AUXILIARY PIPE LINE FOR PITTSBURGH.
The late bond issue at Pittsburgh, Pa., contained an appropriation of $37,000 for a fireboat. Mr. J. O. Brown, director of public safety in that city, however, is now inclined to believe that an auxiliary pipe line should be added, so as to be more effective for purposes of fire protection, He says:
No inland city is operating a fireboat on the plan contemplated here- that is, the forcing of water through ordinary hose from the river front. Another feature is that in New York and other seaboard cities where the boats are in service, the boats have screw propellers and draw from five to six feet of water. In Pittsburgh, in order to be worked at any point on the water front, a draft of from thirty-one to thirty-three inches is all that could be allowed. This compelled us to decide on a side-wheeler, an ordinary river scow you might call it, which, while it might be equipped with the machinery of required water-throwing force, would be dissimilar to the standaid models of such craft. Some time ago I signed a contract for the kind of a boat demanded by existing conditions. The amount appropriated is sufficient tc build the boat; but. contingent, is a considerable item for its operation. Two licensed Government engineers and a force of men to operate it night and Jay will be necessary. Assuming that this will be provided, the boat then will be purely an ornament, and unequal to the work for which it was constructed. It would be impossible for it to throw an effective stream from the river to the Monongahela house, because no ordinary hose would withstand the immense pressure, and. should the hose burst, loss of life would follow if there were people in the vicinity, lie would, therefore, imitate Detroit, the “only city in the country which has met the emergency,” and will ask councils for enough of steel pipe
to cover all of the streets from Thirtieth, on the Allegheny river front, to the Point, and on Carson street, from the Point up to Jones & Laughlin’s mill. We would pipe every other cross-street below Grant, and same way on the South Side. With an underground system of this kind the fireboat could made connections with the line nearest the blaze, and maintain the force the distance needed. At all street intersections we would have standpipes. Pipe lines of steel would stand a pressure of 600 pounds to the square inch, and with such a stream we could cut in twain any structure now standing.
About fifteen miles of pipe, he thinks.would be sufficient-to cost about $6,000 a mile-about $90,000 in all. Director Brown would, therefore, have an appropriation for the pipe line and the operation of the fireboat made in the next bond issue-should there be one. lie adds that aside from its fire value direct, the system of underground pipes would c une very handy in case anything should go wrong with our present pumping works at Brilliant station.
Councilman Cassidy has introduced a bill into the municipal assembly of this city to provide the sum of $75,000 for additional water mains in the First. Second, Third, and Fourth wards of the borough of Queens and for additional wells to be sunk at the pumping stations in the First ward. Referred to the committee 00 water supply.