Conclusion of Report on Water Resources of New JerseySuggested Plan of Procedure

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Water at Wholesale Only

It may be assumed that water would be delivered at wholesale to the various communities and to the various companies by meter measurement. This is the practice followed by the Boston Metropolitan Water District. Each community and company would keep its own distribution pipes and its own customers. Each would use its own water supply to the extent of its capacity and the new water could be used to supplement existing sources.

Quantities of Water Available

An effort has been made to estimate the quantities of water that could be realized from each of the pro-

posed developments, with all the accuracy possible from existing data.

The areas have been marked off and measured on state maps, one mile to the inch, with adjustments for shrinkage or stretch in the individual map sheets. The areas so found have been compared with values previously stated where available. Where they have checked approximately the accepted figures have been used. In one case only do our figures differ from the accepted values. After careful checking we use our own values of 785 square miles for the Passaic at Great Falls, and 761 at Little Falls. This is mentioned lest some one should think that we had made an error. The difference is not surprising when it is remembered that the New York sheets of the government map were not available when the commonly accepted values were determined, and the old maps may not have been very accurate.

The runoff data considered in arriving at an estimate of the probable runoff in each one of the catchment areas are shown in Table No. 5, and graphically in Figure No. 9.

The Pequannock gaugings obtained from Morris R. Sherrerd, and the Passaic gaugings made by J. H. Cook, have been given greatest weight. To the latter have been added the amounts of water taken from the river for water supply. The runoff from stations in Pennsylvania, New York, and New England have also been considered.

The percentage of water area represents approxitnately the average above the gauging station actually used during the record period, and not necessarily present conditions.

Table No. 5. Runoff Records

a—New England Water Works Association Committee, b—H. W. & F.—U. S. Geological Survey maps, 1 mile per inch, exact.

c—H. W. & F.—U. S. Geological Survey maps, 37 miles per inch, rough.

Above Port Jervis.

Above Binghamton and near it.

Table No. 6 shows the principal areas that have been considered; the annual water crops; the ratios

of storage to mean annual flow ; the amounts of water that can be realized from the storage at hand in each case; the allowance made for prior rights and other uses; and finally the net maintainable supply that may be expected from each source.

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Planning for Future Water Needs

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Estimates of this kind are not more accurate than the data on which they rest; and these data have limitations. It may be said of these estimates that they have been made on a consistent basis, and that it may be expected that the actual quantities, if the works were developed, would not be likely to differ by more than a few per cent, from the estimates given.

Mr. Hazen then points out that the Passaic and Long Hill sources are better than those of the Raritan, Mullica and Wading River. He also suggests that the Long Hill would be superior to the Passaic as the former permits of a progressive development while the latter would have to be carried out at once.

8. Cost

You desire a general idea of the probable costs of developing water in large quantities from the various sources. A general idea is all that can be hoped for from such studies as have been made. We have tried to determine what land would be required, and what it would cost; who would be damaged, and how much would have to be paid because of such damages; what dams and reservoirs would be required, and what they would probably cost; and what aqueducts, pumping stations, filters and other equipment would be needed.

We are. of course, more or less familiar with the construction costs of such structures, but in this case we are handicapped by the lack of detailed studies necessary for estimates.. Such studies were not possible within the limits that were set for our work.

The records of actual cost of construction of large water works systems, such as those built for the Massachusetts Metropolitan District years ago, and of the more recent Catskill supply for New York City, construction of which is still under way, have been helpful.

As a further emphatic indication that these are only rough, round preliminary estimates, the amounts will be entered in units of one million dollars each in Table No. 7, which it is hoped will be enough for your present purpose.

9. Suggested Plan of Procedure

The diversity of ownership in the thirty-three separate systems of water supply now in the district is such as to make it almost impossible to hope for an adequate solution by voluntary co-operation. Strong action in the interest of all is essential to success.

