June 2, 1909: Municipal Journal and Engineerarticle. Guards to Stop Water Company. “Jersey City, N. J.-Engineer J. W. Griffin, of the Jersey City Water Department, has received word that the East Jersey Water Company or its allied interests are trying to lay a pipe line along the Arlington road at the northern end of Hudson County to connect with North Arlington in Bergen County. To prevent the laying of this pipe without permission two deputy sheriffs have been stationed at the Arlington road to keep tabs on the water company employees and guard against surprises. Jersey City and the Suburban Water Company are both trying to make a contract with Borough of North Arlington. Jersey City has offered to supply Boonton water at $6o a million gallons. The Suburban Water Company, which is allied with the East Jersey, has offered to supply water from the Passaic River shed at $82.50 per million gallons. The North Arlington officials have the two offers under consideration.”
Commentary: This dust up was happening at the same time as the second trial of the lawsuit filed by Jersey City against the private water company, Jersey City Water Supply Company (also related to the East Jersey Water Company—see my book The Chlorine Revolutionfor more details). Many of the water disputes during this period can be understood if one inspects the business relationships between companies and between cities. Jersey City selling excess water at a profit from the Boonton Reservoir was one of the reasons why they had the water supply created in the first place.