THE WATER QUESTION AT SAGINAW.
Saginaw, Mich., is in a quandary as to the solution of its water problem. Two sources of supply are open to it, artesian wells or the Saginaw river and its tributaries. The possibility of bringing water from the bay has been altogether discountenanced by the engineers, first, because of the expense, and, second, because of a doubt as to the purity of the raw water. If wells arc determined on should thev be within, near or at a distance from the city. There are in the watershed of the Saginaw vallcv a number of flowing artesian wells. The town of Vassar secures its public water supplv from a series of such wells, which are ample for its consumption. Flowing wells have been obtained in the lowlands near the Cass river for some thirty or forty miles above Vassar. There are also artesian wells west of Saginaw along the Grand Rapids division of the Pere Marquette Railroad, and a considerable supply has been developed in and about the village of Merrill. The Vassar source, while very promising both in quantity and quality, because of the large area of porous Marshal stone 111 that direction, wras reejeted, because pumping would be necessary at both ends of the 20-mile system. The Merrill supply needed no pumping, but it is too limited, besides being possibly objectionable on account of an iron taint. Deep well tests within and about the city have failed, after numerous attempts at a cost of $10,000. As to an underground supply. Investigations have been conducted privately, which appear to offer some hope of securing an underground supply so far as quantitv is concerned. Whether these sources, which it is the purpose of the committee to test, will yield a water of satisfactory quality can be determined only by thorough free pumping. They arc now strongly polluted with salt and minerals, and, unless these impurities can be eliminated, they cannot, of course, be utilised. The possibilities of obtaining a ground-water supply will be fully exhausted before the city turns to the rivers as the only alternative.