What did they finally decide to do?
"Grave indeed was the situation at the end of the eighth decade. The East Jersey Water Company, of which Garrett A. Hobart of Paterson, vice-president of the United States in the first McKinley administration, was the moving spirit, agreed to supply Newark with a water system, complete for $6,000,000. It was proposed to build a dam in the Pequannock water-shed, erect reservoirs, store water in a region having a flow of 25,000,000 or 30,000,000 gallons, build a pipeline to the Belleville reservoir, and then turn the plant over to the city. The offer was accepted and the celebration of the new system it was expected would be held in the autumn of 1891. The colossal enterprise, the most ambitious undertaking of Newark up to that time, was not ready, however. Each day in 1892 was named for turning on the water.
The telephone message came at last at 9:57 on the morning of January 12, to the City Hall, announcing that the water had just been turned on in the mains and was flowing along toward the Belleville reservoir. Engineer Herschel, of the East Jersey Water Company, released the water at the dam. The flow was then eight million gallons daily.
The total amount spent upon the system up to 1916 was about $21,234,000, ..."
from: Narratives of Newark