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.”