Founding of Illinois State Water Survey | 150 Engage Illinois Office of Corporate Relations
Celebrating our Sesquicentennial 1867-2017

The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) was founded as a part of the University of Illinois Chemistry Department in 1895 to survey the waters of Illinois to trace the spread of water-borne diseases. Chemical analyses of water samples were performed by Professor Arthur W. Palmer. Realizing the importance of clean drinking water, Palmer set initial survey goals of determining sanitary conditions of the state's water supplies and setting local standards of purity. He then recommended that the scope of the work be expanded, and the Illinois General Assembly provided funding to establish the State Water Survey as an institution.

Jan 02, 1895
Media Image: 
Arthur Palmer ca. 1890. Credit University Archives.
Caption Text: 
Arthur Palmer ca. 1890. Credit University Archives.
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