Pittston’s Pure Water.
At this time, when Trenton water from the Delaware is not merely muddy but black, like diluted ink, the following communication to the Philadelphia Press will be read with interest: To the Editor:
Sir—When I am in your city and use your muddy water, I often wonder why the city of Philadelphia does not adopt the plan we have here. I was twenty-five years a director in the Pittston Water Company, and though the Susquehanna water was as good or better than the average, after heavy rains it was about the color of strong coffee. We pumped from the river direct to the reservoir.
When I was in France I learned the city of Nismes, that is on the Rhone below Lyons, got its supply of water from the river that had the sewage and drainage of a city of 51×5,000 people turned into it, and from a report to the French Academy of Sciences on the water it was found absolutely pure.
1 investigated the matter and found they had built under the gravel bed of the river four or five feet an arch of stone and covered it over with gravel, and drew their supply from under the bottom of the river, and we here adopted the same plan. We built an oaken crib in the excavation with slated sides, and covered it over with gravel, and now where they use that water if the river is a dirty brown the water pumped from under the filter is as clear as crystal and leaves little or no sediment in steam boilers. Our water has a trace of lime in it, from the limestone formation of New York near its sources.
I believe by this process Philadelphia could have the best water of any large city on this continent at a very little cost, for it would not need any new source of supply, and you can easily investigate it here, as it has been used a number of years. The mistake the Pittston Water Company made was to put the filter under a bar in the river, instead of under the running swift water, for the gravel drift on the swift water keeps renewing the surface of the filter, and needs no attention like artificial Alteration. The Spring Brook Water Company, when they brought the supply by gravity to this place, found that in rainy seasons they had dirty water to sell against clean of the Pittston Water Company, so they bought out the Pittston Water Company, and paid them $65 for $25 shares, a thing they never would have done if the question had not been clean water against dirty.