OUR LONDON LETTER

OUR LONDON LETTER

LONDON, March 14, 1910.

Special correspondence to FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING announces the recent completion, for Liverpool, England, of a waterworks undertaking that can in some respects be compared as to cost, the magnitude and importance of the engineering operations it entailed, with the large works under consideration or completed in this country. By it the city of Liverpool, England, will be supplied with abundant pure mountain water from Lake Vyrnwy, the undertaking, authorized by Parliament in 1880, having been completed and water admitted to the great conduit on March 16. The Vyrnwy river valley was darned and its waters impounded and 68 miles of aqueduct constructed leading to the distributing reservoirs at Prescot, seven or eight miles from Liverpool, by 1802. The amount of water so obtained was sufficient at that time for the requirements of the city, but two years later it was advisable to proceed with the second part of the original scheme sanctioned by Parliament— the impounding of the waters of the Cowny and the Marchnant rivers. The water of the Cowny was brought to the Vyrnwy reservoir through a tunnel 6,453 feet long of 7-feet diameter, and driven through Silurian rock. For a length of 945 feet it has been lined with brickwork in three and four rings, but the remainder of it is rough-dressed. The dam across at the point of diversion of the stream is of concrete with coursed masonry facing. Its length is 120 feet, and from the dam to the tunnel the water is conveyed through an open concrete culvert faced with blue bricks. The tunnel, which is designed to give a maximum discharge of 120,000,000 gallons a day, was driven from the two ends without any intermediate shaft. Its total cost, including labor and material, was $95,850, and the cost of the dam and culvert was $18,275, the total cost of the diversion thus being $113,525. The watershed of the Cowny above the point of diversion is 3,092 acres, and the estimated average yield, in periods of dry years, a little over 7,000,000 gallons per day. In July, 1904, the diversion of the Marchnant river was proceeded with. Here the tunnel is 7 feet in diameter, and has a total length of 7,345 feet, or 1.39 mile. Of this, 7,290 feet is clay slate rock, which was uniform and close in character, im_____rspersed with frequent bands of quartz. The tunnel, of which only three short lengths required lining, was driven from both ends without any intermediate shafts. The maximum cover is 500 feet, and the gradient is 1 in 1,224. It is designed for a maximum flood discharge of 88,000,000 gallons per day; but neither it nor the Cowny tunnel is intended to take the whole of very exceptional floods. At the inlet heading the work was begun in January, 1902. The total length driven from this end was 3,700 feet, and the work was stopped on September 17, 1900. All the drilling was done by hand ratchet machines, the explosive used being gelignite. The miners worked in three shifts and the laborers in one shift. The spoil was taken out by wiredrawn wagons on a tramway of 20-inch gauge. At the outlet heading the work was started in January, 1903. It was suspended for a time after 357 feet had been driven, as a scheme for the installation of electric power was under consideration. This was carried out in 1904, and driving was resumed at the end of that year. The ventilation was maintained by a fan driven by an electric motor, and electricity was also used for lighting purposes. The last 1,207 feet of this heading was driven by a Temple-Ingersoll electric air drill, the rate of progress with which was three times that obtained by hand drills. The headings met at 6 a. m. on April 16, 1908. The centre lines were found to coincide exactly and to lie in the same vertical plane, while the levels were practically identical. At the inlet works the river is diverted into the tunnel by a masonry and concrete dam, on which work was started in March, 1908. The total length of the dam is 210 feet. The cost of tunnelling, for labor and material, averaged $22.62 per yard from the inlet side and $20.36 per yard from the outlet _____nd. The carrying out of these extensions completes the whole of the impounding works authorized by Parliament at Lake Vyrnwy, and brings up the total expenditure to date on the Vyrnwy scheme to $14,680,910. The additional water available for Liverpool by the Cowny and Marchnant diversions is, in round numbers, 10,000,000 gallons per day, and the total dry weather yield of the whole scheme is in the neighborhood of 60,000,000 gallons daily.

BRITISH FIRE HYDRANT ARRANGEMENTS.

