Improved Conditions Over Altoona Watershed

Improved Conditions Over Altoona Watershed

During the past year extensive improvements on conditions along the Altoona, Pa., watershed have been effected. About a year ago an outbreak of typhoid in Altoona followed statements by inspectors of the State Department of Health that conditions were not as they should be on the city’s watershed on the Allegheny mountain. That last summer’s typhoid outbreak in Altoona had its origin from another source than the conditions on the watershed was contended. The authorities, state and municipal, however, applied themselves to the task of improvement on the watershed, and much has been accomplished, states a local newspaper in comparing conditions a year ago with now. The newspaper report of the inspection, at which City Commissioner John P. Stouch, director of parks and public property, and City Health Officer I. Ben Crilly were present. Two dams in Coupon, where children played a year ago, have been drained and are now dry. Since last summer the Altoona Coal and Coke Company has closed its plant at Coupon, moving it to a point that is not within the drainage area of Baker Run. There are three main streams from which Altoona’s water supply is obtained, the Baker and Glen White streams and Sugar Run. Thousands of acres of land are drained by these streams, most of it a wilderness, but the possibility of contamination is greater along the Baker and Glen White streams than along the Sugar Run, for the reason that there are towns along their courses. The chief town along the Glen White stream is Glen White, a mining town, located several miles above Kittaning Point and standing in a hollow, and much better conditions prevail there now than a year ago, the newspaper states. A tour of inspection made included the three reservoirs below Kittaning Point and many improvements have been made about the storage basins, among them being the erection of retaining walls in front of the properties along the road and the providing of sewer facilities for draining the buildings, carrying the drainage below Lake Altoona. Drainage has likewise been provided for the surface water along the road above Lake Altoona. A close watch is kept day and night upon the reservoirs and the surroundings. At the upper reservoir, where the water from the two streams enters, there is a man in constant attendance and after every rain and upon any situation arising that might result in polluting water entering the reservoirs, the gate is closed and it is by-passed. A record is kept of these periods. The Glen White and Baker streams are now flowing a million gallons a day and the department recently began the use of the water of Sugar run. The intake is located about four miles west of Canan station. During the present summer the department has made some noticeable improvements at the intake. A little reservoir has been constructed. A long building stands near the dam, where the water is treated with calcium chlorine, as demanded by the State health authorities. Mr. Crilly has been analyzing this water daily, and he has been highly gratified at the showing it has made.

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