CUTTING A THIRTY-SIX-INCH MAIN UNDER PRESSURE.
On the 22d inst. a thirty-six-inch cut was made in a fortyeight-inch main, at the intersection of Albany and Atlantic avenues, Brooklyn, by the Smith tapping apparatus. It may be said at the outset that the operation was entirely successful, and settles for all time any doubt as to being able to cut a disk out of a main of almost any size under pressure, for making water connections.
In the present instance the cut was made to connect a thirtysix-inch main, which passes under two steam railroad tracks, with a forty eight-inch main immediately north of the northbound track—-the distance from the same being about six feet. The work was accomplished by steam—a five H. P. engine being used as motive power in lieu of hand work, which would require more time to petform. Forty minutes was the length of time consumed in the cutting out of a thirty-six-inch disk.
This may be said to be the most important piece of work ever accomplished in connection with water works distribution, as there is no record of any cut of a similar size having before been made in this manner. Considering that the forty-eight-inch main into which the cut was made was delivering direct from 21.000.000 to 22.000,000 gallons of water in twenty-four hours under a pressure of 100 feet head at that point, the importance of the achievement is apparent.
The cut was made without the loss of any water, and without interrupting for one moment the system of distribution. When those facts are considered it seems as if one of, or, perhaps, the most difficult problem in water works practice has been solved in a most satisfactory manner. Especially so is this the case when it is considered that under ordinary conditions it would take from three to four days to perform this feat, and during that time 275,000 of the population of the city would be deprived of the supply of water obtainable from the forty-eight-inch main. The weight of the disk taken out by the apparatus was 400 pounds, and the weight of the machine 7,000 pounds.
It would be difficult to estimate the money value of the machine used in accomplishing this piece of work. As a scientific operation, in connection with making water pipe connections while under pressure, it is unequaled in the annals of water works practice in this, or any other country. The forty-eight inch main, from which the thirty-six-inch disk was cut, has been thirty years in use. The interior surface of the disk after removal shows but very little tubercular deposit, occasioned by oxidation, and very littlea lgaeic deposit. The original coating bears little evidence of being impaired and is almost as good as when first placed upon the pipe.
The succesful operations of the Smith tapping apparatus on smaller cuts have been described in FIRK AND WATER from time to time, and to these it now announces for the first time to the water works men,the greatest mechanical success they have ever known, and one that brings within their reach a simple and positively reliable method of saving the people they represent from great inconvenience, loss of time—and,consequently,of money. The cut described above is one of a series of five for which the city of Brooklyn has contracted. Two have been made, so that those interested can avail themselves of the opportunities offered to witness the remaining three operations, which will take place at intervals of one or two weeks along the same line of main.
The newly organized fire department of Gloucester City, N. J., consists of twenty firemen, a chief marshal, and two assistant marshals; but the number will probably be increased to thirty men in addition to the marshals. All men who have been granted exempt certificates have been dropped from the rolls, and the vacancies filled with effective members. Eveiy fireman must now be present at every fire, must return with the apparatus to the fire house and answer roll call under penalty of being fined $1 for the first offence, $2 for the second, and suspension or dismissal from the department for the third.
Chief Hogg, of the Erie, Pa., fire department, has resigned his position in the Erie freight office and will henceforth devote all his time to the department. The chief’s is now a sal-