Traverse City Water and Fire Departments
Traverse City, Mich., is a progressive city of some 15,000 inhabitants, situated on Great Traverse Bay, Lake Michigan. Superintendent W. S. Williams, of the water department, in his annual report just issued, makes the statement that 734,238,000 gallons were pumped and allowing 5 per cent, for slippage, there would be 697,527,000 gallons delivered, an average of 1,911,000 gallons daily. The largest day’s pumpage during the year was on August 2, 4,896,000 gallons pumped; the smallest day’s pumpage was November 18, there being pumped on that day 1,272,000 gallons. This year the department has installed sixty-six new taps, this being thirty-five more than installed last year, making a total of 2,410 taps. Ninety-six new meters were installed during the year, making a total of 1,328 meters now installed; 307 of these meters installed are set at the curb and the balance are in basements. No water main was laid this year, and the superintendent suggests that none be laid the coming year, unless absolutely necessary owing to the extreme high price of iron pipe. A new inventory was taken of the water mains now in the city and the following is a list of same in feet: 4-inch main, 9,835; 6-inch main, 106,455; 8-inch main, 6,989; 10-inch main, 7,806; 12-inch main, 7,806; 12-inch main, 6,332; 16-inch main, 6,887, making a total of 144,304 feet, or 27 miles of main. There are a total of 161 street valves from four to sixteen inches in size. There are 265 fire hydrants in the city. The intake pipe was inspected by a competent diver; one small leak was found and repaired. The chlorine plant is doing excellent work, the open tank or gravity system being used. In the daily tests, the water was found to be pracctically pure. When taken into consideration that the operating cost of this department for 1917 is $4,995.65 in excess of 1916 owing to the increased cost of coal and other supplies, and that the plant still shows a net profit of $6,648.99, speaks well for the efficiency of its management. The installing of the meter system until the same is completed is recommended in the report, and as the extra cost of collecting the delinquent water tax is about $12.00 per quarter, it is further recommended that a penalty of 10 per cent, be charged delinquent customers to offset expenses of collecting the same.
Fire Marshal T. C. Murray reports that during the year the department responded to 68 alarms, and laid 27,000 feet of hose, at fires, on which the loss amounted to $25,450.00, with an insurance on same of $146,600.00. The insurance over the loss was $121,150.00. Property endangered amounted to more than $1,000,000. Every fire during the year was confined to the building in which it started. The greatest loss at any one fire during the year was the State Hospital laundry fire, which amounted to $12,000. The fruit exchange warehouse fire last February and the Hopkins big ice house on Boardman Lake were fires that made the losses for the year quite heavy. The chief further says: “I cannot say too much in praise of our motor apparatus, which has been a great addition to the department, proving to be a success in every way up to the present time. The Buick chemical has handled nearly all the smaller fires, thereby keeping the losses down where otherwise they would be much greater.” The property on hand, according to Chief Murray, is as follows: Three horses, two combination wagons, three sleighs, one exercise wagon, four hose carts, one hand ladder truck, six ladders, 6,000 feet of 2J4-inch hose, 50 feet of 30-inch hose, 2 Ahrens Fox fire engines, connections, etc., one Buick motor chemical, one Cadillac motor hose truck.