For about twenty years in the middle of the nineteenth century, the Milan Town Council discussed the problem of providing the rapidly expanding town with abundant and good quality drinking water. Various solutions were foreseen, all based on the assumption that river water could be used, but these projects fell through due to technical difficulties and the opposition of consumers. In 1888, water began to be drawn from the urban subsoil. This was to be a temporary option, but in fact, it became a definitive solution. Up to the beginning of this century, the Town Council ran this service as economically as possible, but recently, regulations have been passed requiring an organization based on the criteria of cost-effectiveness and efficiency.