NEW YORK BOARD OF UNDERWRITERS AND THE WATER SUPPLY.
At a meeting of the New York Board of Underwriters held at the end of last week, a series of resolutions on the subject of the city’s fire-protection was passed, among which were the following:
Resolved, That this board is unalterably opposed to other than municipal ownership of the city water supply.
Resolved, That we favor the immediate action of the legislature to take from the Ramapo Water company its extraordinary powers of condemnation and at the same time restore to New York city the rights of which it has been deprived.
Resolved, That we earnestly recommend for immediate correction the present injudicious and dangerous distribution of hydrants in the city of New York, in consequence of which they are now cut in on inadequate mains, instead of on water pipes of large diameter and capacity, with the natural result that it is impossible to get a sufficient supply of water in important sections, notably in the vicinity of the Wicke fire, at Thirty-first street, between First avenue and the East River, and of the Windsor hotel fire, at Fifth avenue and Forty-sixth street—it being a fact that, while both of these locations had pipes of the largest calibre, they were entirely unavailable, owing to the placing of hydrants on inadequate mains of small dimensions, which were not, in turn, connected with the larger mains, as they should have been. In front of the Windsor hotel were two forty-eight-inch mains, two thirty-six-inch mains, one twenty-inch main, and one twelve-inch main, there being actually no city block in the United States with a larger supply of water than the one in question, which was burned, with resultant loss of life and property, for want of water, which could have been made available at comparatively small expense.
Resolved, That this serious condition warrants summary treatment at the hands of the authorities, and to that end that a copy of these resolutions be sent to His Honor the Mayor, to the commissioner of water supply, and to the chief of the fire department.
Resolved, That, in the opinion of this board, the control of the hydrant connections on water mains should be in the hands of the fire department, and no hydrant connections shonid be covered in until approved by the fire department and certified as correct.