THE FIRE HAZARD AT NEWARK, OHIO

THE FIRE HAZARD AT NEWARK, OHIO

Following a visit to Newark, O., recently the engineers of the National Board of Fire Underwriters concluded as follows: “In the principal mercantile district construction is weak, particularly because of the excessive areas, light walls, lack of parapets and mutual exposures; the fire department is efficient, but too weak for severe fires; the water supply is adequate in quantity but barely sufficient in pressure for serious fires, and high winds are frequent. Although serious fires arc probable, the good width of streets and the large central park should prevent a conflagration from involving more than one block. Outside of this district the hazard is normally low. Newark has a population of over 26,00 and covers an area of 4.87 square miles. The waterworks arc owned and operated by the municipality; a new system was installed in 1908, and in 1010 the city purchased a system owned by a private water company since its installation in 188.5. Management and control are vested in the director of public service, appointed by the mayor; James McCarthy was made director in January, 1912. Engineering work and the keeping up of department records are in charge of the city engineer, Charles H. Wells; George Buchanan is superintendent of construction and repairs. Supply, taken from a branch of the Licking river through gravity and infiltration intakes, is pumped from one station direct to two overlapping and interconnected systems of distribution, with a small elevated reservoir acting as an equalizer. The city is mainly level, but elevations range from 800 to 920, the higher elevations being in the outlying districts to the east and northeast. All elevations in this report are in feet above sea level. The north branch of the Licking river, fed largely by springs, has a drainage area above point of intake of 200 square miles; minimum dry weather flow is estimated at 20,000,000 gallons per day. A substantial concrete dam, just below the pumping station, with crest at elevation 820, maintains a minimum depth of 10 feet over the infiltration units. Buried 10 feet deep in a gravel bar, in the center of the river opposite the pumping station, arc G infiltration units, each consisting of a 12-foot length of perforated 48-inch pipe, slipped over a 9-foot length of perforated 12-incn, the latter connected by 12inch pipe to an 18and 20-inch header and 24inch intake pipe, extending 480 feet to a circular, 10-foot concrete suction well, 28 feet deep and with bottom at elevation 812. Also supplying the suction well is an intake of 36-inch vitrified sewer pipe, with intermediate chamber provided with sluice gate, extending about 300 feet to a submerged timber crib located at the bank of the river; crib is rip-rapped and ballasted with boulders. This line is used to supplement an insufficient supply through the infiltration intake. A 30-inch pump suction connects to the suction well, which is just outside of the pump-room, and is also directly connected to the 24-inch infiltration intake.

Pumping Station Built in 1908 and located on the west bank of the North Fork of the Licking river, about 2 1/4 miles north of the center of the city. Operating floor of pump-room at elevation 833. Short gated discharges connect to a single 24-inch discharge main from station. Fuel is bituminous coal, purchased without bond proviso and delivered on siding over coal-room; less than two months’ supply kept on hand. The chief engineer, Carl 11. Simpson, has been in charge for the past 2 1/2 years; he lives close to the plant. Station is operated in two shifts of two and three men each. An old pumping station, formerly operated by the private water company, was abandoned in the latter part of 1910; pumps and boilers are not in serviceable condition. Two 5,000,000-gallon, crank and flywheel, compound duplex, 1 Matt pumps, and two 200-h. p., Atlas, water-tube boilers, all installed in 1907 and in good condition. One of the two pumps, with one boiler, is in operation continuously; average water pressure maintained, 112 pounds. Steam piping is not in duplicate: owing to the lack of proper valves, a break in the header in boilerroom would put the entire plant out of commission.

Construction.—The station is a high 1-story brick building with 16-inch walls, divided by a 12inch wall extending to roof only, but with protected openings, into pump-room, 44 by 50 feet, and boiler-room, 52 by 68 feet. Small brick office and store-room adjoin and communicate with boiler-room on either side, and open concrete coal-bin adjoins the rear. Roofs are hipped, covered with slate on wooden purlins and sheathing over steel trusses; heavy wooden cornice. Floors are concrete, with pump-room rioor 3 1/2 feet below boiler-room, and pit at either end of pumproom; floor over pit supported on steel beams. Located about ¼ mile northeast of pumping station and on the opposite side of the river is the reservoir, connected by a 16-inch main, 3,487 feet long, to the old 16-inch force main just below the old pumping station; it is constructed of earth embankments, lined with broken stone; in good condition. Elevation of overflow, 1,098; storage capacity, with full depth of 12 teet, approximately 2,500,000 gallons. Reservoir seldom kept full; water level usually maintained 5 to 7 feet below the overflow, or with approximately 1,000,000 gallons in storage. The average daily consumption for 1911, based on plunger displacement, with no allowance for slip, was 2,174,860 gallons, a per capita rate of 83 gallons, based on an estimated population of 26,200. Of a total of 3,116 services in use January 1, 1912, 2,063 are metered, and by January 1, 1913, it is expected that practically all services will be metered, over 1,200 meters having been set in the past 5 years. There are very few service connections 4 inches and larger in diameter; controlling valves are located anywhere between the main and the property line. The only recording gage maintained is at the pumping station; records are incomplete, but indicate discharge pressures ranging from 110 to 115 pounds, averaging 112; full reservoir under the usual rate of pumping is equivalent to about 115 pounds. On December 30, 1911, a break occurred on the 24-inch discharge main just outside the wall of the pump-room, and before the repairs were completed, on January 2, 1912, the reservoir had been exhausted and the pressure was drawn down to about 15 pounds. Charts from a recording gage temporarily installed in place of an ordinary gage in the main office, at elevation 837, and in the principal mercantile district, indicated pressures ranging from 105 to 115, averaging 112 pounds. In March, 1912, pressure readings were taken by National Board engineers at 49 hydrants well distributed throughout the system; observations were taken between the hours of 9 a. m. and 5 p. m., which showed principal mercantile average, 111; minimum, 109; maximum, 113; whole city, average, 107; minimum, 77; maximum, 122.