There appears to exist quite a state of chaos in different British towns with regard to fire hydrants, and the charges made for water supply to these hydrants. It is enacted by law that the undertakers of a public water supply shall provide water for fire purposes, through public fire hydrants, free of charge, and that the pressure, unless otherwise stated in private acts, shall be sufficient to reach the top story of the highest house within the limits of the supply. Although the water authority is bound to supply water through such hydrants free of charge, there is no mention as to what quantity shall be so delivered. Although the quantity is supposed to be “efficient,” who is to decide what this means? The urban authorities, and not the water undertakers, are responsible for the supply, and there is nothing in the waterworks clause act, 1847, to compel a water authority to supply, at their own expense, a pipe of sufficient size for an effective fire plug. In thirty-one important cities and towns in this country, the charges for private fire hydrants vary from $10.48 to $1 per annum for each hydrant. In the case of sprinklers, water is supplied, in some cases, by meter only, and in others a certain charge is made on the number of sprinkler heads, while in other cases the payment is made according to the floor area protected, or on the installation without regard to size. Again, there are cases in which the size of the connection to the public main governs the amount paid, and others, in which no charge is made. There is no fixed practice whatever. Where drenchers are installed the variation in practice is as great. These drenchers consist of a system of pipes erected on the external walls of a building as a means of protection against danger of fire from another building. The pipes are kept empty, and are fitted with open drencher heads over each window or doorway. Water is turned on when required. In order to insure sprinklers against frost, what is known as the “dry system” is sometimes adopted. The pipes are filled with air under pressure, an equilibrium valve being thus kept closed, holding back the water. When the sprinklers get hot, the air is released and the water is discharged. It is estimated that the average time sprinklers actually operate is only twenty minutes, and that the consumption of water is less than 1,000 gallons per fire.

NEW WATERWORKS SYSTEM FOR LINCOLN.

Lincoln, England, famous for its Cathedral and many historical associations and for a bad outbreak of typhoid fever that occurred there a short time ago, and which was traced to the water supply, is soon to have completed one of the most modern waterworks in that country. Four bore-holes at Elkersley have been compitted, together with the approach road, and six miles of rising main have been laid and tested. The ironwork for the reservoir at Bracebridge is in position and the concrete is being moulded on it. This reservoir is circular in form and measures about 260 feet across, the outside wall being vertical on the outer face, but battered inside from a thickness of nearly 7 feet at the bottom to 3 feet at the top. The roof is of ferro-concrete supported upon numerous columns and is practically flat, only a slight rise being given in the middle for drainage _____rposes. Across the middle of the reservoir will be built a division wall up to about half the depth, thus allowing one side to be cleaned, while the other is in use. The floor has a fall of 6 inches from the wall to the centre, where the water will reach a depth of 20 feet. Both floor and wall will be lined with asphalt 3/4-inch thick to prevent leakage. Upon arriving at Lincoln the water will be delivered into a tank mounted upon a tower in order that an adjacent hill may be supplied. The overflow from this tank passes along 3 1/2 miles of main. which is at first 21 inchmes in diameter but narrows to 18 inches, where it delivers into a 10,000-gallon tank mounted upon a tower at Bracebridge for supplying the local demand. Front this tank the overflow passes into the main reservoir already described. All parts of the works have been connected by a telephone system.

Water Works Litigation.

Lake Forest, Ill., passed an ordinance fixing the amount to be charged by the local company as water rates. The company attacked it in the courts, contending that the scale of rates was too low. It was upheld in a decision of the lower courts in 1905, but about a year ago the case was appealed. Following the decision handed down last week this decision is reversed and the ordinance will stand.

Judge Smith McPherson in the United States Court for the southern district of Iowa recently signed a decree ordering the sale of the Oskaloosa, Iowa, waterworks to satisfy a claim of $81,345 of the Central Trust Company of New York, made in a recent suit brought by that company. The Safe Deposit and Trust Company, of Baltimore, Md., holds the company’s bonds for $300,000, but their claim is held to be inferior to that of the New York corporation.

