The geothermal system now managed by the Boise Warm Springs Water District has been in operation since 1892 and thus is the oldest continuously operating geothermal system in the U. S., if not in the world. The pump house, pictured above¹, is framed from the derricks used to drill the original wells. The water company that dug the wells also built the Natatorium on Warm Springs Avenue to take advantage of the hot water. The Natatorium, the hot water lines, and a trolley line from downtown spawned a building boom along the avenue in the early twentieth century. Today the district serves hot water to almost 300 customers in the East End neighborhood.
2008 – 2009 Gallons Used 228,718,428
2009 – 2010 Gallons Used 242,200,729
2010 – 2011 Gallons Used 244,824,871
2011 – 2012 Gallons Used 246,498,100
2012 – 2013 Gallons Used 240,133,600
2013 – 2014 Gallons Used 244,148,200
Here are a couple of interesting articles on the history of the Boise Warm Springs Water District:
- Water that’s from Hades by Anna Webb, Idaho Statesman, 2013.
- A Century of Service: The Boise Warm Springs Water District System by Kevin Rafferty, P.E., Geo-Heat Center, Oregon Institute of Technology, August 1992.
¹ Photo by Patrick Frischmuth