New England WaterWorks Men Discuss Fire Hydrant Outlets
This and Other Important Water Works Topics at Annual Convention—Large Attendance—Excellent Exhibits—Good Entertainment
ALARGE part of one session—that of Thursday evening —was devoted by the members of the New England Water Works Association in their forty-second annual convention to the discussion of a paper on “Hydrant Connections for Fire Engines” by Frank A. Marston, C. E. This important subject was treated both in the paper and in the discussions in all of its various phases. The usual New England Water Works luck attended the convention and smiling skies greeted the members assembled at the little city of Burlington, Vt., on beautiful Lake Champlain. The only stormy day was Friday and by then a number of the members had departed for their homes and the remainder were pretty well occupied by indoor sessions at the Van Ness Hotel, so that the inclement weather did not matter so much. The attendance at the convention, while not so large as at some previous similar occasions, was fairly good, considering the distance of the convention city. The business sessions were well attended, the discussions were lively and general, and the entertainment was excellently arranged and very enjoyable.
The first business session of the association was held in the meeting room on the second floor of the Hotel Van Ness, the session being opened by President Percy R. Sanders, superintendent of Concord, N. H., water works. Mr. Sanders introduced Mr. Seely, who took the chair and called upon Mayor J. Holmes Jackson, of Burlington. The mayor, in welcoming the association, referred to the fact that it represented two of the most important of public functions—fire protection and pure water supply. These, he said, were the best safeguards of the community.
The mayor was followed by C. S. Ordway, president of the Burlington chamber of commerce, who also extended a cordial welcome to the members and guests.
The reply to the welcoming addresses was by President Sanders, who referred to the fact that in 1895 the New England Water Works Association had held its fourteenth annual convention in Burlington and said that the memory of the good time they enjoyed had prompted the association to come again. He said that on Friday, the thirteenth of April, he had experienced his first trip to Burlington to arrange for the convention. He would no longer believe in that date being an unlucky one. He urged that municipalities send their superintendents or engineers to the conventions of the association.
Presentation of Honorary Membership
At the conclusion of his address, President Sanders announced that it had been decided to confer, according to the annual custom of the association, honorary membership this year upon John Ripley Freeman, and called upon Charles W. Sherman to present the membership. As Mr. Freeman was unavoidably absent, Caleb M. Saville accepted the honor for him. Mr. Sherman, in making the presentation, eulogized the work of Mr. Freeman, referring to his pioneer labors as a fire protection engineer, and said that his writings were still looked upon as standards in the calculation of nozzle pressure. Mr. Saville also referred to Mr. Freeman in complimentary terms, emphasizing his readiness to help the young water works man.
Presentation of Dexter Brackett Medal
The chair then called upon Frank A. Barbour to present the Dexter Brackett medal for 1922 to Charles W. Sherman for his paper on “Bond Issues—Over What Period Should They Run?” (Note—Excerpts from this paper appeared in FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING on page 255 of the February 7, 1923, issue.)
Mr. Barbour referred humorously to the fact that in spite of Mr. Sherman having been one of the committee which chose this form of memorial to the late Dexter Brackett, who served as president from 1889 to 1890 and as editor from 1891 to 1895, he had just won the medal for the first time.
Mr. Sherman; in replying, said that, while the association had been organized through the efforts of R. C. Coggeshall and Albert S. Glover, Mr. Brackett had formed the character of the association more than any other man.
First Paper of the Convention
The chair then called upon Oliver J. Channing, pumping engineer, Burlington, who read a paper on “Filtration of Burlington’s Water.” The paper resulted in much discussion on the proportion of B.-Coli in the raw and filtered waters and on the cost of liquid chlorine per million gallons of filtered water. The former subject was discussed by Messrs. Diven and Baker and the latter by Messrs. Saville, Diven, Baker, Pratt and Sherman. In reply to a question by Samuel A. Sewell, superintendent of water and sewerage, St. John’s N. B., Mr. Pratt said that the cost of chlorine generally averaged from 50 to 60 cents per million gallons. The minimum cost of installation per unit was about $600 and the maximum from $1,500 to $1,600. Mr. Saville described the system of chlorination in Hartford, Conn.
In reply to a question by President Sanders, Mr. Channing said that the two pumps of the Burlington system had a capacity respectively of four and three million gallons. The pumps were worked only 16 hours out of 24 and only one at a time, the other unit being held in reserve as auxiliary.
Only Three Present Who Attended Former Burlington Convention
The president asked those present who had attended the Burlington convention of 1895 to rise and only three stood up, Messrs. Baker, Northrop and Ross.
