The Independence, Mo., waterworks, of which illustrations are given herewith, were constructed by P. B. Perkins, of Springfield, Mo., in 1883-4. The system was pumping from the Missouri river to reservoir on the bank of the river three and one-half miles north of the city, thence pumping to a reservoir up town about 360 feet above the river; thence to a tank eighteen feet by twenty-four feet on the top of a brick tower forty-five feet high. In 1803 a standpipe eighteen feet in diameter by 120 feet high was erected up town, and the wooden tank was abandoned. In 1804 the pumping station was rebuilt at the river. In 1898 the franchise was renewed for twenty years, and in 1899 improvements and extensions were made, about nine miles of new mains being laid, with thirty-five hydrants, in addition to the fifty already in use. In 1900 a 4,000,000-gallon Holly pump was installed at the river, and in 1901 the reservoir system was remodeled, two new basins being added to the old one. and a system of settling and aeration devised, by which the water was pumped into No. 3 basin, in the upper end of which a boiler iron tank was placed surrounding the inlet pipe. This tank is sixteen feet in diameter and six feet high. It stands on supports six feet from the bottom of the reservoir, and is open at the bottom and top, so that the water as it enters flows over the mouth of the inlet pipe, and the mud slowly settles to the bottom of the reservoir. From No. 3 the water flows into No. 2 basin over a weir twenty-five feet wide, with a series of eighteen steps, which aerates the water. From No. 2 it flows over a weir, with a series of steps similar to that from No. 3 to No. 2, still further aerating it. When it reaches No. t, or the clear water basin, it is free from the greater part of the silt and other impurities. Front No. 1 the water is pumped up town to the reservoir, and front thence to the standpipe, and distributed through the mains and services to consumers. No alum or other means than the above settling system is used. The water is given three pumpings from the river to the standpipe. It goes through four settling basins. The capacity is ample for a city four times the present population, and is as follows: One 4,000,000-gallon Holly; one 5,000,000-gallon Worthington; one 750,000-gallon Hooker; and one 500,000-gallon Gordon. Up town is one 500,000-gallon Hooker engine. The reservoir capacity at the river is 5,000,000 gallons; up town it is 750,000 gallons; that of the standpipe is 228,372 gallons. During the memorable flood of 1903 the works were operated continuously and furnished an abundant supply of water for all purposes. R. D. Wirt took charge as superintendent soon after the works were built, in January, 1885. During his administration the most of the improvements enumerated above were made. He resigned in March. 1902, and was succeeded by G. C. Danforth, and during his administration the large force-main. fourteen inches in diameter was laid from the top of the bluff above the river station to the uptown station, and connected with the reservoirs and standpipe, so that fire pressure could be given from the river, if necessary. The 5,000,000-gallon Worthington pump was also installed by him at the river station. Mr. Danforth resigned on March 1, 1903, and was succeeded by Will T. Owen. During his administration another settling ring was added at the river; some few extensions w’ere made; and the system was very largely changed from the flat rate to the meter. Mr. Owen resigned on March 1, 1904, to accent the management of the Greenville, Tex. water plant, and was succeeded by the present superintendent, V. B. Robison, who has been with the company in various capacities, with the exception of about four years, since the works were built. The following are the statistics of the works: Name of place. Independence. Mo.; population. 10,000; source of supply, Missouri river; system, standpipe pressure; aggregate daily capacity of pumps at river, 10,225,000 gallons, uptown, 500,000 gallons; reservoir capacity at river, 5,000,000 gallons; uptown, 750,000 gallons; standpipe capacity, 228,372 gallons; mains, twenty miles of fourteen-inch to two-inch; hydrants, eighty-seven (fifty Chapman, thirty-seven Corey); valves, ninety; meters, 450; services, 1,000 (one and one-half-inch to three-quarter-inch galvanised iron); average normal pressure, seventy pounds; average fire pressure, 120 pounds; daily consumption, 500,000 gallons; per capita consumption, fifty gallons; cost of works, about $200,000; bonds outstanding, about $147,000; annual expenses about $10,350; owned by Tndependence Waterworks company; superintendent, V. B. Robison.


The contract for building the filtration plant at Youngstown, Ohio, has been signed, and the work will be begun at once.




(Specially written for FIRE AND WATER.)

Independence, Mo., situated near the Missouri river, though the county seat of Jackson county, is a suburb of Kansas City, from whose centre it is distant about ten miles. Its population of 10,000 inhabitants find easy access to the larger city by means of electric roads, two trunk roads, and several metaled driveways, all running due east to Independence. The Missouri river runs two and a half miles south of the city, which is built on an elevation of some 350 feet above it; the river forms the source of its water supply.


The waterworks plant was built in 1883-84 by the Independence Water company under a twenty-year franchise, the engineer and contractor being P. B. Perkins, of Springfield. Mo. About ten years later the system passed into the hands of the present owners, E. P. Kimball, of Portsmouth, N. H., and Robert Ratiken. of St. Louis. The system is pumping from the river to reservoir. The first reservoir built is thirty feet above the Missouri, and is divided into two compartments, one being a settling basin ; the other being used for storage. As originally constructed, there was a sand filter inclosed by masonry walls between the two compartments. The water was then repttmped to another reservoir 390 feet above the first and then again pumped into a sixtygallon wood tank twenty-four by eighteen feet, built on a forty-five-foot brick tower—four pumps being used in all.

