Underwriter Engineers Visit Ogdensburg
Ogdensburg, N. Y., has a population of 17,900, owns its water works and is one of the enterprising lumber towns in northern New York. Harry A. Lord has been superintedent of the water works for the past 10 years. The National Board of Fire Underwriters inspected the fire hazards of Ogdensburg a few months ago, and the following data is taken from the report of the engineers: The water supply was formerly taken from the Oswegatchie river, but in the spring of 1912 a new low-lift station was put in operation in the St. Lawrence river at a point about one mile south of the business district. Water is pumped from this station to slow sand filters and flows by gravity to rhe old pumping station, which supplies the city by direct pumpage. A 30inch steel pipe, 620 feet long, extends from a triangular cage, constructed of ½-inch iron bars, four inches apart, resting on the bed of the river, 35 feet below the surface, to the pump well in the low-lift pumping station; this pipe is in trench for the shore half of its length, the remainder resting on the bed of the river, held in place by two concrete saddles. The pumping station is a small area, one-story, reinforced concrete building, divided into pump and boiler rooms by concrete wall with unprotected openings; roof is tile on planks with metal lath ceiling; floors concrete. There arc no exposures. Equipment consists of two single-stage be Laval 3,000,000-gallon turbine pumps, installed in 1912, each driven by a 50 horsepower electric motor. In addition, one of the turbines may be driven by a 50-horsepower steam turbine, steam for which is furnished by a EitzGibbons vertical marine boiler of 12.5 horsepower. Current is furnished by a generator at the old pumping station, with an auxiliary supply from the power’and light company. Maximum suction lift; average about six feet; head pumped against, 60 feet. A 20-inch cast iron line extends from the low-lift station 2,580 feet to the filters, which are of the slow sand type, in four beds; combined area, 0.8 acres. From the filters a 24inch line extends 300 feet to the clear water basin, which is of concpete construction, covered, with a capacity of 1,000,000 gallons. Elevation of water surface on filters and in basin, about 00 feet above the river. From the clear water basin, which may be by-passed, a 24-inch line extends 2,000 feet to the Oswegatchie river; from this point a 30-incih steel line extends 550 feet across the river, through the old intake well and to the pump suctions in the old station. The old or high-lift pumping sation is located on the east bank of the Oswegatchie river, about one-half mile from the business district; a concrete dam, about 400 feet long and 12 feet high, impounds the water of the river, which is utilized for power purposes in the station during about seven months of the year; during the remainder of the year it is only used in emergency. The equipment within the station consists of the following: One Snow horizontal, triple-expansion, duplex, condensing, double-acting. 6,000,000-gallon pump, installed in 1897; used during the summer months. One Lang & Goodhue duplex, double-acting 5,000,000-gallon pump, installed in 1898, driven by two 48-inch Victor turbines, acting under a 12-foot head; this pump is used during the winter months. One Worthington 12inch, two-stage, 4,500,000-gallon centrifugal pump, installed in 1912, belt connected to the water wheels; will be used as a relief for the Lang & Goodhue pump. One Worthington 10-inch, singlestage 4,500,000-gallon turbine pump, installed in 1912, direct connected to a 125-horsepower steam turbine; will be used as a relief for the Snow pump. One De Laval 12-inch, single-stage 5,000,000-galIon centrifugal pump, installed in 1912, direct connected to a 10-horsepower motor, operated by current from the power and light company; this pump is utilized as a booster for fire service and may be used for domestic service. A 75 K. V. A. generator, driven by a 42-inch Smith turbine or a 125-horsepower Shephard vertical, compound engine, is located in this station and will supply current for operating the pumps at the St. Lawrence station. The pumps receive their supply under a head of about GO feet from the clear water basin. Head pumped against, 55 to GO pounds, which is increased to 80 pounds upon alarm of fire; the booster pump is ordinarily utilized for this service, but the pressure can be raised on any of rhe pumps, except the 10-inch Worthington. There arc three boilers, two horizontal tubular of 150 horsepower, each installed in 1912, ami one of the vertical marine type of 125 horsepower, installed in 1898; one is sufficient to operate the plant. Steam is supplied through a single line with a branch to each pump. Coal is delivered by wagon; about 10 days’ supply is kept on hand. Equipment is in good condition. Operation is in three shifts of two men each. It is estimated that the average daily consumption is about 2,500,000 gallons, or a per capita of 147 gallons per day. The maximum is thought to be 4,000,000 gallons per day. There are 3,300 services, of which only six are metered; there are 12 connections from 3 to G inches in diameter. House to house inspections are made to detect waste. A recording gauge, at elevation 10, is located in the water office, charts, which are kept on file, show an average pressure of about GO pounds when water power is used, and about 55 when steam is used for power. Pressures are raised to 80 pounds on the receipt of alarms of fire. Pressure readings were taken by a National Board engineer on July 13, 1912, at 27 hydrants well distributed throughout tthe city; observations were taken between the hours of 9:30 and 11:46 a. m., with the following results: Average pressure, 40 pounds per square inch ; maximum 52 and minimum 20; in the mercantile district the average pressure was 45 pounds. These pressures were taken under ordinary conditions, with 55 pounds maintained at the station; fire pressure would be about 25 pounds higher throughout the city. Distribution is in one service, by direct pumpage. Elevations in the area supplied range from 0 to 65 feet above the river, Which is about 243 feet above mean sea level. A 