The Thursday morning (second) session of the nineteenth annual convention of the Central State Water Works Association, held at Columbus, O., October 20 and 21, was opened by the Secretary, R. P. Bricker, who, as Mr. Martin had not yet arrived, nominated Mr. Wiles as chairman. This motion was carried and Chairman Wiles introduced Burton McCullom who read a paper on “The Advisability and Safety of Grounding Lighting Secondaries Upon Water Lines,” by Mr. McCullom and O. S. Peters. After the discussion on this paper the chairman thanked Mr. McCullom and announced that the paper would be spread upon the records of the association. He then introduced John W. Hill, C. E., of Cincinnati, O., who read a paper on “Sources of Water Pollution.” After the reading of this paper the chairman said: “We have with us to-day a gentleman whom I should like to call before you, who is closely connected with the Public Utilities Commission of the State of Ohio. His duties bring him in close contact with the water men and the gas men of the State. In fact, that is his department. I would be very glad to have Mr. Critchfield give us a few remarks.”

Address by C. V. Critchfield.

Mr. Critchfield said in part: “In 1867 the Ohio Legislature created the office of Railroad Commission, and I dare say that this official was probably the forerunner of prototype of the present Public Utilities Commission. In 1906 there were two more members added _ making a Board of three Railroad Commissioners. This Board had only to do with steam railroads in Ohio. In 1911 this commission was changed to the Public Service Commission of Ohio, and its authority was increased to take in not onlv steam railroads, but other utilities, and in 1913, the name of the commission was changed to the Public Utilities Commission. There was not very much change in the law from 1911 by the law of 1913, except that it corrected some matters relating to the appeal of cases from the Commission to the Courts. The decisions of the Commission are not final; all decisions and orders of the Commission, may be appealed to the courts, but if there is any one thing that might be said for the Utilities Commission, not only in Ohio, but elsewhere, it would be that it is a body that expedites matters, and you can get much quicker action through the Utilities Commission than you can through the slow processes of the courts. The powers of the Commissionand when I make these remarks I assume that there are a great many members of this Association present who do not live in Ohio, and I may make some statements that are very familiar to the members who live in this state. The powers and scope of the Public Utilities Commission has to do first with the issuing of securities, with the issuing of stocks and bonds, and even notes, where they run more than a year. It also has to do with service. By service, I mean matters affecting the kind of service that you are rendering at your individual plants. If some of your consumers should make a complaint as to the service to the Commission, it is its duty to investigate such complaints. It also has to do with rates. As a rule rates are established by the local authorities in each municipality. The council fixes a maximum rate. If that is accepted by the company, and becomes a contract, the Public Utilities Commission has no power to change it, although it may change certain classifications. In other words it cannot change the maximum rate, but if you, under a maximum rate, establish different classes and different prices for water to those different classes, I think that the Commission probably has the right to investigate those classifications and those underlying rates. The Commission in making a rate is obliged by the law to first make a valuation of your property. Until the last Legislature the law was so construed that any municipality might call on the Commission to value its property without assigning any reason, but I think there has been an amendment at the last Legislature by which before the Commission will undertake to value your property, there shall be a preliminary hearing and at that hearing the Commission shall determine whether there is an actual necessity for making the valuation. About a year or more ago there was an order issued by the Commission which the Ohio members are familiar with, known as the 176 order. Order 176 required that all water works in Ohio, along with other utilities, should file with the Commission a complete inventory and valuation of their property. The first item called for was a valuation of all lands. At the time the order was made, we had as a member of our Commission, a gentleman who had definite ideas as to what constituted land. This member wanted it distinctly understood that land was land, and without anything added to it in the way of buildings,.—it was simply land without anything added to it by man, so that if any of you have not filed that appraisal, you must distinctly keep in mind that when land is referred to, it means land only. In making the valuation the Commission called in this order for a reproductive value as of a certain date. In determining values, you must remember that it is the value of the property at the date when the appraisal is made. It means, what did it cost to buy the material, what was the cost to put that material in position, and you must forget entirely your books, and what your books may show’ as to the original cost of the particular item that you are inventorying. That is true with the exception of the one item of land, and there the order states that the Commission would like to have from your records, if your books so disclose, the original purchase price of the land, but it stops with that and does not want any information as to what a boiler, an engine, pump or anything else cost as shown by your books, but what it would cost on the day of appraisal. From that, the company is expected to depreciate its property down to its present value, and when you get into the matter of depreciation vou get into a very intricate subject. It is a subject on which a great many men differ, and it is left for the manger or the man who is making up the appraisal to use his own judgment as to what that depreciation is, and how he arrives at it. There are two or three well known methods of depreciation. One is the straight line method; another is a sinking fund method; and the other is a depreciation determined by actual investigation or observation. While 1 am not speaking as a representative of the Commission, and what I may