WATER SUPPLY OF THE COLORADO FUEL AND IRON COMPANY
The Colorado Fuel and Iron company is preparing to meet future emergencies in the line of adequate water supply, and has been building great reservoirs to catch the spring flood waters, as well as to utilise the normal flow of the mountain streams. The company have already an artesian well, but its water destroys boilers. The Pueblo Water company and the Bessemer Ditch company had secured the Arkansas river, and the St. Charles river had years before been pre-empted by the ranchmen, as likewise had lake Minnequa. It was, therefore, resolved to build a reservoir on Salt creek, and as there was always a big rainfall on the Arroya Salada a reservoir was built with a dam one and one-quarter miles long and flooding 180 acres of land. In spite of all prophecies to the contrary, that reservoir was filled a year ago till it ran over by just one rain and in just forty minutes. Salt creek heads away up and is the natural drain of the land between the Sand hills and the Cottonwood Arroya. Its length is about eighteen miles. Lake Minnequa formed the first reservoir; No. 3 has been already mentioned, and on the same creek were built Nos. 3, 4, and 5, each about one mile distant from the other. Above No. 5 a ditch six miles long, twenty-five feet wide, and six feet in depth was dug to tap the St. Charles, and so to make use of its water as an auxiliary to the Salt creek floods. The water rights of the farmers were bought out, and now the company practically controls all the old water rights from San Carlos to the R. R. R. ranch, whereby it has control over both the normal and the flood waters of the St. Charles. At the point where the canal taps the St. Charles a diverting dam of solid concrete, re-enforced throughout its center with a core of expanded steel, has been constructed whose foundations are on the bed-rock bottom of the river, four feet below its surface bed. This dam connects at one end with a wing and brush dam about 600 feet long, which is intended to prevent the stream from cutting a new channel and leaving the concrete dam stranded on high land. At its other end the concrete dam is built into a massive concrete head-gate flume, which contains six openings, six feet high by four feet wide, that will furnish a 144-square foot relief-valve for the raging floods in time 01 need. Just below the head-gate is a relief-valve called the sand-gate, where the surplus waters can be allowed to escape without damaging the banks of the canal, or water can be drawn off when needed to make repairs. This, also, is of massive concrete construction as lasting as the hills around it. Front this point the canal winds around the edges of the cedar hills. About two miles below the dam the canal crosses a big arroya that has taken many a thousand years for the rains to dig. Here two big pipes have been buried that siphon the water across. These pipes, over six feet in diameter, are built of wooden staves handed with steel rods. Three of these arroyas are thus crossed, and at each end have been erected solid concrete penstocks, to prevent. the water cutting out the hill slopes round the pipes. About 1,400 cubic yards of concrete have been put into this ditch and its belongings. Below the last penstock (across Cottonwood Arroya) the canal cuts through a high hill, just after passing which it ends in a natural swale or coulee that runs direct into Salt creek. The first reservoir south of Minnequa was rip-rapped at considerable expense last year to prevent waves from washing the earth banks, but the company, profiting by experience, propose to rip-rap the other reservoirs with slag from their furnaces in Minnequa. , The estimated total cost is in the neighborhood of $130,000, but its value to a company that uses hundreds of thousands of gallons of water every day will more than repay the outlay.
Consul-General Richard Guenther writes from Frankfort, Germany: “The use of alcohol for technical purposes is being extended. The chief of the fire department at Hanover has constructed an alcohol firing apparatus, in connection with an automobile fire engine, which is said to be satisfactory. The fire department of this city had been using the first automobile fire engine in Germany, which does away with the disadvantages of smoke and noise during the trip, and it proposes to procure another alcohol automobile engine.”