THE BROOKLYN FIRE DEPARTMENT

THE BROOKLYN FIRE DEPARTMENT

Mayor Gaynor’s business administration is beginning to show its most effective work in the big departments of the city. This is especially observable in Brooklyn. It is especially true in that important branch of the civic service—the fire department. In no borough of the greater city was there more room for reform than here There is still room for reform, and will be for some years to come, but the good beginning has been made. If it continues the fire department of Brooklyn promises to be placed on a firm foundation, giving ample scope for further development and expansion. There is a wide extent of territory to be covered here and in Queens, and the difficulties in this branch of the service are unquestionably greater than in any other part of the city. To meet the present exigencies has been the chief aim of the men in charge of this service, and, under the mayor’s policy, the first work has been done on a practical basis. No discredit is attributed to past administrations. There was a problem here, and it was met, in many instances, wisely and well; but Mayor Gaynor has gone to the root of the thing—he has lined out what has been done and what can be done, and the men he has selected to do the work are carrying out, to the best of their abilities, his ideas.

The majority of us look at a fire from the dramatic, from the picturesque viewpoint. We see the flames, and we see the rush of the engines. It is the spectacular which appeals to us Few of us go back of this and consider the or ganization that makes all the heroic, all the dramatic, all the picturesque possible.

It may seem a little thing to the ordinary lay man to know that the value of a tiny bolt, the value of a broom, a scrub-brush, a button, is kept strictly in account; that every minor article is as carefully tabulated and indexed as if it were a fire engine; that a voucher signed all along the line of battalion chiefs and deputies for each of these apparently inconsequential articles is requisite before one of them can be taken from the supply houses; but the thoughtful one will realize that it is the formation of a system thay makes the great system practical. There are 5,000 articles in the store houses of Brooklyn alone; some wholesale stores are not so well equipped, and yet, should the worth of a pin be missing, the managers of these store houses would know that, something had gone amiss. Under the mayor’s directions Fire Commissioner Waldo has effected economies in supplies by standardizing them and simplifying the classes of all material used. The new coal specifications call for the delivery of coal based upon the British thermal unit system under which the contractor is compelled to deliver actual beat instead of mere tonnage. In the old days Brooklyn got yellow brushes and Manhattan brown brushes. All sorts of soap was used at all sorts of prices. And so it was with all things, Now all the boroughs get the same quality of goods, and they are all at the same price. There was formerly a great deal of trouble as to oats and bay and other fodder. Big patches of dirt were weighed in with the feed. There is no dirt in it now. It is all clean fodder, up to specifications. Engine houses were formerly built according to the whim of the architect, and you would see them in the style of a Gothic church or a bungalow. The department to-day is building thirty new engine houses in the city of New York, and they are all being constructed after the same general design, and there is a system as to their cost of construction. In the imposing budget exhibit, soon to be opened to the public in Manhattan. you may see the style of these engine houses and main other interesting displays concerning this branch of the municipal service.

As for new apparatus—Brooklyn and Queens are getting their share of it. The board of estimate and apportionment has allowed $2,206,400 corporate stock for the permanent betterment of the fire department plants, of which $100,000 is to be expended for preliminary work on a new fire alarm telegraph system and $160,000 for new apparatus. The remainder is to be expended for the acquisition of sites and the erection of new fire houses. In connection with the apparatus, some remarkable work has been done in Brooklyn for the purpose of restoring and keeping up the old engines and trucks and automobiles. Arthur J. O’Keeffe, deputy commissioner for Brooklyn and Queens has revolutionized the repair shops and the supply shops in this borough. He has hauled automobiles from the junk heap and put them in first-class condition as to machinery and finish. Here, too, in the apparatus, the same general scheme of standardization has been observed in the colors of the machines, which has given a dignity and a distinctiveness to the department. O’Keeffe has gone right through these shops. He is at home in them, for he began his career as a plumber’s apprentice and is familiar with the mechanism of machinery. One of his ambitions is to erect a concrete electric house near the pumping station on the Park plaza, so that all the electrical apparatus will be protected from fire. It is suggested that something like $3,000,000 be appropriated for this purpose, but that, of course, is a matter for the future. As it is he has inaugurated the system of distributing 6,000 fire alarm box keys among citizens, where they will be the most useful, and he now has applications for 4,200 keys. He is alert to the necessity of more fire boxes in his district. In the last eight years there have been only seventyfive new fire alarm boxes erected in Brooklyn and Queens.

ARTHUR O’KEEFFE, Duputy Fire Commissioner of Brooklyn.

But all the improvements cannot come at once. The appropriation for apparatus in Brooklyn and Queens is $60,000, as against $100,000 in Manhattan, The Bronx and Richmond. The active members of the department in Brooklyn and Queens number 1,706, the fire extinguishing force comprising 1,666, assigned, with the exception of thirty-live chief officers, to the 111 companies of the twenty battalions. In addition to this, there arc forty volunteer fire companies in Queens, which are allowed from $800 to $1,200 a year for their maintenance. The members of these companies serve without pay and are composed of citizens in the outlying districts. Commissioner O’Keeffe encourages them in all ways that he can, and since his advent in office he has greatly aided them in their organizations.

That Brooklyn and Queens are big propositions for the firemen to cover will be realized when it is known that last year the department here received 5,627 alarms and calls, and out of this number it must not be overlooked that the volunteers responded to 91. The total amount of losses from fires in the two boroughs last year was $2,043,245, and in the previous year $3,063,185, which shows a gratifying decrease commendable to the efficiency of the force.

