MISCELLANY

MISCELLANY

The Manchester Ship Canal.

FROM the Manchester (Eng.) ship canal works it is reported that 15,500,000 tons of earthwork have already been removed 28,000,000 tons still requiring to be excavated. One hundred and eighty-three pumping engines, 82 steam navvies 5000 wagons, 158 locomotives and 116 steam cranes are in daily use. The cost of haulage of one ton is given at 6d. per mile on the highways, 2d. on the railways, 1.66d. per mile on the Leeds and Liverpool canal, 1.116d. per mile on the Aire and Calder navigation, and between New York and Liverpool about 1.300d. per mile.

The Sprague Improved Electric Motor.

We publish in this issue a view of the Sprague improved fifteen horse-power electric motor for street cars, hoists, transfer tables and all purposes where variable speed is required. This motor represents the experience of many years in the electric motor business, and is meant to meet all the exigencies in the kind of work for which it is intended. In its manufacture, every detail of mechanical and electrical construction is carefully attended to, and the most recent improvements which experience could suggest have been adopted to make the machine as durable and reliable as possible. The Sprague principle of flexible suspension of motors whenever there is any liability of sudden strain upon the gears is an important feature in the application of this motor for the operation of hoists, street cars and for other work where great torque at starting is required. For such work each motor is centred upon the street car axle, or, in the case of hoists, upon some other shaft, and at the other end is supported by double compression springs playing upon a loose bolt attached to the truck in the case of a street car, or to the frame of the machine in the case of a hoist. By means of these springs the motion of the armature is transmitted through a form of spring-gearing of compact form and great strength, and when ever work is done there is a spring touch of the pinions upon the gears.

This method of flexible support of the motor is of vital importance not only for relieving the motor from sudden jar, but also for taking up part of any sudden strain upon the gears by making the movement a progressive one.

From this will be seen that, barring friction, a single pound of pressure exerted in either direction will lift or depress the motor a little. It follows that no matter how sudden or great the strain, whether because of variation in load or speed, or reversal of direction of rotation, it is impossible to strip the gears, unless the resultant strain is greater than that of the tensile strength of the iron, because the moment that the motor exerts a pressure upon the gears, at the same instant the spring supports allow the motor to yield. This principle has been used upon all the street railways installed by the Sprague Company, and experience has shown that it is an extremely valuable and important feature.

In the view, only one intermediate shaft is used between the armature pinion and the main gear. All gears and every part of the motor are made extremely strong and durable, and here, as elsewhere, the general appearance of durability and strength is quite marked. The main gears are of the split gear pattern, so that in case of necessity they can be easily removed from the shaft without dismounting the machine. The pinion and all the bearings are also constructed so that they can be easily removed, if necessary. The armatures are of the same type, which has been proved to be waterproof and incapable of injury by moisture. In a recent test of one of these armatures, made at the Sprague factory at Schenectady, it was placed successively in a tub of fresh water and allowed to remain there for twenty-four hours, and in a tub of salt water and allowed to remain there for the same time. After each of these baths, the armature was placed in position in the motor and the machine was worked to one-third above its normal load, as measured by a dynamometer for several hours, without developing any trouble whatever.

The style of brushes used upon these motors is of a new type, which has been shown to give excellent results in electric motor work.

The speed of these motors is under complete control, and can be varied by a single movement of the controlling switch.

This switch throws the winding of the fields into different electrical combinations, thus altering the current, maintaining practically a constant field on a constant potential system, and thereby varying the power and speed of the motor without the the use of any wasteful resistance. By this method there is no loss of power and the control over the motor is perfect.

On account of its lightness and the ease with which these electric motors can be transported from one place to another, they will be found valuable in mining, mill and shop work, for supplying power for derricks, fire pumps and other apparatus where a movable power is needed. In the case of mills already owning and using any incandescent electrical lighting system it will be only necessary to connect the motors with the nearest light terminals. With a lighting plant it will be found hat only a small increase to the capacity of the dynamos requisite for lighting the premises will be necessary to supply power to the motors. By this means a portable efficient power at any point in the premises desired is furnished at a much less cost than if small separate steam engines arc depended upon for furnishing power. . These motors are of a different shape from the Sprague standard automatic motors, and are made compactly, so that they can be boxed in and protected while in use, if desired.

