CHEAPER WATER RATE FOR SEATTLE
With all anticipated improvements carried out, Seattle, Wash., will have invested in its water system less than $10,000,000 for a supply of 265,000,000 gallons a day. At the present time the water system has cost less than $3,375,000, including Volunteer reservoir, Lincoln Park reservoir, Volunteer Park standpipe, Queen Anne Hill standpipe, twin reservoirs on Beacon hill, twin reservoirs at Green lake, six tanks in West Seattle and will be sufficient to construct the Magnolia Bluff and Beacon Hill standpipes. Compared with the expenditures of other cities, Seattle is fortunate, not only in obtaining the best quality of water, but at the minimum of cost. Los Angeles recently voted $23,000,000 of bonds to construct and operate a water system. The chief engineer of that city was recently in Seattle and announced that another issue would be necessary to finish the work, sufficient to bring the total cost of the system to approximately $30,000,000. For this expenditure Los Angeles will obtain a supply of 65,000,000 gallons of water a day. When all of the proposed betterments are made in the Seattle Cedar river system, at a total cost of less than $10,000,000. Seattle will have a supply at hand of 265,000,000 gallons.
Concrete and steel will be the materials used for the construction of the third pipe line between Cedar lake and Seattle, according to City Engineer R. H. Thomson, and plans for the new construction are practically completed. This will give Seattle a daily capacity sufficient for a city of 1,000,000 inhabitants. One man from the engineer’s office has been at work on the new pipe line plans for more than a year and is now working out the details, but with no idea that they will be needed for two or three years at least. If the present plans are carried out, Seattle will control and operate the best plant of any city in the world and at a cost that will look nominal, as compared with the expenditures of other cities. Engineer Thomson does not believe with Superintendent L. B. Youngs that there is any particular danger of the old pipe line going out or becoming so disabled that its supply will be cut off. He does believe that it will require constant attention, but that the same care will be necessary for the new main finished a year and a half ago.
In the construction of the third pipe line the city employes are working on something more than immediate relief. Permanency is the object in all of the preliminary work, and when the improvement is ordered it is believed that it can be carried through on lines that will insure against any water famine, regardless of the growth of the city. The city engineer admits that the two lines carrying water from Cedar lake to Seattle are buried in positions that make many changes and repairs necessary, but he explains this to the effect that it was necessary to take this route in order to save the expense of a great undertaking. The pipe lines now traverse two sloughs, in which the wooden staves rot rapidly, and follow the Renton hill over an abandoned colliery. These places are regarded as dangerous to the life of a water main of large dimensions, and will require constant attention. The third pipe line will not follow this course, but will be laid on the north side of Cedar river instead of the south, and will receive its supply from an intake pipe 7 miles further from Seattle, at a considerably higher altitude, high enough, in fact, to supply all of the reservoirs and standpipes in Seattle without pumping. The right-of-way for this pipe line is included in the suits recently brought in the superior court for territory that will give perfeet protection to the Cedar river watershed and prevent all danger of pollution.
Between the intake pipe and Renton hill the third main will be constructed of concrete, with a covering near enough to the service that repairs may be made without difficulty. From the top of the Renton hill into Seattle, steel pipe will be used, and laterals will be run to each of the reservoirs and standpipes, thus doing away with the additional expense of pumping. This line will be laid high enough to supply the Queen Anne Hill and Magnolia Bluff standpipes, the highest storage basins in the city. All of the mains, main and lateral, will be of steel and enough time will be taken in the construction to insure perfection as near as it can be obtained.
While all the plans are almost perfected for the third pipe line, Engineer Thomson has other work in hand that will improve the water system, and these will be finished before thought is given to the permanent pipe construction. Just at the present time the construction of a new dam at a point a mile and a half below the present dam at Cedar lake is attracting the attention of the engineering department, and the work of clearing twelve acres of land to make room for the new structure is in progress. This dam is to be of concrete, located at a point on Cedar river where a perfect foundation may be had and where the rockbound mountains will make a foundation for the wings that will support the big structure. From the bed of Cedar river to the top of the dam will be a distance of 110 feet. The base will be 75 feet thick and will dwindle to 20 feet at the top. The construction of this masonry will raise the level of Cedar lake approximately 60 feet and will supply a sufficient storage to furnish Seattle with water for an entire year, even if there are no rains, a contingency that is never thought of in the Cascades.
