A CALIFORNIA WATER SUPPLY.
A correspondent from Tropico, Cal., sends the following:
“The water supply of the farming neighborhood of Tropico, having its source in a body of land of about five square miles in the valley of the Los Angeles river on the north of the city limits, is practically inexhaustible. None of it, or, at least, very little is from the surface. With the exception of about ten inches, from the stream in Verdugo canon, some three miles to the northward, it is all pumped directly from an immense underground natural watercourse, or reservoir. That the watercourses of Southern California are, almost invariably, underground, is well known. Particularly of the Los Angeles river is this true. On the surface it is an absurdly insignificant ‘river,’ but it drains a watershed of over 500 square miles, of which is a vast, sandy basin known as the San Fernando valley, and through it the flow of the vast drainage is necessarily underground. At the outlet, or lower rim of this great porous basin, or on its southern limit, the Tropico distict is situated. Its lands are, consequently, ‘riparian’ to an exhaustless underground watercourse.
“The plane of saturation of this great basin, into which flows the drainage of this wide-spreading watershed of mountain, hill, and valley, is from ten to eighty feet below the surface of the ground at Tropico and vicinity. Beneath this plane to a depth of several hundred feet, ceaselessly flows this great watercourse in exhaustless volume.
“Here are located the nine powerful irrigating wells of Tropico and vicinity, and several others. The yield of these nine, united only by the capacity of their pumping machinery, varies from twentv to 160 inches —averaging a little over sixty inches. The others are of less capacity. All of the nine, except three, which are for irrigating alfalfa, are for irrigating strawberries for the most part. That Tropico has become a great strawberry-growing centre is due to the presence of this plentiful water supply.”
Brown university, Providence. R. I., has always been exempt from typhoid fever cases within the college walls. Its water supply, like that of the city, comes from the Pawtuxet river, which experts consider to he of excellent quality. There is also a college well, whose water is analysed three or four times each year by Dr. Gardner T. Swarts, of the State board of health. To make assurance doubly sure, however, a new filtration plant is being installed, which will soon be completed.