Features of the Little Falls Water Works

Features of the Little Falls Water Works

The Little Falls, N. Y., water works were constructed in 1885-8. Further supplies, 1897, 1908. Sources of supply, Beaver Brook and King springs, ordinary; Spruce Creek, emergency. Mode of supply, gravity. Conduit line nine and one-half miles to distribution reservoir, through cast iron pipe and aerating canal. Size of pipe, 20 inches to 12 inches; aerating canal, 1,200 feet long, 2 feet on bottom, paved side slopes, 1 1/2 to 1, quarry stone slope wall 4 feet high, topped with earth embankments, 2 to 6 feet above natural ground, over 11 weirs with 2-foot drop; veil of overfall, 8 feet wide. Reservoirs: Klondyke on Spruce, impounding 700,000,000 gallons. Eaton Pond on Spruce, impounding 140,000,000 gallons. Beaver Creek, capacity, 1,000,000 gallons, diverting ordinary 3,000,000 gallons per day. Slow Sand Filter at Eaton Pond, capacity, 500,000 gallons; purifies 2,000,000 gallons per day. Distribution, capacity 25,000,000 gallons. Has coke filter which is cleaned mechanically by reversing current and overflow into mud pipe. Has two supply pipe lines to city, three-quarters of a mile distant, sizes 14 and 12 inches. Three Ross pressure reducing valves from 583 feet head to 350 feet head. Distribution mains, cast iron pipe, 20 miles, sizes 14 to 4 inches, pressure 40 to 140 pounds. Fire hydrants, 151, private, 3; sprinkling, 6; park fountains, 1; drinking fountains, 11 ; relief valves, 13; taps, 2,225; meters, 121. The services are: Cast iron and 3A lead from 4 to 1/2 inch. In the report of the Board of Public Works and Water Commissioners for 1945 City Engineer George I. Oakley, says: Owing to the wet season an abundant supply of good water was obtained from the Beaver Creek source, and the springs on the King farm without resource, except for a few days only, to the auxiliary Spruce supply. The springs were cleaned as needed, as well as the Beaver reservoir at the head of the conduit line. The LaRue farm at the headwaters Beaver Creek was purchased to protect the city’s main supply. This farm is especially valuable to the city as it not only contains a large drainage area but a spring of large capacity. At the Klondyke reservoir the standing dead timber as well as logs, tree branches, drift wood, etc., has been cleared from the westerly and northerly limits of the reservoir itself. At the Spruce Creek reservoir it was found that the filter was entirely rebuilt, the 6-inch tile laterals, new filtering material, consisting of varying grades of sand and gravel was placed over the laterals. Much of the old sand found in the filter was reused. The filler was put in use during the early summer and found to work satisfactorily, although its use was only required for a very short period. Samples of water were taken from the distribution system and the Klondyke reservoir, and a copy of a report relative to same by Theodore Horton, Chief Engineer to Herman M. Biggs, M. D., State Commissioner of Health, has been filed in the City Engineer’s office. The conduit line has given continuous service during the year, as has also the distribution system. The water fund receipts amounted to $52,395.38 and there was on hand December 31, 1915, $9,244.82.

Recommendations.

City Engineer Oakley made recommendations as follows: Beaver Creek. I wish to recommend that definite steps be taken toward acuiring title cither by trade, purchase or conemnation, if need be, of strips of land 50 feet to 100 feet wide, according to the location and nature of the soil, on each side of Beaver Creek and its large tributaries above the reservoir, as well as any swamp land subject to run of cattle along the creek, and that after spell purchase or otherwise that the same be fenced with suitable lanes and bridges to prevent the passage through the creek and use of the adjoining lands by cattle or other stock, thus eliminating, as far as possible, this source of contamination of the water supply. I would also suggest the enlargement of the Beaver reservoir at the head of the conduit line, or the building of a second reservoir, to give greater storage capacity, thereby affording a larger settling basin for the elimination of silt which is now the greatest objection to the Beaver water supply. I would also advise that a careful topographical survey be made of the Beaver Creek water shed and a suitable map be prepared showing the location of the creek and all its branches, location of all farm dwellings and buildings, with notes as to all possible sources of contamination to the water supply, location of all land boundaries, including that belonging to the city, and such topographical features as would show the ground contour, nature of the soil and to what extent the land is now under cultivation or forestation. I would advise and recommend that a competent engineer be employed and a small field party equipped to do this work early in the spring. I would also advise that a gauging weir be constructed and a recording device installed on Beaver Creek so that we may know the total flow of water for future studies. As the city has now acquired many acres of land for the protection of its water supply, it seems desirable that much of it be utilized in reforesting. If such lands as are suitable were planted to trees it would not only protect and regulate our supply, but would, in years to come, yield a good profit. White pine and Scotch pine trees would perhaps be the most suitable for this climate. It is recommended that the Board give this matter serious consideration and that at least a few thousand trees be planted this coming year on the LaRue farm. At the city reservoir, the reservoir itself is in need of cleaning. The construction of a wash wall of some description around the reservoir to prevent wash and roiling the water, seems advisable. Your City Engineer would also again recommend the purchase and installation of a venturi water meter to be used in connection with the regulation of the liquid chlorinating apparatus. The charts from the meter are invaluable for ascertaining the hourly consumption of water, and especially in determining whether the amount used between midnight and early morning is abnormal. When a fire or sudden rupture in the main occurs, the chart clearly indicates the amount of increased draught, or it will show an increased flow, due to a small break or unusual consumption on the part of a consumer. Your City Engineer would recommend the placing of suitable blow-off valves in as many places of the water system as needed to thoroughly clean out and maintain them free from future sediment.

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