WATERWORKS SYSTEM OF PEORIA, ILL.
The waterworks system of Peoria, Ill., is owned and controled by the Peoria waterworks company, a private corporation. The plant was built in 1892, and consists of: Three Worthington compound condensing duplex, vertical, high-duty pumping engines, rated at 7,200,000 gals, capacity each, per twenty-four hours, at piston-speed of 140 ft. per minute. Three batteries of Heine water-tube boilers, each battery having two boilers rated at 200horsepower each, or 1,200-horsepower in all six boilers. There are also a number of auxiliary pumps and engines, such as boiler-feeders, air-compressors, dry-well pumps, vacuum-pumps, lighting engine and generator, etc. The three condensers are of the surface type and are set, one on each suction-pipe of the main engines, at the bottom of the dry well. Originally the main pumping engines took their entire supply from an open well —called the main well, 53 ft. by 34 ft in diameter, sunk in gravel about 60 ft. from the main pumping station. The water is pumped against a pressure of about 130 lbs. into the 30-in. discharge-main, which leads to the city, an open branch of this main leading to an 18,000,000-gal. reservoir on the bluffs, about a mile west of the pumping station. When the pumps are delivering more water than is being used in the city, the surplus goes to the reservoir. When the pumps are shut down or the use exceeds the pumping, the reservoir makes up the deficiency. In 1805, owing to an unprecedented drought, and the excessive consumption and waste in Peoria, the company was compelled to take steps to increase its water supply. After a careful survey of the water-bearing gravel underlying the territory surrounding the main well, a point for a new well was selected 3,340 ft. above, or upstream from the main well. At this point an open well, it ft. inside diameter, was sunk to within 8 ft. of bedrock, where it was stopped by quicksand. Four 6-in. wells were driven to bedrock and four 6-in. wells were pushed out through holes in the side of the open well. These driven wells were furnished with 6-in. Cook well-strainers. In this open well were erected, in duplicate, plants consisting of a vertical centrifugal pump, driven by a Pelton waterwheel on the same vertical shaft as the pumps. A 12-in. cast iron main, connected to the 30-in. force-main at the pumping station, delivers water at 120 lbs. pressure, to drive the Pelton wheels. The centrifugal pumps lift the water from the well into the upper end of a 24-in. tile line, whence it flows by gravity into the main well. The water used to drive the Pelton wheels is also discharged into the tile line and returned to the main well. In 1899 an auxiliary pumping plant was installed in the bottom of the main well. This plant was put in, in order to shorten the suction-lift of the main pumping engines, and at the same time to still further increase the water supply. To accomplish these ends, a steel tank was built round the suction-pipes of the main pumping engines and the suction-pipes were shortened so as to draw from the tank; four caissons, fitted with Strainers, were sunk through the gravel to hardpan, to serve as additional and deeper wells; a vertical centrifugal pump was set in each of the caissons; and a Pelton water-motor was set over, and on the same vertical shaft with each centrifugal pump. The motors are driven by water at about 130-lbs. pressure from the force-main of the steam pumping engines; the centrifugal pumps, directly connected to the motors, lift water from the caissons and deliver it into the tank which now supplies the pumping engines; while the water used to drive the motors is discharged by gravity into the same tank. The steel tank, 20 ft. in diameter by 12 ft. deep, is fitted with valves in the bottom, through which water may be freely admitted from the outside, so that at times of high water it is unnecessary to run the auxiliary pumps. A target in the main pumping station indicates the level of the water in the tank at all times and an automatic device breaks the vacuum on the pumping engines and shuts them down when the water falls to within -about two feet of the bottom of the foot valves. In 1903, another new well, known as well No. 69. was started, 1,250 ft. south of the main well. Owing to interruptions caused by high water. the well was not completed until 1904. This well consists of a steel drainer separated by a steel bulkhead from the pump pit or dry well, whihe is of brilk masonry, and is surmounted by a small brick wellhouse. The strainer is 9 ft. in diameter and 21.5 ft. long, built of ⅝-in. steel plates, perforated with about 34,000 holes of 1116-in. diameter. The well is equiped with an 8in. vertical centrifugal pump on a vertical shaft directly connected to a 30-in. Pelton waterwheel. This plant works on the same principle as the two plants above described, discharging the motor water, as well as the pump water, into a 20-in. wood-stave pipe, through which it flows by gravity to the main well. The motor water is supplied through an 8-in. pressure pipe-line at about 12c lbs. pressure. Neither the new well nor well No 69 nor the. auxiliary plants in the main well are ordinarily .in service, as, except in times of excessive drought, the supply from the main well alone is more than sufficient for all possible requirements. The company owns or controls over 2or acres of land in the vicinity of its wells, which produce no revenue, being kept unoccupied for the sole purpose of maintaining the purity of the water supply above suspicion. The distributing system consists of over too miles of mains, from 4-in. to 30-in. in diameter, well gridironed. There are t.200 fire hydrants and the pressures vary, according to elevation, from 85 to 115 lbs. below the bluff, and from 35 to 60 lbs. on the bluff.
A Nogales, Ariz., capitalist has bought the local waterworks company’s system, and cheaper water rates are expected.