GENERAL WATER ITEMS
The Hackensack Water Company has begun work on the extension of the 30-inch water main which supplies Camp Merritt, N. J., eastward to the towns on the crest of the Palisades.
The water commissioners of Derry, N. H., have ordered a 1,000,000-gallon standpipe from a Chicago firm. It is estimated that the entire cost, including installation, will be about $50,000.
The Millinocket, Me., Water Company has applied to the state for permission to increase its capital stock, so that it shall consist of $60,000 common and $60,000 seven per cent, preferred stock.
Galion, Ohio, is likely to become the owner of its water supply, the present owner, W. W. Miller, having offered the plant to the city on terms that are thought to be extremely favorable.
The Pennsylvania Public Service Commission has recently given hearings on the complaint of the Heights Water Company operating in Lebanon, that the Lebanon Consolidated Water Company had refused service.
A bill is before the New York Assembly according to whose provisions cities shall have the right to condemn and acquire any water works property within the limits that may be found necessary for the city’s water supply.
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The New England Water Works Association will probably hold its 39th annual convention in Holyoke, Mass. The convention, a four days affair, will be held soon after Labor Day, but the exact date is as yet undecided.
The new board of water commissioners of Stoughton, Mass., has organized for the year 1920, with George P. Curtis as chairman, and H. Ward Winship as secretary. Ernest E. Randall is the third member of the board. Cornelius Healy has been reappointed clerk and registrar.
It is said that the Catskill Mountains water system of New York city is the greatest in the world, modern or ancient. Its capacity is 128,000,000,000 gallons, and the Ashokan reservoir delivers daily to the city 250,000,000, through an aqueduct 92 miles in length. The cost of this system was $136,000,000.
A large part of the residential section of Rutland, Vt., was without water for twenty-four hours when the large main just below the reservoir in Mendon was broken, not long ago, by blasting that was being done in the erection of the new power station of the Vermont HydroElectric Company. It was necessary to shut the water off while repairs were under way.
Several hundred residents of Quincy, Mass., found their water supply cut off on April 1st. Notices from the water department that services would be discontinued where bills remained unpaid on the first of April were taken as an April Fool joke by many and when the men from the department arrived to turn the water off, there was a rush for the treasurer’s office.
The Triborough Water Company, serving the boroughs of Brackenridge, Pa., Tarentum and East Deer Township, has offered to sell its plant complete with pipe lines to Brackenridge for $56,000. Council has been considering the matter for several months, but are uncertain as to the financial ways and means and a “straw vote” has been decided upon to let the people in general express their sentiments on the subject.
During the cold weather, it is asserted, as much water was wasted in Kingston, N. Y., as was used, the normal consumption being 4,000,000 gallons daily, while, when the water was being allowed by users to run all night to avoid freezing of pipes, the quantity pumped was over 7,500,000 gallons daily. The further statement is made that at the present time 6,000,000 gallons daily are used, of which fully 2,000,000 are wasted.
The residents of Montpelier, Vt., recently suffered from a shortage of water caused, it was thought, “by the crowding of ice on the neck between the two ponds from which the city gets its water supply.” The pressure was so low that many of the families were obliged to melt snow for domestic use and fire protection was so seriously impaired that a chemical fire truck was borrowed from Barre and another from the state garage, while Montpelier resurrected its old hand engine which carries two streams of water.
Among the improvements installed at the water works of Danbury, Conn., during the past year, one of the most noteworthy is the 8-inch hydraulic operated valve at the junction of West and Main Streets. This is connected with the fire alarm system and automatically opens a valve at the West Lake main reservoir at the first stroke of the fire alarm, thus giving an abundance of pressure immediately. Previously, it was necessary for a man from the water department to respond to every alarm and operate the valve by hand.
Marlboro, Mass., has recently had a peculiar experience in the sudden development of a well in the boiler room of the City Hall. In a week, more than 2,000,000 gallons had been pumped out and it was necessary to keep the pumps working day and night. It was at first thought that there was a break in a water main, but the department experts have made careful examination and say that the flow is caused by the water in the soaked ground finding its level, as always, and admit that the prospects are that the pumping may be rec|uired for a long time.
