WATERWORKS MEN MEET.
The Twenty-second Annual Convention of The American Water Works Association.
Special Report of FIRE AND WATER.-(Continued from Last Week.)
CONTINUATION OF DISCUSSION.
The discussion on Mr. Campbell’s question as to meters was wound up by Mr. Rowe stating that in one case where a meter had been set on an elevator service, the gain in revenue between the indicator and the meter just about paid for the meter in one year.
WATER FOR PRIVATE FIRE SERVICE.
MR. FELIX (under the head of “Question Box”) . asked such members as had had experience in that line what their practice was in furnishing water for private fire service. Was there a charge for the connection, and was water furnished free? Was the Water given these served off the regular service connection from the street main, or were those furnished required to put in a separate service pipe for fire service? In Reading, Pa., his city, fire service was furnished free, but those so served might sometimes make connection off the larger pipe that goes in for fire service to supply their demands. There had been one or two instances where they tapped the pipe. At first they were required to meter what went off the fire service connection, but some tapped back of the meter and got water for other purposes.
MR. CAMPBELL: IS your plant a municipal one? MR. FELIX: Yes, sir.
MR. CAMPBELL, on being told that Reading’s plant was municipal, said that he, as representing a municipal plant, would not have any argument that might be produced regarding the operation of a municipal plant to be construed in a manner detrimental to private corporations, because the conditions were sometimes very different. A good many private corporation or individual plants were tied up under a contract or franchise where they were required to furnish free water for certain purposes, lie had been on both sides of the question, and. therefore, was entirely neutral. A company might be required under its franchise to furnish water free for drinking fountains, public buildings, fire service, and things of that sort, and had to be taken into consideration. But bringing it down to a municipal basis, where water is furnished free of charge for public purposes, to the fire department, city hall, and the drinking fountains, and for flushing sewers the street sprinkler, credit was, of course, taken for it in the official report as representing so many dollars; but the cash was not in the drawer-sometimes they wished it was, that they might give better service and better fire protection. In .Charlotte water was not furnished for the purposes inside of the building-fire protection. It was charged for. They charged for automatic sprinkler, hose attachments, anything of that sort, the same as they did private corporations, not on a meter basis. They made a frequent examination of the premises in cooperation with the fire insurance inspectors, because it was one of their restrictions that, if water pipes were attached for any other purpose, the policy would be canceled; that was one reason why, if they did not keep in touch with those fellows, they would not look out for it. They had an understanding with the underwriters’ inspectors whereby they cooperated with them to prevent the use of water through fire services for any other purpose. They were afraid to do it, because they would be reported and the insurance companies would get after them. In the cotton mills a charge was made, based on so many thousand spindles, which represents a certain amount of floor snace. The minimum charge for a mill of 5,000 spindles is $40; the maximum, $75, for a mill of 75,000 spindles. In that way they based their charges; but nothing must be attached to the service pipe at all: and the regulation was the same where the sprinkler system was used. They charged $40 a year for a private fire hydrant-the same as the old company used to charge for similar service.
MR. DAVIS said that, in the case of the obstinate consumer already alluded to. there should be meters on that elevator. He thought that the city of Baltimore did not allow any elevator service except by meter measure. As to the question in regard to the charge for fire protection line inside of the building: There was no charge made by cither a public or private water company plant that is fairer than the charge for inside fire protection. Some vears ago he had quite a discussion and a great deal of trouble with the sprinkler companies, and his comoany had had some with the city officials, objecting to the charge made-namely, for a four inch line, $50, a three-inch line, $35, and a two-inch line, $25 per annum. The sprinkler companies tell customers that no charge should be made, and he knew that they had put in connections so that the consumer could take water from the fireplugs. Hard lv a month since his company collected from a concern for using water surreptitiously, and Indian apolis was no worse that any other city. When the question came up before, he sent out ninety inquiries both as to rates charged, and to learn if the parties inquired of knew of their own knowledge of the using of water through fire lines for other pur poses. To eighty-four of the inquiries replies came that they did not know of such use of fire lines, and some of them said “every time.” There was a drug house which, by paying $50, thereby made a saving in its insurance of some $1,850, and another drug house that saved $2,200, and could not get along without the company’s connection. A bicycle concern pays $100 and saves something over $3,000 in its fire protection, and the amount of cost in proportion to the saving is very small indeed. He felt that it was a just charge, and the service should be charged for and should be paid for.
MR. FELIX asked from a practical standpoint whether it was advisable to provide a separate connection for fire services into factories, or should these be allowed to take their other service off that connection; in other words: Should they have two connections or systems, one for private fire service and one for their ordinary service?
MR. CAMPBELL: The Southeastern Underwriters’ association will not allow it done in any other way.
MR. FELIX: Thev ask us for a three inch service pipe from their main, and tell us they want a twoinch off that in their factory for fire service to at tach their own hose to which they want for their own use. Would it he best to make them have a separate service nipe for fire purposes, or let them use off one pipe?
MR. DAVIS said his company did not allow any connections from fires lines nor did the insurance companies. Every service but in for domestic use must be confined to thatif for fire protection, to that only. The insurance companies would not allow any fire lines to be metered with his company. They made examinations and come to the company to know if it knew of any violation of their rules so that thev might call up the consumer, or insured, and learn if everything were all right.
MR. ROWE said that in his city they require that only users of water were given fire protection service. They were then required to put in a separate and distinct tap for their ordinary use and another for the fire service. If they did not do that, the combined service was through a meter. The sprinkler system it is pretty hard to apply the meter to, unless it is known that they have hose connections. when the same rule applies. The rules are closely lived up to. Separate services are required or to meter the combined service.
