In 1924, this water line was longest of its kind
The Spavinaw-to-Tulsa water line is 50-60 miles long, and is still Tulsa's main water supply.
Concrete pipe was used to connect Tulsa to the Spavinaw water supply in May 1923.
Courtesy Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society
During Tulsa’s early years, getting clean water to the city’s expanding population was a major challenge. Finally, ground was broken on Spavinaw Dam on Oct. 19, 1922.
Completed in 1924, the damming of Spavinaw Creek in northeastern Oklahoma — which created Lake Spavinaw — brought water from 400 square miles of Ozark Mountain foothills and a tributary of the Grand River, solving the city’s water problem. Crews laid a pipeline to bring this water to Lake Yahola in Tulsa’s Mohawk Park. The project, at a cost of $7.5 million, was funded through a bond issue.
When it became operational in 1924, the Spavinaw-to-Tulsa water line, at 50-60 miles long, was the longest of its kind in the U.S. Spavinaw is still Tulsa’s main water supply, though a second dam at Lake Eucha was finished in 1954. The Mohawk Water Treatment Plant can treat 100 million gallons of water per day.