The chair then called upon Henry T. Gidley, superintendent, of Fairhaven, Conn., as teller of elections, to name the successful candidates. He reported that a total of 249 votes had been cast, resulting in the election of:
President—David A. Heffernan, superintendent of water works, Milton, Mass., 246 votes.
Vice-President—(For two years), Theodore L. Bristol, president of water company, Ansonia, Conn., 244 votes.
(For one year)—Stephen H. Taylor, superintendent of water works, New Bedford, Mass., 242 votes.
Directors—(For two years), George A. Carpenter, city engineer, Pawtucket, R. I., 242 votes; Arthur E. Blackmer, superintendent of water works, Plymouth. Mass., 232 votes; (for one year), George W. Batchelder, water commissioner. Worcester, Mass., 244 votes; Frank Emerson, city engineer and superintendent, water department, Peabody, Mass., 227 votes.
Treasurer (re-elected)—Frederic I. Winslow, consulting engineer, Framingham, Mass.
President-elect Hefferman thanked the association for his election and promised to give his best service to it in the coming year. Mr. Diven moved a resolution on the death of Lewis M. Bancroft, former treasurer of the association, and suggested that the members rise silently in honor of his memory. This was done.
Automobile Trip Around City
At the close of the session at 4 p. m., the members and guests were taken in automobiles, under the auspices of the Burlington chamber of commerce, over the entire city, including a visit to Ethan Allen Park, where a magnificent view of Lake Champlain, the Adirondacks, and Green Mountains and the intervening country was enjoyed; the clear water reservoir, and other points of interest.
The day closed with a reception and dancing on the upper floor of the Hotel Vermont.
Business Session on Wednesday
The first session of Wednesday, September 19, opened at 9:30, with President Sanders in the chair. The first paper was by Charles P. Moat, on “Public Water Supplies of Vermont.” Mr. Moat during his paper referred to the problems the state board of health had to deal with and the cooperation the various water works gave his department. The paper was discussed quite freely.
Newton’s Sub-Surface Collecting System
The order of the program was changed slightly and the next paper was on “Sub-Surface Collecting System and Quality of Water of Newton, Mass.,” by Edwin H. Rodgers, city engineer, Newton, Mass. This paper was read by the secretary in the absence of Mr. Rogers, and was not discussed.
Covering of Ground Water or Filtered Water Reservoirs
The next paper was read by Robert Spurr Weston and was jointly by George C. Bunker, engineer in charge, and August G. Nolte, assistant engineer, of water purification, Panama Canal, Ancon, C. Z., the subject being “The Covering of Open Service Reservoirs in which Filtered or Ground Water Are Stored.” This paper was illustrated by lantern slides and discussed at great length, the advantages of covered reservoirs in general and the method pursued at Ancon, Canal Zone, in particular. The discussion on this paper was by Messrs. Diven, Saville, Sherman, Stevens, President Sanders, and others. The speakers all agreed with the contentions of the paper that such reservoirs should be covered to insure freedom from pollution.
Mr. Saville spoke of how, previous to the installation of the present system at Ancon, even distilled water, by which the inhabitants were supplied, showed large colonies of bacteria after standing for a time, probably originating from bird droppings.
Mr. Sherman spoke of the possible dangers that lie ahead of the Metropolitan system of Massachusetts if Southern Sudbury and Scituate systems were used.
President Sanders inquired what temperatures prevailed in waters of the Canal Zone and Mr. Weston said from 60° to 85°.
Recent Addition to New England Plants
The final paper of the session by Allen Hazen, consulting engineer, New York City, on “Some Additions to New Eng land Water Works Plants,” was read by Malcolm Pirnie. who spoke of the regret Mr. Hazen felt in being unable to be present. Among the systems described in this paper were those of New Britain. Conn., Springfield, Mass., Poughkeepsie and Albany, N. Y. This paper was not illustrated.
Mr. Diven called attention to the fact that the Poughkeepsie slow sand filtration system was the oldest in the United States and the original one. Among those who discussed the paper were Messrs. Baker, Jackson, etc.
