Columbus, OH Water Quality: Yesterday
As the innumerable battles for the Ohio territory ended in the 19th century, the future capital, then known as the Borough of Columbus, was established in 1816 along the shores of the Scioto and Olentangy rivers. The confluence of these two water sources, just north of Columbus’s downtown, continue to play a vital role in the region’s water access and management.
The city first dammed the Scioto River in 1908 with the construction of Griggs Reservoir and later with the O’Shaughnessy Dam in 1925, now the Columbus Water Works. Once hailed the “best inland city reservoir and dam in the United States,” storing enough water to serve double the population at the time, the O’Shaughnessy would be later eclipsed by the famous Hoover Dam, completed on the Big Walnut Creek in 1955 in response to the area’s population boom post-World War II. These three reservoirs still provide more than 140 million gallons of water daily to Columbus residents.