For more detail select from the links below:

When Baltimore began - water was obtained by individuals scooping it from a stream, or a spring, or digging a well as needed. This worked until the growing population demanded a better way. The original city water distribution was a privately owned corporation that used bound strips of wood (like a barrel) for pipes. When the city took over the wooden pipes were replaced with reinforced concrete for big pipes and cast iron for smaller pipes. Later the cast iron pipes were replaced with creamic and plastic pipes.

The Story of Baltimore's Water Supply - Selecting this link provides a 13 page document published as a revision dated November 1981 by the City of Baltimore - Department of public Works - Bureau of Water and Waste Water, when William Donald Schaefer was Mayor. This document provides detail missing in the Timeline document and is a real easy to read story.

Timeline - Selecting this link provides a 7 page summary of general history from 1712, when the community of individuals known as Baltimore occupied a site on the banks of the Bush River, than the Gunpowder River, then the Patapsco River where it remains today.

1712-1881 - Selecting this link provides an abbreviated summary on how water for Baltimore City was provided prior to 1881. It will also provide a picture of the lower Loch Raven Dam completed by 1881 across Gunpowder Falls with the suspension bridge over the dam tha provided access to the picnic area on the other side of Gunpowder Falls. The spillway height of the lower dam is 170 above MSL, an elevation sufficient to move wester by gravity thru the 7 miles of 12 foot diameter tunnel also completed in 1881 from the lower dam to the Montebello Water Receiving Point (MWRP) with an invert elevation of 144 feet above MSL. Pumps at the MWRP enabled pumping the water received to Lake Montebello at elevation 225 feet above MSL, or receiving untreated water from Lake Montebello and distributing it to the Baltimore City water distribution system.

1881 - 1922 - Selecting this link provides a picture of the upper and lower Loch Raven Dams. The first stage of the upper Loch Raven Dam was completed in 1914 with a spillway elevation of 188 feet MSL (above mean sea level) and a steel 10 foot diameter pipe to connect this higher reservoir to the 1881 tunnel at the lower dam. The Montebello Water Treatment Plant #1 was also completed in 1914 and for the first time\ provided settlement tanks, and filters to clear the water, plus Chlorine to kill germs and Fluorine for dental protection. By 1922 it was found necessary to renovate the upper Loch Raven Reservoir dam and raise the spillway elevation to 240 feet above MSL. This higher spillway elevation enabled storing water to 23 billion gallons.

1922 - 1940 - Selecting this link provides an image of the 1922 Loch Raven Dam. By 1928 the construction of the Montebello Water Treatment plant #2 was completed in that provides additional settlement tanks, and filters to clear the water, plus Chlorine to kill germs and Fluorine for dental protection. By 1947 a second 12 foot diameter tunnel was built from a location near the intersection Cromwell Bridge Road and Loch Raven Drive and the MWRP, and completed that enabled the 1881 tunnel to be partially abandoned. The portion from the MWRP end near Lake Montebello to a point where the old tunnel crosses under Cromwell Bridge road reused to provide treated water to be pumped to a pumping station on Cromwell Bridge which then rerouted it to the Towson Reservoir. The Receiving Well to be used to move treated water from the Water Treatment plant to a new pumping station well on Cromwell Bridge Road.

1940 - 2005 - Selecting this link provides a description the purpose of the pumping station for treated water on Cromwell Bridge Road which is to provide water to the Towson Reservoir and nearby developments. The renovation of Loch Raven Dam completed n 2005 raised the wing walls but not the spillway crest to meet the requirements of a projected 100 year flood plain. The renovation also improved water input gate cleaning, Zebra snail protection, and a second 10 foot diameter PCCP pipe to feed the new tunnel.