The City of Anacortes
was incorporated in 1891. The original water system was operated
privately until 1919 when the City purchased the water system from
Washington Water and Power Company.
A raw water intake was constructed on the east bank of the Skagit River
prior to 1930 north of the City of Mount Vernon. The river water was
pumped untreated to the old Whistle Lake Reservoir south of the
Anacortes City limits. The water was then treated at the filter plant
constructed along Whistle Lake road and supplied by gravity to the Heart
Lake Reservoir. The town of LaConner and the Whidbey Island Naval Air
Station purchased untreated water. The original raw water supply line
was a 24” steel pipe. Portions of this line are still in service.
The Shell and Texaco refineries were constructed on March Point in the
1950’s, which dramatically increased the water demands placed on the
Anacortes Water Supply system. A 36” diameter pipeline was installed
parallel to the 24” pipeline for much of the distance in order to
deliver the quantities of water required by the oil refineries. A
booster pump station was constructed near Sharpes Corner to supply the
City of Anacortes and the Scott Paper Company during periods of peak
industrial water demands.
In the 1950’s a pressure filter plant was constructed on the east bank
of the Skagit River to treat the total water supply. The filter plant on
Whistle Lake Rd was abandoned but the reservoir was still used for water
As water demands increased, a new filtration plant was built to meet the
growing needs. The new plant was placed in operation in 1971 using the
Skagit River as a raw water source. With the completion of the 36”
pipeline from the treatment plant to March point, the booster station at
March Point was no longer needed and was abandoned. The new treatment
plant and the new 36” line sufficiently increased the system capacity so
that the city was able to add Oak Harbor as a customer in 1971.
A new 30” pipeline was installed from Sharpes Corner to the Whistle Lake
Reservoir parallel to the 24”. The Whistle Lake reservoir was abandoned
and replaced by a 3-mg covered steel reservoir.