MR. FORBES stated that at Greensbtirg. Pa they charge for the service $50 a year. Tt is supplied in two ways. Some factories want a supuly for factory purposes, and, in addition to that, they have the fire service supply. Tf thev want a large supply of four-inch, taking in all the water used in the building. the charge is $so a year for the fire protection and for the water that passes through the meter for other purposes. In case they have a fire that month no charge is made for the meter registry, but the average from the preceding months is taken.
MR. ALEXANDER has some large consumers of water using fire service, such as the Westinghousc. where they take 1,000.000 gallons a day. An automatic gate is placed there, and the water for the factory use goes through a line sufficient in size for all requirements in a large fire: and that is metered. At the time of a fire they simply attach a button: then there arc two large mains to hack that up. This plan was not adopted for this specific company, or only because of conditions there only, but under the old plan of fire service it was often used for other purposes, which is a hard practice to stop. They would use it through the fire protection system when they wanted to. Of course, the meter would not catch what did not go through it. So this automatic valve was put in. and a small meter with an outlet to the sewer: and if they should open that, a given amount of water will nass through in a given time. A three-eighth meter shows how fast that meter will deliver water, and the charge is for all it shows If thev have the hose on fifteen minutes nothing might be said about; but, if it runs for an hour, they are charged for the flow of that pipe. That was found to be the onlv way to correct the trouble.
MR. ROSAMOND said that this fire service was taken up some four years ago in his town, where there are seventy-five corporation hydrants. He held that the mixing of fire and domestic service invariably led to trouble, and that the surest way to deliver good service to a factory or a large building for fire purposes was to have a separate and distinct fire service and to seal the same somewhere where they could get to it to break it when they used it. and then put a penalty on the breaking of the seal for other than fire purposes. His rates were based on hydrant rents-$50 a year from the city for each four-nozzle hydrant: fire service hose, two and a half inches in diameter. The charge is $25 to factories for a two-inch single-nozzle hydrant.
MR. KIMBALL said at Knoxville (private company) there was a charge of $3 per 1,000 square feet of floor surface protected by automatic sprinklers or standpipes; but they also rebate as much of that charge, as water is used at regular rates by meter or otherwise on those premises; so that, in effect, it amounts to the principle of protecting their own customers without charge. Out of all of the factories and mercantile establishments with sprinklers, there is only one that really pays for fire protection. All the others are using water in sufficient amount to get a rebate equal to the full amount of the charge for fire protection. The point seemed to him to he-and he did not want to call it “stealing” exactly (A Voice: “That’s the proper word!”), because he never yet did find anybody that did steal water; but through some unexplainable means a connection does get made with the fire protection pipes. Not that any business man or manufacturer would do such a tiling himself, but it is very easy for their engineers or mechanics to make a tap drv hv closing the controling valves or gates, which almost of necessity are put on all pipes, so as to control the sprinklers that go off through excessive beat. fire, or accident. In his town most of these lire pipes are under ground. As they come in, they run through, perhaps, two or three acres of factory grounds, entering the buildings at various points, ami it is easy to make a tap, close the ditch and run a pipe wherever a man wants to, and lie bad not been able to discover any means of satisfactorily Inspecting a plant of that kind to find out whether there such connections existed. One concern in bis town, after vowing that the connection found was some thing that thev absolutely knew nothing about, paid unite a sum in settlement of water used After the occurrence of two or three instances of that kind, the rules of the comuany were amended so that all fire connections and fixtures thereafter installed were to be metered. There is a gate-valve, with an indicator post on main line to the factory, which is closed and sealed, the seal being similar to those used on freight cars, just a leaden seal, easily broken, and round this gate runs a by pass of the same size as the fire service pine. The allowable maximum size in bis town is six inches; and on this bvpass pipe is placed a meter of the same size as the supply pipe. A positive registering meter, not a current meter, is used. I wo such lines had been installed, and when the third one was about being installed the insurance underwriters most emphatically objected to it. claiming that, if the supply were metered, they would have to cancel the risk. The company was. therefore, enioined by the court from placing a meter on such fire pipe, simntv on the ground that the insurance company would raise the rate. This being something new. he would like to know of anv similar cases where meters have l»ecn placed on fire protection lines, and whether there have been such decided obiections raised in any instance that either a private or public plant has been enjoined, or otherwise restrained or prevented from installing meters. The question must one day be met, simnlv for the self-protection of water departments. The granting of an independent supply is all right if there is any way to control it: but certainly the gate of the sunply and seal cannot be closed with the expectation that in fime of fire some one will open it. The insurance companies would not allow that: they would not allow any rate for snrinkbr service under such an arrangement.
MR. ALEXANDER would say in answer to the question of the last sneaker that the gate is closed by a valve, and all are acquainted with its peculiar construction: the water pressure opens it hv centrifugal motion The arrangement is fitted with a two-wav cock, which admits of sending the water into any part of the building. The water pressure ran he felt driving against the piston. As soon as the piston moves un. the water passes down through a small meter into the waste nine. Tt can he done verv nuicklv. and if the fire occurs where the cocks are located, then the whole apparatus is under ground.
MR. FELIX asked if the demands made hv the insurance companies in connection with this suhicct were to he considered as reasonable, or unreasonable. Just recently they had in Reading, where there is a high and low-service, a large, square building several stories high, a factory. When they got up to the new stories they had not sufficient pressure to render the fire service efficient, and it would have cost them $1,000 or more to give the additional pressure necessary; but if it cannot be got for them, they cannot get it insured.
MR. ALEXANDER replied that, in the first place, their fire system was never shut off. He was simply trying to answer what would be done when parties took water from the fire service, how was it to be prevented? That valve already mentioned is a reinforcement for the fire system in the building, and by its use it could be known that water was passing through the meter system, and being used, and, in case of fire, if they wanted a reinforcement, they could open this gate and have one, two, three, or as many streams as they wanted, By means of the meter the water must be accounted for. If it were opened on Saturday afternoon they had to take it through the meters; all was covered by meters.
