PASADENA WATER DEPARTMENT REPORT
The second annual report of the Pasadena, Cal., Water Department, being for the year ending June 30, 1915, which has been issued in printed form, contains a comprehensive report addressed to Commissioner M. H. Salisbury, of Municipal Utilities, by S. H. Morris, chief engineer of the Water Department. In it Mr. Morris says:
Purchase of Woodbury System.
On September 1st, 1914, the Water Department began the operation of the Woodbury water system, supplying about 320 acres lying partly within and partly without the east city limits at Colorado street. The inventory of the system thus acquired was as follows: Well, concreted pit 165 feet deep, fourteen-inch drilled well 550 feet deep. Two centrifugal pumps and motors, combined capacity 873 g. p. m. Wooden derrick 36 feet high over well. Elevated tank, 140,000 gallons capacity. Frame shop, 20 feet by 24 feet by 12 feet. Distribution system, 42,917 feet of pipe, all sizes, 2 by 10 inches. Services, 432, ranging in size from ⅝to 4-inch, all metered. Real estate owned, two lots, 606-1000ths of an acre. Total amount, $35,000,00. This system was immediately connected with the city’s mains and supplied from the Wilson avenue reservoir, thus avoiding the necessity of using the small tank and pumping equipment, which could not be as economically operated as others in the system, due to the high head pumped against. Except for a considerable number of leaks due to the added pressure, the system has been found in excellent condition. This new territory now receives the benefit of greatly increased fire protection, due to the high pressure and large reservoir supply now available.
The unprecedented rainfall and floods in January and February of 1914 which did so much damage all over Southern California, did a direct damage to the headworks in the Arroyo Canyon and at Devil’s Gate amounting to about $3,000,00. During the summer and fall of 1914, before the winter rains, considerable protection work was done in the Arroyo Canyon and other points along the Arroyo Seco. In the Arroyo Canyon a rock barrier was thrown up on the west side of the stream bed from the submerged dam, extending about 300 feet north, to protect the intake and small tunnels at this point, Below Devil’s Gate a concrete retaining wall eight to twelve feet high and from two to five feet thick was constructed to protect the weir chamber and the 22 and 30-inch mains. This wall also protects the well and pumping equipment at the Devil’s Gate motor plant from further encroachment by the winter torrents. The entire stream has to be turned rather abruptly at this point and it is most important that we take no chances on a repetition of the 1914 floods at the headworks of our largest supply. The cost of this wall was $1,826.33. At the point near Limacher’s ranch where over five hundred feet of 30inch main were washed out, we have thrown up a heavy wall of rock 540 feet long, which will be sufficient to divert all ordinary abnormal floods. The location of the 30-inch main at this point is such that to provide against such a flood as that of last year would cost more than a complete relocation of the main. We are very fortunate in having the 22-inch main on safe ground for a duplicate supply, thus not forcing us to spend a very large sum for a very rare possibility. At Brookside Park the abandonment of the steam plant which occupied the most hazardous position from the point of view of floods has been completed and the shack which housed it will soon be completely taken away, thus removing an eyesore from this beautiful new park.
Plans and specifications were adopted and a resolution of intention passed in April, 1915, by which the city extends its water system under the Vroman Act to the recently annexed territory across the Arroyo known as Linda Vista. An assessment district of about 400 acres was formed taking in all that property below the 1075-foot contour, which district will be assessed for the total amount of the cost of this extension. The Windsor reservoir overflow being at an elevation of 1,146 feet, all points below the 1,075-foot contour should have ample pressure for domestic service. In order to make a lien against the property to be payable in bonds, the work had to be advertised for and a contract awarded under the Vroman Act. This work has had several delays, but should be in use by the last of October, 1915.
Well and Shaft Repairs.