offer is my own observations, I think that the Commission rather favors the plan of depreciation of property as made from observation. That is not always possible, and you may have a composite depreciation coming from age, along with the observation. This is the case in mains. You cannot observe them, except as you, from time to time, go down for repairs, or tapping for services, so that in this item it is almost necessary to figure on the age in order to give you some clue as to the possible present value of the mains. All companies are vitally interested in appraisals, because whenever you come up to the point where you want to issue bonds or stock, you are confronted then with the question of the value of your property. Coming to depreciation, I would consider the one element which measures it more than anything else, to be the matter of maintenance. If you want to know how much a thing depreciates from year to year and you have a very accurate record of what it has cost you to maintain the property, then you have a pretty fair idea of what should be the basis of depreciation. As an illustration, on the question of meters, how much do meters depreciate from year to year? I do not know whether among the members of this Association there has been any one who has kept an accurate record of what his company puts into their meters. I dare say you have a meter repair account, and you can say you have spent fifty, or a thousand, or fifteen hundred dollars in repairs for meters, but you cannot single out a certain meter and say that that meter has been added to by repairs in maintenance so much, and that is where the record fails of its most important purpose. In preparing a valuation for instance on the question of rates, my observations in the various cases that have come before the Commission during the time I have been associated with the Commission, something like four years, leads me to believe that a great many companies handicap themselves in coming before the Commission unprepared. Their petition or application is presented in a loose, unbusinesslike way, and while they may be absolutely honest in their statements that they make, there is an impression created from the fact that they are not prepared to answer this, that and the other question, that there is something suspicious about it, and that is another reason why I think that your records should be very complete when you come to the time when you want to file an application asking for a stock or bond issue, that your petition may be clean cut and to show an answer to every question that is required to be answered by the law in matters of application for the issuing of securities and fixing of rates. The preparation of a valuation means the value of your property as it exists, and that property which is useful in serving your consumers. Our Commission, from my observations, have come to the conclusion that no allowance should be made for paving over mains, that is, I mean, paving that was placed over the mains after the mains were laid, although there is some reason why there should be some value attached in cases where the mains are laid after the paving. Another matter is the question of franchises. It is hardly worth while to speak of that, but in passing it might be stated that there is no allowance made for a franchise. The Commission does not consider that a franchise has any value although it is very proper to introduce the cost of obtaining the franchise, that is, the legitimate cost of obtaining a franchise. There is also an item which I have introduced into all my valuations, and that is working capital. Working capital has been variously defined. Some call working capital the amount of money you have invested in supplies, and extra parts. In the case of a water company, it would be the pipe you had on hand, meter repair parts, extra parts for pumps and things of that sort. That is a very proper thing to have in an appraisal. It is money that you are required to have invested in those things. It is a prudent thing to do. The State of Ohio expects you to be prudent men and prepare for things of that sort, that will prevent an interruption of the service. But beyond that I think there is a certain amount of money that you should introduce into your valuations that is not represented by these supplies that I have just spoken of, that is, some money that you can lay your hands on, money in the bank. I do not mean the money coming from the routine of the business, such as the collection of the water bill in March for water supplied in February, because that is a continuous operation, but I mean money beyond that, so if at some time you find the market is such that you can buy large quantities of cast iron pipe on favorable terms, that you will have a fund to draw on, and be able to buy severay carloads to meet the demand of some future time. There is still before the Commission the question of a going concern value. There have been various Court decisions on the matter of going concern. One of the most prominent cases was that of the Consolidated Gas Company of New York. In that case the Court held that there wasn’t such a thing as a good will value for rate making purposes. There might be good will value if you wanted to purchase your neighbor’s plant, but so far as the value of the public is concerned there wasn’t such a thing as good will, from the fact that it was a monopoly. Good will was figured as being something arising from the fact that the consumer had the opportunity of choice, but where there was only one water company, or only one gas company, or only one electric light company, that the consumer must go to that particular company, in other words there was no competition. It was not the good will that the grocer has by which the old customer is likely to resort to the old place of business. But there is a going concern value which means the cost of getting business. There is quite a difference between a plant that has no consumers, and the plant that has consumers, and I think the Commission, from my observations, is inclined to give some value to the cost of attaching customers to your plant, and that, I think, is a very proper item to introduce and present to the Commission when you come up to the matter of valuation of your plant and your business. As stated before, Commission’s rulings are subject to review by higher courts. In not many instances have cases been appealed, but there have been a few cases in which appeals have been taken from the orders of the Commission.

