REPORT OF THE CHIEF ENGINEER OF SPRINGFIELD
Conditions requisite for securing the normal operation of the Springfield water system have been unusually severe during the past year, as reported by Chief Engineer Elbert E. Lochridge, due largely to a shortage of material and of labor brought about by the peculiar industrial and military demand. Men who have been on the work for many years have either been called or have volunteered to the service of the nation, and the demands in other lines have been such that it has been very difficult to maintain a full quota of the help needed at all times. In a city with as many lines of activity as there are in Springfield, especially at this time, the use of water has increased, thus making some of the problems more acute. The amount of water consumed has increased 673,600,000 gallons, or 18 per cent, over that taken in 1915. Water for all uses has been supplied regularly throughout the year from the Little River system to all parts of the city of Springfield, to the towns of East Longmeadow, Agawam and a section of Wilbraham, and has been supplied at times of emergency to West Springfield and Chicopee, and a connection has been maintained for such service in case of need to Longmeadow. Two applications for additional water have been received during the year, the principal one of these being the emergency need of the city of Chicopee to which city was delivered in February, March, April and May a total of 25,953,026 gallons. In addition to the towns and cities supplied from the Little River system the town and village of Ludlow have been supplied through the Springfield mains and through the mains of the Ludlow Manufacturing Associates with water from the Ludlow system. The water in the Ludlow reservoir was unusually troublesome during the summer and the Ludlow filter plant usually operated throughout the summer could not be closed down until November 3d. The usual care has been continued for the sanitary protection of both the Little River and Ludlow supplies, and the quality of the water as delivered has been excellent throughout the year. It has been impossible to make many large pipe extensions into new territory in the city, which under ordinary conditions might be considered advisable. Under the directions of the United States Hureau of Standards, and in conjunction with other public service corporations and departments, the electrolite conditions in the distribution system, which have been of much concern, are being cared for in the new construction now being built and contemplated by the Springfield Street Railway Company. A study of the valuation of the system has been carried on during the year. Front the schedules thus prepared, a distribution of the land into divisions representing the various localities in which it is situated, has been accomplished and a brief summary of the acreage and values of such land may be of interest. The costs given are the actual amounts paid for the land and do not include any amounts where settlements have not been made. On the Little River system, land has been acquired along the streams at all points where future storage reservoirs could be built, and while the division of this land is in some cases made arbitrarily, it will, nevertheless, give a good idea of the various localities in which the water works have interests and in the manner in which the future requirements have been covered. Surveys have been made on these various sites to determine the quantity of water which could be impounded and the height of the dam necessary therefor, in order that the information will be available for future needs. Values given within the city are as given by the assessors.
In addition to the above large numbers of easements or rights to maintain works have also been acquired, which throughout the life of the structures are of much the same value as actual property owned. These total as follows: Ludlow supply, $15,672.92; Little River supply, $18,236.69. The land and rights listed are in the towns of Belchertown, Ludlow. Blandford, Russell, Granville, Westfield, Agawam and West Springfield. An average for the entire year of over twelve million gallons per day has been delivered to the city from the Little River supply. The range, however, has been from an average of 13,230,000 gallons per day for the entire month of August, down to 11,300,000 gallons per day for the month of April. There has been no shortage of water in supplying these demands, but tlfere has been difficulty in filter operation where material and labor are such a large factor. No restrictions have been placed on the use of water within the city, but there were some periods when the capacity of the filter was taxed to its utmost to deliver the uniformly good water, which is as essential as sufficient quantity. With ‘continued growth of the city at the present rate, it will not be long before additions to the filtration plant will become necessary.
Borden Brook, the storage reservoir of the Little River system, was drawn upon for water to make up the deficiency of the supply on 89 days of the year, the total reduction of level amounting to 13.7 feet, which was more than in the year preceding, but not as much as has been drawn in previous years. The total depiction was 601,600,000 gallons as compared with 179,000,000 gallons in 1916 and 1,386,000,000 gallons in 1914.