Mains Found as Good as New When They Were Excavated After Long Periods—One Line Was in Ground 50 and One 30 Years

SOME remarkable instances have been recorded of the life of cast iron pipe which has lain in the ground for years, and the following is another remarkable instance of this kind. In this case the pipe was underground for fifty and thirty years respectively, and was practically as good as new when it was excavated:

On account of the re-arrangement of the Chicago and Alton Railroad Yards at Bloomington, and the discontinuance of many of the streets caused by the expansion of the shop yards, it became necessary to lower both the 10-inch and the 20-inch mains situated in the Railroad’s grounds and in the streets vacated.

After Being Buried in Ground at Bloomington, Ill., for 50 Years, This 10-Inch Cast Iron Water Main Was Taken Up and Relaid in Another Location

Cast Iron Pipe As Good As When Laid

As the water works system of Bloomington was originally a gravity pressure system, there led from the water works proper to the standpipe a ten-inch water main, the length of which was about 500 feet. Since the establishment of a direct pressure system the Railroad Company has been served through a twenty-inch main which was laid in 1894. This twenty-inch cast iron pipe when uncovered, in order to lower, was found to be, after 30 years in the ground, in practically as good a condition as it was the day it was buried.

The ten-inch main on the railroad’s grounds, also after a duration of fifty years, was found to be in A-1 condition. The corrosion that had taken place was hardly noticeable.

The 500 feet of ten-inch main spoken of in a previous paragraph was taken up and re-laid in another location and I am satisfied that should it be necessary to take it up 100 years from now it will be found in a very serviceable condition. In fact, the weight markings of the pipe as put there by the manufacturer in white lead were still visible in some instances. The only difference in the pipe of fifty years ago and that as turned out by the manufacturer of today is that I found the lead space greater in that of today than that of fifty years ago.

Beginning of the Water Works

In 1854 the first public meeting was held, to talk over the possibility of getting for the then village (we are now a city of 30,000) a supply of water, to be conducted to the users through a system of underground piping. No results were produced and the village lingered on for another 20 years, depending on individual wells and rain water for domestic use and on large cisterns, scatered through the then business district for fire protection, cisterns being kept filled by water as it came from the adjacent properties.

The discovery of the present source of water supply came to us because of the sinking of a coal shaft, the inflow of water being so strong that the shaft was abandoned, pumps being unable to keep the water out. The discovery of such a large flow of water led to further investigation of the source from which it came. The authorities being satisfied that something had been found that would be of great value proceeded to dig an open well, the dimensions of which were 40 feet in diameter and 28 feet deep when finished, the water in the well stood within 7 feet of the surface of the ground. On Christmas Day, 1874, the inhabitants of the little city turned out to see a test made of the well. The test proving satisfactory, a pumping plant and a 210-foot standpipe, along with two and a half miles of mains were constructed.

System Remodelled in 1911

The gravity system prevailed until 1911, when the system was remodeled by the late Arthur M Morgan, consulting engineer, and direct pumping to the city was put into operation.

While we have had our troubles because of dry seasons we arc still giving water to the users from the same original source of supply. The large open well has long since been abandoned and we draw the water from its source through 5 bored wells, the pumps at which are electrically driven and discharge is made into a ten-million-gallon reservoir from which the pumps in the plant draw their supply. During the fiscal year 96 and 97, (the year water meters were installed) we pumped 386,000,000 gallons of water and during the fiscal year 23 and 24 we pumped 910,000,000 gallons of water.

Will Erect Repair Shop for Baltimore Department—The board of fire commissioners of Baltimore, Md., of which Walter R. Hough is president, have decided to have a repair shop erected for the fire department at Key Highway and Webster Street. The total cost, including equipment will be about $100,000.

Ten and Twenty-inch Cast Iron Mains Being Lowered on the Chicago and Alton R. R. Shop Grounds at Bloomington, Ill. This Pipe Had Lain in the Ground Fifty and Thirty Years

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