Great Pumping Plants, Tunnels, and Cribs.

Chicago has an up-to-date water system, which has cost from first to last well on to $36,000,000, some of which stands for money not as well laid out as it might have been. Its annual water receipts represent about ten per cent, upon that outlay. The number of miles of water mains in service at the end of 1900 was 1,872,356-1-5,280; of meters to-day 6,396; of valves, quite 14,862. The source of its water supply is lake Michigan, and the water is taken from five cribs through thirty-seven miles of tunnels. The number of stations is eleven, with a total daily capacity last year of 528,650,000 gallons. There are thirty-seven pumping engines, supplied from eighty boilers, available for service, and to keep these going calls for 350 men, whose daily wage amounts to over $800; the consumption of coal every day is 260 tons; and the annual cost of fuel is $350,000. The daily per capita supply is about 177 gallons, and the daily pumpage about 360.000.000 gallons. Under such conditions, it would seem as if, except in the line of distributing and service pipes, the system calls for no further extensions for years to come. That, however, is not so, as will be shown hereafter.

The water supply tunnels are as follows: Lake View.—Supplying Lake View pumping station: Diameter, six feet; length, 10.000 feet. Chicago avenue.—Supplying North and West pumping stations; Five-foot diameter, length, 10,560 feet; seven-foot diameter, length, 10,560; seven-foot diameter, length, 10.560. Chicago avenue tunnel connection.—Fivefoot diameter, length, 143 feet; six-foot diameter, length, 519 feet; seven-foot diameter, length, 960 feet; Chicago avenue land tunnel.—Seven-foot diameter, length, 20,856. Four-Mile lake tunnel.—Eightfoot diameter, length, 9,139 feet; six-foot diameter, length, 25,200 feet, Four-Mile land tunnel.— Eightfoot diameter, length, 516 feet; six-foot diameter, length, 2,320 feet. From Park row shaft, supplying Harrison street pumping station.—Seven-foot diameter, length, 7,053 feet; six-foot diameter, length, 625 feet. Jefferson street connection.—Six-foot diameter, length, 625 feet. Sixty-eighth street tunnel— Seven-foot diameter, length, 11407 feet; five-foot diameter, length, 8,132 feet. From submerged crib to Sixtv-eighth street pumping station.—Six-foot diameter, length, 5,026 feet. Midland and lake tunnels.—Eight-foot diameter, length, 42,040 feet; tenfoot diameter, length, 22,649 feet. Total length of five-foot diameter, 18.835 feet; six-foot diameter, 44,170 feet; seven-foot diameter, 61,396 feet; eightfoot diameter, 51.695 feet ; ten-foot diameter, 22,699 feet—total length of tunnels, 198,795 feet, or 37.7 miles. The pumping stations are as follows; Lake View-—Pumping engines, two; present equipment, 45.000,000 gallons: full equipment, 64,000,000 gallons. North Side. — Engines, six, and full equipment, 99,000,000. Central.-—Engines, two, and full equipment, 36.000.000. Fourteenth street.—Engines, four; present and full equipment, 84.000.000. West Side-Engines, four: present and full equipment, 60,000,000. Hyde Park.—Engines, six; present and full equipment, 80,000.000. Central Park avenue.— Engines, three; present equipment, 60,000,000; full equipment, 80,000,000. Springfield avenue.—Engines, three; present equipment. 60,000,000: full equipment, 80,000,000. Washington Heights.—Engines, two; present equipment, 1,400,000. Norwood Park.—Engine, one; present and full equipment, 250,000. Rogers Park.—Engines, two; present and full equipment, 3,000,000. The total pumping capacity of the pumping stations is as follows: Present equipment, 526,650,000 gallons: full equipment, 588.750,000 gallons. Owing to the unparalleled and unforeseen growth of the city, the waterworks system of Chicago has always made it a hard task to plan extensions and improvements on a scale commensurate with the needs of the people. The task has become more complicated, owing to the annexation of neignboring towns, especially of Hyde Park, Lake, Lake View, and others in 1859, which added 126 square miles to the city’s area. The population of Chicago has increased since its incorporation in 1837—sixtyfive years ago—to the present figure, estimated on the basis of a school census taken in 1900, of some 2,007,695 (estimated), for which was pumped in that year 322,599,630 gallons, representing a daily per capita average consumption of 161 gallons. Its water system was inaugurated in 1834, when the village authorities paid $95.50 for digging a well in Kinzie’s addition, whose supply was supplemented by private enterprise, which furnished water hauled from the lake in waterin carts. Two years afterwards the Chicago Hydraulic company was’ inaugurated, with a seventy-year franchise. A reservoir was built, twenty-five feet square, eight feet deep, and eighty feet high, with a twenty-five-horsepower engine connecting it with the lake by an iron pipe running 150 feet into the lake. Wooden pipes five-inch to three-inch distributed the water over a small portion of the south and west divisions of the city, the northern portion being still unsupplied. In 1852 an act of the legislature conveyed the system to the city, the estimate being made that in fifteen years the population would be 100,000, instead of which it was 200,000. The estimated cost of building the plant was set down at $335,500; the operating expenses, at $18,000. A pumping station was built on the lake shore, and a thirty-inch wooden inlet pipe was laid close to the shore, as the stormy condition of the lake prevented the building of the proposed twenty by forty crib, which was to be sunk 600 feet from the then shore line. A standpipe was put up, and the engines were put in place. The pumping machinery, which is doing good service today after fifty-two years of service, consisted of a vertical condensing, beam engine, having a steam cylinder of forty-four inches diameter and a stroke of nine feet, with two single-acting pumps of thirty-four inches diameter and five and a half feet stroke: length of walking beam, thirty feet; diameter of flywheel, twenty-four feet; weight, twelve tons: capacity, 8,000,000 gallons per twenty-four hours; cost, with boilers, $24,500; average daily duty, less than 40,000,000 foot-pounds per too pounds of coal; consumption of coal, about five pounds per horsepower per hour. Three reservoirs were built, each having two or three days’ supply, and the first four-inch iron distribution pipe was laid in Clark street in 1852, The supply of water began on February 1, 1854; the distribution was for four months only for nine hours a day and none on Sundays, except in case of fire. A new oaken inlet pipe three by four feet square was put in at a greater depth and, as the water used nearly equaled the maximum capacity of the pumping machinery, another etigien of the same type as that of 1853, but of larger capacity (13,000,000 gallons in twenty-four hours), was put in at a cost of $50,000. It works well today.


