New Jersey Water Notes.
If the Hudson County Water company can manage to get its water over to Staten Island, its income, it is claimed, will be over $10,000 a day. The Staten Islanders hold that whatever agreement is claimed by the company to have been made in 1905 with Staten Island was only tentative. Now the company claims to have had the necessary legislation passed to enable it to sell that water. It has since tried on the ingenious dodge of going before the Harbor Line Board of the United States War Department, which has jurisdiction over the water highways in and round New York harbor, and obtained leave to lay pipes from New Jersey to the Staten Island shore—and this without giving any notive to the State water supply commission—the water to be from artesian wells, the pipe-line to convey 100,000,000 gal., instead of $,000,000 daily, as was first contended. It is significant that the location of the wells is at the point where the East Jersey Water company turns its supply of water from the Pequannock and Passaic rivers into the pipes of the New York and Suburban Water company, which supplies Bayonne—whence the pipes already laid start—East Newark. Harrison, Kearny and other municipalties. Work on the wells has been begun, and the closest secrecy is maintained as to the interstate pipe-lines, on which point the State water supply commission has practically refused all information. If once that line were established, there would be no difficulty about supplying any deficiencies in the artesian supply by utilising the other supply derived from the potable waters of the State. The attorney general of the State is to be asked to take the matter up and secure a court ruling on the matter. Meantime, if the company does not cease its work on the pipeline an injunction will be secured. Why is the pipe-line there, is the question. Meanwhile it is claimed that there is plenty of power in the State board of health and the State water supply commission to produce results, and they should be applied to at once. The old State sewage commission, it is pointed out, would have remedied the matter long since. The Camden Post states editorially that “private water companies have found a loophole in the State’s policy of forbidding diversion of potable waters from the State,” and adds that the “law does not specifically forbid” the diversion of water from artisian wells. The Post insists that,” if this contention holds good, a serious defect in the State’s water-conservation law will be disclosed,” which should be remedied by the next legislature. At that rate the water-bearing strata of the Trenton gravels down which the supply for Camden percolates might be pierced, and the “water could be piped across the Delaware to supply Pennsylvania towns. Such diversion would undoubtedly diminish Camden’s supply.”
The Suburban Water company offers to supply North Arlington with water at $82.50 per 3,000 gal.; Jersey City’s street and water board offers to do the same from the Rockaway river watershed at $60 per 1,000,000 gal. —that rate to be reduced at an average of about $3 per 1,000,000 gal. till $40 is the price, when 12,000,000 gal. must be taken. Yet the borough appears to halt between the two offers. It may be noticed that the Belleville waterworks, the property of Jersey City, pays nearly $900 a year taxes—the biggest sum paid by any individual taxpayer—to North Arlington.
Prof. W. T. Sedgwick, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, when examined in the proceedings to compel Jersey City Water Supply company to install adequate safeguards against pollution in the Rockaway river watershed, stated that he had visited and inspected the disinfecting plant at Boonton, and that, although the plant was ; i good one for disinfecting purposes, so lom ? as it works, it was by no means sufficient, and that an adequate sewage system should ta ke its place,
Branchville owners of riparian rights along Dry brook, below the proposed site of the reservoir for that town’s water system, have entered a vigorous prote st against converting the water of the stream for the use of the borough. The system will be gravity for domestic and fire purposes.
At Dover the water board sent a bill for $18,000 to the Richardson & Boynton company, which is accused o f having used surreptitiously the town’s water supply system for six years. It is said to have been discovered that the company was using for all purposes water which under an agreement with the town had been provided for use only in case of fire. A valve between a 6-in. main and a standpipe at the company’s plant, which made further diversion imposs ible. The reservoirs are now filled up from th e springs with which they are connected and furnishing a larger quantity of water than i s required and without the necessity of pur nping. It is further said that there are avai lable affidavits from employes stating that they had opened the valve just closed and made the water available for use in the facto ry at the bidding of persons in authority in t he factory.
The workhouse at Long ford, Ireland, situated at a distance of about 1 mile from the town, was burned. Although the wat er mains of Longford pass the buildings, they were not available, owing to a dispute with the town council, and the nearest water supply was three-quarters of a mile away. Notwithstanding that the military fire brigade had no water, it managed to save the building adjoining the main building. The loss. was $50,000.