ELECTROLYSIS AT TORONTO.
Street railway currents have inflicted considerable damage in the gas and water mains in Toronto, Ont. The deterioration of the bonds at the rail-joints in several streets, notably the wellworn tracks and crossings on King and Queen streets, and the most unusual practice of bonding mains to rails in the “negative” area are set down as the reasons why the returning trolley current is diverted into these mains under the prevailing single trolley and rail return system used by the street railway company. No permission has been given the railway company to do any bonding of this kind to either water or gas mains, and, in only one or two instances has it been given to bond the mains to the rails in the “positive” area or the vicinity of the power house. In view of the entire situation, it is considered that responsibility for all damage caused by electrolysis in the city rests with the railway company. The city of Toronto and the Consumers’ Gas company, it is claimed, should be reimbursed for the cost of repairs by reason of breaks in the mains and service pipes through electrolysis, and they also should be reimbursed for the cost of replacing portions of the mains now known to be so damaged as to be unsafe and unfit for the purpose intended. Over 1,525 feet of 12-in., 6-in and 4-in. cast-iron pipes have been already discovered to be seriously injured by electrolysis, and no estimate has yet been made of the damage done to the joints of these mains, as they are inaccessible, or of the damage to those mains near the waterfront of the city in the extreme part near the Woodbine, which, while in danger, have not been in use for a sufficient lengtn of time to show failure from electrolysis ; and, as the damage continues and must continue to go on till the railway company obviates its possibility, 110 final or conclusive settlement can be agreed upon. Meanwhile the street railway company will be requested to remove all bonds or connections between the mains and rails in the “negative” area of the city. These bonds at present are useful only to the railway company in converting the piping system of the two corporations into a more convenient and less costly method of returning currents to its powerhouse than by overhead copper feeders and are a positive detriment to the mains. It is advised, however, that in the “positive” district near the powerhouse thev should not be disturbed for the present. But. while these recommendations will produce an improvement, no complete cure may be expected, unless the method of operating the railway is changed to an insulated return, such as the double trolley.