REPORT ON DALLAS WATER SUPPLY
The following supplementary report concerning the alleged water shortage at Dallas, Texas, has been prepared by the committee on fire prevention, after an investigation of Engineer Howland:
“An examination of the records for the past 18 years indicates that there has been no time during that period when the minimum amount of rainfall, accompanied by long periods of unusual high temperatures, could be compared with that of the past two years. The total rainfall during 1909 and 1910 has been 40.9 inches, about 60 per cent, of the normal; the total rainfall during the months of July, August and September in each of these two years was only about one-third that of the average for these months in the past 18 years. The average temperatures for these summer months in 1909 and 1910 were about four degrees higher than the average. These abnormal climatic conditions have resulted in the falling off of the surface supply, while at the same time there were large increases in the demands for water. During the summer of 1909, the daily rate of consumption varied from 14,000,000 to 24,000,000 gallons. The demand during the summers of 1909 and 1910 was so great that had not the water department been compelled to restrict the use of water, the daily consumption would undoubtedly have greatly exceeded these figures. As a serious shortage became apparent, first by exhausting the Elm Fork supply late in September, 1910, followed by the emptying of Bachman’s reservoir early in November, the use of water was restricted by cutting off large consumers where possible, and by reducing from time to time the pressure maintained at the Turtle creek pumping station, until only 19 or 20 pounds has been maintained for domestic use since November 13. The Record’s Crossing impounding reservoir on Elm Fork and the reservoir on Bachman’s branch were both practically empty, with no water coming into them. The only supply from Flm Fork is being obtained by ditching from pools in the river bed, the water being pumped into Turtle creek storage reservoir by one of the two 3,000,000-gallon centrifugal pumps temporarily installed for this purpose, which is operated 12 to 15 hours a day. Water from 5 artesian wells at the various pumping stations is also being delivered to the Turtle creek reservoir, the total flow, together with that from several wells about the city amounting altogether to less than 3,000,000 gallons per day. For three weeks the water level in this reservoir has been practically constant, with an estimated storage of 20,000,000 gallons. The supply from all sources combined is just about sufficient to permit maintaining a pressure of 18 or 20 pounds at the Turtle creek pumping station, which means that large areas in Fast and North Dallas, are entirely without water, and that the pressure in the mercantile district ranges from 0 to 10 pounds per square inch. During recent fires the records show that in most instances there were very serious delays in getting material increase of pressure, and in some cases no water was available from the hydrants when the first apparatus arrived; at a large fire which occurred on November 30, the first alarm sounded at 6:40 p. m., and the first water that could be drawn from the city mains was at 7:02. when the pressure at the pumping station was 33 pounds; when the fire was under control at s:45 p. m., the gauge at the central fire station. 20 feet above the street, read 8 pounds, while the pressure at the pumping station was approximately 60 pounds. During the investigation it was found that in addition to many of the street mains being empty, large numbers of house fixtures were left open in order to catch the first supply of water, thus overburdening the pumps when pressures were raised for fires A 6-inch wrought-iron main has been laid on the surface up through the business district on Commerce. Market and Main streets, from the Trinity river to Ervay street, a total length of about 4,000 feet. Supply is from two centrifugal pumps having a combined capacity of about 750 gallons per minute at 100 pounds pressure; pumps are belt-driven from one wheel, and are operated only on signal. Twelve steamer connections are provided along the line, which can deliver the capacity of the pumps at pressure sufficient only for fire engine supply. Numerous temporary dams have been constructed at regular intervals along Mill creek and Dallas branch, flowing through residential sections, which impound sufficient water to serve as excellent cisterns for engine connections. Several galvanized iron tanks of about 11,000 gallons capacity are being set up in favorable locations in the higher residential sections of East and North Dallas; these tanks are to be kept filled from private wells nearby and used for fire engine supply. The temporary pumping plant on the Elm Fork is being operated when water is available. An additional compressor is being installed at the Turtle creekpumping station to provide for new wells about to be connected up. Two extra men have been placed at each fire station, and the police force has recently been increased onethird and their patrol duties, particularly with reference to fires, made more thorough and exacting. In order to maintain in the distributing pipes sufficient pressure for fire protection. it is necessary to raise the pressure at the pumping station without materially increasing the consumption; the only feasible method of accomplishing this to close off all house consumers at the