Although Newhall County Water District was created in 1953, our roots trace back to the early 1900s with our predecessor company, Newhall Water System.
According to historical documents, Newhall Water System was established in 1913. Two men – H. Clay Needham and M.W. Atwood – shared a partnership of the mostly agricultural water system. In 1919, with a population in the Santa Clarita Valley at 600, Arthur B. “Perk” Perkins became the general manager of the new company. A year later, he bought the company, which served about 125 customers.
Needham, however, continued to be involved with the company until his death in 1936, providing financial support over the years. In 1924, Perkins received additional financial support from his mother-and father-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. J.D. O’Brien of Nevada, who purchased half of his vested interest. Their daughter and Perk’s wife, Marguerite, were included in this partnership.
On June 1, 1930, the small water company became a corporation when Perk, his wife, and the O’Briens sold their entire interest to the newly created Newhall Water Company.
The company supplied its 300 customer with water from six wells. The oldest, drilled in 1909, was capable of delivering 45 gallons per minute. A 360,000 gallon redwood tank located 250 feet above Newhall’s mercantile district served as the only means for water storage.
By 1931, Perk, who was still general manager, was earning approximately $150 per month. After nearly 30 years, he stepped down from his post in 1948. H.W. Dreher assumed his position, but Perk continued as a principal officer.
In the early 1950s, with the population of 3,500, local business and civic leaders in Newhall decided it was in the public’s interest to form a community water district to support the growing population.
After considerable scrutiny, the issue was put in the hands of voters. On Jan. 13, 1953, an election was held to form the Newhall County Water District, which would be owned by the public and run by a board of directors elected by voters. Although there was no such place as “Newhall County,” the name stuck.
Voters elected five governing board members and, later that year, authorized the newly formed water district to issue revenue bonds in the amount of $425,000. A.B.Perkins signed the documents in 1953 finalizing the sale of the Newhall Water Company to Newhall County Water District for $130,000. The remaining bond money was used for rehabilitation and expansion of the newly purchased supply and delivery system with $20,000 set aside for reserves. In 1966, Castaic and Pinetree (Canyon Country) were incorporated into the district. To serve its growing customers, the district used groundwater pumped from wells with supplemented supplies from State Water Project purchased by Castaic Lake Water Agency.
During the next serveral decades, as Santa Clarita Valley’s population grew, so too, did the water agency. In the early 2000’s, the Tesoro del Valle area was added to Newhall County Water District’s service area.
In 2003, we celebrated our 50-year anniversary as a county water district. Today, our operations include 10 wells with a combined production of 9,675 gallons per minute, four connections to State Water Project, 15 booster stations and 23 steel reservoirs with a total storage capacity of 25.56 million gallons.
Since our early years, we have grown with the Santa Clarita Valley, building and maintaining a program to continuously provide customers with high-quality water at low cost.