Water Department of Woonsocket

Water Department of Woonsocket

According to a report recently issued by the Committee on Fire Prevention and Engineering Standards, of the National Board of Fire Underwriters, an inspection was made by Engineer Charles R. Barker, of the Board, in conjunction with engineers of the New England Insurance Enchange, in December, 1918, to ascertain what improvements have been made in the fire fighting facilities since the report of January, 1911, and action taken on the recommendations. Excerpts from the report follow:

Water Supply

Clarence W. Mills was recently appointed superintendent of the water department for an indefinite term ; his residence has connection to the public exchange by a single party line as recommended; there is only the private telephone at the pumping station.

An additional concrete standpipe of 1,521,947 gallons capacity was built near the other three, making a total storage capacity of 3,500,742 gallons. The two i,000,000gallon Worthington pumps have been removed and a 5,000.000-gallon electrically driven centrifugal pump installed, the combined pumping capacity now being 12,750,000 gallons. An additional 5,000,000-gallon electric driven unit has been ordered and will probably replace the 2,500.000-gallon steam pump now in service. The discharge mains have been changed so that a break just outside of the station will put all pumps out of service.

The average daily consumption has increased to 2,500,000 gallons and the maximum daily consumption in BBS was 3,600,000 gallons in February. The amount of 4-inch mains has been decreased 1.55 miles and the total increase of pipe in the distribution system is 9.06 miles. Gate valves are said to be inspected once a year; those examined were in good condition. The installation of the 12-inch main in the northeastern part of the city has materially improved conditions as shown by tests 3, 4, 10 and 11 in Table No. 1; tests 5, 6, 7, 17 and 18 show the need of strengthening the distribution system locally.


The water supply available for fire protection is adequate, and at sufficient pressures for direct hydrant streams in the mercantile, manufacturing and most residential districts; system needs strengthening in outlying sections. Consumption is still very low. Additional elevated storage is needed in view of the unreliability of the non-fireproof pumping station and the lack of adequate duplication in force mains.

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