By 1856 the daily consumption had reached nearly 7,000,000 gallons, and an increased supply was determied upon; so in 1864 the construction of a tunnel three feet in diameter was begun from a point near Chicago avenue northeast to a crib two miles out into the lake. It was estimated that with a head of eighteen feet the tunnel would supply 1,000,000 people with fifty-seven gallons each per day; its total cost was $457,845. A new pumping station was built with new engines and room for others. Close by was a water tower 154 feet high, containing a thirty-six-inch standpipe, with six feet at the base, with thirty-inch gates. A four and a half-foot tunnel was built connecting the new tunnel with the pump well. An additional tunnel was built from the crib, running parallel with the old tunnel to the Chicago avenue pumping station, where an additional engine was installed. A new well which had been driven was deepened and the tunnel extended to it.

On October 8, 1871. the great Chicago fire took place. It partially destroyed the pumping station and disabled the existing pumping machinery, stopping its operation in the case of one engine for eight days, in that of the other for thirty-three days. A second lake tunnel was built in 1872 extending from the existing crib to the Chicago avenue station and extending thence across town to the present pumping station at Twenty-second street and Ashland avenue. The lake section is parallel with, and forty feet south of the first tunnel. Its diameter is seven feet. With the land extension its length is 31,490 feet, and the estimated velocity when supplying 400,000,000 gallons daily was four feet per second. Its was close upun $1,000,000. The new pumping station was built at Twenty-second Street and Ashland avenue, with a weir well, supply well, and dry well. Two engines were installed, which increased the capacity of the system. In this year. 1876, the pumpage was 41,931,481 gallons, a per capita consumption of 106 gallons for a population of 407.000. The mileage of mains was 416,4, number of taps, 57,130; hydrants, 2,901; stop-valves, 2,590; meters, 1,446; water revenue, $831,555; cost of works to date, $8,179,158; area of city, 36.66 square miles.


