In 1914, with the industrial development of the Aluminum Company of America’s (now Alcoa, Inc.) local plant, the City of Alcoa’s water system began to evolve. To provide potable water to its three manufacturing plants and its employees, the plant (as how most people then and now knew Alcoa, Inc.) built a pumping station and a six-inch water main from Hannum Spring in Maryville. A large, elevated, storage tank holding a day’s supply of water was built on Glascock Street. With a flow of 500-600 gallons per minute, the spring was the first water supply for both the City and the plant. Distribution pipes carried the water throughout the City from the spring.
In 1918, workers laid a six-inch main to Springfield Springs (also known as Manning Springs) adjacent to the Old Knoxville Pike near its intersection with East Broadway. The Springfield Reservoir had a 350,000-gallon capacity and was fed by a second source, Webb’s Mill Spring. A brick pump station stood next to the reservoir.
On nearby Wildwood Hill (also known as Reservoir Hill), a 4.5 million gallon reservoir and pumping station were built to create a six-day supply of water. The September 1919 Aluminum Bulletin reported that "10.6 miles of water pipe had been laid, including 9,100 feet of a 24-inch wood stave pipe, 3,250 feet of 18-inch wooden pipe and varying amounts of cast iron pipe of four, six, eight, 10, 12, and 18-inches in diameter." In later years, a 16-inch cast iron main replaced this and a second, larger reservoir added. According to the June 1920 Aluminum Bulletin, the Knoxville Power Company at that time had installed "over ten miles of water mains which are supplying pure water to all parts of the city." To kill bacteria, chlorine gas was added to the water as it was pumped.