THE NEW LONDON WATER SYSTEM
The total consumption of water for the year ending September 1, 1915, in New London, Conn., according to the 41th annual report of the Water Department of that city, was 991,599,764 gallons, of which 427,440,000 passed through meters, the percentage of consumption metered being 44 per cent. The total population at date was 21,000. The water works were constructed in 1872 and the sources of supply are Lake Konomoc, 60,000,000 gallons, and Barnes Reservoir, 170,000,000 gallons, distributing reservoir, 500.000 gallons. The mode of supply is gravity and pumping to High Service. The total of mains now in use is 70 miles. There are 411 hydrants (public and private! in use, of which ten were added during the year. There are 4,491 service taps in use, 107 having been added during the year. 1,576 meters are in use. Of these 629 were added during the year, the percentage of services metered being 35 per cent. The total receipts were $129,016.49, of which $35,828.97 was from fixed rates and $39,348.57 from meter rates. Total maintenance cost was $18,872.15, and construction, $28,368.87. The Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners consists of Hon. B. F. Mahon, mayor (ex-officio); Benjamin A. Armstrong, Edward T. Brown, William T. May and Eugene T. Kirkland. W. H. Richards is engineer and superintendent. The commissioners, in their report, state that owing to the extreme drought and to the heavy draft Lake Konomoc reached the lowest point recorded since 1901, in January, and at the suggestion of the Engineer active steps were taken to decrease the wastage by inspection and the installation of meters. The Board authorized a complete survey of the city with a view of locating the waste on October 9, 1914, and on January 8, 1915, instructed the Engineer to begin the inspection of inside premises and to install meters on all premises where leakage ot waste was not stopped within three days. (Afterwards changed to ten days.) The saving effected for the past eight months amounted to one hundred millions of gallons. If this policy is continued, a large expenditure for increased supply will be deferred for many years. The result of the stoppage of leaks has also reduced the pumpage to the High Service to such an extent that the time for which water is available for power has been increased and the use of electricity thereby decreased resulting in a very considerable saving. The result of the inspection shows that a very considerable proportion of the water wasted is on public fixtures not controlled by this Board. This problem has been met in manv other cities by metering public supplies and charging the various departments with the amount of water used or wasted by them. In many of the more progressive cities every water service is metered or stens are being taken to accomplish this object within a definite time.
Superintendent Richards’ Report.
Superintendent Richards, in the course of his report, says: “Barnes Reservoir was full from February 1 to March 1 and has been discharging into Lake Konomoc for the entire vear with the exception of about a month. Lake Brandegee has furnished power for pumping the entire supply to the High Service since January 9, 1915. Very considerable repairs should be made to the fence on cither side of the road crossing this reservoir. The average daily draft for the year has been 2.716.711 gallons. an average decrease of 269.741 gallons per day. The decrease since January, when the installation of meters commenced, has been 407,083 gallons per day or 98,921.169 gallons for the eight months, or at the rate of 150 million gallons for a year, or the equivalent of one foot and three inches on Lake Konomoc. Estimating the population at 21,000 the draft has been equal to 131 gallons per capita; estimating the summer population as equivalent to 500 for the full year, it would equal 126 gallons for each consumer, as against 154 in the previous year. This average daily draft has varied from 3,129,143 gallons in September, 1914, to 2,321,093 gallons in March, 1915. The highest draft, lasting for an hour or more, has been at the rate of 5,400,000 gallons per day and the lowest at the rate of 1,150,000 gallons per day, of the total draft 427,440,000 gallons, or about 43 per cent, of the entire consumption, passed through meters. This percentage will be very much higher next year when the full effect of the meters installed is realized. The above figures include the water that is pumped from the gravity service to the high service. The recommendation in my last annual report that active steps be taken to reduce the excessive draft was adopted by the Board and immediate steps taken to put the recommendation into effect. As it was uncertain how much of the draft could be attributed to leakage of the mains and how much to defective plumbing inside the premises of water consumers, the firm of Cole & Cole, of New York City, were engaged to make a Pitometer Survey of the entire city. They began work on October 15, 1914, and finished on January 1, 1915, their report being submitted to the Board on February 12, 1915. The result of this survey showed that the night rate of flow was excessive and due almost entirely to waste of water on private premises, no leakage of consequence being found on the underground pipe system. One leak of 89.000 gallons was found on the fire service of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company on Bank Street which was the only leak discovered on private fire pipes. Their report shows a very high night rate throughout certain sections of the city. On the reception of this report the Board directed an inspection of all unmetered premises in the city and the installation of meters on all premises where leakage was not repaired in ten days after notice had been given. An inspection of the entire city was begun in January and is not yet completed, but up to the present time 2,420 leaks have been discovered, nearly all of which have been repaired and 604 meters have been installed. These leaks were distributed among 1,421 water closets, 963 faucets, 12 urinals and 12 on pipes. The effect of the inspection and installation of meters is shown by the figures above quoted.
