Prior to 1926, Buffalo pumped chlorinated lake water to the city. Any debris in the lake was also in the drinking water. Heavy storms or high winds would agitate Lake Erie. The stirred-up lake water, though chlorinated, would be unsightly. Drinking water would often include sticks, silt and even small fish. Contaminates resistant to chlorine disinfection, like viruses and protozoa, could populate the drinking water, making it unsafe, despite chlorination.

Buffalo conquered these water quality problems by the construction of the Filter Plant in 1926.

The Filter Plant employs a variety of techniques designed to deliver clear, safe potable water. Treatment includes coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, filtration and disinfection of our source water. These treatment steps eliminate contaminants, and clarify and disinfect the drinking water delivered to the city.

The Water Treatment Process

The Filter Plant functions are divided into two cooperative interrelated units:
Operations (Production) and Laboratory (Quality Assurance & Analysis)

Filter Plant Hierarchy

Employee Duties

Plant Operations

Treatment Supervisor
Maintenance Supervisor
Maintenance Workers


Laboratory Director
Quality Assurance Officer