MIDDLETOWN WATER WORKS.
(Specially written for FIRE AND WATER.)
Middleton, N. Y., is a favorite residential city for business men whose commercial interests are in New York city. Its municipal authorities have, therefore, devoted no little money towards making it all it ought to be from a sanitary standpoint. Its water system, therefore, would be a credit to many a city of far greater size and importance. It was built in 1867, in the infant, or village stage of Middletown’s existence. The water was first brought into the village on January 1, 1868, and from that time on till 1891 the Monhagen reservoir sufficed for the wants of the community. In 1873 the supply had been increased by tapping the Shawangunk kill and the water led by a conduit to the reservoir. Owing to the high price of iron pipe this conduit was of twelve-inch wood pipe. The adjoining land was purchased, for $60,000; a stone canal and pump house were built; and a Holly quadruplex pump and waterwheel were installed. For six years, however, in consequence of litigation, the pumps could be used only in times of high water. In 1889—Middletown being now a city of 10,000 inhabitants—it was determined to discontinue further pumping operations, and to look for an additional source of water. The drainage area of the present supply is 841 acres, and the water is impounded in two reservoirs — the Monhagen, distant some two miles from the centre of the city, and the Highland, about five miles from Middletown. The first reservoir covers seventy-four acres; has a maximum depth of twenty-four feet and a capacity of 296,000,000 gallons. It is built 161 feet above Franklin square, and has a drainage area of 426 acres. The Highland reservoir is built 239 feet above Franklin square and covers an area of no acres. Its maximum depth is twenty-one feet four inches; its capacity, 560,000,000 gallons. It connects with Monhagen reservoir by means of a twelve-inch iron pipe, and between the latter reservoir and Highland avenue and Main street is a twenty-inch pipe line. The pumping engines are of the Deane make, with a capacity of 1,500,000 gallons daily; cost of running about $250 monthly. A mechanical combined gravity-and pressure filtration plant was added in 1899-1900 by the Continental Filter company, now the New York Continental-Jewell Filtration company.
In 1889, after it had been determined to increase the supply, the construction of a second reservoir was resolved upon, the outcome being the building of the Highland Lake reservoir. The designer was Charles J. Everson, engineer and surveyor. Including 8,477 and a half feet of iron pipe to connect it with the Monhagen reservoir, the cost of which was $21,193.75, the expense of the improvement was $93,155.27. In consequence of a long season of dry weather, the watershed was unable to supply water to fill it quickly enough. In 1892, therefore, artesian wells were driven at a cost of $10,000. These, however, failed to furnish more than about 500,000 gallons a day, and at least twice as much water was needed. After receiving reports from experts as to likely sources of supply that of W. R. Hill, now chief engineer of the Croton aqueduct commission of New York city, was accepted. In it he recommended the building of a small collecting reservoir above the falls on the Shawangunk kill, the laying of a twentyfour-inch iron conduit to the valley of the Little Shawangunk. Here it is proposed to construct a storage reservoir, known as Reservoir No. 3, with a caprei y of 430,000,000 gallons of water, and having a flow line fifty feet above Monhagen reservoir. From Reservoir No. 3 a twenty-inch iron pipe line is to be constructed to Monhagen reservoir. The cost, including rights of way, is estimated at $180,000. Mr. Hill also recommended the expenditure of $10,000 for improving Monhagen reservoir. The vote of the people last October ratified the acceptance of the report. The cost will be at. least $200,000. Up to the present the cost of the system has been $440,693.30— the cost of the original system was $2,613.53.
The filter plant, which has been built about too feet from the Monhagen reservoir gatehouse, consists of a gravity filter plant of 2,000,000 gallons daily capacity and a pressure filter plant of 1,000,000 gallons daily. The brick building in which the plant is installed is one-story high, 128 feet long, thirty-six feet wide, with walls ten feet high supporting a slate roof on wooden trusses. At one end, underneath the building, is a clean water well seventy-three feet long, thirty-five wide; capacity, 9,580 gallons. The gravity filter plant has two subdividing basins and four filters, with a daily capacity of 500,000 gallons each. Wooden tanks form the subsiding basins; each is twenty-two feet in diameter and seven and a half feet in depth inside, and is built of three-inch cypress. Influent and effluent pipes, with automatic valves, overflow pipe, and sewer drain, connect each tank. The pressure filter plant is made up of four steel tanks, each eight feet in diameter and ten feet in length, each having the usual number of inlet and outlet valves. In each tank there is also provided a wrought iron pipe manifold, with strainer cups, besides an internal manifold of brass and galvanised iron pipe to distribute the air used in washing the filters. In each filter are forty-two inches of sand, and in connection with this system is an aerating device at the high pressure reservoir, the intention of which is to allow of the water being aerated before it enters the pines which pass to the filter plant. The filters are four wooden two-and-a-half-inch cypress tanks, each fifteen feet in diameter and seven feet deep, and each provided with a manifold of iron pipes, with strainer cups and an internal manifold of brass and galvanised iron pipes for the distribution of air. In each tank is a thirty-six-inch deep layer of sand, and round the periphery of each tank is a suitable metal gutter to distribute the applied water and remove the waste water during washing. To each tank arc also supplied inlet and outlet valves, waste water and air-valves, as well as an automatic inlet regulator and an automatic outlet controler. There are likewise provided a seventy-five-horsepower boiler, a wash water pump, a blowing engine, and the usual chemical devices, feedpumps, etc., with the necessary piping, drains, etc. The cost of the plant was about $30,000; estimated cost of maintenance about $3,300 a year; total amount of water filtered daily has averaged about 1,500,000 gallons. The plant was all paid for last year. With this plant, the total net worth of the Middletown waterworks, over and above outstanding bonds, is $195,272.19. The total receipts during 1901. including a cash balance from 1900, amounted to $40,936.44. The total disbursements amounted to $39,730.93, of which $8,716.90 was on account of construction, including the filtration plant and its maintenance for seven months and a half, and $4,613.17, on that of maintenance and repairs.
The distribution system includes thirty-two miles, 20.819 feet of cast iron pipe, twenty to four inches; public hydrants in use, 251, private, twenty-three— total hydrants, 274; gates in use, 287; pressure forty to ninety pounds; fire pressure, the same. The service pipe in use is galvanised iron and lead; taps in use, 2.105; meters (for 128 consumers), in use, Thomson, seventy-five, Crown, forty-nine, Gem, six, Nash, one—total 131.
Besides the portraits of the water commissioners and officials, the accompanying illustrations are as follows: Filter house—interior of the filter house— to the left, and connected with the gravity meters, are the two subsiding basins; chemical tanks and pumps to the right; another view of the interior of the filter house—right view, showing seventy-fivehorsepower boiler, Worthington pump, and blowing engine for washing and aerating both gravity and pressure filter beds; left view, subsiding basins; interior of the filter house—gravity filters—to the right are the four gravity filters (cypress); on the left are the pressure fillers.