A BIG PUMPING WORK.
In March, 1887, a concession was granted by the Egyptian government for reclaiming Lake Aboukir. The works were commenced immediately, and have been pushed forward with an enterprise and dispatch hardly known in Egypt. The contract for constructing the earthworks and masonry was placed in the hands of a local firm, while the making of the pumping machinery, iron buildings, iron chimney, etc., was entrusted to John & Henry Gwynne of Hammersmith, London. The works were designed by James Abernelhy, F. R. C. E., past president Inst. C. E. It may be stated that the area of land to be dealt with comprises 3r,ooo acres, and it is situated on the borders of the Mediterranean. The land was highly cultivated and thickly populated from time immemorial, but early’ in the last century a storm caused the sea to inundate it, and being slightly below the sea level it was completely destroyed for agricultural purposes. What had to be done was to exclude the sea and pump the salt water into the Mediterranean. The pumping rnachinety was started on the 8th of March last, in the presence of a large and influential company, and on the following day some trials were made to ascertain the efficiency of the plant, in the presence of W. Wilcocks, Assoc, M. Inst. C. E., of the irrigation department; John Gwynne, M. Inst. C. E., M. I. M. etc., the builder ol the machinery; Mr. Sheppard, Assoc. M. Inst. C. PL (resident engineer of the works); Mr. Anderson, Mr. Grant, Jr., and Mr. Murdock. The performance of froth engines and pumps was highly satisfactory, and the result of the tests proved that the percentage of efficiency had exceeded that of all other waterraising appliances on the same lift.
On Monday, March 23,telegraphic intelligence was received from Egypt stating that the Aboukir was dry, the water having been pumped off in 45b hours, with a consumption of 135 tons of coal. The net result, stated in figures, is that 2,900.000,000 gallons of water were Idled to an average height of six feet, with the consumption of fuel stated; equal to raising 21,500,000 gallons six feet high per ton of coal, or 9600 gallons of salt water the same height for each pound of coal used ; in other words, one pound of coal sufficed to raise 96,000 pounds of water six feet.
Abundant Nile water from the Mahmondieh canal, bordering the lake, will be allowtd to flow over the land, taking up the remaining salt ; this water will also be pumped off, and after repeated washing the soil will be ready for cultivation. Land reclamation by this method is well known in Egypt.
When reclaimed the land will, without doubt, be of immense value, seeing that it is only about five miles from Alexandria. A fair average rent for lands in Egypt is about $20 an acre, and near cities as much as $60 to $70 an acre is paid for vegetable growing. There is an increasing demand for land in Egypt, due to various causes, one being the abolition of the corvee, implying that the fellaheen can devote more time to the cultivation of land.
REPORTS Received.—We have received from Chief Engineer E. J. Jewhurstof the Auburn(N. Y.) Eire Department a copy of his report for the year ending March 8 ; from F.. T. Shepherd, Superintendent of the Chicago Fire Insurance Patrols, his report for 1887 ; from Chief Engineer F. L. Stetson of the Minneapolis Fire Department his report for the year ending February 29 ; from Chief Engineer A. C. Hendrick of the New Haven Fire Department his report for 1887, and the report of the water commissioners of New Brunswick, N. J., for 1887.