Annual Report of the Water Department of Pasadena

Annual Report of the Water Department of Pasadena

The annual report of the Pasadena Water Department, M. H. Salisbury, commissioner of public utilities; William Selbie, business manager, and S. B. Morris, chief engineer, shows the department to be in a very flourishing condition, in spite of the fact that the water revenue was nearly $49,000 less than in the previous year. Thirty-two thousand dollars of that loss was occasioned by the reduced water rates, effective July 1, 1916, and the special vegetable rates. The balance of over $17,000 was due to decreased consumption of water in the last fiscal year. Owing to the exceptionally cold damp weather last summer 21,915,500 feet less water was used than during the year before, although the number of active services increased 313 during the year. The population served was about 46,000. The water system is owned by the city. The sources of supply is gravity water from mountain streams and bed rock tunnels, and water pumped from wells. The total number of miles of distribution mains being 196.22; transmission mains, 10.55. The daily average consumption in January and February was 321,092 feet, being about 26½ feet per tap. In July and August it was 913,723 feet, or about 75 1/2 feet per tap. The total number of fire hydrants in Pasadena is 635; in South Pasadena, 42; grand totals, 677.

The following table shows the meter and service data of the department:

Number of Services.

Meters, Domestic.

Meters, Irrigation.

New metered services installed during year, 262; removed, account of non-use, 107; sealed services changed to active and metered, 181 : fifty-four flat-rate services eliminated and now served through twentyone meters; number of meter enlargements, 64; service enlargements, 12; three hundred and fifty-two services were renewed

during the year, or about 2 1/4 Per cent, of whole; close to 99 1-3 per cent, of the active services are now metered; net increase in total number active services during the year, 313.

The proportion of the different makes of domestic meters in service June 30, 1917, were as follows: Buffalo, 2; Columbia, 133; Crown, 19; Empire, 368; Gamon, 24: Hersey, 102; Keystone, 168; King, 815; Lambert, 2,225; Nash, 39; Pittsburgh, 1: Thomson, 16; Trident, 8,622; Union Rotary, 11. and Worthington, 10.

The special garden rates to encourage vegetable raising entailed a vast amount of extra work on the department checking up the gardens, adjusting allowances, etc, as there were close to 2,000 applications. Tt was handled, however, with only a little extra help.

The construction work carried on during the past year was the heaviest since the department was organized in 1912, the expenditures for new construction being $130,321.68, as compared with $81,379.54 for the previous year. Practically all the work done has been with materials contracted for while the prices were down to normal.

Atlanta Street Pumping Plant.

A 24-inch well was drilled on Atlanta street, west of Casitas avenue. This well is 460 feet deep, resting on bed rock, and passes through 118 feet of water bearing gravel. Upon completion of the well last summer a Dean deep well triplex pump was installed under a guarantee of 80 per cent, pump efficiency with a bonus allowance for each per cent, of efficiency greater than 80 which the pump should give when working at its maximum capacity of 2.4 second feet against a 240foot total head. The pump was tested by the 100-horsepower motor installed at the plant and was found to develop 81 per cent, efficiency when operating at either 2.0 second feet against 240-foot lift or 2.4 second feet against a 240-foot lift. The Atlanta street plant has been made very complete in every detail and is housed in a frame and plaster building with tile roof, and general neat, substantial appearance.

Devil’s Gate Motor Plant.

This plant has been placed back in use after two years’ idleness, due to sufficient gravity water without its use. A new 4inch vertical centrifugal pump has been installed and a neat frame pump house constructed. This plant is now being operate about five hours per day, giving a delivery of 1.57 cubic feet per second. Pumping from this shaft is the most economical of any place in the system on account of the maximum head being only 50 feet, and it is, therefore, convenient to pump from here before starting the Copelin Wells.

Devil’s Gate Tunnels and Shafts.

