NEW YORK SECTION OF AMERICAN WATER WORKS ASSOCIATION MEETS
The last meeting this season of the New York section of the American Water Works Association was held February 20 at the Park Avenue Hotel, New York City.
George A. Johnson, consulting engineer, was in the chair, and, by a vote of the convention, was directed to appoint a nominating committee which in turn was to select a governor for the coming term to take the place of the retiring governor, Allen Hazen. The committee appointed consisted of U. W. French, John M. Diven and A. W. Cuddebaek. 1 hey chose Fdward b. Cole, and their choice was approved by unanimous vote. Mr. Coie takes office at once.
The meeting was in the form of a discussion on the problems in water works maintenance which arose tnrougn tne extremely severe weather ol the past two months. the first speaker was F. l. Kemble, secretary ot the Aew Kocliehe Water Company. In that city nearly tiuu meters were frozen and over zoo services had to be thawed out by the water aepartment. Just how many were taken care ot by plumpers is not dehnneiy known, ine trost line varied anywnoe irom s inches to 4 feet 4 inches in depin. The 8-inch trost line was lounu under a till ol snow which hau (tuned eany in the season and had never ueeu completely melted, the 4-foot nnc was near a sewer, where the uackrnling consisted mainly ol broken stone. It may uc auoed that in .New Rochelle the water company owns tne service trom tne mam to the property line. Of tne irozen sei vices which were reported to the water company, nearly 90 per cent, were tnawed out by electricity. Where the grade oi the street had been lowereu aim the level ot the mains tuemseives no. been correspondingly reduced there were a number oi irozen pipes. F i eezmg irequently took place m service pipes near toundation walls and was very oiten uiie to lack ot coal lor heating buildings, and then again trenches were not properly backfilled. Another troublesome situation which that company lound was where a service pipe had been laid and alterward the lawn under which it was placed had been leveled, making the covering thinner. This lessened the protection, and it did not take very long for the pipes to freeze.
One ot the greatest annoyances the company had was the people allowing their services to treeze up two or three times. When it is hgured out that it costs $15 apiece to thaw out services, it is apparent that the profit of the service is wiped out lor a long time. While in the majority of cases Mr. Kemble employs electricity tor thawing, he sometimes used steam pipes, especially where electricity could not easily be had.
D. W. French, superintendent of the Hackensack Water Company, Hackensack, N. J., stated that he had very much the same experience as Mr. Kemble. Up until last April, when the New Jersey Public Utilities Committee Changed, he had never been obliged to take care of the service details, and, consequently, this presents a problem which the water company was not properly equipped to handle. Most of the thawing of services in his plant was done by means of small boilers. Where such could not be used, arrangements were made with the Public Service Company to have the services thawed out by electricity. At the present time there are fully 100 cases of frozen service pipes to be dealt with. The public service charge for thawing out a service is $20, and it takes them around two hours. They can thaw out ten to twelve per day with a crew of two men and a truck.
The per capita consumption of the Hackensack system has been very much the same as almost all other water companies in the northern part of New Jersey. For the months of December and January for three different seasons the total consumption was as follows: 1915-1916, 27,800,000 gallons; 1916-1917, 30,400,000 gallons; 1917-1918, 34,800,000 gallons. There were two cases in the system of water pipes being frozen in the ground. One an 8-inch main and the other a 6-inch main. They were frozen solid. Frost which reaches the depth of sufficient intensity to freeze the water mains is very severe on the service pipes.
B. J. Bleistein stated that he found a large number of service pipes froze up just after a thaw and just after the cold weather had relaxed. He accounted for this peculiar occurrence by the fact that when the cold weather let up the people lessened their vigilance, and, as a result, a slight drop in temperature was sufficient to freeze the pipes. “Of course,” stated Mr. Bleistein, “we had great difficulty in explaining just how this would happen.” The consumption was 240,000,000 gallons a day during the cold spell, and it fell to 200,000,000 immediately after, showing that all of the services which were allowed to flow continually to prevent Ireezing nad been stiut otf. in one private plant in Brooklyn 2 to 3.15 million gallons were useu, out even at that tne nigh points were not being properly supplied.
