Waterworks at Erie.
The subjoined data is taken from the latest annual report issued by the water department at Erie, Pa.
The increase in the receipts of the department for the year 1910 front water, amounted to $21,-803.51, and the total increase in the receipts was $27,374.04 over the previous year. The amount of water pumped was 5,031,113,712 gallons, an increase of 375,660,116 gallons over 1909. The average daily pumpage was 13,783,873 gallons, a per capita of 207.19 gallons on a basis of 60,525 population according to the United States Census Bureau. The amount of water furnished by meter measurement to manufacturers and other large consumers, was 1,426,830,681 gallons, an increase of 214,556,287 gallons over the previous year. Deducting the amount of water furnished by meter measurement from the total amount pumped, gives the approximate amount of water furnished for domestic use, churches, schools, charitable purposes, fire protection and other city uses, viz: 3,604,283,081 gallons, a daily average of 9,874,748 gallons, and an average daily consumption for the several uses mentioned of 148.44 gallons being an increase of 17.42 gallons per capita over 1909. The average daily lift for the high service system, which comprises that portion of the city lying south of 19th street, was 209.44 feet, and for the low service system, which comprises that portion of the city lying north of 19th street, was 237.71 feet. Eleven additional fire hydrants were placed, making a total number in use, December 31, 1910, 876. During the year 155 cars of bituminous slack coal were received All coal received at the pumping station is tested with a Parr Calorimeter, showing an average of 13,339 British Thermal Units per pound of coal in the past 12 months. We laid this year 23,137 6-12 feet of cast iron water pipe, mostly 6 and 12-inch in size, and took out or abandoned 5,411 10-12 feet, 4,549 feet of which was 4-inch, making a net increase of 17,725 6-12 feet, a little over three and one-fourth miles, and have now a total of 133 miles and 4,975 6-12 feet, to which may be added 58 miles, 1,369 5-12 feet of service or connection pipe, making a grand total of 192 miles, 1,065 5-12 feet, now in use. To supply the Pennsylvania General Electric Company with water for tire protection and general use, a 12-inch main was laid down East Lake road and Franklin avenue in the early spring, a distance of 0,541 feet, and later in the year the water was extended still further down East Lake road, Iroquois avenue and Silliman avenue to furnish water to the new transfer yards of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway Company, also to the Pennsylvania General Electric Company. This work was not completed December 31. The approximate amount of pipe to he laid is 8,600 feet. The T. A. Gillespie Company, of Pittsburgh, Pa., were awarded the contract for grading and cementing settling basin No. 1 on the Peninsula, September 28. 1910, at their price hid for grading at 35 cents per yard and $8.05 per yard for cementing the bottom and sides. The capacity of the water pipes laid in the streets of Erie is approximately 2,351,138 gallons. For a number of years the old Gaskell pump, which was originally built to pump against 80 pounds pressure, has been used in the high pressure service, which require* a pressure of 120 pounds. This overload on the pump consequently has given a great deal of trouble by breakages and extensive repairs. How much longer wc will he able to continue the use of this pump is impossible to determine, hut to insure the city against a possible water famine, it will he absolutely necessary for the commissioners to install a modern and efficient pump of sufficient capacity to take care of the present as well as the future demands. This will entail an extra heavy expense, taking into consideration new pumps, boilers, station, wells and fuel storage, railroad tracks, etc., and if it should be deemed advisable to put the raw water through a mechanical filter, which would he a groat benefit to the community, this will add some hundred thousand dollars to the contemplated expenditures. In view of all these additions and improvements, I do not see how the water board can pay to the sinking fund commissioners any moneys for some years to come. Our shop, storage yards and horse barns are all located in different parts of the city. These, for rapid work and quick assembling. should be located at a central point, with railroad connections, so that in case of breaks, which arc occurring at all times, night and day, the whole force would be available at the shortest possible time. The office also, in which our force is located, is entirely too small for the number of employes necessary to carry on the business of the water department. Our records have to be removed from this building and taken to the pump station to make room. The crowded condition makes it impossible to do work in the most efficient and economic manner. At no distant date the commissioners will have to purchase a property sufficiently large to accommodate its increasing business. The sands upon the peninsula have been and perhaps will continue to he a source of great annoyance and expense until enough shrubbery and vegetation can be grown to protect it and hold it when we get tremendous gales from the south and west. The woods will have to he brushed and cleaned to keep the fires from spreading and destroying the standing timber. The settling basins on the peninsula showed some vegetable growth, which, on investigation, proved to he of a serious character, so it was decided to have the east settling basin cemented. This improvement we expect will he completed by August 1. 1911. For this reason th« water consumed by the city of Erie has been coming directly from Lake Erie, from the intake, one mile from the shore of the peninsula, consequently the water has been more or less roily at periods when the heavy winds have stirred up the fine materials on the shores of the Lake. This difficulty will he largely remedied when the settling basin is again put into commission. This allows three days’ supply of water to lie in the settling basins from 60 to 70 hours It is only fitting that the councils and citizens of Erie should know why the water commissioners made the large expenditure of money on water pipe extensions beyond the eastern city limits. One of the first moves of the Pennsylvania General Electric Company made was to have the water department pledge to give them an adequate water supply, should they decide to locate in Erie. This department promised to aid in every way possible this new enterprise, and this year laid a 12-inch water main to their property. On this expenditure they have to pay at least 12½ per cent, on the investment. About the time this improvement was completed, the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad decided to put a large freight yard at Wesleyville and requested the Board to extend a 12-inch pipe to their water tanks, stating that the greater number of their engines would he supplied from this source. In this case the long freights which have been blocking the crossings in the city of Erie, would move right through the city without blocking the same. Taking all these benefits into consideration and figuring that the earning would pay for the investment in about three years, this improvement was made at a cost of $22,000. The swimming pool has met with popular favor and now on any afternoon in the summer, hundreds of children of Erie can he seen enjoying refreshing baths in the pool at the waterworks pumping station. If funds were available, several of these in different parts of the city would be a great comfort to all the community. The hoard has extended to tile state fish commission a pressing invitation to put the proposed new hatchery and aquarium on the north end of the waterworks park which will make a very attractive and instructive addition to this part of the state.
