BALTIMORE WATER LOAN PRACTICALLY SAFE.
The passage of the $5,000,000 water loan by the legislature is now believed to have been practically assured as the result of a recent conference between representatives of the city and Baltimore county. Instead of insisting on a prior right to 10,000,000 gal. of water daily, the county representatives, at their own suggestion, tentatively agreed to take this quantity of water from the surplus, after the city had been assured a daily supply of 170,000 gal from the Gunpowder watershed, without any restrictions. This being practically the greatest point at difference, there seems no obstruction to the success of the bill next year. At the conclusion of the conference, City Solicitor Bruce and Mr. Osborne I. Yellott were impowered by both sides to draw up a new enabling act and an agreement, both of which will be placed before the conference. They will draw up a new enabling act and agreement, which, after having been accepted by both sides will be introduced as a measure into the legislature, where its passage is practically assured. The new bill will provide that condemnation proceedings in Balti-more county will be in accordance, not with the provisions of the city’s charter, but of the State law. The city will also pay for the changes in roads which will occur in the county as the result of installation of the watersheds and distribution system. The county commissioners are to pipe the surplus water through the county. If Baltimoreshould buy out a water company in the county and serve its customers with water, the amount of water thus used is to be deducted from the 10,000,000 gal. daily allowed the county. There are only five places in the county which have not individual water supply companies—namely, Pikesville, Gardenville, Mount Winans, llalethorpe and Lansdowne. The others arc supplied by companies or corporations. These the city can now buy out, if it so desires, one by one, and make money by supplying water. It is understood that the companies sometimes earn ten per cent, on their investment. The city, with the water supply at the Gunpowder, could easily handle the trade. As it buys these water companies, the amount of water needed to supply the new customers is to be deducted from the county’s share. Giving the water to the county will cpst nothing. The daily supply in the proposed Gunpowder reservoir will be 230,000,000 gal.—leaving a surplus of 50,000,0a) gal. If the bill is successful at Annapolis next year, it will be put on the councilmanic ticket two years hence. By that time the plans for applying the money will have been perfected, although they are practically in shape now; of the money, some will be devoted to purifying the water, all the sources of which are at present liable to pollution—especially so in the case of lake Rowland, whose waters are practically no longer used. There is a small watershed on the Gunpowder river known as loch Raven. It is intended to buy the water rights of the Gunpowder river north of this point and to make the Gunpowder a storage reservoir of pure water. The topographical conditions there are strangely adapted to that purpose. There is a deep canon-like ravine at one point, where, by building a dam across, a deep reservoir can be built with small cost. The capacity of the reservoir so constructed will be 20,000,000,000 gal. With a portion of the money, the banks of the river will be purchased by the city for a distance so far up that the chances of pollution will be almost eliminated. To prevent even that small chance, the reservoir will be so deep and the capacity so much greater than the daily outflow that it is estimated that the time for settlement will be long enough to free it of impurities. As soon as this dam is completed, feed pipes wil be constructed, and all that source of supply which now runs into lake Roland and is polluted or in danger of pollution will be discontinued in use. The greater portion of the city’s supply will then come from the Gunpowder. The lakes at Clifton and Druid Hill parks, the reservoir at the latter place and the other small reservoirs then will be used as emergency storage places, in case of breakdown or extreme drought. The city then will have no cause to worry about water supply for some years to come. The board of water commissioners has planned to have some of the $5,000,000 spent for installing a filtration plant. Five million dollars was the price of acquiring the new watersheds.