The city of Shreveport could not justify the cost of building a water distribution system solely for the purpose of supplying potable water. It was a series of disastrous fires in the 1880s that galvanized support for a pumping facility that would provide ample water for firefighting.
Some of the station's notable achievements:
The first method for detecting radioactive particles in water supplies
A successful system of slow-sand filter beds for drinking water
The landmark demonstration that microorganisms carried within filter media could degrade sewage