Summary and Recommendations.
Superintendent Richards makes the following summary and recommendations: Owing to the heavy rainfall in August, 1915, and to the saving effected by the inspection of fixtures and the installation of meters. Lake Konomoc stands at a point two feet and eight inches higher than last year at this time. Owing to the scant rainfall of the fall months, the level of Lake Konomoc dropped to six feet and four inches on the first of January, this being six feet and eight inches below the spillway, reducing the water stored to about 280,000,000 gallons. Much thought has been given to the sanitary conditions about Lake Konomoc, and while there is no immediate danger, yet it is time that the w’ork of improvement be begun as a combination of conditions might take place at any time which would have disastrous results. The passage of persons over the land bordering the Lake should be forbidden and measures taken to enforce the rules under all circumstances. The danger of unsanitary conditions is greatly augmented by the hostile attitude of many of the residents about the reservoir. That portion of Lake Konomoc which is above the filter dam, while being less likely to be polluted than the lower Lake, should also receive attention, being quite shallow. It has been intended that this part of the Lake should be cut off from the lower Lake by the filter dam, but the discharge of Barnes Reservoir into the upper part of the Lake creates a current and at times the quantity of water is larger than will filter through the dam. For this reason the pipe from Barnes Reservoir should be extended by a ditch discharging into the lower Lake. This ditch should also divert the water shed on the northeast side of this particular part of the Lake and the remainder should be without current for a greater portion of the year. The most notable achievement of the year has been the reduction in the consumption by the inspection of fixtures and the installation of meters. This reduction, which has resulted in a saving of nearly 100 million gallons in the past eight months, has also reduced the cost of pumpage to the High Service to a point where it is probable that the Connecticut College for Women can be supplied without immediate installation of additional pumping machinery. It is recommended that the inspection be continued and meters installed as heretofore on all places where leakage is found and not immediately repaired. Many meters are being set at the request of the owners with a view of saving in water rates and to offset this reduction it is but fair and just to install meters where waste is taking place. If all the public buildings were metered, as in many cities, the cost of each department would show and a large percentage of waste stopped. In the course of the recent inspection many public buildings were found to be wasting water continually. In all cases where w’aste was discovered in schoolhouses the request of this department that the leakage be repaired was promptly complied with. This, however, was not the case in all public buildings other than schoolhouses. The water supply to the Connecticut ‘College for Women has been the cause of much consideration to this department, it being very uncertain as to the amount of water to be supplied. As at present arranged, the entire amount of water used to supply the College buildings is numned by the city and then pumped again by the College management, the pumps at the College to nump water for fire purposes being also used for the daily supply. It will thus be seen that the work of pumpage, to a large extent, and hence, the cost, is duplicated. As very little storage is supplied, the pumpage must be practically continuous, and to provide against fire the pumns must be in duplicate. Under this system, in case of a breakdown in the pumping plant of the city, the College would be without water and especially without fire protection. I would suggest that this state of things be remedied by extending the Low Service through Riverside Park as heretofore recommended, and that the location of the College pumping plant be changed and installed on this low service pipe pumping to a large tank or tanks in the College buildings for the daily supply and using the fire pumps only in case ot fire. With this arrangement the cost of pumpage for the regular supply of the College could be met by the city and the cost of pumpage for fire purposes and the maintenance of the same could be met by the College as in the case with factory fire supplies. Two autotomobiles are now in use by this Department and the saving in carting alone more than pays for their mainteance. It is recommended that an additional automobile be purchased to replace the horse and wagon now hired and used by the Service Pipe Department.