Now, as to the general economies inaugurated by Mayor Gaynor here, is an instructive matter to consider: The appropriation for general supplies, apparatus, etc., including fuel, forage, horses and the general upkeep of the fire department, was $994,715 for all boroughs. The apportionment for Manhattan, The Bronx and Richmond was $566,100; for Brooklyn and Queens, $428,615. On June 30, 1909, there has been expended in all boroughs a total of $559,906.75, of which $361,444.02 was for Manhattan, The Bronx and Richmond, and $198,462.75 for Brooklyn and Queens. The total appropriation for the same purpose for the fire department in 1910 was $912,898, $81,817 less than the total appropriation in 1909. Of this total $521,529 was for Manhattan, the Bronx and Richmond, and $391,369 for Brooklyn and Queens. The appropriation for Manhattan, the Bronx and Richmond was $55,571 less in 1910 than in 1909, and the appropriation for Brooklyn and Queens was $37,246 less in 1910 than in 1909. The actual decrease in expenditures in the first six months of 1910 under that of the first six months of 1909 was $147,270.11, representing a decrease in expenditures of 26 1-3 per cent.

If you care to follow along these figures in the records you will learn that the number of all classes of employes in the fire department on December 31, 1909, was 4,893, while the number 011 June 30, 1910, was 4,890—three less; that the number of uniformed men in 1909 was 4,350; in 1910, 4,360; that the number of civilian employes in 1909 was 543; in 1910, 530. Thus it will be observed that economies have been effected in the administration of the fire commissioner, despite an increase in the uniformed force which was the place to have the increase.

Of course we all know that the fire department is not perfect; it is far from perfect, but enough has been already demonstrated to indicate that it is getting on its legs; that it is getting where it will do the most good for the least expenditure; in other words, where the money of the taxpayers will be spent to the best advantage if the policy which has been inaugurated will be continued along the same lines.

Many important changes have been discussed for the development of the department. One of Commissioner Waldo’s greatest ambitions is to see the automobile take a prominent place in all branches of the service. He argues that the 1,400 horses in the department should be replaced by motor cars. He says that it costs from $30 to $35 a month to maintain a horse, while there is a record of one auto hose cart that costs $50 a year to maintain. He will figure out for you that the average fire horse is worth $300, and that the total value of the horses in the department is $420,000, to say nothing of the money invested in their stables and the cost of their fodder. On the other hand, he says that an auto hose cart costs about $6,500, and it would require 150 of them, at a total cost of $975,000. If, in this connection, the high water pressure service were used, as it is operated at two stations below Fourteenth street, in Manhattan, where from 125 to 300 pounds of pressure to the square inch can he turned on, the fire danger would be greatly decreased, as a stream of water could be sent through standpipes to the top of the Metropolitan tower which would have a force sufficient to tear out walls of buildings, as a needle can pass through sailcloth. But this is going a bit into the future, although it may lie the near future. Just now we are interested in Mayor Gaynor’s trying out proposition for the fire department—especially as it applies to Brooklyn and Queens.—Frederick Boyd Stevenson in Brooklyn Eagle.

Denver Firemen get Increased Salaries.

Denver, Colo., last spring amended its charter, giving the city council the power to enact an ordinance permitting an increase of salaries to the members of its fire department. The council has taken action, and, beginning January 1, 1911, the following will go into effect:

“The fire department shall consist of the following officers and members, who shall respectively receive the following annual salaries; Chief of the fire department, $3,600; deputy chief, $2,400; assistant chiefs, $2,100; superintendent of fire alarm, and machinists, $1,380; lieutenants, engineers. $1,260; assistant engineers, $1,170; carpenters, fire wardens, linemen, operators, firemen of the first grade, $1,140; firemen of the second grade, $1,080; firemen of the third grade, $1,020; firemen of the fourth grade, $960.

The Value of Fire Cisterns.*

BY HOWARD L. STANTON, CHIEF OF FIRE DEPARTMENT, NORWICH, CONN.

Mr. President and Members: The topic assigned me under the title of “The Value of Fire Cisterns,” could be added to and read in addition to water under pressure, also should cities having a system of fire cisterns allow them to be abandoned. This subject will probably not interest chiefs and others present from larger cities, but to those from cities of 100,000 population and under and to those cities that date their corporate existence back to the days of bucket tubs, and the advent of fire hose and suction hand engines, this subject will be more apt to appeal and interest. In presenting this paper to the convention I can only give my experience in my own city where there has been a system of fire cisterns for upward of 75 years. Neither is this paper intended to be historical for it is safe to presume that nearly all old cities and towns have had the same experience. My city has had something for fire protection since 1769 when its first bucket machine was built by local mechanics, and is still in existence, stored away at headquarters as a relic. Soon after the introduction of suction engines throughout the country, about 1822 to 1825 it was apparent that some other method than going to rivers and ponds must be previded to supply suction hand engines then coming into general use. In 1846 my city appropriated sufficient money to build a number of fire cisterns. These cisterns were all built or intended to be 8 feet deep and 10 feet in diameter, bricked up and connected with supply pipes varying from 3/8-inch to 2-inch and filled after each fire or when empty by the parties owning small water systems in different sections of the city. The mouth of the cisterns at grade was about 30 inches in diameter, having cast-iron covers. As already stated, these cisterns were dug 8 feet deep and 10 feet in diameter to where they began to taper toward the mouth averaging 30 inches at the top, and would hold about 4,800 gallons. Although some, on account of change of grade in streets, were rebuilt so that they are 12 feet deep and will hould about 7,500 gallons. These cisterns are located at intersections of streets and in public squares and some are located on hills in residence sections. At the completion of the city water system in 1870, which, by the way, is a gravity system with a pressure in the business district of 80 to 95 pounds the public was so elated with the hydrant streams with small nozzles that the fire cisterns were generally forgotten and the mayor recommended selling the engines. Grades of streets are often changed in hill towns and the establishing of sewers and the laying of conduits is responsible for the abandonment of many fire cisterns that are worth all they cost to maintain if they are not used once in ten years. The abandonment of cisterns in many cities has been brought about very gradually and it often requires a stiff argument by the chiefs of departments to retain them. Some of the reasons why they are abandoned are, if the cistern has been built in a narrow street previous to the introduction of large water mains, and there is rock to be taken out to lay new pipe, the inclination is to get through easily and go through the cistern, in many cases making it unfit for suctions. The same applies to new sewers and the laying of conduits for wires. Also by trolley companies placing rails over them. At the present time the space beneath narrow streets is so taken up with water pipes, sewers, gas mains, conduits and, in my city, with compressed air pipes that it is very hard work to retain cisterns for fire purposes. No doubt there are many present who have had a like experience trying to hold the old cisterns for emergencies that are bound to come to every city.

