Water Works Men Meet at Bridgeport

Water Works Men Meet at Bridgeport

The New England Water Works Association Holds Its Fortieth Annual Gathering in Connecticut City—Large Attendance—Lively Discussion—List of Those Present


THE fortieth annual convention of the New England Water Works Association was held at Bridgeport, Conn., on September 13, 14, 15 and 16, 1921, the headquarters being at the Stratfield Hotel in the Colonnade, where the genial secretary, Frank J. Gifford, superintendent of the Dedham, Mass., Water Company, and the ever-courteous and smiling assistant, Miss Joan Ham, were early in attendance to welcome and register the arriving members, associates and guests. These began to come in on the first trains in the morning, and by evening of the first day 90 members, 70 associates and a large number of guests had registered.


The first session of the convention was opened at 5 P. M., Tuesday, September 13, with an address of welcome by Mayor Clifford B. Wilson of Bridgeport, who was introduced by S. P. Senior, chairman of the local committee. Mayor Wilson said he was surprised that the New England Association, having met in the East for forty years, had never before chosen Bridgeport as its convention city. The mayor then cited the various advantages of the city for such a convention and hoped that another forty years would not intervene before the New England Association returned to his city for a convention again. He referred to the admirable water system of the Bridgeport Hydraulic Company and the up-to-date sewage disposal plant of the city, and invited all of the members and guests to take advantage of the city’s hospitality and visit these units.

President Charles W. Sherman, of the association, in replying, said he was at a loss to account for the fact that the conventions had never before been held in Bridgeport, unless it was that the Bridgeport Hydraulic Company had not sufficiently advertised its admirable plant. At any rate, he was sure it would not be another forty years, or anything like it, before the association returned to Bridgeport for another convention. He thanked the mayor for his words of welcome.

The following new members and associates were elected at this and other sessions of the convention, the secretary casting one ballot for the candidates in each instance:

New Members—Active

Harry B. Collins, supt. bd. of pub. wks., Reading, Mass. Benjamin H. Keeler, Jr., Glenbrook, Conn.

Henry L. Shuldener, w. wks. engr., University Lights., N. Y. C.

Donald L. Hatch, supt. light, water and filter plants, Wyandotte, Mich.

S. John Scacciaferro, C. E., Clifton, N. J.

Ivan Escott, fire protection engr., New York City.

William E. Megraw, pres., water bd., Baltimore, Md.

R. K. Blanchard, M. E., New York City.

W. F. Johnson, supt. water dept., Saginaw, Mich.

John O. Taber, Jr., supt. P. W. D., Attleboro, Mass.

Frank N. Strickland, supt. Westfield w. wks., Westfield, Mass. George C. Ham, gen’l mgr., Naugatuck w. wks., Naugatuck, Conn.


Continental Pipe Manufacturing Company, New York City. Payne Dean Limited, New York City.

L. G. Read, C. E., London, Eng. (Temporarily Bridgeport, Conn.)

Roberts Filter Manufacturing Company, Darby, Pa.

A report of the Committee on Award of the Dexter Brackett Medal for the most practical paper read before the association in 1920 was read by its chairman, Samuel E. Killam, superintendent of pipe lines and reservoirs, Boston, Mass., who recommended that the medal be awarded to Robert Spurr Weston for his paper on “Lead Poisoning, Its Cause and Prevention.” The chairman then called upon Mr. Wheeler of the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Fisher of the Kiwanis Club and others of the local committee, who made short addresses.

S. P. Senior, president of the Bridgeport Hydraulic Company, described the water system of Bridgeport, illustrating his talk with a map and lantern slides.

Much discussion followed as to the charges for hydrants, automatic sprinkler and fire line services by the company, which proved to be extraordinarily low, so much so that Patrick Gear, superintendent of Holyoke water department, said he “did not see how they did it.” Those who took part in the discussion were: Samuel Killam, John M. Diven, Thomas J. Carmody, Hugh McLean, Charles W. Sherman, William Hawley, David Heffernan. The meeting then adjourned.

In the evening an informal reception and dance was held.


The morning session opened at about 9:30 with President Sherman in the chair. Four new members and one associate were elected.

Mr. Sherman then requested ex-President E. Killam to take the chair and announced that, in the absence of William W. Brush, the chairman of the New England Association committee on standard specifications for water meters, he as chairman of the joint committee of the American and New England associations would give the report.

