Water Supply for New York.
Mayor McClellan, in his annual message to the city council of New York, adverts to the subject of the municipal water supply. He practically recommends the abolition of the aqueduct commission, recommends filtration of the Croton water supply and reports progress on the work that is being done on the Catskill water system, as follows:
“At my request the secretary of the aqueduct lommission has furnished me with a statement of the running expenses of the commission during the year 1906. which is approximately the same, if not a trifle lower, than the running expenses for 1907. The chief engineer has furnished me with a report showing the percentage of work on the Jerome Park reservoir, the Cross River reservoir and the Croton Falls reservoir. the only work the commission now has under way. 1 have also been furnished with a statement of the percentage of time expired on these contracts. The Cross River reservoir is practically completed, ninety-six per cent, of the work being done in November, 1907. The contract time expired in September, 1907. The contract time on the Jerome Park reservoir expired long ago. and but fifty per cent, of the work has been done. This is due in a measure to the suspension of work pending the decision of the city to use the easterly basin for a filtration plant. Forty-four per cent, of the contract time on the Croton Falls reservoir has expired, and but seventeen per cent, of the work has been completed. The running expenses of the aqueduct commission during 1906 were $308,290.93, of which $274,531.92 was for salaries. The expense of this commission is so vastly out of proportion to the work it has on hand that its abolition at any time would seem to me advisable. The great works the commission undertook are. with the exception of one reservoir. practically completed, and the time has come, in my opinion, to merge their functions with those of the commissioner of water supply. gas and electricity the latter to take into his department such of the engineers of the commission as are necessary for the proper completion of the work under way. * * * During the year maps for the acquisition of some 11,637 acres of land have been prepared and approved by the board of water supply and by the board of estimate and apportionment. These maps are separated into twenty-two sections and include 1,314 parcels of land. Fleven sections show land to be acquired for the Ashokan reservoir, including dams and the reservoir basin. Three sections indicate land to be acquired for the aqueduct from the Ashokan reservoir at Olive bridge to the Orange county line. Six sections are for land for the Kensico reservoir, including the dam at Valhalla, and two sections for the Hill View reservoir at Yonkers. The work on the aqueduct line between Cold Spring and Hunters brook, which has been proceeding under contract let on March 27. 1907, has progressed favorably. A large amount of work has been done in preparing designs, contract drawings and specifications for the various contracts let and to be let. It is estimated that about $20,000,000 worth of work is practically ready for contract. This includes the Rondout and Walkill syphons and the dam at Kensico. * * * Plans are ready for the filtration of the Croton water supply. Sanitary and engineering authorities are agreed that filtration is an ultimate necessity. By making use of the cast basin of the Jerome Park reservoir the cost of a plant to purify the 400.000,000 gal. a day can be kept to $8,500,000. The cost of operation is estimated at $2.50 per 1.000.000 gal. As soon as the city can prudently assume the financing of this project, I believe it should be done. In spite of constant vigi lance, the protection of a watershed of 360 sq. miles is annually becoming more difficult, expensive and uncertain. The only real safety lies in filtration.”