Chairman Jerry O’Shaughnessy.Secretary R. P. Bricker.


The discussion that followed was in part as follows:

Phil Burgess: “Has there been any effort to bring the municipally owned utilities under the control of the Commission, as well as the privately owned plants? I think that is a point of more importance to the man who is operating a private plant, because he has to make his plant self-supporting.”

In answer to Mr. Burgess’ inquiry, Mr. Critchfield said about the only thing that has been done in that direction, is in the matter of accounting. The Public Utility Act provides that the Public Utilities Commission may prepare a system of accounts which the municipally owned plant must keep. It is felt that this is the entering wedge by which the Commission might get into the matter of governing and controlling the municipally owned plant. About a year ago, the Commission started to prepare a system of bookkeeping for all kinds of utilities. Pursuant to that they employed a gentlemen preparing a system of bookkeeping for electric light companies. The Commission was reorganized and the matter has been dropped. That question came up the other day as to whether the Commission has prescribed any form of books for other utilities than electric light companies and I am in a position to say that they have not.

John W. Hill said: “I am very much interested in your remarks. You have furnished me with information of which I shall avail myself later, and yet there are some things I would like to speak of. One is depreciation. All that you have said about it is correct, perhaps, but there is many a case where a particular bit of a water works or a gas works or some other utility, after being used for fifteen or twenty years, is quite as good as it was the day it was purchased and put in service. Now comes the other proposition. There may be boilers and pumps and other machinery that have outlived their usefullness by the advance or progress along that particular line. The question of depreciation: The straight line method I do not believe is proper, and the sinking fund method I have not used. I use a method by fixing a value by the real worth of the particular bit of the public utility today, and think perhaps it is the best. In regard to the value of a franchise, I know that, under the law of this State, the franchise has no value, but a few illustrations have come under my observation, where a franchise or good will, or going concern, has had a very great value.”

Jerry O’Shaughnessy remarked that he could not understand why the Utilities Commission docs not add any value to the pipe under an improved street and said: “It is placed under an unimproved street, and afterwards the street becomes improved, and it surely has changed the value of it. I do not understand how they reason that way, if you go and buy a vacant piece of property anywhere and somebody comes and improves it around you, it adds value to it, and if you had to place that main in the street after it was improved, it would cost more to do it. I would like to have Mr. Critchfield explain how they reason that out. I have taken up mains that have been in the ground for thirty years, and found them just as good as when the pipe was first put down. There are a great many reasons why that would not be true all over the system, as I imagine that mains in certain formations would be attacked from causes that do not exist in other parts of the city, and in other formations they would not be attacked.

Mr. Critchfield: I do not believe that the Commission has made any formal declaration. Their findings would seem to say that you did not lay the paving and that they were put down without expense to you, other than your portion of the taxes, as a taxpayer of the city. But you can put the cost of cutting through into your maintenance. You can show in certain years that by reason of the fact that there was a pavement there, that it took more to go down to repair your mains than it would if there had been no pavement there. While it is a proper charge to your maintenance account it should not be added to the value of the plant.

Mr. O’Shaughncssy then asked: Supposing now in the City of Columbus that you had a bonded indebtedness of three million and a half on the water plant. Now, to make an appraisment and value the plant as an asset; how would you arrive at the value of the main that we put on High Street; would you put on the value that it cost us, or what it is worth to-day?

Mr. Critchfield replied: The Commission makes two sorts of appraisals, or rather it makes an appraisal for two different reasons. The Commission can appraise the property where there is a question of rates involved, and it can also appraise a property where there is a question of purchase and sale. If a certain municipality comes to the conclusion that they would like to buy the local water plant, they can call upon the Commission to make a valuation of that water plant, although it is not binding on the city to accept that appraisement. Now, it occurs to me in any question of purchase and sale that the Commission probably might introduce and allow the matter of paving, but on the question of rates—and answering your question direct Mr. O’Shaughncssy, they will attempt to fix the value of your mains as they exist to-day; they would ascertain what it could cost if your mains did not exist, to put them there, and then they would depreciate them down to the amount that they had suffered from actual wear and tear and any other elements.

