The Austin Water Department
E. C. Bartholomew, councilman and superintendent of Parks and Public Property of Austin, Tex., has issued the Water, Light and Power Department report for the year 1915 and in it he states relative to the water department that during the year the filter system was improved and no water is pumped in the mains except that filtered through the sand and gravel beds adjacent to the river. The earnings for 1915 were $112,107.26. The total expense of the water department was $69,271.21. The report of Walter P. Johnson, chief engineer at the plant, states the follow’ing table shows the quantity of water pumped per month for the year 1915: January, 91,547,880 gallons; February, 84,073,300 gallons; March, 87,177,050 gallons; April, 90,013,930 gallons; May, 114,146,890 gallons; June, 119,976,230 gallons; July, 144,868,220 gallons; August, 121,406,520 gallons; September, 105,543,770 gallons; October, 132,014,250 gallons; November, 126,233,080 gallons; December, 103,344,370 gallons. Total gallons per year, 1,320,345,490. Average gallons per day, 3,617,384)4. The pumps operated as follows; Nordberg, 5,606 hours; Triplex electric, 492 hours; Gaskill, 205 hours; Platt electric pump, 225 hours; Water used from reservoir, 2,232 hours. The pumps, therefore, operated 6,528 hours during the year. The suction head is 21 feet and the delivery head 308 feet. To pump the abovementioned quantity of water with this total required, at 85 per cent, efficiency. 329 h.p., which during the 6,528 hours of operation amounted to 2,150,000 h.p. hours. The output of the electric plant, as stated, was 3,723,755 kilowatt hours, or 4,990,000 h-p. hours. This makes the combined output of the plant during the year 7,140,000 h.p. hours. The City Water Power Company guarantees 7,200,000 h.p. hours per year, hence it is evident that even now the guarantee will barely meet our present demands. Mr. Johnson states the filter gallery he was reconstructing at the time of his last report is now’ finished. The reinforced concrete well has been low’ered to the river’s bedrock and connected to the filter galleries, making one continuous filter 348 feet long, which is considered safe against high water. The suction well, which receives water from the filter galleries, and from which the pumps draw water, has been lowered to solid bedrock five feet below the bottom of the filter galleries. By doing this he is enabled to pump all the water from the filters without getting sand in the pumps. Mr. Johnson says as follow’s: This has been a very tedious piece of work, as the water pressure from the outside has a great tendenev to wash sand inside of the well under the concrete foundation. To accomplish this work, I built forms at the bottom of the well, and filled them with steel and concrete. When the concrete was well set, I dug the sand, rocks and boulders from the center, also from under the concrete wall, and with heavy weights and jacks, forced the concrete wall down until it rested on solid bed rock. I have also increased the length of the suction pipes on all the pumps. This enables me to keep the Water in the suction well pumped down below the bottom of the filter gallery. I think this work has increased our water supply about twenty-five per cent., also, it leaves sufficient space between the bottom of the suction pipe and the bottom of the well to permit the pumps lifting W’atcr very rapidly without lifting sand also. Keeping the sand out of the pumps will make a big saving in maintenance expenses, as sand being forced through the pumps in water under great pressure has a great cutting effect on the metal and rubher valves, and has kept us constantly changing and putting new valves in the pumps. Tineight million gallon Nordberg pump is in good condition and doing good work, and when the dam contractors complete the installation of the two centrifugal pumps, I think the city will have a very satisfactory pumping on: fit at this station. A great deal of work has been done at the electric pump station this winter. A 24-inch valve was installed in the suction to the six million gallon Worthington Triplex Electric Pump, so as to close the suction to the Worthington when operating the Platt centrifugal pump now being installed by the dam contractors. When this pump is connected up and completed, I think this station will also have a very good pumping equipment. At this station, Mr. Johnson recommended the building of a reinforced concrete circular well fifty feet in diameter, and sinking it to bed rock, to be used as a suction well for the pump and then build two reinforced concrete galleries three hundred feet long, one up the river and one down the river, sinking both as far as necessary to obtain a good flow of water, and connecting both to the circular well, and he says: I am sure this would gtve the city an abundant supply of water for years to come. The water rates in effect at Austin are: 2,500 gallons (minimum), $0.50; first 50,000 gallons, per thousand, .20; next 150,000 gallons, per thousand, .15; next 300,000 gallons, per thousand, .10; all over 300,000 gallons, per thousand, .07)4; water for charitable institutions, per thousand, .10.