Distribution System.—In one service supplied by direct pumping with elevated reservoir acting as an equalizer; both the old and the new systems of distribution are in use, in most sections, mains of each being laid in the same street. There are no built-up areas within the city limits that are without fire protection. Strect_ elevations range from 807 to 918; most of the city is fiat, the higher elevations being in the outlying districts; average elevation of the principal mercantile district is 832. A single 24-inch discharge pipe extends a distance of 170 feet from the pumping station, there branching into two 16-inch force mains, which enter the distribution systems near the northern city limits, approximately 4,000 feet distant; the 16-inch branch to the reservoir is directly connected to one of the two force mains at a point about 1,000 feet below the pumping station. From the northern city limits the two 16-inch force mains continue south about 2/3 of a mile to where the only large size connection is made between the two systems of distribution. The new system is supplied through three 16-inch branches, one extending through the western and southwestern portions of the city, one to and around the principal mercantile district, and the other, connected to two 12-inch branches, reinforcing the principal mercantile district and eastern portion of the city; 12 and 10-inch loops and cross-connections form a generally good system of secondary feeders, except along the extreme southern limits of the city. The old system has but a single 12-inch feeder with short 10inch branches extending only to the most central parts of the city. Connections between the two systems are made at 12 widely distributed points, mostly in outlying districts and between the smaller pipes. Minor distributors are very largely 6 inches in diameter, with considerable 8-inch in the central portion of the new system; dead ends and long unsupported lengths of 6-inch pipe, from to ½ mile in length, are numerous in both systems, except in and around the central portion of the city. The oldest pipes have been in service over 25 years, but those of the new system have been in me only 4 years. Pipes recently removed, that had been in service many years, were comparatively free from tubercles and showed very little evidence of incrustation. Broken pieces oi some of the older pipes of the larger sizes showed them to be in very good condition. Pipes are laid with a cover of 4 1/2 feet; extreme frost penetration, 3 feet. There arc three lines of pipe exposed on bridges; no trouble from freezing has been experienced. Pipe in the new system, purchased under the specifications of the American Waterworks Association. Class C, is suitable for a working pressure of 130 pounds; it is inspected at the foundry, hammer tested at the cars and trench, and subjected to 120 pounds pressure before backfilling at the joints. From thicknessses measured and such records as are available, the weights of pipe in the old system are not materially, if any, lighter than those recently purchased. All valves of which there are 793, are 16 inches and larger, geared and set in brick or concrete manholes; others are direct acting and have the usual iron extension box. All valves open to the left, and probably 75 per cent, of the total are located on property lines at street intersections. Complete measurements of location are about to be made. In the principal mercantile district, the average length of main that it would be necessary to cut out in case of a single break is 1,370 feet on the old system and 1,360 feet on the new, with a maximum of 3,870 feet on the old system and four out of eleven sections over 1,500 feet long on the new system. In a representative residential district, the averages on the old and new systems were found to be 1,640 feet and 2,280 feet, with maximums of 4,930 feet and 3,880 feet. The fire department is notified verbally or by telephone when valves affecting hydrant supply are operated. The records of the department gave 603 public hydrants in service March 1, 1912. Of these, 273 are on the mains formerly owned by the Newark Water Company, over 80 per cent, of which are of the Bourbon make, with two outlets, 4 3/4-inch barrel and 4-inch connection to main; 52 have one steamer and two hose outlets with 6-inch barrels and branch connections. The remaining 435, on mains of the new system, have 6-inch gated connections to mains, are mostly of the Bourbon and Mathews patterns and have 5 1/8-inch barrels; 382 have two outlets and the remainder have three. Hydrants on both systems are of the post type, but those on the old system have smaller operating nuts and open in the opposite direction from those on the new system, resulting in the use of two sets of wrenches and some confusion in operation. An employe of the fire department devotes his entire attention to the inspection and care of hydrants; he makes the rounds on an average of once a month. The average linear spacing of hydrants in the principal mercantile district was found to be 140 feet and the area served by each, 46,000 square feet. In a representative residential district, the average spacing was 210 feet, and the area served by each hydrant, 80,300 square feet. Tests at 44 hydrants in 9 well distributed groups were made by National Board engineers in March, 1912. to determine the probable supply available for fire protection purposes. Results of the tests are classified in Table 4 and the locations of groups are shown on the accompanying map by corresponding numbers. Three to six hydrants were included in a group; all were opened simultaneously and the free discharges measured by means of Pitot tubes. Tests were made between 9.30 a. m. and 3 p. m., under the usual fire conditions, with one pump in operation. Sufficient quantities were obtained in all except the most outlying districts of the city, where the gridironing is extremely poor: the loss of head due to friction was high in all tests. Of the hydrants tested, those on the old system gave an average discharge of 580 gallons per minute, while those on the new system averaged over 1,400 gallons per minute. The tests in general indicate that the lack of proper cross-connections between the two systems of distribution is a very objectionable feature in what might otherwise lie a generally well gridironed system. Contemplated improvements include the installation of a 5,000.000-gallon low-lift centrifugal pump, in connection with a recently constructed clear-water basin, and either 4 or 6 additional infiltration units.

