Illinois State Water Survey | University of Illinois Archives
In June, 1895, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved a special appropriation of $5,000, "...intended to cover the expense of carrying on a systematic survey of the waters of the state..."1 This was the beginning of the State Water Survey, whose work officially commenced on September 1, 1895.2 In June, 1897, the Fortieth General Assembly authorized the continuation of the work.3 The stated purposes of the Survey were "...to collect facts and data concerning the water supplies of the state; to make such chemical and biological examination and analyses as shall serve to demonstrate their sanitary condition; to determine standards of purity of drinking water for the various sections of the state; and to publish the results of these investigations."4 In 1911, the State Legislature increased its appropriation for the Survey and imposed additional duties upon it, including free sanitary examinations of water for citizens of Illinois.5 A sewage experimental station has been maintained since 1915.6 The State Water Survey occupied quarters in the Chemical Laboratory7 (now Harker Hall8) until 1915, when it moved into a new addition to the Chemistry Laboratory9 (now Noyes Laboratory of Chemistry10). On March 7, 1917, the Fiftieth General Assembly adopted the Civil Administrative Code, through which the Survey is jointly administered by the Department of Registration and Education and the University's Department of Chemistry.11 Since 1950 the State Water Survey has occupied the Water Resources Building constructed for it on Springfield Avenue.12 The Survey's study of water resources is carried out by five technical divisions: chemistry, water quality, hydrology, hydraulic systems, and atmospheric sciences.13
1. Board of Trustees Transactions, 18th Report, June 27, 1895, p. 120.
2. Ibid., p. 120
3. Laws of Illinois: Fortieth General Assembly, 1897, pp. 12-13.
4. Catalogs and Registers, 1905-06, p. 204.
5. Ibid., 1917-18, p. 407. See also Laws of Illinois: Forty-seventh General Assembly, 1911, pp. 43-44.
6. Catalogs and Registers, 1917-18, p. 407.
7. Ibid., 1905-06, p. 204.
8. Ibid., 1945-46, p. 78.
9. Ibid., 1915-16, pp. 51-52.
10. Ibid., 1945-46, p. 78.
11. Ibid., 1917-18, p. 407.
12. Board of Trustees Transactions, 46th Report, July 25, 1950, p. 36. See also Staff and Student Directory, 1950-51, p. 48.
13. Illinois Blue Book, 1975-76, pp. 414-15.