Report on Standardization of Water Meters

Mr. Sherman said that as those specifications had already been published he would not read them.

(Note—For the benefit of those who have not read the specifications which were published in a paper by R. K. Blanchard in the August 31 issue on page 387, they are reproduced HEREWITH.-EDITOR. )

Standard Specifications for Cold Water Meters Disk Type

Cases—All meters shall have an outer case with a separate inner chamber in which the disk operates. The outer case for all 2-inch and smaller meters shall be of bronze composition. Cast iron frost bottoms may be provided. The outer case for meters larger than two inches shall be of bronze composition or of cast iron protected by a non-corrosive treatment.

All meters shall have cast on them in raised characters the size and the model and the direction of the flow through the meter shall be properly indicated. Meters larger than one inch shall be designed for easy removal of all interior parts, without disturbing the connections to the pipe line.

External Bolts—All external bolts shall be made of bronze or of galvanized iron or steel. Nuts shall be designed for easy removal after having been long in service.

Registers—Registers may be either “round” or “straight” reading, indicating in cubic feet or gallons.

AH parts of the registers shall be made of non-ferrous material. The maximum indication of the initial dial and the minimum capacity of the register when indicating cubic feet, shall be as follows:

All dials, including the initial dial, shall be subdivided into ten equal parts. All hands or pointers shall taper to a sharp point. They shall be accurately set and securely held in place.

Register Boxes—Register boxes and lids shall be made of bronze composition or same material as the top case with the name of the manufacturer cast on the lid in raised letters. The serial number of the meter shall be plainly stamped on the lid. If required, the serial number shall also be stamped on the case. The lid shall be recessed and shall lap over the box to prevent dirt from accumulating on the glass. The glass shall be inserted from the inside and securely held in place without the use of putty or pins. All register compartments shall be provided with a water escape hole oneeighth inch in diameter, placed so that the change gear or registering mechanism cannot be tampered with.

Connections: 5/8-, 3/4and 1-inch Sizes—Spuds shall be threaded 3/4-, 1and 1 1/4-inch respectively, male thread, standard pipe size and so threaded that Briggs Standard pipe thread ring gauges may be screwed on by hand within one thread of through the gauge.

Over-all lengths of meters, face to face of spuds, shall be: 5/8-inch to 7 1/2-inch, 3/4-inch to 9-inch, 1-inch to 10 3/4-inch.

Couplings shall be made of bronze composition. Nuts shall be tapped 3/4-, 1and 1 1/4-inch respectively, straight thread, standard pipe size and so tapped that Briggs Standard pipe thread plug gauges may be backed into the nuts by hand, i. e., the size of the thread in the nut is the maximum size of the Briggs plug but no larger. Tail pieces shall be threaded 1/2-, 3/4and 1-inch respectively, male thread, standard pipe size, and so threaded that Briggs Standard pipe thread ring gauges may be screwed on by hand, flush with the face of the gauge.

Over-all lengths of tail pieces shall be: 5/8-inch to 2 3/8-inch, 3/4-inch to 2 1/2-inch, 1-inch to 2 5/8-inch.

Connections: 1 1/2and 2-inch Sizes—Spuds shall be tapped 1 1/2and 2-inch respectively, female thread, standard pipe size, and so tapped that Briggs Standard pipe thread plug gauges may be screwed on by hand up to the notch on the plug.

Over-all lengths of meters, face to face of spuds, shall be: 1 1/2-inch to 12 5/8-inch, 2-inch to 15 1/4-inch.

Couplings shall be made of bronze composition. Nuts shall be tapped 2and 2 1/2-inch respectively, straight thread, standard pipe size and so tapped that Briggs Standard pipe thread plug gauges may be backed into the nuts by hand, i. e., the size of the thread in the nut is the maximum size of the Briggs plug but no larger. Tail pieces shall be threaded 1 1/2aud 2-inch respectively, male thread, standard pipe size, and so threaded that Briggs Standard pipe thread ring gauges may be screwed on by hand flush with the face of the gauge; 2x 1 1/2-inch and 2 1/2x 2-inch standard pipe size malleable iron bushings are to be furnished with 1 1/2and 2-inch couplings respectively. Care shall be taken to see that nuts as above described can be screwed on to the bushings by hand, and that the face of the bushings will be sufficiently true and square to provide a proper packing surface.

