Mains Too Small To Furnish Fire Pressure at Columbus
With reference to the recent destruction of the King Avenue Methodist Church in Columbus. O., Jerry O’Shaughnessy, superintendent of water works, makes the following interesting statement:
“Low water pressure was not at all to blame for lack of water at this fire. A pressure of 85 pounds is maintained at all times at the pumping station, and this pressure never varied a particle during the fire. The whole trouble lay in the mains. These mains have been laid for many years, possibly over thirty, when the city was small and growing slowly. In those days it was never dreamed of an engine throwing more than 500 gallons of water a minute and they laid mains that are now inadequate to carry the water needed in an emergency such as the church fire called up. There is an eight-inch main up Neil avenue as far as Fifth avenue, but from Fifth avenue up to the university there is only a six-inch main. This six-inch main filled to capacity under the 85pound pressure at the pumping station could just about carry enough water to supply one of the modern engines. Such a main, according to our figures, could deliver about 1,200 gallons a minute, and one of the city’s new engines can pump 1235 gallons a minute, so you see where we got off. If this six-inch main had been connected with the eight-inch main that runs northeast of King avenue, adequate water could have been obtained. All the mains running west from Neil above Fifth avenue are but four-inch mains and these are too small for even the residential demand made on them.