SPRAGUE IMPROVED ELECTRIC MOTOR.SPRAGUE ELECTRIC MOTOR AND HOIST.

The other illustration shows a three horse-power combination electrical motor and hoist manufactured by the Sprague Electric Railway and Motor Company for use on board the United States cruiser Atlanta. The motor is operated from the regular incandescent lighting circuit of the vessel, and is intended to hoist shells to the mouth of cannon and take the place of about a dozen men.

The advantages of electric power on shipboard are manifold. The power is conducted by the motor upon a conductor which occupies but very little space, and which is easily bent around a corner and carried to any part of the ship where the power is needed. There are no steam pipes to obstruct the decks, as when small steam engines are used for this work, and the transmission of power is accomplished with a much higher efficiency—i. e., with a much less loss of power in transit than when small steam engines are used.

The combination illustrated of a small electric motor and hoist promises to find a wide application, not only for hoisting purposes on shipboard, but also for general commercial work, wherever a small hoist is required. It promises to be especially advantageous, and to find wide adoption in connection with street railways, operated by electricity, for lifting the bodies of the cars off the trucks, and in many other cases where electric power can advantageously be substituted for man power with great saving in expense to the railroad company.

Old London Bridge.

The first stone bridge across the Thames at London, says a writer in Notes and Queries, was commenced 1176. The architect was Peter of Colechurch, who died in 1205, one year before the structure was completed. The stone platform was 926 feet long and 40 feet wide. The coping stones were 60 feet above the level of the water at ebb tide, and the bridge was formed by 19 pointed arches, with massive piers from 25 to 34 feet in solidity, having a drawbridge on each side of the river to protect the approaches. The chapel inscribed to St. Thomas ft Bccket consisted of two stories, and was familiarly known as St. Thomas of the bridge. It stood on the tenth or great pier, that is, as nearly ns possible in the centre of the bridge the lower portion being the crypt, paved with black and white marble. In this crypt the architect, Peter of Colechurch, desired that his bones might rest ; ami there, it may be presumed, they peacefully remained for centuries ; but in 1737 the premises came into the occupation of a Mr. Yaldwin, to be used by him as a dwelling and warehouse. Whilst alterations were being effected under the staircase of the crypt, the remains of a human body were discovered and removed, but no inscription was found to afford a clue ns to whose body it was, nor were any records of the interment forthcoming.

In the summer of 1833 old I.ondon bridge was removed. I was at school at Kennington at the time, and, hearing that the crypt which once contained the remains of Peter of Colechurch had been discovered, I hastened to view the ruin. Admission to inspect was denied to a boy, albeit of archaeological proclivities, and I was fain to watch the process of demolition from the nearest buttress of the London bridge now standing. However, I secured a print, which I still retain, showing the chapel of St. Thomas and the crypt let to Mr. Yaldwin in the last century. The questions, therefore, remaining to be solved are—(1) Who completed the old bridge when Peter of Colechurch died in 1205? (2) Of whom were the remains discovered in the tomb under the crypt stairs in 1737, and where were they then placed ?

—Col. Wm. Ludlow, ex-chief of the Philadelphia Water Department, in his remarks to the committee appointed to secure a better water supply for Germantown, referring to Philadelphia’s slowness, made the following statement : “ I do not like to disparage Philadelphia, but New York does things differently. It is spending $30,000,000 on a new aqueduct, and will spend millions more on a new dam. Philadelphia is more conservative, and will spend thirty or forty years in discussing the subject. It will require an epidemic, an earthquake or a sign from Heaven to make Philadelphia do anything.”

Pressure Augmenters.

Since our suggestion, some months ago, of the use of hose direct from public hydrants, at normal pressure, for fire extinguishment, a firm in Ixmdon, Eng., has introduced there a patented arrangement of a steam fire engine to be applied to city water pipes to increase the pressure therein, so as to make it available through hose to buildings of almost any height. Where the original pressure was thirty pounds per square inch, the force has been thereby increased to ioo pounds, and a series of water pipes was acted on successfully which ranged from six to three inches diameter, and supplied about ioo public hydrants. The firm mentioned also make hand-power augmenters of pressure, and have furnished four such to the Constitutional Club, London. “ By their aid one man can force water on to the roof and project a strong stream to a distance of fifty to sixty feet/’ The hand-pressure augmenters have also been adopted and successfully used at Pet worth House. Sussex, at the warehousemen and clerk’s schools, Caterham, at the general post-office, London, for the protection of the upper floors and roof in the last instance. In view of the continued advance of new buildings in height, it would be well if this plan were introduced in our principal cities. The only question is, would the joints of the water pipe stand the added pressure?—American Exchange and Review.