Over all lengths of tail pieces shall be: 1 1/2-inch to 2 7/8inch, 2-inch to 3-inch.

Connections: 3-, 4and 6-inch Sizes—Spuds shall be flanged, faced and drilled. Companion flanges shall be of cast iron faced, drilled and tapped. All dimensions, drilling and tapping shall conform exactly to American standard of January 1, 1914.

Over-all lengths of meters, face to face of flanges, shall be: 3-inch to 24-inch, 4-inch to 29-inch, 6-inch to 36 1/2-inch.

Seal Wire Holes: 5/8-, 3/4-, 1, 1 1/2and 2-inch meters shall have register box screws and coupling nuts drilled for seal wire holes. Meters larger than 2-inch in size shall have register box screws, drilled for seal wire holes. All seal wire holes shall not be less than 3/32nd-inch in diameter.

Measuring Chambers: The measuring chamber for all meters shall be made of bronze composition and shall not be cast as part of the outer casing. It shall be machined with great care and secured in position in the outer casing so that any slight distortion of the casing which might take place under 150 lbs., working pressure, will not affect the sensitiveness of the meter.

Disks—Disk pistons shall be made of vulcanized rubber, and shall be fitted accurately but freely in their chambers. Vulcanized rubber pistons shall have a metal reinforcement or a thrust roller.

Intermediate Gear Trains—The intermediate gear trains shall be of such construction as to be easily removed and shall be made throughout of non-ferrous material. Gear spindles may run in bearings bushed with hard rubber provided the bushings are so constructed that they cannot drop out.

Strainers—All meters shall be provided with strainers except when self-strained by means of an annular space between the measuring chamber and the external case. Strainers shall be made of non-ferrous materials and shall fit tightly against the wall of the casing. They shall have an effective straining area as large as practicable and at least double that of the inlet.

Registration—The registration on the metal dial shall indicate the quantity recorded to be not less than 98 per cent, nor more than 102 per cent, of the water actually passed through the meter while it is being tested at rates of flow within the limits specified herein under “normal test flow limits.” There shall be not less than 90 per cent, of the actual flow recorded when a test is made at the rate of flow set forth under “minimum test flow.”

Capacity—New meters shall show a loss of head not exceeding 25 lbs. per square inch, when the rate of flow is that given in the following table:

Pressure Test—Disk meters shall be guaranteed to operate under a working pressure of 150 lbs. per square inch without leakage or damage to any part.

Workmanship and Material—Disk meters shall be guaranteed against defects in materials and workmanship, for a period of one year from date of shipment. Parts to replace those in which a defect may develop within such period shall be supplied without charge, piece for piece, upon the return of such defective parts to the manufacturer thereof or upon proper proof of such defect.

Rejected Meters—The manufacturer shall, at his own expense. replace or satisfactorily readjust all meters rejected for failure to comply with these specifications.

In 1916, Mr. Sherman went on, R. J. Thomas read a paper before the association on Standard Specifications of Meters and as a result a committee was appointed to consider the matter. In 1919 the American Association also appointed a committee with Caleb M. Saville as chairman. Owing to the war period intervening there was little done in the matter until 1919, when a joint meeting was called, at which practically all of the members of both committees were present. William W. Brush acted as a representative of the joint committee at a meeting of the Meter Manufacturers’ Association.

George Batchelder and Charlie Glavin smiling over their victories in the preliminary round.Even defeat couldn’t wipe the smile off the face of Happy O'Leary, the Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel Co. representative.Reeves J. Newsom, besides being a Vice-President of the N. E. W. W. A. and Water Commissioner of Lynn. Mass., is considerable golfer.L. G. Read, of Bridgeport, did a lot to make things pleasant for the convention guests.Who can this be. with the vicious wallop? Can it possibly be Burt Hodgman?

At this meeting the matter was thoroughly discussed and the specifications worked out. These then went back to the associations’ committee, were again revised, and finally adopted by all three committees as satisfactory. Only disk meters were handled in these specifications, as it was deemed wiser to take up the other types later in separate specifications. It was now up to the meeting to discuss and, if satisfactory, adopt the specifications for disk meters.

Chairman Killam asked for discussion, as he considered the work of the committees very important.