If new cisterns were to be built they would probably be built on different lines, of cement concrete with waste pipes into sewers, where the depth of sewer would allow them to be drained, also with overflow pipes; but these old cisterns built years ago were without drain pipes and answered the purpose intended and were located where it appeared best at that time and in most cases good judgment was used in their location. In addition to the cisterns being supplied with water from small pipes some were piped to receive the roof water from churches or buildings with roofs of large area. These were built so that the cover of the cistern would be in the sidewalk about 10 inches above grade of street which allowed an overflow pipe to the gutter, thus keeping the cistern filled in wet seasons unless emptied by use at a fire. With this description of the old cisterns, their construction and the way they were filled with water I will endeavor to give my reasons for retaining old cisterns and locating new ones where possible. Wherever possible 1 have had all old cisterns brought up to grade, cleaned out, and connected up with supply pipes from 4-inch to 8-inch size with gates near the cisterns that can be controlled by the stoker of the engines, with gate key carried on each engine. The pressure at the gates will vary from 95 pounds in the business district to 25 pounds on hills in resident sections. It is well known that there are many kinds of fire cisterns in use in addition to those bricked up or of concrete construction and piped up with water under pressure, such as surface water reservoirs used in many cities. Also the method of dropping a rubber bag into catch basins and in manholes and filling from hydrants with lines of hose, any kind of cistern tank, box or barrel with provision for filling with water of sufficient quantity to supply one or more engines is the object sought and attained if the fires are extinguished. Perhaps the best argument for retaining fire cisterns is, if they are located in public squares or wide areas, of sufficient capacity to care for at least two engines, there is little liability of being buried under falling walls or being obliged to move as you would have to from hydrants in case of a large fire if taking water under pressure from hydrants at the curb. Also that ever important problem of the interchangeability of couplings when assistance is sent to cities. If they carry their own hose the problem is partly solved with cisterns whether the hose couplings are standard or not. This alone is sufficient to warrant the expense of mainaining cisterns. The matter of keeping the cistern filled while playing can be left to the stoker of the engine, it being supposed that the gate controlling the water to the cistern is placed near the cistern and with a reasonable size pipe with water under sufficient head to keep the cistern full. To sum up, of what advantage are fire cisterns?

* Paper read at the thirty-eighth annual convention of the International Association of Fire Engineers, held at Syracuse, N. Y., August 23.

First—If properly located in wide areas they are invaluable in case of a conflagration, by not being obliged to pick up and get away from falling walls.

Second—If outside assistance is requested from some city not having couplings that will interchange, it will make no difference if they bring sufficient hose with their engine and draft from cistern.

Third—It will compel those in charge of engines to see that they are in good condition for draughting water, as it is well known that taking water from a hydrant under pressure is better for a sick engine than when draughting.

Fourth—Again in cities with rivers, ponds or canals, flowing through or around them, cisterns can be utilized by stationing the larger engine at the source of supply and pumping into the cistern and from cistern to fire, in case of break in mains.

Fifth—Should a break occur in a water main during a large fire the water can be sent into the cistern by damming up the flow sufficiently to supply engines.

Sixth—In cities of small size, water mains are apt to be laid too small, and the size is not increased without the usual amount of talk and trouble. So that even with a good water system and a pressure sufficient for a small fire and a few streams, engines stationed at cisterns will be found invaluable in case larger and heavier streams are needed. Finally, my experience has been to try and keep in good condition all fire cisterns of whatever size or type, even with an abundance of water under pressure, and with rivers and ponds near at hand, as the time comes to all when every available source of water supply and every available engine is required to stop large fires.

Spectacular Fire at Newark.

The Newark, N. J., fire department recently had to battle with two serious fires within a few hours of each other. Starting in the mixing room, fire at the Rubberset brush plant on September 12 spread so rapidly that in less than two hours it had destroyed the brushmaking branch and its valuable machinery and had gutted two brick storehouses fronting on Union street.

The steamer of engine company No. 22 met with a mishap on the way to the fire, and one of the horses was badly injured. The engine was coming down Market street at good speed. At Plane street the center horse tripped and fell, causing the other two horses to fall with him. The firemen on the engine came within an ace of being thrown, but managed to hold on until the apparatus came to a stop. After the horses were gotten to their feet the company continued the journey to the fire. It was found that one of the horses was badly injured, and it was taken to the reserve

The fire was discovered about 2 o’clock by John Rukstuhl, the day watchman. Rukstuhl had reached the second floor when he heard a slight explosion and saw sheets of fire shoot up through an elevator shaft. This was followed by a rush of dense smoke, which made him realize that the flames had communicated to the unfinished product in the mixing-room. As Rukstuhl ran from the plant to send in an alarm a cloud of smoke shot high into the air and attracted the attenttion of a fireman in the department’s reserve stable. He telephoned an alarm to fire headquarters, and a moment later an alarm was sent in from box 5. in Congress street. About the same time somebody passing at Hamilton and Union streets, two blocks away, seeing the smoke, pulled box 51, on the corner.

