The Far Rockaway Plant.
THE time I was first retained by the former management to perform the necessary work attendant upon the improvement of the service, May 22, 1891, the works of the Queens County Water Company comprised about 20 miles of pipe, with about 140 hydrants of various makes, including Chapman, Eddy and Holyoke. The pumping plant at that date consisted of two Davidson pumps, one of million capacity, and one compound of 1^4′ million capacity, the former so proportioned as to require more steam than was available, and the latter set on a badly wrecked foundation. Boiler capacity was scant and the works were susceptible of much improvement, and to improve the service the compound pump was reset upon a durable foundation. Connections for suction and delivery were enlarged, and a new line of 12 inch suction laid to the % million pump. A new boiler was also obtained, of sufficient capacity to run either pump, or both together. A line of 14 inch and 12 inch main was laid from this old station through Far Rockaway to afford increased pressure at Rockaway Beach. 5 miles distant, then furnished through an 8 inch main, laid when the Beach was much smaller than now. A considerable number of new hydrants were set, and gates inserted where the good of the service required them, and after the new management took charge, we put a separate gate on each hydrant branch. The water supply in the spring of 1891 was from 50 to Oosmall driven wells from 2 Inches to 5 inches in diameter, a few tile wells of 10 inches or 12 inches diameter and 24 new 5 inch wells north of the L. I. R. R., on what is known as the Rcmson avenue property, In 189! we added 15 new 5 inch wells to this lot, and in 1893 we added 45 more, making 84 in all on this lot. In 1892 it seemed wise to construct a new pumping station within the territory embraced by the last 84 wells, making shorter suction, and in this building which was made with brick foundation, frame covered with corrugated steel, and ceiled inside with yellow pine, was placed a 125 horse power steel boiler, and a two million gallon Worthington surface condensing engine, with heater, air pump, etc., with delivery connection 16 inches to the line of 12 inch main leading to the line of 14 inch main laid in 1891. This building is shown in photograph No. 6. Shortly after this building was erected the directors set about the purchase of additional water supply in lands at Valley Stream, 4ft miles above Far Rockaway, where they acquired about 400 acres, through which flow two streams of water joining on the same land at a short distance above the lower end of the property, on meadow land sometimes covered by backing up of the tide water in the bay. On this property in 1893 was constructed a handsome brick and stone pumping station, in which was set a duplicate of the new Far Rockaway engine, with similar surface condenser, air pump, etc., and a line of 20 inch suction into a brick receivirg well, to which flowed through artificial channels both of the two streams above mentioned. In 1893 also we laid a cross line of suction pipe The main from the pumping station to Far Rockaway was 20 inch and 16 inch, with connections to admit of an increase in supply to the old as well as the nov lines. Also nearly four miles of 12 inch pipe was laid to reinforce the 8 inch main at Seaside in Rockaway Reach, with five connections intermediate. Also a large number of 6 inch connections were made, and extensions laid to reach new consumers in growing territory.
and sunk 22 wells which were connected with the last named suction, which in turn was connected with the 20 inch main suction, affording an abundant flow of pure water.
The works of this company comprise the following villages or districts :
Rockaway Park on the west, then Seaside or Rockway Reach proper; Arverne, Far Rockaway, Lawrence. Inwood, Cedarhurst, Woodsburgh, Fen hurst, and covering nearly twelve miles from end to end.
January 1st, 1893, the division of the lines of mainsbetween the various districts was as follows :
The addition. to the main liae in 1893 and the various extensions, increase these figures by 4 miles of 12 inch main, 4 1/2 miles of 20 inch and 16 inch main, and 2 1/2 miles of 6 inch mains, and with purchases ot several lines of pipe formerly laid and owned by private parties, bringing up the aggregate to about 35 miles or more. On these lines of mains are set 225 hydrants, the latter ones being of the Ludlow pattern, some of them with 4 inch connections and some with 6 inch connections and steamer nozzle. Nineteen or more 5 inch wells have been sunk in 1S94 on the property at Valley Stream, making the sufficiency of water supply undoubted.