Mr. Martin said: On the question of paving, I think that the Commission have really no authority’ to take up that matter as our courts have decided. One decision was by the Supreme Court of the United States, that paving is not a proper charge, where the paving is made after the main is laid. Now, the theory and the argument advanced there was this, that the consumer should only pay a rate of return on the actual investment. Now, one question in reference to the depreciation of you property. These returns that we are making in the way of appraisals, no doubt, you have found, are used not only by the Utility Commission for rate purposes and valuations, but if any of you have been before the Tax Commission you will find that they have the same valuation, and at once they begin to question you as to why you should not be taxed according to your return. If the Commission would allow’ you a rate of return upon your valuation, and that could be changed from year to year, so that your return would always be adequate and fair, then vou could make one return that could be used for both taxation and rate making purposes, but all of our contracts are made for periods of five or ten years water service, and cannot be altered or changed during that period, while the tax return is changed each and every year.

Treasurer A. W. Inman.

Mr. Burgess remarked that in the matter of making appraisals Mr. Critchfield had mentioned a number of methods and said: “And some, I think, he has not mentioned. I recently was interested in a case where a valuation of a private property was made by an engineer and he used a method of reproduction new. He argued, however, that in order to reproduce this property at that particular cost they would have to obtain the money, and in order to obtain the money they had to sell bonds at a distcount, that is, bonds assumed to be at the rate of five per cent, to be sold at ninety cents on the dollar. Now, I would like to ask whether or not the Commission, in making the valuation, on the method of reproduction new, has given any consideration to this discount, whether or not they would add to the valuation obtained, or reproduction cost, the item representing the bond discount.”

Mr. Burgess added: “It is not exactly broker’s discount. For instance, in order to raise $100,000, you would have to sell $110,000 of bonds. In other words, there is a ten per cent, discount on the bonds, and it is argued frequently that that ten per cent, is cost, it is reproduction cost, and should be included, and would fairly add ten thousand dollars to the reproductive cost of the plant, representing the cost of obtaining the money to build the plant,”

Mr. Critchfield, replying, said: “I do not think the Commission has directly answered that question, except in this way. If it is the intention of the utility to make an extension and to purchase $100,000 worth of material, and it is shown by the sale of bonds that they can only raise $00,000, that they could sell more bonds; or in other words, that they could sell $110,000 of bonds in order to secure $100,000 to purchase a $100,000 of material. The Commission will permit them to do that, because in every issue of bonds they make that inquiry specifically as to what the securities will sell at, and very often testimony is introduced as to the market value of the bonds and stocks, and as to what they can reasonably expect to get from the sale of them. Hence, I take it the Commission is in this situation, the Commission is concerned in the value of securities, although they do not profess to do that, but the fact is they do try to put some stamp of approval on the bond or stock issue. But on the other hand they are more concerned in having the company give good service to the public, no matter what the cost. And answering your question directly, I think they would have permitted the issue of securities in such an amount as would realize the amount of money that is necessary in order to make the improvements or extension.

Mr. Burgess: I appreciate that they do allow that excess of the issue. The whole thing comes down to this, to my mind, that in making a reproductive value of a hundred thousand dollar plant, you are going to sell bonds for $110,000, and there is a loss there of $10,000 temporarily. In placing the reproductive cost new on that property, before you depreciate it, there is a problem of where to put that $10,000—you add that $10,000 to the reproductive cost new, as of to-day.

Mr. Critchfield replied: That is, if in times gone by, in year to year financing, that you have sold bonds at less than par, the Commission will in valuing the property take that into account?

Mr. Critchfield, in conclusion, said that the value of a property is made on its physical assets without reference to its issue of capital stock or bonds. In other words, if you in the past have only been able to sell your securities or bonds for seventy-five per cent, of their face value, why that is your misfortune, and all that you are entitled to is what it would cost now to build your plant, but as to future matters where you go before the Commission and say it is necessary to buy new boilers and engines, and in order to do that, that you will have to sell bonds, at ninety, I think the Commission will allow you to sell an additional amount of securities to raise the amount of money necessary and further said, in response to a point raised by Mr. Martin, that the Commission has allowed overhead percentage, adding: But T don’t think it contemplates that in that percentage there is absorbed the amount the company loses by the sale of securities. There are certain things that are recognized in the construction of a plant; where there is money being invested constantly, and no return, the C ommission allows a fair rate of interest on that. They allow for taxes you may pay before your business becomes self-supporting; they allow for insurance, accident insurance and fire insurance; they allow for all engineering and certain fees that you pay to the Secretary of State for your franchise and other things of that sort, but if it also includes losses that you receive by selling your securities at less than their par value, it is news to me, although that may be the case.

