THE BANGOR WATERWORKS SYSTEM
The city of Bangor, Me., has increased in population during the past decade or two, probably more in proportion than any other place in the state. In 1887 it had about 17,000 inhabitants while, according to the last census, it now has 22,000. It is also one of the most prosperous cities in the state; its exports of fruit boxes being constantly on the increase, while it has a large lumber trade and is a centre of supplies for a considerable portion of the surrounding country. Bangor is situated on the Penobscot river, at its junction with the Kenduskeag, both of which furnish good water power. It was incorporated a town in 1701 and a city in 1834, and its first waterworks were planned in 1875 by F. E. Eaton, C.E., and built by The Holly Manufacturing Company, of Lockport, N. Y. The supply comes from the Penobscot river into an impounding reservoir and filter gallery and is thence pumped into a standpipe and direct. The dam, which has an overflow of 900 ft. at its crest is 8 ft above high tide, was constructed at a cost of $150,000. In commenting on the present filtration of the city, the water hoard says: The report of the chemist shows that during the year the water has been satisfactory from a sanitary standpoint, although during the winter months there have been more difficulties in obtaining the proper coagulation than in the summer. It further states that the head house and sedimentation basin completed and in use since June have reduced the frequency of washing the filters to quite an extent, but it has been found that the filtering area of the old filters is not large enough to give the best results. Finer sand should be used, but this is impossible on account of the reduction it would bring about in the amount of water filtered, insufficient for the city’s supply. The hoard had in mind when it adopted the plans for the head house and sedimentation basin, that in order to make the system fully efficient at all times, a new set of modern filters would eventually be necessary. Such filters have many automatic appliances, would make use of a fine sand, and in the opinion of various experts whom the board has consulted, would furnish the city with pure water at a less operating expense than the present filters. The progress made in mechanical filtration throughout the country leaves no room to doubt that such a system, properly installed and run, is capable of supplying as safe and pure a water as can be obtained in any other way. A modern filter using sand fine enough to entirely remove the hydrate and color in our water would, in the opinion of the board do as much for the city of Bangor. At present it is almost impossible to produce a colorless water without some hydrate remaining and if the hydrate is entirely removed the color is higher than it should be. Both conditions are objectionable. The board, therefore, recommends that during the coming year the improvement of the filter plant be continued and its equipment he thoroughly modernized to work to the best advantage with the head house and sedimentation basin already installed. Superintendent Melville A. Sinclair reports that the mains were extended 5,304 ft. during the year ending March 1, 1909, of which 582 ft. were 12-inch and the remainder 6 and 8-inch diameter. He proposes replacing a considerable amount of 2-inch pipe with 6-inch this year to increase fire pressure. The total pipeage now is 49 1/2 miles. The 275 hydrants in the service are in good condition, 10 being set during the year. Nineteen leaks were discovered during an inspection of 5.975 places and 50 defective fixtures were repaired. There are 4.720 service pipes connected with the system, 97 new taps having been made, 141 old services renewed and 18 discontinued. There are 20 street standpipes in use, many of them are filled with rust and must be renewed. He recommends that those repaired be equipped with the regulation iron post to take the place of the wooden standard now in use. D. F. Webber, chief pumping engineer, states that inconvenience has been experienced during the year, especially the latter part of it, by the extreme low water in the river, which averaged 10 to 18 inches below the crest of the dam. This condition, he says, causes a great strain on the shafting that runs the filter plant and has. in consequence, weakened it. On account of the unusual drought of the summer it was necessary to pump more than the average amount of water. The pumpage, however, is not as great during the extreme hot months as it is in the extreme cold weather when a great amount of water is allowed to run to waste. The amount of water pumped during the past year was 1,317,377,800, a daily average of 3,609,254 gallons, and daily per-capita consumption of 160 gallons. Leyland Whipple, bacteriologist, states in his report, that “the new coagulating basin was put into continuous operation on May 8, and the filtered water showed immediate improvement. The hydrate of alumina, which bad been ever present in the water, disappeared, and a bright, clean water was the result. The chemical and bacterial efficiency of the plant was greatly increased, and continued excellent during the summer months. Some experiments made with one of the filters, which contained a finer grade of sand than the others, showed that this filter was removing the hydrate of alumina satisfactorily, but at the same time could not filter the required amount of water. No change, then, could he made to the use of a finer grade of sand, with the present filter.”