And while this alarm was being sent out box 36, at the Market Street depot, and box 354, at Centre Market, in Mulberry street, were pulled. Still another alarm came from box 53, which is Cook & Genung’s private alarm. This was received at the same time that somebody at the reserve stables was tele phoning a second alarm, and Battalion Chief Morgan was doing the same from box 5. By the time the twelve engines, four trucks and the water tower, called on a third alarm, reached the scene the fire had consumed a great quantity of the highly inflammable ma terial in the mixing department, and had reduced to scrap iron a number of new machines.

For a time Chief Astley feared that the flames would communicate from the Celluloid company’s factory to the gas-purifying tanks of the Public Service Gas Company, and he had several streams directed into the fire swept structure from the yard of the Public Service property.

The firemen fought the blaze with streams of water from an alleyway leading from Ferry street. They carried other streams of hose to the property of the Public Service Corporation, and directed more water on the blaze from the back yards of houses on Union street and from an entrance to the concern’s plant in Prospect street. While at work at one of the lines, Fireman Albert Shields, of engine company No. 5. was cut over the right eye by falling glass. The wound was bandaged and he continued with his work. It was more than four hours and a half after the first alarm when the last apparatus reported back into quarters. That was engine company No. 2, at 6.39 o’clock. Engines Nos. 5, 2, 1 and 14 and truck No. 4 answered on the first alarm. Engines Nos. 8, 3, 16 and 10 responded on the second alarm, with hook and ladder companies Nos. 1 and 2, Engines Nos. 4, 20, 7 and 22, with hook and ladder company No. 3 and the water tower came on the third alarm.

Of the twelve steam engines in service, one was an extra first-size Amoskeag, five were extra second-size Amoskeags, two second-size Amoskeags. one a first-size American, one a first-size LaFrance, one an extra second size LaFrance, and one a second-size Metropolitan. Of the trucks, one was an extra first-size pneumatic hoist Kaiser, 2 spring hoist aerials and one a city type. The water tower was of the Champion type. Nine streams were from the high pressure service and eleven or more from engines. The loss will reach about $100,000.

Electricians in Convention.

The fifteenth annual convention of the International Association of Municipal Electricians was held in Rochester, N. Y., September 6, 7, 8 and 9. It was conceded to be the most interesting meeting of the series, and more points of information valuable to the members were brought out than at any previous conventions. Among the papers read was one by T. C. O’llearn, of Cambridge, Mass., on “Hazard to Firemen from Live Electric Wires and Streams from Fire Hose,” in which he told of tests which had been made to determine whether it was possible for a fireman to receive a shock by holding a nozzle and directing a stream of water against a live wire. As a result of these experiments and other observations it was concluded that a fireman may receive a shock when playing a stream on live wires. With the voltages found in our cities, however, the shock received in this way would not be sufficient to injure or even inconvenience a man under ordinary conditions. Nevertheless, since some unforeseen and unknown factor might exist at any time it is advisable not to play on live wires if it can be avoided.

As H. G. Kennedy, superintendent of fire telegraph of Rochester, found it impossible to prepare his paper on “Mercury Arc and Other Rectifiers” in time for presentation at the convention it was announced that his paper would be given later to the secretary for publication in the annual minutes. A discussion of this subject by Walter M. Petty, borough electrician of Rutherford, N. J., was read by the secretary. The paper which Mr. Petty had prepared on the subject of “Lightning Protection” was then read by A. L. Pierce, of Wallingford, Conn. The paper evoked an interesting discussion, the question of grounding fire alarm or police boxes being the point upon which particular emphasis was placed. In order that the association might go on record on this subject in some way C. E. Diehl introduced the following resolution:

“Resolved that it is the sense of this association that in all fire and police boxes the shell should be grounded and the inside box and mechanism safely insulated from the circuit; and that the shell of telephone receivers oil all police patrol telephones should cover the terminal connections to the receiver and the hook should be properly insulated.”

This resolution was referred to a committee of five to investigate the subject during the coining year and report at the next annual meeting.

The election of officers resulted as follows: President, H. C. Bundy of Watertown, N. Y.; first vice president, J. S. Craig of Toronto, Can.; secretary, C. R. George of Houston, Tex.; treasurer, C. E. Diehl of Harrisburg, Pa.

Among the exhibitors was the Gatncwell Fire Alarm Telegraph Company of this city. A very handsome souvenir of the convention m the shape of a match holder representing a fire alarm telegraph box mounted on an ash receiver of wrought metal was distributed by the Gomewell representatives, St. Paul, Minn., was selected as the place for the next convention.

Syracuse Water Supply.

Syracuse, N. Y., need not go dry for many future years, provided its residents confine themselves to water, of which there is an inexhaustible supply in sight for a generation to come. Skaneateles lake water, unsurpassed in purity in any city in the country, and so inexpensive that its consumption in generous quantities is no burden to the poorest householder, is one of Syracuse’s greatest assets. For $5 an ordinary family is assured of enough water for drinking and domestic purposes for a year, 3,600 cubic feet, of a quality that safeguards consumers against deadly disease germs which contaminate so many sources of water supply, and of sufficient volume and pressure, now that the second conduit line has been completed, to provide an unfailing supply, even on the elevated sections with the highest altitude.

The Syracuse water system not only successfully embodies the idea of municipal ownership, but it stands as a monument to the city’s growth and development. Under private ownership water was only served to residences in a comparatively small territory; now 104 miles of pipes carry water into the homes of thousands of families within a radius of two and one-half miles of the city hall.