MR. ROSAMOND wished to state that the seal is applied at either of two places, either at the valve on the outside, if the consumer protected prefers it that way, or where the hose connection is made; and they certainly have to get to the hose to use the service. One of the largest waterworks in the United States has adopted the same thing that he had. Corporation hydrants or standpipes are used in the building, and sealed then at the place where they are turned on; and a heavy penalty is placed upon the breaking of the seal without good reason. Mr. Rosamond said there was a standpipe system in his city, with meters on all of them.
MR. FELIX renewed the question as to the demands of the insurance companies, and as to whether waterworks should take into consideration the matter of combating the demands of those people in some cases; whether they are reasonable, or unreasonable. Everything is claimed for their sprinkler system, and they say to the consumers that if we don’t get what they want the insurance will be canceled. They make their patrons believe that waterworks people are unreasonable.
MR. KIMBALL said that that was about what he had to meet in his town. The insurance people have made one rule, and the waterworks people another.
The manufacturer is right between the two fires. He, therefore, goes to the courts for protection; and the waterworks people have got to find out whether their rule, or that of the insurance companies’ rule, is reasonable before they get through with it.
MR. DAVIS would resist the demands of the insurance companies when they exceed a certain limit, lie would ask Mr. Kimball what would become of his system of putting in a six-inch if that line should break in a building? How would he furnish the tire protection which he is under obligations to do to other buildings when that six-inch main is broken?
MR. KIMBALL admitted the contingency of nroviding for a broken pipe, and added that in i8qh, in Knoxville, they had what is known as the “big fire.” and in the business houses burned there were six or eight elevator connections Two of these were six inch, the only two six-inch elevator connections in town; and none larger than four inch for some ittne previous had been allowed. Five of those connections, one of the six inch and four of the four inch, were broken off during the progress of the fire by falling walls. A fire supply was kept up and a fire pressure equivalent to about two-thirds of our regular pressure, although the main in the street was only a ten-inch main; but it was fed very liberally at both ends, and twice in between with two twelve-inch, one eight-inch, and one eighteen-inch pipe; but the main itself from which those pipes came off was only ten inch. A supply was kept up, and he presumed the same thing could he done again under the same conditions. He admitted it was not good practice to put large pipes into build ings. That raised the same question of the insur ance people’s requirements. They require as large a pipe as they can get. Their demands are usually in excess of what they expect to get Six-inch is the limit that he would give in Knoxville. In other towns it was fottr inches. The only question that can arise is just what would he done in case of a breakage of the pipe.
MR DAVIS: In connection with this matter, lie would say. that there were ninety-two towns which reported disasters resulting in the breaking of pipe lines. One was Columbus, Ohio. There was a sixinch main in the factory building when the building fell. The main was broken, and Columbus was not able to furnish any fire protection. He thought that was a sufficient reason for their heing careful.
MR. ELLIS said that at Jacksonville. Fla., they hail a number of fire lines in various buildings before the great fire, some standpipe connections, and some automatic. He had always opposed putting in a larger line than four-inch, but gave way in one unfortunate instance to the insurance companies. This was in the case of one of their large buildings previous to the fire, where they put in a six-inch line. In this case, as in all others, he had a double valve, one at the sidewalk controling the building, and one cut at the main under his control. “Our fire, as you know, was a very rapid one. From 12 o’clock noon till 5 p. in. 2,700 buildings burned down. The waterworks kept up fire pressure until about half-past three o’clock. By that time there had been so many hydrants left open and pipes broken off that the pressure dropped to about twentyfive pounds, and it was impossible to keep up a supply for the steamers after that time.” That night be went through the burning embers of the town and closed the openings, and by about 5 o’clock the next morning had succeeded in completing this task, and shutting all the openings. Since that fire a rule had been made to make no connections for fire mains larger than four inches. In regard to the charges for fire service, the rule had been made that anybody who paid the minimum rate per year-$12- could have a fire service; but no water should be taken from that fire line for any other purpose than for fire. All openings are required to be sealed; if the seals are broken, unless a satisfactory reason can be assigned and explanation made, a fine is imposed. Several delinquents have been fined. The rule was made that all connections for domestic or other than fire service should be separate, and have a separate stop-cock from the fire mains at the curb. The only charge for fire protection is the minimum rate of $12 a year. The city furnishes up to threefourths free, and keeps such in repair. There is a charge of eight cents per hundred cubic feet for water over the average allowance, which is on a basis of $12 a year, for 300 gallons per day. It is allowed that two small houses of a valuation of under $500 may be placed on one meter. There is no meter on fire connections.
MR. SHERRERP said there was a common ground certainly on which water departments could meet the insurance people. Some arrangement of a checkvalve opening towards the building could be designed, though he could not name any one now on the market which would precisely fill the bill; but a check-valve placed in the line which would open towards the building on a difference of. perhaps, five pounds pressure might be employed, and as it opens it would throw over a weight which would hold it in open position, and then the pressure would be relieved; then place a small meter on a by-pass around the check-valve to catch any ordinary consumption in the building. This would seem to be the cheapest way to meet the difficulty, and at the same time furnish an efficient means of checking any surreptitious use of water in the building. The meter would be large enough to register the ordinary use of water, or leakage or wastage of water, or any ordinary factory use; while any sudden opening of the main line, such as automatic sprinkler or fire hose use. would throw open the check-valve and give the full capacity of the fire service pipe.
MR. CAULFIELD had had the same experience in one case where they had a combination fire system and automatic at the same time. His company ordered a meter put on, hut the insurance people objected and said that the underwriters would not give a reduction in the rates if the meter was set. The city of Chicago recently passed an ordinance requiring nil large services used for fire supplies or automatic fire extinguishers to he supplied through water meters. Several department houses and manufacturers of that city who have automatic fire extinguisher systems wrote to him. stating that thev had meters on. and that no difference had been made in the insurance rates. One party wrote that the insurance companies had objected very strongly to the meter; hut. when they finally found that the meter had been placed in position, their objections ecasod.
