WATERWORKS IMPROVEMENTS AT ATLANTIC CITY
Special correspondence of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING.
The waterworks system of Atlantic City, N. J., was originally a dual one, consisting of the Wood or Absecon system (built in 1882) and the Consumers’ (built in 1885). These became the property of the Atlantic City Water company, and were purchased by the city in 1895. The source of supply for the Wood system is one four-inch, one six-inch and eleven ten-inch driven wells, and the Absecon creek by canal to the pumping stat i. The Consumers’ system derives its water from five artesian wells 560 to 800 feet deep. The Consumers’ pumping station was shut down in November, 1904, on account of the expense of pumping the small supply available. The mode of supply is pumping directly to a standpipe. The pumping machinery at Absecon station consists of a t ,000,000-gal ton, simple, non-condensing Worthington, a 3,500,000-gallon, compound, condensing d’Auria, a 3,500,000-gallon, compound, condensing Gordon-Maxwell, a 6,250,000-gal Ion, highduty Worthington, a compound, condensing, duplex, Rand air-compressor, with a capacity of 504 cubic feet of free air per minute, and another, a capacity of 1.072 cubic feet of free air per minute. The Consumers’ station is equipped (low-lift) with a !,ooo,ooo~gallon and a 1.500.000gallon, compound, non-condensing Smith-Vaile. Its distribution system is chiefly remarkable for a thirty-inch riveted steel force-main laid from the Absecon pumping station to the city and serving with the twenty-inch submerged pipe under the Beach Thoroughfare and the twelveinch submerged pipe, each of which is now held in cast iron saddles, supported by creosoted piling in such a way that dredging or shifting the bottom does not interfere them. The force-main has two lines of twrnty-inch pipe supported in the same way. The plates of the force-main arc of open-hearth steel, and each pipe-length is made up of five alternate inside and outside rings of one-quarter-inch steel, the diameter of the inside rings being thirty-inch and the total length of the pipe twenty-eight feet from centre to centre of the rivet holes. It is laid along the city’s right of way a little west of the old twelve-inch main from the pumping station to the Meadow tower, where it crosses over to the east side and lies near the old twenty-inch main to Beach Thoroughfare. At that point a thirty-inch by twentyinch Y connects to the submerged pipes, and a similar Y brings the submerged pipes together again on the south side of the Beach Thoroughfare, and the thirty-inch main curves to the right into Mississippi avenue, extending to Baltic avenue, where it connects with the distribution system. It makes good connection about one mile nearer the city. The twenty-inch ball-joint crossing at the Thoroughfore laid at this point having given constant trouble from leaky joints, it was taken up and a new main laid. The twenty-inch and twelve-inch mains have been renewed in several places, the former having been replaced by the old ball-joint pipe from the Thoroughfare, and a Venturi meter has been inserted in the line. The length of the twelveinch force-main is 28,202 feet; of the twenty-inch, 29,312; of the thirty-inch, 26,907—total, 84,421 feet. The total length of mains (four-inch and over) now in use is 63.06 miles, which do not include 2.91 miles of pipe, whose diameter is less than four-inch. In 1902 a bond issue of $20,000,000 was issued for the improvement of the city’s waterworks system. The Beach front extensions, the concrete weir embankment at Absecon weir and artesian wells formed part of these betterments, whereby the water supply was increased from 9,000,000 to 12,000.000 gallons a day. A forty-two-inch Washington fir woodstave conduit, with bands of half-inch round iron, has taken the place of the Absecon supply canal. The extreme length of this conduit is 9,807.4 feet; its total fall, one foot and a half. It contains 958.9 feet of curve, with 204.5 feet radius, and 283.3 feet of curve, with 637.3 feet radius. It cost, inclyding inspection, $30,412.90, and the entire work occupied a little more than six months in being completed. The outlay on the new artesian well, with thirty feet of teninch Cook strainer, driven close to the new pump well, and on deepening another well to 200 feet and equipping it with a sixty-foot Cook strainer was $1,543—the total cost of the other artesian wells in the system being $9,146.55. The new twenty-toot pump well is of temporised concrete; its inside depth is twenty-six feet; its cost was $41,475. The new air-lifting plant cost $11,781.07. It compresses 1,072 cubic feet of air per minute to thirty pounds pressure, and all the piping has been overhauled, so as to provide 4,000,000 gallons of water per day. The Ahsecon and Consumers’ systems were also connected. and the twelve-inch main, twenty-two lengths of which had broken, was thoroughly repaired. The submerged main to Chelsea Heights at Annapolis avenue was laid in sections of three lengths, caulked on the shore, each section terminating wdth half of a Walker half-ball-joint (in two cases, a Walker universal joint on each end). To allow of future settlement, without undue tension on the line, each section makes an angle with the adjoining section—a zig-zag