Mr. Diven said he did not see, considering the thoroughness of the work done by the committees, that there was room for discussion. George A. King, superintendent, Taunton, Mass., moved the adoption of the report.

Mr. Diven offered an amendment that the committee of the New England Association be continued, which was accepted by Mr. King.

Chairman Killam asked for discussion by manufacturers, and called on Mr. Blanchard.

Mr. Blanchard said that the committee appointed at request of the New England Association had spent much time on the specifications and considered them satisfactory alike to superintendents and operators. Few superintendents, he thought, realized what standardization meant to manufacturers. In forming the specifications practically every one of the manufacturers had made some changes in order to obtain uniformity. He wanted to say that there were not two specifications under the old regime that were the same. The specifications as finally adopted by the committee were considered very satisfactory. Chairman Killam put the motion and the specifications were finally adopted by the association.

Manganese Bronze for Valve Stems

President Sherman resumed the chair and called upon William R. Conard for his paper on “Manganese Bronze for Valve Stems.” There was no discussion of this paper and the chairman then called upon H. S. Arnold of New York, who read his paper on “Monel Metal, and Its Suitability for Water Works Uses.”

Uses of Monel Metal

In reply to a question by Mr. Diven, Mr. Arnold said monel metal cost nearly twice as much as bronze. The Crane Company had used it for large water works valves and practically all valve manufacturers had employed it in their manufacture.

Mr. Ross inquired if the company would sell the metal in pigs.

Mr. Arnold replied that they would be glad to sell it in pigs or shot.

Mr. Killam told of having replaced a cracked cylinder valve with monel metal with satisfactory results.

Uses of Substitutes for Lead in Pipe Joints

M. F. Collins inquired as to uses of hydrotite and what experiences superintendents had had with in.

Mr. Diven had used leadite on a hill section in Troy, N. Y., on 28 and 36-inch lines with satisfactory results. Secretary Gifford announced that one of the winter meetings of the association would be devoted to the subject of lead substitutes for pipe joints. Mr. Van Gilder had used leadite in Atlantic City for nineteen years satisfactorily. The question arose as to the conductivity of substitutes for lead in the thawing of frozen pipes by electricity. Mr. Van Gilder promised to experiment in the matter and report at a winter meeting.

After considerable further discussion by Messrs. Killam. Davis, Gear and Diven, the session adjourned.


President Sherman in the chair announced that it was proposed to send a telegram to R. C. P. Coggeshall and asked all the members to sign it.

Economy in High Initial Cost

The first paper of the session was by Reeves J. Newsom, commissioner of public works, Lynn, Mass., entitled “The Economy of High Initial Cost and Extreme Care in Service Pipe Extension.” This paper aroused quite a little interest and was discussed by Messrs. Heffernan. Diven, Brewer, Hawley and Van Gilder.

Disappearance of Cast Iron Pipe Coating

The next paper was on “The Disappearance of the Coating in Cast Iron Pipe While Stored in Yard,” and was read by its author, Samuel E. Killam, superintendent of pipe lines and reservoirs, Metropolitan Water Works, Boston.

This paper also aroused keen discussion, which was taken part in by Messrs. Hazen, Diven, Barbour, Killam, Conard Smith and others.

Control of Water Waste

The last paper of the session was by Gordon J. Smith, chief inspector of the Bridgeport Hydraulic Company on the subject, “The Control of Water Waste by House to House Inspection.”

In reply to a question by Carleton Davis as to how they took care of tenants wasting water, Mr. Smith said that the landlord was held responsible. He said there was absolutely no friction as to the entrance of the inspector into a house. Mr. Hawley said the landlord should be held responsible He can easily keep tabs on his tenant and collect from him. Mr. Mclnnes said that at first there had been difficulty in introducing meters into Boston. They had finally decided to install by districts, as the law compelled them to meter all services. Now the great difficulty was to keep within the district, as the people were clamoring for meters. The per capita consumption had been greatly reduced since the in troduction of meters, which began in 1908. Mr. Macksey pointed out the difficulties the early Boston inspectors had to deal with. Mr. Hazen said the American Water Works Association had a committee on Meter Rate Standardization, which had adopted a standard meter rate schedule. He moved that the chair appoint a committee on the same subject to co-operate with the American Association. Carried. The meeting then adjourned.

(Proceedings to be continued next week. List of attendance on page 550.)


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