THE NEW ENGLAND WATER WORKS ASSOCIATION
Annual Meeting at Boston New Officers Elected for the Ensuing Year and an Ambitious Program Outlined for the Association’s Activities
Boston, Jan. 8.—Following a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Association at its headquarters in the Tremont Temple in the forenoon to canvass the ballots for election of officers, the annual meeting of the New England Water Works Association was opened with the official luncheon at the Hotel Brunswick, with Carleton E. Davis, the retiring president (Chief. Bureau of Water, Philadelphia, Pa.) in the chair.
Mr. Davis reported the results of the election as follows:
President—Samuel E. Killam. Superintendent Pipe Lines and Reservoirs. Metropolitan Water Works. Boston. Mass. Vice-Presidents—Henry V. Macksey, Superintendent Public Works, Woburn, Mass.; Charles W. Sherman, consulting engineer, Boston; Percy R. Sanders, Superintendent Water Works, Concord, N. H.; Frank A. Barbour, Consulting Engineer, Boston. Mass.; Thomas Mackenzie, Superintendent Water Works. Westerly, R. I.; James H. Mendell. Superintendent Water Works, Manchester, N. H.
Secretary—Willard Kent, Consulting Engineer. Narragansett Pier, R. I.
Treasurer—Lewis M. Bancroft, Superintendent Water Works, Reading, Mass.
Editor and Advertising Agent—Henry A. Symonds, Consulting Engineer, Boston, Mass.
Additional Members, Executive Committee—Frank J. Gifford, Superintendent Water Works, Dedham. Mass.; A. R. Hathaway, Water Registrar, Springfield, Mass.; Patrick Gear, Superintendent Water Works, Holyoke, Mass.
Finance Committee—George A. Carpenter, City Engineer, Pawtucket, R. I.; Edwin L. Pride. Public Accountant, Boston, Mass.; Frank A. Marston, consulting engineer, Boston, Mass.
Reports of Committees
The reports of the various committee chairmen brought out the fact that war activities had practically caused a suspension of all experimental work and investigations so that the only thing that could be reported at the meeting was that work would be resumed in the near future now that the opportunity to do so was available. The subjects on which “progress” was reported are:
Standard Specifications for Cast Iron Pipe, F. A. Machines, chairman.
Standard Specifications for Fire Hydrants, H. O. Lacount, chairman.
Statistics for Water Purification Plants, George C. Whipple, chairman.
Leakage of Pipe Joints, F. A. Barbour, chairman.
Proposed Standard Schedule for Grading Cities and Towns of the United States with Reference to Their Fire Defenses and Physical Conditions, Frank A. Machines, chairman.
A National Water Law, Caleb M. Saville, chairman.
Uniform Accounting. Albert L. Sawyer, chairman.
Standard Specifications for Meters, Charles W. Sherman, chairman.
Revenue from Fire Services, W. C. Hawley, chairman.
Frozen Service Pipes, Frank J. Gifford, chairman.
Tribute to Theodore Roosevelt
Following the reports of the various committees President Davis made his annual address and then relinquished the chair to the new president, Mr. Killam, who briefly outlined the progressive policy along which he aims to have the Association work during the coming twelve months. The text of both these addresses is given in full below. At 2 p. m. the entire assemblage rose and stood in silence for two minutes in honor of the memory of Colonel Rosevelt, whose funeral was being held at that hour in Oyster Bay.
Award of Dexter-Brackett Memorial Medal
Before the meeting was opened for informal discussion. President Killam announced the award of the Dexter-Brackett Memorial Medal to Albert L. Sawyer, Registrar of the Haverhill. Mass., water works, for his paper on water works accounting. (This paper is reprinted on page 122 of this issue). Mr. Killam also mentioned that a schedule of meter rates which had been proposed by the Association two years previous but on which no further work had been done since, owing to the war, had been formally adopted by the Hackensack Water Company, Spring Valley, N. J., Water Company, as well as towns in California and Connecticut, comprising in all a population of over a million.
In the informal discussion that followed, Mr. Davis mentioned that his engineers had been experimenting with a novel underground pipe detector which had proven very successful in locating “lost” pipes without going to the expense of unnecessary digging at random. He cited one case in the Philadelphia suburbs where the piping had been installed more than seventy-live years previous so that there was no record extant of its location. Dig ging at the spot indicated proved that the old pipe was directly underneath. The device is a simple affair, hardly larger than a physician’s stethoscope, its chief feature consisting of a sensitive telephone receiver, one connection of which is temporarily attached to a known part of the system, while a workman carries the other over the ground where the pipe is sought. This second connection is passed over the ground and in accordance with its proximity to an underground pipe, a humming noise is produced in the telephone receiver. As the searcher goes farther away from the pipe, the humming becomes fainter so that, under the directions of the listening operator, he walks back and forth in directions to and from a spot indicated until one is located at which the sound is loudest. Mr. Davis said that this had never failed to be the spot sought, as digging had always brought the pipe to light.
Waldo Smith on New York’s Water Supply
Mr. J. Waldo Smith, engineer of the New York Water Supply Commission, spoke briefly of the New York City water supply during the war and mentioned that few people realized in what hard straits the metropolis would have been for an adequate supply had it not been for the Catskill Acqueduct which has now been in operation for almost two years and from which up to eighty million gallons a day had been drawn. If it had not been for the Catskill Supply, Mr. Smith said New York would have undoubtedly been as badly off as Jersey City, where for several days at a stretch all water was refused to the Erie Railroad locomotives, putting all except the through trains out of service.
Mr. Leonard Metcalf, of Metcalf & Eddy, consulting engineers, and a past president of the Association, spoke at some length on the problems of the reconstruction period that faced the Association, particularly on the score of labor difficulties that would have to be overcome before any constructive work on a large scale could be undertaken.
Mr. Hays, of the J. A. Hays Machinery Company, Boston, an associate member, brought up the question of the acceptance of bidding bonds for water works and other public construction instead of the deposit of a certified check. Where a manufacturer or his agent is bidding on a number of proposals at the same time, it locks up all his available capital sometimes for periods extending to eight months during which all interest is foregone on the money, while the bidder’s ability to figure on other construction work during the same period is impaired. Mr. Hays mentioned that the federal government accepted bidding bonds in lieu of a cash deposit and urged that it would be to the interest of all concerned to have municipalities do likewise. Ex-President Davis suggested that the Executive Committee take the subject under consideration and bring it up for discussion later. A vote was taken on this and it was so ordered.
Owing to many of the members having gone into the military service and losses by death due to the epidemic, the membership dropped from a total of 1,002 in January, 1918 to 905, consisting of 815 active members, 13 honorary and 77 associate members. The meeting was well attended.