Electrolysis Taken Up by WaterWorks Men

Electrolysis Taken Up by WaterWorks Men

Two Papers on Corrosion of Steel Main at Akron, Ohio, Read and Discussed at Meeting of New England Water Works Association—Members Elected—Good Attendance

THE March meeting of the New England Water Works Association was held in the Boston City Club, corner of Somerset Street and Ashburton Place, Boston, Mass., on Tuesday afternoon, March 14, with one hundred and thirty members in attendance. The meeting was preceded by a luncheon and a meeting of the executive committee in Tremont Temple.

Two interesting papers were read on the subject of the corrosion of a steel water main at Akron, Ohio, with diagrams and lantern slide views. The first paper was entitled “The Corrosion of the 36-inch steel main at Akron, Ohio” and was written by G. Gale Dixon, chief engineer of the bureau of water works improvement, Akron, Ohio; and the second paper was “Investigation of Electrolysis of Steel Force Main at Akron,” by Victor B. Phillips, electrical engineer, of Cleveland, Ohio.

Five New Members Elected

Prior to the reading of the papers announcement was made of the election of five new members to the association, four active and one associate. The active members admitted are George E. Newbury, superintendent of water works, Palmer, Mass.; Harris M. Howe, chairman of the board of water commissioners, Palmer, Mass.; Joseph J. Turner, assistant secretary of the Boise Artesian Water Co., Boise, Idaho; and Harold W. Baker, civil engineer, of Rochester, N. Y. The Mathieson Alkali Works, Inc., of New York City, was elected to associate membership.

President Frank A. Barbour presided at the meeting and was assisted by Secretary Frank J. Gifford. Mr. Dixon was unable to be present and his paper was read by F. A. Marston, of Boston.

Paper on Akron Main by Mr. Dixon

The subject of the corrosion of steel and cast iron pipe was discussed and the effects of water, electric currents, salt marshes, etc., were considered. The question of the action of stray currents from electric railway tracks was gone into very thoroughly.

A description was given of the method of laying water mains in Akron, Ohio, in 1912 and 1913. The mains were uncovered in eight different places in 1919 to determine the condition of the piping before the laying of a parallel main. The pipes were mostly in good shape, but in some places the coating was brittle and certain sections were blistered and pitted.

The paper was illustrated with a map of Akron, showing the location of the water main, the gas mains, electric railway tracks, power houses, etc.

Mr. Phillips’s Paper on Electrolysis

Victor B. Phillips, of Cleveland, in his paper gave a detailed account of the electrolytic survey that was made at Akron in order to determine the action of stray electric currents. He said that the water main crossed about 11 miles of open country and that there were two large gas mains, steam railway tracks, and an electric railway track and power houses in the neighborhood. The trouble from electrolysis occurred in the section of piping in the town of Talmadge, a small farming community. This was three miles from the nearest electric railway tracks. Soil corrosion, local galvanic action, and stray currents all had to be taken into consideration.

Two lion-polarizable electrodes with voltmeter attached were buried in the ground 18 inches apart and readings taken for a 24-hour period.

Samples of the soil were taken and sent to the federal laboratory for analysis, but no unusual conditions were found to exist.

It was found that at the time of no load at the electric power houses there was no flow of current indicated.

Mr. Phillips quoted several passages from the report on electrolysis made by a special committee appointed to investigate the subject. The cutting down of distribution distances by sub power stations tended to lesson electrolysis it was shown and the use of insulation joints was also advised.

(Note—Excerpts from the papers by Mr. Dixon and Mr. Phillips will appear in subsequent issues of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING-EDITOR.)

Discussion on the Paper

Discussion on the questions taken up in the paper was indulged in by a number of the members including Major Theodore A. Leisen, ex-president of the American Water Works Association. He told of his experiences in connection with the laying of one of the first lines of lock bar steel pipe which was afterward found to have suffered considerably from electrolysis. Cast iron pipe in the same neighborhood was also affected. Major Leisen said that steel pipe is now being laid in Detroit, Mich. He said steel was getting to be more and more of a factor especially in large and long lines. He advised careful field painting of the Pipe.

Others who took part in the discussion were President Barbour, Allen Hazen, of New York, Stephen H. Taylor, assistant superintendent of New Bedford, Mass., who told of a 48-inch steel pipe laid in New Bedford in 1898 and still in a generally good condition except for some blisters; and Henry A. Symonds, of Boston, who told of construction work in Springfield and showed that different methods were necessary for handling steel pipe from those used with east iron pipe.

J. E. Garrett, of Hartford, Conn., William R. Conard, of Burlington, N. J., and C. F. Seaver, a guest, also discussed the subject briefly. Mr. Seaver, who is an electrical engineer, told of the corrosion of pipes which he investigated in Richmond, Va.; Dayton, Ohio, Peoria, Trenton, and Philadelphia. He advised negative feeders to reduce potentials on rails and said that the electric traction companies were endeavoring to mitigate the troubles caused by stray currents.

Upon motion by George A. Carpenter, of Pawtucket, a vote of thanks was unanimously tendered to Mr. Phillips for his valuable and interesting paper.