The distribution was kind of haphazard. There was a twenty-four-inch force-main from the. Chicago avenue station to North Slate street; a sixteen-inert main along State street to Ontario street, where it reduced to a twelve-inch, carried across the river in the form of a thirty-inch boiler iron pipe to connect with larger mains in the future; thence a twelve-inch cast iron pipe to the South river, thence by a wrought iron pipe to Monroe street; a sixteen-inch pipe running west from Chicago avenue to the north reservoir, crossing the North Branch by a wrought iron syphon pipe southward to Monroe street, where it united with the twelve-inch pipe from the south reservoir; thence along Monroe street to the west reservoir. During 1879 the daily average pumpage was over 64,000,000 gallons; population, 450,000; per capita consumption, 142 gallons. An addition to the pumping machinery was called for, and a new brick tunnel, nine by six feet six inches, was built in 1880 under the South Branch of the river at Harrison street, through which a thirty-six-inch main was to be extended west on Harrison street to Blue Island avenue, thence southwest to Twelfth street, with an ultimate extension to Twenty-second street and Ashland avenue, thus connecting the Chicgo avenue and Twenty-second street pumping stations. During the same year the tunnel under the North Branch was completed, carrying a sixteen-inch main connecting with sixteen-inch mains on the east and west sides of the river. The mileage of water pipes was now 455 and a half; valves, 3,105; hydrants, 3,361, and during September, 1879, the pumpage reached to within fifteen per cent, of the maximum capacity of the two pumping stations; per capita dailyconsumption of water 115, for a population of 500,000.

In 1884 two new pumping engines were installed in the addition to the west pumping station at a cost (including wells, etc.) of $371,681, increasing the pumping capacity to 134,000,000 daily. In 1887 two additional engines (Holly-Gaskill) were installed in the Chicago avenue station, and the toi„l aggregate daily pumping capacity of the city was 158,000,000. A third lake, seven-foot diameter (inside), 1,500-foot-long, tunnel was built from the pumping station to a crib serving as a temporaryintake for the Chicago avenue engines when ice endangered the crib supply. At this intake a shaft was sunk and fitted with gates to control the supply —the main supply being that drawn from the old tunnel. In 1892 this tunnel was extended 3,408 to an intake crib and shaft at the northwest end of the government breakwater—a practically useless extension. owing to the intake being so near the shjtc.

In 1892 a four-tunnel system was completed. It consisted at first of a tunnel extending four miles under the lake, nearly in line with Twelfth street to a new intake crib to supply a new station at Fourteenth street and Indiana avenue, and another at Harrison street, between Des Plaines and Halsted streets. The system now consists of a lake section of 9,139 feet of eight-foot tunnel and 25,200 of six-foot tunnel. From the Park Row shaft where the lake section ends the two land tunnels extend. One, seven feet in diameter, runs north to the shaft stink at Peck Court. originally fir the starting of the lake tunnel, and then northwest to the old sevenfoot tunnel at Des Plaine in Erect, at which junction was sunk and a six-foot tunnel driven to the new Harrison street pumping station. The other, of 516 feet of eight-foot diameter, and 2,320 feet of six-foot diameter, runs from the Park Row shaft to the Fourteenth street pumping station. A sixfoot tunnel, 625 feet long was built in Jefferson street, so as to make proper connection with the old system of water tunnels. Five additional pumping engines were also contracted for—three with nine tubular boilers, for the Fourteenth street station and two, with six of the tubular boilers,, for Harrison street, which began to give actual service on July 14, 1894. Before the completion of the new lake tunnel the Fourteenth street station was temporarily supplied with water by the Jefferson street tunnel and a by-pass built at the Park Row shaft, connecting the seven-foot tunnel north of it with the sixfoot tunnel south of it, the openings of the two tunnels into the shaft being closed by bulkheads. The by-pass, which was six feet in diameter and 196 feet long, could not be used at first, owing to the percolation of the water into the Park Row shaft. It was afterwards lined with three-sixteenth-inch steel, joined to the brickwork with Portland cement grout put in under pressure. The supply to the station was admitted on June 10, 1892, after which date the machinery ran partially till everything had to be shut down because of the July freshets, which compelled the absolute closing of the north shore inlet extension, so that no water could be spared for this station. After the water was admitted to the fourmile tunnel, the engines at both of the new stations were run regularly, drawing their water from the four-mile crib. Each of the engines delivered water at the rate of 31,534,043 gallons per twenty-four hours.