The recently completed conduit line, especially designed for high-pressure service on the highlands in the eastern parts of the city, has practically doubled the supply, and the conservation of water made necessary by the limited amount in the reservoir during the summer months, when the consumption is greatest, will not be demanded in the future. Notwithstanding the fact that the water department supplies water in large quantities to the schoolhouses, to the fire and other departments of the city government, for which no charge is made, it is self-sustaining. On January 1 last there was a balance of $87,000 to the credit of the department, representing the accumulated surplus of recent years. In 1909 the total receipts were $336,000 and the disbursements $346,000, which included the retirement of $30,000 worth of bonds issued for developing purposes and $40,000 in interest charges. From this time on the expenses of the department will steadily decrease, with the annual retirement of $25,000 in bonds, with reduced interest charges, while the receipts will constantly increase as the city grows and consumes more water.

With two conduit lines bringing water from Skaneateles lake, and with the new standpipe for the high-pressure service on the highlands in the eastern part of the city, Superintendent George H. Beebe, of the bureau of water, believes that the department is in a position to take care of the growing needs of the city for twentylive years to come and for a population of over 200,000 souls. A conservative estimate of the amount of water annually consumed by Syracuse people for drinking and domestic purposes places it at 110 gallons for each man, woman and child in the city. The high elevation of Skaneateles lake above Syracuse, together with the new highpressure service recently established, are important factors in fire protection and make it possible to force water to the top of the lofty downtown buildings and residences on the summits of the highest hills.

The Electrical Purification of Water.

An exchange describes the operation of an electrical purification plant in Nice, France. The water which is subjected to the purification process is first employed to operate the turbines which furnish the power for the electric plant. There are two dynamos, operated separately, so that if one needs cleaning or repairs, the other is always serviceable. The force produced is 110 volts, 500 periods per second, which is transformed into an alternating current with a potential power of 17,000 volts. This current is conducted to a so-called ozone battery. Each of the five batteries composing a system consists of three vertical copper plates 2 feet square and 1 1/2 inches thick, with a space of 8 inches between. In each of these spaces there is a pair of glass sheets, between which the electric sparks decompose the air, which is forced through them by a sucking machine. The decomposed air yields ozone and azotic acid. The azotic acid is retained and the pure ozone made available by passing the decomposed air through a vertical vitrified pipe containing charcoal dust and pieces of cement. The water, under the pressure of a fall of 12 feet, flows through a system of earthen tubes about one inch in diameter and having 33 holes each; these tubes pass through a space filled with ozone, which the water absorbs.

After this first process of sterilization the water flows into a tank in which there is a wire netting supporting about three feet of pebbles, which divide the water so that it falls like a heavy rain to the bottom of the tank and a strong ozone current, coming from the sides of the tank is absorbed by it. The ozone is then extracted by having the water fall on stone steps. Medical authorities declare that after having undergone this process water is absolutely germ free and that it is impossible to produce any kind of germ culture in it. Two ozone plants were built in 1909. one of which gives an output of 39.61 gallons per second, and the other 79.22 gallons. Each consists of two separate systems, so that there can be no possibility of a shortage of water. A new plant is under construction which is to be large enough to supply all the towns and cities between Nice and Mentone, a distance of 24 miles. What the cost is of the maintenance of such a system is not stated, but presumably it is comparatively light where water can be used for generating the required power. Where fuel would have to be used to generate the power, this process might be too expensive for practical use on a large scale.

Pumping Engine Notes.

According to a recent report made, there were 90,712,617 gallons of water pumped at the Hamilton, O., plant during August.

An additional pump, with boilers, is considered absolutely necessary for the Mount Royal station in Baltimore, Md., at an estimated cost of $200,000.

Allentown, Pa., is having some difficulty in securing bidders for repairing a Auria pump and for this reason it may be necessary to purchase a new one.

During August 121,686,320 gallons of water were pumped in Covington, Ky., of which amount 111,746,170 gallons were used, a daily average consumption of 3,604,715 gallons.

Logan, Ia., will spend $2,500 for the installation of additional pumping engine machinery. The new pump is expected to increase the well flow from 14 to 125 gallons per minute.

The construction of the new $70,000 water system for Conway, Ark., will include the installation of two triplex pumps, directly connected to water and with a capacity of 270 gallons per minute.

The report of the superintendent shows that 132,273,266 gallons of water were pumped in August, an average of 4,266,880 gallons per day. This is a decrease over the same month of 1909 of 288,599 gallons.

Two 4,000,000-gallon electrically-driven direct-connected centrifugal pumps, with motor, will be installed at the waterworks in Montgomery, Ala. An electrically-driven directconnected air compressor, with motor, is also being considered.

The contract for a centrifugal electrically driven pump will be awarded by the waterworks committee of Minneapolis, Minn., nine bids ranging between $9,000 and $12,000 have been received. It is possible that a second pump will be required.

The Canton and Hughes company of Canton, O., proposes to install a pump in the waterworks at Dowagiac, Mich., on 30 days’ trial, free of cost. At the end of that period the company will sell the pump to the city at $5,000 and accept payment at the rate of saving in full over the old pumps.

S. W. Luitwieler, president of the Luitwieler Pumping Engine Company of Rochester, N. Y., has just returned from New York, where he was in consultation with the mechanical engineer of the New York City fire department, with the view of preparing specifications for motor fire engines for that city. The engineer is said to be a believer in the Luitwieler system of pumps.

On account of the quantity of sand in the well which supplies the water for Crockett, Tex., the city waterworks committee has found it necessary to construct a settling tank, into which the water is pumped before being pumped into the tower. The new investment will insure better water service to the many consumers in the city and will save a great deal in the way of prolonging the life of the pumping machinery.

According to the fortieth annual report of the Dayton, Ohio, waterworks system, 3,115,795,899 gallons of water were pumped during the year 1909, the highest record ever attained. The business of the present year, however, has increased to an extent that makes the figures of 1909 almost insignificant. During that year the pumping station never delivered more than 9,306,390 gallons, while this summer quite a number of days have sent the record soaring to 12,500 gallons.