MR FORD, alluding to the automatic check-valves, stated that in Nashville, Tenn., the hoard of underwriters required that there he pressure-tanks in every building. There is an automatic valve on a four-inch supply pipe, with a gate coming in from the sidewalk, and a pressure of fifteen pounds is kept up by a system of air pumps, which is a check on the automatic valve. This keeps the water out from the citv main, unless the pressure behind is reduced so that the pressure in the water main will force itself through. In his system quite recently they undertook to place the water meters on fire service pipes. The board of underwriters objected very strongly; and to give satisfaction all round he made a direct test of a meter, and proved beyond all doubt their mistake as to their contention with respect to the friction in the water meter preventing the water passing through the system at time of a fire. The test showed conclusively that, by placing a gate on each side, the loss in pressure was not over two pounds when it passed to the httilding from the meter. That did not settle the question, for they came back afterwards and required a six-inch meter to be placed upon a four-inch connection. The board of public works said it was a matter he had “nothing to do with.” It was simply between the parties having an automatic sprinkler system and the board of underwriters.
MR. VOLKHARDT adverted to the fact that when a meter is furnished on a fire line, it is supposed that no water shall be taken except in case of fire from that service. Suppose no fire for ten years, then the water department lias been at an expense of placing and keeping in repair a four-inch or six-inch meter, whence comes the revenue? Is there a charge only for the water that passes through the meter, or is there an additional charge? He had been using the fire hydrants with the side outlets and crane attachments; and a volunteer fireman started to remove the cap without first shutting the hydrant down. The result was that the cap flew off and hit him in the stomach, injuring him. The city authoritities ordered an improvement; so he put up independent standpipes, or cranes, by making two one-inch taps in the mains and running in an inchand-a-half-waste-cock at the curb of the same size to shut off and drain in the winter, as the entire crane is left up all the year round. On the top of die upright pipe is a specially designed brass swingjoint, and into this is screwed the swinging arm, and when the cart is full the arm is swung back and out of the way of passing vehicles, and the water is shut off by this specially designed swing-joint. These cranes cost his company from $21 to $28 each, complete.
MR. BOLLING supposed the general experience had been like his own-that the demand for water from manufacturers and insurance people had increased enormously during the last three or four years. It was now a serious question as to the risk other parties were exposed to for the protection of some one particular building. At Richmond. Va., twelve years ago they started putting in special service for factories of three-inch supply. Large manufacturing concerns, however, have now three, four, six, eight, and ten-inch. Where an eighteen-inch connection is made from a ten-inch main some idea can be formed of the risk where this is done in the lower part of a city: if fires occur in other parts of the town there would not be protection unless there were some means of controling. He did not see how providing for this by means of a checkvalve could be done. There must be established sonic limit of size of pipe put in, and some measures adopted as to the location of the valve in the event of the pipes being broken inside. At Richmond no charge is made for use of water for connection with the sprinkler system. Wherever pipe comes into a building for fire extinguisher or supply, and there are other outlets, a water meter is required. No charge is made for water used in extinguishing fires. He thought it would be very well for the convention to adopt in the shape of resolutions something embodying its idea of the proper control of this fire protection service, which is getting to he an enormous burden upon the water system. A grant was recently made bv his city council to a very large industry, where there were four eight-inch branches taken out to the different buildings for fire protection, and hound by agree ment that they should he exclusively connected to this sprinkler system. The construction of the building caused him uneasiness, as it is rather of an inflammatory character, and he put in two valves on the outside, so that in the event of a fire he could control them. He instructed his watchman to shut off these valves in case of fire in either of the buildings supplied. About that time an engineer was explaining to him what good pressure they had in that section. On being asked how he found it out. he replied that they had a 50.000 gallon tank 128 feet above the ground at that point, and by means of a three-inch by-pass pipe they filled that tank in two hours and a half. Mr. Bolling said: “A bypass pipe filled that tank; why didn’t you fill it from the river with your pumps?” He said: “That was to test the tank!” (Laughter.) That was an illustration of how a connection could be made without the knowledge of the superintendent of the waterworks. A bill was sent him. He thought the association should formulate a proper expression of its sentiment on this question. He suggested that some means of controling these connections for fire protection was needed, and it should he determined as to whether they should be metered or unmetered. It could easily he ascertained whether there were false taps hv the use of a water phone.
MR. TUCKER said that Mr. Caulfield referred to underwriters objecting to the metering of fire services. He would ask if members considered that objection reasonable or unreasonable?
MR. CAULFIELD thought it unreasonable The insurance companies take the ground that meters stop the flow of water. There are meters that will not obstruct the flow of water. The fact that a meter might get something in it is not valid ground of objection. One of the large manufacturing concerns in Chicago mentioned that as one of the objections of the insurance people, and stated that the meter that they had would not under any circumstances obstruct the flow of water.
