To Investigate San Francisco Auxiliary Salt Water System
The grand jury will probably investigate the causes of the failure of the plans of San Francisco for a salt water auxiliary system. At present 76.2 miles of the system have either been laid or contracted for. Pipe has been bought for the remaining 21.3 miles, and the bond appropriation which was expected to cover the whole undertaking has already been more than exhausted, leaving the city with 21.3 miles of pipe, valued at $300,000, which there is no apparent way of using. In addition the value of the system as originally designed has been seriously impaired. As if that were not enough, it has just been discovered that the Twin Peaks reservoir has developed such faults in construction as to call for extensive and expensive repairs, while the pipes already laid are said to be leaking at the risk of one hundred gallons a day. At present forty miles of pipe are in commission; ten are laid, and twenty more are contracted for. At the above rate of leakage from the amount of pipe in commission, the proportionate leakage from seventy miles of pipe would be approximately 175,000 gallons daily. It will be remembered that as late as February last it was claimed that the engineers’ estimate of $200,000 for the completed system would cover the whole cost. Yet the fact that there would be a deficiency has been known long enough to enable the engineer’s office to adopt its blue prints in such a manner as to distribute the twenty-one-mile gap over as wide a gap as possible—a process which has resulted in the elimination of many blocks in different parts of the city. In correction or explanation of the figures showing apparent deficit of $161,117 for the work already done, it is claimed by the engineer’s office that the city has credits to the amount of $200,000 in completed contracts, and that as a result, the city may come out even on the completed work, with its 21 miles of pipe that cannot be used on its hands. That the grand jury should make a searching investigation into the whole matter of this salt water auxiliary system does not need to be pointed out.