The site of the dam will require the clearing of twelve acres of heavy timber and this work is in progress. Before the dam is completed, and before the old structure is removed, it will be necessary to clear 1,200 acres around Cedar lake of timber that will command the fanciest prices because of its size and height. The additional territory around the lake is included in the suits for the acquirement of property for the protection of the watershed, and no effort, according to Thomson, will be made to dispose of the timber until after these suits have been tried and title to the land obtained. Estimating the profit that will accrue from the timber to be sold, the cost of running a railroad from the Milwaukee tracks at Mocton to the lake, The new dam will cost $1,000,000. For immediate work the council has provided $100,000 and the remainder will be taken care of by an issue of bonds. The third pipe line will cost between $3,000,000 and $4,000,000, including the new intake pipe and basin. In addition to the increased supply of water and the permanency of main construction, the city engineer has ideas of beautification. Thomson has dreams of a concrete roadway from Seattle to the first falls, situated about a mile and a half above the power plant, paralleling Cedar river from Maple valley, and built close enough to give the best view possible of the water source. Between that roadway and the river an iron fence is his dream.
South Bend Waterworks Improvements.
Work on the foundation of the new waterworks station at Leeper Park is well under way, and the citizens of South Bend, Ind., look forward to the time when they will have a complete new system of water supply. Plans of the water board include the construction of a pumping station a Leeper Park, to be operated by electricity, the sinking of 72 artesian wells and the abandoning of the present pumping station. The reconstruction work when completed will mean the expenditure of over $50,000. Of this amount, approximately $20,000 will be spent in the construction of the new pumping station. With the pumping of the 12 new artesian wells, water authorities expect the lack of water at any time, as has been experienced several times recently, will be a thing of the past. Approximately 4,000,000 gallons of water will be pumped from the 12 wells daily, according to previous tests, which will make the citys’ total daily water supply approximately 18,000,000 gallons. When pumping up to capacity the north pumping station is able to furnish 9,000,000 gallons of water daily, and the central station 5,000,000 gallons. Following the tests on the first group of wells, a second group of 12 will be sunk in the first wing, increasing the daily capacity of the new station to 8,000,000 gallons. Plans of the water board are to sink 24 more wells during 1911, making a total of 48 wells, with a daily capacity of 16,000,000 gallons. The year following, the board plans to sink another group of 24 in another wing of the Leeper park station, making a total of 12 wells, with a combined daily capacity of 24,000,000 gallons. The supply, it is expected, will be sufficient for the city tor some time to come, and the remaining wing will be left vacant.
New Water System at El Paso.
Municipal waterworks for El Paso. Tex., is now an assured fact. The city council has closed a deal with the International Water Company to take over the company’s waterworks system and the price to be paid by the city is $927,000, the price recommended by the second water commission appointed by Mayor Sweeney. Under the agreement the city is to assume the $477,000 of the company’s outstanding bonds, turn over to the company $265,000 from the sale of the $375,000 in water bonds voted by the citizens in June last, and give the company interest-bearing negotiable paper for $185,000. The city is to retain $110,000 from the sale of the bonds on which it will receive a premium of $15,000, thus giving the city $125,000 from the sale of the bonds. The deal also provides for a loan of $25,000 to improve the waterworks system and for which the plant will be surety. El Paso has a population of about 25,000.
Denver Fighting for Water.
The public utilities commission has issued a statement to the public of Denver. Colo., concerning its investigations of the present water system and plans for the building of a new water system. The findings of the commission based on the report of Hiram Phillips, an engineer of St. Louis, retained by the board and the investigations made by members of the board are substantially as follows: That the value of the property of the Denver Union Water Company is not over $6,405,000; that Marston lake is an unfit source of domestic water supply, that the Mississippi street galleries are unsanitary, that 200 miles of mains are less than standard weight, that some of the streets are covered by duplicate and triplicate water main systems, all of which was counted in the former appraisement, and that the filter plants are not modern and are inefficient.
