THE JERSEY CITY WATER MUDDLE.

THE JERSEY CITY WATER MUDDLE.

THE blunder regarding the estimated capacity of the conduit supplying Newark and Jersey City with water is in all respects a serious one. It affects not only the cities supplied, but also the East Jersey Water Company. Of course, various reasons will be assigned for the failure. In our judgment none of them from an engineer’s standpoint of observation can be admitted as valid. A shortage of 15,000,000 gallons out of a total estimated delivering capacity of 50,000,000, (30 per cent, deficiency),will certainly excite more than passing notice, and particularly among hydraulic engineers. It is this line of thought which directs our consideration of the object lesson. Why should such a serious error as that of 30 per cent, deficiency occur in the calculation of the discharging capacity of a 48 inch riveted steel conduit in the face of the arbitrary figure of the ascertained head, length, and diameter of the conduit, and with the data comprising the usual coefficients of resistance to flow due to certain wellknown characteristics of friction in pipes before the eye of the engineer in charge ? It is possible that the new coefficient of resistance to flow in steel pipes, occasioned by riveting its cross and lengthwise sections together with lap-seams, has not been accurately determined. It has been asserted that the conduit leaked, and requires constant repairing. The main point after all is to show what measures of frictional resistance are due to the mechanical construction of a riveted steel pipe, as compared with a cast iron pipe. The present state of the art shows assuredly advantages of cast iron pipe in use over that of riveted steel conduits. The experiences in the use of the wrought iron or steel conduit at Rochester, after a period of several years, showed a diminution of flow due to accretions of vegetable growth, probably traceable to the peculiar chemical characteristics of the water of Hemlock lake. As no evidence exists that the East New Jersey conduit ever delivered 50,000,000 gallons of water as a test of its real estimated capacity, we can only say that the facts as stated point in the direction indicated as to the want of use of a proper coefficient of resistance to flow, due to the use of steel pipe as at present manufactured. The initial elements composing the factor of resistance, after a few years , use of a steel conduit similar in construction to the East Jersey conduit, will undoubtedly increase, if some remedy is not obtained to prevent accretions or deposits upon interior rivet heads and the edges of lap-seams. We think that steel conduits as at present constructed will in a shorter time present greater obstructions to flow than the obstruction;, due to tubercular formation in cast iron pipes.

THE JERSEY CITY WATER MUDDLE.

THE JERSEY CITY WATER MUDDLE.

JERSEY CITY will be compelled for some time longer at least to drink Passaic water diluted with Pequannock. The average daily consumption is about 22,000,000 gallons. The Fast Jersey Company, however, can supply only 12,000,000 gallons. The company undertook to give Jersey City the higher amount, the surplus of the Newark supply. But the mains of the city of Newark carry only 35,000,000 gallons daily instead of the 50,000,000 contracted for, and that city, therefore, cannot spare more. It is said that the East Jersey Company will lay a new main from the source of supply as soon as possible. Meanwhile the citizens of Jersey City labor under the impression that the mingled Passaic and Pequannock water is not altogether an unmixed (if it is any) good. The East Jersey Company think any growling on their part unreasonable; since they have put up with the unadulterated Passaic water so long, they can surely afford to wait another twelve months till a new main is laid to bring the water direct from the Pequannock. The error was made in calculating the capacity of the 48-inch main which extends to Belleville from Macopin reservoir, and which was designed to convey 50,000,000 gallons in twentyfour hours. Engineer Herschel said it had been demonstrated that it would not supply more than 35,000,000 gallons. He said that Newark used 22,000,000 to 24,(xx>,ooo gallons a day ordinarily. The contract with Newark is for 27,500,000 gallons daily, and the demand on several occasions has exceeded 30,000,000. Serious difficulties are expected to result from the failure of the water company to carry out the terms of its contract. The general public impression was that the East Jersey Company agreed to furnish from 19,000,000 to 22,000,000 gallons daily; but now it is alleged that no fixed quantity was specified. The company only agreed to give Jersey City a supply from the surplus after Newark is supplied. So far as can be learned, the Jersey City officials are not inclined to accept the Inadequate supply. It was to get rid of the Passaic water that the contract with the Fast Jersey Company was made. A contract was made at the same time with the Jersey City Water Company for a permanent supply, but it was certiorarie’d to the Supreme court and is now in litigation. The result of measurement showed that the Last Jersey Company had furnished only 8,646,132 gallons on one day. It is probable that the notice will be served on the company by the city law officers, that unless the full supply is furnished, the courts will be asked to set aside the contract.

The Newark authorities are simply looking at the action of of the East Jersey Water Company’s affairs, only so far as it affects their own city. Under the agreement the company is deficient about one-third of the supply it agreed to give Newark, while the blunders made leave the city in great doubt as to the adequacy of the watershed and storage reservoirs. The city still retains $2,500,000 of bonds out of the $6,000,000 which the company was to receive for perfect work, and it has the guarantee of the corporation and of the ladiigh Valley Railroad that defects will be supplied. It,is therefore,in a position to enforce its rights, and the city officials in charge have prepared themselves by independent Investigation to maintain the city’s position. The only present embarrassment of the city is the waste of water, which has increased the consumption beyond the limit fixed for present use. The remedy for this is to prevent the waste. The time for the fulfilment of the contract, when the company is to deliver the completed and perfect works to Newark, is May I, 1900, four years and a quarter hence.

The company continues to assert that it will make all deficiencies good. Meanwhile Jersey City cannot be supplied as it is expected to be, and is without recourse, except by suit at law for damages, for the non-fulfilment of the year’s contract it made with the East Jersey Water Company.

At a conference held on Wednesday between the Jersey City officials and the East Jersey Water Company it was said that the company would immediately push to completion a second main from the Pequannock intake to Belleville, to be ready by the fall. By the contract of October 12, 1895, however, the company have still three months (till April 12 ) before being bound to deliver Pequannock water to the city, and during that time they will try to have the difficulty remedied. Meanwhile they will deliver that water free of charge; but if the Jersey City authorities sell a part of this supply to other towns at a profit, the company insist that they have a right to be paid the contract price for that part. As the weather grew warmer warmer Newark would consume less water, and thus Jersey City would probably get double its present quantity. From April 12 till the completion of the new mains, the company would rebate from the contract price of $43 down to $20 per 1,000,000 gallons for the water, thus giving the city all the Pequannock water available,till the second main is finished, without additional cost.