Second Day—Afternoon Session.

The convention met with Captain C. W. Wiles in the Chair. R. P. Bricker, Shelby, O., read his report as secretary. Treasurer A. W. Inman then presented his report and these reports were referred to the auditing committee. The Committee on By-Laws presented its report and the “By-Laws of the Central States Section of the American Water Works Association” were adopted.

Election of Officers.

Chairman Wiles announced the next item of business to be the election of officers for the ensuing year, which consists of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer, and three Directors. The Nominating Committee, composed of S. F. Messer, W. F. Schickler and E. Tobias, reported as follows: Chairman, Jerry O’Shaugncssy, Columbus, O.; Vice-Chairman,

F.lroy Tobias, Hastings, Mich.; Treas., A. W. Inman, Massillon, O.; Directors, C. W. Wiles, Delaware, O., 3 years; Chas. Londick, Three Rivers, Mich., 2 years; H. H. Frost, Akron, O., 1 year. Secretary to be appointed by the Executive Committee. On motion the Secretary was instructed to cast the ballot for the above named nominees. On motion R. P. Bricker was appointed to act as temporary Secretary until such time as the Executive Committee could get together and appoint his successor. On motion of Mr. Beardsley, the applications of Mr. Wetter, of Tiffin, and Mr. Jones, of Circleville, were presented for membership in the Section, and the same were voted in. After some discussion, the time and place of meeting for next year was left to the decision of the Executive Committee. Upon motion of Mr. Burgess, it was decided that the Chairman of the Division appoint a Legislative Committee to take up with the proper parties the subject as to whether or not the cities could pay the expense of a representative to the American Association meeting The meeting then adjourned.




The Nineteenth Annual Convention of the Central States Water Works Association was held at the Chittenden Hotel, Columbus, O., on October 20 and 21.

First Day—Morning Session.

The Convention was called to order at 10.30 A. M., on October 20th by Secretary R. P. Bricker, of Shelby, Ohio. Inasmuch as Mr. F. W. Collins, president of the association, was not present, also the vice-president, Mr. W. C. Davisson, being absent, Mr. J. C. Martin of Columbus, Ohio, acted as temporary chairman of the meeting.

Address of Welcome by Superintendent O’Shaughnessy.

The first item on the program for this meeting was the address of welcome by the Superintendent of Water Works, Columbus, O., Mr. Jerry O’Shaughnessy, which was as follows: “This town welcomes everybody at all times and I think that your stay in this city will be a pleasant one. I hope so at least. The program states that there has been an invitation extended to you to join us and go to the filtration plant. We think we have here, and I believe you will agree with us after you have passed through the plant, one of the most modern and up-to-date plants in the United States. There may be some cities that have just as good but there arc none that have any better. We are in advance of all our neighbors on several points. There is one feature that may interest you. We have installed a plant to make our own alum. That is the only plant that I know of anywhere which manufactures its own alum for its own consumption. We found sometime ago that we were paying on an average of $17.35 a ton for alum and were using approximately a thousand tons a year. We now have a plant to make our own alum. It started last Christmas Day. We are now turning out the alum at a shade under $10 a ton, and you understand that on account of the war, the alum market has gone clear out of sight and I believe some plants are paying as high as $23 for alum to-day. We were fortunate in having our contract so placed that they could not raise the price of acids. On the beauxite, the market is just as it always was. There is nothing unusual with the beauxite at all. That is a fact that I think will interest you if you are at all interested in a plant at home. And we have other features there. We have installed a mechanical apparatus for handling all the lime. We found the plant without chemical storage and in order to make chemical storage so as not to go without lime at any time, or not to pay demurrage, we built a plant for that purpose. Alt lime out there is mechanically unloaded and after it is taken from the car, you never see it again until after it passes through the plant. Now, we have under consideration a plan for redeeming the lime after it is used. At the present time the sludge is washed into the river through the sewers and it makes an unsightly river, and another result is that we are continuously buying lime. We have an experimental plant there by means of which we have demonstrated what we want and the next proposition is to install the plant. The idea is to take the sludge from the basin, reburn it, and use it again. There may be some cities with more expensive plants, but we believe that you will agree with us that we have got them on a great many propositions of that sort. I hope that you will all go on this trip this afternoon. We think it will he the greatest educational feature of this meeting, and I hope you will not disappoint us. Your secretary has a letter from Prof. Magruder of the Mechanical Laboratory, State University, inviting this convention to visit the University in a body.”

