Construction, Extension, and Management of Plants


During the past year the Silver Bow Waterworks company at Butte, Mont., has made extensive improvements in its water supply both for domestic and manufacturing uses and for the protection of the city from fire. The new reservoir built on Excelsior avenue near the Big butte has been in operation during 1501, and has been kept at all times nearly full of water. The water in this reservoir is supplied from the new works, erected on the Big Hole river. The lower part of the city is still supplied from the old works on Basin creek, but the system is so arranged that, in case of accident to the main lines of either system, the other system can be used for the whole city supply while repairs are being made in the broken system. The new supply has a pipe line from the Big Hole river to the reservoir on the west side of a capacity of 8,000,000 gallons in twentyfour hours, which, added to the old capacity of the Basin creek line, makes a total capacity at this time of 13,000,000 gallons in twenty-four hours. There is installed and working at the Big Hole at the present time a Jeanesville pump of a capacity of 1,500,000 gallons. The new pump, which will have a capacity of 4,000,000 gallons, is in process of construction, and is within a little of completion. The reservoir capacity of the system at the present time, which can be treated as a reserve in case of fire, is as follows: Old supply, Basin creek, one reservoir, 200,,000,000; one reservoir, 60,000,000 gallons capacity. New supply, one reservoir on Divide creek, near Feeley’s station, 13,000,000 gallons capacity; one reservoir on west side, near the Big butte, of a capacity of 13,500,000 gallons ; one small reservoir in Walkerville, of a capacity of 3,000,000 gallons. The system is so arranged that either one of these reservoirs, or all, can be turned into the system or any part of the system. In addition to this system, the old pump at the lower pump station, which connects with wells and the Blacktail creek, is kept in repair, and could be put in operation in a few hours in case of necessity. This would add 2,000,000 gallons to the present supply. An auxiliary pump at the Galena street station is also kept in repair and ready for service at any time in case of necessity. The pumping capacity at the Big Hole station, with the new pump erected, will be 5,500,000 gallons in twenty-four hours. At the high-service station, which delivers to the reservoir in Walkerville, the pumping capacity is 4,500,000 gallons per day. There are now in service in various parts of the city 397 fireplugs. These fireplugs are kept in repair by the water company and are frequently inspected by the officials of the water company and the chief of the fire department. Under the present reservoir system the danger of a limited supply at reduced pressure is reduced to a minimum. The ordinary pressure is sixty pounds; fire, 150 pounds. The supply is entirely satisfactory, and the fire department has never been compelled to disconnect from fireplugs on account of their being frozen. The present works were built in 1891-95 by the Butte City Water company. Its franchise is perpetual and makes no provision for the purchase of the works by the city. The company has about 250 meters in use, owned, controled, and repaired by itself; the use of meters is optional with the company, but compulsory on large consumers. The water, which is very pure, comes from mountain streams and flows into a 200,000,000-gallon impounding reservoir, formed by a dam of masonry eightyeight feet high, and built thirteen miles from the city.


The condition of the water distribution system at Somerville, Mass., where Frank G. Merrill is the energetic water commissioner, was never better than it was last year. Very little trouble arose from bursts and leaks in the city’s eighty-seven miles of street mains carrying water under pressure varying from thirty to one hundred pounds per square inch. The troubles from bursting pipes, however, must go on to a greater or less extent until all the old cementlined pipes are removed. Between two and three miles of such pipe still remain in use. The fire hydrants received special attention during the year, particularly in the winter season, and with such success that in no single instance were the firemen hampered in their work by defective or frozen hydrants. The total number of hydrants set in the city is 926, or about one to every 500 feet of main pipe or each sixty-seven inhabitants. Of main gates there are 1,248; blow-off, 719; water ports, sixtysix : service pipe, 661 miles, 4,121 feet; house connections, 10,520. The number of meters in use is 224, as follows: Trident, 115; Union (Union, thirtythree; Union special, seventeen), fifty; Hersey (Hersey, twelve; Hersey disk, ten), twenty-two; Grown, twenty-one; Lambert, thirteen; Gem, one. Of motor and elevator clocks there were eight in operation on December 31, 1901. There was consumed in 1901 47,910,011 feet, or about 359,385,082 gallons of metered water, for which the city received $51,116.50. Under the new legislation the city was assessed $56,816.76 by the Metropolitan water board—about four per cent, under the present valuation and population basis of 63,500, for whom 359,385,082 gallons was passed through meters. Of the services 2.13 per cent, are metered; percentage of receipts from metered water, twenty-four. The net recipts for water were $212,317.59; total receipts for the year, $214,133.36. Expenditures for maintenance, $130,201.31; construction, $19,205.59; net cost of works to date, $785,690.22; bonded debt at date, $175,000; interest on bonds (average rate of interest four per cent.), $6,270; maturing bonds paid, $32,000.