The net cash receipts for twelve months, was $78,738.09, and the valuation placed on water furnished free was $15,854.50, of which $11,189.50 to fire. The expenditures for construction and management were $71,836.12. The charge for metered water for domestic use is 5 1/2 cents per 100 cu. ft. and the lowest meter rate is $2 per quarter. The city ordinance relating to the waterworks contains the following:
Section 2. No person, unless authorized by said board, shall open any fire hydrant, nor remove any cap thereof, nor fasten any horse or team to or in front thereof or in any way obstruct free access to and use thereof, nor deposit any dirt or other material in any public or private stop, gate, box or stop, or in any manner commit any act tending to obstruct the use of any hydrant, gate or valve. Provided, however, in cases of fire the hydrants shall he for the time being under the entire control of the chief engineer of the fire department, who, after each fire, shall cause each hydrant used to be left in good condition for immediate use. Said engineer may also, after having given notice to said board of his intention so to do, use said hydrants to fill the reservoirs of said city.
Annual Waterworks Report of Cleveland.
A peculiar case of diverting city water has occurred at Cleveland, O. A local paper describes it as follows; Judge Keeler has allowed the city a perpetual injunction, restraining the Cleveland Worsted Mills Company from making or maintaining a connection between its low-pressure water service for commercial purposes and the city’s high-pressure fire mains without permission of the city authorities. The injunction was allowed on the cross petition of the city to a suppdemental petition of the worsted mills company, asking for a court order to restrain the waterworks department from cutting the high-pressure mains which lead into the Broadway factory of the company. The company had the previous city administration restrained from depriving it of fire protection in order to force the collection of a bill for water, alleged to have been taken clandestinely from the mains. Judge Keeler’s restraining order of yesterday directs the company to remove at once the connection now existing between the high and low pressure mains and gives the city authority to install and maintain meters on the high-pressure lines where desired, to prevent the unauthorized taking of water in the future.
Superintendent Smith of the waterworks department said that as soon as the city solicitor had communicated with him in regard to the order of the court he would take up with the worsted mills company the adjustment of a bill for water taken before the bringing of the original suit. Mayor Johnson had threatened to send the company a bill for $62,000, on the ground that the worsted mills company had maintained an unpermitted connection of the two systems of water service for ten years.
Annual Water Works Reports.
PROVIDENCE, R. I.
A recently published quarterly report of the Department of Public Works of Providence, R. I., contains some interesting information in regard to the waterworks of that city. Providence obtains water for its population of upwards of 175,000, from the river six miles from the business center of the city, the pumping stations delivering into reservoirs and direct into mains. The pumping capacity was recently increased by the installation of a 10,000,000-gallon Worthington horizontal high-duty pumping engine at the Hope pumping station. During the quarter covered by the report, the average daily consumption of water was 16,234,042 gallons. The distribution service was extended during the quarter by the hydrants in service was 2,189, of which all but 145 were of the flush type. There were in addition, 137 hydrants on the special water service for laying of 1,_____87 miles of pipe, making 375.015 miles in use altogether. The total number of fire fire protection. During the quarter, 274 water meters were set, making 23.736 in use. The total number of service stops in use, including 237 opened during the quarter the report deals with, was 26,959.
During the year 1909, Water Superintendent O. C. Russell, of Barre, Vt., reports extensions of 840 feet made to the distributing mains of that city, and 26 new service connections, two of which were for street sprinkling purposes. The various intakes through which the city obtains its water supply, from Scott brook and Martin brook, as well as the reservoirs have been cleaned and put in perfect order. During the year, 31 meters were installed, all at consumers’ expense. There are now 113 meters in use in the city, 24 of which have been installed by the water department at the city’s expense. During the year, the receipts of the department for water rent_____amounted to $23,829, the total income, from all sources, having been $23,936. Superintendent Russell reports that the department has been run during the year within its appropriation, and that a balance of $2.212 remains in the treasury. He recommends the installation of additional hydrants, wherever necessary and the placing of gates on the branch lines at various points, so that, in the event of a break in the main, it would not be necessary to shut off as much territory as at present.
SOUTH NORWALK, CONN.
The year covered by the water department of the city of South Norwalk, Conn., in its seventh annual report to the mayor and board of councilmen was marked by important improvements. The new filtration plant, constructed at a cost of $98,523. was completed and put in commission and about seven square miles of additional watershed was acquired, the city having previously owned but two and a half miles. There were also made the Rowayton. Belle Island, Harbor View. Standard Oil and many minor extensions. The laying of an extra 12-inch main through Fairfield avenue to the lower end of the city. reinforcing the supply is also recorded. A building was erected at a point on the purification plant grounds, commanding a view of the entire establishment, for the accommodation of the chief operator. The net receipts from water rents for the year were $32,984, an increase of $1,200 compared with the preceding year. The total receipts for water rents, during the year, amounted to $34,460, of which $8,444 was received for metered water, metered consumers taking 600,000 gallons daily, as compared with 1,000,000 gallons furnished to general consumers.
Reasons Why Water Mains Should Be Cleaned.
