THE CAMDEN, N. J., WATERWORKS
Specially written for FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING.
It was in the year 1845 that a company was formed at Camden, N. J., called the Camden Waterworks company, to furnish a supply for the city, with a population at that time of under 10,000 inhabitants. The incorporators were as follows: Isaac Cole; Benjamin W. Cooper; Charles Kaighn; Henry Allen; William Folwell; Nathan Davis; Benjamin T. Davis; and John W. Mickle. They were authorised and empowered “to introduce into, and supply the city of Camden with pure water, under such terms and conditions as the city council should ordain and establish.” The original capital stock of the company was $50,000 divided into shares of $100 each. On June a the company was organised, with Isaac Cole president; Henry Allen, treasurer; William Folwell, secretary. A lot for a site for the pumping station at the foot of Cooper street on the land of the I’.sterbrook Steel Pen works, was purchased for $4c:o, and a committee was appointed to prepare plans for the structure. It was thirty by forty feet in size and built in a substantial manner With the increase in the growth of the city and the erection of a large number of factories within its limits, the amount of water furnished by the company was found insufficient. To provide for :m extension and improvement of the system, a “pplemcnt to the original charter was granted on February 9, 1854. The company then secured property at I’avonia. outside the city, as under the original charter, it could not hold real estate 1 t Camden T he new charter authorised an increase of the capital stock to a sum not exceeding $100,000, and at a meeting of the shareholders, held on April 24, the required amount was subscribed. The new plant was completed before the end of the year 1854 at Pavonia, on the Delaware river front, where a reserve pumping station is maintained at the present day. The Pavonia plant consisted of a Cornish engine of 2,500,000 gallons capacity and a Worthington engine of 500,000 gallons. Improvements necessary to meet the rapid increase of population were made at intervals, when necessary, until the aggregate pumping capacity of the w rks is now 40.000.000 gallons daily. The Morris pumping station, shown in the illustration, which furnishes the principal s tooly to the city has three engines of 10.000,000 gallons capacity each, and the old Pavonia station has two engines of 5,000,000 and 250.000 gallons respectively. The boilers of the Morris pumping station consist of three 250-horsepower and two 125-horscpower National water-tube boilers—total capacity, t ,000-horsepower. They are fed by one Warren, direct-acting, duplex pump, one steam injector, and one old-style Blake pump, in connection with which they have a Stone open heater for heating the feed water for the toiler. Two of the engines are of the Holly type of 10,000,000gallon capacity each; the third is a duplex, compound, direct-acting pump of 10,000,000 gallons capacity. The building is a tine structure, as will be seen by the illustration, and the arrangement of the machinery is also shown in the interior view given. A portion of the supply is taken from wells, some of which are located in the air field, the contract calling for a guaranteed yield of 5,000,000 gallons in twenty-four hours. The number of wells now in use is 101, all of which are flowing in a satisfactory way. The illustrations show one of the new wells in North Meadow flowing by air-pressure and blowing a new eightinch well. Since 1853 the city has taken its supply from the eastern, or Jersey channel of the Delaware river, which flows between Petty’s island and the mainland of the township of Stockton. After some agitation, it was decided to try artesian wells, with the result that nearly 100 acres of land were purchased north of Delair. These wells vary in depth from fifty to 125 feet, and are classed deep and shallow. Both classes wells draw their supply from sands and gravels entirely within the plastic clays or the Raritan division of the Cretaceous, which constitutes the basal beds of the southern, or coastal plain portion of the State. All of the wells are furnished with strainers at the bottom. These wells, with four systems of pipes and lateral connections, flow into a receiving well at the pumping station, thirty feet in diameter and thirty-five feet deep. From this well, which is covered with conical roof, the water is forced first through thirty-six-inch main, 19,000 feet long, and then, through a thirty-inch main, 13,000 feet long, an iron standpipe thirty by no feet, situated on elevated ground in South Camden. The yield the 160 or more wells on the present system, averages nearly 20,000,000 gallons in twenty-four hours. I he area over which the wells are distributed is nearly level, and its surface, about tide-level, some portions being protected from overflow by means of dykes. As to the present distribution, Robert Hollingsworth, chief engineer and superintendent of waterworks, says: “The city is growing rapidly. In the past eleven months ending June 1, 1905. there have been 480 additional taps made. The total taps now amount to about 15,000. In my mind, there is nothing that encourages the city’s growth more than its good quality of water, and every assistance should be given to the encouragement of keeping the department up to the highest state of efficiency by the adoption of modern improvements. The fuel consumption has decreased, in comparison with the amount of efficiency gained in the pumping from the month of October, 1904, when we commenced to keep a close record of the working of the department, to the month of April, 1905, showing a saving slightly over fifteen per cent., brought about by repairs and improvements made. I feel that all the water-takers have a care in the unwasting of water. Yet statistics taken from other cities show that, where meters are used, considerable saving in water is gained. The number of gallons of water consumed per capita in our city on a basis of 70,000 population, from the first of January to April of the year 1905, shows an average of 160 gallons per capita. 1 would recommend the adoption of meters in all establishments that are liable to use large quantities of water, except the private dwellings, as I think, by so doing, considerable saving would be made in the consumption and a larger revenue to the department.” The total number of gallons pumped for nine months to June 30, 1905, amounted to 3,040,592,115—an average of over 11,000,000 per day, with forty pounds pressure and daily per-capita consumption of 158. The annual water receipts of 1904 were $194,359-37, and expenses $61,735.60. Up to the close of last year the distribution system had eighty-eight miles of mains, 750 hydrants, 16,000 services and 600 meters. The pressure in the city mains is from twenty-five to thirty-five pounds. The number of wells has been increased to 100. They are six inches and eight inches in diameter and from seventy to 125 feet deep. The aggregate pumping capacity of the three engines is .30,000,000 gallons daily. Two are of the Holly, duplex, compound, flywheel type and of 10,000,000 gallons daily capacity each, and one Blake, duplex, direct-acting, compound of 10,000,000 daily capacity. The works were taken over by the city in 1872, and have been gradually improved until they have reached their present high state of efficiency under the able management of Robert Hollingsworth, chief engineer.
Manitowoc, Wis., seems to hesitate as to paying $165,000, the estimated value of the local company’s waterworks plant. The company’s franchise expires within two years, and the city has voted for municipal ownership. The plant, it is said, is bonded for $203,000. The waterworks controversy has been going on for a year, and, as the company is willing to sell, the city may acquire the plant without appraisal. The company has served notice that it will fight to continue to operate, if the city does not buy.