The timber in several of the shafts at the Devil’s Gate tunnels was so badly rotted out that it has been necessary to make some permanent repairs to them. Owing to the County of Los Angeles having voted bonds for the installation of a flood control dam to be constructed at Devil’s Gate, it was decided to line the shafts and such sections of the tunnel as required repairs, with concrete. A new shaft was sunk and concreted directly over a new gate in the bulkhead, which controls the main Devil’s Gate tunnel. It is now no longer necessary for the man in charge to wade up the tunnel to regulate this supply, as the gate is now operated by means of the control at the surface of the ground. In addition to the work in the tunnel and shafts, the tunnel crew has concreted a large amount of the old northeast tunnel. This tunnel, which was the first constructed at Devil’s Gate, had been abandoned by the water companies during the years of low water levels prior to the purchase by the city when little or no water flowed out of it. This year,however, owing to the high water levels, there has been a flow of about 650 gallons per minute, and a greater yield can be expected in case the dam is built. Owing to the fact that this tunnel passes over the bed rock, instead of through it, as in the case of the other tunnels, it will not be possible to keep the bulkhead tight against any material head of water. However, as the other tunnels can be completely shut off. this water may be used first. The work of lining this tunnel was particularly difficult on account of a number of extensive cave-ins, one of which included the air shaft, which had to be .reexcavated and relined.

Sheldon Avenue Reservoir.

The large increase in water consumption in the territory supplied by the old Painter reservoir of 430,000 gallons’ capacity on North Raymond avenue made it necessary to provide further storage at this elevation. Accordingly, a reservoir of 6,925,000 gallons’ capacity was constructed on land already owned by the city just south of the Sheldon avenue pumping plant. It was originally anticipated that the old 14-inch supply line to the Painter reservoir could be used for some time as the principal distributing main from the new reservoir, and that the old reservoir could be abandoned and disposed of. However, the increase in water consumption in June showed that the 14-inch main to supply the maximum draft with a reservoir partly filled. The department was therefore compelled to immediately place the Painter reservoir back in service as a balancing reservoir on the 14-inch distributing main, the reservoir filling in hours or light draft and receding during hours of heavy draft.

Collapse of Wilson Avenue Reservoir Roof.

The roof of the Wilson avenue reservoir collapsed in an unusual manner shortly before 8 a. m. on Sunday, March 25. This reservoir was constructed during 1909 and 1910 by the Lake Vineyard Land and Water Company, and was acquired by the city in 1912. It has a capacity of 13.000,000 gallons; dimensions, 414×283 feet, 17 feet deep, with 1:1 slopes, the lining being 4 inches of concrete, except the south wall, which is 6 inches thick, all without reinforcing, and cost $31,000, including the wooden roof. The roof was constructed of lxl2-inch and lxlO-inch rough Oregon pine boards laid on 2×8-inch joists, 16 feet long on 4-foot centers, which were placed on two 2xl0-inch girders spiked together and on 15-foot. 10inch centers. Posts consisted of 2-inch standard weight pipe dipped in asphaltum and capped at the lower end, while the upper end penetrated about midway into a 6x6x3-foot corbel. The sills were not fastened in any way to the concrete, nor was there any bracing of any kind used in the roof. Inspection of the roof a few minutes after its failure clearly showed the cause of collapse. The morning of the accident was perfectly clear and quiet, nor had there been any storm of any kind for some time. The joists at the east and west banks werq supported by 4×4-inch girders resting on 4×4-inch posts 6 inches high on the 2×6-inch redwood sill. Earth and gravel on top of the concrete gave clear evidence of the position of the redwood sill prior to failure. For nearly the entire length of 414 feet on the cast side the sill projected only 2 or 3 inches on the concrete, and was very much raised on the outer edge, thus tending to overturn the 4x4x6-inch posts. This action had apparently gone on for months with the strains of various temperatures and dampness. As soon as the roof started to push westward, it slid down the 1 to 1 slope, the whole roof moving as one unit, and pushed over the west bank for one 16-foot section, the next 16-foot section resting against the slope, and the other sections floated on top of the water, the reservoir being about half full. The only boards broken were a few along the west bank where the roof broke into two 16-foot sections extending the whole length of the reservoir. The roof was removed by allowing the water in the reservoir to run out until the roof rested on the bottom, after which all lumber was removed, allowed to dry, and then dipped in a crude oil preservative, thus putting it in better condition than before the collapse. In rebuilding the roof it was decided to use 6×6-inch redwood posts instead of the 2-inch pipe posts, which were in bad shape from pitting. The pipe was sold for 10 cents per foot, which was sufficient to pay for the 6×6-inch redwood posts. Our previous experience with other reservoirs shows that 6×6-inch posts have a greater life than the 2-inch pipe posts.

