Columbus in Serious Danger of Water Shortage
Jerry O’Shaughnessy, superintendent of water works, in a statement issued December 8, gives warning to the people of Columbus that they are in grave danger of a water famine if early steps are not taken to provide an adequate supply. The present reserve system, he says, is entirely inadequate and it has only been a matter of good fortune that Columbus has not suffered from a water shortage before this. The superintendent is emphatic in saying that some method should be decided upon and immediate steps taken to secure more reserve water. Citing conditions in Columbus, he says: “Our records show that there is less rainfall in the last six months than in the first six months of the year, and as the ground is usually hot and dry in the summer and fall months, water from the rains, to a large extent, is absorbed and does not find its way into the rivers. It is, therefore, in the summer and fall months, when water is most needed, that a shortage is threatened. Owing to the rapid increase in our population, the average quantity of water pumped to the consumers has increased, in the past eight years, 165,000,000 gallons per month. Three times during that period the reserve supply of water in the storage reservoir was lowered to less than 900,000,000 gallons. A shortage is threatened whenever the water is not flowing over the crest of the storage reservoir. Not only does our increasing population demand an increased supply of water for domestic use, and for the streets and for fires, but the enormous volume of sewage, treated at the sewage disposal plant, calls for an ever increasing supply of water to properly dilute and carry off the refuse after it has been treated at the plant. Whenever the water is below the crest at the storage dam, all of the water pumped is being used for domestic, street and fire purposes, and none of it is available to dilute and carry off the treated sewage. The water of the Olentangv River is the only source at such time available for that purpose.