at a gnat and swallow a whole circus when they talk about the water being contaminated from a few cottages near the lake shore and shut their eyes to the fact that they are drinking the drainage of the whole village of Springwater.

In an article to last Friday’s Union its correspondent says: “The fact is that the drainage from hills on either side of Hemlock is but a trifle compared with the entire watershed converging toward that common center. The valley in which the lake is found extends some ten or twelve miles still south; the hills on either side are high, barns and dwellings are numerous; gulches and brooks frequent, and all these form a creek in the valley, which finally empties itself into the lake, as it must continue to do, there being no other possible escape.

Add to this the fact that four miles above the head of the lake reposes the busy village of Springwater - with all of its tanneries, factories, shops, dwellings, stables, etc., which must be drained into this common outlet of all the valley, and you have a problem to contemplate; hard, indeed, to dispose of.

Of course, here is a source of contagion that cannot be bought, fenced in or galvanized into safety, and the only way is to accept the situation resignedly, or abandon Hemlock entirely and look elsewhere for your water supply.

There is perhaps a way out of the dilemma, easy of adoption and altogether feasible, unless you require more water than the remedy about to be named will furnish.

Buy and control the Canadice Lake as Boston does the Cochituate, and the difficulty is disposed of for all time.

The Canadice Lake is more elevated than an other lake in Western New York, has no sources of contamination, and can doubtless be secured at its real value and devoted to city purposes exclusively - with due economy maybe made adequate to the emergency for years to come.”