MR. CHASE said that the New England Waterworks association had had this question under consideration for a year. A committee was appointed to consider it, and had been working on it some six or eight months. It was hoped their report would come out next September. The present discussion had traversed practically the same ground as that by the New England association, whose committee is made up of five waterworks men and two insurance men, who seemed to be co-operating together. He could safely say that all the waterworks men strongly favored the attachment of meters to all services of the kind, in the belief that in that way only could the use of water be controled, and that. human nature was such that the average water taker could hardly resist the temptation to help himself to water from a convenient pipe whenever he got an opportunity. In many cases the pipes were laid in such a way that a connection could be made with them without the knowledge of the waterworks authorities. He knew of a case in a city where a plumber tunneled out thirty-three feet in the ground, and used the water for two years without the knowledge of the waterworks people. The only way it was discovered was by the building being torn down, when they found a tap in there that was supposed to connect with a spring supplying water for public fountains, and the fact then developed that the connection referred to above had been made. The tunneling was done in the dead of winter. The plumber happened to know the exact location where a tap could be made, because he had been employed by the contractor for making service connections the year previous. The question in itself was a pretty broad one. It opened up a great many ramifications which at first blush did not suggest themselves. One question was why the natty who takes the water for fire protection should pay anything at all. He is entitled to it. The city is supposed to furnish him with water for fire protection. If he. at an expense of $1,000 or $2,000. desires to provide a more effective means of fighting fire and thus enables it to be extinguished in its incipiency, thus requiring a much less quantity of water to he used in the end. why should lie he deprived of this protection? It was said that this applied very well to municipal ownership, hut not where there “was corporate or individual ownership, yet the cases were not entirely dissimilar. The city often has a contract for water for fire protection with the private company; and why should a consumer be prohibited from putting in a means of fire protection, such as sprinklers, to protect bis own property, and thus incidentally save the private, water company an expenditure of several hundred thousand gallons of water in the event of a fire? The questions had been discussed in the New England association, and they followed there similar lines to those of the present convention. As to the report of the committee: The insurance companies were equally strenuous that no meters should be attached, as were the waterworks people that they should be applied. To him it looked as though the waterworks companies had it all their own way, and they could use the insurance men merely as a help to make their consumers reasonably honest in the use of municipal water facilities.
MR MONJEAU had watched this discussion in the association for thirteen years, and it had grown deeper and broader every year, until really it had become the most interesting to him because of the intense interest manifested by all. A natron on the Pacific coast had written to him for information what to do. There they had a water supply of a certain capacity and extent, and one of the councilmen had taken up one of those nice Western notions-advertising, the sneaker supposed it must be- he wanted free water for everybody and everything. He did not see but that they must be reduced to giving free water to everybody and everything and letting the speculators in land sell lots to people who can be duped; otherwise, there was no other way out but to devise some means of satisfying the insurance companies. Would it not be a good idea to invite from different cities the officers of those companies to meet the members in discussion, particularly those in the meter business? He ws not in that; he wanted all the water he could get, being a Baptist. But he said that they had method, and, consequently, were Methodists. Why could they not send out a courteous invitation to these insurance gentlemen, and in some way get at what they want: then let all put their heads together and devise ways and means of satisfying those wants if they could? It would be a great advantage, even a great moral good, to devise ways and means of convincing the people that they had to be honest, or take the consequences; and the water purveyors and insurance purveyors ought certainly to be the first to speak. Such a conference might be arranged next year, and both sides be heard from; otherwise, if the discussion were confined to one side, it might go on without ceasing.
MR. DAVIS stated for Mr. Monjeau’s information that the insurance companies have a very interesting book, published in Boston, giving rules, rates, and regulations. He thought its title was “City Fire Protection.”
PRESIDENT HILL pointed out that, as no one had as yet spoken in opposition to the propriety of putting meters in elevators, if any so opposed the idea, they should speak out. If not, it seemed that the association was unanimously of the opinion that all such service should be metered, and that a motion to that effect would, perhaps, be in order.
SECRETARY DIVEN thought they had better come down to the particular phase that they would not furnish water for running meters anyway. He considered that was getting a little outside of their province.
PRESIDENT HILL: Perhaps so; but then they do it.
SECRETARY DIVEN offered the following resolution:
Kesolvcd: That it is the sense of the American Water Works association that all elevator services should have, in addition to the regulation indicator supplied by all manufacturers, a good and sufficient water meter. Seconded.
MR. ROSAMOND offered an amendment, which was not seconded, so as to make the resolution include “all uncertain services,” where the quantities are uncertain.
The secretary’s resolution was carried unanimously.
MR. BOLLING thought that, although part of the discussion had diverged a little from the subject introduced by Mr. Campbell, it was of such importance that he would like to have the sense of the conven tion as to the advisability of the control of these fire protection services. He, therefore, moved that a committee of three be named, to he appointed by the president, to consider the question of control of fire protection system services, the committee to report at some time before the adjournment of this convention. Seconded.
PRESIDENT HILL explained that (lie control referred to covered the general control of lire services, and the motion was carried. The president appointed the following: Messrs. Felix, Campbell and Bolling, after which the convention adjourned till the next morning (Wednesday) at y.30.
SECOND DAY, MORNING SESSION.
On assembling the secretary read the following applications:
FOR ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP.
John A. Cavanaugh, superintendent waterworks, Niles, Mich.; Lew O. Brown, superintendent, Carthage, Mo.; W. C. N. Randolph, jr., superintendent, Lynchburg, Va.; Ezra P. Young, president Edgeworth Water company, Edgeworth, Pa.; A. L. Hobbs, superintendent and secretary, Raton, N. M.; John Lorenz, superintendent public works, Hamilton, Ohio.
FOR ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP.
General Chemical company, Chicago, Ill.-a firm manufacturing filter alum.
All the candidate were elected.
Reports of standing and special committees being next in order, were passed, as their chairmen did not respond.
PROFESSOR MASON’S ADDRESS.
Professor W. P. Mason, of Troy, N. Y.. before addressing the convention, showed a corroded piece of pipe from Atlantic City, N. J., which had been blown out from the side of a twelve-inch force-main laid nineteen years ago in the salt meadows there. The deterioration showed some peculiar features. The entire main was more or less affected, and the deterioration ranged from one-half to the whole thickness of the metalin spots right through- some unaltered metal appearing in bright spots in the midst of brown amorphous metal. Tt cut just like day, and made a mark on paper. The material, when heated to redness, would lose forty per cent., owing to organic material being present. Under the action of strong hydrochloric acid 12.2 per cent, was insoluble, 177 per cent, being silica. Considerable calcium was also oresent, and the specific gravity of the specimen was only 2.28 as compared with over 7.0 per cent, of the original metal. No pyrophanous properties attached to the altered metal, which was not eaten away as in the case of electrolysis. The iron was absolutely replaced. The soil is most distinctly acid; the acid is volatile and organic, giving a precipitate of nitrate of silver and suggesting the presence of hydrochloric add, yet without any confirmatory reaction for chlorine. The acid is due to the presence of sphagnum, or bog moss.
