The Water Works System of Newark, Ohio

The Water Works System of Newark, Ohio

Newark, O., with a population of nearly twenty-five thousand, owns and operates its own water system, having purchased the privately-owned plant in 1910. The system was constructed about thirty years ago by a private concern, which operated it up to four years ago. That it was a profitable investment for the city is shown in the fact that last year the profits were sufficient to pay off about $40,000 of the bonded indebtedness. Management and control are vested in the Director of Public Service, appointed by the mayor; James McCarthy was made director in January, 1912. Engineering work and the keeping up of department records are in charge of the city engineer, Charles H. Wells, while George Buchanan is superintendent of construction and repairs. As soon as a fire alarm is sounded the water works office is notified, also the pumping station; pressures are not ordinarily raised for fires. A hydrant man attends all fires and a light service wagon is kept at the residence of the superintendent of construction and repair. Supply, taken from a branch of the Licking river through gravity and infiltration intakes, is pumped from station direct to two overlapping and interconnected systems of distribution, with a small elevated reservoir acting as an equalizer. The city is mainly level, but elevation ranges from 800 to 925, the higher elevations being in the outlying districts east and northeast. All elevations are in feet above sea level. The north branch of the Licking river, fed largely by springs, has a drainage area above point of intake of 230 square miles; minimum of dry weather flow is estimated at 25,000,000 gallons per day. A substantial concrete dam, just below the pumping station, with crest at elevation of 825, maintains a minimum depth of 10 feet over the infiltration units. Buried 10 feet deep in a gravel bar, in the center of the river opposite the pumping station, are six infiltration units, each consisting of a 12-foot length of perforated 48-inch pipe, slipped over a 9foot length of perforated 12-inch, the latter connected by 12-inch pipe to an 18-inch and 20-inch header and 24-inch intake pipe, extending 430 feet to a circular, 15-foot concrete suction well, 23 feet deep and with bottom at elevation 812. Also supplying the suction well is an intake of 36-inch vitrified sewer pipe, with intermediate chamber provided with sluice gate, extending about 350 feet to a submerged timber crib located at the bank of the river; crib is rip-rapped and ballasted with boulders. Up until this administration this infiltration system had become filled with sand and silt and on this account could not furnish all filtered water, and as a consequence raw creek water was mixed with water from these filters and pumped into the mains to be used for domestic purposes. Through the director of public service, a back flushing system was recently built at a cost of less than $10,000, which resulted in the cleaning out of these caissons and they now furnish all filtered water that is necessary to take care of the people. And the following analysis will show that the people of the City of Newark are being furnished a better quality of water, than under any former administration. The following is taken from the State Board of Health, dated Sept, 11th, 1913: On July 28, 1913, seven samples of water were collected, two at the water works and five on the distribution system. The two at the water works and two on distribution system were analyzed for chemical constituents. Laboratory bacterial determinations were made on all samples and bile tubes were poured in the field.


The seven samples of water collected at the Newark Water Supply indicate the water of satisfactory . and sanitary quality. The water was clear and sparkling in appearance, both at the pump station and in the distribution system. This is to be expected because of the condition from which Newark water supply is obtained. Previous investigations of the Newark water supply have shown considerable variation in its quality, according to the character of the creek at the time of the investigation.

The analysis showing the chlorine, alkalinity and sulphates, also the bacterial analysis is on file at the office of the board of health, and may be seen by any person interested.

Analysis made previous to this time by the Pittsburgh Testing Laboratory, to whom four samples were sent, resulted as follows: Discharge to the basin from centrifugal pump water shows no evidence of contamination. Sample at the pumping station shows that the count is very low and the test shows no sign of contamination. Hydrant in the water works office test shows no evidence of contamination. None of the above samples shows bacilla chlori in one or even ten cubic centimeters. The sample taken from the creek, which resulted in the following analysis, shows that while no bacilli chlori were found in one cubic centimeter, there was evidence of their presence in ten cubic centimeters of the water, and this water would therefore be classed as suspicious.

The pumping station was built in 1908, and is located on the west bank of the north fork of the Licking river, about two and a quarter miles north of the center of the city. Fuel is bituminous coal, purchased at a price of $1.12 1/2 f. o. b. the mine plus 55 cents for freight per ton, as aaginst $1.25 per ton f. o. b. the mine, with the same freight rate, during previous administration s. Two 5,000,000-gallon crank and fly-whe el, compound, duplex, Platt pumps and two hundred h.p. Atlas water tube boilers, all isstalled in 1907, and in good condition. One of the two pumps with one boiler is in operation continuously. Average water pressure maintained 112 lbs. The average daily consumption with no allowance for skip is at a per capita rate of 83 gallons based on an estimated population of 26,200. One thousand one hundred and fifty-six house connections were made during the years 1912 and 1913, as against 235 made during 1911, and close to 500 meters have been set during 1913, a greater number than during previous year.

A Chicago public service magazine has this to say about the management of the Newark water plant: “The present Director of Public Service is James McCarthy, who is regarded as a very efficient public officer. He has a reputation of being capable, industrious and conscientious, and, as a rule, his work is commended. He has held the office of director of public service since January, 1912, and it is said to his credit that he has added considerable to the water works receipts for this year by the collection of delinquent accounts and otherwise improved the efficiency of his department.” It is also shown on page 10, in which the writer of the story in talking with a business man quoted as follows: “I have no fault to find with Mr. McCarthy and I think the city is fortunate in having so good a man under the circumstances. He is faithful and conscientious and his work certainly must be worth all the salary he gets. But we cannot be sure of always having as good a director of public service as we have now, and that is one of the principal troubles that I can see ahead of us.”


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