The reservoir was constructed in 1873. and is about two miles distant from the pumping station, the bottom of which is 210 feet above the zero level of the water in the bay, and when the water is carried to a depth of 27 feet, holds 32,952.931 gallons of water. The standpipe was erected in 1868. It was five feet in diameter and 259.65 feet high. A spiral staircase surrounded it and all enclosed in brick. In 1908 a portion of the standpipe was taken down by taking off 90.93 feet of the brick work and 25.7 feet of the steel pipe above the brick work, on account of its weakened condition, leaving its height at 143 feet. The standpipe has not been in use for some years. The boiler house was erected in 1897, and is 74 feet wide, 102 feet long and 25 feet from the floor line to bottom of chords to roof. On the north side, eight horizontal tubular boilers are installed in batteries of two each. The boilers arc 72 inches in diameter, 18 feet long, without domes, and contain 80 4-inch lap welded tubes, capable of carrying 150 pounds pressure to the square inch. On the south side of the house can be erected art equal number of the same size boilers, but until these are required the room is used for storing coal; the five bins now in place hold 1,200 tons of coal. On the north side of the boiler house stands a perforated radial brick chimney, 175 feet in height and an inside diameter of 8 feet at the top, built by H. R. Heinicke, Inc., in 1905-6, which takes the place of the selfsustaining steel plate chimney built in 1897. There are five pumping engines. Nos. 1 and 2 are Cornish Bull Pumps erected in 1868; alike in their dimensions, which are as follows : Steam cylinders, 60 inches in diameter; pump plunger, 20¼ inches in diameter, each 10-foot stroke, capacity being 165 gallons per stroke, pumping 2,-060,090 gallons daily. These pumps are out of commission, the cost for repairs being greater than they are worth. No. 3 is a Gaskill horizontal compound pumping engine, erected in 1886, having 2 H. P. cylinders, 21 inches in diameter, 2 L. P. cylinders, 42 inches in diameter, two pumps 19 1/2 iuches in diameter, all 30-inch stroke; capacity being 182 gallons per revolution, pumping 5,000,000 gallons daily. No. 4 is a Worthington horizontal compound high duty pumping engine, erected in 1893, having 2-horsepower cylinders, 33 inches in diameter, two L. P. cylinders, 66 inches in diameter, two pumps 29 inches in diameter; all 49 3/4 stroke; capacity being 552 gallons per stroke, pumping 12,000,000 gallons per day at a piston speed of 128 feet per minute, against a head of 260 feet. No. 5 is a Worthington horizontal compound high duty pumping engine, erected in 1899, having two H. P. steam cylinders, each 25 inches in diameter ; two L. P. cylinders, each 50 inches in diameter, two double acting water plungers, each 23 inches in diameter, all 36-inche stroke; capacity being 264 gallons per stroke, pumping 8,000,000 gallons per day, at a piston speed of 136 feet per minute, against a total load of 142 pounds per square inch (a head of 328 feet). The regular employes at the pumping station are, one superintendent, one machinist, three engineers, three greasers, three firemen, two assistant firemen, one watchman and keeper of grounds and one janitor. The engineers stand a watch of eight hours each. In July, 1891, there was installed a 5-inch by 8-inch H. P. engine, built by the Erie Engine Works of this city, to drive a 2.2 k. w. dynamo to light the plant. In Mav, 1898, a 9inch by 12 inch thirty H. P. automatic engine, built by the Skinner Engine Company, to furnish current for all buildings and grounds at the pumping station and power to operate the machinery in the machine shop and the coal elevator. There are two intakes, one constructed’in 1868, of which 52 feet is brick, 14 feet in diameter, 590 feet in wood, 4 1/4 feet in diameter and 333 feet is boiler iron, 4 feet in diameter, making a total length of 975 feet. The top of the outer end of this intake is 4 feet below the zero level of the bay and as it approaches the shore ascends until the top is only 2 feet above the zero level of the bay. The second intake was completed in 1896. It is made of cast iron, 60 inches internal diameter, 8,307.18 feet long, buried in the bottom of the bay. 3 feet of earth over its top. At the outer end in an octagonal crib, 40 feet being its entreme, width, and 8 feet high, the top being 13 feet below zero level of the bay. In July, 1904. a contract was made with the T. A. Gillespie Company, of Pittsburgh, Pa., to extend this latter intake across the peninsula and into Lake Erie, a distance of 9,334.25 feet, for which 60-inch steel pipe was used; at the present terminus in the lake, 5,100 feet from the shore, a crib 40x40x19 was sunk where the water is 35 feet deep, insuring a depth of water over the intake of 26 feet at United States mean level. This work was completed August 31, 1908. An emergency intake was also located on the peninsula, and a bulkhead placed over the intake in the bay, discontinuing its use as a source of supply. The entire length of the intake now is 17,641.43 feet, and so far as we know, this is the longest single piece of submerged 60-inch cast iron and steel pipe in the world. The swimming pool was built on land reclaimed at the foot of Chestnut street, near the pumping station, in the early part of 1902. The interior of the pool covers a space 75 feet wide and 155 feet long, lined with Portland cement. The depth of water ranges from 1 6-12 to 6 9-12 feet, and is supplied from a 4-inch water pipe. On the west side of the pool there are 34 cabinets, each 3 1/2×5 feet, also an attendant’s room 15×5. feet.