Sandusky, Ohio, is planning for a “Greater Sandusky” and expects ultimately to annex many acres of land that will add over $1,000,000 to the taxable property. In line with this ambition, an ordinance was recently passed by the city commission, according to City Manager Zimmerman, to allow the extension of water lines to an outlying district as soon as there arises a demand for the service. The betterment will be paid for, when made, out of the water works funds, but the department will be amply repaid with the addition of valuable property to the municipality.
The Chamber of Commerce of Oklahoma City has formed a committee of thirty-five prominent business men, a number of whom are in the insurance business, others are engineers and all are men of influence in the city. The general committee is subdivided into five, one of which will investigate and report on the city’s water supply; one on tire stations and equipment; one on ordinances and laws relating to building construction; one to initiate and secure the observance of a Clean-up Week during 1920, and one on publicity, whose office is to educate the public through the daily papers and in any other possible way to the importance of preventing fires rather than having to fight them. The last named two sub-committees will naturally be closely co-ordinated in their work.
A slight difficulty has appeared in regard to the recent bond issue of $500,000 voted by the people of San Angelo. Tex., for water works, light and power. The State Attorney General has notified the city commission that the bond issue is not approved because of the fact that in holding the election last year, the taxpayers were not given a chance to decide whether they wanted a new light and power plant, or a new waterworks system, or both. Because both systems are combined in the city, the issue was made one on the ballots. It has not yet been decided whether the issue will be resubmitted to the people or whether mandamus proceedings before the Supreme Court will be filed. At present a test for a subterranean water flow is being made north of the city, and the outcome will largely govern action in regard to the bonds.
The New York City water department has started a house-to-house inspection in an effort to stop the enormous waste of water. It is stated that fully 125,000,(XXI gallons a day are allowed to run to waste by leakv fixtures and similar careless methods. The average flow of the Catskill system is 375.000,000 gallons a dav, so that it would seem that one-third of this total supply— enough to provide water for a city of 1,000,000 population—is almost deliberately thrown away. It is believed that much of the waste exists in large factories and other plants where there are many employees, and that the female operatives are especially culpable, as their careless habits result in keeping the plumbing constantly out of repair. This condition is said to prevail even where the buildings are metered, from lack of attention bv the superintendents.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utility has under consideration several plans for relief from the shortage of water complained of by patrons and admitted by the Elizabethtown, Plainfield-1 nion and Middlesex Water Companies. The means of relief suggested included purchase of the companies by the municipalities affected, or the cutting off of part of the large supply now used by industrial plants, so that it could be diverted to domestic consumption, or the making of contracts between the cities and companies for a period of time so that money can be raised by the concerns for needed additions and improvements. Frank Bergen, counsel for the companies, said that $4,000,000 was required to obtain additional water sources that would meet the needs of the communities affected, but that this would not produce much additional return.
The board of water commissioners of Perth Amboy, N. J., is in favor of construction of a new 40,000,000gallon reservoir for the city system, and the matter will probably soon be decided. Mayor Dorsey supports the measure strongly, and in a recent address to the merchants and manufacturers pointed out that the city is now being supplied through two large mains and a small main, and that if anything should happen to either of the large mains the others would be insufficient to supply the necessary quantity. The plans for the reservoir were prepared in 1918, but the Federal permission could not then be obtained and the work was of necessity deferred. At that time the estimated cost was from $800,000 to $900,000, but now will greatly exceed those figures. It is said that the construction of the reservoir will take two years, and those favoring the proposition believe that no time should be lost in getting the project under way.
The water system of Newark, N. J., has been connected with that of Bloomfield, to supply a serious lack of water in the south end of the town. If the city had not gone to the aid of the town, Bloomfield would have been compelled to construct an additional main at a cost of at least $100,000, and the work could not have been started for weeks, whereas the cost of connecting with Newark’s system will not exceed $5,000, it is said. The East Jersey Water Company waived a contract right that would have prevented Newark from selling to the town, when the town officials explained that increased factory development in the south end was creating a serious situation that could be most speedily overcome by the suggested connection. Bloomfield is supplied by the East Jersey Company, but the main line is located at the northern end of the town, and the distributing system is inadequate to give the southern end the same service as the other portion of the town reecives. No arrangement has been made as to how long the permit to use Newark’s supply shall continue.