Heads of Four Water Works Meet in Baltimore

Heads of Four Water Works Meet in Baltimore

A meeting of the heads of four municipal water works departments took place in Baltimore, Md., on December 4 and 5. The cities represented were New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Hartford, Conn., and the representatives present included the following: Col. Merritt H. Smith, chief engineer of the New York department of water supply, gas and electricity; William W. Brush, deputy chief engineer; S. M. Van Loan, deputy chief of Philadelphia; Caleb M. Saville, chief engineer and manager of the department at Hartford, Conn.; V. Bernard Siems, water engineer of Baltimore and other local water works officials.

The meeting was called for the purpose of discussing matters of interest to the four departments and was held in the office of Mr. Siems in the city hall. Among other subjects discussed were covered reservoirs, lead pipe poisoning and procedure to bring about better understanding between such officials and fire insurance men.

It was decided to request the American Water Works Association, through its executive committee, to appoint a committee to confer with a similar committee of the National Board of Fire Underwriters with a view to the standardization of practices in connection with sprinkler installation and a better spirit of co-operation in all matters in connection with private fire lines and similar problems.

Considerable discussion turned upon the necessity for covering reservoirs. Mr. Brush emphasized this and said that the covered type must supersede that left open, with the danger of pollution always present. Another subject treated was that of the use of lead service pipes and the risk therefrom of lead poisoning. While under ordinary circumstances, with services in constant use, it was thought there was little danger from this source, in cases where the water remains a long time in the pipes, as with a vacant house or one closed for a time, there was a possibility of such poisoning.

On the morning of the 6th the visiting officials were conducted by Mr. Siems over the Loch Raven watershed and the Montebello filtration plant.

Water Rate Increase at St. Johnsville, N. Y.—An increased schedule of water rates went into effect at St. Johnsville, N. Y., on December 1. The new rate to householders is $2.50 per quarter, less 10 per cent, if paid by the 15th of the month. This is at the rate of 16 cents per 100 cubic feet for 1.600 cubic feet which is the minimum amount charged. Over that, the rate will be 16 cents per 100 cubic feet up to 5,000 feet. Water rates have been adjusted from time to time to meet the requirements of the water department.

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