In order to remedy the water shortage and to guard against the possibility of a water famine in Canton, O., the city will establish a new auxiliary pumping station along Nimishillen creek, south of Navarre street. The station will be put into operation as soon as it can be built, and will have a capacity of 2,000,000 gallons daily. The average daily consumption of water is about 6,000,000 gallons, but there are occasions when the figures are much higher.

Meterage.

Dayton, O., has advertised for 1,700 meters of various sizes.

Wilmington. Del., collected in metered water rents last year the net sum of $110,938.

The mayor of Shoshoni, Wyo., has issued an order requiring that all services be metered by October 1.

Superintendent McFarland of the Washington, D. C., water department has ordered 3,000 new meters to be installed at once.

The water board of Steelton, Pa., has introduced an ordinance, designed to promote the installation of meters by increasing the present flat rates 50 per cent. The borough council returned the measure to the water board for reconsideration.

The installation of a meter in the state house at Little Rock, Ark., may deprive that building of a water supply. Formerly the state house was served at the rate of $300 a year but this was thought to be excessive and a meter was installed. Water bills became $30 a month, the state refused to pay and the local company may now shut off the supply.

The following extract from the report of the water department of Harrisburg, Pa., shows that meter services in that city has became decidedly popular. The use of meters has become so general that no other method of securing the supply is considered in cases of new or remodeled houses. When it is considered that over six thousand houses in the city, the most of them fitted with improved water fixtures, get water for six dollars a year and that the average revenue from all metered houses is but a little over eight dollars it can readily be seen why consumers prefer to buy water by meter measurement.

“Nor has the furnishing of water by meter interfered in any way with the revenue of the department. The income has steadily increased year after year and the consumption has been reduced by the absence of leaking fixtures to such an extent that the increased demands made by manufacturers has not as yet seriously hampered the pumping and other capacity of the plant.”

The schedule rates in Harrisburg are somewhat higher than in Williamsport, but the metered service, as will be seen from the statement above, is very much lower, and 81 per cent, of the receipts are for metered water. Of 15,528 service taps, 12,224 are metered.

Water Bids Opened.

BOSTON, MASS.—The contract for furnishing, delivering and erecting two steam turbine-driven centrifugal pumps, bids for which were announced in FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING for September 14, has been awarded to the Power Equipment Company at $36,063.

BROWNSVILLE, TEX.—The contract for the construction of a 1,000,000-gallon filtration system has been awarded at a cost of from $11,000 to $12,000.

CHAMBERSBURG, PA.—The United States Cast Iron Pipe and Foundry Company has been awarded a contract for furnishing cast-iron pipe at $24.47 per ton.

DUNKIRK, N. Y.—Bids have been opened for installing two new boilers in the municipal water and light plant, ft is probable that the Cahall Sales Company, of Racine, Wis., will receive the contract at their bid of $6,200 for both boilers.

GALVESTON, TEX.—The following bids have been opened for supplying pipe for construction of main across bay to Pelican island: 1,570 feet of 8-inch flexible joint pipe, Camden Iron Works, Philadelphia, Pa., $39 per ton, and Dimmick Pipe Company, Birmingham, Ala., $55; 2,500 feet of 8-inch bell and spigot pipe, Camden Iron Works, $26.50; Dimmick Pipe Company, 26, and the American Cast Iron Pipe Company, Birmingham, Ala., $25.50; 2,500 feet of 8-inch flange pipe, Camden Iron Works, $38; 15 8-inch ball joints, Moran Flexible Steam Joint Company, Louisville, Ky., $55 each, American Pipe Company $55, Camden Iron Works $55 and the Dimmick Pipe Company $56. The Camden Iron Works received a contract for 1,570 feet of 8-inch flexible bell and spigot pipe and the American Cast Iron Pipe Company for 2,500 feet of 8-inch cast-iron bell pipe.

GEORGETOWN, KY.—Lynch & Eady, of Louisville, Ky., have been awarded a contract for constructing a chemical filtration, purification and water-softening plant of 750,000 gallons capacity at $17,096.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH.—The contract for installing pumping machinery in connection with the new filtration plant has been awarded to the Fort Wayne Electric Works at a total of $12,425.

HAMPTON, IA.—The contract for constructing a 75,000-gallon tank on an 80-foot steel tower and laying mains has been awarded to the Des Moines Bridge and Iron Works at $6,134.

HAMBURG, ARK.—Commissioners have awarded a contract to W. J. Kennedy, St. Louis, Mo., for installing water and light plant, including construction of 50,000-gallon tank, at $30,000.

JOLIET, ILL.—The following bids have been opened for drilling and piping wells in connection with the municipal system: Ohio Drilling

Company, Massilon, Ohio, $6,720; J. P. Miller, Chicago, Ill., $9,965, and W. H. Gray & Bro., Chicago, $8,362.

PORTLAND, ME.—The lowest bidder for 48-inch steel pipe, including the laying, was Gillespie & Co., of New York Cityfi at $593,325. The lowest bidder for 42-inch cast-iron pipe was the United States Cast Iron Pipe and Foundry Company, of New York City, at $489,540 for pipe alone. The Camden Iron Foundry Company bid $503,740.

SAN FRANCISCO, CAL.—A contract for the greater part of the pipe to be used in connection with the construction of the new high-pressure section has been awarded to the United States Cast Iron Pipe and Foundry Company at $78,500.

VISALIA, CAL.—The contract for the construction of the Mill creek concrete conduit has been awarded to Richard Keatinge & Sons, of San Francisco, at $54,000.