curb; the work of shutting off services was commenced on November 30, and should be completed in ten days from that date. In order to provide additional protection for the mercantile district, it was decided to install another surface line from the river along Pacific avenue to Ervay treet; bids for an 8-inch line were opened on December 2, and call for completion within four weeks. To supply the urgent need for more water, the city was granted on November 29 the privilege of erecting a pumping plant on the shore of Wah-Hoo lake and laying the necessary pipe to deliver water into the 10-inch main crossing Fair Park in the southeastern section of the city. It is estimated that this lake contains 15,000,000 to 20.000,00 gallons of good water, largely fed by springs, and that from 2,000,000 to 3,000,000 gallons per day can be drawn from this source without lowering the water level more than 3 feet. On November 30, the work of laying this pipe line was commenced and it is expected that the plant can be put in operation within ten days. This source will practically double the supply to the distribution system. Citizens’ patrols have been organized in some of the unprotected residential areas in the higher parts of the city in order to detect incipient fires. It is essential for fire protection that a pressure of at least 60 pounds be maintained at the Turtle creek pumping station, to be raised to 70 pounds on alarms of fire; this can be effected as soon as the shuting off of house services is completed. It will bo necessary to conserve with vigilance the existing supply, but if pressures at the Turtle creek pumping station can be maintained as noted above, and storage of at least 20,000,000 gallons kept in reserve for fire service, there should be no lack of water, even for serious fires. In order to prevent a recurrence of the present shortage, the earliest possible completion of the supply works on White Rock creek is called for, and this may reasonable be expected in March, 1911. A further safeguarding of supply will justify the adoption of the recommendation under Supply Works in the National Board report of March. 1910, and there should also be considered without delay the feasibility of materially increasing the storage on the Elm Fork watershed.”
Denver Waterworks Improvement.
The Denver Union Water Company has decided to expend on betterments for the plant this winter and spring about $500 000. The work will be finished by April When that has been completed the plant will be in excellent shape and prepared to serve all parts of the city with a supply of filtered water Since the board of appraisers reported the company has spent about $800,000 in extensions, and With the plans just approved the amount will reach $1,300,000. Heads of the company believe that it is their duty to the community as well as to holders of the company’s securities to maintain the plant in a proper manner until a settlement has been reached with the city. The litigation may last for years. Early next year the United States Court of Appeals, at St. Louis, will hear an appeal from the findings of the local Federal court, which, in effect, held that the charter amendments adopted in May are illegal, because they impair an existing contract. The most important work to be undertaken is the construction of a 48-inch main from the head of the Platte canon to Marston lake, a distance of about twelve miles. This new pipe will connect with the conduit finished in the summer, running from Marston lake to Denver. When the line is built the company will take the water direct from the river and convey it directly to the filterbeds, thence to the city for distribution. A 30-inch line from West Twenty-sixth avenue and Lowell boulevard to the Ashland venue reservoir is part of the extensions decided upon. This will supplement the present 40-inch conduit leading to the reservoir and will be the means of increasing the pressure in the districts west of North Denver and in Highlands. There has been completed recently a 24-inch line on Speer boulevard, Tom First avenue to Washington street; a 12-inch line on Ninth avenue and another on Fourteenth avenue. New mains also have been installed north of the boulevard. A new 16-inch line from the Capitol hill pumping station to Park Hill is in operation, supplying the fast growing Park Hill district. Last year the water company supplied to Denver 17,-980,265,000 gallons of water, which was an average of 49.261.000 gallons a day. This means 229 gallons for each person, with the new census as a basis.
Cheap Filters For China.
According to Consul General George F., Anderson at Hongkong, China, a very cheap filter, if properly exploited, would doubtless have a big sale in the far east, but it would have to be handled on a comprehensive scale by some general importer with a house or representative at each port. There is constant sale of water filters of various sorts all over the east, but the use of filters so far has been almost exclusively by the foreign population in the ports, particularly in China. Inasmuch as in nearly all parts of the far cast the use of water not boiled and filtered is very injurious, it may be seen that the possible field for filters, if low enough in price, is unlimited. The Chinese for hundreds of years have avoided the result of taking unboiled water by drinking tea only. Even the poorest coolie will use tea, and drink no water, except in the ports where foreign waterworks systems have been introduced.
Cost of Producing Power.
