The Oshkosh (Wis.) Filter Plant.

The Oshkosh (Wis.) Filter Plant.


In relation to the new filter plant recently constructed at the Oshkosh (Wis.) Water-works, the following particulars concerning the nature and source of supply may be of interest.

The city of Oshkosh has a population of about 30,000, and is located on the western shore of Lake Winnebago. This lake is really the widening of the Fox river, which flows into it through the city of Oshkosh, and makes its exit through the lake at its northern end, flowing thence to Green Bay. The lake has an area of 201 square miles, and is very shallow. As a result of this there is a constant decomposition going on, and as the current in the lake is sluggish and the vegetable matter brought down by the Fox and Wolf rivers enormous, the water in the summer months becomes objectionable both in appearance, odor and taste. Moreover, the Fox river is at times completely covered with a greenish substance, which the inhabitants call “seeds,” which covers the water like a heavy green oil, producing a startling effect on a person unacquainted therewith. The water in the winter season is good, and an analysis of it shows that, apart from the vegetable matter therein, it is perfectably suitable for drinking.

The Oshkosh Water-works Company has a pump house located within 200 feet of the shore of the lake, and takes the water through an intake extending 1000 feet out. As the water was objectionable, driven wells were made use of for a time, and also an attempt at filtration, both efforts, however, proving unsatisfactory. In 1890, after an examination by John W. Hill of Cincinnati, the company decided to put in a plant of Warren filters, and work was at once commenced. A building of the same character as the pump house, and connected with it, extending 100 feet towards the lake, was erected, and in it were placed ten Warren filters with the necessary piping for the addition of two more should the future consumption require it,

In the eastern end of the building is located a screen box, with racks, screens, etc., to remove the grass, bark and other floating substances. The water is taken through a “ T” in the original intake and lifted by a pair of eight-inch Webber centrifugal pumps, driven by fifteen horse power Westinghouse engines, to which they are attached, to the level in the filters, the water level in which is about twelve feet above the mean level of the lake. The filtered water is conducted to the original pump well, from which the Holly-Gaskill pumps draw their supply. The filtered water in its flow to the pump well passes through a twenty-inch butterfly valve, operated by a spherical copper float three feet in diameter, located in the well, thus preventing an overflow of the pump well and controling the delivery of the filters.

Since the completion of the plant a covered reservoir of 500,000 gallons capacity, which had been built some years before, has been connected with the pump well, thus giving a storage of filtered water of that quantity.

President W. G. Maxcyof the water-works board writes stating that the plant has given great satisfaction since its installation.

Regarding the centrifugal pumps, each pump is more than able to supply the demands of the filter system, and also to furnish what little power is necessary for driving the agitators during the process of washing. In winter the ” exhaust” from the engines is used in heating the building.

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