WATER SUPPLY OF TORONTO, ONT.
[Specially written for FIRE AND WATER.]
TORONTO, Canada, has laid out more than $4,000,000 on its water supply—a sum which does not include other large amounts which the citizens have paid, and for which there is nothing to show in the water works account. The city has five pumping engines of a daily capacity of 42,000,000 gallons as follows: One 4,000,000-gallon Worthington engine; one 8,000,000-gallon Worthington engine; one 10,000,000-gallon Inglis & Hunter engine; two 10,000,000gallon Blake engines. These supply a population of 222,000 persons with about too gallons of water per capita daily. Twenty years ago the consumption of water averaged 4,678,-333 gallons of water each day. In 1875 the city used 3,868.262 gallons of water, and in 1874 only 2,384.000 gallons; so that in two years there was a decrease of nearly 2.000,000 gallons in the consumption of water in the city. The population of ‘Toronto was about 70,000 and the consumption of water was at the rate of 133 gallons per capita daily.
Lake Ontario being Toronto’s source of supply,the city need fear no scarcity of water at any time. Mains are laid in every part of the city, and the water rates are not excessive. The department is now altogether under the control of the municipal authorities, and every cent of revenue derived from that source goes into the city treasury—the city treasurer calling to account every department of the civic establishment for all the water it consumes. Of these the fire department, which uses the largest amount of water of all the consumers in the city, is debited every year with the sum of $sS ooo.
In the beginning the city did notown the water works, whose plant was in the hands of a private company, which acquired the franchise in 1851 for $122,000. This plant having fallen into the hands of a Mr. Furness, he offered it to the city for $175,000. The offer was favorably considered, but was not accepted at once. In 1854, however, the city authorities of fered two prixes for the best plans and estimates for supplying Toronto,with water and in June, 1857, Thomas Ketfer, C.E., made the necessary surveys for the system. It was fifteen years before legislation was obtained allowing the city to con* struct a plant of its own and to appoint a board of comm is* sioners to look after the city’s interests. After much time had been spent in arbitration and examination of the many sources of water supply, the water commissioners concluded that it would best be found in Lake Ontario, By a vote of the citidens $500,000 was appropriated for building a reservoir and laying a pipe across the bay; the works of the original plant being taken over by the city for $220,000
In 1873 $373,438 was expended, and by an extra by-law (successfully submitted to the citizens) an additional sum of $1,000,000 was further appropriated to be spent on the water works. Three years afterwards the commissioners obtained an appropriation of nearly $100,000 for further water works construction. The commissioners spent all this and incurred in addition liabilities to the amount of $65,000, which was paid off on the city engineer taking the water works out of the hands of the water commissioners. About $55,000 more was spent in extending the intake out into lake Ontario, and in 1883-84 $t 50,000 was laid out in new mains and other services.
The increasing size of the city rendered it necessary to add to the pumping power—a new pumping engine being purchased. ‘The expenditures on the system continued, and in 18S6 mains, meters, and services cost $100,000; more mains and meters being required in 1888 at a cost of $113,000 In the same year, the city having annexed new territory and absorbed the water works of the village of Yorkville and the town of l’arkdale (which together had spent $200, 000 upon their water systems), $900,000 was laid out in pipe laying in the new district, and over $500,000 on a new conduit which has twice broken in two—the first time on Christmas Day, 1892. The source of supply in lake Ontario is about 41,000 feet directly south of llanlan s island. At this point the steel pipe is five feet in diameter and extends from the island shore, across the island and from thence across Toronto harbor to the city—the section at tluend being four ieet in diameter, and the pipe throughout manufactured from steel. Whilst connecting a screen to the crib at the Island for the purpose of preventing weeds and debris from entering the city services, the screen became suddenly blocked and almost immediately the water fell from eight feet eight inches to five feet eight inches whilst at the same time the engines were still kept going till the well became almost empty. As there was not sufficient weight upon the pipe to counteract the buoyancy of air in the pipe, it suddenly came to the surface. When the pipe rose there was at the same time a surface of ice five inches thick in the harbor, the result being that the pipe rose with such terrific force that in several places the ice was thrown from thirty to forty feet in the air. The shock was plainly heard throughout the whole city. The breaks visible in the five-foot pipe were at the cast iron flange joints and were respectively 2,375 and 3.700 feet south from Hanlan’s crib. The break visible in the fourfoot pipe north of Hanlan’s (as will be seen in the accompanying illustration) was that of the flexible joint,which was found to have been forcibly torn apart, the turned zone being pulled out of the angle iron and lead rings and lay twenty-two inches open. An almost identical accident happened in 1895,since when the citizens of Toronto have felt rather nervous of further similar accidents, and at the present moment an agitation has been steadily growing in favor of doing away with the conduit pipe from the Island to the city, and building a tunnel to convey the water. At the present time the city engineer, Mr. Keating, has submitted an estimate for the work,and it now only await the sanction of the city council to commence operations. The agitation has acquired greater force, owing to the large sum spent in repairing the damage done and the expanse and inconvenience caused by in supplying the people with water from outside sources, such as Toronto Junction and elsewhere. In addition to the expense incurred in laying the conduit and paying for the above damages separate sums of $165,000 and $184,000 were laid out on laying additional mains and $46,777 on meters
The end is hardly in sight even yet, and the outcome may be the leading of water from lake Simcoe as the surest means of affording Toronto a supply of “ absolutely pure ” water.
During the coming year Trenton, N. J., will build a reservoir of 104.000 000 gallons capacity. The entire structure will be built above ground and calls for 45,000 cubic yards (2.500 cart loads) of stone from the quarries of S. B. Twining & Co., at Stockton—the largest stone contract of its kind ever let in the State. The contract for the reservoir, which has been awarded to Louis Lawton, of T»enton, will amount to $340,500.