During the fall of 1914 a well crew was kept busy recurbing the Windsor avenue shaft of the Devil’s Gate tunnels, which completely caved in during the abnormal water level of 1914, and which also caused a large filling in of the tunnel itself. The drilled well at the bottom of the shaft was, however, found to be in good condition. As soon as the shaft was recurbed the Devil’s Gate tunnels were cleared and the necessary repairs made. The next work for the crew was the Casitas avenue shaft, which had had several minor cave-ins. This plant being at the highest elevation of the city’s supplies with no other plant to take its place, has compelled the department to use every possible precaution to keep it in operating condition. The enlarging and recurbing in contemplation of future concreting of the well was completed to water level, a depth of 118 feet, when it was left until this summer’s pumping season to complete. Work of completion is now going on when the pumping is not required to lower the water level only. The completion of this job should find all of the well shafts in new and excellent condition with the possible exception of the Copelin steam plant.
Increase of Service.
The following figures showing the growth of the territory served by the Pasadena Water Department from its inception in November, 1912, to June 30, 1915, are of interest. Total area supplied by city November, 1912, 6,235 acres; area added, November, 1912, to June 30, 1915, 1,315 acres; area supplied by city June 30, 1915, 7,550 acres. Of the above 7,550 acres, 1,211 are outside the present city limits, making a total area of 6,339 acres being supplied within the city limits. The total acreage within the present city boundary is now supplied as follows: Supplied by water department, 6,339 acres; San Rafael and Linda Vista Annex, partially supplied by private enterprise, total area, 1,290 acres; supplied by private water companies, 371 acres; lands in Arroyo Seco not cultivated, 450 acres. Total area of city, 8,450 acres. The service connections of the department have during this time increased from 8,930 to 12,233, an increase of 3,303 or 37 per cent, for the corresponding increase in area of 21 per cent. The betterment of water pressure conditions, while not complete—we should not have a service with less than 20 pounds per square inch pressure—has been very considerable. There were amongst the private companies in 1912, 1,055 acres having less than 20 pounds per square inch static pressure, while on June 30, 1915, the total of such acreage was 560, a reduction of 46 per cent. in the low pressure acreage. Thexe has, however, been an increase of five pounds or more over an area of approximately 2,500 acres, though in many cases this increase was not required for domestic service.
Supply and Distribution Problems.
In considering the problems of supply and distribution which the department has been compelled to face, it is interesting to compare the actual territory supplied by the several water companies with the territory being supplied from the same sources at the present date:
It will be seen from the above that the territory of the North Pasadena Water Company has been increased 73 per cent, since 1912 with probably an equal percentage of increase in the number of consumers. Besides the above increase, which was due to the addition of the once so-called “Dry Tract,” and a portion of the Las Flores, Rubio Canyon, and the Nazarene University water systems, and the low pressure district of the Lake Vineyard Water Company lying north of Orange Grove avenue, there is soon to be added the Linda Vista territory of about 400 acres, making a total acreage of 3,230 acres, or an increase of 98 per cent. in the acreage being supplied by the same wells and gravity sources which were used in 1912. Due to the very favorable years of 1914 and 1915, we have been able to supply this territory without increased pumping plant equipment. The department was, however, soon forced even in these favorable years, beyond the limits of its distributing mains. First a booster pump was installed at the Cemetery reservoir to force additional water through the 10-inch main on Woodbury Road to the northeast section. Second, as soon as funds were available a new main extending from the Cemetery reservoir all the way to Lake avenue and Washington street was laid, being composed of 16-, 14-, 12-, 10and 8-inch pipe. Even after this second improvement we were still compelled to operate the booster pump during the hot weather. During May and June of this year, however, we were able to complete this much needed improvement. A 24-inch and 20-inch main from the Windsor avenue reservoir to and connecting with the 16-inch main on Raymond avenue was laid at a total cost to date of $27,860.07. As soon as this main was laid the Cemetery reservoir was by-passed and the added pressure of the Windsor reservoir was made use of, thus raising the pressure by about eight pounds. The booster pump was then abandoned and the cost of its operation, amounting to $646.93 in 1913-1914 and $151.55 in 1914-1915, will be unnecessary in the future. Also it will not now be necessary to operate the Sheldon avenue pumping plant until the Arroyo Seco supply falls short, which in ordinary years is not before July 1st. The saving here will amount to about $600.00 per year. However, the question has been asked why the department laid