East Orange, N. J., Water Works Report

East Orange, N. J., Water Works Report

The city of East Orange, N. J., has a population of more than 37,000, according to the latest census. The city owns its water works, the old part of which was constructed in 1882 and the new in 1904. Its source of supply is from artesian wells located at White Oak Ridge, Milburn. The water is pumped to reservoir and carried by gravity to the city. The pumping station is equipped with a Snow pump of 4,000,000-gallon capacity. There are more than 88 miles of pipe ranging in size from 2 inches to 24 inches in diameter—7,491 services and 1,844 meters. Of the latter 1,505 arc of the Trident pattern. On the system there are 690 hydrants, 482 being of the Ludlow type. The others are of O’Brien, Corey and Dowling makes. The total pumpage for 1911 was 1,168,478,000 gallons, and amount of coal used was 6,669,300 pounds; average daily pumpage 3,201,300 gallons, or a daily per capita consumption of 88.9 on the basis of 36,000 population for 1911. The percentage of pumpage metered was 17.4. The system is managed by a board of water commissioners, composed of Samuel Whincry, president; Oscar H. Condit and Nelson H. Gcnang, with Arthur A. Reimcr engineer, Following is a synopsis of the latter’s latest report:


Gentlemen A review of the work and activities of the water department during the past year is presented in the following report, much of the data being presented in statistical tables or in graphic form, comparative statistics being given in a number of cases. One of the most prominent features of our year is found in the falling off in new extension work in service connections and water mains. Three hundred and ten connections have been added, a smaller number than in any year since 1904, yet included in this number are 17 services laid to the curb only, in Schuyler terrace, no houses having been built along this street as yet. Only one-half mile (2,635 feet) of new mains has been laid during the year within the city limits, the board’s decision, to restrict extensions to development work actually in progress having prevented the promiscuous laying of mains in proposed roads where no building operations promising a reasonable revenue to this department had been projected. In addition to the mains laid in East Orange, a 6-inch main 2,000 feet long was laid in White Oak Ridge road, Millburn, under special agreement with the various property owners along the line, whereby the water rights of seven tracts of land along this main were acquired by this city, the area involved in the seven tracts amounting to 49 acres. Each of these tracts was a potential source of trouble from damage suits for diversion of underground water. The expense of laying this main was $1,698.57. Another feature prominently marking this year is the material increase in number of meters added, more than 600 having been placed. Of the total number set this year about 300 were set on new service connections under the ordinance and 250 were placed at the request of the owners. Eighteen hundred and forty-four meters are now in service, representing 25.5 per cent. of the total number of services in use. The placing of all two-family or multi-family houses in the class for compulsory metering, under the ordinance, by recent action of the board, is the largest and most valuable forward step vet taken in the matter of metering all services in this city. Although two years or more will be required to accomplish the work involved in metering the hundreds of services in this class, the work will proceed at a pace that will doubtless hold in check the water consumption figures for the period covered by the work. By the end of 1913 more than 50 per cent, of our services should be metered, following the rules now in force, and the total consumption at that time will probably be not greater than at present, in spite of the decided increase in population that will occur. The pumpage record for the year forms an interesting part of the report. The population has increased less rapidly this year than during the past few years, hut, stating the population increase in terms of watei consumption, the additional number represents an average daily increase in pumpage of about 100,000 gallons. Public uses have remained about as they were in 1910 or have increased, and other uses outside of domestic use show changes toward higher figures, leading one to expect a total increase in the average pumpage of at least 150,000 gallons per day. Yet the average daily pumpage for this year exceeds that of 1910 by only 36,100 gallons, the figure for 1911 being 3,201,300 gallons. Careful analysis of these conditions indicates that the domestic consumption has not increased during 1911 over that for 1910, and the explanation is apparently found in the increased number of meters in service. For this reason it seems fair to assume that the total pumpage will probably remain nearly stationary or actually decrease during the next three or four years, if meter installation is continued according to the rules now in force. The work of enlarging the water reserve area has progressed steadily during the year, 306.91 acres having he n purchased or condemned, making our total holdings now 1,208 acres. In 1910 122 acres were acquired, making, with the 1911 acquisitions, a total increase of nearly 430 acres since the passage of the law requiring a definite statement from all water departments or companies as to plans for the completion of their systems. The survey of th entire tract, maps covering which were filed with the State Water Supply Commission in 1910 under the provisions ol the law referred to, is under way, roads, property lines, buildings, brooks, ponds, marshes, wooded areas and other topographical features being carefully noted. Condemnation and damage suits have engaged a large proportion of our time this year, as in former years. The burden thus laid on this department, in both time and money, is one that should be considered in determining the efficiency of the department as a revenue producer. The great increase in the “Expense” account of the department for 1911 is due almost entirely to the work made necessary by the various legal matters that have arisen during the year. Some of the work has a fairly permanent value notably that of drilling test or exploration wells, the geological information thus obtained being of value in present and future suits. Yet the greater part of the money expended in these legal proceedings and consequent matters represents but little that is tangible. The long scries of dry years beginning in the fall of 1904 has apparently ended during this year Nearly seven years of sub-normal rainfall, broken but once by the year 1907 with an excess of only one and one-half inches, produced conditions that have caused us much trouble, our pumping operations being blamed for the dry conditions existing in Canoe Brook and Slough Brook valleys, in spite of the well known drought existing throughout a large section of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut. In August of this year copious rains fell and this with the fall months, brought up the total precipitation for this year well above normal. Under the law of averages we shall probably have several years of normal or supernormal rainfall, for we still have an accumulated rainfall deficiency for the past seven years of more than twenty-five inches. With an underground supply we must always bear in mind that years of large excess precipitation permit of no accumulation as in the case of surface supplies with storage reservoirs, the ground taking in water only up to its absorptive capacity, the balance running off to the surface streams. On the other hand years of deficient rainfall permit of an actual lessening of the effective amount of underground storage, through the agencies of evaporation, plant transpiration and springs. Thus the rule for underground supplies is that dry years lessen the normal supply and wet years do not compensate by increasing the normal supply. Bearing in mind these conditions, the future of our present supply is limited as to amount, and action looking to the obtaining of sources for additional supples should be taken as soon as possible. During the past summer work was begun on an extensive series of exploration wells, covering the area now owned by the city as a water reserve, and designed to cover eventually the whole area to be acquired for water reserve purposes, and possibly beyond these limits. Soil and rock stratification, water levels and other features are noted and when the work is completed we shall have accurate geological and hydrographic data on which to outline future extension work, and base our defense in ease of further litigation over water diversion. As these wells are completed they are added to the list of wells, bored or dug, and of test holes, that are now being observed regularly for fluctuations in ground water levels in the valleys where our well systems are located. The work is being done under contract, $1,765.70 having been paid for this work up to date. In previous years the work on the water reserve outside of the actual water producting operations, has been classed as farm work, but included therein were the actual farming operations, forestry work, and general policing items. During the past year we have made a more careful allocation of the various portions of our work under the general heading previously used, and can now give accurate figures on our farming operations, forestry and other parts.

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