Supt. Smith, of the Cleveland, O. waterworks department, who has been making an inspection of high pressure pumping stations in the East, will recommend that in estimating a fair return for bidders on the contract for supplying the city with the necessary power, profit be limited to 6 per cent. “I do not believe that the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company or any other concern that bids on this contract should expect a larger return,” he said. “One offer of $19,000 a year as a ready to serve charge has been received from the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company. I believe we can get a much lower price than this when we advertise for bids.” Supt. Smith visited plants in New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia. In New York electricity is used for power purposes. In Baltimore a new station has just been erected whose pumps are to be operated by steam. Gas is used for power purposes at the Philadelphia plant. “The Baltimore plant is a costly affair.” said Supt. Smith. “They refuse to consider the question of economy in the matter of fire protection in that city now after their experience. The plant has cost the city $500,000. New York pays $78,000 a year as a ready to serve charge. On the same basis the charge to Cleveland would be $48,000 a year. The New York power contract contains a clause requiring the company to forfeit $500 for each minute of delay after three minutes from the time the call has been given.” Supt. Smith will furnish a complete report to Director Lea and specifications will then be prepared.
Reinforced Coucrete Pipe.
The use of reinforced concrete pipe for hydro-electric power purposes, for irrigation service and for sewer construction is increasing rapidly and has been found to be most efficient, reliable and durable. The accompanying illustration, Fig. 3, shows a 36-inch reinforced concrete pipe inverted siphon at Roswell Park, Idaho. It was laid across an alkali slough and is approximately one mile in length and in service under a head of seventy-five feet. Figure 3 shows the method of pouring the joints, while Fig. 2 shows a manhole casting built in pipe, of which three of 20 inches diameter are on the line and one blow-off valve connection 12 inches in diameter. In finishing the joints, the pouring is done on one side of the pipe until the mortar appears on the other, the joint being first flushed with water. In California reinforced concrete pipe is extensively used for irrigation and sewer service. Fig. 3 shows a 42-inch reinforced concrete pipe inverted siphon at Borden, working under a head of 25 feet, as utilized by the Madera canal and irrigation system of Fresno. Fig. 4 shows the Switzer Creek sewer at San Diego. This reinforced concrete storm sewer is more than a mile in length, the pipe measuring 60 inches in diameter, the construction being of the lock joint design of reinforced concrete pipe devised at Los Angeles.
Fort Worth Has Water For Fires.
Following a communication from a member of the committee on fire protection, relative to a shortage of water in Forth Worth. Tex., the National Board of Fire Underwriters sent J. H. Howland to investigate. Engineer Howland spent three days in Forth Worth and made his report as follows, which is supplementary to a committee report made some time since and printed in this publication:
“The small rainfall of the past two years, coincident with long periods of unusually high temperatures, has affected to a considerable extent the water supply of Fort Worth, as it has in nearly all the cities in northern and western Texas. These abnormal conditions have resulted in a falling off of the surface supplies, the lowering of the water level in artesian wells, large increases in the demand for water and larger fires. The increase in the average daily consumption has been fairly uniform from 1905 to 1909, inclusive, averaging about 12 per cent, each year. Making a reasonable allowance for water used for condensing and for the slip of the pumps, the average daily consumption from June 1st to December 1st, 1910, has been about 5,000,000 gallons, at least 25 per cent, in excess of that for corresponding months in 1909. Clear Fork, above the Powell Station, is absolutely dry, and the storage above the upper dam is exhausted, but it is estimated that 50,000,000 gallons of water is stored behind the two dams, one below, the other just above the Holly Station; this supply could be drawn upon in case of necessity, as the suction intake is submerged to a depth of nearly S feet. West Fork is flowing at the rate of 4,000,000 gallons per 24 hours, but owing to the recent failure of the small dam at the confluence of the Clear Fork with the West Fork, the suction pipes to the pumps at the Old Station are not sufficiently submerged. Nearly 100,000,000 gallons of water, however, is held back above this point, and by breaking in the suction pipes ample water could doubtless be obtained in emergency. Work has been started upon a concrete dam across the Trinity river 100 feet westerly from North Alain street and about 200 yards below the confluence of the Clear and West Forks. The crest of the spillway is to be 12 feet above the river bottom; length of spillway, 106 feet. During the past few months a supply of about 1,750,000 per day has been obtained from 8 wells in the Powell Field, 1,500,000 gallons from 4 wells, and approximately 2,000,000 gallons from the Mead wells. By re-piping many of these wells, which work was commenced in April, 1910, the supply has been increased sufficiently to meet the increasing demands. In less than two weeks’ time by bringing in additional wells and making alterations in some of those in use, it is estimated that the combined capacity of all artesian wells will be approximately 7,000,000 gallons per day, which is 50 per cent, in excess of the present domestic needs. The dual system, with two emergency connections to the general system of distribution, was put into operation the latter part of June, 1010. This and the domestic system have provided good fire protection; Chief Bideker, of the Fire department, stated that with one exception, and that at the end of a long line of 6-inch pipe, at no time has the department been hampered by the lack of adequate quantities of water and pressures sufficient for effective hydrant streams. On the domestic system the average pressure at hydrants in and around the business district has been about 55 pounds, raised during fires to about 90 pounds. The fire department records indicate that pressures of from 125 to 130 pounds are usually obtained on the dual system. Two blow-outs on the 36-inch supply main, near the Holly Station, have occurred in the past ten days; it last happened during a fire on December 2, resulting in a drop in the pressure, and the entire supply from the Holly Station being passed through an 18 inch line. The water department has recommended seven new 32-inch wells and an additional air compressor, and a board of experts is at work upon plans for the development of an adequate surface supply. Although the abnormal conditions have seriously taxed the water supply, there does not appear to have been any shortage of water for tire protection; with the continued improvement to the artesian supply and the storage available in the river, the pumping stations can obtain their full supply. However, the breaks in the 36-inch supply main of the domestic system and the general, condition at the Holly and dual pumping stations again tails attention to the need and importance of recommendations 3, 4 and 14 of the report issued by the National Board of Fire Underwriters in April, 1910.”
