THE NEW LONDON WATER SYSTEM

THE NEW LONDON WATER SYSTEM

A notable feature of the operation of the water works system of New London, Conn.; of which W. H. Richards is engineer and superintendent, is the good result of three years of the policy of installing meters. The total consumption of the entire city during the year ending September 1. 1916, was 869,568,000 gallons, being a reduction from the previous year of 122,000,000 gallons, and a reduction from the year 1913 of 264,000 gallons, or 44% of the capacity of the supply lake. While the population has increased 7 per cent., the consumption has shown a decrease of 23 per cent., and the per capita consumption has decreased from 155 gallons in 1913 to HI gallons, a decrease of 28 per cent. In the same period the percentage of service pipes metered has increased from 20 per cent, to 4654 per cent. On the high service, Superintendent Richards states, the effect of meter installation is yet more noticeable. In the course of his summary and recommendations in the annual report of the Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners, Superintendent Richards points out that the quantity of water pumped for the entire year was less by about 45,000,000 gallons than the previous year, and was but 5 per cent, of the entire consumption, instead of 12, the percentage of 1913. To pump the larger amount of water required in the year 1913 necessitated using the entire capacity of the water power from Lake Brandegee and electric power to the amount of $483.79. During the past year the amount of water pumped to the high service was so small that the services of but one pump were practically required, and, moreover, leaving the department with a surplus of water power and requiring no electric power, thus showing on the high service alone a money-saving of nearly $500. This shows very plainly, says Superintendent Richards, the result of the three years of the policy of installing meters, but as the greater portion of these meters were installed where water was found leaking, it emphasizes the lack of equity in placing a meter on the premises of one person and selling water by the gallon, while at the same time another party can use an unlimited quantity for a given amount, and,” he continues, “there can be no equity until the law shall require that a meter be set on every pipe service. It has been the universal experience of all cities where meters were installed in large quantities that they have been finally compelled to make no exceptions in the installation of meters.”

Commissioners Favor Meter System.

The Board of Water Commissioners, consisting of B. A. Armstrong, Edward T. Brown, William T. May and E. T. Kirkland, in their report call attention to the reduction in the consumption, saying this not only defers the construction of additional reservoirs for many years, but actually reduces the present expenditure for maintenance, as shown by the engineer in the instance of the high serve pumpage, and it is the opinion of the board that the extension of the meter system should be continued until all schedule rates are abolished. The commissioners in their report give the following data concerning the department’s financial operations: The receipts from water rates have amounted to $78,706.22, which has been expended in payments of $30,000 to the city, a loan of $8,000 to the Sewer Department, and the remainder in extensions and maintenance of the works, and attention is called to the fact that the payment of $30,000 to the city is $6,335 more than the interest on water bonds.

Rules Governing Meters.

The rules require that “a meter shall be installed on all premises occupied in whole or in part as stables, automobile barns or stations, restaurants, saloons, barber shops, hotels, laundries, manufactories, photograph galleries, bakeries or markets, and all premises where water is used for public baths, soda fountains, jets, steam or water power or elevators, and such other premises as from time to time the board may direct. Superintendent Richards states that some objection has been made to the installation of meters on premises occupied in part by a garage, particularly where the garage itself was unoccupied or not supplied with water and makes the comment that such objections are illogical, saying: “If it is equitable to meter premises occupied by a family, it is certainly equally just to meter premises occupied by a garage.” As to the annual rental charged for the use, repair and maintenance of meters, it has been specified as ten per cent, of their cost, and Superintendent Richards says: “As the cost of meters depends somewhat on the type of meter, and recently has fluctuated largely, I would recommend that the rules be changed so as to charge a specified sum for each size of meter, which sum should be fixed at about ten per cent, of the average cost of each particular size.”

Protecting Source of Supply.

