Historic Well #1 featured in Mother's Day tour
We are opening up our historic well house #1 this weekend as part of the MAC's Mother's Day Tour. We have set up lights and covered the well, so you and your guests can gaze over 120 feet and see the water that is our Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Praire Aquifer. The tour is featuring stone structures in the Spokane area. To purchase tickets, click here.
About Well #1
- Hand-dug in 1906
- Depth of 156'
- Diameter of 8'
- 120'+ feet to aquifer
- Rated capacity: 5,000 gallons per minute
- Current use: 3,600 gallons per minute
THE VERA PUMP STATION WAS ACCEPTED TO THE NATIONAL LANDMARKS OF AMERICAN WATERWORKS ASSOCIATION IN 1977
In the early 1900s development of the Spokane Valley was driven by land speculators. With a modest investment in infrastructure and a far-flung advertising campaign, small land management companies believed they could turn otherwise low-value land into productive and profitable agricultural property. One such speculative venture was the Vera Electric Water Company, responsible for Vera Pump House #1 which was hand-dug in 1906.
The Vera Electric Water Company was established in 1908 by Donald K. McDonald, A. C. Jamison, and Andrew Good, local real estate entrepreneurs. Their other business ventures were the very similar Modern Electric Water Company and the town of Opportunity. McDonald named this new company after his daughter. As the land filled up with apple orchards, the town of Vera was incorporated.
Vera Pump House was hand built using stones dug up during the construction of ditches; these stones were also used in historic local homes. It is believed the prominent masonry craftsman, Hans Vinge, built the pump house stone structure. The pump itself lies over one hundred feet below ground. Vera Water and Power operates this pump to this day.
About our aquifer
More than 400,000 residents rely on this aquifer as our sole source of drinking water. The aquifer covers about 370 square miles. This highly productive aquifer consists primarily of mixed gravels, cobbles, and boulders deposited during a series of Ice Age floods 10,000 to 12,000 years ago that flowed from ancient glacial Lake Missoula. The aquifer has no natural protection from surface contamination.
Who Vera Water and Power is today
Today we serve about 25,000 people in the Spokane Valley. Our job as a publicly-owned, not-for-profit utility is to deliver safe, reliable electricity and water at the lowest price possible while responsibly managing our resources, our employees, and our environment.