JACKSON WATER SYSTEM.
The waterworks system of Jackson. Mich., was built by a private company in 1870, and bought by the city in 1871. The source of the water supply is artesian wells situated half a mile from the business centre; the system is gravity. The capacity of the reservoir is 80,000 gallons. There is an air-lift, and the pumping machinery is of the Holly-Gaskill type, with horizontal boilers, and a capacity of 12,000,000 gallons. At first, two rotary Holly pumps were used, and in 1872, two ten-inch piston pumps of twenty-seven-inch stroke were added. During 1002, the city purchased ninety-one meters, which gives at the close of the year. March 1, 764 meters. There were laid 16,895 feet of water pipe, 7,828 feet of which was seven-inch, during the past year—a total of three miles and 1,055 feet of pipe for the year. The city now has of water pipe, fifty-nine miles, 1,347 feet, of which about forty-seven per cent, is of four-inch and thirty-six per cent is of six-inch.
I he city has also 529 fireplugs. Attention may be called to the increase of the number of taps of water mains from 2,910 in 1899, to 3,545 in 1903— an increase of 22 per cent, in four years. What is remarkable is the decrease of water pumped during the same years, from 943,411,100 gallons to 710,328,580—a decrease of twenty-three and two-thirds per cent. The Water Inspector, M. H. Welchton, has compiled two long schedules, in alphabetical order by streets, showing between what points the various sizes of water pine are laid and hydrants are located. This will be of convenience for ready reference. His inspection last year disclosed fifty-six cases where water was being used without permits; using water not going through meters, two; number of persons wasting water, twenty-one; also six cases where water was illegally turned on by plumbers, without the owners having permits to use the water. By the shutting off of the water at the end of the lawn season of those who use it for lawn use only, fifty-three began to take the water for family and other uses, as well as for lawn use. There was a decrease in the amount of water pumped, and the free water running to the pumping station is wholly ample to supply the demands made. During the sprinkling season, when the demand upon the station is greatest, there was no necessity last summer of using the air-lift, and the engineer recommends that the air-lift machinery be offered for sale, and the room it occupies be utilised to install a small electric plant for furnishing light to the several municipal buildings and offices and possibly for the new parks as well, at merely the cost of the coal and aid to run machinery, which when installed will not exceed $800. The application of the new and improved valves to the No. 4 pump was a decided success and resulted in increasing the capacity of the pumping of that engine about sixty-five per cent, so that it was easily capable of handling the load at any time last season. This improvement obviated the worry about the large engine possibly breaking down and leaving the station upon inadequate pumping fa cilities; also postpones the necessity of buying a new engine and pump. There is a necessity for shutoff valves being provided, where they can be read) ly found, on mains leading into factories, which are piped inside for fire protection. At the time of the Collins Cart factory burning, the water was wasted by the inside pipes after the fire had assumed proportions beyond the control of the automatic protection, and the firemen were rendered almost powerless, because of the wasting, decreasing the water pressure and the supply from the pumping station. The proposed shut-off valve is presented as a check upon this possible waste of water and crippling of the fire department. The average daily pumpage per capita the past year was a trifle less than seventy-two gallons, or fifteen less than in the preceding year. It may be added that last year the boilers were materially strengthened by additional bracing to meet the approval of the boiler inspectors, and. barring accidents, no materially large expenditures are necessary save for supplies and repairs. One of the striking showings made during the year has been the gradual increase of consumers of city water, as compared with a striking decrease in amount of water consumed. This is a strong support of two propositions—that the work of the water inspector is of special benefit, and that the metering of only a small portion of the water service of the city is enough to prove the wisdom of the meter system. J. F. Harrison makes a most admirable superintendent.
The Standard Oil company’s steamer City of Everett, leaded with 12.000,000 gallons of oil, caught fire from an explosion and was burned to the water’s edge at her Port Arthur, Tex., dock.