To provide additional water to fully supply the whole district for a term of years is not difficult from an engineering standpoint. From a financial standpoint, it will not be burdensome to pay for the necessary works. The problem is to get co-operation or something to take its place. There is no community in the district that can carry alone an adequate project for the whole district, and there is no group of communities that can be reasonably expected to work together to do it.

The problem is more difficult because it has to be handled at long range. Great water works systems require a long time to build, and it is hard to get public interest and general co-operation with respect to a need that is not immediately apparent. It may take ten years to go through all the preliminaries and to build the works and fill the reservoirs and bring them to the point of actual delivery of water.

Table No. 7, Estimates of Cost, in Millions of Dollars

In addition to 200 mgd. now obtained and to be obtained from this source by smaller developments and not counting a flow of 80 mgd. assumed to be maintained at Great Falls for the benefit of manufacturers and the lower river.

If the work is to be done economically and well it must be done deliberately. Haste means waste. If action is put off too long there is apt to be precipitate action in some dry season when the supply fails, or is near the point of failing, and we know from experience that communities are almost incapable of acting wisely under such stress.

You have asked for suggestions as to the procedure most likely to be successful and the following rough outline of a plan is presented.

Proposed Plan

Create a Water Board, having very broad powers, including the right to acquire existing sources of supply, and lands and rights for additional sources, and to build water supply works, to sell water at wholesale and to issue bonds to raise money to pay for works bought and built.

The Board might well be a State Board and in that case the bonds would be state bonds.

The requirements should be made that the business of the board should be conducted so that all money spent would ultimately be recovered from its own operations. No contribution from general state funds should ever be permitted.

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Planning for Future Water Needs

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One of the most important matters is to get the best men in the state for members of the board. A board of three members is large enough. Men of affairs must be selected capable of handling large enterprises efficiently and economically. Men must he secured who are in a position to decide all questions on their merits and without obligation to anyone. The appointments must not be political, and the term of office should be for a long period, or for life. If it is made for a shorter term, it should be with the expectation of reappointment on the expiration of the term of service.

The board, on being created, would proceed to take over some of the larger supply works now in service that are of a kind to form appropriate and advantageous parts of a permanent general system. It is not the intention to make a precise list of what these would be, but in a general way, it might include the supply works of Newark, Jersey City, of the East Jersey Water Company, including the whole of Little Falls plant, and also the works of the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission on the Wanaque now building. The Morris Canal property or parts of it may be considered tentatively among the properties to be acquired in case navigation were to be abandoned.

Upon taking over these works the board would proceed at once to sell water to the communities and companies now supplied from the works that were taken over and to any other communities and companies that needed it.

The Wanaque dam should he completed to the full proposed height hut it would probably not be necessary to build a whole new aqueduct for it, as the water from it could be released to the river (or canal), and taken out at Little Falls. With this done the size of the Little Falls plant should be greatly increased.

Consolidating these sources of supply would permit more water to be obtained than can be obtained from them separately. Stored water in the Wanaque reservoir would be held back for use during dry periods, and the flow of the river would be used as far as possible when there was enough of it.

The capacity developed by the Wanaque reservoir, and the increased capacity of the combined system over that of the component parts operated separately, amounting to twenty to thirty mgd. and altogether to perhaps 75 mgd., would serve to maintain the supply for a few years, and until larger works were available.

It should be the duty of the board to furnish water at wholesale to any municipality or water company in the six counties that needed it, but some limits might be necessary in the early days.

To do this it would be necessary for the board to acquire or lay a system of main pipes. Ultimately this system of main pipes would be comprehensive. At first full use would be made of all existing pipes. Some additional connections would be needed, but it might reasonably be required that water should be passed along by one system to the next; fair compensation for the use of pipes used in transmission being made.

The prices fixed for the sale of water should be such as to make the operations of the board self-supporting. The prices, should not be fixed by long term contract, but should be left open to be determined each year. All takers should have the same rate, but differences in elevation, or in position, or in other conditions of delivery might be taken into account in fixing reasonable differentials. The general scale of prices should be raised or lowered to meet the financial requirements of the board. In other words, it would be service at cost to all takers.