Springfield, Mass., has recently been refused leave to take water from the Westfield river. The reason for this refusal is set down to the fact that it is intended thereby to force the city with Holyoke, Westfield, Chicopee and the vicinity to form a Metronoli tan district to be supplied from the Connecticut river, whose water, taken from Northfield Farms, has been analysed and found to be excellent, as no pollution of any consequence comes down to that point from above. The entire line of the river from the Vermont boundary to Holyoke was gone over bv the engineer of the State board of health and a sub-committee of the legislature. They found that the only places of material size emptying sewage into the river were Greenfield, Turner’s Falls, and Northampton. They looked around to see if there were any good location for a receiving basin where filtration could be carried on, and they concluded that a suitable place existed just above the falls at Holyoke. At that place the material for a filtration bed could be landed conveniently from the railroad, and the water could be distributed readily to the great population below. If the water were taken in just above Holyoke, it would be found to have only seven-tenths of one per cent of pollution, according to an analysis made by the sub-committee. They, therefore, thought that the water would be found excellent for domestic consumption, and that the supply would be forever inexhaustible, thus solving for all time the problem of the supply for the large population in the places mentioned. In view of these circumstances, the committee thought best to give Springfield more time to consider the case. What may also have contributed to the adverse report is the sympathy which fills the legislature for the small communities which would lose their water if Springfield were allowed what is looked upon as the sole use of the Westfield river. The subcommittee states that the Connecticut river above Holyoke has a watershed of 8,660 square miles, included in the States of Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire, and a very small portion of the upper end of the watershed is in Canada. The total population on the watershed above Holyoke is 310,000, or thirty-six persons per square mile of watershed. Of the total population on the watershed of the Connecticut river, about 90,000 live in towns which have fairly complete sewerage systems, and the sewage is discharged directly into the river or its tributaries. The remainder of the population is scattered over the watershed, and there appears to be very little direct pollution of the river therefrom. Of the 90,000 persons living in towns from which the sewage is discharged into the river, 33,000 are in the States of New Hampshire and Vermont, and about 57,000 in Massachusetts. The nearest point at which sewage is discharged into the river above Holyoke in either of these States at present is at Keene, N. H., a distance of seventyfive miles above the Holyoke dam. If Massachusetts should direct that no sewage should be discharged into the river within her limits, the nearest point at which sewage could ever be discharged into the river or any of its tributaries would be at the State line, fifty miles above Holyoke. Forty miles above that city and above all the sources of pollution in Massachusetts the water at Northfield Farms was analysed and found wholesome. If the sewage from the cities and towns in Massachusetts should be removed from the stream, the analysis of the water just above Holyoke would probably be about the same as the analysis of the water at Northfield Farms, although the water might be affected to some extent by the entrance of the two large tributaries, the Deerfield river and Millers river. The water of the Westfield river is naturally somewhat better than that of the Connecticut without filtration. The present consumption of water in Springfield is about 7,500,000 gallons per day, or 11.6 cubic feet per second, and it is estimated that the consumption in 1940 will be about 30,000,000 gallons per day, or 46.4 cubic feet per second. The lowest recorded monthly flow of the Connecticut river at Holyoke for the past twenty-two years is at the rate of 1,763 cubic feet per second. The lowest flow for a whole year during this period was at the rate of 8,343 cubic feet per second. The present consumption of water in Springfield would amount to about .7 of one per cent, of the flow of the stream during the driest month and .1 of one per cent, of the flow of the stream during the driest year. The consumption of water in Springfield in 1940 would not exceed 2.6 per cent, of the flow of the river during the driest month, or .5 of one per cent, of the flow during the driest year. As to the location of a filter plant: The committee after examination recommends that one be built at Chicopee on the easterly side of the river, the water of which from above Holyoke can apparently be conveyed to that place by gravity and pumped thence to Springfield. The existing works for conveying water from Ludlow could be kept by that city for use in emergencies. Another inducement for using the Connecticut as opposed to the Westfield river water is to be found in the fact that the damage to millpowers, etc., will occur only to those properties located in Holyoke itself, and the amount of damage done will be very slight compared with that in the Westfield valley. West Springfield will probably be obliged to look to Huntington for its water supply.


Front the earliest organisation of Colorado the distribution of water has been a source of contention. The first legislature of Colorado, in 1861, passed an act designed to settle disputes of this kind and to create some method settling the unfair distribution. Through the various steps the present system was finally developed, largely from the questions which arose in the valley of the Cache la Poudrc. The State is divided into water districts, of which there are sixty-nine, and the districts in a given watershed constitute a water division. The State officers arc respectively called water commissioners and water superintendents. They are both subject to the direction of the State engineer. The water commissioners apportion the water among the ditches in accordance with the decrees which have affirmed the rights of the various ditches, and in accordance with the fundamental doctrine of the superior right of the earlier appropriator.

Mackinaw, Ill., has completed its waterworks system. The source of supply is an inexhaustible well. The water is pumped into an 800-barrel tank.

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