Sources of Water Supply.*

In the comparison of the various possible sources of supply the questions of quality, quantity and cost of development are the principal ones to be considered. The weight to be given to each depends on the local and conditional circumstances of the community for which the supply is under consideration.

QUALITY

Opinions differ as to just what is essential for a supply of water to be suitable for domestic use. Science as yet has furnished no wholly satisfactory criterion. It is, of course, easy to define and determine a water of excellent quality and as easy to recognize a very bad water, but the exact limit between the two is at the present state of knowledge hard to fix.

It would be undesirable, even were it possible to obtain perfect chemical purity in water. Distilled water, which is the nearest approach to perfectly pure water, is quite fiat and insipid to the taste, due for the most part to the absence of absorbed gases Most people prefer a water containing a reasonable amount of matter in solution ; and a large amount is sometimes found in water which is suitable for drinking purposes and even highly prized, as in the case of numerous mineral springs. For manufacturing and cleansing purposes, however, the absence of mineral salt in any great amount is desirable, especially the absence of the carbonates and sulphates of lime and magnesia. These substances give rise to much trouble by the formation of incrustations in boilers, and in domestic use by the formation of a “ curd ” with soap.

The relative influence of soft and hard water on the public health is a matter of dispute, without any satisfactory evidence either way ; the effect of the presence of certain forms of organic matter in a water supply is, however, not a matter of conjecture.

Mankind has learned by dear experience the close connection that exists between factory and household wastes and certain forms of disease. Whether fdth may produce these diseases or whether it acts merely as a nidus for their development is still in dispute. The weight of evidence shows, and the best authorities agree, that the water supply may become the cause of disease, both by direct action through its impurities and as a means of transmission from some other source. Facts indicate

1. That fresh excrementary matter may exist in small quantities in air, water, or food, without proving detrimental to the individual using them.

2. That decaying matter taken into the system in like manner will, to a greater or less extent, produce diarrhoeas, headache and depression, ami even death, according to the physical condition of the individual, and may possibly give rise, under certain conditions, to some of the zymotic diseases.

3. That filth, contaminated by discharges from zymotic patients, is capable of producing like diseases in others.

4. That some individuals may, by usage, become accustomed to a state of filth and live in apparent health, while a person accustomed to pure air, water and food, will feel the evil effects of such conditions at once.

Chemical and microscopic analysis, together with a careful examination of the geological and topographical features which influence the source of supply, will usually lead to a satisfactory knowledge of the present condition and the possibility of future pollution, and may suggest precautions necessary to prevent pollution.

The most important analysis of the chemist is to determine the organic matter, but as the source of organic {dilution, a

* Head at the fourth annual meeting of the Illinois Society of Engineers and Surveyors at Bloomington, January 35, 1889, by D. W. Mead of Rockford.

very important factor, cannot be determined by analysis, a considerable doubt must exist concerning the utility of the investigation.

The following standards of purity have been recommended : 1.Prof. Wanklyn determines the albuminoid ammonia, and classifies waters by the parts of albuminoid ammonia per 100,000 as follows :

2.Dr. Franklatid determines by combustion the amount of organic carbon and nitrogen and classifies waters by the amount of organic carbon per 100,000 parts.

3.Drs. Letherly and Tidy employed what is known as the oxygen process by which the oxygen required to oxydize the organic matter is ascertained. The waters are classified by the amount of oxygen required in ioo,000 parts.

The New Jersey State Board of Health has issued the following directions for making simple tests of the purity of drinking water:

Color.—Fill a clean, long bottle made of colorless glass with the water ; look through the water at some black object ; the water should appear perfectly colorless and free from suspended matter. A muddy or turbid appearance indicates the presence of soluble organic matter or solid matter in suspension.

Odor.—Empty out some of the water, leaving the bottle half full ; cork up the bottle, and place it for a few hours in a warm place ; shake up the water, remove the cork, and critically smell the air contained in the bottle. If it has any smell, and especially if the odor is the least repulsive, the water should be rejected for domestic use. By heating the water to boiling, an odor is evolved sometimes that otherwise does not appear.