The burden of the cost of development would be borne in greater measure by those communities and companies who took water from the start. If there were communities and companies whose present works were sufficient, they might not desire to be connected with the system until some future time when water was needed. When they did need water it would be proper that an equitable payment to the general fund should be required from them to represent a proportionate part of capital payments charged off or amortized up to that time.

The board should at once take up the problem of securing the additional and greater supplies that will be needed. Surveys and borings should be made, and all information collected, and a definite plan proposed, and after discussion adoptel. This plan might be the Long Hill plan as now proposed, or with modifications; or the Passaic Great Reservoir plan, or the Raritan plan, or any other plan that should prove best taking into account conditions as they were then found.

After adoption of such a plan the board should proceed to acquire the necessary sites and to develop the supply in installments, building these from time to time as the growth of its business requires.

The board should be authorized to acquire sites in advance of actual need, and to otherwise anticipate future growth, to make sure that the best available sites are reserved for water supply purposes until they are actually needed.

This plan is mainly the plan carried out by the Massachusetts Metropolitan District, which had its beginnings almost thirty years ago, and which has been perhaps the most successful example of work of this kind carried out in this country. The procedure that I have described follows that originally adopted in ‘Massachusetts but includes some modifications that have been found advantageous in practice and added in subsequent years.

Various other means of accomplishing the results might be suggested. Some of them have been used successfully in other cases. None of these appear to be well adapted to present New Jersey conditions, and it is perhaps unnecessary to refer to them further at this time.

It may be added that a strong board with adequate powers is necessary to cope with such difficult problems as will arise. Halfway measures will not do, and voluntary partnerships do not give a basis for the energetic and effective management necessary to carry out works for a general water supply.

It is a big undertaking and one that is worth doing well.

Planning for Future Water Needs


Planning for Future Water Needs

Report on Water Resources of New Jersey and the Plans Formulated Looking Toward Future Supply—Four General Systems Considered—Population Upon Catchment Areas

A FORECAST of the population and water requirements of the New Jersey metropolitan district for a period of fifty years following a suggestion made by the board of conservation and development of New Jersey, has just been issued by Allen Hazen, of Hazen, Whipple & Fuller, consulting engineers, New York City. In his report Mr. Hazen acknowledges the aid and co-operation which the board has given his firm in the work. The report covers seventy-one pages of text with numerous diagrammatic illustrations and tables and is concluded by a six-page index and a map in colors showing possible water supplies of New Jersey. The report by Mr. Hazen being too voluminous to reproduce in its entirety its salient features are excerpted in the following review:

Allen Hazen, Consulting Engineer, New York City

The first section of the report is an outline and summary of the water resources of New Jersey. The three principal problems to be met in the investigation are summed up by Mr. Hazen as follows:

First, the engineering problem of selecting the best sources and of deciding what dams, tunnels, reservoirs and other works will best serve to make them available.

Second, the problem of getting effective co-operation of the thirty-three separate authorities now operating water works systems in the Metropolitan District; or in the absence of such co-operation of finding some way of securing effective action in their behalf.

Third, the adopting and carrying through of a comprehensive policy of building and operating water works, and of securing control of necessary sites, and holding them for public water supply purposes to make sure that they are not diverted to other uses and lost.

Section two is devoted to the present water supply conditions. This enumerates the principal waiter supplies as follows:

(1). That of Newark, drawing its supply from the Pequannock River, a tributary of the Passaic. (2). Jersey City, using the Rockaway River, another tributary of the Passaic, with an area of 119 square miles. (3). The Fast Jersey Water Company, drawing water from the Passaic River at Little Falls. (4). The North Jersey District Water Supply Commission, which has begun to develop a supply from the Wanaque River. (5). The Hackensack River, with catchment area of 115 square miles. (6). Minor surface supplies furnishing 23 M.G.D. (7). Ground water supplies.