The commission reports that a new system can be constructed at a cost of $7,318,503. This, the commission recites, includes the cost of water rights, the building of reservoirs, laying of mains, cost of engineering and supervision of construction. Such a plant, it is asserted, can be enlarged on a uniform plan with the growth of the city. The commission reports that the city will have a choice of three reservoir sites in addition to Cheesman reservoir, that the city already owns a large part of the water necessary for the new system, and that all the additional water needed can be purchased for $300,000. The commission states that conservative investment companies are already figuring on the purchase of the bonds and recommends to the taxpaying electors that they vote in favor of the bond issue on September 6.
A suit for an injunction to restrain the city from holding a special election on the $8,000.000 bond issue for the building of a new water plant has been filed in the United States District Court by the New York Trust Company as trustee for the bondholders of the Denver Union Water Company. The defendants named in the action are the mayor, city clerk, city council, election commission and public utilities commission. The attorneys for the plaintiffs are Vaile. McAllister & Vaile. of Denver, and Underwood. Van Vorst & Hoyt, of New York. The city will be represented by City Attorney Harry A. Lindsley and counsel selected by the utilities commission. The water company claims that by the terms of the franchise of 1890 and the city ordinances providing for the appointment of appraisers.
Recent Factory Fire in Jersey.
FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING last week contained a full description of the recent warehouse fire in Jersey City, together with a diagram of the burned district and its environments. A staff artist visited the scene soon after the fire and not only made the diagram, but also took a number of photographs of the ruins. Owing to the extra space demanded by the proceedings of the Syracuse convention, it was not possible to publish these views last week, but they will be found accompanying this article. The fire was one of the most disastrous that Jersey City has suffered in many years. In the absence of Chief Conway. Deputy Chief Lovell was in charge of the fire
department at the time, and he was greatly assisted by Fire Commissioner Morris. One of the features of the fire was the impossibility of the flames getting farther north than the big fireproof storehouse of Butler Brothers, which acted as a fire wall, and thus saved other propery which would inevitably have been destroyed.
The local department was greatly handicapped by the bursting of several sections of hose, and matters would doubtless have been worse had not outside aid been quickly summoned. Manhattan responded with three steamer companies and Hoboken with several more, greatly assisting Acting Chief Lovell in subduing the flames. Spencer Babcock, of engine company No. 8, Jersey City, was killed by a live telegraph wire, and several other firemen were more or less hurt by falling brick walls. The block that was destroyed is across the street from the Henderson street station of the McAdoo tunnel, where several fireproof structures are being built, and in close conteguity to the big train shed of the Pennsylvania railroad. It is understood that as soon as the insurance adjusters complete their work, the burned section will be rebuilt with modern structures.
Mayor and Fireman Killed in HI Paso, Texas.
On August 14, El Paso, Tex., had a fire that caused the death of Mayor W. F. Robinson and Fireman Todd Ware, and destroyed property to the value of more than $235,000. It was the severest blow that the city has ever suffered. From information furnished this journal by Acting Chief Dave Sullivan, of that city, it is learned that the fire broke out at 2:15 on Sunday morning in the Calisher department store, located in the centre of the business district. It proved to be one of the most stubborn that the city had ever experienced. It completely gutted the big 3-story building, destroying everything in the big Calisher department store and in the offices and lodge rooms above; also the American National bank, in temporary quarters in the same building on the first floor. The vault and contents remained intact. Mostly real estate men occupied offices in the second story, while the Knights of Pythias, Woodmen, Maccabees and several other orders had the third floor, with the exception of a number of rooms where several families lived. The origin of the fire is a mystery. The fire had almost burned itself out when the accident occurred. The walls were still standing, but the building was swaying in the breeze. The mayor saw this and went in to warn the firemen that their lives were in danger, as they were still busy pouring water onto the smouldering wreckage. Before he could get away the walls tumbled and, trying to escape with the men he had warned, the mayor was crushed to death. At the same time Fireman Chief Dave Sullivan and Fireman William Robinson were badly injured. Mayor Robinson had almost every bone in his body broken, Todd Ware met a similar death and Assistant according to the attending physicians, who rushed to the victims of the accident as soon as as the men were dug from under the pile of rock. Fireman Ware was crushed about the head and the blood oozed from his ears and nostrils as he lay on the paving in front of the ruined building. Dave Sullivan was injured about the head and was rushed to the hospital but the assistant chief was soon back down town. Fireman Robinson was cut on the face and it is thought that his chest was crushed by the load of brick. Physicians say he will live.