Taste.—Water fresh from the well is usually tasteless, even though it may contain some putrescible organic matter. Water for domestic use should be perfectly tasteless, and remain so even after it has been warmed, since warming often develops a taste. If the water at any time has a repulsive, or even disagreeable taste, it should be rejected.

As some waters of a dangerous quality fail to indicate their impurity either by smell or taste, what is known as the Heisch test is of value : Fill a clean pint bottle three-fourths full with the water to be tested ; add to it a half-teaspoonful of clean granulated or crushed loaf sugar ; stop the bottle with a glass stopper or a clean cork, and let the bottle stand in the light in a moderately warm room. If in twenty-four or fortyeight hours the water becomes cloudy or milky, it is unfit for domestic use. While cloudiness in the water after standing certainly indicates unfitness for use, yet a negative result does not prove the water to be good ; because the test often fails to indicate organic matter really present, if phosphates are absent.

The chemical examinations of water should include a full quantitative and qualitative analysis, as a judgment based on but one item is more liable to be erroneous. Care should be taken in the selection of samples for analysis, especially is this the case in surface waters, where the season may seriously affect it by flood or drought.

Chemical analysis, as has been before indicated, to be of value must be taken together with a microscopic examination and a study of the local conditions ; for as has been shown the opinion of the chemist is based on the presence of organic matter which may or may not be injurious according to its nature and origin. Many of the rivers in our timber regions are so highly impregnated with organic matter as to strongly color their waters, yet the continued use of such water does not prove injurious. So we see in Dr. Frankland’s process, above given, a considerable allowance is made in his standard on account of the origin of the supply. The presence of chlorine is also considered a suspicious circumstance in most waters as indicating a probable sewage contamination, yet near the sea or in salt countries it cannot be so considered.

There is in these determinations a wide field for microscopic and biological study, and this method is rapidly gaining prominence. Bure waters under the microscope are entirely free from animal or vegetable organisms ; while polluted waters often swarm with low forms of organisms, natures scavengers. Their presence or absence is, however, no conclusive proof of (he wholesomeness or u n wholesome ness of a water, but when studied and classified they furnish evidence of great value, which we may expect to become more valuable as the development of this line of science proceeds.

To be continued.

Improve Your Fire Departments.

There is not a frame town on the Pacific Coast that may not suffer the fate of Seattle. It is true that Seattle was built of northern pine, not of redwood. But there are two things to be remembered: The Seattle climate is more humid than any town in California ; second, redwood will burn in a fierce beat—not rapidly, it is true, but it will bum in our dry summers, and may easily blaze beyond the control of a poor fire department. This much for the admonition of the coast towns in this State which are built of redwood. If such towns are in danger of sweeping fires, how much more so are the interior towns in the plains and Sierra Nevadas of California, and all the frame towns of the Northwest? There pine and dry weather form a tinder combination which needs only the spark to reduce blocks and whole towns to ashes. The price of safety is eternal vigilance and good fire departments.

If the business men and authorities of the numerous frame towns on the Pacific Coast—redwood, pine and cedar alike— are not spurred by the Seattle calamity to energetic efforts to diminish the fire hazard they will deserve the fate which will overtake some of them. It is more than selfish, more than wicked, it is foolish, to rely upon insurance and luck. There is not a frame town on the coast which may not bum completely down, leaving the population homeless and the business men without business. In every general fire in this field the insurance averages only half the property loss, and less than a third when a town is laid in ashes.

Insurance which shall coverall or nearly all the property loss is not possible in frame towns ; the companies will not carry the risk, and the propertyowners could not afford to pay the premiums. Light insurance is therefore the rale. It is plainly the interest and the duty of the people of frame towns to exercise constant vigilance, individually and collectively, to make liberal provisions for the extinguishment of fires. Here is no possible excuse for a pennywise policy. Other public interests may be neglected with impunity. The old jail or court-house may be tolerated, the streets may remain unrepaired, public buildings may go unpainted, but a neglect of fire extinguishing facilities and the toleration of fire traps imperil the homes and livelihood of the entire community. A burned-out town is always a bankrupt town, whatever the amount of the insurance.

