TO LOOK INTO ITS WATER SUPPLY.
A special committee of the New England Insurance Exchange, recently visited Portland, Me., to examine into its water supply. The members reported as follows, after conferring with the chief of the fire department and calling upon the officials of the Portland water company: “The water supply of Portland and several adjacent towns comes from lake Sebago, some seventeen miles distant. The water passes through a conduit of stone and cement extending from the foot of the lake about a mile, and then branching off into two water mains of twenty and twenty-six inches diameter respectively. Recently it became necessary to make a survey of this conduit, and for that purpose the water had to be shut off at upper end, leaving the district supply dependent on standpipes and reservoirs While this was sufficient for house service, it certainly was not adequate for fire protective purposes, and this condition lasted for forty-eight hours in a district in which more than $20,000,000 is at risk. It is believed that, in order to free Portland from such a peril, another conduit should be built, with an independent main running into the city and supplying a pressure of probably ninety pounds. But, even with the water supply in proper order, it is considered that the service mains in the residential districts are not large enough, being six inchess and less in diameter, whereas they should be at least eight inches or more. It is said that the Portland Water company is considering extensive improvements of its plant, and the Exchange committee will probably not make its final report to the Exchange before learning what the water company is planning. Meanwhile there is no immediate prospect of an advance of rates at Portland, but there is no telling what may happen if present conditions are not improved.”