The present owners, on coming into possession, immediately began to make improvements, the most important of which was the erection of a standpipe eighteen feet in diameter by 120 feet in height. In 1898 they were granted a new franchise for twenty years, and, as the city was fast outgrowing the old plant, arrangements were made to reconstruct it throughout. The work has been continued until the system has now some eighty-five miles of fourteeninch to four-inch mains, eighty-five hydrants, eightytwo valves, and 732 services, on which have been set 254 Crown meters. To-day the daily consumption averages about 500,000 gallons (though sometimes it runs as high as 1,000.000 gallons); the yearly consumption is about 200,000,000 gallons. There arc two pumping stations, one at the river and one up town. The river plant has been rebuilt. The pump house, thirty by seventy-five feet, with a brick stack, is new. with a new steam plant and additional pumping machinery installed. The latter consists of a 4,000,000gallon Holly, quadruple, compound, condensing engine. specially adapted for pumping the water up town. There are besides several smaller pumps for pumping the water from the river to the river reservoirs. as well as for uptown use in case of emergency. The uptown pump is a 1,500,000-gallon Hooker, which, however, will soon be abandoned, as it is intended that all the pumping shall be done at the river station.



A new reservoir has been built at that station, which, while not yet completed, is in use. and with very satisfactory results. It is in reality a system of three reservoirs covering an area of some 60,000 square feet. The depth of the three is about twelve feet; capacity, about 5,000,000 gallons. They are lined with nine inches of concrete and one inch or cement plaster on both sides and on the bottom. The wall is of concrete: the coping of cement, with concrete core.

As to the quality of the water supplied to the consumers: It may be stated that the water of the Missouri river is considered one of the best river waters in the world. It possesses this disadvantage, however—namely, that it carries large quantities of fine sand and silt, thereby causing great annoyance to waterworks companies which derive their supply from that source. Water of such a character seems almost incapable of settling, or being filtered, so far, at least, as concerns the sand and silt. Supt. Wirt, however, who has been for years the able superintendent of the system, has devised a means of overcoming the difficulty. It is as follows: No. 1 reservoir. or clear water basin, is fifty by fifty feet, and lies some five feet below No. 2, which is connected with a weir twelve feet wide and a series of thirty steps, four and a half inches wide by two inches high, over which the water ripples and empties into the clear water basin in a volume of air bubbles. No. 2 reservoir, not yet finished, but in use, is 325 by 100 feet, and lies some three feet below No. 3. being connected by a weir twenty-five feet wide, having a series of eighteen steps of the same width and height as those between reservoirs Nos. 1 and 2. Reservoir No. 3 is 200 by 100 feet, and is finished (except part of the coping and railing) and in use. The water is pumped from the river into an openbottomed cylinder sixteen feet in diameter, six feet in height, and standing on legs sixteen feet from the bottom. As shown in the accompanying illustration, the water is pumped through the standpipe, laden as it is with sand and silt, into the cylinder, and. passing out below it, never rises in its former mttddylooking condition. The water on the outside of the cylinder being comparatively, clear prevents any disturbance or current, whereby the water in this quiet state is given a chance to settle in reservoir No. 3 while its top surface, which has become fairly clarified, is drawn over the weir and steps, where there is nothing to disturb it, and again settles and flows into the clear water basin over the second weir and scries of steps. In this way the water of the “Big Muddy” is converted from its dirty yellow color to a comparatively clear, drinkable liquid without the aid of liquids.


The waterworks company will sustain a great loss in the approaching retirement of Supt. Wirt, who for many years has managed the plant and by his thorough knowledge of every mechanical detail and his equally thorough knowledge of the chemical, hygienic, and engineering details, has done so much to put the system on a firstclass footing. Mr. Wirt, who is about to engage in important business affairs in Philadelphia, leaves Independence followed by the respect, esteem, and affection of its citizens, for whose best interests he has labored so long and so faithfully.

Last November the mayor and councilmen with many influential citizens of Independence presented Supt. Wirt with the following address—a well-deserved testimony of the high estimation in which they held him after twenty years’ service:


“INDEPENDENCE, Mo., Nov. 22. 1901. “R. D. WIRT, Superintendent Independence Waterworks company.

“Dear Sir:—

“The undersigned sincerely express their appreciation of your efforts to give to our city the best and purest water by the latest processes of eliminating it of all impurities, making it as good as and equal to the cleanest and clearest furnished by any system in the country.

“The successful completion of these works under your management does more for this city than words can fitly express, for which you must be regarded as a public benefactor.

“We wish to acknowledge the courtesies extended us to inspect these works: and the very enjoyable satisfaction in test demonstrations of the capacity, power, and resources, not only of the works, but of the superintendent and his assistants.

“We are.

“Your obedient servants,

“S. H. WOODSON. Mayor, and others.”

The Cudahy Packing company have sent a check for $100 to the Firemen’s fund of the Omaha, Neb., fire department for their success in saving as much as they did of the company’s factory in the recent fire there. A short time ago the Armour Packing company did the same thing after a similar experience.