A unique apparatus tor thawing out irozen service pipes was described by John M. Diven, superintendent ot water works, Troy, N. Y. The apparatus WHICH is in use in Boston consists ot three storage batteries and cost $45U each. Fach battery contains twenty-four cells, capable of delivering two volts pressure, or a total of lorty-eight volts tor the twenty-four cells. The total capacity is 300 ampere-hours. It has been lound that it requires on the average 280 ampere-hours to thaw an ordinary service pipe, while it takes approximately one hour to accomplish this, ine batteries are recharged each night and up to the present date have been giving excellent service. Boston has also one motor driven generator mounted on an automobile truck which is used for the same purpose.
Deputy Chief Engineer W. W. Brush, of the New York Department of VVate. bupply, Gas and Electricity, told the progress made by New York in thawing out service pipes. A new thawing outnt has been used in Brooklyn. The department took a generator out of a station and put it on a Ford car. The F’ord engine can just about give 180 amperes and produce between five and ten volts. While this is all it can do, the department has been able to thaw out five or six services a day with it. It is the opinion of Mr. Brush that eight or more can eventually be taken care of in a day by the Ford generator. The average length of service pipe thawed is 50 feet. The cost of thawing out service pipes by electric companies in New York is $15, while that in Brooklyn is $20. The F’ord truck for Brooklyn has a crew of three men, which costs in salaries $12 or $13 a day. Very little is spent lor gasoline. The Department of Water Supply, Gas and Electricity charges only $10 for thawing out a service, and it is likely that this rate will be reduced to $7.50 later on.
The charge for thawing out service pipes at Amityville, L. 1., according to Mr. Clinton Inglee, of that city, is $10. The lengths ot the service pipes range from 50 to 200 feet. The work of thawing out is done by the Long Island Lighting Company.
The remains of a Velie pleasure car were used in constructing a portable thawing set, which has done remarkably good work for the Passaic Water Company, according to Mr. A. W. Cuddeback, engineer. The motor from the wrecked machine was taken and placed on a Sampson chassis and connected up with a generator. The outfit is capable of delivering 300 amperes and from thirty to forty volts. With this outfit the company has been able to get around to quite a number of services a day; in fact, as many as thirteen have been thawed out in one working day. The crew of this machine consists of five men. The cost of thawing out services will likely be $7 each. The Passaic Water Company has also been very successful in using tubing with hot water for the same purpose. With such an outfit the men have been able to thaw three to seven services a day. This is only possible, however, where the service pipes are straight and can be tubed. That company has also started to employ a battery apparatus. It is a storage battery outfit of forty-two cells mounted on a Ford truck. The voltage is from fifteen to twenty, and the amperage, 300. It takes from ten to thirty minutes to thaw a service pipe. All service pipes that are closed up take much longer— from thirty to forty minutes each. All pipes are laid with 4 feet of covering, and that makes the depth of service pipes just a little bit more. There have been reported to the company a total of 2J4 per cent, of service pipes in service frozen. As there are 30,000 services under the jurisdiction of the Passaic Company, the actual number frozen would total 750.
The average consumption of water has been from 75 to 80 gallons for the past five years. During 1916 the maximum daily consumption exceeded the year’s average by 20 per cent., and during 1917, 15 per cent. This maximum occurred during February.
John T. Metcalf, of the Department of Water Supply, Gas and Electricity, New York, gave some interesting figures on the consumption of water in Brooklyn. In that city, where there are a number of private plants, the water consumption throughout different systems averaged 60 per cent, over that of the same period last year. Within these systems 110 hydrants were frozen out of 5,000. Four of the plants alone had a total of 2,100 frozen service pipes. In Queens the department made no attempt to thaw out the services, as they were owned by the consumer, but the matter was taken up with the Queens Electric Company, and they asked $30 per service. Several mains were frozen and were thawed out. The Queens Electric Company charged $200 jjer day for the thawing equipment, which consisted of 154ton truck and transformer, including the necessary crew. In addition they added a charge of 9 cents per kilowat-hour for current. To thaw out 100 feet of 4-inch main cost $250, and 100 feet of 2-inch main. $225.