WATERLOO, WIS.—The following contracts have been awarded to the Bourbon Copper and Brass Works Company, of Cincinnati, Ohio: Hydrants, $24.40 each; 6-inch gate-valves and boxes, $15.32; 8-inch, $21.12, and 10-inch, $29. Other bidders were R. D. Wood & Co.. Philadelphia, $25, $15, $21 and $29, and J. B. Clow & Sons, Chicago, $28.90, $17, $24 and $32.

Fire Bids Opened.

CONEMAUGH, PA.—I. F. Link has been awarded a contract for the construction of a new engine house.

Los ANGELES, CAL.—Bids for supplying 12,000 feet of 2 1/2-inch hose have been opened as follows: Voorhees Rubber Manufacturing Company, Jersey City, N. J., $1, 90c. and 85c.; Republic Rubber Company, Youngstown, Ohio, $1.10 and 95c.; Warren & Bailey Manufacturing Company, 90c.; Bowers Rubber Works, 95c. and 85c.; Gutta Percha and Rubber Manufacturing Company, $1.10; Boston Woven Hose and Rubber Company, 90c.; L. A. Rubber Company, 75c.; American Rubber Manufacturing Company. 5,000 feet or less, 88c., over 5,000 feet 85.5c.; Eureka Fire Hose Manufacturing Company, $1.20, $1.10, $1 and 90c.

LEBANON, PA.—A contract for repairing old alarm system and installing additional boxes has been awarded to the Gamcwell Fire Alarm Telegraph Company.

NEW YORK CITY.—The following proposals for furnishing four 40-foot extension ladders, three 50-foot extension ladders, one 65-foot ladder, two 30-foot ladders and one hook and ladder truck have been opened by the quartermaster: Combination Ladder Co., $32.20. $42.56, $78. $23.10 and $437.50; A. W. Flint & Co., New Haven, Conn., $38, $47.50, $87.75, $22.50 and ߞ; S. F. Hayward & Co., $30, $42.50, $81.25, $19.50, and—; Chesbro-Whitman Co., New York, $33.20, $46.50, $70.20, $24 and 494.

NEW HAVEN, CONN.—The contract for erecting a new fire station on Lighthouse road has been awarded to Benson & Brcmard.

OAKLAND, CAL.—The Gamewell Fire Alarm Telegraph Company has been awarded a contract for furnishing electrical equipment for the fire alarm and police telegraph building at $12,805.

OTTAWA, CAN.—A contract has been executed with H. Burgess & Co. for constructing a new fire house at a cost of $24,000.

PORT HURON, MICH.—The contract for the construction of a hose house in the North End has been awarded to J. Beauchamp at $3,254.

W. H. P. Fisher of the American Water Softener Company of Philadelphia, estimates the approximate cost of the new filtering plant for Paris, Ill., at between $18,000 and $24,000. This figure, however, is subject to the advisability of putting in a subsidence tank, the size of which has not been determined.

Notes on Filtration.

The trustees of Warsaw, N. Y., are engaged in the construction of a gravel and porous tile system of filtration.

Plans are being drawn by Superintendent Seiber, of the Henderson, Ky., waterworks, for the construction of a municipal Alteration plant.

Allan Hazen, the New York water expert, who is consulting engineer on the new Toronto filtration plant, is not satisfied with the work. Lack of labor is again the reason given by the contractors for delay.

Dr. George A. Jacobs of Pembroke. Out., has been making an exhaustive investigation of the South Norwalk, Conn., filtration system with a view of having it duplicated in his home city.

The problem of sewage disposal in so far as it relates to the water supply of Buffalo, N. Y., is one that needs immediate solution, according to engineers of that city. The construction of a filtration plant is favored.

According to a statement issued by Chemist Roemer, of the White Plains, N. Y., water board, “Under conditions existing at present and which, no doubt, will recur during warm weather annually, the only solution of the. water problem is a system of adequate filtration.

At a joint meeting of the committee on water supply of Lynn, Mass., and the public water board it was decided that the proposed filtration system should he of the mechanical system, with the use of coagulants. Although no bids have been received, the ozone system has been precluded and will not be considered by the committee.

Extension of the filtration plant in Toledo, Ohio, from a capacity of 20,000,000 gallons daily to 34,000,000 gallons has been decided upon by the council committee on public improvements. The city solicitor has been directed to prepare legislation for a bond issue of $200,000 to pay for the work and to draft an ordinance looking toward the acquirement of the necessary land.

City officials of Pittsburg, Pa., are said to believe that the $7,000,000 spent at Aspinwall for filtration has not brought about the fullest possible measure of improvements. At least no more money will be put into the project for the present or until a complete investigation has been made with the aid of expert atlviee. A substitute for the old sand filtration system may be adopted.

The board of fire and water commissioners of Kansas City, Mo., have been discussing the new hypochlorite system of water sterilization and will visit Omaha, Neb., to inspect a recently installed plant there. By passing an electric current through a common salt solution the hypochlorite is produced, and it is guaranteed to kill all typhoid germs in the water or any other germs that produce gastro-intcstinal diseases.

Having failed to complete the Otteen Lane filtration plant in Philadelphia by August 12, as provided in the contract, the Millard Construction Company will likely escape the penalties of $250 for each day’s delay, because the city is unable to carry out its part of the contract by supplying the last $500,000 of the $2,000,000 the plant is to cost. This is because the last $500,000 is tied up in the $8,000,000 loan bill, which is in litigation in the court of common pleas. Chief Dunlap, of the water bureau, will insist that the work be completed by January 1.

Filtration Superintendent Elms, of the Cincinnati, Ohio, waterworks, is preparing a report on the character of the Ohio river water. From twenty-live samples already taken Mr. Elms is of the opinion that there is a very marked difference in the character of the water as yon go down the river. At the California river statiton the water is comparatively free of bacteria, but as the big sewers are reached, the Licking river, the Miami, and more particularly below Mill creek, the water becomes filled with evidences of sewage and germs. It is worse as the river descends.