A decision recently handed down by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court at Rochester, N. Y., affirming the decision of the Special Term of Supreme Court that the election held last June at which the bond issue of $240,000 for a municipal waterworks plant was authorized was invalid because the women taxpayers were not allowed to vote upon the proposition, is of great interest to the village of Seneca Falls, N. Y., because it means that the construction of the proposed municipal plant will have to be delayed either until the case is appealed to the Court of Appeals and the decision if possible reversed, or until a new election can be held at which the women taxpayers will be allowed to vote and the bond issue authorized over again.

Pine Bluff, Ark., has won a stubbornly contested fight against the local water company. Heretofore the water company has charged consumers $13.50 for making an extension of service pipes on unpaved streets and $17.50 for an extension on paved streets. The city council recently met in special session and amended its ordinance, providing that the extension of service pipes be made free of cost in the event of the water consumers agreeing to use the water for at least three months. The water company fought the ordinance in the courts, and Judge Elliot has recently decided that it is valid and ordered the water company to tap its main within ten days after being given notice by a consumer of desired water service, and at its own expense make the connection at the curb line. A fine of $50 in each separate offense is provided in the failure of the water company to comply with the court’s order or the ordinance.

The village of Chester, Orange County, New York, obtains its water supply from Walton lake, where it built a dam and obtained the right to maintain it and flowage rights from some of the adjacent property owners. The lake is a shallow body of water about 600 acres in extent, and along its shores are many camps and summer residences, the occupants of which use it for boating, fishing, bathing, watering cattle, etc. In 1906 the village applied to the State Department of Health for rules and regulations to apply to the lake and its entire drainage area as a source of public water supply. These rules were posted upon the property and published in newspapers in compliance with the public health law. The village also attempted to enforce them by arresting one Lynch for swimming in the lake. Lynch was a lessee of a camp site on property which bordered upon the lake from the owner of which the village had acquired no rights whatever. The arrest lead to the institution of various actions, the object of which is to restrain the village from enforcing any of its regulations until full compensation is made to all persons injured thereby, as provided by the public health law. Judge Tompkins, before whom the cases were tried, decided that the village had no right to interfere with the plaintiff’s common law rights in the waters of the lake until by purchase or condemnation it shall have acquired those rights.

Stubborn Fire in Hobart, Okla.

One of the worst fires with which the southwestern section of Oklahoma has been visited, is reported by Chief C. C. Kuon, of the fire department of Hobart, in that state. It occurred in the plant of the Traders’ Compress, in the eastern part of that city, an employe discovering the fire between one and two p. m. and calling the firemen by telephone. On their arrival, with an Anderson hose wagon, the firemen found the entire establishment, a one-story wood and sheet iron structure, about seven years old, 400×500 feet, devoid of interior protection or of partition walls, except such as inclosed the office, in flames, the fire having started at the south end and spread rapidly through the building. Although three 6-inch double hydrants. 400 feet apart and supplied by an 8-inch main laid in the 100-foot street on which the premises fronted, were available, a wait of 17 minutes occurred before water could be obtained. Supplied by direct pumping, it showed a hydrant pressure of 120 pounds and three streams, thrown from inch nozzles were speedily directed on the flames. In the stacked up cotton bales, however, the fire burned stubbornly for four days and nights and was not extinguished until building and contents were destroyed, a stiff breeze, blowing 35 miles an hour from the south, serving to fan the flames. The value of the property burned was $250,000, of which $50,000 was on building and $200,000 on contents, cotton and compressing machinery.

GENERAL VIEW OF COMPRESS PLANT BEFORE FIRE.

Standardization of Fire Hydrants.

At the annual meeting of the New England Water Works Association for the current year, held in Boston, Mass., H. O. Lacount, chairman of a committee appointed at a preceding meeting to prepare a standard specification for fire hydrants, presented a report of progress of which the following is a synopsis:

3. Size.— (a) The size of hydrants shall be designated by the diameter of the valve opening, which must be at least 5 inches, for hydrants having two 2 1/2-inch hose connections and 6 inches for those having three or four 2 1/2-inch hose connections; where valve openings are other than circular, designation of size shall be according to a circle having an area equal to the opening. (b) When the hydrant is wide open, the net area of the waterway at the smallest part must not be less than the valve opening. For hydrants having 5 and 6-inch valve openings, inside diameter of 7 and 8 inches is recommended. Hydrants must have bell ends to fit standard pipe or flanges of standard dimensions, with standard bolt layouts. General design. Changes in diameter of water passage, must have easy curves and all outlets rounded corners of good radius. They must he so designed as to cause no water hammer and to permit of strapping the leaded joint underground. Body material, cast iron of good quality, strung, tough and even grain, same strength as required for pipe of 12 inches diameter and less. Hose nipples and valves. Hose nipples of bronze must be threaded with a fine thread into the hydrant and securely pinned, not leaded. When installed with others already in service, hose threads must be interchangeable with those in use; where practicable, threads should conform to the 1906 National standard of the National Fire Protective Association. Inside hose gate valves must have bronze working parts, of rugged design, working free from unnecessary friction. Between gate and hydrant body, with gate in any position, there must be ample clearance.

AS THE COMPRESS PLANT LOOKS AT PRESENT.

The gate must be designed so that it cannot come off when in use and with parts must be interchangeable, valves to be accessible for repairs. Top of stem must be below level of hydrant-stem not to allow free operation of hydrant wrench. Outside hose gate valves, where used, must be Of bronz, or iron, bronze trimmed, nipples cast on valve body and valve bolted to hydrants by two 3/4-inch tap bolts. They must not project unnecessarily and must be inside screw type, in vertical position, handwheel at least 3 inches below base of operating nut. Steams of hose valves 3/4-inch diameter for 2 1/2-inch and 54-inch for valves at steamer connections. Stem nut of inside hose gate valve, to be 54-inch square. Seat bronze, securely fastened in place, valve faced with yielding material, rubber or leather, in such manner as to be accessible for repair without digging up hydrant. With gate type valve, clearance of parts must be such that corrosion will not make them inoperative. A non-corrodiblc, positively operating drip valve must completely drain the hydrant when main valve is shut. Its seat must be securely fastened in barrel, all other parts easily removable through the top. The operating stem at base of thread, where threaded, and where it passes through the stuffing bore and gland, must be 1 1/4 inches in diameter, of bronze, with a tensile strength of not less than 32,000 pounds per square inch. Remainder of stem may be of iron of cross-sectional area not less than 1 1/2 square inches, except at couplings, where the area may be 1 square inch. It must be so attached that it cannot become detached in operation. It must terminate at the top in a nut of pentagonal shape, finished with slight taper to 1 1/2 inches from point to flat except where, for uniformity, it is desirable to follow existing styles. The nut socket of wrench must be without taper, to be reversible. The thread operating the valve must be Acme standard. Stuffing box and gland must be of bronze or bronze bushed, if packing nut is used it must be bronze: bottom of box and end of gland or packing nut must be slightly beveled. Gland bolts or studs, at least 5/8-inch diameter, of bronze, iron or steel, nuts of bronze. Hydrant top should make hydrant as weather-proof as possible to prevent freezing the stem, reasonably tight fit around stem, provision for oiling for lubrication and to prevent corrosion. On hydrant top must be cast raised 1/8-inch, an arrow at least 4 inches long, and the word “Open” in letters an inch high. All hose outlets to have hose caps, attached, with welded chain of wire not less than 1/8-inch diameter. Set in a groove, to prevent it falling out when cap is removed, must be a leather washer and the hose cap nut must be same size and shape as stem nut. In letters an inch high, raised 1/8-inch and well above the ground line, hydrants must be marked with name or trade-mark of maker, nominal size and year of manufacture. Before leaving the factory hydrants must be tested to at least 300 pounds per square inch and if the working pressure is over 150 pounds per square inch, the hydrant must be tested to twice the working pressure. The test should be made with the valve open to test the whole barrel for porosity and strength and with the valve shut, to test its strength and tightness. Before shipping, hydrants should be fully opened and closed, to test the freedom and strength of the parts. The conditions of the test should be made as severe as are liable to occur in service when using a hydrant wrench at least 17 inches long. Hydrants should open to the left, counter clockwise, except where to insure uniformity with existing makes, it is desirable to have them open to the right.

