TRAINING THE WATER WORKS CREW TO BE READY FOR EMERGENCIES

TRAINING THE WATER WORKS CREW TO BE READY FOR EMERGENCIES

All Must Be Prepared to Handle Unusual as Well as Routine Work—Advantages of the Water Works Emergency Truck

THE keeping of the water works up to the highest notch of efficiency, both as regards its machinery, appliances and system-and also the individuals in its employ, is the keynote of the following practical paper:

To the average citizen the term “Water Works” only relates to the supply of water obtainable at a faucet. He knows little and thinks less of the necessity for keying all elements—both human and mechanical—up to the highest point where best service will be the result and of keeping them there. A constant supply of water under pressure is an absolute necessity in all communities at all times. T o achieve this end, an organization must be built up to take care of all emergencies that may arise from time to time. Further, it can readily be understood the impossibility of there being one foreman in charge of all of the several kinds of repair work in different parts of the city which may occur almost simultaneously. It is therefore necessary that each individual workman shall be trained to perform that particular work which is apportioned to him without close supervision.

Thomas H. Hooper, Operating Supt., Winnipeg, Man.

In a water works there are so many diversified jobs, each one interlocking with the other that an unskilled artisan can speedily disrupt the whole machine.

Advantages of Emergency Truck for Repairs

First and foremost is the question of repairs. In a city of say over 100,000 people it is a profitable venture to employ an emergency truck which will respond to all cases of breaks in water mains or services and other damage during the 24 hours of the day for 365 days in the year. The crew would in the case of a broken main isolate the break by the closing of the nearest valves.

In the case of a break in a service, if it be between the curb cock and the house or building, the men would stop the flow of water by shutting off the service. If however it were between the curb and the main, it would require shutting off the main or if not of too large a capacity direct the water to the nearest catch basin. The truck should be fully equipped with valve keys, service keys, lanterns and a complete set of tools.

The record of water waste from the many large cities in the United States and Canada is regrettable when it can be overcome by the use of meters. The initial cost for water meters is generally the stumbling block in the installation and yet if the communities would only realize the saving, they would easily understand the big improvement that would occur from a water works system under control.

Waste and the Maintenance of Meters

There are many kinds of waste. First we have defective water mains; these leaks may continue for some time, the water finding its way underground into sewers. This trouble can only be traced by night tests. Then we have leaking fixtures in buildings: if the water was being sold on a meter basis, a charge for excess, the user would speedily remedy the defective plumbing.

The opposition to the use of the water meter is slowly dying out as the benefits to be derived are so much greater than the supposed annoyance of the installation. This branch of the water works business calls for specialized work. The repairer should be a man able to dissemble and rebuild any known make of meter. A very essential thing in connection with the meter branch is a truck equipped with the several repair parts which may be necessary to repair a meter, accompanied with the tools with which to do the work. This enables the repair man to make small repairs in the building in which the meter is located. For heavy repairs the meter would necessarily be removed to the workshop.

As regards the water meter itself, there should be only one degree of efficiency and that is absolute correctness in measuring qualities. A meter that over or under registers is a source of annoyance to both the consumer and the water works department. A careful record should be kept of the life of each meter, showing the date and nature of repairs made with cost. This acts as a very good guide in the purchase of new meters.

Hydrants Must Be Well Cared for

Hydrants in a water works system are the connecting link between the water works and the fire department. By means of hydrants the firemen are enabled to obtain the water with which they fight fires. It is therefore very essential that the water works by means of close inspection shall keep the hydrants in a state of maximum efficiency. In cold countries this entails a great deal of work. The water works department should be notified of each fire so that the repacking of the hydrant can take place immediately the fire is out. This action should take place at once, as in case of the fire breaking out afresh the hydrants would be out of commission. In this regard hydrants should be closely inspected each Fall to prove that the valves are not letting by, in which case the water slowly rises in the post and freezes.

Another feature that should not be lost sight of is the benefit derived not only by the fire department but the water works in the attendance at all big fires of an emergency truck fully equipped by the water works, which will stand by in case of trouble occuring with hydrants or a break in a main in which case they can immediately by the operation of valves, isolate the break to the least possible section of main, allowing the firemen to reconnect their hose to other hydrants. While the chief duty of a water w-orks superintendent is to the consumer, yet this should not by any means lessen the attention required by the fire department the first being protection of health while the latter embraces protection of life and property.

The operation and use of hydrants by others than the w-ater works and fire department, except in the case of special permission should be treated as a misdemeanor and dealt with in the courts.

The Maintenance of Valves

Valves are placed in a water works system to permit extensions without shutting off the main and for the purpose of isolating breaks to the least’ possible length of main. Valves should be operated occasionally to ascertain if they are in good working condition. Poor pressure has often been traced to a valve left closed in error or the falling of a gate. Inspection is very necessary to secure the desired results.

A careful record of all the underground system should be carefully compiled. The location of all valves should be shown on the nearest pole or post, with sign facing towards the valve, and the number of feet distant the valve is located. This will be appreciated when the ground is covered with snow. All w-ater services or connections should be recorded with full particulars.

Santa Barbara, Cal., To Install Additional Meters—Extensive water works improvements will be made by Santa Barbara, Cal., in the near future. According to City Manager H. Nunn it is estimated that $235,000 will be expended for additional meters and water mains.

A. C. Reger, New Cloverdale, Cal., Chief—The annual election of the Cloverdale, Cal., fire department resulted in the appointment of A. C. Reger as chief and Ernest Mulford, assistant chief. The department plans to acquire a new triple combination car in the near future.

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