SOME IMPORTANT WATERWORKS ITEMS
It has been voted at a special meeting of the Peoria, Ill., park board to refill the Glen Oak park lake, and instructions to the effect have been given to the water company. In all 6,100,000 gallons of water will be pumped into the lake and its adjoining lagoons.
After two years of deliberation the Wisconsin state railway commission has placed a valuation of $242,613 on the plant of the Appleton waterworks, and ordered that within three months the plant be reconstructed so as to furnish consumers with an adequate water supply.
The Johnstown, Pa., Water Company has issued $100,000 in bonds, with which it proposes to extend its system. The stockholders have authorized the directors to increase the company’s indebtedness to $1,500,000, but so far only $520,000 worth of bonds are outstanding.
The city of Helena, Mont., will make a formal offer to the receiver of the Helena Waterworks Company of $250,000 for its plant. If the offer is not accepted the city intends to build a plant of its own, according to action taken by the council in passing an ordinance to this effect.
A new water board is being organized in Kansas City, Mo. The resignations of Frank S. Groves and Kelly Brent have been received. E. I. Farnsworth, a retired construction engineer, who has made a special study of the city waterworks, will be appointed to one of the vacancies.
Work connected with the installation of new chemical tanks for the Niagara Falls system will be completed within two weeks. The water commission was forced to make this provision for purifying the present supply, pending the construction of a new plant, because of the bad condition of the water.
As a result of improved conditions in the water department of Richmond, Va., deaths from typhoid fever have become almost entirely unknown. From this cause seven deaths resulted during the first three months of 1907, eleven for the same period in 1908, and five in 1909; this year there has been but one.
H. M. Herbert, of the New Jersey State Board of Health, offers to tell the city of Trenton how to effectually destroy the pathological germs and render its water supply pure and wholesome. He is waiting for the Trenton water board to ask for the information. Up to date no request for the information has been made.
Ogden, Utah, is pushing its new reservoir to completion. It has a mean depth of 25 feet, with sloping 40-foot sides. Water from Cold Water canyon and Wheeler canyon is admitted through a 24-inch intake pipe and discharged through an outlet of similar dimensions. The capacity will exceed 21,000,000 gallons and its cost is $40,000.
No water has been used in Rochester, N. Y., from the Cobbs Hill reservoir for some time, owing to the location there of an odorous algae which gives the water an unpleasant taste. The water will be treated with copper sulphate and in a few days will again be at its best. In the meantime the large 144,000,000 reservoir will remain idle.
A recent report issued by the United States has cost cities of our country $245,671,676 Geological Survey states that fire protection alone in water systems. The survey, after a very careful investigation, has concluded that 22 per cent, of the cost and maintenance of all water supply plants is expended for extra fire protection.
It has been discovered that thousands of gallons of water are running to waste daily through the dam of Campbell pond from which source Orange, N. J., secures its supply. While there is no probability that there will be a water scarcity during the coming season, there may be with increased population in years to come and the present condition is being carefully watched.
As a further protection to the water in Skaneateles lake, Commissioner of Public Safety H. E. Messier, of Syracuse, proposes to have small painted signs in the streets and public places of the village of Skaneateles informing tourists and summer boarders not familiar with conditions, that the water in the lake is drunk by the people of Syracuse and asking them to be considerate.
The Cherry valley and Rochdale water district, in the town of Leicester, Mass., which was recently granted a charter by the state legislature, has accepted the charter and elected Channing Smith, Everett Carleton and E. J. Titcomb, of Cherry Valley water commissioners. Surveys and specifications are nearly completed and construction will be commenced at once.
The monthly report of the superintendent of construction to the water and electric light board of Lansing, Mich., states that during the month of April over one mile and a half of water main was laid at an average cost of 19 1/2 cents per foot. Not only was this a large amount of construction work for the period, but, when compared with the cost of similar work in other cities, indicates a very economical operation.
Under the plea that the Merritt proposed constitutional amendment, permitting New York state to construct reservoirs for water storage within the forest preserves, had been passed under a misapprehension, Senator Agnew attempted recently to have the vote reconsidered, but his motion was defeated. It was claimed that the association for the protection of the Adirondacks was opposed to the measure.
The water supply for fire protection as well as for other purposes, costs most in the Rocky mountain region, running to $64 per capita, almost. On the Atlantic coast the cost is $32.19 per capita, while on the Pacific the cost is $28.96. The middle west and the southern states get their water much cheaper. The cost of plants per capita in the former section is but $20.35 and in the latter $19.34.
