Images of the Past: Another day at Lake Fisher

This 1978 aerial photo shows one of the most tranquil workplaces in Bloomfield — the water treatment plant on the northeast side of Lake Fisher. In the summer of 1964, city leaders approved a $700,000, multi-phase effort to improve Bloomfield’s drinking water. A new water plant at the lake would replace the 30-year-old waterworks that was located one block off the southwest corner of the Bloomfield square.

Other parts of the 20-year program included the removal of silt that had accumulated at the south end of the lake and the laying of larger water mains through the city. A final element of the plan was never realized — the construction of a new dam and reservoir.

The Howard R. Green engineering firm from Cedar Rapids picked the site and designed the building plans. Construction began in the spring of 1965. My oldest brother Rick worked that summer as one of the laborers schlepping concrete forms around the job site. The construction experience made his desired career as an accountant look very appealing, he said years later. The new water plant was ready to begin purifying Bloomfield’s drinking water by the summer of 1966. Roy Stookesberry was the water superintendent. He retired in 1969.

I remember going to the water plant with my mom when she would take dinner out to my dad, Noel Evans, the city’s water superintendent, when he had to work weekends. I remember the hum of the pumps, the smell of chlorinated water and exploring the nearby lakeside. Dad started working for the city in 1947 and joined the water department in 1951, when Roy Stookesberry ran the water plant. Dad retired in April 1976. Joe Woolard succeeded him.

— Rudy Evans  |  revans1953@gmail.com