Chairman Martin stated he was very sorry to announce that Captain C. W. Wiles, who was on the program for response to the address of welcome was unable to be there that morning, and added: “In the absence of Captain Wiles I will say on behalf of the Association that we are certainly under obligations for this opportunity afforded us by Mr. O’Shaughnessy of visiting the water works plant, the filtration plant and the storage dam. The water of Columbus recently tested by the United States engineers was pronounced onehundred per cent. pure. The high efficiency of the plant; the purity of the water, and the solving of many of these problems are due to the efforts and knowledge of Mr. O’Shaughnessy in water works matters. The city of Columbus has welcomed this association and for that we are truly thankful. Also, we are thankful for the courtesies extended to the association by the university, and on behalf of the association I wish to extend to Mr. O’Shaughnessy and to those extending courtesies to the association, the thanks of the association.

Address on Rapid Sand Filters in Ohio. By Philip Burgess.

An address on the subject of the Development of Rapid Sand Filters in Ohio was then made by Philip Burgess, M. Am. Soc. C. E., Columbus, O., which was in part as follows:

The early installation of municipal water works plants in Ohio generally were the results of requirements for fire protection and but little attention was given to the quality of the public water supply obtained. Within recent years, however, the rapid increase in population has caused appreciable and in some cases serious pollution of all surface waters in the state; and at the same time, there has been brought about by a campaign of education a much larger and fuller appreciation of the value and worth of a pure public water supply. Experience indicates that the rapid sand filter is best qualified for the purification of the comparatively turbid waters found in the Middle West, and it is the speaker’s endeavor to indicate what a prominent and important part in the development of the history and art of water purification by rapid sand filters has been played in the State of Ohio. Possibly a few general remarks, relative to the growth and character of rapid sand filter plants in Ohio, will indicate how true this is. In this connection, it may be noted that a patent for the use of a coagulant in connection with the filtration of water was granted to J. L. Hyatt in 1884. The first rapid sand filter plant constructed in the State of Ohio was built at Warren in 1895, and was of the type covered by letters patent issued to J. E. Warren in 1889. The largest municipal water softening plant in the world and the second largest rapid sand filter plant in the world is constructed at Cleveland. Ohio, and has a capacity of 144,000,000 gallons daily. The third largest rapid sand filter plant in the world also is in Ohio, at Cincinnati, and has a capacity of 112,000,000 gallons daily. Moreover, the Cincinnati filters were the first municipal filters designed for the application of wash water at high rates without any other means of agitation for cleaning the sand. In building the Cincinnati filters, a brass wire screen was placed over the gravel to keep it in place during washing. The first municipal rapid sand filter plant designed for high rates of washing, and constructed with deep, coarse, gravel layers over the strainer systems without super-imposed screens for holding down the gravel during washing was constructed at Niles, Ohio in 1910. The first filter plant at which alum has been manufactured for use as a coagulant is at Columbus, O. The first municipal rapid sand filter plant at which the disinfectant qualities of common lime have been intelligently and knowingly utilized is at Cleveland. Ohio. The citizens of the state are now enjoying the use of larger rapid filter capacities than any other state. This is well indicated in the following table wherein are shown the filter capacities and the population served by rapid sand filters constructed in Ohio during the several periods indicated.

Period Population served by Daily capacity new plants at end of of new plants


1895 7,900 1,450,000 Gals.

1896-1900 . 35,371 7,870,000 Gals.

1901-1905 . 123,284 24,520,000 Gals.

1906-1910 . 777,293 179,650,000 Gals.

1911-1915 . 930,674 236,200,000 Gals.

Total present daily filter capacity .449,200,000 Gals.

Total population served in 1915 . 1,940,000 Gals.