The Engle dam on the Rio Grande when completed will be one of the most remarkable structures of its kind in the world. The structure will be of rubble concrete, with a maximum heighth of 265 feet, a length of 1,400 feet and will contain 410,000 cubic yards. The reservoir created will be the largest artificial body of water in the world with almost double the capacity of the famous Roosevelt reservoir in Oklahoma.
Port Arthur, Tex., has discovered a supply of good potable water, apparently sufficient to supply all its present needs. Tests have been satisfactory as to quality and quantity. From a 12-inch well a turbine pump discharges 300 gallons a minute. Another well of 24-inches is being put down. The water is found at a depth of 90 feet and rises to within 8 feet of the top. Other wells will be sunk and pumps installed.
Pennsylvania has a statute, passed in 1874, according to which any borough, township, city or any incorporated community can take over, for a nominal figure, the waterworks of the community after it has been in the hands of a corporation for 20 years. If the right interpretation has been placed on this law, Wayne, one of the towns that is fighting the proposed increase in rates by the Springfield Consolidated Water Company, would be able to buy its waterworks next year, the company having owned them for 19 years.
The Saute Fe railroad is planning to construct a large reservoir on land recently acquired for that purpose, south of Chanute, Kan. The reservoir will be a lake covering 200 acres with a wing north and south nearly a mile long, and wing east and west lacking 500 feet of being a mile long. The company is now obtaining its water from a small pond and from the city, but wants lake water in preference to a supply pumped from the river because surface water will not produce scales in the boilers.
E. E. Harper, an expert engineer of Kansas City, recently placed a valuation of $1,293,000 on the plant of the Des Moines Water Company. His figures agree exactly with the estimate of the valuation of the property made by W. E. Goodwin, another engineer. Since the hearing has been in progress six estimates have been made, ranging from $2,500,000, the highest, to the figures given by Messrs. Goodwill and Harper, the lowest.
While the payments of water rents in Philadelphia for 1910 have been unusually heavy during the past ten days, they are far less than the aggregate received on this account during the corresponding period of last year. The total payments for water rents for the month of May, up to Saturday last, was $769,961.62, a falling off compared with the same number of days in May, 1909, of $115,068.10. For the whole month of May, of last year, the receipts aggregated $2,458,329.
Contractors have been occupied for about three weeks on the concrete foundations for a new tower in Westerly, R. I., which is to be 70 feet in height and 40 feet in diameter, with a capacity of 658,000 gallons. The present standpipe was constructed of wrought iron in 1886, and is 30 feet in diameter with a capacity of 370,000 gallons. The average daily pumpage last July from the driven wells at White Rock exceeded this by 1,000,000 gallons, almost three times the capacity of the tank.
At a recent meeting of the Dayton, Ohio, committee on health, water supply and sanitation, it was decided that the city officials make a trip of inspection over the bottom lands in the vicinity of the waterworks. The purpose of the trip is to definitely determine the available water supply, and study the question from the engineer’s point of view. The ground covered by the engineer in making his report on the water situation will be visited, and the existing conditions explained in detail to the above committee.
That the city water department has paid from its earnings about $48,000 of about $72,000 expended by that department since the purchase of the Pinal Mountain Water Company, that nearly $40,000 of the total expenditures has been placed in permanent construction work, and that there is every indication that the deepening of the deep well at the pumping plant will secure a supply of water sufficient to meet the needs of this city for many years, are the statements made in a report to the city council submitted by the public utilities committee of Globe, Ariz.
Passage of laws which will permit Pennsylvania to reclaim valuable water rights now held by water companies and water power companies, is urged in the annual report of the state water supply commission, which was submitted to Governor Stuart recently. The report, which covers the operations of the commission during 1908 and a part of 1909, shows that scores of companies, chartered in the last ten years, have failed to exercise their franchise and the commission urges that the legislature pass laws which will enable such companies to be dissolved by the courts on application by the governor general.
According to the financial statement of the Louisville Water Company for the month of April, just issued, net earnings for the month amounted to $41,868.08, in comparison with $35,735.42 for April, 1909, a gain of $6,132.66. The total number of employes during the month was 278, of which 126 were permanent and 152 temporary. Payrolls aggregated $15,158.40, of which $10,680.45 was charged to expense and $4,447.05 to construction.