THE FIRE DEPARTMENT.

Newark’s fire department consists of 23 full paid men. Louis Bausch being chief. He is an experienced and competent officer, having been in the department 33 years. One ladder and four hose companies are in service at four stations. All points in the principal mercantile district are within 1.500 feet of a hose wagon and a ladder truck: two additional hose wagons are within three-fourths of a mile running distance of the center of this district. A hose wagon is within c mile of all closely built sections and large manufacturing plants except in the southern portion of the city where several runs of at least one mile from headquarters are necessary; there are two railroad crossings at grade between the latter district and the nearest tire department house. Three oi the hose wagons carry short ladders sufficient for most of the residential districts, but the ladder truck responds to all alarms and is over a mile from several points where it might be needed. The truck is of the combination service type and carries a 50-loot and a 35foot extension and six other ladders 12 to 28 feet long. It is in good condition and fairly well supplied with minor equipment, but does not have rubber tires. With the exception of the old reel at headquarters, which is very unsuitable and in poor condition, the hose wagons are well built, of combination type and are uniformly equipped; one has rubber tires. There are no wagons nor reels in reserve. The chief keeps his own automobile at headquarters. In service 6,550 feet of 2½-inch hose; in reserve 500 feet; all is doublejacketed cotton, rubber-lined, and purchased under the usual service and pressure guarantees. Hose is not tested, but as soon as a section shows signs of failing it is discarded. All stations are provided with towers for drying the hose. The hose is cleaned and dried immediately after using and is occasionally shifted on wagons. The amount on hand allows an average of about 1,700 feet for each hose wagon. About 60 per cent, of the hose has been in service two years, and all but a small amount less than 7 years. Practically no trouble has been experienced during the past few years with hose bursting at fires. There is 650 feet of 1-inch hose for chemicals. Hose couplings of this and nearby cities are of the screw type. Each hose wagon carries two or three play pipes with smooth tips 1 to 1 inches in diameter, 1 or 2 axes, a crowbar, 2 lanterns, 2 hydrant gates and hose straps. The ladder truck carries a fair equipment including 3 play pipes with tips from 1-inch to 1 1/2-inch. a smoke helmet, and a gas key. No special appliances are provided for the handling of heavy streams.

GENERAL SUMMARY.

Water Supply.—Municipal ownership; management good. Records complete, but poorly filed. Supply from river; ample. Pumping and boiler capacity inadequate in view of small reservoir capacity; station lacks suitable protection. Reservoid in good condition. Supply mains from reservoir and pumping station somewhat undersized. Consumption moderate. Pressure high; not sufficiently well maintained under fire draft. System of main feeders generally complete, but lacks proper cross-connections between the two systems. Gate valves in fair condition, but spacing is extremely wide. Hydrants in good condition, and very well spaced, but many on the old system are too small.

Fire Department.—A weak, full paid force under good supervision and civil service regulations. Discipline and efficiency fairly good; training insufficient. Companies undermanned. Ladder service only fair: chemical equipment sufficient. Hose reel at headquarters of obsolete type and in poor condition. Hose supply fairly adequate; no 3-inch hose in use. Minor equipment inadequate. Response to alarms prompt and as well arranged as possible with available apparatus. Fire methods fairly good, but no shut-off nozzles used and no salvage work done. Force too small to make satisfactory building inspections. Records fairly good. Financial support for maintenance poor.

Fire Commissioner T. C. Gaston, of Jackson, Tenn., and a committee recently inspected the Nott Fire Engine Company in Minneapolis, Minn. This was the fourth type of apparatus they hao examined. Some time ago they examined ana were favorably impressed by the Ahrens-Fox auto engine, which has its pumping device on the front of the engine hood, and in case of fire, the pumps can be run close to the plug and connected quickly. The engine is powerful, and the truck also carries a chemical engine, ladders, hose, etc., and has room for a dozen or more men.

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