HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Wednesday, February 15, marks the bicentennial anniversary of the Huntsville waterworks system. With this milestone, Huntsville Utilities (HU) celebrates the progress made to the water technology that helps the city thrive. 

The waterworks system has grown from serving only a handful of cabins near the town square to serving over 105,000 customers across the city, with facilities in Grant all the way to I-65.  As the community continues to grow, leaders at HU have specific goals they are targeting. 

President and CEO of HU Wes Kelley emphasized that the waterworks system must keep up with Huntsville’s increasing population.

“Not just for potable drinking water — people think about that — turn on the faucet, get a glass of water. But really, fire protection is so critical to a water system,” he says. Kelley adds that about half of a city’s water system should be reserved for fire protection. 

In the coming years, Kelley expects to see significant capital infrastructure requirements to manage Huntsville’s development as the largest city in Alabama. 

Huntsville Utilities Waterworks Board Chair Dr. Dorothy Huston notes that the company’s stable leadership provides the foundation for establishing some of the most progressive treatment plans in the industry.

“Leadership is critical,” she says, “because the leaders here direct the people. The employees who value their jobs each day — that’s critical because we couldn’t do it without the employees.”

Dr. Huston also states that HU must establish national standards for EPA requirements.