The Aeration of Water.
Water in its natural state is never found chemically pure; matter more or less foreign is identified with it and detected under the test of the chemist. Nevertheless waters thus found are fit for human consumption and, taken from nature’s laboratory, are pure enough for general use.
The methods adopted for purifying water are oxidation or aeration and filtration. Nature in herself practices and carries on successfully the process of purification. When her administration is interfered with by man’s construction of dams and reservoirs to confine her waters, it then becomes necessary for him by science, investigation and mechanical means to imitate her example. In this attempt he must recognize her laws. Oxidation or aeration is one of nature’s processes carried on successlully for the purification of water. The oxygen is dissolved in the water, coming in contact with whatever organic matter may be associated with the water, changing into nitrites and carbonic acid. The greater the agitation of the waters the greater the beneficial changes thus wrought.
Cascades, fountains, the introduction of air to conduits, artificial falls, thin films of water passing over large surfaces, in fact any device that will permit the air to mingle with the waters, gives new life to the waters and death to organisms. The plan illustrated herewith and adopted by the Utica (N. Y.) Water Company is on the fountain principle, discharging the water under pressure through a scries of pipes, the aggregate areas presumably equal to the main discharge pipe, and into a shallow basin. The greater the pressure the greater the height the waters are elevated by their several columns, giving proportionately time for the action of the air on the ascending and descending waters. It occurs to one’s mind, however, that the quantity of water thus treated should not he in excess of the daily amount used, that each day’s supply of water should be fresh. This mode of purification of water will require treating reservoirs of shallow depth and surface area equal to requirements.
A similar plan to the Utica plant is the one at Fresh pond, adjacent to the Stony brook reservoir, at Cambridge, Mass., different in that four outlets of discharge are in use, and throwing the water into the air forty feet above its outlet.
Chief Engineer Charles B. Bush of the Hoboken waterworks gave an interesting paper to the American Water-works Association, at their last annual meeting in Philadelphia, on the subject of aeration, in which the application of air was made quite different from what has been stated, viz., “by water power actuating a turbine wheel, geared to an air compressor, which in a short time aerated 239,000 gallons of water with 82,000 gallons of air.
Mr. Rush in this case had experienced considerable trouble with alga , making the water unpleasant to the taste and also giving it a marked odor. The experinient was a decided success. Stephen H. Ilahcock, hydraulic and sanitary engineer, of Little Kalis, N, Y., hai also tried aerundation by bringing the conduit waters in contact with air at stated points of the water’s travel through the conduit, and with successful results.
SUEINO FOR DAMAGES HV THE JOHNSTOWN Flood.—Over tw-o years after the terribly fatal flood _____ch devastated Johnstown, Pa., in 1889, comes the announcem_____ _____hat damage suits are at last to he entered against the South _____rk Fishing and Hunting Club which owned the artificial lake whose water caused the great destruction of life and property The dub was principally composed of millionaire iron and steel manufacturers of Pittsburgh and Allegheny City They dammed up an old reservoir in the Allegheny mountains ten miles back of Johnstown, and which was originally the feeder for the State canal system on this side of the mountains. Pretty summer cottages lined its banks and handsome steam yachts and sail boats floated on its surface. It was a most exclusive organization. W. D. Moore, the celebrated criminal lawyer of Pittsburgh, has been retained by the Johnstown plaintiffsLitigation has all along, it is stated, been anticipated by the Pittsburgh people. An attempt to indict them for criminal negligence was killed in the grand jury room of Cambria county.