THE CHICAGO DRAINAGE CANAL.

THE CHICAGO DRAINAGE CANAL.

A dispatch from Washington, D. C., states that the reply of the Illinois and the Chicago sanitary district to Missouri has been filed in the United States Supreme court. This completes the record in the case that will settle the question whether the drainage canal has ruined the drinking water at St. Louis or improved it, as the attorneys for the drainage board claim. The final argument will be heard by the Supreme court some time after January 2. This litigation has been dragging in the courts for years, and was begun by injunction proceedings on the part of Missouri shortly after the canal was opened. The defence set up bv Illinois is that Missouri is not entitled to the relief asked, because the evidence submitted is not “determinate and satisfactory,” as required by the court in a previous ruling on a demurrer in the same case. It further asserts that all testimony in the case shows that the sanitary condition of the Illinois river has been better since the canal was opened, and that typhoid bacilli introduced from the sewers of Chicago die long before reaching towns in Missouri.

Utica, N. Y., has a new fire engine house, No. 6. Its accommodations are for a double crew, steamer and hook and ladder. Each company is divided from the other by a party wall—making practically two houses.

THE CHICAGO DRAINAGE CANAL.

THE CHICAGO DRAINAGE CANAL.

ACCORDING to an engineer’s report on the Chicago drainage canal recently submitted to Congress, the amount of water necessary to carry out the terms of the law, as well as so meet the actual requirements of the situation cannot be turned into the Chicago river without destroying the stream for its extensive commercial uses. The law demands 300,000 cubic feet of water a minute for a population of 1,500.000. But there is every reason for supposing that the sanitary distict now contains at least 2,000,000 people. If so, there must be a considerable increase of water before the requirements of the law are satisfied. As yet all the water that could safely be turned on has been 200,000 cubic feet a minute. On one occasion, when a greater flow was turned on, a large vessel which had left its slip was so stalled that the efforts of all the tugboats round it were powerless to move it, and the regulating works at Lockport had to be applied to to lift the gate and ease the stream. To the commerce of such a river as the Chicago the liability of being thus totally obstructed is a fatal obstacle, and the difficulty lies in how to do away with the risk. Whatever remedy may be applied, it will cause a considerable addition to the enormous expenditure already incurred—about $34,000,000, and it is very doubtful how far the Chicago taxpayers will be willing to stand the added cost. The city has secured the authority from the Federal Government to compel the lowering of the canals under the river which have so long obstructed navigation, but it is not thought that such a course will remove the trouble. The truth is that whoever was responsible for the conception of the drainage canal project apparently did not consider what would be the effect of its being built upon the level of the great lakes—in itself an inter-state question. They further seemed to forget that, in cutting the divide between the lakes and the Mississippi,Chicago’s “I Will” interfered with the balance of Nature, the outcome of which may prove serious all round. What the end will be is beyond the power even of a skilled engineer to foretell. The undertaking may yet prove infinitely costly to the city itself, to the Sta’e of Illinois, and to the Federal Government.