WATERWORKS SYSTEM OF MUSCATINE
Most cities have to go to considerable expense in the filtration of their water, sometimes with but indifferent success. Muscatine. Ia., is an exception to the rule, as its water supply filters through a natural filterbed of 48 ft. of gravel and sand. The source is the Mississippi river, on a rocky bluff overlooking which the city is built Muscatine claims a respectable antiquity, having been settled in 1836 and incorporated in 1853. Between that year and 1875 it had no waterworks system, and depended upon a bucket brigade for fire protection. In the latter year, however, steps were taken to install a waterworks system, and in 1876 one was completed by the Muscatine Waterworks company at a cost of $80,000, under the supervision of W. C. Wier, who planned it. A twenty five year franchise was granted the company, whose first president was George W. Dillaway. During the twenty-five years accorded the company there were laid 11 miles and 1,320 ft. of main, and 125 hydrants were set. A one-story brick pumping station was built on the tilled levee at the foot of Chestnut street, and there were installed in it two double-acting Cope & Maxwell pumps, with 16-in. steam cylinders and 10-in water-plungers, all of 30-in. stroke. A reservoir was also built at a cost of $8,000 on the public square at Broadway and Fourth street, 172 ft. above high water; capacity, 3,000,000 gals.; in excavation and depth 16 ft. deep; inner slopes 1 1/2 ft. to 1, covered with puddle and lined with brick laid in cement. The source of supply was the Mississippi, the water being pumped through an intake direct to the reservoir. This intake, however, was a source of great trouble, on account of breaks and being affected by the rise and fall of the river. At the expiration of the twentylive-year franchise the city purchased the system for $100,000. A board of trustees was formed consisting of W. L. Roach (chairman), T. R. Htzgerald, and Samuel Cobb, who have been continued in office ever since. The services of William Molis, the original superintendent, were obtained, and today he fills the same position with as great success as he did when appointed eleven years ago. A bond issue of $60,000 was voted, and three and a nan acres or ground on the Island were purchased, on which was built a bricK pumping station 45×85 ft., with a coalhouse 30×60 ft. and a smokestack too ft. high. The pumphouse is 40×43 ft., with a concrete basement reinforced by J beams and corrugated rods, situated twelve feet below grade. The consulting engineer employed was William Kiersted, of Kansas City, Mo. The new supply comes from fourteen driven wells in the sand and gravel. Three _____re west of the pumping station; the rest run southwest and are located on a 20-in. pipe-line. The wells are driven from 100 to 150 ft. apart, and consist of 6-in. pipes, with a strainer at the bottom, the average depth being 48 ft. It filters through the sand and gravel and is clear, soft and pure. The pumping machinery consists of one Holly, horizontal, compound, condensing, crank and flywheel, high-duty pump, with a capacity of 3,000,000 gals. It operates against a head not exceeding no lbs. domestic pressure and 150 to 180 lbs. fire, including suction-lift, when operating at a piston-speed not exceeding 140 ft. per minute. The pumps are also provided with a Westinghouse air-compressor and controled by an automatic pressure-regulator. The dimensions of the engine are as follows: Two high-pressure cylinders, 12 in. in diameter; two low-pressure cylinders, 32 in. in diameter, with two inside-packed plungers 14 in. in diameter, all with a stroke of 24 in., with a suction of 20 in.; also, an independent airpump and discharge of 16-in. and condenser, with an _____uxiliary jacket-pump. There is also one Worthington, horizontal, triple-expansion, outside-centre, packed-plungers pattern, pumping engine, with the following auxiliaries: Independent jet condensing apparatus, jacket-pump and tank. Its capacity is 3,000,000 gals. The engine has the following dimensions: Two high-pressure, steam cylinders, 12 in. in diameter: two intermediate steam cylinders. 19 in. in diameter; two low-pressure steam cylinders, 30 in. in diameter; two double-acting water-plungers, 15 in. in diameter, all of 24-in. stroke. The aggregate pumping capacity is 6,000,000 gals. When the old pttmps are removed and installed, it will add 3,000,000 gals, capacity, and there is room enough in the basement to install a third pump. That, however, will he unnecessary for many years to come. There are two horizontal tubular boilers, 72 in. in diameter and 16 ft. long, with 4-in. flues. A Stewart heater is used in connection with the boilers, and a feed-pump supplies them with water. A 16-in. pipe-line, with gates and hydrants set upon it, runs from the waterworks on the Island to the West Hill reservoir—a distance of about two miles. The capacity of that reservoir is about 200,000 gals. It may be covered at some future period. Since the city purchased the system it has laid six miles of main—making a total of 16 miles 1,425 ft. of 20-in. to 6-in. main laid. There are set 185 hydrants, rendering Muscatine one of the best fire-protected cities in the middle West The services, which number considerably over 1,000, are of lead and iron pipe, and the tendency towards wasting the water has been somewhat restrained by the installation of between 100 and 2C0 meters of the Crown. Union, Empire, Gem. Hersey (rotary and disk), Thomson, Worthington. Columbia, Keystone, Lambert, Nash and Westinghouse brand—all owned by the city. The city’s estimated population is 15.187. Within its limits ar_____ carried on many important industries. It is. if not the best, at least very nearly the best manufacturing city in Iowa—it certainly leads the State in the number of its factories, and furnishes one-seventh of the entire button-product of the United States. Its population is steadily increasing. as is, likewise, its prosperity.