WHILE THE FIRE WAS AT ITS HEIGHT AT HOBART.

The report was accepted and the committee continued.

The secretary of the Mechanicsville, N. Y., fire department reports that during the year it responded to fifteen alarms, fourteen of which were for fires and one a false alarm, making eight less than the previous year. Fight chemical tanks and 4,500 feet of hose had been used. The estimated damage was $8,386, on which an insurance of $4,172.20 applied, which left a total loss of $4,213.80.

A Big Fire at Vicksburg.

The worst fire that has occurred for years in Vicksburg, Miss., not only front the standpoint of the loss, which is estimated at over $300,000, but on account of its threatening the entire retail business section of the city, took place recently, when the dry goods stores of Kuhn Bros, and the Valley Dry Goods Company were completely destroyed and several other retail establishments badly damaged by fire and water. An overheated electric pressing iron, used in the dress-making department of Kuhn Bros., is blamed for the fire. which a salesman for the firm discovered shortly before on the second floor. The employes tried to extinguish it with the means at their command, wasting valuable time, and the fire had been going fully fifteen minutes before an alarm was ‘phoned to headquarters. Chief J. W. Wilkes, with four hose wagons and a hook and ladder truck, were quickly on hand, by which time smoke and flames were pouring from front and rear windows on second and third stories and coming through the roof, the conditions, with the strong wind that was blowing at the time caused Chief Wilks to turn in at once the “three threes,” summoning all the apparatus in the city. The building. which was a three and four-story brick and wood structure and built fifty years ago. was nearly all ablaze when the reinforcements arrived. A 13-inch brick wall separated the building of the Kuhn dry goods store from the adjoining store of the Valley Dry Goods Company, both buildings having been erected on walls left standing from a former fire. In the center of this partition wall, and extending from base to roof, was an open 2-inch crack, just where the fire was hottest, and there were several other cracks in the wall towards the rear. Through these the fire speedily found its way into the Valley company’s building, the rear wall of which was likewise badly cracked and collapsed as soon as the fire had gained some headway, falling on an adjoining building, crushing in the roof and setting it on fire. This fire was, however, speedily stopped. The rapidity with which the flames spread to and destroyed this building impressed Chief Wilks with its serious character, and the mayor asked aid from Jackson, whence Chief Cummings, with twelve men, a steamer and hose wagon, came by fast freight. The fire department of the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad Company had in the meantime come to the aid of the almost exhausted Vicksburg firemen with three reels of hose, and with their efficient aid the fire was under control by the time Chief Cummings arrived from Jackson. He was able, however, to render valuable assistance by relieving the wornout Vicksburg men, who had been fighting the fire incessantly for seven hours. The fire extended at the fourth story to the Hunt building, skipping an intervening lower structure. In fighting the fire the firemen were aided by the excellent water supply from four 6-inch double hydrants on a 10-inch main, distant 300 to 500 feet from the fire. The pressure, obtained by direct pumping, was likewise satisfactory. being kept nearly up to 90 pounds during the entire progress of the fire. Ten hydrant streams from 1-inch nozzles were thrown, and an Eastman 4-way Deluge set with 1 3/4-inch tip was also used to advantage. There were stretched 6,000 feet of cotton, rubber-lined hose, of which four lengths burst during the fire. The apparatus employed included Gleason & Bailey and Seagrave combination wagons, a Seagrave hose wagon and a hose wagon of local construction, besides the outside force, the largest number of streams thrown at one time being ten.

CHIEF J. W. WILKS, VICKSBURG, MISS.RUINS OF BUSINESS BUILDING AT VICKSBURG, MISS.VICKSBURG BUSINESS BUILDING SHOWING FIRE UNDER CONTROL.

Notes From Somerville, Mass.

This city received its new $5,000 auto chemical engine Monday, March 14, and is nowat the Central fire station. It is a 40-horsepower machine and is guaranteed to climb any of our hills, of which we have many and some of them quite steep. It can carry 1,000 feet of hose. It is fitted with a siren whistle and all other up-todate appliances. It is soon to go into commission, with Lieutenant Georgie Bridges in command. Its home will be in ladder No. 2’s house, on Highland avenue.