Many residents of Ogdensburg, N. Y., object to the proposed change from Oswegatchie water to the use of the St. Lawrence. Representatives of the United States Water Improvement Company, of Philadelphia, maintain that water from the Oswegatchie can be guaranteed by the use of ozone, saving to the city $100,000 in installation and from $6,000 to $10,000 a year in operation.
George C. Hale a Fire and Water Commissioner
George C. Hale, for many years chief engineer of the Kansas City fire department and a past president of the International Association of Fire Engineers, has been appointed a member of the fire and water board of that city. A local paper gives the following particulars of the appointment:
George C. Hale, ex-chief of the fire department, has been appointed a member of the fire and water board by Mayor Brown for the vacant term that expires in April, 1911.
The appointment of George C. Hale is regarded in many quarters as especially fitting. The mayor’s selection had the approval of E. I. Farnsworth and John P. Tillhof, the other two members of the board. They expect to have his advice on the management of the fire department, while Mr. Farnsworth will give the benefit of his engineering experience to the technical work of the water department.
George C. Hale has lived in Kansas City since he was fourteen years old and used to “run with the old machine” when the fire department was in a primitive state. He belonged to the old, original volunteer fire crew. His first experience on a paid firefighting force was under the late George W. Foster, the first chief, whom Hale succeeded. He built up and drilled the Kansas City department into an effective firefighting machine that had an international reputation. With the assistance of John Egner, the present chief, he trained special crews that went to Europe on two occasions and won the world’s prize in international tournaments in London and Paris. His service in the department covered thirty years.
Hale also is an inventor of firefighting devices, and is still inventing improved tools for the fire service. He gave Kansas City the use and benefit of his patent rights without compensation, and his success in the manufacturing business has come from supplying the cities of the country.
“I expect to work in entire harmony with the other members of the board, and I shall give much weight to their opinions and judgment,” Mr. Hale said after the appointment was announced. “There are many things they can tell me and I stand ready to give them the benefit of any experience I have had.”
“I have given a great deal of thought to the fire and water board,” Mayor Brown said, “because of the urgent situation confronting the city in the matter of waterworks improvements. Everything considered, I decided that Mr. Hale was the right man for the place. The advice and wishes of the other two members also had some weight with me.”
Mill Fire at Tupper Lake.
Firemen from Tupper Lake, N. Y., found it necessary to call on the Malone and Utica departments for aid in combatting a fire that destroyed property valued at $100,000 belonging to the Santa Clara Lumber Company, and threatened to wipe out the village of Faust, N. Y. The fact that the mills were located a quarter of a mile from the highway and 1,000 feet from the nearest hydrant made the work of the firemen especially hard, the overturning of a loaded car at the beginning of the fire having put the company’s water service out of use. By strenuous efforts the big rossing mill, used in making wood pulp, was saved, but the tramway by which the product is conveyed to the paper mills was burned. The arrival of the firemen from Malone and Utica and a heavy but timely shower prevented the damage extending beyong the company’s plant, but the paper mill, paper shed, extended tramway, clapboard mill, five cars of pulp wood, three cars of telephone poles and a large amount of stock were reduced to ashes.
Last Year’s Fire Waste in Minnesota.
The preliminary report of the state insurance commissioner shows that during 1909 the people of Minnesota paid $8,658,140 for insurance and the fire losses amounted to $4,208,426 on insured buildings. There is an expense of practically $4 per capita, money expended for insurance. The loss by fires in Minnesota last year was approximately $2 per capita, an absolute waste of $4,208,426 of material resources. The significance of those figures is apparent when it is stated that the per-capita loss in Europe is only 33 cents a year. If we constructed our buildings as well and used the same precautions against fire as prevail in Europe pur fire loss last year would not have exceeded $700,000, a saving of approximately $3,500,000. Continuing the comparison still further, while, as above stated, the fire loss in Minnesota last year amounted to $4,208,436, the average loss from fire in all Italy during the first five years of the last decade was $4,112,725. Italy has a population of more than 32,000,000, sixteen times that of Minnesota. It has two cities that are bigger than St. Paul and Minneapolis combined, and has three others that are larger than either of the Twin Cities. The per-capita loss in Italy is 12 cents a year. The highest per capita loss in any of the great European countries is 49 cents, in Germany, although the Russian cities showed a loss of $1.16 per capita. The total of fire loss in the United States last year was $215,084,700, or nearly a quarter of a billion of dollars. At the European rate it would have been approximately $45,000,000, a saving of $170,000,000. The attention the question of evolving some means of reducing the enormous fire waste in the United Slates is attracting, owing to its discussion by influential organizations interested in fire prevention, causes special interest to attach to these statistics.