In 1889 Chicago annexed Lake View, Hyde Patk, and Lake. adding an area of iaó square mifés to her existing 170 square miles—her limits extending twentyfour miles north and south and four and a half to ten and a half miles east and west. The population of the city was increased by 222,000making the total by the 1890 census 1,200,000. The city became possessed of a frintage of twenty-two miles on slce lichigan and a river frontage of some hftv-eig~ii Iiitl&s on both sides. The pumping sut tions of Hyde Park and Lake (now the Sixty-eighth street station) and the Lake View station, also became part of the city’s system, with an aggregate daily pumping capacity of 72.000.000 gallons, as did. also, a six-foot lake tunnel in process of construction and about 330 miles of water pipe, and the Pullman plant, which, however, was abandoned, in favor of the Sixty-eighth street pumping station. The waterworks plants of Washington Heights, Norwood Park, Rogers Park and Cicero (the last two being still worked by private corporations) were also annexed with the towns.


The annexation of these towns, with their independent systems, greatly complicated the water system in Chicago. Some districts had an ample supply —almost a surplus of water in others, as in the south end of Lake View, the north side, west of Lincoln Park. the north end of Hyde Park, and in the western part of the city from the extreme north to the south end there was a scarcity. The average daily pumpage in 1894 was 238,521,280 gallons—152 per capita; the greatest amount pumped any one day was 276.886,135 gallons—the whole pumping capacity being 357,000.000 gallons. In January, 1895, therefore, the commissioner of public works was authorised to have the north shore inlet extended, a tunnel built to Garfield boulevard and Forty-sixth street, and another, the northwestern section of the city near Fullerton avenue, at a maximum cost of $500,000. In March, 1896, two new pumping stations in connection with the new tunnel system were authorised. The whole system was divided for contract purposes into four parts: (1) The lake section or northeast lake tunnel, extending 14,033 feet, with an internal diameter of ten feet, from the Oak street shaft northeasterly to the new Carter H. Harrison crib. This was completed January, 1899, and the entire crib in the November following at a cost of $590,000, of which the intake crib cost $225,000. The new crib is sunk in thirty-five feet of water; its outside diameter is 112 feet, with a sixty-two-foot well in the centre. Six posts, each five and a half by five and a half feet, located near the bottom allow the water to enter the well, within which is sunk an intake shaft about 100 feet deep, whose upper part is a cast iron cylinder, two and a half inches thick and twelve feet outside diameter, provided with three gates, with the necessary screens—the gates being only a few feet below Chicago datum, while the top of the cylinder is eight feet above datum. Below the cylinder the shaft was constructed by the underpinning process—that portion being eleven feet inside diameter and lined with four rings of brickwork. A second intake shaft, precisely similar, was afterwards put into the well of this crib, and from it a steel tunnel 100 feet long and ten inches internal diameter was built—the second shaft to serve as a future intake for the three tunnels at present receiving lake water from the original two-mile crib. The land system through which the lake water is supplied to the new pumping station is in three sections. Section one. of ten feet in diameter, extends from the western terminus of the lake tunnel 8.666 feet to Green street and Grand avenue, where the main feeder divides into two auxiliary eight-foot tunnels, one—section two—running southwestely to a suction well at the Central avenue pumping station; the other—section three—northwestely pumping station at Springfield avenue and Bloomingdale road. Section two is 19,856 feet long (9,962 cut through solid rock): section three is 22,184 feet long (3,211 feet through earth; 3,464 feet through earth and rock; 15,509 feet through solid rock). The whole work was completed early in 1900.