Baltimore Fire Officials Visit New York.
President Edward M. Parrish, of the Baltimore board of fire commissioners; Commissioner Gilles M. Shaw Chief Horton and Secretary Pinkney Wilkinson recently visited New York on an inspection tour of the fire department management of several eastern cities. They gathered a good many points on the subject, especially as to automobile fire apparatus for which Baltimore has already made a liberal appropriation. By previous appointment with Commissioner Rhinelander Waldo, the Baltimore officials called at fire headquarters and were most cordially greeted by the New York commissioner, who tendered them automobiles in which to look over the local system. Commissioner Waldo was especially gratified at meeting Chief Horton, whom he had known by reputation only for many years. The first subject of investigation was the New York system of keeping records and filing reports. This system differs materially in the two cities, owing to the borough method of government prevailing in New York. Chief Horton said the system here was much more complicated and elaborate than in bis own city, and it was doubtful if the New York system could be advantageously used as a model for the Baltimore department. The Baltimoreans were then taken in charge by Deputy Ceurin and bis assistant, Howe, who was battalion chief when he went to Baltimore in 1904 to help put out the big fire there. After being entertained at luncheon by Commissioner Waldo, the Baltimoreans called upon hire Chief Croker, and with him visited the local department’s repair shops and pumping stations. Chief Croker took the Baltimore visitors to the various firehouses and fireboat stations along the water front. The chief purpose of the visit of the Baltimoreans was to inspect the local system of keeping records after the management of its fireboat system and its aparatus for automobile fire service. Chief Horton was asked if he had found any features in the management of the New York department which he would recommend for adoption in Baltimore. “The system of keeping records in New York,” said he, “is very thorough and has in it many good features, but we are going to look into the system of other cities besides New York before we make recommendations. New York has a well-organized system of protection by fire, and while it has many boats, we in Baltimore have only a few. The auto apparatus in New York, the pumping stations and repair shops all have their admirable features, but it is too early for me to say what features are likely to be adopted by the Baltimore department.” Chief Croker, in his auto, and with several fire autos bringing up the rear, took the commissioners, Chief Horton and the Secretary of the board upon an inspection tour of the outlying boroughs. The party afterward visited Trenton, Newark and Philadelphia.
Hat Factory Burned at Danbury.
The big plant of the American Hatters’ and Furriers’ Corporation, at Danbury, Conn,, was recently destroyed bj fire, causing a loss of about $12,1,000. The buildings were of brick and wood and from two to four stories high, with no partition walls or sprinkler equipments. Starting in the upper part of one of the main sections of the factory, about 4.40 a. m. on October 20, the fire spread quickly, and within a moment or two after the alarm was given flames had burst from the windows and were shooting up above the roof. A general alarm followed the call from the private box in the factory within a few moments, and that was supplemented by a call from box 113. The department made remarkably quick time, reaching the scene within three minutes after receiving the alarm. By that time the fire was bursting through the roof. In the building were a dozen 3-gallon chemical extin guishers, but these were not used. The apparatus that responded included one Clapp & Jones, third-size; two hose wagons, one auto combination, one hook and ladder truck and five volunteer hose companies. Ten 6-inch double fire hydranls were available, located about 250 feet apart, and with a pressure of so pounds it was possible to maintain nine good streams for several hours. At intervals there were twelve streams in operation, only two being from the engine. The streets at this point are about 40 feet wide, through which one 6-inch and one 10-inch water main runs. Nearly 5,500 feet of hose were laid, using l and 1 1/2-inch nozzles. The gravity water pressure was sufficient to furnish good plug streams and supply engine. Chief T. A. Lounsbury says that the wooden partitions of the buildings were completely destroyed, while the walls of the brick structures are still standing. The last company was sent home twelve hours after the alarm was sounded.