Now is the time for the intelligent, representative men of the coast towns to take some action. Strike while the iron is hot. Your excuse, your opportunity, is the burning of Seattle, Hailey, Durango, Ellensburg and Bakersfield within a month!

Do nothing, under these favorable circumstances, and if you escape the calamity of fire you surely will not escape the more calamitous “dry rot” to which such stupid indifference is inevitably the heir.

You need fire ordinances, certainly. Have you them, make them more stringent. Have you a fire department ? If not, create it, no matter how small your town. If you have a fire department improve it. Get more hose ; increase your water supply; multiply buckets and ladders; add another engine, if possible ; encourage your volunteer force ; take politics out of your paid force ; inspect your buildings, alleys and cellarways; enact building laws ; require first-class chimneys ; encourage the erection of brick buildings ; build a high brick fire-wall, if necessary, through every block ; reward your vigilant watchman ; prohibit the sale of fireworks and poor kerosene ; prohibit the accumulation of rubbish ; and last, but not least, pass laws requiring smokers to extinguish cigar stubs. But laws, however good, can never more than supplement individual carefulness and cleanliness. Let every man keep his premises clean and free from rubbish—with matches in tin, iron or earthenware ; let him have gbod chimneys, safe stoves ; let him use good kerosene and fill his lamps by daylight ; let him keep children and matches apart, and be reasonably careful. Then there will be few or no fires, and insurance rates will he much lower than they are and must continue to be so long as the reign of fire continues.—Coast Review, San Francisco.

New York’s Public Works.

The report of the commissioner of public works of New York for the quarter ending June 30, shows that the expenditures for the quarter amounted to $1,182,070.82, divided as follows : Appropriation account, $746,360.62 ; local improvement funds, $335,164 fi3 ; Croton water, $90,659.28 ; restoring pavements, $6,276.25 ; water meters, $3,610.04. Sixty contracts were entered into at an estimated cost of $954,110 52, and fifty-nine contracts were completed, which cost $252,765.51.

The average rainfall in the Croton and Bronx river watersheds was 11.54. The daily water supply from the aqueduct and the Bronx river conduit averaged 112,000,000 gallons.

As to the present state of the water supply the commissioner says that since September, 1884, when the Bronx river supply was brought into use, the supply which can be received has remained stationary at the maximum capacity of the Croton aqueduct and Bronx river system, and must so remain until an additional supply is received through the new aqueduct, and that in the meantime the demand for water increases with the rapid growth of the city in buildings and population, and the constant extension of the water service into new streets and districts. The increased consumption of water causes corresponding decrease of pressure in the distributing mains, which the department is powerless to remedy until the new aqueduct is brought into use. Since the coming of warm weather the consumption of water has been 155,000,000 gallons in excess of the supply received in the city, reducing the depth of water in the Central Park reservoirs by sixty-three inches, and causing a corresponding decrease of pressure in the mains.

Additional water mains 23,869 feet in length have been laid, making 642 3-4 miles of water mains now in use.

Nine hundred and forty-one telegraph poles and 425,000,000 feet of electric wires were removed by the bureau of encumbrances, as well as 148 dead and dangerous shade trees. The water service yielded a revenue of $690,2^0.26 during the quarter, and from miscellaneous permits $64,144.65 was received.

The Proposed New Sewerage System for Chicago.

To realize the importance of the scheme for the creation of a great new system of sewerage for the city of Chicago, it must be understood that the final disposal in the valley of the Desplaines river of the drainage of 240 miles of territory has to be provided for. To meet the demands of health it is necessary that the flow down to and into the river named shall not be less than 600,000 cubic feet to the inch. This estimate provides for a Chicago of the future, run out into adjacent towns and filled with an infinitely larger population than the present.

The primary object of the law providing for this great work is the prevention of the pollution of Lake Michigan and the guarantee to the people of a supply of pure water. Estimates of engineers agree that the cost of reaching far enough out into the lake to secure a pure water supply, in the event that systematic drainage were made with the lake as an outlet, would be greater than the present proposed system. That the present system of drainage into the Illinois canal is not only insufficient, but also perilous to health, is acknowledged, and it has come to be understood that something has to be done ; either there must be a broadening and deepening of channels pouring into the Illinois river or a turning of sewage into the lake. The former plan has been adopted.