Just previous to the falling of the wall, Art Hull of the Central fire station, Le Gros of the Mesa fire station and others were on top of the waving shell. Thinking it too dangerous, they began descending, and when within a few feet of the ground, they were warned by by-standers to jump for their lives. It was reported that the removal of the heavy aerial truck from the side of the building was what caused the heat charred wall to fall. The firemen were just winding the windlass up to take the aerial truck away when the wall bulged in the middle and crashed to the street. The wall fell in a heap on the sidewalk pinning the men under it so that it was with difficulty that they were dug out by the firemen and volunteers. Considerable apprehension was expressed after the wall fell that the debris had caught a third fireman and a rescue force immediately began work shoveling the brick. The rescuing force was constantly warned to watch for the first sign of a second portion of the wall falling, but little attention was paid, the rubber-coated men and volunteer firemen prosecuting the work of rescue as fast as possible.
The burned structure occupied a space 100x 125 feet, was three stories high and of brick and wood construction. It had been built about eight years. The fire, the origin of which is unknown, was discovered in the basement by a policeman who sent in an alarm from a street box. The alarm was responded to by three engines—two second-size Silsbys and one first-size Metropolitan—four combination wagons, one hose wagon and one 65-foot ladder truck. Nine 4-inch double fire hydrants were available, located about 360 feet apart. From these the department threw six hydrant and five steamer streams with an 80-pound pressure. The nozzles used were and 1 1/2inch, the firemen using 4,600 feet of cotton, rubber-lined hose. Hart turret pipe, six Larkin and five engine nozzles.
An effort was made to confine the flames to the basement of the building and the manholes on both Mesa avenue and Texas street were battered by Chief Armstrong and the cellar flooded with water. The desperate efforts of the firemen were of no avail as the flames burned through the first floor and caught in the inflammable materials of the dress goods department.
Incendiarism Decreasing in Ohio.
State Fire Marshal John W. Zuher has issued the following statement on the decrease of incendiarism in Ohio, which shows that much has been accomplished by his department to bring about this desired result:
The first five months of the current year have developed only thirty-five fires in Ohio of undoubted incendiary origin. This average of seven per month, if kept up throughout the year, will establish a new low record for this state in fires of this character. The low number is remarkable and fully as gratifying as it is remarkable. These figures would indicate for the year a total of only eighty-four incendiary fires, whereas the lowest previous record since the organization of the department was ninety-seven in the year 1905. It was in the early part of that year (1905) that the investigations into the operation of the “Williams County gang” began to bear fruit in the prosecution and conviction of the men who had terrorized that whole neighborhood and caused the destruction of millions of dollars’ worth of property. The reduction of the number of this class of fires from two hundred and ninety-two (292) in the first year of the department’s operation to the present average of a hundred or less is certainly a remarkable showing. That it is very largely attributable to the activities of this office will scarcely be questioned. This reduced number of such fires of course does not by any means represent the number of fires investigated. Very many fires are reported as being incendiary which upon investigation are found to have been accidental or due to some entirely innocent cause. And many others are investigated where there is no suspicion whatever, but which must be looked into in order to determine the cause or origin if possible. The investigation of incendiary fires is rarely an easy task. It frequently takes weeks and sometimes even months or years to secure the evidence necessary to justify or warrant an arrest and prosecution. The reduction in such fires therefore has enabled the department to devote more of its time and the energies of its members to the prosecution of other lines of its work which, while not likely to arouse as much public interest and attention, are, nevertheless, more important from the standpoint of conservation of property. Reference is had to the inspection work of the department. While there has always been more or less work of this character done, the present administration has felt that the department has not been as effective in this regard as it might be made. As a first step in systematizing this branch of the work, the assistant fire marshals are now required to report the result of all inspections made by them upon blanks prepared for the purpose, and these are numbered and filed in the Columbus office. The primary purpose of this is to enable the department, where orders are made to repair or remove buildings or correct conditions, to follow them up and see that they are obeyed. This is not an assumption of new duties by the fire marshal. The statute has charged him with cer tain duties and vested him with certain powers to enable him to perform them. The law is found in the following sections of the General Code:
“Section 834. The state fire marshal, his deputies and subordinates, the chief of the fire department of each city or village where a fire department is established, the mayor of a city or village where no fire department exists, or the clerk of a township in territory without the limits of a city or village, at all reasonable hours may enter into all buildings and upon all premises within their jurisdiction for the purpose of examination.”