Watersheds, First Afternoon Paper
The first paper of the Wednesday afternoon session was by Frederic I. Winslow, treasurer of the association, on the subject of “The Care of Large Watersheds.” (Note—Excerpts from this paper are published as a leading article in this week’s issue of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING-EDITOR.) This paper was discussed by Mr. Diven, who called attention to the fact that most of the white pine trees in New York State watersheds had been destroyed by the white pine blister. Red pine and Scotch pine, he said, had proved better varieties to plant on that account. In Troy trees set out about nine years ago, he had seen on a visit within six months, had grown to 20 or 25 feet in height, and over 90 per cent, of those planted at that time, moreover, had lived. On the other hand even white pine trees 60 or 70 feet in height in New York State had died. Albert L. Sawyer, of Haverhill, Mass., said that his city took good care of its watershed. All boating, fishing, etc., was strictly prohibited. They had planted both white pine and Scotch (a member inquired where he got the “Scotch?”) and had good success with both. Mr. Weston told of good conditions in the Nashua watershed. A sawmill was being operated profitably and no disease had developed among the trees, which consisted of Scotch and red pine.
Mr. Diven said that white pine blister had been traced to gooseberry and current bushes and that these should be eliminated to within about 300 feet of the trees.
Mr. Johnson on Cambridge Filters
Colonel George A. Johnson followed with a paper descriptive of “Rapid Sand Filtration at Cambridge, Mass.”
After the reading of the paper and the showing of some lantern slides illustrating it, Col. Johnson called on Mr. Stevens, who read a supplementary paper on the subject and one by Mr. Smulsky, explaining the system of reinforcement by circular rings. A third paper was read by ExMayor Good, of Cambridge.
Discussion on this paper was by Messrs. Caleb M. Saville, Birdsall, Hawley, Marston and others.
How 16-Inch Submarine Pipe Was Laid
A very practical and instructive paper was the last of the session by Harry U. Fuller, chief engineer, Portland, Me., water district, on the subject of “The Laying of the 16-Inch Cast Iron Water Main under Portland Harbor.” This paper was illustrated with lantern slides and told of a unique method of laying this line by means of a wooden slide constructed of five blocks of timber shaped to a semicircle. The discussion was by Messrs. Diven. Winslow, Marston and others. At the conclusion of this discussion a vote of thanks was tendered to Mr. Fuller for his interesting paper. The session then adjourned.
(Continued on page 638)
New England Water Works Convention
(Continued from page 634)
Selection of Pumping Equipment
The order of the program was again reversed and the second paper was read first at the evening session on Wednesday, it being by Frank A. Mazzur, on the subject of “The Selection of Pumping Equipment from the Standpoint of Station Economy.” Mr. Mazzur contrasted the efficiency and economy of crank-and-fly wheel and turbine steamdriven, electrically-driven and oil engines, drawing some important and interesting conclusions. His paper was illustrated by lantern slides and tables on the screen, showing comparisons of duties and efficiencies. The paper was discussed by several members. Mr. Saville inquired if the same ratio of performance prevailed in plants of smaller and of larger capacities than those shown. Mr. Mazzur replied that there was about the same relative proportion for the smaller. For larger plants it would be greater for steam and would be about flat for oil.
Mr. Symonds said that at first comparison electric drive has low first costs, takes less space, is fool proof, requires no highly experienced men to run, etc. More careful study, however, would show certain defects in electricity as a drive. The expense is fully as high as oil. Very few will allow a plant to operate without some one in attendance, even though supposed to be operated automatically by electricity. He believed that oil is much less expensive to operate than electricity, and also found that current was unreliable. The first cost was greater and therefore the item of depreciation must be greater. Much depended upon the men in charge. The semi-Diesel engine seemed more practical.
Several others spoke in favor of the oil engine, among whom were Messrs. Kemble, Hayes, Marston, Howard, Sherman, Mazzur, President Sanders, etc.
Reservoirs of Worcester, Mass.
The second paper was by George W. Batchelder, water commissioner of Worcester, Mass., entitled “Worcester’s Reservoirs; Present and Proposed,” it being a description of of the Massachusetts city’s plant, illustrated by lantern slides. This paper was discussed by Messrs. Diven and McKenzie.
Applications of the Venturi Principle
The last paper of the session was also an illustrated one, and was on the subject of “Some Applications of the Venturi Principle,” by Frederick N. Connet, chief engineer, Builders Iron Foundry, Providence, R. I. This paper, which described interestingly the origin, development and modern application of the Venturi meter was not discussed, as the hour was late when it was concluded.
Afternoon Tea and Whist Party for Ladies
The entertainment for the ladies on Wednesday consisted of afternoon tea on the roof of the Hotel Vermont, under the direction of Mrs. C. H. Beecher, and in the evening a whist party under the direction of Mrs. Laura B. Landon, president of the Athena Club, at the same place.