Investigations of the watersheds of all streams in Kentucky front which the drinking water of cities and towns is taken, will be made by Paul Hansen, sanitary engineer, for the state board of health. According to Mr. Hansen, “it is unsafe to drink water from an unprotected stream, unless the water is filtered. A settling basin will not purify the water. It simply removes the mud and makes the water look clear and deceives the people who drink the water, and they do not take the proper precautions to prevent disease germs being taken into their system. Clear water is often mistaken for pure water.”

THE BROOKLYN FIRE DEPARTMENT.

THE BROOKLYN FIRE DEPARTMENT.

THE following article we copy from the Insurance Chronicle of this city for the purpose of adding a few words of comment:

Grave charges have been made by the Star, of this city, against the Brooklyn Fire Department. In its issue of the 19th our contemporary says:

It is charged that Chief Engineer Nevins, a notoriously incompetent man and a near friend of Boss McLaughlin, is absolute master of the Department, and that even the Commissioners do not dare to thwart him in any of his impractical schemes. There are no fire-alarm boxes, and frequently pei sons desirous of giving an alarm are compelled to go a distance of over a quarter of a mile to re ch an Engine-house to notify the Firemen that a conflagration is threttening to devour an entire neighborhood. The telegraph wires are out of order most of the-time, the hose is rotten, and a general demoraliz ition exLts in all branches of the Department. Men who have risked.life and limb to save property are eith-r reduced to the ranks or dismissed to make way for political favorites, and altogether the Brooklyn Fire Department is fast becoming one of the most inefficient in the land.’

“ Inasmuch as the reappointment a couple of years ago of Mr. Nevins was strongly urged by a committee of influential underwriters the allegation of his incompetency was somewhat surprising, as were also some of the other allegations.

Mr. Nevins assures The Chronicle that the statements of Jhe Star were inspired by a person who was formerly connected with the Department, and are in a great measure, if not wholly, untrue. He has been in the Department for twenty years, during the last ten of which he has been Chief Engineer. As to his competency he has nothing to say further than to express his willingness to submit it to a committee of underwriters. ‘ They know,’ he says, ‘ better than any other class of men whether I am competent or not, and I am willing to abide by their decision.’

“ As to the number of Firemen, the efficiency of the fire alarm system and the condition of the hose, he has nothing to do further than to make certain reports and recommendations. It is his opinion that the Department has not kept pace with the growth of the city. During the past ten years 30,000 new buildings have been erected, but no corresponding increase has been made in the strength of the Fire Department. The Department at present consists of 18 engines, 5 trucks, and about 160 officers and men. Fifty-five alarm boxes are placed in position, but are not operated because the appropriation to pay for operators was not made. All the Engine-houses are connected by telegraph with a central office which is similarly connected with belltowers, and when a fire is reported the bells toll the alarm. . When the men are at meals and absent from the Engine-houses they are called to duty by the bells.

•’There is no doubt that the Department is not as efficient as it ought to be. Each Company should contain at least twelve men, a better kind and a larger quantity of hose should be supplied, the fire alarm system should be put and kept in working order, and the Engineer and his force protected from the corrupting influences of politicians. But it is hardly to be expected that politicians will keep their hands off any Department to which patronage or power is attached. In this respect, however, Brooklyn is not an exception ; other cities are similarly circumstanced. But there is good reason to complain of the niggardly appropriations that are made in the third city in the Union for the maintenance of its Fire Department. It is not an intelligent or proper notion of economy that prompts the curtailment of needed expenditures in a Department, upon whose efficiency so much depends. Year after year attention has been called to the necessity for maintaining this efficiency, but the parties empowered to give the required assistance have failed to do their duty. At the close of this year an increased appropriation will be asked for, and if it should be refused the responsibility for the inefficiency of the Department can be placed where it belongs. It is the opinion of underwriters and those acquainted with the operations of Fire Departments, that Chief Nevins and his men are not only competent but as successful in their calling as the inadequate material given them will permit. The appropriation is too small. That is all that can in truth be said about the matter.”

The article quoted from the Star was furnished to that paper, we do not doubt, by the same person who, some time since, desired to have THE JOURNAL criticise Chief Nevins’ administration. That individual had a grievance, which was that he had been summarily “ bounced ” out of the Department. As the animus of his criticisms was apparent, we declined to become a parly to them. It therefore remained for a violent political partizan paper to print the statements referred to.

That the Brooklyn Fire Department is not up to the standard required in so large a city is a fact patent to all observers. No one, however, has done more than Chief Nevins to make it as good as it is, and no one has more zealously sought to remedy its shortcomings. He is an earnest advocate for the greatest efficiency in men and apparatus, and it is not his fault that Brooklyn is not equipped as she should be. But with all the shortcomings in this respect, Chief Nevins has been remarkably successful in fighting fire. Brooklyn is filled with great manufacturing establishments, and, as is generally the case, these are especially hazardous fire risks, and difficult to handle when the flames get started in them. It is inevitable that Brooklyn has large fires occasionally, that there are not more of them is due to the quick and effective work of the Fire Department. There are plenty of small fires, but the celerity with which they are put out prevents them from becoming large ones. In the matter of Fire Alarm Telegraph Brooklyn is far behind the age, but to our certain knowledge Chief Nevins has been striving for years to have the system perfected. The Fire Department has an immense area to cover, and the men and apparatus are insufficient. A special appropriation should be made by the city to increase and perfect the Fire Service of the city. Every day’s delay is at the peril of life and property. While the Star does well to call attention to the shortcomings of the Brooklyn Fit e Department, it should investigate the matter thoroughly before making charges against a man to whom that city is indebted largely for the fact that it is served so well with insufficient machinery and men.