TULLAHOMA AND ITS WATER PLANT
Tullahoma, Tenn., although a small town of about 3,000 inhabitants, is the largest in Coffee county, but not the county seat. It is situated on the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis railway, about midway between the two cities first named. Its waterworks are municipally owned, and its electric light is also supplied by the municipality, although Winchester, which furnishes the last and whatever electric power is used in Tullahoma, is about sixteen miles from the latter. Thus the town stands out as the first small town in the South making use of power supplied from such a distance. Before Winchester furnished light and power, Tullahoma had been supplied with light by a small company, which, however, failed to give satisfactory service, and, the contract being withdrawn, the operation of the plant was entirely discontinued. In June, 1896. the townspeople voted a bond issue of $33,000 for a water and light plant, with steam furnishing the power, as there was no stream in the neighborhood that was up to the mark for such a purpose. Winchester, however, offered to supply the lacking light and power from its municipal plant at Horseshoe Bend, on the Elk river, at a point about ten and one-half miles distant from Tullahoma, where there was to be a substation. To obtain the power at Winchester from a fall of nineteen and one-half feet artificially created at the point in question, a concrete dam was built, 122 feet in length, 17.8 in height; top width, four feet; bottom width, thirteen; the upstream face being vertical. The end next to the power house was connected without change in sections to the rock bluff. At the other end a concrete abutment was built perpendicular to the dam, and parallel to the axis of the stream. The top of the abutment was several feet above the top of the dam, and an earthen levee was thrown up to connect the abutment with the high ground not subject to overflow several hundred feet off. The substation at Tullahoma is close to the business district, and is a plain, brick building, twenty by thirty feet, with metal roof and ventilated wire tower. In designing the plant, it was decided to secure the water supply from deep wells, if possible to do so. A large spring, within about one-half mile of the station, might have been used, but was rejected in favor of wells, mainly because of its proximity to the cemetery, besides being subject to overflows at times. An eight-inch well was drilled within 100 feet of the station, and, after passing through the upper or ’surface water which had heretofore supplied the town, the drill struck rock at a depth cf about too feet. Into this the wrought iron casing was tightly driven, in order to cut off all the surface supply. At 120 feet a strong stream was struck, which rose immediately to within fortyfive feet of the surface; and, when tested with a fourcylinder pump, it yielded the capacity of the pump— namely, too gallons per minute, with a reduction in head of only six feet. It was then decided that two such wells, chambered out to a total depth of 200 feet to allow proper submergence for the air-lift pipes, would yield a sufficient quantity of water to supply the town. The second well was placed about eighty feet from the first well .and struck the same vein at practically the same depth: and it proved to be even a better well than the first. It was noticed, however, that the two wells were not far enough apart to prevent one being slightly affected while the other was being pumped. For pumping the wells into a surface reservoir, the air-lift system was adopted as being best suited to the existing conditions; and a twelve-inch by twelve-inch, duplex, single-stage compressor, arranged for belting to one of the fiftyhorsepower motors, was installed in the station. The suction-pipe from this machine was taken outside the building, and the four and one-half-inch discharge was carried to a thirty-six-inch by ten-foot receiver. The report of the municipal water and light plants at Tullahoma for the year 1903 shows the following figures: Operation Expense.—Paid city of Winchester for power, $1,200; salary of superintendent, twelve months at $100, $1,200; salarv of assistant, at $35 per month, $420; arc lamp carbons and globes, $60, ; oil. waste and incidental expenses, $110—total, $2,990. Revenues.—From incandescent lamps—about 1,100 now in use, $4,800; from water rents—seventy connections, $636—total. $5,436Excess of revenues over operation expense, $2,446; interest, four and one-half per cent, on $40,000, $1,800—balance to sinking fund. $646. In addition to above the city has had the use of twenty-eight arc lamps of 2,000-c. p. and fifty-two fire hydrants, equivalent in value to $4,180 figured on average prices of $75 for arc lamps and $40 for fire hydrants, each per year. The plant has been in operation since September, 1902.
A REVENUE PRODUCING PLANT.
A FAVORABLE VERDICT.
The following item was clipped from a recent issue of the Tullahoma, Tenn., local paper of the date of January 21, 1904:
“REDUCED INSURANCE RATES.
“An inspector of the Tennessee board of fire under writers was here this week, and the result of his investigations is very satisfactory to Tullahoma. The inspector is reported as stating that the town would be reduced from a sixth-class to a four and one-halfclass, which means a reduction of insurance rates of fortv per cent, on buildings. Placing the aggregate of premiums at an approximate of $8,000 per year, this would result in a saving to the town of $3,200 in premiums. The inspector, who is an expert electrician, made a thorough examination of Tullahoma’s water and light plants, and pronounced them firstclass. Coming from such a source, this speaks volumes for our plants and their management. Supt. Lytle is entitled to a deal of credit for efficient management under difficulties, and amply demonstrates the undesirability of ‘cheap’ men in such a position.”
The plant was designed by, and built under the supervision of J. Granhery Jackson, professor of Engineering in Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.