Chief Rich has recovered from his late sickness and attended his first fire on March 9.

At this writing it looks as if the callmen whose employment is outside of the city may be obliged to resign, as they number so many the force is greatly crippled, especially in the daytime.

At 4:50 o’clock on Friday, the 18th inst., three manhole covers over the electric wire conduit on Highland avenue, one of the principal streets in the city, were sent sailing through the air. The roar of the explosion was heard for nearly a mile. No person was injured. Many windows were broken and the street somewhat damaged.

The general council of Louisville, Ky., has passed an ordinance, compelling all vehicles to drive to the curb upon the approach of fire appa rat us and providing a fine of from $5 to $50 for violations.

Glens Falls Fire Department.

Glens Falls, Warren County, New York, which owes its importance, not only to its position as a c. mmercial and distributing center for the surrounding country, but to the presence within its limits of a number of important industrial establishments. had. according to the latest census, a population of upwards of 12,000. The fire area of the city, of about 100 acres, is fairly built up with brick and stone buildings, and within its limits wooden roofs are prohibited. The fire department consists of two permanent companies, numbering 12 men, and 20 call men. all under the command of a chief and assistant chief, supreme command having been for several years vested in Chief Engine r John Mack, subject to the executive administration of a board of public safety, whose intelligent co-operation is shown in the existence of excellent ordinances controlling the sale and storage of combustible and other fire-protective rules. The organization of the department is as follows: At the Ridge

CHIEF JOHN MACK, GLEN FALLS, N. Y.

street house are the chief and five paid men, with a steamer, a combination chemical and hose wagon, and in winter a sleigh equipped with a chemical tank. At the South street house are the assistant chief and seven paid men. an aerial ladder truck, a combination hose and ladder wagon, a hose wagon, and for winter equipment a sleigh with chemical tank. Chief Mack finds fault with the location of both fire houses in the business section of the city, whereas the eastern, or what might be called the industrial section, in which the most important manufacturing plants are located, is devoid of such protection, He advocates the erection in this district at moderate cost of a small but suitable fire house, or at least the appointment of one additional permanent fireman. He also recommends the equipment of the fire quarters with devices for the amusement and exercise of the men during their long hours of tedious watching. An increase in the pay of the permanent force is also among his suggestions. Consideration of the work accomplished by the department in protecting the city from fire will show that its members have merited these marks of appreciation. The value of the property involved at the 107 alarms of fire to which the department responded during the past year was $178,385, and the total loss was only S20,391, or about 12 per cent, on the property involved. Chemicals only were used on 23 of the fires, 17 were extinguished with buckets of water and only on 27 did the chief find it necessary to use hose, the loss being by this means minimized. On fire work the men were absent from quarters 76 hours 15 minutes; they stretched 15,950 feet of hose, raised 718 feet of ladders and used 696 gallons of chemicals. As showing the interest taken by the men in their duties, the average attendance of callmen during the year has been 89 per cent. The city is equipped with a Gamewell fire alarm system, to which the chief recommends an addition of six call boxes, to be located in inadequately protected sections. Other additions to the equipment recommended are three hose pipes or nozzles, time clocks for the stations, a life net. a smoke helmet, fire axes, plaster hooks, 2 three-gallon extinguishers and 1,000 feet of hose. He also calls the attention of the board of public safety to the need of several additional hydrants and the replacement of present mains with larger sizes in certain sections and the placing of a fire alarm box in every public school building. In concluding, the chief commends Assistant Chief Capron and the men of his command, both paid and call, for their faithful performance of the duties entrusted to them. The total expenditures for the department for the year ending February 28 amounted to $18,967, of which $1,522 was incurred in placing the fire alarm wires under ground. For the maintenance of the department for the current year the chief asks an appropriation of $17,000.

Gasoline Storage for Automobile Apparatus.