Good Fire Protection at Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma City has not only doubled her population during the past decade, but within the past eighteen months $400,000 has been expended in fire department equipments—all of which tends to prove that Oklahoma City is in the van as regards rapidity of growth and modern fire prevention. Organized only ten years ago with an engine and hand machine, both of antique type, the fire department has developed into the strongest organization of its kind in the state, and one of the most efficient in the southwest. And 90 per cent, of the credit for this belongs to Mark Kesler. who has been chief of the department for the past nine years. The most notable improvement made is the three new fire stations. One thing which has been considered in the erection of these buildings almost to the exclusion of other things is the comfort of the men. This, according to Chief Kesler’s idea, is the most important thing to be considered not only in the erection of the buildings to house a department, but in the organization of the department itself. And Chief Kesler has had twenty-six years’ experience and is nearer in a position to know than is any other man in Oklahoma.
The manner in which the men are considered can be gathered from a description of the central station itself, which for all practical purposes is a duplicate of the other new stations. As to the general appearance, it is attractive, being constructed entirely of brick, three stories in height, and 60 by 110 feet in width and length. Though plans for the building were drawn by Building Commissioner D. A. Bennett, no little of the credit for its appearance and convenience is due Kesler himself, who superintended the drawing of the plans and almost continually was present while the work was being conducted. The chief’s keen observation and long experience, together with his careful study of the constructive detail connected with a building of this sort has added much to the intelligence of construction of the building throughout. One great difficulty, which has been a tiling of the past, is the necessity of backing into the building after returning from a call. This necessity has been obviated by the erection of a 12-foot door at the rear of the building, through which the apparatus may be returned to its place The very latest patent in folding doors has been provided. The lower story of the central station is floored with 4 inches of concrete. 1 inch of sand, and 4 inches of creosote blocks. The two upper stories are floored with maple. The first floor is reserved entirely for the apparatus room, while the second floor is used for bedrooms, or, rather, the general sleeping room. Next to the sleep ing quarters is a reading room and baths, and in the rear is a small bunk room for the night watchman. On the third floor, aside from more apparatus and the alarm switchboard and battery, is the main ball, or gymnasium. The alarm apparatus in itself is an interesting study. It consists of an 8-circuit Gamewell switchboard and repeater, capable of carrying 300 street alarm boxes. In this room also is situated a telephone board, operated by three men who work on eight-hour shifts. Last, but far front least, in a description of the station, comes the main hall, or gymnasium. Its use is more in the way of a training room than anything else. As its size is 90 by 60 feet, it lend itself easily to almost any sort of antics that the department, singly or collectively, may want to cut. Taking different days, tiremen will go through a course of training in handling the ladders and in otherwise making themselves physically perfect men as near as may be. This gymnasium is the pet of Chief Kesler. over every other idea which he put into execution. “It’s just what has been needed here ever since Oklahoma City had a regular department,” he declared. “As things are now the men don’t get enough exercise for the reason that hard tires come too seldom. As a result of that, when hard fires do come the men have to make a big physical effort to stand the strain, and a tight of two or three hours usually leaves them partially tired out. Such a condition should not exist, and now that they can get exercise often there is no reason why it should.” The new apparatus consists of the new 85-foot truck, drawn by three horses and manned by seven men and one captain; a combination chemical and hose wagon, carrying a double line of hose. 500 feet of 3-inch hose and 600 feet of 254-inch standard hose. It is manned by six men and requires two horses, i be fire engine, first-size, is drawn bv three horses and will carry four men. An engine company will be formed, also, composed of ten men under a captain. They will go with one engine and hose cart. The hose wagon will carry 1,500 feet of hose and a 4-way turret nozzle for heavy firefighting. There will be one water tower 55 feet high for lighting tire in the upper stories. The 70horsepower automobile carries two 35-gallon chemical tank, axes, ladders and is manned by a captain and seven men. It is known as the auxiliary squad and is similar in operation to one now in use in Detroit. Mich. The crew will make all the tires in the city during the meal hours of the regular firemen, and will IT distributed among the companies necessarily weakened by fire, part of the member being at their totals. This arrangement maintains the department at its full strength at all times. It has been handicapped during meal hours by the absence of some of the company. The chief also is provided with an automobile and a buggy purchased for the assistant chief. All the apparatus will be painted white with gold trimmings.