Columbia Waterworks.

Columbia Waterworks.

The waterworks of Columbia S. C., were begun as far back as 1818, and the first supply was attempted to be drawn from the springs in the eastern part of the city between Lady and Plain streets. Subsequently they wore removed to what was formerly known as Sydney park, and the supply obtained from springs in that park. By an act of the State legislature the city was next authorised to issue bonds and stock not exceeding $100,000 to build a new waterworks system, the comptroler-general to issue a warrant for $20,000 in favor of the city as soon as the system was completed. In the first section of this act the buildings mentioned jail, college, asylum, statehouse, etc. In the condition of medical and sanitary science in these days water was required only for drinking and bathing and to furnish bathing and drinking water to such public buildings of the same character as those mentioned in the contemplation of the parties could never become very onerous or expensive. The waterworks built at that time were operated and used until the destruction of the city in February, 1865, during the Civil war, when it became necessary to enlarge, repair and rebuild the system, that was done when the city was in the hands of a certain political party, and the supplying of the water, together with such of the plant as remained,was given at a contract price. Matters so remained till after 1876, when the citizens regained control of the city government and were forced to repurchase their waterworks plant and the contract from the party to whom they had been assigned. Under modified conditions this state of things continued till 1901, when the city began to install a sewerage system based upon the most approved methods of sanitary experts, which has now been completed, and voted $400,000 for the enlargement and improvement of its waterworks system so as to meet the requirements for water for the sanitary and sewerage necessities prescribed by the advance of sanitation, and the plant and system is now complete, and the State institutions have connected themselves up and are using the sewerage system of the city for their sanitation. I11 the appropriation for 1907 this item was increased to $5,000, but by some error it appears in the printed acts as $2,000. I11 1908 this appropriation was continued by the legislature at $5,000 “for the payment for water used in the public buildings and for sewerage pipes.” The public buildings connected with the city water pipes are now furnished with meters, and the report of the meters shows what water is used by the buildings. The total amount of water supplied or pumped by the waterworks plant per annum is now 11,860,000,000. The gross expenditures, including interest on investment per annum, amount to $65,230—equal to 5% per 1,000 gal. This includes interest on cost, coal consumption, maintenance, wear and tear, insurance, incidentals, accidents, etc. The gross revenue from rentals, sale of scrap iron, etc., amounts to $45,000—leaving a deficit of $20,230. This deficit is for water used in flushing sewers, fire protection and leakage. As the Statte.of South Carolina has the benefit of the sewerage system and fire protection, it is asked that it bear its just proportion of the above deficit. The average cost per 1,000 gal. of this deficit is 1 3-16 cent on gross expenditures, as above stated—namely, $65,230making the actual cost per annum of $85,230— 7 3-16 cents per 1,000 gal. The city has fixed a minimum rate of 6J4 cents per 1,000 gal. on all consumers using over and above 100,000 gal. State now uses, as is shown by the meters installed at the different institutions owned by the State, 438,333,000 gal. per year.

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