DECISION IN AKRON WATER SUITS.

DECISION IN AKRON WATER SUITS.

The courts have decided in favor of the city of Akron, O., in the water injunction suits brought against the city by the ClevelandAkron Bag Co., The Moody Thomas Milling Co., and Peter and Madge Boettler, Portage county dairy farmers. The suits were started to restrain the city from taking water from the Cuyahoga river above Kent for water works purposes. The Boettler farm is along the river about 2,000 feet below the water works dam. In dissmissing their injunction suit Judge Ahern held that there would be plenty of water for their stock and domestic use, and that there would be no pollution of the water because of the city water works. He held that the evidence showed that two inlets between the Boettler farm and the dam would furnish over two million gallons of water alone, and that the aluminum sulphate used by the city in its purification plant would serve to give the Boettlers purer water than ever before. The other two cases were decided together. The Cleveland-Akron Bag Co., at Boston Mills, and the Moody Thomas Milling Co., at Peninsula, set up the claim that the taking of the water by the city would damage their water rights. These suits also were dismissed, the court holding that the water power rights of these two companies would not be damaged inasmuch as the city would return to the river through a sewage disposal plant before it reaches their plants the greater part of the water taken from the river above Kent. The court also held that a question of damages was for a jury to determine, and that such could not be determined until the alleged damages had accrued. The city up to this time had done nothing which damaged the companies, it was held. Judge Ahern held the city is a riparian owner on the Big Cuyahoga and Little Cuyahoga rivers, and has the right to use out of such streams all the water needed “for its own purposes, returning to the stream the water not consumed, and it may supply water to the inhabitants for domestic use, returning to the stream the water not consumed, and both the city and the plaintiffs in this case, if the water is insufficient to fully supply the needs of both, each one has the right to a reasonable use of the water, considering all the circumstances, and if there is a violation of the lower riparian owners’ rights, the question of damages is for a jury under proper instructions in a proper case.” The court further held that the maintenance of a reservoir would aid the companies by storing salvage water and furnishing a steadier flow the year around.

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