IMPROVEMENTS AT SAN BERNARDINO.
For thirteen and one-half months San Bernardino, Cal., has substituted a municipal for a private company’s water system. It not only gives improvements to that system, but, also, an adequate supply of water. The city is growing very quickly both in population and buildings, and a larger supply of water and an extension of mains are both imperatively called for. It was hoped that the boring of three wells on the Antil tract would have proved sufficient to meet the needs of the city in the way of supply. But these • wells have not come up to the expectations formed of them. When they were finished they furnished 300 in. of water; at present their flow is only 200. Pumping this flow of water from the small reservoir, holding about 173.000 gal., into the mains and to the Reservoir tract near Lytle creek, with a pump having a 300-in. capacity, is making the Antil well water a more expensive pumping proposition than was thought in its earlier operations. The conclusion arrived at is that. as between a reservoir of sufficient capacity to take the night flow of the wells for daily pumping operation, at a cost of $5,000 or $6,000. and a fourth and deep well, at a probable cost of about one-bait’ that sum. the well would be the better investment and an absolute necessity. If this course is not adopted, then meterage must and probably will be resorted to. To depend upon a well svstem is accompanied with unsatisfactory results, as the constant sinking of artesian wells in the basin supplying water to the city during the past few years to furnish water to other counties, has had the effect of so lowering the water levels in the basin, that the flowing wells in the city of a few years ago have ceased their flow and even the windmill-pumped wells in the suburbs of the city are fast going out of existence, so that where water mains could easily be dispensed with some vears ago thev are now a necessity. The condition of the water mains in some portions of the older San Bernardino is undoubtedly precarious. Here and there the pipe is so covered with clamps (the method used to stop leaks) that wooden wedges must be driven between the clamps to stop the later leaks—a condition of things that cannot be permitted in the thickly settled part of the city. The commissioners have, therefore, contracted for the taking up of the 6-in. main on Mt. Vernon avenue, between Third and Seventh streets that yvas paralleled by the to-in. main in a contract made by the former city trustees. This pipe is in a good state of preservation and will be used to replace worn-out pipe in other parts of the city. The contract referred to above provided for the taking up of this 6-in. pipe when the 10-in. main yvas laid, but for some reason yvas not enforced as to that provision. It has been found necessary to relieve to some extent the users of yvater from that source from the considerable cost of disconnecting from the 6-in. main and attaching to the 10-in. main. The failure to compel the enforcement of the original contract will cost the city several hundred dollars. It is also necessary to replace several of the fire hydrants because of inability to prevent the yvaste of yvater through them by leakage. In all many have been laid in other portions of the city at a cost of $229. and a contract has been made to lay a 4-in. main on F.leventh street at a cost of $843.70 and another on Ninth street at a cost of $1,2.35. During the same period 209 ft. of 3-in. pipe and 2,115^2 of 1in., with the necessary fittings, were laid in the westerly half of the City park at a cost of $266.26. The profit in the 237 nerv taps—$824.32 —more than paid the salary’ of the plumber appointed for the first time last year, and the city has, besides, had his services free for repairs, leaks and extensions. The water-users or service-connections increased in twelve months from 1.922 to 2,379. The water rentals collected during the twelve months ending June. 1907. show an increase of $10,273.78 over those of the preceding year. The water from the larger and deeper well bored about 300 ft. north of the Antil pumping station flows about 190 in., and with the flow of the other wells on the Antil tract furnishes sufficient water for the capacity of the pumps, and has made it quite possible to furnish yvater to meet the full demands of users, without a rigid enforcement of the morning and evening rules, or districting of the city for alternate supply for sprinkling purposes. During May, 1906, were pumped 43,407.890 gal. at a cost of 9 3-5 mills per 1,000 gal. ; in June, 71,776,810 at a ci st of 7j/> mills per 1,000. In the same two months of the year before the cost was 11 1-5 and 9 4-5 mills per 1,000 gal., the difference in cost being due to the new well, which is 1,066 ft. deep. 15-in. pipe for 591 ft., 12-in. for 284 and 10-in. for 191 ft.—the perforations being made only in the 10-in. pipe. file total cost of this well, including yveli. measuring-box and piping, was $4,462.12. To Increase the yvater supply it is proposed to build the Little Mountain reservoir about 1 mile north of the Anti! station. Since the organisation of the yvater department, 1,3½ months before the publication of the present report, the mains have been extended by 27.000 ft. of pipe, and now, owing to the growth of the city, the 3d and G st. mains must be replaced with 12-iu. connection pipe that will make a direct 12-in. connection with the large mains directly from the Antil station to the principal business streets of the citv. thereby affording better fire protection and permitting the main to be so placed as not to be covered by street railway tracks. Some of the mains are of Kalaniein pipe (12-in. to 3-in.), of which 17.84 miles arc laid; of 20-in. to 6-in. pipe there are laid 31,266 ft.; of 4-in. (including 1,947 hydrant connections), 63,821.01—total. 117,239.26 ft.; of 2-in. stall dard screw pipe. 16,153.80 ft. I here are 278 gates set, 3 fountains are in place and 7 meters are installed. Since the commission took office (during 13J) months) there have been laid 13.015.05 ft. of scrcyv pipe, 1,983 ft. of Kalaniein, 73 gate’s and 17 tire hydrants. They have systematised everything connected with the depart nient and personally inspected every service connection and found to whom and what it furnishes yvater. They have also laid the mains already referred to; organised a plumbing department with stock of pipe, hydrants, tools, fittings, horses, harness and wagons; repaired over 150 broken mains and leaks; piped the city parks and school sites of the city; put down the big well at the Antil station; purchased the Little Mountain reservoir site; contracted for the cement pipe-line from the Lord gate to the present city division box. called for by the judgment in the case of the Citv of San Bernardino vs. The Lytle Creek Water and Improvement Co. et als.; paid in to the citv treasurer $11,200, and on June 30. 1906. had on hand $6,863.65. “The commissioners express themselves as fortunate in the selection of Mr. Win. Starke as superintendent of the water department. He has shown signal ability and energy in the discharge of his duties.’