The Work of Plumbers in New York City.
IN view of the fact that the static pressure of the water supply of New York city is in many cases inadequate to elevate the water to the upper stories of private dwellings and warehouses used for business purposes, it will not be out of place to anticipate the requirements necessary to meet the emergency thus occasioned.
Tanks located in the upper stories of buildings and pumps are in demand to provide the requisite supply of water, which the static pressure fails to provide for. In any event, the water-takers of New York city, for a period of time, must be content with a supply of water delivered in the basement of their buildings and, if perchance their locality admits of a pressure greater than a delivery of water above the basement floor, they are to be congratulated on the score of avoiding additional expense requisite to elevate the water at the points of delivery required.
This experience is not of recent origin in many places of water delivery in this city. Pumps and tanks are, in many cases, absolutely indispensable, and will be until more water can be obtained and direct restriction be imposed when water is wasted to the extent of one-third of the daily consumption.
The point in view is to impress upon the plumber of progress and intelligence the best results that can be obtained in view of the condition of the water supply, namely, the advocacy of the tank system and pump power to elevate the water to the required head necessary for a successful and sanitary use of plumbing appliances requisite for the comfort and convenience of the family, the factory and the warehouse.
In any event, the advocacy of the tank and pump will be thoroughly appreciated in view of the fact that at present it is impossible to rely upon the Department of Public Works being able to guarantee a pressure sufficient to elevate the water to the required height in many localities.
The plumber will, therefore, do well in considering these questions, and when called upon for a professional opinion as to what is needful to be prepared to sustain his judgment based upon the actual condition of affairs.
Until New York city can restrict waste of water this condition of affairs will exist, and so long as it does exist its people must pay for it in the way of spending money for tank storage and pumping power in their dwellings. It is observed that the emergency is not properly provided for, in that many plumbers ignore the fact that sizes of distribution pipes are not properly maintained in many buildings according to the varied pressures due to delivery of water from a constant head determined by tank pressure and as distributed on the several floors of the buildings.
The plumber can, by a little forethought, arrange his plan of local distribution in private dwellings and office buildings so as to insure a ready supply of water on any one floor of a building without depriving the other floors of the same building the use of water when required. A study of the squares of diameters and frictional resistances in water pipes will be a “ very present help in time of trouble.”
COMMISSIONER COTTER of the Chattanooga (Tenn.) department has come out boldly against the power of politics in the fire service of that city. It is a bold stand for any official to take who is more or less obligated to politicians for his position. But Mr. Cotter evidently understands the difference between the administrative and executive duties of his department, and has the courage of his convictions. Chattanooga is not a very big town, but it has produced a man who is bigger than many large men in what are termed “ leading” cities.
A TWENTY-SIX-STORY office building is to be erected in Pittsburgh, Pa., on the top of which is to be built a copper dome to an altitude of 550 feet above the street level. The project strikes us as being fraught with most dangerous possibilities and a menace to the safety of the public. The fire department of the Smoky City, while a most excellent one, is not equal to twenty-story buildings. No department in the world is equal to them. Moreover, how can it be possible that a city of the size of Pittsburgh should require twenty-six-story office buildings, when New York, London, Paris and other large cities do without them, and would absolutely not erect them ?
THE firewardens of Halifax, at a meeting the other night, decided not to organize a paid fire department system, on the ground that the ends would not justify the means; that Halifax being freer from fire loss than any city of similar size in the world as a consequence, the volunteer department of that city, quite excelled the paid departments of other places. The question of efficiency between the two systems, has not, we believe, ever before been decided in this way. We mean no reflection upon the Halifax volunteers or disparage the decision of the firewardens, but wouldn’t it be fair to consider that other conditions have largely aided in keeping down the fire fiend in that frigid Canadian stronghold ?
THE Fire Director of Cleveland, O., is soon to be presented with an interesting question. When there is a vacancy in the ranks of lieutenants or captains there are usually a number of applicants who are submitted to a sensible but thorough examination. As a rule three or four pass, and in the order of things there is always one who is the lowest on the list. This one invariably insists upon promotion before another batch of applicants is appointed, though in that batch there are undoubtedly many who would stand higher than he stood in his first examination. Chief Dickenson does not favor promoting him, but is in favor of giving him another examination. By all established rules an unsuccessful candidate for promotion is debarred from trying again for at least twelve months, and Chief Dickenson is very tolerant in the treatment of his men, yet they are dissatisfied with his decision.
FOR weeks Brooklyn has suffered greatly from incendiaries—mirthful, frolicsome fife fiends. It was supposed that with the arrest and imprisonment of Hugh Millet, aged 17, and John McGowan aged r8, peace and quiet would be restored in the department. But it was not to be. While the novelties that both of these young men threw into their felicitious fancies possessed all the destructive elements which the law condemns, they apparently did not desire to swell their bumps of curiosity. It remained for William Semmelroth, a boy of 17 years, to cap the climax in a trinity of fiery events. He lived in a boarding house on Orange street and evidently found that eminently respectable neighborhood too quiet for his surging spirit. Some months had elapsed since the clang and clangor of hastening fire engines and trucks and tenders had made waves in the peaceful air of Orange street. With an inventive genius that was as rapid in its development as it was personally unprofitable in its application, he found the remedy for ennui. Firemen and policemen were on three occasions required to risk their lungs in a race toward the young man’s boarding house. Finally, the police thought they would look into the matter. They discovered Semmelroth. The youthful suspect promptly made a confession in which he embodied the declaration that his only reason for attempting to destroy his landlady’s property was the desire to see the fire engines scampering through Orange street for the amusement of himself and his fellow boarders. An assassin would in certain cases be less dangerous than the scoundrel who commits arson. There are so many cases of fatalities re* sultant from the freaks or fancies of incendiaries that no person can wonder that men accused of this crime get short shrift in the courts. Punishment is not adequate in law for offenders of this kind for the reason that they threaten to destroy several lives while the manipulator of the stiletto or pistol in the majority of cases only menaces or ends one human existance. There is small room for absence of choice between these two classes of life destroyers, and no sane person will assert that the man who commits arson, if he be not a lunatic, is not the more dangerous member of the community.
RECENTLY efforts have been making to revive the project of constructing storage reservoirs along the line of the Ramapo river, in Orange and Rockland counties, for the protection of the great dry goods district in this city. This project was started some seven years ago by Col. A. R. Conkling, C. R. McAlpin and others, who formed a company, and, with the assistance of a number of insurance men, secured the passage of an act by the legislature which authorized the sinking fund commissioners of New York to make a contract with a company for delivering water in this city from the Ramapo district. A number of meetings were held and the project was in a fair way of being started when Col. Conkling died. Shortly afterward Mr. McAlpin died, and the matter was not pushed by the surviving promoters. But now the enterprise receives attention again, and largely by insurance men. Mr. James H. Dunham, of Dunham, Buckley & Co., represents the dry goods interest. The details of the project are so well known in fire and water circles that no extended report is needed at this time. An early joint meeting should be had of the stockholders of the company, of whom there are still a legal number living, and the sinking fund commissioners. The necessity for more water in the drygoods district has been apparent fora number of years. The supply at present is admitted to be better than ever, but that it is not sufficient is attested by the agitation of the Ramapo scheme by interests whose claims cannot and should not be ignored.