In 1867, the Minneapolis City Council authorized the establishment of Minneapolis Water Works to supply water to the Minneapolis Fire Department.
The City established its first drinking water pump station by 1872 on the Mississippi River above St. Anthony Falls and expanded its distribution to residents—making Minneapolis the first city in Minnesota with a public drinking water system.
Today Minneapolis Public Works Water Treatment & Distribution Services has developed a complex system that pumps approximately 21 billion gallons of water each year from the Mississippi River. It produces an average of 57 million gallons of drinking water each day—a rate that could fill Lake of the Isles in about four days.
This exhibit shows consumers how water is taken from the Mississippi River, treated and delivered to their tap, and provides a rare opportunity for the public to see water infrastructure that is normally hidden. It also shows how some aspects of water treatment and distribution have changed over the years while others have remained constant over time.
On display are photos of the treatment and distribution processes and infrastructure as well as equipment and pipe actually used in the water treatment and distribution system.
More information on the water treatment and delivery process: From river to tap: Exploring how Minneapolis gets its water .
The Hennepin Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Hennepin County Government Center, A-level, 300 South Sixth Street.
The exhibit is sponsored by Minneapolis Public Works Department. The Hennepin Gallery is a project of Hennepin County Communications.