A fire department depending wholly or in part upon motor apparatus cannot be hampered by a shortage of gasoline: it must have a dependable quantity of the motive fluid handily and safely stored. A new system of gasoline storage, embodying the full-tank and top-feed principles, is therefore of interest to the large and constantly growing number of automobilists in the fire service. The system in question is based upon the natural law of the difference in specific gravity of water and oil, 12 inches of water balancing approximately 17 inches of gasoline. Since water and gasoline will not mix, the substiution of water for air in the tank is entirely practicable and is the keynote of the invention. The tank may be buried under ground and outside the engine house, with inside delivery at the rate of 10 gallons a minute direct to the apparatus. In operation the tank is first filled with water from the city supply pipe; all air is thus expelled from the tank. Gasoline is then poured through the gasoline filler into the tank at the top, forcing the water out through a U-pipe and into the sewer. Enough gasoline can be poured in to fill the tank. but cannot be forced through the U-pipe and into the sewer because the water column in the pipe front a point opposite the tank bottom to the controlling valve balances the gasoline from the tank bottom to the filler. If more gasoline is poured in it will overflow at the filler, To draw gasoline a controlling valve-lever is raised. This closes the waste outlet, lets the water from the float box (which maintains a uniform head of water) pass down and press the water under the gasoline upward, pushing the light, clean gasoline from the top of the tank out the nozzle.

When the valve is closed the gasoline flow stuns instantly. As fast as gasoline is drawn water replaces it in the tank, leaving no air space. Water can rise in the gasoline discharge pipe only to the height of the water in the float box. or about 5 inches below the outlet, for water seeks its own level, and there is na pressure to force it beyond. Hence, water can never be drawn out of the nozzle. With absolutely safe storage gasoline can be purchased in bulk wholesale at a saving of from 2 to 10 cents per gallon, depending upon location. The specific claims made for this device are perfect safety, economy, clean delivery and no deterioration of gasoline, however long the period of storage. Its sponsors claim unusual concessions from insurance and fire de-

partment authorities, and users report satisfactory results. This system is the product of the Hydraulic Oil Storage Company, of 46 Exchange place, New York, and 606 Penobscot building. Detroit, Mich. An interesting descriptive booklet may be had for the asking.

Gary Loses Business Building.

In spite of a high-pressure water supply system, plenty of hydrants and hard work on the part of the firemen, the substantial brick, stone and concrete Ohio Building, 50×100 feet, on Broadway, Gary, Ind., built about a year ago and occupied as a billiard hall and offices, was damaged ninety per cent by a recent fire in that city. A police captain discovered the fire and turned in the alarm between 2 and 3 a. m., and the fire, which burned for about four hours, damaged the building, value $50,000, as above stated. The contents, valued at $22,000, were totally destroyed. When the firemen, two hose companies and a truck company reached the scene, the fire was burning briskly all through the basement, and two frozen hydrants delayed getting streams to work. Four hydrants, two three-wav and two double, about 400 feet apart, were available, furnishing water supplied by direct pumping, under 115 pounds pressure; 5,000 feet of cotton. rubber-lined hose was laid and 9 hydrant streams turned on the flames, the nozzles used being 1 1/8, 1 1/2 and 1 7/8 inch, with an Eastman Deluge set, basement pipe, and 1 Hart threeway and 3 two-way Hart Siamese sets. Some damage was done by the flames to the adjacent Masonic, Indian and Feuer buildings, the aggregate loss approximating $150,000.

BUILDING IN GARY, IND., BEFORE AND AFTER FIRE

OUR LONDON LETTER.

0

OUR LONDON LETTER.

[Special Correspondence of FIRE AND WATER].

London Office of FIRE AND WATER, April 30,1896. LONDON WATER SUPPLY—LETTER VI.

NEARLY a century ago, in 1798, saw leave given to the Grand Junction Canal Company of London, to lay pipes and supply water to Paddington and places adjacent. Its area now extends from the Haymarket west to Hampton, distant fifteen miles, forming a triangular district of about 18 miles wide at the base. The company’s present works are six in number; three on the riverside and three inland in more or less elevated positions, with such pumping stations as are needful to meet requirements. There are two sources of supply, both from the Thames;the older,near Hampton Court; the more recent, higher upstream, on a small island near Sunbury. The whole of the materiel is thoroughly up to date, and capable of meeting any possible increase of demand in the near future— capable also of easy extension as circumstances may require.

