The Lake Charles water system was established in 1892 as a private development when the population of the town was about 3,500. The property was purchased in 1924 by Louisiana Electric Company, a predecessor of Gulf States Utilities (GSU) which continued to own and operate the system until 1956. When GSU acquired the system 1924, it was supplied by only one well and approximately 30 miles of distribution mains served a population of 15,000. Twenty years later, by the end of World War II in 1945, records show 6,452 customers being served by the water system.
The idea of forming a nonprofit corporation was born in January 1954 after the City of Lake Charles received notice from GSU that they were going to file an application for a water rate increase of about 50 percent. GSU advised the City that they could not possibly invest the amount of money required to make the water system improvements requested by the City unless water rates were increased. In 1955 a nonprofit corporation was formed named the Greater Lake Charles Water Company with a board of directors consisting of five civic and business leaders serving without pay. At the time this was the first nonprofit corporation operating a utility in the state of Louisiana. Several notices were published in the newspapers informing the public of the impending sale.
After much negotiation, GSU agreed to sell the water system for $4,486,699 with the stipulation that Greater Lake Charles Water Company would pay for improvements after that date and that the City of Lake Charles would have authority to set the water rates. The board of directors of the Water Company obtained $7,850,000 in bonds which were delivered to the buyers on October 26, 1956, and the water facilities were purchased from GSU. All facilities were deeded to the City of Lake Charles so the City would receive all water plant facilities without cost once the debt was retired. Mr. Frank C. Contois was appointed as the first general manager of the new company. At that time there was only one treatment plant in the system. Reports from 1956 indicate the water system was supplied by six wells, a population of about 60,000 was served, and the Distribution Department reported 242 miles of water main, 20,229 water services and 606 fire hydrants.On January 1, 1991, all debt was retired and the Greater Lake Charles Water Company became part of the City of Lake Charles.     
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