Electric Utility History
W. S. Grovenor secured the franchise to furnish the City of Kingman with electric lights in 1905. The Kingman Light and Power Company plant was located at the East End of the millrace. The building still stands and is used for a barn. The generators were turned by water wheels. Two small gasoline powered standby units were available for use during periods of low water flow. The main generator produced 70 kilowatts and service was available from six p.m. until mid-night.
In the latter part of 1912, shortly after the city government was changed from council form to commissioner form, the question of buying the Kingman Light Company was put before the citizens of Kingman. Kingman’s population at that time was 2300 and the bond issue carried 627 to 110. The original purchase price was $19,525.00 with additional improvements bringing the total price to $45,920.37.
Two steam engines were installed in 1913. Residential customers paid $.10 for the first 100 kWh used. Diesel engines replaced the steam units in 1927.
Over the years continued improvements have been made. The production facility presently contains 8 dual-fuel engine generator sets. City personnel installed the newest in 1992. It is a 6.3 kWh set combining the latest combustion and controls technology reducing both emissions and fuel consumption. This unit is the first municipal application of this model engine/generator set.
Electric power in Kingman is provided by a city-owned utility. The power plant capacity is 25 megawatts and is manned 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The plant provides provides summer peaking capacity and emergency power for its clients within its district.
Water Utility History
Kingman is known far and wide as the “town with plenty of Soft spring Water” quoted from the Leader-Courier March 22, 1940.
In 1904 a vote of 276 to 37 approved a proposition to issue $35,000 in bonds to build water works. John Hoover dug the wells near the present light plant, finding good water at 35 ft. The 36 lots of Sherman Street were processed for $700 and the station house was erected at a cost of $950. Two pumps capable of pumping 300 gallons of water per minute were installed and equipped with Olds gasoline engines. This building still stands surrounded by the present light plant building.
The City’s water supply is furnished partially by a number of natural springs. The original “flow line,” as it is called, consisted of a wooden pipe with metal bands. The springs were first tapped in 1908. About 1915 the old wooden line from the springs was replaced with a twelve-inch cast iron line. The City water wells now provide the majority of the water supplied to the city of Kingman.
Two wells, which were located west of the light plant, and a well on the courthouse grounds have been abandoned. In 1953 a well was developed in the southwest part of town, capable of producing 100 gallons per minute. In 1955 the McBurney well was added producing 100 gallons per minute. Two more wells were added on the town system in 1968.
In 1958 and 1959 the 500,000 gallon spheroid water tower was erected at Main and Kansas Avenue and the 70,000 gallon tank which was located at Main and Avenue was dismantled. The past storage capacity was 569,650 gallons in two underground reservoirs at the light plant and the 500,000 gallon water tower at the high school.
The present storage capacity is 1,000,000 gallons in an underground reservoir and 500,000 gallons in the water tower. The springs can produce 500,000 gallons per day and the city’s three wells can produce 1,600,000 gallons per day.
Waste Water Management History
Wastewater treatment in Kingman is funded by a sewer service fee collected from the users. These funds are used for the maintenance, operation, and project financing for the sewer system and the wastewater treatment facility. The wastewater lines and manhole repairs under a new maintenance and upgrade program were started in 2001 and 2002. However, due to continued inflow and infiltration within this system more work will need to be done as funds are available. In 2003 a new wastewater treatment plant was constructed to meet new clean water regulations.