The Delaware and Raritan Canal was originally constructed in 1834 and operated as a barge canal until 1932. The Canal was taken over by the State of New Jersey from the Pennsylvania Railroad Company in 1934. During the 1950's the Canal was rehabilitated to serve as a public water supply transmission system. In 1974 the Canal was designated as a State Park and was also placed on the State and Federal Registry of Historic Sites.
Originally, the navigable Delaware and Raritan Canal consisted of 43 miles of main Canal between the Delaware River at Bordentown and the Raritan River at New Brunswick and 22 miles of feeder Canal between Bulls Island in Hunterdon County and the City of Trenton. The present Canal Water Supply Transmission Facility is 60 miles long with its Delaware River intake at Bulls Island in Hunterdon County and its outlet at the Raritan River in the City of New Brunswick.
The Delaware & Raritan Canal Transmission Complex is an integral part of a water supply system that also consists of Round Valley Reservoir and Spruce Run Reservoir which together have the capability of delivering 241 million gallons of raw water per day to the water utilities that serve central New Jersey.