The address will be published in full in a future issue of FIRE AND WATER.
In the course of the discussion Prof. Mason said he did not know what pressure the pipe, which was of cast iron and about two miles long, was under. It is laid under a salt meadow of deep black mud, with two separate layers of sound sod lying below the present surface grass, the action of this mud on steel or wrought iron being extremely severe, the latter after fifteen or eighteen months looking as though it had been placed in strong acid, the libre being brought out distinctly and the deterioration ranging from one-half to the full thickness of the metal. Quite a considerable amount of it was affected, all round the circumference; some of the patches were not quite through the metal, and the deterioration taking place in thin scales in some places and not at all in others-to the depth of one-eighth of an inch in others. There was no corrosion on the inside; it was all from outside inwards. If it had been wrought iron instead of cast iron, the corrosion would not have been so extraordinary. The coating seemed to be intact inside and out, the singular thing being that the iron was all gone out of it.
MR. MASON said that there was no weight in comparison to what a piece of iron should have, showing that the iron had been taken out leaving something like carbon. When that iron is attacked by electrolysis the pieces attacked have no weight at all. Take out a piece as big as a dollar and it will feel almost like a piece of cork. The piece exhibited was not quite so light as where it has been produced by electrolysis.
There was about it more or less of a clay-like character. Sphagnum, on the testimony of I)r. Birchmorc, tends to gather to itself the day like aggregation observed in the sample. It is a replacement by a material lighter than the iron which is being replaced. The iron is not absolutely absorbed and removed and replaced by this peaty substance, with the exception that under the microscope can be seen where particles of bright metallic iron still remain all scattered through it. To that extent the iron has not been replaced. The soil is a black, mudlike, and very acid soil containing the remains of a considerable previous vegetation, two layers of sound sod marsh. It is so acid that a portion of the soil taken at random and placed on litmus paper will turn it turkey red-very marked.
MR. GWINN always thought that acid attacked steel pipe very much more readily than it did cast iron, winch being very high in carbon seemed to be protected front the acid and in time make it immune. Pipe in the iron process is treated with a mild solution of acid, which leaves the carbon remaining. The next day again it is treated with an acid bath, and the iron reaction is less, until finally no iron at all can be got from it, the iron that was on the exterior having been removed, and finally it gets to the point where the iron cannot he reached any more.
MR WOODRUFF said that the salts in that marsh seemed to take the iron out entirely, leaving it just like carbon. The new pipe line that is being laid is being lined (he thought) with asphaltum to cover all bare spots. That Prof. Mason did not believe would last.
MR. ELLIS said that when he replaced his waterworks he took out two sections of suction-pipe, which he concluded to use, and started to cut one in two. He was told that the pipe wasn’t worth anything, that it all crumbled up in the hand. It looked very much like the piece from Atlantic City. There were four or five spots, places as big as a dollar and a number of smaller spots where the metal was perfectly soft, and a jack knife could cut through it in two or three minutes. The water he had to do with was artesian highly charged with sulphurated hydrogen. The water falling on the high plateaus runs down under a thick stratum of blue clay, in which there is more or less iron pyrite, which, we suppose, gave sulphurated hydrogen. W herever brass and iron are present together the action referred to takes place. In all his old valves we had cut every ring out of the valve, and he had also cut out every stuffing-box in which iron and brass are employed. The sulphur water seems to set up a galvanic action there; but he did not understand why the suctionpipes were affected. Both those suction-pipes and the interior of the pump were affected in the same way. They originally started to use Crown meters made of cast iron; but they found that the action that took place there caused a thick brown deposit to collect gradually inside of the meter, and finally the iron of the meter would become so softened that it could easily be cut with a knife, so they stopped using iron meters and required that the castings should all he of brass. They now use nothing but brass meters.
MR. HEIM’S PAPER
on “The Management of Waterworks,” which was printed in FIRE AND WATER of June 22, was then discussed. It then appeared that at Madison, Wis., in the event of the water sent out not being paid, the water was cut. off and the rent collected from the next comer. The rates are collected in advance and the owner of the property, not the tenant, is looked to for their payment of the water passed through the meter for the preceding six months. The price is fixed, as the company has the right, at a minimum. It was urged that hydrants with multiple nozzles and independent gates are not an added protection, but a greater risk than hydrants without them. In one large city during a fire there was one six-nozzle and one three-nozzle hydrant close by. The firemen got one stream front the three-nozzle hydrant and broke the other five gates. Ninety times out of a hundred at least an independent gate is open, and the firemen, not knowing this, pull it, and twist on the small stream and break it off. Better have a large number of nozzles available in a certain location; put these itt, but no independent gates. These always mean a very large main valve there, at which two men will wrench, then more, if it does not come, and they break it. As to using fire hydrants for supplying sprinkling carts, the independent hydrants are preferable. By using two and one halfinch gate on the hydrant wear and tear are obviated.
I he firemen can be taught to attach the hose to the gate nozzle, and for another stream they must shut it down and lake the cap off the opening. Gates should be used where hydrants are employed for street sprinkling. At Dayton and Richmond such a system is successfully employed. The nozzle of the gate is the same as that in a hydrant. At the same time local conditions should govern, as in cities with 125 miles of street to sprinkle. At Columbus, Ohio, the openings have been reduced to one inch and a quarter, leaving the hydrant open. The steamers use it in fire connections. But every valve leaks, and thus allows the water to escape continuously from the hydrants, for which reason the arrangement referred to was objected to by some of the members.