Trip to Ausable Chasm on Thursday
The entire convention was taken, at 8:30 a. m. Thursday, for a sail on Lake Champlain, which ended at the Ausable Chasm, landing at about 10:30 a. m. At this time the convention party was photographed. This is reproduced on page 644. A small train was then taken to the head of the chasm and the party were conducted through it. At the conclusion of the trip, which proved a wonderful experience for those who had never before taken it. Dinner was served in the Chasm Hotel. The party, returned to Burlington at about 5 o’clock. This trip was through the courtesy of the Water Works Manufacturers’ Association.
Superintendents’ Session, Thursday Evening
The program order was again reversed and the second paper was read first on Thursday evening. This was on the subject of “Hydrant Connections for Fire Engines,” by Frank V Marston, consulting engineer, Boston, Mass. Mr. Marston predicted the increasing adoption of the automobile pumper for fire fighting rather than the boosting of the water works pressure for fire fighting purposes. He referred to the Congress Street fire in Boston, and said an account of it could be read in FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING of August 1, page 217.
(Continued on page 644; List of Attendance on page 639)
New England Water Works Convention
(Continued from page 638)
In this fire, as in others, the use of the so-called “horseless fire engine,” a steamer furnished with reciprocating pump, had so taxed the hydrants when coupled up in conjunction with other fire apparatus that its use had to be discontinued, as it threatened to wreck the hydrant, through water hammer. He spoke of the increasing use of 4 1/2-inch connections in fighting fires and said that the majority of fire chiefs favored the larger connections for this purpose, even though they used reducers for their hose couplings.
The paper was very freely discussed, those taking part being Messrs. Stevens. Hawley, Kemble, Saville. Heffernan, Sherman, Gidley, Ruggles and several others. Mr. Hawley referred to trouble in cases where complaint had come from the fire department that certain hydrants would not function, and investigation had shown that the hydrant had not been properly opened. He said that when 4 1/2-inch openings were installed the fire department did not use them. Mr. Saville said that the principal loss of head was in the hydrant outlets. If manufacturers could be induced to improve 2 1/2-inch outlets much would be gained.
Mr. Heffernan referred to the practice of firemen in using the wrong kind of wrenches to open hydrants and of these men not understanding the opening of these hydrants. In one case he had taken the hydrant wrench out of a firemen’s hand, as the latter attempted to open it right instead of left, as he should have done. He emphasized the necessity and importance of uniform couplings for fire hydrants and hose, and said that in a large fire the New Britain, Conn., department with uniform couplings, had saved the day for another town.
One Man in Charge of All Hydrants
Mr. Sherman regretted the lack of knowledge in fire departments of water works appliances. In some cases hydrants had been found on inspection in good condition, all except the nuts, which were in very bad shape through the improper use of hydrant or other wrenches by the fire department. He suggested that one man should be absolutely in charge of all hydrants. In winter there should be daily inspection of fire hydrants. This man should be always on the job and work with the fire department.
Mr. Macksey believed that the members of the fire department should be sent to Water works plant until they thoroughly understood the opening of hydrants. The fire department should be instructed to co-operate with water works in case of fire.
Mr. Gidley said that a new pumper had been purchased by Fairhaven. Conn., for the fire department. The fire department had questioned whether there was enough water to supply it. On two occasions the fire department had taken out the pumper without the knowledge of the water works and in each case had found ample water to supply it. On the third occasion there was no water and on his investigating. Mr. Gidley found the firemen had not opened up the hydrant far enough. When he fully opened the hydrant there was an ample supply.
Two Subjects in Second Paper
The second paper of the evening was by Sydney Lee Buggies, city engineer, Barre, Vt., entitled “Eliminating Water Hammer from a High Pressure Regulating Valve and Experiences with Universal Pipe on Curves.” Mr. Ruggles said the association had given him two subjects to handle. He then treated the elimination of water hammer and afterward described some achievements with universal pipe on curves. The paper was illustrated by lantern slides and was discussed by Messrs. Hawley, Saville, and others.
Suggested Subjects Taken Up
The first subject of the superintendents’ session proper was “Standardization of Water Meter Registers.” There was much discussion on this subject by Messrs. Hawley, Sherman, King, Blanchard and others. Mr. Hawley said he was responsible for the subject, as the difference in the dials of the various meter manufacturers caused much confusion and he hoped some method for adopting a standard dial could be agreed upon. Mr. Hawley distributed a series of cards among the members, present showing illustrations and descriptions of the various dials adopted by different meter manufacturers. By distributing these cards to -t+te various water users of his company, giving each the proper card corresponding to his meter dial, the consumers were able to read their own meters, which otherwise they could not have done.
