The first year about 45 per cent. of the houses were supplied with Spot Pond
water; at the end of the second year about 60 per cent.; the next year about 68 per cent.; then it became more general, increasing yearly as follows: 77 per cent., 81 per cent., 82 per cent.; until gradually most houses were connected.
Some few held off even as late as 1893, and in fact, one household in a thickly settled district to this day prefers to use its well, though obliged to have the closet connected and flushed with city water.
People were reluctant to give up their old wells and cisterns, many claiming that nothing tasted as good as their own well-water.
There seems to be a fascination in the use of well-water, when people become accustomed to its taste, especially if it looks clear, which is unwise and sometimes dangerous.
The State Board of Health Report, as early as 1878, says, ‘Some of the foulest wellwater examined by the board has been clear, sparkling, and of not unpleasant taste.’
water was very pure, compared with that of many public supplies, but we found there was much local pride back of the praise given it by our citizens when we compared it with many others in the State
and saw the scientific analysis of it. Even for a pond water it was considerably colored, was rather hard, and not nearly as free from deleterious matter as we were proud to think it was. It was the contrast with that of Mystic
and Cochituate, that we came in contact with so much, that made it seem so good by comparison.
It was taken from a low level in the pond, and came through a main in shaded ground, giving us a very cool water in summer and making it very acceptable water to drink.
In the early nineties Medford
had grown to the size of a city, and most of its system of cement-lined sheetiron pipe had fufilled its purpose.
Breaks in the older mains were frequent.
Beside, the pipes were too small for a town using the amount of water Medford
did and occupying so much territory.
Much of our city is at a