MR. J. E. FARLEY’S PAPER
entitled “History of White Plains, N. Y., Waterworks,” has already appeared in FIRE AND WATER.
THE ELECTION OK OFFICERS.
The results of the above election have already been published in these columns. Secretary Diven’s election was unanimously carried by a rising vote, and he briefly replied in an appreciative speech.
The convention adjourned till the next morning (Thursday).
THURSDAY MORNING SESSION.
On Thursday morning the president appointed Messrs. F. W Shepherd, Anthony P. Smith, and John M. Diven as a committee of three to settle with the widow of the late Secretary Peter Milne, to procure from her all the books and papers belonging to the association, and to transmit them to the secretary.
President Hill introduced Mr. W. D. Mead, C. E., of Chicago, Illinois, who read the following paper:
MR. w. N. MEAD’S PAPER
on “The arbitration or appraisal of the values of public utilities” will appear in a future impression of TIRE AND WATER.
A vote of thanks was unanimously passed to Mr. Mead for his paper, which was followed by
MR. JOHN W. ALVORD’S PAPER
on ” The financial question in waterworks valuation.” It shall appear in due time in these columns.
PRESENTATION OF A C.AVBL
MR. H. O. NOURSE stated that one of the associalion’s New York members, Mr. Volkhardt, representative and superintendent of the Crystal Water company, had suggested presenting the president with a rosewood gavel. The speaker said that the purpose in presenting it was as pure as the crystal water furnished by Mr. Volkhardt. Mr, Nourse continued: I present this gavel to you, Mr. Chairman, in the hope that you will use it with firmness, fearlessness, and fairness, and when you shall have finished your duties as president of this association, it is the request of the gentleman who handed it to me that it be transmitted to Brother Campbell, and by him in turn to a succeeding officer. May it always be used with firmness, fearlessness, and in fairness! (Applause.)
PRESIDENT HILL: Mr. Nourse, and Members of the Convention: I greatly appreciate this gavel as having come from a representative of the waterworks of this great metropolis, and. second, because, whoever may have the use of it hereafter. 1 shall have the very pleasant recollection of having presided at this convention of the American Water Works association.
(The convention broke into applause, the gavel in the hands of President Hill at once promptly, fearlessly, with firmness and in fairness fell and the applause was instantly quelled). (Laughter.)
DISCUSSION ON THE MEAD AND ALVORD PAPERS.
Mr, Sherrerd thought Mr. Alvord had placed a depreciation of water plants at a very low figure. There was another element entering into the estimating of the depreciation of water pipes to which he did not refer one which should be considered in arriving at the depreciation of a plant, more especially in referring to the distribution system-namely, the decreasing carrying capacity of the water pipes. That forms the larger part of the depreciation of the system, particularly where parties are appraising the value, because while it may he taken for granted that the pipe itself will last, perhaps, for a hundred years, yet serviceability and its utility to perform the functions for which it was originally laid will not last one-half of that time. Most superintendents would agree with him in saying that in the larger cities particularly it is necessary to relay mains and supplement systems in order to maintain the efficiency of the fire service, and even for ordinary consumption. He thought that some measurement of the decrease in the carrying capacity of the pipes should be used as a basis of depreciation. At Newark in jXo8 they made a measurement of the flow of water through a four-inch pipe which had been in service twenty-eight years. It was badly incrusted with tubercles. They measured the flow at ten minute intervals through a four-inch meter. They got a flow of 26.4 cubic feet per minute through the pipe. Afterwards they had thoroughly cleaned the 600 feet of pipe. Then they measured the flow in alternative periods of ten minutes and found it would then carry fifty cubic feet per minute. Figuring this backwards would give a degree of carrying capacity of about 1.75 per cent, per year. He believed the depreciation, even in value, was all of that amount, and, perhaps, a little more-that is to say, an incrusting and rusting on the outside of the pipe. There was also the effect of electrolysis, besides other eletnents requiring a renewal of plant, so that the sixinch and four-inch lines became unserviceable and had to be replaced. Often water pipes had to be replaced in four years that might be good to supply water to houses, but would still not be serviceable for fire protection. From that view of the ease he thought that the depreciation should be considered somewhere around 1.50 to 2.0 per cent, on waterworks systems.
MR. MEAD had no intention to make an estimate of the depreciation of water pipes. He simply illustrated the application of the principle that local conditions in all circumstances must govern, and the length of life assumed and the percentage mentioned were simply to illustrate a principle applicable in every case–applicable together with a consideration of the conditions, and not of general application.
MR. MONJEAU’S experience led him to treat waterworks in fixing a valuation upon them very much as an average manufacturing business was treated. In order to be just, there ought to be an estimate of depreciation in value of ten per cent, per annum. Of course, there were other conditions-such as the increase ip value of a franchise, the increase in value of the holding, att element not clearly brought out in the naper. The papers actually established a science in the estimating of the value of waterworks. and if that same criterion could he established as in estimating the value of the average manufacturing business they would come very close to establishing a rule or standard by which to measure the increase and decrease, and, consequently, estab1 or settle very closely the value of a water plant itself. In the city of Pittsburgh, or its vicinity, where in 1804 he put in works, a few years ago he had occasion to look at one of those six-inch pipes, and also at a four-inch pipe, and none could get a glass of water through from the four-inch pipe in less than half a minute. It was thoroughly incrusted and full of tubercles. The rust was packed almost as hard as the iron itself. In fact, lie would rather dig iron than the surface incrustation on that pipe.
