Water Supply of Erie, Pa.
The city of Erie, Pa., derives its supply by pumping from the lake. The pumping station, from which two intake pipes, one having a total length of 975 feet, the other 17,641 feet, are believed to be the longest pieces of submerged 60inch cast-iron and steel intake pipe in existence.
The pumping engines in service are three in number, a Gaskill horizontal compound pumping engine of 5,000,000 gallons daily capacity; a 12,000,000 Worthington horizontal compound high-duty pumping engine and an 8,000,000 gallon engine of the same type. There are also two 2,000,000gallon Cornish bull pumps, obsolete and out of commision. There is a reservoir constructed in 1873 and about two miles distant from the pumping station, the bottom of which is 210 feet above the zero level of the water in the bay, and when the water is carried to a depth of 27 feet it holds 32,952,934 gallons of water. There is also a standpipe, erected in 1868, bus it has not been in use for years. The distribution, at the date of the report, has 183 miles of pipe from 3/4-inch to 20-inches diameter, along which arc 1,760 stop valves and 840 hydrants of the Mathews make. The service connections were 15,209 in number, 421 being metered. The Union Water Meter Company, Worcester, Mass., furnished 212 of the meters in use. the balance being of other brands. Of the total amount of water pumped, 4,483,392.032 gallons, there was furnished, by meter, to manufacturers and other large consumers, 1.159,536,621 gallons. During the year there has been laid in the city 24,283 feet of main pipe and installed 20 additional hydrants, besides replacing a number of the old style 4-inch with modern 6-inch hydrants. The most important event of the year was, however, the completion of the new intake, which brings water from the open lake, in place of from the bay, and the turning in of the lake water on September 16. This work, begun in 1904, has been prosecuted for more than four years against almost overwhelming odds, and the commissioners express their obligation to the contractors, the T. A. Gillespie Company, for their untiring energy in completing the work. Since the installation of the new intake the typhoid fever rate has declined to a very small percentage, which fact alone justifies the abandonment of the bay as the source of supply, and proves conclusively the wisdom of the course pursued by the commissioners. One of the sedimentation basins on the peninsula has been in use for some time, and the second one is nearing completion. The entire cost of all this work has been paid out of the revenues of the department. The total receipts of the department for the year including the balance brought forward from the preceding year, amounted to $307,826, of which $145,879 was received from assessed and $52,133 from metered water rates. The disbursements, for construction maintenance and operation, amounted to $282,633, a balance of $25,192 being thus carried over to the succeeding year. Considering the magnitude and cost of the construction work, this is unquestionably a very excellent showing. One of the features of the water supply equipment in Erie, is the public swiming pool, built on reclaimed land near the pumping station. It is 75×155 feet, cement-lined and gives a depth of water ranging from 18 inches to 6 feet 9 inches. Convenient bath cabinets are provided and competent attendants are on hand, and it is needless to state that during the bathing season, the swimming pool, which is supplied through a 4-inch pipe with lake water, is liberally patronized.