High Pressure System in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia’s high-pressure water main system for the centre of the city was completed and put in operation August 12 at a cost of more than $600,000. In accord with this improvement the executive committee of the Fire Underwriters has announced a reduction of 10 cents on the $100. It is reported that even a further reduction may be made.
The specially protected district is between Delaware avenue and Broad street and Walnut and Race streets.
With the exception of Chestnut street every main street within these boundaries is now honeycombed with 16-in. 12-in. or 8-in. cast iron pipes carrying at all times a load pres sure of 70 lb. to the square inch, which, within sixty seconds, can be increased to more than 200 lb. to the square inch. While, because of the amount of underground construction therefn, no high-pressure fire main is laid in Chestnut street, this great shopping thoroughfare is thoroughly protected by hydrants connected with the system at all intersecting streets.
Extensions to the system, just completed at a cost of about $140,000, embrace lines of 8-in. pipes in Front, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, Twelfth, Thirteenth and North Broad streets. The number of highpressure fire main hydrants has been increased from 140 to 248, so that upon the outbreak of a fire anywhere within this high-pressure zone a water pressure at the fire nozzles of 200 lb. to the square inch can be secured at a minute’s notice or as quickly as, under the old firefighting methods, a “fire call” could be sent in from any of the fire alarm boxes.
The 248 hydrants are double so that nearly 500 lines of fire hose, each bringing to bear a water pressure of 200 lb. to the square inch, could in an emergency be placed in service to cope with conflagration immediately.
The high-pressure service is supplied by a permanent pumping station at Delaware avenue and Race street, and in emergencies additional power can be added by connecting city fireboats to the system at either Arch or Walnut street.
A similar system, now being constructed at a cost of upward $700,000 in the northeastern section of the city, will be connected eventually with the central high-pressure service by a large service main in Broad street, thereby affording the wholesale and retail business and the mill districts of the city the most efficient fire protection either in this or any other country.