MR. BENZENBERG: In the valuation or appraisal of a waterworks plant one question which naturally arises is, the iife of the distribution system, and it cannot by a careful appraiser be assumed to be a period of years without a personal inspection of the conditions that surround the distribution system, including the character of the pipe and the character of the water, whether the pipe has been carefully coated and cleaned before being coated, in which case there is less possibility of tuberculation. Tuberculation is well known as simply an oxydation of the exposed surface of the pipe-sometimes merely the size of a pin head or smaller. The character of the water sometimes has a good deal to do in affecting the rapidity with which tubercles will be formed on the interior. If the character of the water or the character of the pipe is found to be such that it will tend to bring about or to increase tuberculation, in the matter of appraising that must be considered as having an influence upon the length of life of the pipe or of the distribution system that is to be estimated upon. The proper amount of depreciation for the period of life of any part of the waterworks is also fixed; at the same time it varies with each part of the waterworks plant, from the boiler which, perhaps, is the shortest lived, to the distribution and piping system, which, perhaps, enjoys the longest period of life. The length of life of each part of the plant must be fixed and a sinking fund or annuity established, which, placed at compound interest, will at the end of the life of that portion of the plant produce a sum sufficient to replace it. The theory cannot he in error; that of the appraiser may become a fact only by his misinterpretation, his lack of judgment, or his misjudgment in determining the length of life of the various parts of the waterworks plant. In the Western cities very little tuberculation is found in any of the pipe because of the character of the water; in the Eastern cities, where largely surface water is used, tuberculation increases, sometimes quite rapidly. Any sedimentation that may occur inside of a water pipe system or deposit of sediment should not have any influence upon a consideration of the life of the distribution system. It can be removed simply by an intelligent system of flushing and should not be charged against the life of the pipe system. The term “franchise” may lie criticised. Often this has been interpreted as a license to do business. But a franchise may be simply and purely nothing more than a right given by a municipality to a water company to utilise the streets for the purpose of laying a system of piping to distribute and deliver water. It is not a license to do business, but a privilege to utilise or use the public’s grounds. There are many water companies everywhere that deliver drinking water in some other way to houses whose residents feel that they do not want to take the chances of using th.e public water supply for such nurposes. ‘These require no franchises to do business. An extensive business can be done in delivering and selling water the same as in any other line of business. He need not apply to the municipality for a license to do business; consequently, a franchise may. perhaps, be correctly interpreted to mean simply the right to occupy public streets and grounds and highways for the purpose of delivering water in the manner and form stipulated in that franchise. If so, the value of a franchise under that head, if the property is to he purchased by a municipality, is comparativelv nothing. If the property is to be purchased by another company, it represents all of the value that such franchise possesses to the original holder, and is worth all of the expense and all of the trouble, and carries with it all the privileges that the original has enjoyed. If it is purchased by the city, it is dispossessed of a certain element of value, and for that reason in many of the franchises or ordinances granting franchises in cities to waterworks companies, it is stipulated that no value shall he placed upon the franchise, simply because of that view of the privileges granted through a franchise ordinance. To a large extent that is the practice in the Northwest. In very few ordinances it is granted to the arbitrators to determine the value of the franchise.
MR. MONJEAU said that no such case had come to his notice so far. The suggestion he made could he embodied in the system spoken of in the paper, and would simplify the manner of estimating the value of waterworks plants. Another thing: The vajue of pipe depreciates fast in Western cities. * In Topeka. Kan., for instance, pipe laid has three years afterwards to be relaid with pipe of double the size, and that was no very exceptional case either.
MR. BENZENBERG asked all waterworks men engaged in the extension of a distribution system, or in laying out new systems, to give a little bit more attention to the method of testing, cleaning, and coating water pipes. The distribution system generally represents the largest item of expense, the largest amount of money outlay, and less attention is paid to it simply because is it property in the ground out of sight: yet its period of depreciation is in many instances very rapid and it should, therefore, receive at the hands of waterworks men the same attention and the same consideration that is apt to be given to the visible parts of the plant, such as the boilers, buildings, and machinery. Greater efficiency and higher economy of operation is exacted from them, while the distribution system, which covers a large amount of the investment, is allowed to depreciate and deteriorate without any active effort to improve the conditions. A general effort should l>e made to insist upon a more thorough cleaning of water pipe, and a much bettor methoa of coating, so that as thorough a protection against tuberculation as may be secured can be had in the present state of science and knowledge upon the subject. Some cities are now specifying the cleaning of pipe with sand blast, and thereby removing every particle of dust or dirt so thoroughly that the passing of a silk handkerchief will not collect a particle of dust; and then immersing the pipe in a composition thoroughly, not only once, but twice, so that in withdrawing the pipe no little spots are left uncoated. Such a system will not and does not very materially increase the cost of the pipe per ton. In one case, under such specifications a contract has been awarded which increased the price only one dollar per ton. The benefit to the pipe is far in excess of the five per cent., or four per cent., or three per cent, of increased cost, and may represent properly ten, fifteen, or twenty per cent, of added value in the power added to the pipe to resist attack from soils such as we often find in our Western and other cities.
MR. LIEBER would ask, in regard to the question of franchise, one question: In a case where a water company is granted a franchise to use the streets in order to carry on their business properly, and the city enters into a contract for a stated number of years to pay a nominal sum per hydrant, does the expiration of the contract for hydrant rental invalidate the franchise and forfeit the privilege of using the streets for the water mains? Can any of the gentlemen let me know definitely about this matter? I would very much like to know.
MR. MONJEAU: It depends upon what State you are located in. (MR. LIEBER: I am from Missouri.) In Alabama any change-any alteration made in a contract after it has been signed by both parties to it, or all the parties thereto, will invalidate more or less the entire contract. There are several other States which have the same laws.
PAPER BY MR. S. A. CHARLES.
Mr. S. A. Charles then read a paper entitled, “Proper distribution of fire hydrants with diagram of fire streams,” which has already appeared in FIRE AND WATER. Mr. Charles added that the hose referred to had been laid, not in separate or serpentine form, but horizontally on the level street.
The convention then adjourned till 8 p. m.
(To be concluded next week)