The existing tunnel system was also improved and extended. The tunnel running to the breakwater was extended in 1895 to the two-mile crib, where a new intake shaft was sunk between the crib proper and its nrotection breakwater, protected with a pile crib filled with rip-rap. Tbe third tunnel thus provided, with its connections, reinforced the supply to tbe Twenty-second street station. A seven-foot tunnel, 5,000 feet long, was also built from a shaft at the intersection of Yates avenue and Sixty-eighth street to the stub end of the seven-foot tunnel running westward from the two-mile crib, and continued by a five-foot tunnel from the shore shaft to the Yates avenue shaft. Thus by May, 1898, 7,316 lineal feet of seven-foot tunnel had been completed, besides 102 lineal feet of five-foot tunnel, and the whole of the water supply for the Sixty-eighth street pumping station is now taken from the tunnels receiving lake water by way of the Sixty-eighth street crib. Tbe original submerged intake has been permanently abandoned. The two pumping stations are duplicates, and are built of pressed brick and terra cotta, with steel trusses and tile roof. The engine room is eighty-three by too feet: engine pit. the full size of the room: floor on which the engine rests, eighteen feet below datum: smoke stack. 175 feet high; flue, nine feet in diameter. Each house is in service, whereby tbe water pressure along the western limits of the city has been greatly increased. A new system of distributing on a large scale was also built, so as to minimise the friction, to provide necessary feeders in connection with the new engines in the Fourteenth street and Sixty-eighth street pumping station; and to reach all parts of the city directly, as far as possible, and indirectly by connecting with existing mains. This involved laying fifty-five miles of thirty-six to twelve-inch pipe and the expenditure of over $1,000,000 for labor and material. During the past three years, also, twenty-two miles of four-inch pipe were replaced with larger. Thus, except in the extreme southwestern district, west of Pullman and south of One Plundred and Seventh street, the whole city has a satisfactory pressure. For the remaining district, in which are many manufactories and a dense population, relief can be obtained only by building another independent lake tunnel across town to a new pumping station near One Hundred and Third and State streets. From 1897 to 1900 inclusive 181 miles of pipe have been added to the system, with 1,733 hydrants and 1,955 valves, making a total of 1,812 miles of pipe, with 19,108 hydrants and 14,862 stop-valves.


Among other recent improvements have been the following; An air-compressor and a new boiler installed during 1897, so as to apply the air-lift method, so as to raise the water in the Norwood Park station artesian well. A new well, 1.800 feet deep, fifteen inches in diameter at the top, decreasing to six inches at the extreme depth has been sunk, with a doubleacting deep well pump installed, guaranteed to furnish 350,000 gallons per twenty-four hours, and for the decayed old wooden tank at the Washington Heights station, one of steel of 188,000 gallons capacity, to be set on latticed steel posts too feet high. Among the improvements called for are the following: The installation of three vertical, triple-expansion engines, each 25.000.000 gallons daily capacity, to replace tbe four beam engines in the Chicago avenue station, to be supplied from six 250horsepower horizontal return tubular boilers: the construction of three new suction wells; and the simplification and rearrangement of the tunnels leading from tbe shafts in the rear of the station—cost $350,000. It may be noted that the result of placing the additional machinery in tbe lake View, Sixty-eighth street, and Fourteenth street stations, and tbe opening of the new stations, the demand on tbe Chicago avenue station was lessened, and today the daily pumpage does not exceed 50,000.000. A further improvement was, therefore, recommended—namely, that the two Gaskill engines be transferred to. and placed in the Lake View station. At that station at present the daily pumpage is about 35,000,000 gallons, tbe maximum capacity being 44,000,000 gallons, which would increase the pumpage to a total of 68,000,000 gallons, enough to provide the rapidly growing territory depending on this station with an ample supply for some years to come. If the Rogers Park station were acquired by the city, the Lake View would be able to supply that district and the Rogers Park plant be abandoned. With a velocity of three two-thirds feet per second, the existing tunnel at Lake View could supply the maximum capacity called for by the pumping machinery, if it were increased. In 1899 the city engineer further recommended an appropriation of $350,000 for the proposed improvements at the Chicago avenue station. $50,000 to be spent during that year. There these improvements included a new boiler plant, with feed-pumps, piping purifiers; coalconveying machinery plant, etc. Plans are also on file for the extension of the three tunnels, at present terminating in one tunnel at the old two-mile crib, to the intake shaft already built in the Carter Harrison crib. This would cost $200,000, and is necessary, because the old 1865 crib is rapidly loosening and calls for a yearly expenditure upon it of $15,000 for the labor and tug service necessary on account of the ice which every winter endangers the water supply furnished by this crib.

Besides these tunnels there are seventeen others built to accommodate the mains under the Chicago river, all of which, except that at La Salle street, and one at State street and the river for a twentyfour-inch main, now abandoned, have been built or are maintained by the city.

The 6.036 meters installed are distributed as follows : Flats and stores, 1,085; business houses, 1.120; residence and apartment buildings, 1,022; railways, 503; manufactories, 1,189; breweries, 145; liveries, 176: packing houses, 123; laundries, 117; hotels, 232; office buildings, 240; miscellaneous, 352; theatres, twenty-five; charitable institutions, seventy-two.

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