Among those in attendance were the following:


Dwight L. Agnew, asst. supt. w. w., North Scituate; Frank A. Barbour, consulting engineer, Boston; Jesse F. Barrett, supt. W. W., Peabody; George W. Batchelder, w. com, Worcester; Charles S. Beaudry, supt. w. w., Lexington; Arthur K. Blackmer, supt. w. w., Plymouth; George Bowers, consulting engineer, Low-ell; Theodore L. Bristol, pres. Ansonia W. Co., Ansonia. Conn.; William W. Brush, dep. ch. eng., New York; George A. Carpenter, city eng., Pawtucket, R. I.; E. D. Case, vice-pres. Pitometer Co., New York; Horace H. Chase, Brockton; Richard D. Chase, New Bedford; Michael F. Collins, supt. w. w., Lawrence; William R. Conard, eng., Burlington, N. J.; Charles L. Crosier, Pittsburgh; Herbert C. Crowell, supt. w. w., Haverhill: John Cullen, foreman w. w., Woonsoeket, R. I.; Fred L. Cushing, w. regis., Medford; George AV. Cutting, Jr., civil eng., Auburndale; Fred A. Darling, supt. w. and server dept.. Franklin; Harry AV. Dotten, asst. supt. w. w„ AVinchester: Edward D. Eldredge, supt. w. co.. Onset.; Richard H. Ellis, supt. bd. pub. wks., North Andover; Frank Emerson, supt. water dept., Peabody; Roger AV. Esty, asst. supt. w, w. Dan vers; S. F. Ferguson, eng., New York; George H. Flnneran. supt. w. serv.. Boston; J. E Garrett, Hartford, Conn.; Henry T. Oidley, supt. w. co., Falrhitven; Frank J. Gifford, supt.. w. co., Dedham; H. J. Gooilale, town mgr , Mlddleboro; Richard A. Hale, prin. asst. eng.. Essex Co., Lawrence; Hervey A. Hanscotn. gnrl. contr., Boston; John W. Hartigan, supt. w. w„ Longmeadow; I,. M. Hastings, city eng., Cambridge; A. R, Hathaway, w. regis., Springfield; Allen Hazen, eng., New York; D. A. Heffernan. supt. w, w., Milton; Lawrence C. Hough, Boston; John L. Howard, asst, to eh. eng. Met. dlst, com., Boston; Joseph A. Hoy, foreman, w. dept., Worcester; William F. Hunt, foreman, w. dept.. Lowell; J. M. Jones, supt. w. w . Bristol, R. I.; J. AVllllam Kay, supt. w. w., Milford; Patrick E. Kelly, Cambridge; Samuel E. Klllam, supt. ills, sys., Met. dlst. com , Boston; Arthur C, King, civil eng.. North Dlghton; George A. King, sup. w. w., Taunton; Maj. Theodore A. Leisen. bd. w. com.. Detroit, Mich.: Frank A. Marston, eng.. Boston; Frank E. Merrill w. com., Somerville; Henry Newhall, supt. w. w, Danvers; William Naylor, supt. w. w., Maynard; Reeves J. Newsom, com. of w. supply. Lynn; George E. Newbury, supt. w. w., Palmer; George H. Palmer, supt. Barnstable w. co., Hyannlx; Oren E, Parks, supt. bd. pub. wks,, Westfield; Thomas A. Peirce, supt, w. co., East Greenwich R. I ; Herbert F. Reed supt. w. co., Bridgewater; Edvin H. Rogers, city eng. West Newton; Caleb M. Saville, chief c eng., bd. of w. com., Hartford. Conn.; Albert L. Sawyer, w. registrar Haverhill; Walter H. Sawyer, eng., Lewiston, Me.; Chares W. Sherman, eng.. Boston; George H. Snell, Attleboro; F. H. Strickland, supt. W., Pittsfield; Henry A. Symonds, eng., Boston Stephen H. Taylor, asst. eng.. New Bedford; Lewis D. Thorpe Boston; After H. Tillson, supervisor w. w., Northampton; D. N. Tower, supt. W. co., Cohasset; W. H. Vaughn, sup . w. w., Wellesley Robert SpunWeston, eng.. Boston, Frederic I. Winslow, div. eng., Met. dist. com., Framingham; Frank E. Winsor, chief eng., w. supply bd.. Providence, R. I.

(Continued on page 496)

Electrolysis Taken Up by Water Works Men

(Continued from page 485)

Honorary Member

Edwin C. Brooks, Melrose, Mass.

Associate Members

C. G. Richardson, A. B. Coulters, F. N. Connet F. C. Steere and G. H. Lewis, Builders Iron Foundry; H. N Storrs, C. E. Pratt and J. F. McNulty. Caapman Valve Mfg. C . F. Glavin, Donaldson Iron Co.; H. R. Prescott, Eddy Va Co.; Reuben Tomlinson and R. D. Stoddard, Edson Mfg Corp.; R. J. Thomas. Camon Meter Co.; F. H. Hayes, Hay Pump & Machinery Co.; J. H. Smith. Hersey Mfg. Co.; George McKay, Jr., The Leadite Co.; D. H. Regan and D. F. Dwyer Lead Lined Iron Pipe Co.; C. J. G. Haas, H. Mueller Mfg. Con., J. G. Lufkin and H. L. Weston. National Meter Co.; J. F. Ragan, Jr. and W H. McGarry, Neptune Meter Co.; W. G. Ryan and G. A. Hosford, Norwood Engineering Co.; G. C. Northrop Pittsburgh Meter Co.; C. L. Brown and I. A. Rowe, Rensseleaer Valve Co.; Wm. Ross, Ross Valve Mfg. Co.; F. L. Northrop, A P. Smith Mfg. Co.; E. M. Shedd. Thomson Meter Co.; K. S. Otis and H. W. Jacobs, Union Water Meter Co ; George A. Caldwell, United Brass Mfg. Co.; W. P. Mosteller, U. S. Cast Iron Pipe & Foundry Co.; F. M. Bates, Waldo Bros. & Bond Co.; Samuel Harrison and E. P. Howard, Worthington Pump & Machinery Corp.

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