16 and a 12-inch line extend from the old pumping station; the 16-inch runs northerly and easterly about 9,000 feet, where it reduces to 14inch and extends about 5,800 feet to the State Hospital grounds; the 12-inch runs easterly 1,000 feet, reduces to 10-inch and continues easterly and northerly, connecting with the 16-inch, to the eastern limits of tthe mercantile district, where it supplies a 12-inch, which extends through the district and continues as the main artery for the southern portion of the city. Minor distributors are mostly 4 and 6-inch, with a small percentage of 8-itich. Gridironing is good in the more thickly built portions of the city, but there are numerous dead ends in outlying districts. There are about 10¾ miles of cement pipe in the system, of all sizes up to 12 inches, all laid prior to 1891. This pipe has given considerable trouble from breaks, especially in the larger sizes, and is being gradually replaced. Since 1890 tar coated cast iron pipe has been used; 6-inch pipe is the mimimum size now laid. Pipes correspond to Class C. American Water Works specifications; it is carefully examined upon receipt and is subjected to a pressure test of 65 pounds before back-filling. Average cover, 6 feet to center of pipe; average frost penetration, 4 feet; maximum, 6 feet. There are also 20 miles of cast iron pipe. There are 236 gate valves on the system. Gates 16 inches and larger are geared; those 12 inches and larger are set in brick vaults; others in iron boxes. No regular inspections are made. The fire department is notified by telephone when those affecting hydrants are operated. Gate spacing throughout the city is fair. In the principal mercantile district the average length of main that would be affected by a break would be 1,040 feet, with a maximum length of 2,220 feet. There were 176 public hydrants in service July 1, 1912. The majority are of the Mathews pattern. About half have 4-inch foot valve and branch, 6-inch barrel and two 2 1/2-inch outlets; the remainder have 4 1/2-inch foot valve, 6-inch barrel and branch and two 2 1/2-inch outlets, except one with three 2Fi-inch and four with four 2 ½-incfa outlets and 6-inch foot valve. All open to the right; about 75 per cent, have gated connections to the street.mains. Hydrants have frost jackets and automatic drip valves, and are set in pockets of loose stone or connected to the sewer. The average linear spacing of hydrants in an area including the principal mercantile district is 450 feet, and the area served by each hydrant, 157,000 square feet. Tests of 19 hydrants in 10 well distributed groups were made by engineers of the National Board in July, 1912, to -determine the probable supply available for fire protection purposes. The tests show that only along the 16-inch main artery are adequate quantities for residential sections available at a pressure sufficient for direct hydrant hose streams, and that in some of these sections the supply is very poor and at low pressure; in the principal mercantile district the necessary quantity can be obtained, but at a pressure only sufficient for engine supply.
Consumption is excessive for a city of this character; it could be greatly reduced by the installation of meters. Gate spacing is fair. Hydrants are of a satisfactory type, although too many have 4-inch connections to the street main; spacing is wide, a very objectionable feature, especially when direct hydrant streams are to be used, as hydrants should be so located as to make it unnecessary to use long lines of hose.
The fire department is on a part full paid and part call basis, under the supervision of a council committee consisting of three members. The force consists of a permanent chief and eight permanent men, a call assistant chief and 18 call men, including two call engineers and two call stokers. Chief D. M. Looby has been connected with the department 17 years, all of which time he has been chief. Assistant Chief O. W. Kelly has been connected with the department 18 years. The expense of maintaining the fire department for the last year, not including $2,200 expended for hose, $275 for a horse and $480 for fire alarm, was $11,419, or 67 cents per capita. The fire stations are of brick construction, having tin roofs and concrete floors; they were originally designed and built for hand-drawn apparatus and were remodeled in 1895. All are badly cramped for stable room.
Apparatus is in four stations, as follows: Station 1.—Apparatus consists of a twohorse-drawn Iron tired combination hose wagon, put in service in 1900, with two 35-gallon Chemical tanks, having 2 1/2-inch connection and carrying 1,100 feet of 2 1/2-inch hose, 200 feet of chemical hose. There is a complement of three permanent men. Station 2.—Apparatus consists of a one-horse-drawn plain hose wagon, installed in 1905 and carrying 700 feet of 2%-inch hose, an axe and two shut-off nozzles, 1 1/4 inches in diameter. A third size Clapp & Jones engine, put in service in 1886 and overhauled in 1911, is also located here. Station 3.—Apparatus consists of a third size American fire engine. purchased in 1900 and carrying two 4 1/2-inch suctions. There is no hose wagon at this station. Two call men are assigned to the engine. Station 4.—Apparatus consists of a two-horse combination hose wagon, installed in 1904, equipped with two 25-gallon chemical tanks, having 2 1/2-inch hose connection and carrying 200 feet of chemical and 800 feet of 2M>-inch hose. The force at this station consists of two permanent and seven call men. An old city service truck, carrying 155 feet of heavy, beamed ladders, is located in an old frame building, leased by the city, on Front street, near Catherine street. Engine 3 was tested by National Board engineers in July. 1912. It delivered 518 gallons, 86 per cent, of its reasonable rating, against a net water pressure of 103 pounds; steam averaged 115 pounds. The pumps were found in poor condition, having 13 per cent, slip. After the test the pumps were taken down and some of the springs on the discharge valves were found broken; some of the boiler tubes leaked.
Lieut. Lane of Truck 13, Boston, has been promoted to a captaincy and assigned to Engine 33, He has bden in the service 22 years,