At the present time the total filtering capacity of rapid sand filter plants now in operation or under construction in the State of Ohio is 450 million gallons daily and the filters serve a population of nearly two millions. It is of interest to note that the total nominal capacity of filters now in operation or under construction in the State is sufficient to provide nearly 90 gallons of filtered water daily for every resident of the state. Possibly the most interesting feature in connection with the construction of rapid sand filter plants in Ohio is the development which has been accomplished in the design and construction of the plants. As would be expected in the interval of time that has elapsed from construction of the first plants to the present time, there has been a marked improvement in the design and arrangement of the units especially in regard to the treatment of the water before it is passed through the sand filters, and in regard to the size, form, and construction of the filter tanks. As previously stated, the first plant constructed in Ohio is of the Warren type and consists of units containing sand filtering beds supported on perforated metal plates. Beneath the filter bed bottom of each unit is a chamber into which the filtered water pours on its way to the main filtered water outlet. During washing, water is turned under pressure into the clear water compartment beneath the sand and forced upward through the perforated plates and into the sand. Such a strainer system may be classed as an “open type strainer.” The disadvantage of such a system is that it is difficult to get a uniform distribution of wash water throughout the entire area, especially in large units. The design is satisfactory for small units, but is not entirely satisfactory for larger units on account of its excessive distribution of the wash water over the filter bottoms, as they were originally constructed. This is especially true in the old units wherein the sand was supported on brass wire screens, having comparatively large aggregate openings. The filters constructed at Lorain were of the Jewell type. The essential features of these filters were that the strainer systems were composed of perforated pipes containing sand valves placed at uniform intervals covering the filter bottom. Filtered water was collected in the strainer pipes and carried to a main storage reservoir. No filtered water compartment for collecting the effluent was provided beneath the sand. It is significant that many modern plants still are constructed using strainer systems of this type. The advantages of this system are that the wash water can be applied at higher rates under greater pressure without danger of damaging filters. Moreover the design permits the construction of a second compartment beneath the filter to store the water for sedimentation and coagulation on its way to the filter. A modification of this closed type of strainer is to be found in the Hyatt cone valves, such as are used in the filters at Geneva and Newark, Ohio. These valves comprise cast iron cones about six inches high and six inches in diameter at the top, covered with brass, perforated hemispherical plates, and filled with shot or fine gravel. The principal advantage of these units is that they can be taken apart and cleaned without damaging the strainer system. The old Warren filters contained no provision whatever for treating the water before it was applied to the filters, so that the only opportunity permitted for coagulation and sedimentation was as the water stood above the sand in the filters or by providing outside settling tanks. The period of coagulation provided in the filters was about fifteen minutes. Approximately the same period of time for coagulation was permitted in the compartment provided beneath the Jewell filter of the Lorain type. Probably the greatest development in the art of water purification has been an appreciation of the fact that the burden to be placed upon the filters should be made as small as possible in order to accomplish the most satisfactory results at the least expense. Within reasonable limits, it is true that the percentage removal of bacteria and impurities by the filters themselves is limited so that, of course, the best results are accomplished by removing all possible impurities by preliminary treatment before filtration. This has been appreciated in the design of modern plants wherein the period provided for coagulation and sedimentation previous to filtration is frequently from three to six hours. In the same way, there has been a marked development in the design of the filter tanks themselves. The phrase “mechanical filter” frequently applied to rapid sand filters, was derived from the fact that a stirring device, or mechanical agitator, was provided to stir the sand in the filters and thus to assist in the removal of impurities during washing. It is obvious that such a device required a circular filter tank. As early as 1889, it was recognized that air under pressure could be used to agitate the filter sand during washing and the application of this principle, of course, permitted the use of rectangular tanks in place of the circular tanks as previously required with mechanical agitators or rakes. This principle has proven of great value in reducing the construction cost of the larger mechanical or rapid sand filters, because it has permitted the use of reinforced concrete, rectangular units occupying very much less area than is required for circular tanks of the same capacity. It is significant of the development of the art of water purification that the last wooden sand filters now operating in Ohio and provided with mechanical agitators very soon will be removed and replaced by rectangular concrete tanks. The old filter tank at Lorain had been replaced some years ago by a modern concrete filter plant, and it is of interest to note that the results accomplished by the modern plant to-day are no more satisfactory than the results which were accomplished by the old plant, before its capacity was exceeded. Moreover, the cost of operation of the new plant is considerably in excess of that of the old plant. In view of the disadvantages apparent in the closed type of strainer system comprising perforated pipes, equipped with sand screens, or valves, engineers have endeavored to develop a strainer system of the closed type in which all parts would be accessible. The first strainer system to be developed along these lines in Ohio was used at Cincinnati and comprised lateral concrete channels covered with perforated brass plates. The design permits the removal of the plates and inspection and cleaning of all parts of the strainer system. A further important modification in the design of rapid sand filters was developed at Cincinnati and comprised the use of wash water without either air or mechanical agitators for cleaning the sand. Not the least important development in the design of rapid sand filters has been in connection with the use of larger and deeper gravel layers. A considerable part of the expense of operating a rapid sand filter plant is incurred by the cost of the necessary coagulant, and any development which tends to reduce the cost of the chemical is, of course, an important advance in the art of water purification. The coagulant most commonly used is filter alum, or aluminum sulphate, which generally is purchased in crystalline form at a cost of about 9 cents per pound. To Mr. Hoover, chemist in charge of the Columbus, O., Softening and Rapid Sand FilterPlant, belongs the credit for introducing the manufacture of the filter alum directly at the plant. The alum manufactured at the Columbus plant is not filtered or crystallized but is applied in the crude liquid form. It is obtained at less than one-half the cost of the finished manufactured product and, on account of the fine clay contained in the liquid, has proven even more efficient than the clear crystallized chemical. Another notable development in the art of water purification has been accomplished by the introduction of disinfectants or sterilizing agents. The three disinfecting agents which have been used on a large scale to sterilize municipal water supplies are hypochlorite of lime, liquid chlorine, and quick-lime, or calcium oxide, and the use of these germicides has become so universal that it is the exception where a filter plant effluent is not treated in this manner. The most common treatment is with hypochlorite of lime, or with liquid chlorine gas. The municipal softening plant at Columbus, O., has offered unusual opportunities to study the germicidal effect of quick lime, which is used primarily to soften the hard water of the Scioto River, but which is found also to destroy bacterial life in the treated water by eliminating the carbonic acid which appears to be necessary for sustaining such life. Dr. A. C. Houston, chemist, of the Metropolitan Water Board of London, England, probably is the first observer to note such germicidal action of lime. He recommended the application of lime to river water in excess of the amount required to soften the water, thus causing a caustic alkalinity of the treated water, a feature which he considered to be necessary to obtain any sterilizing action by lime treatment. The germicidal action of quick lime, together with the appreciation of the value of softened water, has been utilized in the design and construction of the new water purification plant of the rapid sand filter type recently constructed for the city of Cleveland, O. The use of lime to treat and soften Lake Erie water, which has an average total hardness of not more than 115 parts per million, is a radical departure from former current practice because such water, especially in the Middle West where hard water prevails, would be considered of satisfactory quality for domestic use without softening. It is reasoned, however, that owing to the considerable difference in cost per ton of quick lime and of alum, it is possible to use about four times as much lime as alum at the same expense. The lime, however, has a continued germicidal action especially on intestinal bacteria contained in the water, and moreover, the lime will soften the supply which will thus be made more desirable at but slightly more expense than would be entailed by the usual methods of filtration, using a coagulant such as filter alum. It is, of course, difficult to state where further developments in the art of water purification may be accomplished, but it is very apparent that the present stage of development is such that it is possible to treat even a badly polluted water by rapid sand filters, and in conjunction with a sterilizing process, to produce a water very satisfactory in all respects for domestic use.


