Chicago Water System Improvement

Chicago Water System Improvement

Plans calling for the expenditure of $10,000,000 to be used in building two new waterworks pumping stations, in laying new water mains and in re-enforcing the water supply in all parts of the city of Chicago, as well as giving a highpressure water system to the stockyards district, are about completed. Some of the work is to be commenced without delay, but some features of the new pumping stations will call for council action, and probably will he deferred until fall. The improvements will add 460,000,000 galons of water daily to the present water supply, which is in addition to the 90,000,000 gallons daily added by improvements made so far this year. When the city’s rehabilitated system :s completed Commissioner of Public Works L. E. McCann, who planned the improvements with the aid of the acting city engineer, said many of the deficiencies pointed out in the report of the National Hoard of hire Underwriters will be overcome, From the first to the last step in the proposed improvements there is enough work, Mr. McCann asserts, to occupy six years, which will make it possible for the city to meet the financial obligations incurred. The first new pumping station is planned for Kedzie avenue and Thirtyfifth street, convenient to the stockyards, with a fourteen foot tunnel running under Thirty-fifth street out two and one-half miles into the lake. The second pumping station is planned to increase the water supply on the northwest side, and will probably be located at Bryn Mawr avenue, near Forty-sixth avenue. This will be fed by a 12 foot tunnel running two and one-half miles out into the lake, and laid under Wilson avenue. The figures on the daily increased water capacity to be brought about by the addition of two new pumping stations, laying of new mains and rehabilitating old equipment is summarized in the plans as follows:

The work, which will proceed as soon as Mr. McCann approves the plans, will be the extension of 36-inch pipes from the Roseland station into the stockyards district to supplement that district’s present tacilities, the opening within 30 days of a “booster” system in the Jefferson Park pumping station, and the addition of four centrifugal engines, each with a daily capacity of 25,000,000 gallons of water. In addit on to these auxiliary engines, which will be located in the Springfield avenue. Central Park avenue, Harrison street and the Fourteenth street pumping stations, the manufacturing district west of the river, between Chicago avenue and Twelfth street, is to he re-enforced by the laying of new 36-inch mains. “The efficiency of the water department was never higher than it is at present,” said Mr. McGann, answering some of the criticisms of the underwriters. “We are working to make the efficiency even greater, but it takes time to build up the department. Wasting water, which is carried on to a large extent, is responsible for the fact that there is not more water available than there is.”

Acting City Engineer Henry A. Allen, who has had practical charge of the new plans, showed statistics on waste to substantiate this assertion. Only 50 per cent, of the water delivered at pumping stations in 1911, which was 161,300,000,000 gallons, was used, he said. Waste and underground leakage was responsible for a shortage of 30 per cent., while plumbing leakage accounted for the remaining 20 per cent The enforcement of the electrolysis ordinance is expected to reduce the loss “The fire department cannot be held responsible for the defects criticized by the underwriters,” said Chief Seyfcr.ich. “The citizens of Chicago refused to pass a bond issue to build and equip 40 more stations that I asked for, and which the department needed. There is no denying it. the fire department has not kept pace with the growth of the city, and there are not enough fire houses, but it takes money to build them.”

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