Brooklyn Water Works.
Department of city works, Brooklyn, for the year 1892, dated February 1, 1893. John P. Adams, commissioner; Robert Van Buren, chief engineer.
Average daily consumption of water for the year 1892 was 67,550,000 gallons. The greatest daily average for any one month was in July, when it reached 72,250,000 gallons. The average consumption for the year was nearly 10,000,000 gallons daily more than for the year 1891. Such an unprecedented annual increase is due to the greater head given by the new forty-eight inch distributing main and the larger waste of water by the consumers. In January, 1893, the daily consumption reached as high as 83,000,000 gallons in one day, and the average for the month, with an empty reservoir and with many localities getting much less than the usual head, reached over 73,000,000 gallons. The water tower at Mt. Prospect will soon be in use, and this will further increase the consumption. A severe drought was experienced during last season ; the supply was kept up by the additional supply from the extension east of Rockville Centre. The new works are not fully completed, but we got our 30,000,000 gallons daily for some time. This yield is very gratifying, as my estimate for the works was based on a daily supply of only 20,000,000 gallons. The extension is now practically completed, but it only is equal to present needs, because we figured for its completion so many years before it was authorized. . . .
In May, 1882, I reported the exact condition of the pumping plant at Ridgewood engine house, and urged (hat new engines be built at once. Again we were disappointed and delayed until January, 1893. The consumption went on increasing far above our estimates ; an extraordinary cold winter came upon us, with the consequent wholesale waste of water through open faucets, until the daily consumption was actually greater than the total capacity of the whole pumping plant, including all of the old engines. . . .
On December 14, 1892, the main shaft of engine 3 broke, and the engine was disabled for over three weeks. The distributing reservoirs were only half full when the accident occurred, and we were left with but only 65,000,000 gallons of daily pumping capacity, to meet a consumption varying between seventy-five and eighty million gallons daily. There really was no reserve to protect us, and we, of course, lost every day under the consumption until the reservoirs were empty. The reckless waste of water already alluded to showed no diminution, in spite of constant appeals made to prevent it, and showing its dangers; so that, in order to avoid greater evils, we had to shut off the supply, limiting it to the capacity of the pumps. Even then, owing to this waste and to defective plumbing, from seventy-five to eighty millions of gallons were drawn off daily, of which at least one-fourth represented waste. Sixty millions of gallons daily would suffice to give our citizens a luxuriant supply.
From Van Buren, Bergen. Report to the chief engineer.
Brooklyn, in its pumping capacity for supplying water, and in its water distribution, is not keeping up with its growth. The forty-eight inch main, which was completed less than a year ago. should have been laid several years earlier, and already is another main required.
By Chief Engineer Van Buren : Some time ago I submitted a report urging certain extensions to our water-works. I stated then that the final position of the proposed new conduit could not be determined until a more careful examination of the proposed new pumping station at Spring Creek was made. The surveys arc now completed and the general plans are ready. I, therefore, report now upon the entire extension as follows : New conduits, storage ponds, coal sheds, engineers’, firemen’s and keepers’ houses, electric light plant, well stations, contingencies, a sum total of $2,545,000. As already reported, new engine house, pump mill at Spring Creek, new pumping engines, 40,000,000 daily capacity at Spring Creek ; one fortyeight inch force main from Milburn, one forty-eight inch main from Spring Creek connecting with Ridgewood and Prospect Hill reservoirs, gates for mains, conduits and connections ; land and right of way for new wells and conduit line, engines and foundations, engineering and contingencies, a grand total of $4,235,000. * * * By the completion of this proposed
extension we would add 40,000,000 gallons daily to the capacity of the pumping plant, and an additional water supply of about 15,000,000 gallons daily.
Prompt action upon all the work herein named is imperative, for it is not possible to suitably provide for Brooklyn’s growth unless our water-works anticipate that growth. There should be an end to emergencies in the question of our water supply.
Total number of taps driven, 96.261 ; total number of fire hydrants, 4766 ; 463 miles of water mains ; water meters in service, 2262.