Water System Development at Salt Lake City

Water System Development at Salt Lake City

When improvements to the Salt Lake City, Utah, water system which were inaugurated during the year 1914 are completed the water supply will be sufficient should the halt a million people establish their homes within the expanding limits of the city. The improvements contemplated are to be completed within three years. In February, 1914, the taxpayers authorized a bond issue of $900,000, of which $525,000 is for water works improvements and extensions and $375,000 for perfecting the city’s sewer system. The year 1914 saw the execution of two of the main plans in the water improvement program. These are the construction of the Thirteenth South supply main at a cost of $95,000, and the construction of the distribution reservoir on the Fort Douglas military reservation. Owing to delay in obtaining permission from the war department for this reservoir, it was not entirely completed last year. The first unit of the reservoir will be ready for use early in 1915. Much progress also was made on the dams in Big Cottonwood canyon, where the waters of the lakes that feed the stream are being impounded. More than half a billion gallons that would run to waste in the spring of the year will be stored in these lake reservoirs when the dams are completed, and will be used during the summer months to equalize the flow of the stream. The main item in the program is the reservoir in Parley’s Canyon where more than a billion gallons will be stored. The dam site is being cleared and when pending litigation as to water rghts has been settled the construction of the dam will be begun. This reservoir alone will hold in reserve a supply sufficient to last the city sixty days in case all other sources of supply were suddenly shut off. During this year the city will construct a series of basin reservoirs in City Creek canyon in order to save the flood waters. It is probable that the intake tanks now maintained in the canyon will be enlarged for this purpose. The purpose of the Thirteenth South supply main is to feed the south and eastern part of town with an adequate supply from the Cottonwood reservoir, and thereby relieve the conduit from Parley’s canyon of its present double duty. This will result in a great supply for the middle system, and in connection with the distribution reservoir in the military reservation, will insure against lack of pressure in the bench regions during the summer months. In fact, the improvements to the water system last year, together with those assured in the immediate future, are so extensive that the board of fire underwriters has agreed to reduce insurance rates in the city fully 25 per cent. During the first ten months of last year the department connected 809 new services, as compared to 711 for the entire year of 1913. These new connections, for the most part, were for new homes in the city. The department lowered 28,000 feet of mains in connection with street improvements at a cost of $10,110.96. In addition to the 809 new connections, the department supplied water to 350 connections in Forest Dale. Collections to November 21 this year total $148,170.99 on flat rates and $50,038.79 on meter rates, as compared to $137,558.40 flat rate collections and $45,357.67 meter collections for the whole of 1913, showing a total increase of $15,237.71 in the collections from all sources, with more than a month’s collections to be added. More than 2,500 more accounts were paid up in 1914 than in the year before. Expenditures of the department for ten months of 1914 totaled $134,276.51, which is much less than for the same period last year. In ten months of the year the department installed 529 meters, most of them at the request of the water consumers, as compared to 412 for the entire year 1913. Water officials have always advocated extension of the meter system as a means of doing away with useless waste of water. During the year the water department installed five weirs in City Creek canyon. These weirs, equipped with automatic registers and thirty-day charts. It is announced in a Salt Lake newspaper that when he presents his annual report to the City Commission, Superintendent C. F Barrett will recommend improvements to the distribution system in keeping with the enlargement of the water supply. He will suggest that a 12-inch pipe line be built from the relief tank north of the university to a point on Fifth Avenue to increase the supply for the territory east of H Street to O Street and from Fifth Avenue south to First Avenue. The water for this line will be available from Parley’s canyon with the completion of the Thirteenth South supply line. The usual shortage occurring in the summer months in this locality will be relieved by this means. He will also recommend the rebuilding of the bi-pass line around the reservoir in Parley’s canyon, replacing the present wood pipe with cast iron pipe to guard against dangers of a break. A complete survey of the city system to detect w’aste water and probable leaks will also be recommended. This will include a thorough investigation as to the extent of damage done to the water works by electrolysis. The superintendent believes it probable that many leaks exist from this cause.

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