Active steps have been taken to preserve the cleanliness of the water by the acquisition and removal of houses and outbuildings which are nearest to the shores of Lake Konomoc, a source of supply. To do this both now and in the future it will be necessary to purchase considerable areas of land. It has been suggested that the city gradually acquire land and utilize it by planting it with some variety of evergreen trees valuable for lumber, hoping in time to derive an income from the same. The population on the entire water shed, most of which is remote from the lake, is but 40 to 50 persons, or 18 per square mile.

The Water System.

The New London water works were constructed in 1872 and are owned by the city. The sources of water supply arc Lake Konomoc, 600,000,000 gallons, water shed 2.15 square miles, and Barnes reservoir, 170,000,000 gallons, water shed 2.7 square miles, distributing reservoir 500,000 gallons. The mode of supply is gravity and pumping to the high service. The report for the year ending September 1, 1916, says the population at date is 21.500, and the estimated population supp’ied is 22,000. Of the total consumption of 869,568,240 gallons the amount that passed through meters was 475,079,250 gallons, the percentage of consumption metered being 55 per cent. The average daily consumption last year was 2,382,379 gallons. There arc 70.6 miles of mains in use and 16.6 miles of service pipe. One hundred and eleven services and taps were added last year, making 4.602 now in use. There are 415 hydrants.

Rainfall and Reservoirs.

The rainfall for the year ending September 1, 1916, was 45.41 inches, or about three inches below the average for the past thirty-eight years. The lowest rainfall in any month during the year was in April, when it was but .81 of an inch. As a consequence of heavy summer rains and the introduction of meters. Lake Konomoc was full or overflowing for the seven months from February 1, 1916, to September 1, 1916, and the average height of the lake has been 13 inches instead of 10 feet 8 inches, as in the previous year. As thirteen feet is the level of the spillway, it follows that the lake has been overflowing, or against the dashboards, for one-half the year. Endeavors have been made to preserve and improve the sanitary conditions about the lake, and with this end in view steps are being taken to acquire the Avery farm. Barns reservoir was entirely empty on November 15, 1915, but was again full on February 15, 1916, and the department has drawn no water from it since that time. Lake Brandegee furnished power for the high service pumps during the entire year. The amount of water pumped to the high service was 102,601,050 gallons, which is 26,627,320 gallons less than the previous year. Relative to high service, the machinery at the Mill street pumping station was running continuously and is in good order. Pump No. 1, the smallest pump, was running 8,171 hours and pump No. 2 was running 421 hours, pump No. 1 having 92 per cent, of the water. The pumpage for the entire year was done with water power, and. Commenting on this, Superintendent Richards says: “As the water drawn, owing to the use of meters, has been 5 per cent, less on the high service, the water necessary to use for power has decreased in proportion, and the water from Lake Brandegee has thus been sufficient to supply all the power without recourse to electricity. Thus the use of meters effected a saving in two ways. During the year new meters were installed to the number of 606. two of these being on temporary services. The total now in use is 2,146.” The report states the following kinds are in use: American, 9; Crest, 9; Crown, 40; Empire, 114; Hersey, 142; Keystone, 32; King, 8; Lambert, 470; Nash, 204: Thomson, 4; Trident, 998; Watch Dog. 65; Worthington, 44, There are six counters in use. Meters are now installed on 46 1/2 per cent, of the service pipes.

State Chemist’s Report.

State Chemist James A. Newlands’ report on the examination of water shows the following analysis of a sample of water from Lake Konomoc intake: Color, 33; odor, faint vegetable; sediment, gray; turbidity, 2, and said: “The mineral content of this water is low and the water is soft. The figures for organic constituents are not high and the chlorine is approximately normal. The numbers of bacteria are moderate and the gas forming type upon further differentiation failed to give other characteristics of the colon baccillus. The supply appears to lie safe for drinking purposes under existing conditions, but the water has a slight odor and a noticeable color.” In a report on microscopical examination of the water State Chemist Newlands said: “The number of organisms found in this water is not high, but several of the types arc odor-producing forms and are likely to give you trouble if they increase during the warm season. They can he readily eliminated by the use of copper suPhate.”

THE NEW LONDON WATER SYSTEM

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.

Superintendent W. H. Richards, of New London, Conn.

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.