Mr. Gardner’s Clever Retort.
Of late the newspapers of New Orleans, for want of something better to do, have found fault with the water works of that city. The other day Superintendent L. H. Gardner, wrote a letter to the Picayune of that city, and this is what he said:
This company has been very patient under continued charges of want of water supply, both as to quantity and pressure, at almost each and every occurrence of fire. It kept silent under the charge of lack of supply at the Tulane, Grtincwald Hall and St. Charles Hotel fires. It seems necessary now, however, in view of your editorial, to say a few words, not of vindication, but of correction of what this company considers an unwarranted adverse criticism of the water supply and pressure in the mains when the fire occurred at 60 Tchoupitoulas street yesterday at about 3.30 r. M. Unless we sometimes put in a plea of not guilty, this community and other cities may, in the absence of such denial, conclude that there is no water supply whatever in New Orleans, no water in supposed existing mains, and that, stmi-occasiunally, fires are started at the pumping station to supply a demand for extinguishing fires or for other exigencies.
To go no further back than the history of the fire yesterday (28th iust), at No. 60 Tchoupitoulas street, I would say that within easy reach of this locality are three fire wells and some eight or ten hydrants. The largest fire well in the citv is located at Poydras and Front streets. When this well was opened it flooded l’oydras street. One merchant on Poydras street said that the flood was so great as to threaten damage to his stock of goods on his ground floor.
The pressure was not increased at the pumping station for this fire. Our automatic records show that at 3 r. M. there was a pressure due to 65 feet head. At 4 r. M., 60 feet, and at 5 P. M. O7 feet.
‘Hie fire occurred at about 3.300’clock i*. M
I have made a canvass among the merchants who are located in the immediate vicinity of the fire, and they all declare that when the fire engines got to work the supply of water was abundant. It is not for me to say what caused a delay in the engines getting to work if there was any delay. I am only concerned to make the statement that the greatest abundance of water was available and was put to use as soon as the fire department got up steam and opened the wells and hydrants. Engine Co. No. 2, was perhaps earliest at the fire. The Captain hooked onto a plug immediately opposite the fire and says he found all the water his engine could use. In many respects, particularly in outlying districts the distribution of water mains is not what it should be, but the trouble is slowly being overcome.
Meantime I submit that no interest is being really subserved to a good or useful end by unfounded attacks upon the water supply of the city. Submitting that your editorial of this morning does the water company great injustice, I beg the exercise of your spirit of fairness and justice to print this communication.