Sanitation is discussed in these days from almost every standpoint. Germs carried by dust, flies and vermin, sewage disposal, impure milk, impure water, communities buying all the land in their water sheds so that the water shall not be contaminated, the treating of water in reservoirs to kill algae and other causes are constantly occurring to keep waterworks managers thinking. Filtration is also talked of, but whoever heard of purifying water and then putting it into the garbage can before serving it on the table. Unquestionably much has been done toward purifying water supplies, but how far has the subject of cleaning water pipes and conduits that carry water from reservoirs been considered? It is said that the first indication of improvement to be noted in the slums of a great city is the cleaning of the coffee pots. The time has now arrived when communities should be progressive and look into the cleanliness of water conduits. It would surprise many to know what impurities are taken from the mains. Pipes are put down and left in the ground for twenty, thirty, or fifty years and are practically forgotten, but who would care to drink in a restaurant or even in the home, from a glass which had become slimy from the water standing in it? Yet that would be more safe than using the water in mains, as the glass in the house is open to the air and sunshine, both of which are deadly to germs, while the pipes that carry all drinking water are underground, away from the sun and air and are really receptacles for all kinds of impurities. These impurities are of every sort, tuherculation, a growth which forms on the inner wall of pipes and conduits and varies according to the biological composition of the water, and pipe moss which forms under some conditions and grows with astonishing rapidity. This breaks off and comes loose finding its way into the services and upon reaching the air putrefies almost at once. This often causes a bad odor to water and may be very injurious. Then come deposits due to sedimentation, which include great varieties of impurities. To these may be added pipe sponge and foreign matter, which finds its way into pipes in ways which are scarcely credible. The National Water Main Cleaning Company has taken this subject up in considerable detail and in its museum are exhibited snails which are found by thousands in one water plant. The exhibit includes lanterns, coats, bricks, logs, loam from Ohio river water, incrustation, pipe moss, pipe sponge. tubercules as large as a man’s first and in short almost every conceivable thing which has been taken from water mains. The writer knows of one plant where many bushels of white worms were found in the pipes, and it was necessary to drain a reservoir to find the origin of the trouble. It is no wonder in the face of these facts that we are coming to a realization of the necessity for cleaning the lines which conduct drinking water. Since this brief statement deals only with the sanitary side of cleaning water mains, the subject of decreased carrying capacity which is responsible for much fire loss, need not be discussed. The cleaning of water mains is coming more to the notice of the public each year and when taken up systematically means little inconvenience to the consumer, does away with the necessity of relaying pipes and the consequent tearing up of streets and pavements. The cost is only one fourth to one tenth the cost of relaying mains and the advantages accruing are very large. As shown above, it is not uncommon to find animal life inside water mains and it is certain that where there is life there will be death and decomposition, and when decomposition sets in, poison will be introduced into drinking water. Is it not time to think seriously of the cleanliness of our water carriers?
The trustees of International Falls, Minn., have been enjoined from purchasing waterworks equipment on the application of John T. Stone, acting for the so-called “municipal league,” of International Falls, which objected to the village purchasing said waterworks paraphernalia without having first called for bids, and awarding the contract to the lowest bidder.
As a result of the outcome of the Meeker water diversion suits, the East Orange Water Commission anticipates more litigation of the same character, and has secured the services, in advance, of an attorney to look after it.
Follansbee, O., and its water supply company are at loggerheads over the rates the company has adopted. The town claims that the company’s charter provides only for a meter rate; the company announce a minimum flat rate of $1.00 a month. The town has commenced mandamus proceedings to compel the company to adhere to the meter system.
At the last election, the city of Blaine, Wash., voted in favor of a bond issue for the purchase of its waterworks, which are owned by H. G. Young. For some reason, the purchase was not made, and the city defaulted in its fire hydrant rental, to the extent of $120. Suit was brought for the amount of the claim, with interest and costs. It is believed that the city contemplates an attack on the validity of the water supply franchise.
In the case of Glenn vs. Kenton, Ky., Water Company, recently tried at Covington, the jury gave the plaintiff judgment for $1,000. Glenn alleged the company did not supply ample water during the progress of a fire at his residence in former Latonia. At a previous trial the jury disagreed. Myers and Howard represented Glenn.
B. Achenbach. Bath. Pa., who operates a mill on Hatch Gravel creek, brought a claim against the borough of Bath, alleging that the diversion of water from the creek, for the supply of the borough, had injured his power. The council awarded him $300 in settlement, but on the burgess refusing to sign the award Achenbach brought suit and obtained a verdict from a jury for the full amount. On appeal, the verdict has been set aside and judgment has been ordered for the defendants on the ground that there was no valid action by the borough, on which to base the claim.
Residents of Camp Hill borough, have been collecting evidence of sins of omission and commission against the Riverton Consolidated Water Company, and will commence legal proceedings against that corporation. It is intimated that the borough wants a municipally-owned water plant.