Capacity of Present Sources

The capacities in a dry year of present sources may be thus summarized:

3. Population and Water Requirements

It is possible to forecast population and water requirements for ten or twenty years with comparative accuracy by assuming that past rates of growth will be continued. The results so reached, while not precise, are close enough for practical purposes. But for a fifty year period the errors that may result from following this simple procedure may be greater. Growth in population and water requirements depend on many things that are not known and cannot be determined long in advance.

In thinking of the probable growth in the next fifty years it has been considered that the population of the whole country might almost double, but the growth will be relatively greater in the south and west, in regions remote from New York and less directly tributary to it than in those parts that have grown most in the last century.

It may also be considered that other and newer centers are competing for the manufacturing nowcarried on in New York and New Jersey, and that many of these new centers have advantages in being nearer to sources of raw materials and to markets.

Table No. 2. Actual Past and Estimated Future Populations in Thousands

This section then considers the past and future population grow-th, uses of water for industrial purposes, and past and future water growth. The section then continues:

Future Water Growth

“This increase in per capita use of water, which has been going on since water works were first built, must be expected to continue for a time at least. On the other hand, part of the present waste can be stopped and this must be done, and, when accomplished, there will be a certain temporary reduction in per capita requirements.

“In Figure 2 (next issue) are shown actual past and estimated future populations, since the first census of 1728, and the water consumption since 1880.

“It is not at all certain that the rates of growth shown by these tables will be realized; but it does not seem prudent to use lower ones. All that we can hope to do is to lay out a program sufficiently large so that it will not prove inadequate, and, on the other hand, to arrange so that it can be carried out in steps, each within the reasonable financial ability of the community at the time.

“It would be disastrous to embark upon a program that was too ambitious and that brought too heavy a burden on the present generation; and equally so to fail to make due provision for conditions that may be anticipated at some remote time.

“Fortunately water works systems can be built progressively as needed; and it will never be necessary to incur obligations so far in advance of the needs of the time that they should be embarrassing if further growth proved t.o be less rapid than expected.”

Water Resources of the State

In section four catchment areas and the population upon them are considered. Mr. Hazen points out here that the difficult problem relates to the future and the reserving of land to serve as sufficient catchment area, with the saving of this territory from pollution. Gradual purchase of needed lands is suggested as a remedy. The report then continues.

Population Upon Catchment Areas

Public water supplies are best drawn from catchment areas that do not have much population upon them. The ideal is uninhabited forested mountain land. Population means pollution. The effects of pollution may be removed by long storage in large reservoirs or by filtration and other treatments; but sparsely populated areas are wisely sought and preferred.

The 1,718 square miles of potential catchment area in New Jersey are well situated in this respect. The area is near to the populous district and also, in a general way, it is between New York and Philadelphia. two very large cities, and yet it is inhabited for the most part by only a scattered rural population.

5. The Four Principal Developments Considered

Four principal developments of water for the district have been considered. They may be mentioned in order, beginning with the ones nearest at hand:

  1. Complete (or partial) development of the Passaic River.
  2. Long Hill Reservoir fed by northern streams.
  3. Raritan development, supplemented ultimately, if needed, by water from the Delaware River.
  4. Mullica and Wading Rivers, and other southern streams.
  5. A description of these developments then follows.

6. Distribution

The main problem is to find water to distribute. The manner of its distribution need only be considered in general terms.

The Long Hill reservoir if built will furnish gravity service to much the largest part of the district. Ground above elevation 200 in Montclair, the Oranges and elsewhere will have to be placed in high service districts. The high ground along the Hudson River from Hoboken north will also require high service. Water for high service districts may be pumped from low service pipes at various places. This will all work out easily, for the most part following the lines of the present development.

Figure 8 of the report shows the large present pipes of all systems in the district, with a rough outline of the proposed arrangements.

(To be continued)