New Zealand Firemen in Conference.
To former Secretary James G. Gilberd, Napier, N. Z., we are indebted for a copy of the report of the proceedings of the thirty-first annual conference of the United Fire Brigades Association of New Zealand, recently held at Hastings, in that dominion. The leading fire brigades in New Zealand, 111 in all, are members of the association, and most of them were represented at the conference. While primarily organized to forward the interests of the brigades generally, the assistance of sick and disabled firemen and their families, their insurance in the event of accident and death has also been an important part of its work. The association has also interested itself in the education of the fireman, in the intelligent performance of his duties; it distributes medals and badges for long, faithful and distinguished service and encorttages the reading at the meetings of essays on fire prevention and extinction, conducts competitions in firemen’s work and promotes other worthy objects of a practical nature. An exceedingly interesting and instructive address on “Modern Methods of Fire Prevention” was delivered at the conference above by Fire Inspector Hugo. The Hon. D. Buddo, minister for internal affairs, also addressed the conference on fire department matters, and an historical essay, entitled “The Genesis of the Association.” giving an account of its formation and early struggles, was read by Secretary Gilberd, who was subsequently elected president of the association, on his retiring, after twenty-four years’ service as secretary. The accident insurance fund, which disbursed $730 to members last year, has a balance to its credit of $7,620, and the association, which receives financial aid and encouragement from the New Zealand government, appears to be a prosperous and flourishing organization.
The Fire Department of Hamilton.
Located at the head of navigation on Lake Ontario, with an extensive commerce and a population, according to the latest census, of 70,221, the city of Hamilton, Out., is one of the most prosperous and important in the Dominion of Canada. With a fire area of 11.61 square miles. The buildings are mainly of brick and stone, and range, in the mercantile section, from 3 to 10 stories; in the residence district brick 2-story buildings are the rule, although there are some of wood and wooden roofs are permitted. This important territory is protected against fire by a department consisting of 51 privates, officered by a chief, two assitant chiefs, eight captains and eight lieutenants, all full paid; Chief Engineer A. B. Ten Eyck being in supreme command. The equipment which is valued at $55,000 comprises two steam fire engines, one Clapp & Jones and one Waterous Engine Company make, 3 combination chemical engines and hose wagons, 4 hose wagons, 2 supply wagons and chief’s buggy in service, with 2 hose wagons, 1 hook and ladder truck, a 70-foot extension ladder on wheels, sleighs, cutters, etc., in reserve. The hose equipment consists of 13,900 feet of 2 1/2-inch cotton, rubber-lined hose, of which 12,300 feet is described as good. The department has 27 horses in service. During the year covered by the report the department responded to 295 alarms, of which 121 required the services of the firemen at fires of a more or less serious character. In the discharge of their duty they stretched 71,200 feet of hydrant hose and 12,050 feet of chemical hose. The total loss was $99,298,26, the property involved being insured for $1,984,413. Of the fires, 72 were in brick or stone buildings and 46 in frame buildings. Chief Ten Eyck recommends the building of a new central station, the present structure being too small and unfit for use; the purchase of an automobile to replace the horse and buggy for department use, the purchase of 2,000 feet more hose, the enactment of a by-law making it compulsory to place all wires underground, the appointment of an electrical inspector and the installation of a new fire alarm system, as the one in use, which has only 44 boxes covering the entire city, making it necessary, in some sections in the event of failure of the telephone service, to travel nearly two miles to a box, is entirely inadequate. Considering the magnitude and importance of the city the chief’s recommendations may be regarded as very modest and will doubtless receive the consideration from the authorities.
Lowville Water System.
Sixteen years ago the village of Lowville, N. Y., put in a water supply system at an expense of $105,000, of which $98,000 was borrowed front the state. The income from the system has not only paid the interest on this large sum, but $33,000 of the principal, besides taking care of necessary repairs and construction work Last year $4,000 was paid off the principal, and recently another $5,000 was paid, reducing the indebtedness to $65,000. At this rate the village will soon own the system, free and clear.