Cleveland’s Excellent Facilities.
To the Editor of FIRE AND WATER:
DEAR Sir—In reading the report of proceedings of the American Water-woiks Association, as published in yoar issue of the 21 st, I was interested in the discussion of some of the delegates on the question of water mains, placed exclusively for fire purposes and to be used in connection with a fire boat, in which discussion reference was made to Cleveland and the service, and from which I can see that none of the gentlemen seemed to understand the manner of application to the uses of our fire department. For this reason I write that you may be informed as to the actual conditions.
Our fire boat is regularly stationed at the foot of one of our principal business streets, at the river, where, on the wharf a few feet distant, is the building occupied by the firemen or crew as a dormitory and the other oidinary uses applied to engine houses, with the usual wire, etc., connections. Of course steam is always on and the boat ready for immediate service.
We have laid a six (6) inch cast-iron main from the boat’s wharf up to the top of the hill, a distance of about 700 feet, having a grade of about ten leet to the hundred. The pipe is somewhat heavier than that used for ordinary main service, but of uniform size, and is laid just low enough to permit heavy paving being laid above.
This one main is all we have as yet in use, but will shortly have pipes running up the hills of three other streets leading from the river, and from the tops of these hills along the level of these streets for varying respective distances up to about 1200 feet, from which latter points hose for further extension, or the nozzle direct, will be connected for service. Hydrants have two 3 ⅛-inch outlets, with independent shut-off at each, from which two 3 1/2-inch hose can be run 1000 feet in different directions, and forcing two 3-inch streams. Hydrants about 400 feet apart, without valve at bottom, because we need not shut off to avoid freezing, as pipes on the level will be laid at grade to empty when not in use.
We have decided to lay these additional pipes, as stated, and will probably place other mains from river points accessible to the fire boat, because of the remarkable good service already had from the pipe now laid, as instanced in the McGillen building fire last February—a building about 1200 feet from the top of the hill, at the foot of which, 700 feet more, lay the fire boat. Connection was quickly made of two 2 ⅛inch feed hose from boat with the main (6-inch). At top of the hill, 700 feet distant, a 3j£-inch hose was connected with the main and run out about 1200 feet, from which point a 2inch stream was thrown over the five-story building, a distance of about 1900 feet from the boat, with a pressure of no pounds at the pump being worked on the fire boat, no more pressure being applied for fear of bursting the hose.
The suggestion of laying mains for fire purposes was the result of a fire in a ten-story building located about 200 feet from the top of the hill leading to the fire boat wharf, from which (the fire boat) 900 feet of 3^-inch hose was connected direct, run up the hill, and for 200 feet more worked a stream that was thrown over and 100 feet higher than this ten-story building.
There have been other fires some distance from the hills where the fire boat service was applied, which proved very efficient, and in amount of work performed equaled that of three fire engines.
In the fires mentioned telephone service was used in giving orders to the engineer of the fire boat. The boat has two sets of pumps, with two cylinders to each—size, 8 x 10; pumping capacity 4000 gallons per minute; pumps of the Amoskeag pattern, and built by Thomas Manning of this city.
During the summer months these mains can be kept filled ready for use, and, as mentioned, are so laid at grade as to empty during freezing weather. Through these latter months, when ice forms, the boat is run up and down the river as an ice breaker, thus keeping the channel open at all times.
lluse wagons are driven direct to the head of main or to hydrants on the main, connection quickly made, when the improvised independent water-works system is brought into service.
From our experience we are satisfied that the plan is practical, feasible, convenient and very economical, and it is entirely independent of the water-works system. The total cost of pipe so far laid, exclusive of hydrants, was less than eighty cents per foot. It is cheaper than hose, is out of everybody’s way, requires no care or expense and will last for years.
The boat can be moved about with less liability of accident, as easily and for territory covered, being the heart of our city, with connections made, as quickly, if not in less time, than can the engine from the engine house nearest in proximity. The air is drawn from the main as rapidly, if not more so, than from hose, and can be just as safely withdrawn.
Please say to Mr. I.inncen, who criticised the system, that though he has “ examined a great many fire boats on the lakes (there are but a few) and placed machinery in these boats ” that he has failed to visit the Queen of the Lakes, the beautitul Forest City, the city of marvelous growth in population, products and prosperity and ideas, where can be seen the fire boat having machinery which, with the strong arms rnd willing hearts of one of the best fire departments in the whole country, has performed the very service he deems impossible, and “not worthy of consideration.” Say to him and to all others interested that we will be more than happy to have them visit us, to make the visit one to be remembered, for our people are most generous in hospitality, and be convinced, through their own eyes, that the so deemed impossibility is a probability. GEO. W. GARDNER,
Director Fire Department.
CLEVELAND, O., May 25.