Great Increase in Pipe Efficiency.
Reports have been published from time to time showing the remarkable efficiency of water mains after cleaning; but the results accomplished at Madison, Ind., as given by a local paper, are more surprising than was probably expected by the authorities of that place. The newspaper report says that the subject of increased water supply in Madison, especially for fire protection seems to he capable of easy solution by the results shown in the cleaning of the Mulberry street line, and, if this ratio of increase is shown all over the city, it will make the laying of new mains unnecessary. This is an important matter when it is considered that the mains can be cleaned for one-sixth lbcost of laying new ones. Very careful tests have been made as the work progresses to arrive at definite conclusions as to actual benefits from it. especially as to volume, velocity of flow and pres sure. The necessity for increased fire protection on Mulberry street was shown when the fire hydrant at Fifth street would throw a stream through one section of hose, only 22 ft., before cleaning; while, after cleaning, the same hydrant, through the same section of hose, threw a solid stream 115 ft. The character of the stream, vol tune of water and length of reach of the hose stream was quite a remarkable contrast to that before cleaning. The meter showed, on a 10 minute test, a volume of 90 37-100 gal. per minute before cleaning and 26254 gal. per minute after cleaning—which is a remarkable increase of 191 per cent.. Work as completed on the West street main shows so far as great an improvement as that on Mulberry street. The method of cleaning is simple. It consists of introducing through the main (by means of a carrier forced through by water-pressure or by making cuts into the main and passing through a jointed iron pipe) a wire cable, to the end of which are attached cleaning tools, and the cable is then wound back on a powerfully geared windlass. The main is afterwards connected up at the supply-end, and the water is turned on when the dirt and scrap ings are forced out. A 4-in. main badly incrusted is difficult to clean by means of carriers, for any long distance, and several cuts into the pipe have to be resorted to and the jointed rods used With the larger mains and better conditions (the normal amount of incrustation), lengths of pipe can be cleaned in stretches of from 300 to 1,000 ft. The company faithfully repairs all damages, and, in case service-pipes become clogged and cannot be blown out, new ones are put down. It will not accept pay until conclusive tests of benefits are made. The cpiestion asked as to how long the pipes will remain clean cannot be answered, as tile company has been doing this work only for the past three years, and for that reason no record can be secured for long terms. The tests made of those cleaned at the very first show the pipes to have kept up as well as new ones. Even if they lasted only half as long, it would be a great saving to the city over new mains, as, even in the case of the many-year-old Mulberry street main, the pipe, at its exposed ends, after cleaning, showed up in as good condition as the day it was put down, a careful examination proving the fresh surface exposed to be in perfect condition. All the councilmen and citizens who have seen the work are enthusiastic over the results, and many think other mains in the city should be cleaned in a similar manner. This effective work was done by the National Water Main Cleaning company, of New York, under the direction of its representatives, Messrs. Buell and Frazer, the latter having immediate charge of the operations. Portrait of Chief R. A. Maxson.