ST. LOUIS WATERWORKS
Specially written for FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING.
St. Louis, Mo., has enjoyed a purely municipal waterworks system since 1835. In that year, as today, the water was drawn from the Mississippi river, and the system was pumping direct to settling basins and reservoirs. The distribution system took a great forward stride with the year 1886. Today the lowservice division is located at the Chain of Rocks, and has a total pumping capacity of 80,000,000 gallons. There are six engines installed. The distribution system comprises 720 miles of cast iron pipe (forty-eight-inch to three-inch), 8,200 hydrants (St. Louis Co.); 7,500 valves; 4,600 meters (Worthington, 1,987; Hersey, 1481), of which 130 are disk and nine, Torrent; Crown, 850; Union, sixty-five; Thomson, sixty-one; Nash, thirty-seven; Lambert, twenty-five; Gem, seven; Empire, six; Keystone, one; 70,000 lead pipe services; domestic pressure, fifty to 125 pounds; consumption per day, 66,000,000 gallons; per capita, too gallons. The works cost to construct $20,000,000; bonded debt, $5,800,000; interest paid on bonds, four per cent.; annual cost of maintenance. $900,000. The commissioner is Ben. C. Adkins. The old high-service stations at Bisselt’s Point are still in service; they have been remodeled, and have a total Dumping capacity of 118,000,000 gallons. A new high-level station has been erected at Baden, with a total pumping capacity of 80,000,000 gallons. The raw water is now taken at a point ten miles from the business section. There are five pumping stations, connected with each other by a brick conduit of semi-elliptic section, eleven feet in diameter from the Chain ot Rocks to Baden. Of these stations three are at Bissell’s Point; another is at Baden. There are eighteen pumping engines, with a total daily capacity of 160,000,000 gallons. The inlet tower is built on the rock bottom of the river five miles from the mouth of the Missouri, and 1,600 feet from its shore at the Chain of Rocks. The tower is of granite-faced limestone; its height to the gatehouse is about fifty feet. The intake cylinder is of cast iron sunk to bed rock and provided with screens. The intake pipe is sixty-six inches in diameter. In the tower are seven gates (four and seven feet), all controled by hydraulic pressure, and provided with rolled steel screens to keep the tunnels clear of small brush, sticks, etc. From the shaft-chamber the water flows down through a seven-foot circular chamber into a brick-lined, seven-foot tunnel cut out of the solid rock into the screen-chamber. Copper screens are fixed at the mouth of the tunnel. The pump well is of masonry, built on coarse, unyielding sand confined by sheet piling driven twelve feet below the water level in the river, which the well adjoins, the bank at that point being covered with rip-rap. Six circular brick tunnels connect the wet well with the engine pits. From the delivery well runs a semielliptical, masonry conduit nine feet wide and eight feet high. It leads to the six filtering chambers, one of which opens into the centre of each of the six settling basins by a five-foot gate. Each basin is 670 feet long by 400 wide; capacity, 221,000,000 gallons. They slope to a clearing ditch running through the centre, and rains into a two by three-foot mud-gate in the east wall of the basin, leading to the sewer. These basins are periodically cleaned by an electrically operated dredge invented by Edward F’lad, who was engineer and water commissioner. There are twentyfour weir filters. Each is forty-four by eighty feet, covering an area of 3,520 square feet, and having a capacity of 5,000,000 gallons in twenty-four hours at a rating of 1,440 gallons per square foot per twentyfour hours, equal to about 63,000,000 gallons per acre of surface per twenty-four hours. The raw water enters the filter through five troughs two feet wide by one foot deep, located above the sand bed, and the filtered water is collected by the strainers into a collector system, with five main eighteen-inch collector pipes and branch two and one-half-inch collector pipes spaced six inches centre to centre. The strainers and winch arc of bronze; they are spaced six inches centre to centre each way, and each has sixteen slotted openings, with a width of 0.015 inches and a combined area of 0.5 square inches. The flow through the filter is regulated at the discharge by a floating weir in the regulating chamber. Recently in consequence of a series of breaks occurring in the mains air-taps and fire-plugs were set, so as to bleed the air from the mains. The result has been few or no breaks. The large mains are connected to the smaller distribution pipes whenever it can be done. When that is not feasible, a chamber of six-inch or twelveinch pipe. 100 feet or more in length, is laid parallel and above the large main as a reservoir for the air, which is freed by means of air-valves or the blowingoff of fire plugs. The distribution system is also blocked, and a system of by-passing has been adopted, the system having quite a number of stop-valves, making the average shut-off not more than five blocks long—not over two blocks in the business districts. Pressure surveys are made every two years, and gauges are kept at different points where continuous records are made. The pressure in the business districts averages from forty-five to fifty pounds; in the high-level districts (maximum elevation supplied 200 feet above the city district) thirty-five to 100 pounds. The average number of fire plugs per mile has been increased from 11.23 to 11.48. The buildings and standpipes of the system, as will be seen from the accompanying illustrations, are all constructed with a view not only to efficiency and usefulness but also architectural elegance so as to serve as ornaments to a city of such fame as St. Louis and a population of some 575,000 inhabitants. The effects of electrolysis have been felt in several localities, especially near the power stations. The damage done has, perhaps, not been very great, but there is no doubt that, unless vigorous and immediate steps are taken to counteract the evil, the results cannot but be disastrous. The accompanying photograph shows some of the bad work it has accomplished.