The supply of water from the river is in many parts direct into the pump wells, but in addition the company possess a thorough system of natural filtration, which has been in use for more than ten years. By its means the river water passes through extensive beds of gravel and sand, such as are found in the neighborhood; is pumped into the main reseivoir; and finds its way through the ordinary filters to the consumer.The works at Hampton were opened in 1857. At that time the lowest summer level of the river at that point was2t feet above the Ordnance datum; and, as three competing companies established works in the vicinity, their intakes were all fixed at that height. Three miles of the Thames, from .Sunbury lock toMolesey lock, include the intakes of no less than five metropolitan water companies, and, although the daily abstraction of water by them exceeds 100,000,000 gallons, the lowest summer level remains as in 1853, before any works o: the kind existed.

The constant supply system prevails in this district, over four-fifths being now so served; and this plan will soon be generally adopted,as it has been found that, where fittings are in good order, constant supply does not materially increase N. J consumption. The latest return available gives the following figures lor this company; Daily supply in January. 1895, number of services, 59,495; daily supply, 16,564,220 gallons: January, 1896, services, 60.186; daily supply, 16,607,592 gallons. Upon the point of resources, it isestimated that,whereas 350,000 people are now supplied at the rate of about 35 gallons per head per day, the existing resources of dai.y powers of the company (24,500,000 gallons) would supply 42 gallons; at 30 gallons per head, 86,000, or more than double the present population, could be served, or that, without having recourse to an extension, 1,000,000 persons could be adequately supplied if the necessity arose. The tendency, however, is the other way. In this district of London, at least, the undoubted increase in building has not been followed by a commensurate increase in occupation. It would, indeed, seem that the extension of the suburbs westward has had the result of crowding out its country seats (except for a brief society season), the whilom large consumers, with a natural falling off in supply, while the conditions of ground rent, the cost of daily transit, etc., continue to render the neighborhood inaccessible to the bulk of the population.

The company’s report of 1891 states,and on authority of the examining chemist, that “ the supply is satisfactory from the point of view of the health of the population.” An extract from a report of January, 1896, shows that, while “ the water drawn from the Thames, at Hampton, on January 10,was turbid, pate yellow in color, and of good chemical, but bad bacterial quality,” the Grand Junction Company, by a preliminary filtration were enabled to supply their ordinary filters with water containing only about one-fourth of the number of microbes present in a given volume of the river Thames. On January 10, 1896, the Thames water at Hampton, as per of ficial report, contained per cubic centimetre no less than 11 ,560 microbes, which water, arriving at view from preliminary filters at Hampton, showed 280 microbes, per cubic centimetre. The degree of purity, indeed, is as follows: Hampton, General filter-well, 99.58; Kew, general filter-well, 99.76; Kew, South filter-well, 99.33.

SOME NOTES.

With reference to the alleged failure of the East London Water Supply during the severe frost of February, 1895, that company is providing a new storage works with capacity for 200 000,000 gallons. It is also obtaining powers to obtain an additional 3,000,000 gallons daily from the chalk. Other measures are being taken which will raise the storage of the company to 1,200,000 gallons, or 27 days’ supply. The quantity allowed per capita is 33 gallons daily, which, although considered excessive, is needed by the habit prevalent among the poorer classes in the East end, of washing their clothes by leaving them under running water instead of by soap and scrubbing.

WEST VIEW OF RESERVOIR, ST. CATHARINES, ONT.

At the present time the water supply of London is better in every respect than that of any other capital in Europe, though its population is nearly double that of Paris and three or four times as large as those of the other continental metropolitan cities.

Lieut. Smith, of Phoenix Engine company, Norwalk, Conn., recently plunged into a darkling cloud of mingled lurid smoke and flame, and saved a life. The limp form, which he had secured when almost in its death thoes, proved to be that ot a cal of the Thomas persuasion!

A forest fire that started at Plymouth, Mass., on the forenoon of May 2, was extinguished on May 3, at a point two miles from where it started. Thousands of acres were burned over and much cut wood was destroyed.