Chairman Martin stated Mr. Burgess’ paper rad been a very interesting and instructive one, especially in view of the fact that the deep tvell supply in Ohio is continually decreasing, and the demand is increasing and said: ‘With the increase of population, the pollution af our streams is becoming so great that it is almost disastrous to use other than filtered and treated water, and it is a subjejet that to my mind should interest all of us,” and announced the discussion of the paper.

Mr. Beardsley said he would like to ask Mr. Burgess one question about the Cleveland plant”If I understand it, you are going to use quick lime as the disinfectant in the new Cleveland plant?” To which Mr. Burgess replied: “I may state that the treatment there is to be entirely accomplished by lime, only.

Mr. Beardsley said: “The reason I asked, I understood from a representative of one of the New York concerns who makes this liquid chlorine, that they had installed a plant there

Mr Burgess replied: They may depend on that too, of course. For instance, it has been shown here with this plant recently that the lime does tend to eliminate the harmful bacteria, but that there are certain other harmless bacteria which will grow in lime treated water. I can recall in iny typhoid experience, that the water treated with lime in some instances had considerable more bacteria than the river water. Now, in Cleveland, they may have to at times, at least, treat the water with some other germicidal chemical than the quick lime to eliminate growths of that nature, and they may treat it constantly, but the lime treatment of itself, undoubtedly, if carried to the point that it should be carried, ought to soften the water fully and eliminate harmful bacteria. I think that is what I should possibly say in qualifying my statement.”

Mr. Inman moved to extend a vote of thanks to Mr. Burgess for his paper and the motion was seconded and unamimously carried. Adjournment.

Wednesday Afternoon.

The members, accompanied by the ladies in attendance, enjoyed an automobile trip to the Water Works Plant, the Filtration Plant, the Storage Dam and the. Mechanical Laboratory, Ohio State University.

(To be Continued.)