NEWARK OWNS ITS WATER WORKS
A NINE AND A HALF MILLION DOLLAR PLANT.
Description of the System.
A REVENUE-PRODUCING INVESTMENT.
A QUARTER of a century ago, the idea of Newark, N. J., owning a waterworks system capable not only of supplying all the wants of the city for fifty years to come, but also of a still further enlargement on the same lines and at moderate cost was laughed to scorn. But so it is, and now Newark owns absolutely a nine and a half million dollar plant, which, when an additional 720,000,000-gallon storage reservoir has been built at Cedar Grove, will have involved a total expenditure of $10,700 000.
For $6 000,000 the city has a_____quired all the water rights of the Pequannock valley, and become possessed of a gravity plant capable of supplying the three distributing reservoirs with at least 50,000 000 gallons of wholesome water. Each ol the three reservoirs has. of course, its own pumping plant and connecting mains, and in the distributing system there are 250 miles of mains—their total cost having been $3,500,000. The yearly cost to Newark, not including the Cedar Grove reservoir, which is yet to be built, will be $570,000 in fixed charges (for interest and sinking fund); for maintenance and expenses of distribution, $50 000—making a total annual expenditure of $620,000, subject to reduction as the maturing bonds are paid off.
Great as is this yearly expenditure, the present income from the sale of water exceeds it by $30,000, and is increasing at the rate of $20,000annually. In addition to the income from consumers, the city sets apart from its general funds $26,000for providing for certain old water bonds for the water used at fires,in the city buildings, and other municipal purposes. As the surplus water is also to be sold, that will form an additional source ol revenue. Of this surplus the East Jersey Water Company will almost certainly take about 2,500,000 gallons a day at $30 a million gallons for the use of Montclair, Glen Ridge, and Bloomfield.
The entire valley of the Pequannock river practically forms the watershed for Newark’s supply. In this are comprised 62.7 square miles of mountainous territory in Passaic, Morris, and Sussex counties— the headwaters being about forty miles from the city, and the intake about twenty six miles from its centre. Of this area seventy per cent, is well wooded, and stocked with game. The water surface of the four impounding reservoirs is 1,468.10 acres in extent; the rest of the watershed is thinly populated — there not being 1 200 inhabitants in the few farms and hamlets to be found within its limits. Of this watershed the city of Newark owns in fee about 5,000 acres.
The reservoirs are as follows:
Canistear, near the head waters of the Peauannock, thirty-eight miles from Newark. It is formed by a dam built across a ravine, and covers 350 acres. Its capacity is 2,400 000,000 gallons,and its flowline is 1.086 feet above the sea level.
From Canistear the overflow runs into Oak Ridge reservoir, 836 feet above tide water and five miles farther down the valley. It covers 383 acres,and its capacity is 2,555,000,000 gallons.
Seven miles farther down is the Macopin intake. Here a dam has been thrown across the entrance of the Pequannock valley, which forms a reservoir covering 12.10 acres, with a flowline 585 feet above the level of the sea
Clinton reservoir, on Mossman brook, a branch of the Pequannock. is 423 acres in extent. Its capacity is 3.518,000.000 gallons, and its flow line, 992 feet above tidewater. The water from this reservoir falls into the Pequannock, four miles above the intake.
The area of Echo lake—a natural body of water— has been increased to 300 acres and its capacity to 600,000,000 gallons by raising a low dam at the mouth of the lake. Its flowline is 898 feet above the sea,and its waters empty directly into Macopin dam, half a mile distant.
Twenty-six miles from the centre of Newark is Macopin intake, topped by two steel pipe lines, with a carrying capacity of from 65,000,000 to 67,000,000 gallons a day. One conduit is forty-eight inches in diameter; the other is of the same diameter for five miles, after which it is reduced to forty-two Inches These pipes carry the water supply twenty-one miles to the high-service distributing reservoir at Belleville, whence a thirty-six-inch steel conduit carries water five miles to the South Orange avenue reservoir, which supplies the higher parts of the city. A thirty-six-inch cast-iron pipe from Belleville supplies the low-service reservoir at Clifton avenue. These three distributing reservoirs hold one and one-half day’s supply.
The movement for the requirement of a municipal water plant by Newark first took definite shape from the surveys of J. James R. Croes, of Croes & Howell, who made a romplete survey of the Pequannock valley in 1878, and submitted an exhaustive report to the Newark board of street and water commissioners on March 6, 1879. Ten years later, on September 24, 1889, Newark entered into a contract with the East Jersey Water company for the const ruction of the Pequannock plant, and the work was executed under the direction of Clemens Herschell. On May 1, 1892, Newark began to receive its new supply, and paid $4,(100,000 on the contract, placing $2 000,000 in bonds in escrow pending the completion of the plant. At the end of eleven years, on September 24 last, according to the contract, the completed plant was turned over to Newark, and the entire works are now under the control of Morris R. Sherrerd, engineer and superintendent. The present board of street and water commissioners consists of George M. Ballard (president), C. F. Baumann (chairman of the committee on water supply); W. C. Garrison, Dr. J. S. Vinsan, and Joseph M. Byrne.
Incident to the establishment of the water plant, Newark has enforced economy in the use of water by compelling the use of meters by consumers who are likely to waste water. Thus far 9,000 meters have been installed, and since May 1, 1899, the consumption of water has thereby been reduced 6,000,000 gallons a day The price of water supplied through meters varies from nine to fifteen cents per 1,000 gallons.
East Orange is now receiving water from Newark through a six-inch connection recently made between the Newark water mains and those of the formerciy at Newbold street. The daily consumption in East Orange is about 2,500,000 or 3,000 000 gallons daily. The town is at present supplied with water by the Orange Water company. This concern has a contract with East Orange which continues until 1908. The company owns a driven well plant located in the direction of Silver lake, near Bloomfield avenue. The water, which Is said to bedeflcient in quantity and poor in quality, is pumped directly into the distributing mains from the welle. It is understood that the arrangement between Newark and the Orange Water company for a delivery of water to East Orange provides for a rate as low as is charged to any of its other customers by Newark. Newark now supplies Belleville and Vailsburg—the price being $100 and $125 per million gallons respectively.