Mr. Saville said the matter had been referred to the committee on meter standardization of the American Water Works Association and it had been continued at the Detroit Convention to further consider the subject. R. K. Blanchard, of the Meter Manufacturers’ Committee, said that the manufacturers were only too glad to assist in the matter of any kind of standardization and that the question of registers had come up for discussion. There were, he said, eleven different styles. In some the digits are clockwise and in others anti-clockwise. He believed it was a good thing for consumers to read their meters, and his committee wanted to do what the association wanted them to do to facilitate this. He cited the case of meter couplings where some water departments wanted the old couplings retained on account of expense to standardize.
Mr. Sherman moved that the executive committee be authorized to revive the meter standardization committee to work with that of the American Water Works Association.
Brass Pipe for Services
The next subject taken up was on “Use of Brass Pipe for Services.” Mr. Heffernan opened the discussion by asserting that the cost of brass pipe was prohibitive. Mr. Diven said that the cost of brass pipe was about equivalent to 2A lead pipe and copper pipe to 3A lead pipe. This did not seem prohibitive.
Mr. Speller said that the queston was largely one of locality and type of meter, where one material would do for a water of a certain hardness or other quality, another would show corrosion. In steel and iron pipe much depended on the proper method of galvanizing the pipe. Others who discussed the subject were Messrs. King. Batcheldcr and Bristol.
Protection of Water Mains Crossing Bridges
The subject was treated by Messrs. Diven, King and Symonds. Mr. King suggested the plan of an air chamber with wooden cover, to protect the main front vibration, etc. Mr. Symonds made a similar suggestion, with wooden box with about an inch space inside and covered with a larger box. He said there had been little trouble with freezing with this plan.
Position of Valve Boxes
The last subject treated at the evening session was “Should Valve Boxes Be Placed at the Main or the Curb?” The hour being late the discussion of this subject was limited, those taking part being Messrs. Heffernan, Taylor. Diven and Hoy. At its conclusion the session adjourned.
Manufacturers’ Session on Friday Morning
That Friday morning session was devoted to papers by members of the Water Works Manufacturers’ Association. The first of these, illustrated by moving pictures, was on the subject of “The Manufacture of Wrought Iron Pipe,” by A. A. Gathemann, of A. M. Byers Company, Boston, Mass. This paper and its pictures in four reels followed the manufacture of the type of pipe through all of its phases and held the interest of the rather slim audience throughout.
At its conclusion Mr. Speller announced that the paper scheduled for the afternoon session would be delivered at one of the winter meetings of the associations with moving pictures.
Operation of Large Gate Valves
The next paper, or rather address, was by Payne Dean, on the subject of “Testing, Maintenance and Operation of Large Gate Valves.” Mr. Dean, before showing his pictures, spoke at length on the necessity of proper maintenance of large valves, on the knowledge of their situation and on the best methods of operating them. He cited instances where it took many hours to operate large gate valves manually which mechanically operated would take as many minutes. He closed his paper with lantern slides of various large valves and showed the Dean control and the Dean valve operating truck.
Records of Stream Flow
The third paper treated, “Records of Stream Flow; Their Use and the Best Methods for Obtaining Them for Municipal and Industrial Purposes,” was read by C. C. Covert, of W. & L. E. Gurley, Troy, N. Y. Mr. Covert went into the subject deeply and showed many slides illustrating methods of measuring stream flow, showing the instruments and their records. He urged upon water works men the necessity for such records being kept, and showed their influence on future water works developments.
Improvements in Chlorine Control
The final paper of the morning was by Gilbert H. Pratt, New England representative of Wallce & Tiernan, Newark, N. J., and was on the subject of “Latest Developments in the Chlorine Control Apparatus for the Sterilization of Water Supplies.” This paper described and illustrated with a number of slides the recent improvements designed in chlorine control apparatus. At its conclusion it was discussed by Mr. Winslow, who asked some questions as to sewage disinfection.
Vote of Thanks Passed
A vote of thanks was moved by Mr. Macksey to the mayor and Mr. Ordway of the chamber of commerce of Burlington, to the water works and all other officials ot the city and to honorary, local and ladies’ committees for their splendid entertainment.
Mr. Bristol moved a vote of thanks to the Water Works Manufacturers’ Association for its part in the entertainment. Both resolutions were carried.
Reportive Business in Afternoon Session
The afternoon session was short and was taken up with reports of the secretary, treasurer and editor, and with the president’s address. At its close the forty-second annual convention adjourned sine die.