alignment. Water is admitted from the connecting main through a Trident meter—three-quarter-inch. The cost of that work was $1,799.40. During 1905, besides the Absecon improvements, a new main was laid on Atlantic avenue the wdiole length of the city, by which the distribution system has been greatly improved and the fire protection bettered—no light consideration in the case of a wooden city, such as Atlantic City is. A forty-two-inch supply conduit was also built during the winter connecting the new pump well basin with the well. The total length of the trench was 450 feet. The force-mains are constantly being inspected and overhauled, leakages occurring from rusting through the shell. This corrosion probably arises from the salty and marshy nature of the ground or the vegetable acids of the meadows on which the main is laid. It is proposed to excavate about this main, remove the protecting burlap and mineral rubber and surround the whole with a coat of several inches of Portland concrete, reinforced with steel mesh or wire, which has been found to afford a perfect protection to steel. This will cost $2.20 per lineal foot, or $58,000 in all. It is recommended, however, that a mile only, covering the majority of the leaks so far found, be done first, as the balance may not be required for several years and as experience thus gained may suggest some better or cheaper method. But at $58,000 there would result a saving of about $50,000 over its replacement with a new wooden stave pipe. And in any case there would be a watertight, reinforced concrete conduit, even if the steel pipe rusted away altogether. The total length of pipe laid during 1905, including hydrant connections, was 25,006 feet, or 4.73 miles. Of this, 880 feet, or 0.17 miles, were of wrought iron from one to two inches in diameter, laid for temporary purposes. Twenty-four new hydrants were set; eleven replaced; forty-five moved or raised; three abandoned. The total number now in use is 657. Three hundred and nineteen services were laid during the year -a total of 5,150. Up to September 1, 1905, 78.41 per cent, of all the services were metered; ninetyfive new meters were set; fifteen old ones were reset on services—no in all. The total number of meters set is 4,038, as follows: Trident, 2,405; Hcrsey (disk, fifty-five), 565; Bee, 449; Niagara, 297; Nash, 210; Crow’ti, eighty-six; Keystone, twenty-three; Gem, two; Crest, one. The mean daily consumption in millions of gallons was 5.194 J the maximum, 8.864. For the three summer months the mean was 7,298; the maximum was the same. The maximum consumption in any one day was one and one-half per cent, less than in the previous year; the mean daily consumption for the year showed an increase of 15.5 per cent; for the three months the increase was 14.4 per cent. For the whole year the consumption of water was 1.895,933,881 gallons; for the three summer months, 671,448,840. The full population, according to the census of 1905, is 37,593—during the summer months, from 150,000 to 225,000. The maximum daily rate of pumping was 12,200.000, as against 10.800,000 in 1904. The actual daily pumping capacity at Absccon is, roughly, as follows: Iligh-duty Worthington, 5.000,000.0 gallons; d’Auria, 3,000,000.5; Gordon, the same; lowduty Worthington, 1,000,000.0—total, 13,000,000 gallons. But, as the boiler capacity is not sufficient to operate the last pump; which is noncondensing and, therefore, extravagant of steam, the pumps cannot pump at a rate of more than 12,000,000 gallons per day without forcing them for very short periods, as has already been found necessary. By next (this) summer the supply that can be pumped is likely to fall short of the maximum demand for ordinary purposes, while, in the case of a large fire at such a time, there would be a positive deficit, even supposing all boilers and machinery were in perfect condition. A new 10,000,000-gallon pump, and also greater boilercapacity should, therefore, be provided at once. It is possible that the whole system may be rearranged by providing storage reservoirs, so as to provide against any accident to the force-mains and secure in the best and cheapest manner an independent system of high-pressure service, if such should be desired hereafter. The cost, including the new pump and boilers, would be about $460,000. During the year a good deal of concrete work has been done in the way of a reinforced concrete footbridge from the embankment of the west basin to the gatehouse and reinforced concrete steps. There is also a reinforced concrete coal pocket. It may be added that acetylene has been abandoned for gas, with Welsbach burner, for lighting the station and the old carbide house removed. A Burrows feed-water regulator, connected with boilers No. 1 and No. 2, has also been installed, and an eight-inch cast iron drain has been laid from the pumping station to the “running stream,” about 400 feet in length. The quality of the water is shown to be of the best, as is proved by the typhoid fever per 10,000 of population from 1901-02 to 1904, which was sixteen, twenty-three, fourteen, 11.2, 1.1, 2.5, 2.0, 2.06. The net cost of construction up to September 1, 1905, has been $1,421,223.56. The system continues to be efficiently and at the same time economically managed under the present superintendent.