Portsmouth, O., Improves Water System
Engineers who have been preparing plans for improvements to the municipal waterworks system at Portsmouth, O., submit the following report to the mayor and city council:
“After a careful study of the local conditions we are convinced that the pumping station and intake should be located farther up the river than at present. The natural topography along the Ohio River in the vicinity of Portsmouth is not at all favorable for an ideal design of waterworks system. We had hoped to find a tract of land having sufficient area and the proper elevation to permit the raw water to be pumped direct from the river into large subsidence basins having sufficient elevation to enable the water to be led from there through filters and conducted from the filter into the distributing reservoir by gravity. The distributing reservoir to have sufficient elevation to give the desired fire pressure on the mains in the distribution system. This plan would be most satisfactory in that the water would have to be pumped only once. There is no location in the vicinity of Portsmouth that possess the natural feature to render the above plan possible. We were able to find a location admirably adapted to the next best arrangement which is to pump the raw water from the river into a subsidence basin with low lift centrifugal pumps which are best adapted for pumping muddy water. The water to be led by gravity through the coagulating basins and filters bygravity, conducted back to the pumping station and pumped to the reservoir with high duty pumping engines. We therefore recommend and have drawn plans and specifications for the following layout: The proposed location for the pumping station and intake is on what is known as the Basham homestead property adjacent to and west of the Carlyle Paving Brick Company’s plant between New Boston and Sciotoville. The channel of the river at this point is near the north or Ohio shore. Soundings show the depth of water to be about 13 feet at the lowest stage of the river only a short distance from the low water shore line. The plan contemplates a 36inch cast-iron intake pipe to be laid with lead caulked joints. The river end to be laid on the bottom of the river with a strainer 24 feet long on its outer end. The shore end will terminate in a brick pump well. The entire intake line will be laid below datum, which will bring the water to the pumps under a head rather than suction lift. The intake pipe will terminate in a dry well built of brick. A water tight steel plate shell will encase the well from bottom to top and the intake pipe where it enters will pass through a lead caulked joint. The walls will be of brick and will be 28 inches thick. The well will have a bottom of concrete three feet thick reinforced with steel I beams. To the intake pipe inside the well will be attached a cast-iron header provided with four openings for the attachment of the suction pipes of four pumps; two to be installed at present and the others in the future as they arc required. The pump well will be in the west end of the pumping station. The limited space between the N. & W. railroad tracks and the Ohio river permits no choice of design in the pumping station building. Only one arrangement can be adopted. This necessitates a long and narrow building. With this handicap we have endeavored to design a building as neat and pleasing as possible in architectural effects. In order to place the engine deck above high water it was also necessary to raise the foundations above the ground higher than would have been done under ordinary conditions. The highest flood recorded occurred in 1884, when the river reached a stage of 66.25 on the Portsmouth gauge. This corresponds with El. 536.71 on the government gauge. We have therefore placed the water table of the building and the engine room deck at El. 538.00 government gauge, or 67.44 on the Portsmouth gauge. The foundations of the buildings will be built of concrete. The water table, door sills and window sills will be of cut stone, rock-faced. The walls will be of red brick. The whole of the interior, except the work shop, will be lined with white enameled brick from the floor to a height of 10 feet. Above this white impervious brick will be used. The floors will be of concrete supported on steel I beams resting on concrete or brick piers. Partitions will divide the interior of the building into an engine room, a boiler room, a work shop, a toilet room and shower bath. The west end of the building will be a semicircular alcove containing the steam turbines driving the centrifugal pumps. Below the engine deck there will be a pipe gallery carrying all the water and steam piping, none of which will be above the door A supply room for storing oil and other supplies is also provided. The roof will lie covered with reinforced concrete on which will be placed Spanish tile, with dull green finish. The chimney will be built of radical brick on concrete foundation. It will be 175 feet high and will have a flue 60 inches in diameter, The boiler room, engine room and pump well are provided with ample space for two additional pumping units, an ultimate capacity of 16,000,000 gallons of water per 24 hours. The pumping machinery will consist of two centrifugal pumps having a capacity of 3,000 gallons per minute each; two vertical direct acting triple expansion pumping engines of 4,000,000 gallons per daycapacity each, and two water tube boilers of 250 horsepower each, together with condensers, vacuum pumps, heaters, etc., the centrifugal pumps will be located in the bottom of the pump well. Each will be operated through a vertical shaft extending to the engine room deck by a condensing steam turbine attached direct to the upper end of the shaft. There will also be located in the pipe gallery a non-condensing steam turbine operating a centrifugal pump of 250 gallons per minute capacity to be used to keep the pump well sump clear of water. The floors of the different galleries and rooms will be drained to this sump. The large centrifugal pumps will force the raw water from the intake through a 30-inch standard cast-iron main to the subsidence basin located on the higher ground north of the highway. From this basin it will be led to gravity to the filtration plant. After filtering the water will be led back to the pumping station through a 30-inch cast-iron main to the 36-inch suction header. The triple expansion high dutypumps will then force it to the filtered water distributing reservoir on Basham’s Hill. The piping will all be so arranged with valves, connections. etc., that two additional units of each kind can be added without shutting down any part of the plant, even for a short time, and thus securing a plant ultimately capable of pumping 16,000,000 gallons per day. The filtration plant will be capable of filtering 8,000,000 gallons per 24 hours. The specifications for filtration plant are purposely made broad and general in order to invite the latest patented appliances to be tendered to the city. Bidders are to submit detailed working plans and specifications and guarantee, under bond, to produce filtered water as clear and acceptable from a sanitary standpoint as that produced by the filtration plant of the city of Cincinnati. The force main to conduct the filtered water to the distributing reservoir will be a standard cast-iron pipe line. It will be 30 inches in inside diameter from the pumping station to the reservoir and 24 inches from the reservoir to the city distribution system. With the static head available this main will deliver 16,000,000 gallons per 24 hours into the city mains, without undue velocity. The distributing reservoir will be located on Basham’s Hill, where a bench of sufficient area has been found to accommodate a reservoir of 7,500,000 gallons capacity at an elevation of 200 feet above the business section of the city. This reservoir will be constructed entirely of reinforced concrete. As filtered water propagates a species of Algae that in summer gives a fishy flavor to the water and as this species of Algae does not thrive in water from which the light is excluded, the reservoir plans include a roof of concrete supported on brickpiers. The design of the waterworks improvements and the plans and specifications submitted covering the same, call for the very best material and workmanship procurable, and the most recent and improved machinery and appliances. We are confident that if the recommendations and plans are carried out Portsmouth will have a waterworks second to none in every respect.”
The rapidly growing business of the Louisville, Ky., water company, makes many improvements necessary, and the increasing demand for water will soon demand enlargement of the plant in Crescent Hill. The total punipage for the last 12 months was 40,597,322,788 gallons, more than a billion gallons increase over the previous year. It is estimated that the cost of operating, exclusive of interest charges, was $25.48 per million gallons consumed. Net earnings of the company, over all expenses were $436,341.34.