Engineer D. H. Townley, of the Elizabethtown Water Company, of Elizabeth, N. J., had the local electric company do the thawing out of service pipes. Two hundred and fifty to 300 services were frozen. Ninety per cent, of the frozen pipes were in a section supplied by surface water, while only 10 per cent, were in the district where the supply was taken from wells. The well water appeared to be much warmer. He found that where services were put in trenches and filled in with sand they were much more susceptible to freezing than where covered with clay. He went so far as to suggest that services should be placed deeper in sandy soil than in clay soil. The price paid the local electric company for thawing services is $20 each. The water company had a section of 75 feet of 4-inch pipe freeze. To thaw it out cost $33. In that department, too, several services had to be thawed out three times. Engineer Townley also found that where services were thawed by steam they would not refreeze as rapidly as when thawed by electricity.
W. W. Brush related an interesting incident which occurred in connection with the Jerome Park pumping station, the use of which was discontinued on the advent of the Catskill supply being turned into the city mains. The large pumping engine in that station was drained with water and shut down. Although the draining was perfect, it was found upon inspection shortly after the cold spell that four water cylinders were cracked. It is believed that undue and uneven stresses, caused by the rapid fall in temperature, caused the pumps to break.
Mr. Brush also gave the figures on the water consumption of the greater city which showed that the maximum daily consumption for Manhattan and The Bronx was 15 per cent, above the total for the same period last year. In Brooklyn 232,000,000 gallons were pumped in one day, which was 64 per cent, above the average of the preceding year. In Richmond Borough the maximum daily consumption was increased 20 per cent.
Mr. Brush suggested that a committee be appointed to collect water consumption statistics, and, as a result of his suggestion, a motion was made and carried that the editor of the association be requested to send out blanks for this information and which is to be presented in condensed form at a future meeting.
Francis H. Luce, superintendent of the Woodhaven Water Supply Company, of Woodhaven, N. Y., related his experience with frozen services and pipes. In his city the streets are frequently regraded without notifying the water department, and, as a result, many water mains are thereby brought near the street surface. He ordered a man to go the rounds of the system and drain hydrants at the dead ends off. The man went from one hydrant to another the entire way around the city. Even with these precautions fifty hydrants were frozen, but only a few were frozen for more than a couple of hours. The company allowed a few hydrants to flow continually to keep the water in mains feeding them in circulation.
At Trenton, N. J., according to Mr. W. Van Winkle, battery outfits are used for thawing out services. The water department rents the batteries and pays only 25 cents a day for each set. The batteries thaw out twenty services a day.
Those in attendance at the meeting were: L. P. Anderson, V. E. Arnold, R. Ankener, James Bedell, James F.. Brooks, M. N. Baker, William W. Brush, B. J. Bleistein, Albin H. Beyer, J. H. Cunningham, A. W. Cuddcback, C. K. Corbin, W. S. Cetti, B. W. Cole, J. M. Divert, John A. Drew, S. N. Durland, S. F. Ferguson, George W. Fuller, D. W. French, F. W. Green, L. G. Ghctti, B. B. Hodgman, Rudolph liering. O. P. Hanks, C. Inglee, E. W. Jacobs, S. W. Jacobs, George A. Johnson, Peter Johnson. John F. Kienle. F. T. Kemble, William Keogh, Francis H. Luce, Carlos Lobo, William H. Lyon, D. McCulloch, J. McCulloch, E. E. Miller, W. Morlan, John T. Metcalf, F. B. Nelson, F. S. Peck, George E. Rodman, F. Sheppard (FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING), H. P. Stearns, J. Waldo Smith, C. G. Sands, G. H. Squire, Jr., Harold C. Stevens, L. A. Stednian, D. H. Townley, J. W. Turner, J. S. Warde, Jr. (Renne Valve Company), and G. R. M. Wilcox.