Down Town Fire Protection.

Last fall a 24-inch cast iron main was laid in Colorado street from Euclid avenue to Fair Oaks avenue, at an expense of $22,833.89. Eventually it is planned to supply this main from the Sunset reservoir to Colorado street. The 8-inch and 10-inch supplier are, however, adequate for all domestic needs and will take care of two or three fire engines in addition. A 20-inch by-pass connection has been made between the new 24-inch main on Colorado street and the 20-inch main from the Villa street reservoir to take care of any very large fire flow which may be required. The fire department is instructed to immediately notify the water department in case of fire in the downtown district, whereupon the 20-inch by-pass at Euclid avenue will be opened, giving sufficient volume for any contingency. A ]0-inch by-pass connection has been made between the new East Colorado street 24-inch main and the old 10inch West Colorado street main at Fair Oaks avenue, thus making it possible to give any of the downtown district a supply from any or all of the following sources: Orange Grove reservoir, 6.900,000 gallons at elevation of 910 feet; Sunset reservoir and addition, 9,350,000 gallons at elevation of 931 feet; Villa street reservoir, 18,000,000 gallons at elevation of 890 feet; Wilson avenue reservoir, 12,150,000 gallons at elevation of 908 feet; a total capacity of 46,400,000 gallons.

Distribution Changes.

During the past year higher pressures have been extended to additional territory where the pressures have heretofore been less than 20 pounds per square inch, as follow-s: District No. 1, containing 94 consumers, and 30 acres in area; district No. 2, containing 132 consumers, and 50 acres in area; district No. 3, containing 313 consumers. and 60 acres in area; number of consumers benefited, 539; total area benefited, 140 acres. Districts Nos. 1 and 2 are to be supplied from the new Sheldon avenue reservoir, while No. 3 has been benefited by the installation of the booster equipment which w’as formerly used on North Raymond and now installed at the Orange Grove avenue reservoir. The monthly operating cost of the booster plant for electric energy will be about $75. It is the aim of the department to remedy all pressures in the city of less than 20 pounds per square inch, and most of this work has been done. There are, however, several small areas where the pressure is not as great as 20 pounds, but the expense of taking care of them will in many cases be very great, owing to the necessity of complete renewal of mains and in some cases of a long supply main to reach the district. It is interesting to note the greater frequency of leaks, especially in the mains, during the summer and early fall when the large irrigation services are operated, creating a water hammer by the rapid opening and closing of valves.

Water Conservation.

Water spreading has been carried on as usual, 2,460 acre feet of water having been diverted under the gravel bed during the past year. In last year’s report was shown the highest record ever recorded of all the wells in both the upper and lower underground water basins, these high marks occurring during the late spring of 1916. This year the water levels arc generally a little lower in the upper basin and higher in the lower basin. This year’s comparison with last year’s maximum record is as follows : Casitas well, 1.00 foot lower; Sheldon well, 0.12 foot lower; Copelin well, 2.45 feet lower; Brookside well, 0.04 foot lower; Ritzman well, 3.25 feet higher; Ohio street well, 2.23 feet higher, and Woodbury well, 2.25 feet higher. This tabulation indicates that the upper basin has not been replenished as well as in 1916 when 3,350 acre feet of water was spread, but the lower basin is higher than a year ago. on account of its taking the water a year to reach tlu” lower basin, so that we can anticipate the water levels in the lower basin being lower next year.

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