LOWELL AND ITS WATER SUPPLY.
LOWELL, MASS., through its efficient superintendent of water works, Robert J. Thomas, has issued its twenty-seventh annual report, from which it will be seen that from a financial stand point the department is in a flourishing condition. The report says that the charges for water show a net increase of $l,669.83, and while the charges by rates decreased $6,048 33, the charges for metered water increased $7,718.16, and the total charge for metered water is $48,115.82 in excess of rated property. The record shows that almost exactly one-half of the services in use are metered, and, while 2,659,464,909 gallons of water were used, 687,905 250 gallons were consumed through meters—that is one-half of the services used one-quarter of the water, and produced over sixty per cent. on the income.
The total number of services in use is 10,529; of meters, 5,268 The private meters number eighty-four. The meters in use of which 413 were setin 1899, are of the following types: Deeper, eighty-six; Crown, 3.948; Worthington, 363; Hersey, 213; Nash, 179 Trident, 123; Lambert, 118; Empire, ninety-five; Columbia, forty-seven; Thomson, twenty-nine; Duplex, twenty-three; Union, eighteen; Frost ten; Gem, nine; Niagara, two; Metropolitan, two; Ball & Fitts, two; Westinghouse, one Total pumpage for the year, 2,659,052,210 gallons, of which 1,596,948,580 gallons were pumped at Station No. 1, where are three Worthington pumping engines, of a total capacity of 20,000,000 gallons, and one Morris engine—capacity, 5,000,000 gallons. At Station 2 there are two Deane pumps(temporary)—aggregate capacity, 6,000,000 gallons; at Station 3, two Worthingtons (temporary)—aggregate capacity, 6,000,000 gallons; at Station 4, two Knowles (temporary)—aggregate capacity, 6,000,000 gallons. The total coal consumed during the year was 10,173,433 pounds, of which Station 1 consumed 3,164,994 pounds. Average static head against which the pumps work is 156.22; average dynamic head, 168,07—(in each case at Station 1); average number of gallons pumped per pound of coal, 266 (Station 1. 505); cost, of pumping, figured on pumping station expenses of $13,437.82, Station 1—per 1,000,000 gallons raised against average dynamic head into reservoir (Station 1), $8 41; per 1,000,000 gallons raised one foot high (dynamic) $0.05 16-100; total consumption of water, 2,659,464,909 gallons; average daily consumption. 7,286.205 gallons; per capita consumption on 90,000 population, eighty-one gallons; price for 1,000,000 gallons based on total receipts and consumption, $76.11; price charged for 1,000,000 gallons per meter rate of fourteen cents per 100 cubic feet (ten per cent. off), $167 96; total length of cast iron mains 126 41 miles; total number of fire hydrants, 1,155; total water works debt, $1,229,800; amount in sinking fund, $273,623.35.
The water works were built by the city in 1872. The source of supply is driven wells—220 in the valley of River Meadow brook and 169 at Pawtucket boulevard. The mode of supply is pumping to reservoir and pumping direct. The supply was formerly from the Merrimack river and a filter gallery—a small filter bed being also used. In 1896 the full driven well supply became available. There are two reservoirs, with an aggregate capacity of 31,324,000 gallons. Of these the Beacon street low-service reservoir (181 and one-half feet above city datum) has a capacity of 30,000,000 gallons; the Tenth street high service reservoir, built in 1881, of 1,324,000 gallons.
The illustrations accompanying this article show the inlet of the old filter; the low-service reservoir at Beacon street; the inlet chamber; and pumping station No. 1. The water from the several driven wells plant, Merrimack river, and pumping station No. 1, is analysed each month by the State board of health, and is of remarkably good quality. During last year turbidity and sediment were very slight; color was from 0.11 to .12—(hot or cold); odor, totally absent; total residue on evaporation, 8.90 to 8.10; ammonia, free—.00044 to .0008, albuminoid-total, .0064 to 0028; chlorine. .31 to .25; nitrogen—as nitrates, 0350 to .0028, as nitrites—.0000 to .0001; hardness, 3.8 to 3 3; iron, .0290 to .0040; oxygen consumed—Cook and hydraulic wells, .10 to .1280, Cook wells, 08 to .13.