New York Water Works Projects
Mayor Mitchell of New York is taking an active interest in water works propositions. Before leaving the city for a western trip the mayor assigned an engineer to investigate the supplies of water companies in Brooklyn, Queens and Richmond which it had been suggested for the city to buy. This investigation is entirely independent of the one that has been conducted by the commission appointed by Mayor Gaynor, and which is almost through its work. Arguments have been advanced by residents of Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, Jamaica, L. I., and that vicinity where there are no city water mains advance the argument that it would be cheaper for the city to buy out the private companies and that the saving from the non-laying of city mains would meet the interest charges on the purchase. The mayor made a trip to Prattsville, N. Y., where he inspected the site of a proposed dam and reservoir which may be built as an adjunct to the reservoir now being built at Ashokan. Chief Engineer J. Waldo Smith of the New York Board of Water Supply was with Mayor Mitchell and the new dam, according to the plans discussed, would be constructed just above Prattsville to dam up the waters of the Schoharie Valley. The Ashokan district, engineers believe, may not produce enough water to fill the present immense reservoir. The new reservoir would contain ninety billion gallons of water and would be connected with the present reservoir by a tunnel, ten miles in length cut straight through the heart of the mountains. While no official announcement of the intention of the board of water supply to build this second reservoir has yet been made, it is known that the board has discussed the matter at its meetings for some years back. Carlton E. Davis, former department engineer of the reservoir department, and now of the Philadelphia water supply department, was called into consultation by the chief engineer and Mayor Mitchel. He made the inspection tour yesterday with the other officials. At Prattsville the officials looked over the land that would have to be condemned for the purpose. The plans of the engineers, who have already worked out the drawings for the construction of the new reservoir, were gone over and thoroughly discussed. Special maps of the Schoharie Valley have been prepared and plans for the ten mile tunnel fully worked out. The cost of the job has also been estimated.
An ordinance passed by the Board of Aldermen, appropriating $1,722,600 to develop Brooklyn’s sources of water supply on Long Island, and extend the high pressure system was signed by Mayor Mitchel. The improvements provided for will, it is expected, result in lower insurance rates. The infiltration gallery system, which will increase the water supply by millions of gallons in Brooklyn, will be developed this year at the cost of $1,300,000. These infiltration galleries, are located at all the principal streams on Long Island which are used for the Broolkyn water supply. For pumping the increased supply of water secured by this system, Water Commissioner Williams will award a contract in 1914 for the construction of a new high-pressure pumping station at the Massapequa gallery. The cost will be $25,000. East New York and the Bedford district will be equipped with new trunk mains to distribute the increased supply of water. These mains will cost $150,000. Small distributing mains will radiate in every direction from these new trunk mains.