this large sum in the northern part of the city instead of laying a larger main in the downtown business district which is so lacking in adequate fire protection. The city was compelled by the mere domestic needs of the northern section to increase its feeder main to supply that immense district lying between the Arroyo Seco on the west and Allen avenue on the east. This district, which had been increased by 73 per cent, in area in the past three years, had but the single 13-inch feeder main laid in 1889, twenty-six years ago. During the fall of 1914 on several occasions the amount of water supplied through this main was so small that the Cemetery reservoir was nearly completely empty by eight o’clock in the evening. The problem of distribution having been met, it is now absolutely imperative that a new well be sunk and pumping equipment installed before next summer, of about 125 miner’s inches (2.5 second feet) capacity, sufficient to take care of the additional Linda Vista territory, which as is shown before, will make the total territory added onto the existing equipment of this section 98 per cent. greater than it was in November, 1912. This well will be located in the Upper Pasadena Basin above Monk’s Hill dyke. It is most fortunate that we are able to develop more water in this locality through the methods of water spreading in the Arroyo Seco above Devil’s Gate. During each of the past two years by this method of conservation we have been able to raise the water level in this basin above any former record. It is also particularly fortunate that the City of Pasadena is able to reap practically all the benefits of such conservation, as there are scarcely no others pumping from the same basin, whereas the development we might do in conserving water in the Lower Pasadena Basin north of the Raymond dvke we should be compelled to share with a long list of private water companies supplying South Pasadena, San Marino, Alhambra and San Gabriel. Besides the new pumping plant, the Painter reservoir of only 430,000 gallons capacity will soon have to be replaced by a larger one; on the severest days the consumption reaches nearly three times the capacity of the reservoir. We are, however, better equipped for this heavy draft at the present time, as the by-pass from the 24-inch main affords a method of supplementing the Sheldon avenue pump supnly which is not great enough to take care of the hourly fluctuations in the draft which is necessary with so small a reservoir. This by-pass also makes the volume of water from the Windsor avenue reservoir available for increased distribution in case of a fire draft on the Painter reservoir. The land surrounding the Sheldon plant and now the property of the city, will be convenient as a location for such a reservoir. The equipment furnishing the lower reservoirs will be adequate for several years to come. For the past two seasons we have not used onethird our pump capacity, due to the large supply of gravity water from the Devil’s Gate development, which is being greatly increased by water spreading. Distribution problems south of Orange Grove avenue are, however, very pressing. Supreme among these needs is the feeder main to the downtown district. A 30-inch main from the Sunset reservoir to Fair Oaks avenue and Colorado street, and a 24-inch main on Colorado street from Fair Oaks to Los Robles avenue would cost about $85,000.00 and would not only furnish an adequate volume of water to the business district in case of a serious fire, but would also make it possible to furnish a much better pressure to the North Orange Grove avenue low pressure district, as well as making it possible to pump at Brookside Park for about two months less each year. The matter of better fire protection is, however, the controlling feature in this need for increased downtown supply. There are at the present time no mains in the business section larger than eight-inch, and many of them are but four-inch poorly interconnected.
Street Work and Extensions.
Street work is still a great factor in the new main construction. The department has been compelled during the past year to lay 26,618 feet of pipe ahead of new street work. While in some cases the old mains were in very poor shape, yet in most cases if the ground would remain undisturbed and if it were not for the subsequent tearing up of the pavement, they might remain in service for several years. There are, however, many pipes which have been inspected and allowed to remain, as their life would more than warrant the increased cost of laying a permanent main at some future time. The total amount of pipe which was replaced on account of deterioration only was but 1,590 feet, and for extensions only 28,840 feet, making 53,048 feet in all. This shows that slightly over 50 per cent, of all new main construction was necessitated by street work. Mr. Morris’s report also contains a review of the effect of meters upon consumption of water which has already appeared.
Business Manager Selbie’s Report.
The department report also contains the report of William Selbie, business manager, showing that the water revenue for the year ending June 30, 1915, amounted to $248,393.58, a gain of $10,380.65 over the year before. The expense for operating and maintenance, not including interest or depreciation, was $59,927.64 for the past year, a reduction of $14,122.66 from the year ending June 30, 1914.