“Section 835. If an officer named in the preceding section finds a building or other structure, which, for want of proper repair by reason of age and dilapidated condition, or for any cause is specially liable to fire, and which is so situate as to endanger other buildings or property, or if such officer finds in a building or upon any premises combustible or explosive material or inflammable conditions dangerous to the safety of such building or premises, he shall order such building to be repaired, materials removed or conditions remedied. Thereupon such order shall be complied with by the owner or occupant of such building or premises.”
The sections immediately following prescribe certain penalties for failure to comply with the orders issued by the various officers. It is pleasant to note in this connection that in only one or two instances has it been necessary to invoke the aid of the courts in enforcing the orders of the department. It is to be observed that the duties imposed by the statute are not for the fire marshal alone. Local officers are given practically equal powers, and the fire marshal does not seek nor will he endeavor to supplant or relieve these officers in the performance of these duties. But, on the other hand, he earnestly desires to co-operate with them and stands ready to support them in all reasonable efforts to bring about conditions in this state which will reduce the enormous fire waste. A persistent campaign waged by these various authorities acting harmoniously. together with the sympathetic support and co-operation of the public, which is generally freely given, should to a large extent “clean up” Ohio. It has frequently been stated and is capable of demonstration that nearly four-fifths of the fires which occur in this country are due to easily preventable causes. When one remembers that there occur between four and five thousand fires annually in Ohio and that each fire means an average loss of $1,200, is it not a fearful indictment to say four-fifths of this loss might easily have been prevented? Here is conservation’s opportunity. We need not go west to find a field for it.
More “Sane Fourth” Legislation.
That the agitation for a “sane Fourth” is not limited to a period of time closely adjoining the celebration of that holiday, may be seen by an ordinance recently passed in Kansas City, Mo. After outlining when and by whom fireworks may be sold, the ordinance explicitly forbids the following explosives:
Firecracker exceeding 2 inches in length and one quarter of an inch in diameter. Torpedoes exceeding three-fourths of an inch in diameter. Any substance consisting of chlorate of potash and sulphur or device for discharging or exploding such substance by concussion. Fireworks which contain any explosive more powerful than black gunpowder. The sale of fireworks is prohibited in the following places: Where paints, oils or varnishes are manufactured or kept for use or sale: in carpenter shops or drug stores; in buildings where kerosene or other product of petroleum is sold or in any building in which dynamite, guncotton, nitroglycerine, petroleum or any of its products or compounds containing any of the said substances are kept or sold; in any building or place where tar, pitch, resin, turpentine, hay, cotton or hemp is manufactured, stored or kept for sale; in any building illuminated by any artificial light other than gas and electricity; in any building in which dry goods of any kind or other light materials of a combustible nature, except flags, paper lanterns, paper balloons or decorations are kept on the same floor and within 50 feet of any firecrackers or other fireworks offered or exposed for sale.
Far Better Fire Protection.
In reply to the mayor’s request for his ideas as to amendments in the building laws to secure better protection in case of fire, Building Commissioner Everett, of Boston, Mass., suggests six changes, as follows:
Extend the building limits to embrace areas fast filling up with inflammable structures.
Provide for more frequent fire walls in second and third-class buildings.
Limit the areas which may be used for storage of lumber; surround such areas by fire walls and, if possible, devise some means to prevent live embers flying in case of fire.
More general requirement for sprinkler system. On or before 1915 remove all wooden buildings within the building limits.
These ideas have been held by the commissioner for a number of years and were greatly strengthened by developments at the recent lumber fires. Boston has been fortunate in having but few serious fires during the last ten years. Although the fire department is one of the most efficient, there are certain sections of the city in which it would be absolutely impossible to extinguish a well-started fire. It is for these reasons that the mayor desires the extension of the highpressure service at the earliest opportunity, and in the meantime will lay before the city council the many suggestions he has received for revisions of the building laws.