The water-shed of the Desplaines above Lockport and of the Chicago and Calumet rivers and of the lake front in the county foots up some 1900 miles. Nearly half of this, it is estimated, will comprehend the probable area of urban development, present and future, most of it being in Cook, but reaching over somewhat into Will and DuPage counties.

The plan as proposed does not contemplate the including of the entire urban population looked for in the future within the present sanitary district, nor even the entire system of channels of disposal. It is intended to so execute the plans that by subdivisions of the area new districts may come in as the needs of the case may require. The law was interpreted to look primarily to the disposal of sewage and not the taking in of large land areas merely for the purpose of enhancing their values, since such “ assisted ” property might never become the scene of an urban population.

In considering the boundaries of the sewerage or sanitation district, the eastern line suggested itself, namely, the lake. The permission to go to points three miles beyond the limits of incorporated cities and villages fixed the western boundary. The only points in possible dispute were whether Evanston should be taken in, and whether the south boundary should be Sixty-seventh or Eighty-sixth street.

Great confidence is expressed in the prospective urban development of the Desplaines Valley, by means of the proposed ship canal and the two railroads running through it.

It is claimed that with the opening of the north and south inlets to navigable proportions, it would be practical and possible to have permanent bridges in the heart of the city, a benefit that impresses itself profoundly at once. As the territory grew too valuable for dockage, these permanent bridges would extend farther out the two branches. Then it would come to pass that the river would be used only for a sewer or for the passing of tugs between the shipping districts of the north and south. If, as has been suggested, there were opened up a new north and south channel in the neighborhood of the park system on the West Side, so as to continue the proposed northern channel nearly in a straight line to the Mud Lake locality, the run would be shortened, the sewer systems of parts of Jefferson and Cicero would be cheapened, and it would permit the entire abandonment of the river system in the heart of the city and the use of that territory for a system of railway terminals. The latter idea comes of the suggestion of a general scheme of placing the railway system of Chicago below the street grade and thus doing away with the viaducts, the growing expense of winch is destined presently to assume enormous proportions—an expense probably greater by far than the carrying out of this or some other systematic plan for its suppression.

There still remains the hope of relief from the United States. “ As it now stands, ” remarks The Chicago Herald, in commenting upon the scheme, “ the city of Chicago has to take the initiative, and has really to make the general investment for all the area indicated, looking to its return when the time comes for the using of the great channel made necessary for thorough drainage. It is the opinion of Engineer Cooley that after ten years the returns will easily care for the remaining debt and that taxes for the system thenceforward will cease. Still, the fact remains that the United States Government has direct interests here, and it is claimed that at least two times in the history of national legislation the general government might have been induced to take the initiative in this great enterprise had there come up from Chicago a hearty and unqualified indorsement of the measures then pending. Undeniably the interests of the United States require a waterway to the gulf and an adequate supply of water from the lakes for the navigation of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. It would be asking and expecting too much of the United States to aid in affording a system of sewerage for Chicago or any other city, but it would be reasonable and right to expect that it render aid in affording feed to two great streams, which now, at low water stages, makes navigation slow, if not perilous. Already the Illinois river has profited perceptibly by the 40,000 cubic feet per inch of supply which is sent forward at Lockport. By how much more will it be benefited when it shall receive the 600,000 feet contemplated in the proposed improvements.”

The ultimate cost of the entire system of improvement will not fall short possibly of $25,000,000, although not nearly so large a sum is had in contemplation in the first decade.

“ The advantages of this system,” continues The Herald, “ when completed, are beyond estimate. Primarily, it will give to the city a water supply second to none upon earth for purity as well as sufficiency of service ; also a system of sewerage than which no better can be found upon earth. If to this may be added, and it is certainly among the possibilities, the abandonment of the river to sewage only, thus doing away with the nuisance of open bridges, and also placing the railroads below the street level, then, indeed, might the people boast that such benefits warrant any reasonable outlay of money. It is the opinion of level-headed men, who have long and carefully studied the subject, that even should the general government fail to make any appropriation for the waterway, still the burden of taxation would be comparatively easy, indeed scarcely felt, since the payments arc to be stretched through many years, with reasonable prospect, too, of being relieved in the latter period altogether by reason of the profits growing out of the dockage privilege alone.”

The Jersey City Water Supply Question.

