Water Works Report of Washington
The report of Superintendent John S. Garland gives some data relative to the water supply of Washington, D. C., and the probable improvements that are likely to be made in the near future. The report says that an additional supply will be needed not later than 1930. By that time Washington’s population will be 500,000 and the capacity of the present conduit will have been reached. The report emphasizes the importance of immediate steps being taken to insure against water famine in the next few years. One of the principle features of the report is the statement that during the past fiscal year the inspectors located and stopped underground leakage amounting to 1,828,800 gallons a day. By eliminating waste of water in mechanical processes conducted by several federal institutions the department also last year made possible a saving of about 600,000 gallons daily. Extensive installation of meters, systematic underground surveys for the detection of leaks and wastes, careful inspection of services and suggestions to large consumers as to how they may economize in the use of water is bringing the department each year nearer to a per capita consumption of 180 gallons per day, it is stated. This is regarded as an ample rate of consumption. During the year 11 miles of mains were laid, bringing the total up to 600 miles. Of meters 6,273 were set in the 12 months, making the total number in use 48,411. Of the 68,365 services now in use all are metered except 19,954. By far the most important job of water main construction work accomplished during the year was the laying of 1,936 feet of thirty-six-inch trunk main on line to Brightwood reservoir in 16th Street and Meridian Street Northwest. This work was done by a force of 95 men in 45 days and involved the recovery of 1,603 feet of thirty-six-inch pipe laid on an old diagonal line in 14th Street road. While this work was in progress it was necessary to supply the second high service for a period of eleven days by direct pumpage. At Brightwood reservoir a most unusual situation developed while the south basin was empty for cleaning. Some of the cement floor slabs were observed lifted out of place by the leakage of water from the north basin beneath the division wall. The eighteen-inch open terra-cotta drain constructed under the division wall to intercept and carry off all leakage was found to be entirely useless due to accumulation of deposit from the cement walls, thus causing the pressure under the floor of the empty basin. A new cast-iron 20-inch open-joint drain was laid along the south edge of the division wall with a sufficient grade to carry off all leakage, and a curtain wall was constructed where necessary beneath the edges of the division wall. Sixteen new floor slabs, sixteen feet by sixteen feet by one foot thick, were laid to repair the floor of the south basin. Concrete plugs were placed at corners of old slabs wherever leaks were observed, and all joints were filled with waterproofing compound, including expansion joints at division walls. While this work was in progress the reservoir was out of service, and the second high territory was supplied by direct pumpage. The report by George W. Wallace, head of the water registrar’s office of the water department shows that during the year 50,054 examinations for leaks were made; that 509 abandoned water services were disconnected at the tap in the main and that the water supply was cut off from 4,543 houses during the period of vacancy, which has resulted in the saving of a considerable amount of water. During the year 1,573 new service connections and 979 repairs were made.