"An essential feature of a prospering town is a system of water supply, to protect property from losses by fire and to furnish water for domestic use. Rolla, a town of about fifteen hundred inhabitants, is without a proper water supply, in consequence of which it has suffered many losses to property, which could have been averted, or at least diminished, had the proper protection been at hand. At present the only fire protection the business part of town has, is derived from one large cistern placed on the principal street, while the protection for the residence portion, is derived from private cicterns [sic]. The quantity of water in these cisterns is dependant [sic] on the amount of rainfall, which in this region is very uncertain; therefore, when there is the greatest demand for water in these cisterns, the quantity may be insufficient to meet the necessary requirements. Hence the reason for selecting this subject for our thesis" – p. 3.