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Southwest Life Health And the West is History Community Travel

And the West is History: Animas City Sewer Project – 1939

For most of its history starting in 1876, the town of Animas City had no municipal sewer system. Most residents had to get by with outhouses and sewage was routinely discharged into the Animas River. However, in 1938, the town received funding from the Works Progress Administration to develop a “complete sanitary sewer system.” The project included the installation of about 4 miles of sewer pipe and the construction of two large septic holding tanks, one on each side of the river. It was proposed that the tanks would be pumped out once or twice a year and that any overflow from them would be carried to the Animas River in a “pure stream of water.” The WPA grant was for $36,738 with Animas City contributing $9,275. This picture shows a connector pipeline to the holding tank under construction along the railroad right-of-way somewhere between 32nd Street and 28th Street. About 132 men were hired for the project. – Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org (Catalog Number: 15.28.33 from the La Plata County Historical Society Photo Collections)