ACUTE WATER SHORTAGE IN SOUTHWESTERN OHIO
Fire and Water Works News of this Section—New Pumpers and Other Improvements for Several Municipalities—Other Important Items of Both Fields
MANY towns in Southwestern Ohio are experiencing an acute water shortage. In that section of the State, conditions are not particularly favorable for the use of underground supplies, and the surface developments have failed, due to the long continued drouth. At Blanchester the reservoir was entirely exhausted, and domestic consumption entirely discontinued for several weeks, fifty thousand gallons being held in an elevated tank for fire purposes; the town expects to develop an entire new source of supply before the next dry season. At Wilmington domestic pressures have been reduced to twenty pounds and domestic consumption curtailed in every possible way. At Washington Court House the Paint Creek supply has entirely failed, and the only source of supply is from air and dug wells, which are not adequate, pressures throughout the business district being reduced, so that no water is available above the first floors. About one million gallons of water is held for emergencies. The Layne-Ohio Company have started developments that are expected to produce an additional supply of one and a half million gallons per day.
A new Stutz combination car, carrying a 350 gallon per minute pump was recently received at Troy, Ohio. At the time of the acceptance test, much difficulty was encountered in securing a suitable supply of water for same. It is claimed that many wells in this city have been ruined by the Miami Conservancy work, which has been recently completed, the wells being drained until pumps are unable to take suction, The acceptance test was first started at a large public cistern, the water being drained back into the cistern. After about twenty minutes, however, this test had to be discontinued due to foreign matter clogging the intake. Later a suitable supply was located at a small creek several miles from town, and the test completed satisfactorily.
Cambridge, Ohio, has been experiencing many difficulties with its new supply system. Chief among these, was the failure at the low storage reservoir, originally designed to hold 210,000,000 gallons. This reservoir was constructed by throwing an earthen dam, with a steel piling core, across an intermittent stream valley. The designers, however, failed to take into account the geological formations of the hillside which now forms part of the reservoir walls. On one side the hillside is composed of many feet of shale above a thin strata of clay. In ages past this shale has slipped many times, leaving fissures through which the water is naturally by-passed around the dam. Heroic efforts have been made to stop these leaks, apparently with considerable success. This being in a mining district, typical mining methods were used. Starting at a low level, a tunnel was driven about 150 feet into the hill, the shale carried out, and clay carried in, which was puddled in place. This clay dike was gradually carred upwards, the top of the tunnel being shot off, carried out, and replacement made with clay. It is thought now that the reservoir will hold about 150,000,000 gallons, although a real test cannot be made until winter rains fill the reservoir. Due to the poor construction of a 14-inch reservoir feeder line through which two centrifugal pumps, each rated at three million gallons per day, discharge, it has been found very uneconomical to operate more than one pump. This pump usually produces about 1,800,000 gallons per day, pumping from Wills Creek. Although the static head pumped against is only about 22 pounds the total head for a 2200 foot cast iron 14-inch line is 39 pounds.
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Water Shortage in Southwestern Ohio
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While the work of repairing the dam was proceeding, a bad break occurred in the 24-inch line leading from the reservoir to the filters. The bell of a 24-inch cast iron joint, imbedded in a concrete toe-wall pulled away due to the settling of the wall. Over a hundred yards of earth had to be removed and much shoring and cribbing done to repair this break. About this time a section of this same line, composed of 24-inch wooden pipe, failed, fourteen bands being broken. Due to all these failures the town’s domestic supply has been shut off on several occasions, only a small quantity of water being held in reserve for fire purposes.
Springfield, Ohio, has recently installed a new AmericanLaFrance combination car carrying a 750 g. p. m. pump. Chief Hunter is well pleased with his new acquisition.
Weirton, W. Va., has recently received a new NorthernPackard combination truck, having twin six chassis and carrying a 750 g. p. m. pump.
Wellsburg, W. Va., has just installed a new Seagrave combination truck having a 500 g. p. m. pump.
Oakwood Village, a residential section of Dayton, Ohio, plans extensive changes in its present water system.
Two overloaded switchbroad panels at the Dover, Ohio, municipal plant exploded, resulted in a day’s interruption of service, and a fire loss of about $500.
Up at Sandusky, Ohio, they have a lot of faith in their neighbors. The city fathers recently voted down an ordinance requiring that a payment be made for all fire service rendered outside the city limits. It is explained, however, that those requesting service be given to understand that they are expected to pay for it.
Old suction lines at Bryan, Ohio, failed to function properly when connected to pumps recently installed, and steps will be taken immediately to change them.
Kent, Ohio, is soon to have a new fire station, located on a former High School site.
Three men were injured and the pumps shut down when a boiler tube exploded at Bellcfontaine, Ohio. Water held in a 2,500,000 gallon reservoir served while repairs were being made.
Hose and hydrant standardization progresses in Ohio. Chief Winnard is cutting a swath across the northern part of the state, the latest towns to fall in line being Fremont, Norwalk, Bellevue, Clyde, Gibsonburg and Prairie Depot.