POOR FIRE PROTECTION AT HOUSTON.
While the fire department of Houston, Tex., is quite up to the mark, it is grievously handicapped by the poor water supply. An underwriter has recently written as follows regarding the situation:
“At the recent Market fire, where a risk worth nearly $100,000 was destroyed, the waterworks failed, as usual, to furnish anything like an adequate supply of water or the contract pressure. Houston is in reality without an adequate water supply for fire protection, and I understand the waterworks company acknowledge their inability to furnish pressure enough for fire purposes. The town has grown so largely in the last ten years, and the water mains have been extended to such a degree, that the mains are no longer large enough or the pumps of sufficient power to furnish pressure necessary to fight successfully any fire of more than small proportions. * * * There seems to be no prospect of the situation being bettered in the near future.”
The source of the city’s water supply is artesian wells situated on the bank of the Buffalo Bayou. The system is pumping to standpipe (capacity, 750,000 gallons) and direct. The pumping engines are Worthington, with a daily capacity of 8,000,000 gallons; pressure, set down as domestic, forty pounds; fire, 125.