The committee appointed at a meeting of Jersey City citizens last May to consider the advisability of purchasing a new supply of water for city use from the Bartlett water syndicate made its report on Tuesday. It considered a plan for an independent system by the city, and dismissed it, because its cost exceeded that of the Bartlett plan. The report is composed chiefly of the outline of a contract which it recommends should be made. Stripped of its legal verbiage the proposed contract is:

First—The city agrees to put its present water plant in charge of the syndicate for a term of twenty-five years.

Second—The city shall pay to the syndicate quarterly an amount equal to one-quarter of the entire amount of water rates, or rents, which shall become due to the city from consumers, less fifteen per cent, which shall be deducted for the cost of collecting, and less also $314,680, being the amount of interest now paid on the city’s water bonds, and the city shall get water for use in extinguishing fires and street sprinkling free.

Third—The syndicate agrees to accept charge of the city plant and maintain it at its own cost and keep it in good order while the contract exists.

Fourth—The syndicate shall furnish pure water from the water-shed of the Pequanock river not south of latitude fortyone degrees, which supply shall not be less than 100 gallons a day per capita.

Fifth—The syndicate shall make all repairs and erect and maintain at its expense all necessary additions to or enlargements of the plant, subject to the supervision of the city’s representatives, who shall have charge of the plant, and it shall extend water pipes to any part of the city where the city will guarantee an income of ten per cent of the cost of the extension. If the syndicate fails to make repairs and extensions necessary, then the city shall have a right to make them at the expense of the syndicate.

Sixth—The syndicate agrees to construct, at its own expense, the necessary plant, consisting of reservoirs, mains, ducts, pipes, etc., all of proper quality, and to transport the water to the city reservoir at Belleville, the syndicate to retain the ownership of the plant until purchased by the city.

Seventh—The syndicate shall sell the plant to the city at any time during twenty-five years at a price then to be agreed upon, which shall not exceed the actual cost of construction and the consideration j>aid for the property on which it stands, and the right to use the water to supply the same, with interest at the rate of five per cent per annum and an additional amount added thereto equal to ten per cent of the entire cost, as profit for the syndicate, less the amount of all the money theretofore paid by the city, pursuant to the terms of the contract. The total amount to be paid is not to exceed $5,000,000, or if of less capacity it shall not exceed $1,000,000 for each ro,000,000 gallons per day capacity ; and in addition the city is to pay the syndicate a sum sufficient to reimburse it for repairs and extensions made within nine years prior to the time of purchase, as follows : Ninety per cent for repairs made within one year and ten per cent less each year in excess of one year.

Eighth—The syndicate shall not use the plant to convey water to any consumer other than those who shall buy it from the city. If it does, the syndicate is to pay the city ten per cent of the gross revenue received by the syndicate for the water so conveyed.

Ninth—The water furnished the city shall at all times be pure and wholesome and fit for drinking and other purposes, and the city agrees that it will prevent by all means in its power the waste of any water.

Eleventh—At the request of the syndicate the city shall provide meters to measure the water used, except where the water supplied is to a private residence. Then it shall be metered only with the consent of the owner.

Twelfth—The syndicate is to begin to construct the necessary plant as soon as the contract is made, and is to l>egin to furnish water within two years, or the city may vacate the contract and take all of the plant so fur as constructed, together with all property rights at actual cost.

Thirteenth—The syndicate shall furnish $1,000,000 bonds for the faithful carrying out of the contract.

Fourteenth—If the syndicate fails to carry out its contract in every detail the city may abandon its contract and return to its present system, and the city shall be indemnified by the security for any damage it may sustain by reason of the abandonment of the contract.

Fifteenth—It is expressly agreed that the city reserves all grants and powers which it now has in the Passaic and its tributaries, and may put them in force at any time to the same extent as if the contract had not been made.

Sixteenth—In case of any dispute the syndicate shall not cut off the supply pending the settlement.

The committee’s ieport closes as follows : “In conclusion your committee desire to say most emphatically that the contract contemplated should be only with a party of sufficient responsibility, and that they do not regard the Montclair Water Company as now constituted a proper party with which to make a contract, nor of sufficient responsibility.”

The contract was submitted to Mr. Bartlett before it was made public, and under date of July 26 he wrote saying that the syndicate would approve of the contract in its general outline, but it could not accede to these provisions :

” F’irst—We could not agree to sell the city a water plant of the capacity of 50,000,000 gallons per day for $5,000,000. It would cost us much more than that.

