Metropolitan Water District for Westchester.
At a meeting of the Westchester County Civic League last week at Mount Vernon, N Y, the question of a permanent water supply for the county was discussed by H. deB. Parsons, consulting engineer. “In Westchester County.” he said, “there is a dearth of water for some of its people. Why not form a metropolitan district for the benefit of these people? By so doing, a water supply could be obtained and the validity of each community ccutld be retained. The county really consists of two parts—a suburban and a non suburban portion. The former may be taken as that part which, roughy speaking, lies south of New Castle and North Castle, while the latter is the remainder to the north.” Mr. Parsons gave the population of the suburban part as 242,718, anil of the non surhurban part as 40,337. these being the United States census figures for 1910. He estimated that the population of the suburban part in 1930 would be 752,000. of the nonsuburban part. 78,000. He continued: “At present the main source of water supply for this suburban district is obtained by impounding the streams and brooks running through the county In addition, a small portion is obtained from driven wells. The approximate capacity of the several waterworks is 22,400,000 gallons per day. The present rate of consumption is about 88 gallons per inhabitant. There are some inhabitants who are not served, and on the basis that those not served number about 10 per cent., then the water consumption is really about 100 gallons per capita per dav. As the population in 1930 will be, say. 750,000 in the suburban district under consideration the water consumption per day. at 100 gallons per inhabitant, would be 75.000.000 gallons. That is, at the end of twenty years the suburban part of the county will require about 53,000,00O gallons more per than the present supply furnishes. The water resources of the suburban part of the county are now practically used to full capacity. It would be possible to increase the storage capacity of some of the watersheds. Some economy could be effected by a more liberal use of meters, and some additional supply coud he obtained from the northern part of the county. It has been estimated that perhaps 10,000,000 to 2,000,000 gallons daily could be thus secured, but even this larger amount would not provide for the population which can be expected It would onlv last for about seven years. There is no reason why the present ornate companies should be expected to invest large sums for the benefit of the future, and on which they cannot realize immediate returns. Legislation is so very uncertain that these companies naturally hesitate. They find no encouragement now, and why should they gamble on the unknown? Water and drainage are public necessities, and should be cared for by the people as a public burden. As the water re sources of the suburban districts are not sufficient to supply the demand, why not go out side of the district and bring water to it? Every big city has to look after its citizens in this regard, and foresees its requirements by building aqueducts to supply reasonable future demands. This principle is older than the Roman empire. Why does not Westchester do thp same thing? It is big enough, it is rich enough, and it has the people. The cost will be amply repaid in property advances. New York city went to the Catskills for water. It rejected some good sources of supply because they were not large enough. Why should not Westchester take up these supplies? Mr. Parsons estimated the cost of a new water supply, which would last until 1930, at $13,250,000. He recommended “that a metropolitan district of Westchester be formed for water and sewerage This plan has been successfully tried in Massachusetts by the district surrounding Boston. In the Massachusetts district there are some twenty municipalities, and the service has been in operation about fifteen years, and is growing. The expense of such a district would be local, not State, although the district would have to be created by an act of the Legislature. The expenses of construction would be distributed over a series of years, the yearly payments increasing as time advances, so as to distribute the first cost more equitably in proportion to the number of people benefited. The annual charges would be paid as a tax item in proportion to the amount used by the various communities. In other words, the first cost would be distributed on some basis of assessed values and number of inhabitants, while the maintenance and operating charges would be apportioned more directly on the would be apportioned more directly o nthe actual users. Allowances should be made for any community so situated as not to he physically able to avail itself of the advantages of the system.”
Trustees Kyle, Heberling and Swain, of Vis alia, Cal., will visit a few cities in that state to witness auto fire engine exhibits. It is proposed to recommend installation of auto apparatus for the local department.