“ Second —Fifteen per cent foi’the collection of water revenue is too high. A fair amount would be a percentage sufficient to cover the cost of the economical collection of the revenues.

” Third—We could not agree to the suggestion that ten per cent of the revenues of the company be paid to Jersey City for a right of way to some other city.”

The matter will now come before the city authorities again.

What a Cloud Burst Is.

The phenomena o{ a cloud hurst, which can only occur in a tornado or whirlwind, are not generally understood. The whirl in which it forms is not a very broad and shallow disk, but a tall, columnar mass of rotating air, similar to that in which the Atlantic waterspout or the famous pillar-like dust storm of India is generated. While this traveling aerial pillar, perhaps a few hundred yards in diameter, is rapidly gyrating, the centrifugal force, as Prof. Ferrel has shown, acts as a barrier to prevent the flow of external air from all sides into its interior, except at ami near ttie base of the pillar, There friction with the earth retards the gyrations and allows the air to rush in t>elow and escape upward through the flue-like interior as powerful ascending currents.

Tho phenomenon, however, will not Ire attended by terrific floods, unless the atmosphere is densely stored with water vapor, as it was on Tuesday in the Cayadutta valley, and as it was on May 31 in the Conemaugh valley. When such is the case, the violent ascending currents suddenly lift the vapor laden clouds several thousand feet above the level at which they were previously floating, and hurl them aloft into ratified and cold regions of the atmosphere where the vapor is instantly condensed into many tons of w’ater. Could the water fall as fast as condensed it would b« comparatively harmless. But the continuous uprushing currents support this mass of water at the high level, and as their own vast volumes of vapor rising are condensed they add to the w ater already accumulated thousands of feet above the earth’s surface—making, so to speak, a lake in high air.

As the whirlwind weakens or passes from beneath this vast body of water, which its ascending currents have geneanted and upheld in the upper story of the atmosphere, the aqueous mass, no longer supported, drops with ever increasing gravitational force to the earth. In severe cloud-hursts the water does not fall as rain, but in sheets and streams, sometimes unbroken for many seconds. The cloud burst of 1838 at Holidaysburg. Pa., excavated many holes in the ground, varying from twenty-five to thirty feet in diameter, and from three to six feet deep. In a similar but milder storm, which visited Boulogne last May, fissures were cut in the streets eight feet deep and openings made large enough to engulf a horse and cart.—New York Jltrait!.

An Exciting Fire at Sea.

Columbus O’D. Lee of Baltimore, who was a passenger on board the steamer Alliance from New York for Rio, in a letter from the latter place, gives a graphic account of a fire on shipboard. They left I’ernambucco on Sunday, July 7. On the following night fire w’as discovered between decks, near the engine room, in rooo bales of cotton and 400 barrels of rum, the first intimation being an explosion of rum. Capt. Boors ordered the boats lowered, and 120 lives were afloat. At daylight all were taken aboard again, although the fire was still raging.

Bahia was reached on the qth, the crew being kept at w’ork throwing overboard cotton and rum, the coal heavers being kept there at the point of the pistol. A hole was drilled through the iron partition and the carpenter held the water pipe, with the result that he has become blind. The passengers behaved splendidly, not a man, woman or child betraying the least fear. Kight hundred and four dollars was contributed to go to the officers and crew’

An Electric Indicator for Lightning Rods.

A new instrument for recording when a lightning conductor has acted is being brought out by Messrs. Iloyer and Claim of Schiinebeck, Briefly described, this instrument consists of a galvanometer with a long m ignetized needle pivoted on a horizontal axis, and kept horizontal by a small weight. Below the needle is a soft iron core surrounded by a solenoid, which is coupled as a shunt between two points of the lightning conductor ; and if this core becomes excited, one or the other end of the magnet is attracted and remains attached by virtue of its own permanent magnetism. The inventors thus hope that the instrument will indicate not only through which conductor a lightning discharge has passed, but also the direction of the discharge, whether up or down. Instruments would be fixed on the various lightning conductors, and by mere inspection of them after each thunderstorm it would be easy to see which of the conductors are most likely to be chosen by the lightning, and should therefore receive the most attention to keep in good order.—Inventor.

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