WHAT WATERWORKS MEN ARE DOING
Notes on Construction, Extension and Management
Making ample allowance for political rivalries which may have underlain some of the statements concerning the condition of the water supplied to the citizens of
there can be no doubt that it is not what it should be, and for that reason the State department of health has assumed the entire control of the watershed reservoirs and works of the Scranton Gas and Water company. One medical expert reports that the Roaring brook supply is polluted by sewage, since several samples of the water taken above Elmhurst reservoir revealed the presence of sewage organisms. This statement undoubtedly refers to the Moscow drainage into Roaring brook, including the cesspools at the hotel and other nuisances. For these the present outbreak of typhoid fever is blamed. The company, however, has had much to contend against in the way of discovery that its water was in a bad condition. It had the source of supply examined by supposedly competent persons. It was pronounced pure, and the milk supply was blamed. The company thus encountered a great difficulty at the outset—all the greater because in the Scranton supply the authorities found one of the best water supplies in the State, with magnificent facilities for the settling, aeration and purification of the water. All these elements combined to make the detection of the typhoid bacilli almost impossible. The officers of the State department of health took up the work on the fifteenth of December. They confined their efforts to the territory outside of the citv limits, where sanitary surveys have since been made and information collected relative to the sources of supply. As a result of their work, extensive inspection and the collection of many samples of water for analysis, it has been ascertained at the laboratories of the department at the University of Pennsylvania, that the Roaring brook supply is polluted by sewage, since several samples of the water taken from above Elmhurst reservoir revealed the presence of sewage organisms and typhoid bacilli. The question now arises as to whether or not lake Scranton, the reservoir from which the city is now being supplied, is contaminated. It is connected with tire now condemned Elmhurst reservoir, and all the reservoirs are connected by pipe-lines with automatic valves, so that, when the water becomes low in one reservoir on account of lack of rain in its particular watershed, there is a backflow from the other reservoirs which maintains a uniform pressure throughout the whole system. In this way much water has probably passed from the Elmhurst reservoir into Scranton lake and carried with it the infection. The entire system will have to be cut off and the reservoirs cleaned one by one. Meanwhile the citizens to insure safety, must boil the water before drinking it. The source of supply for the city is streams; the system is gravity; the reservoir capacity is 2,000,000,000 gals.; mains, cast iron, 36-in. to 4-in. Scranton affords only another example of the absolute necessity that exists for effective scientific filtration of its water supply. It is no longer a country village or a mere small town, nor is its watershed any more a rural territory exempt from all sources of contamination. It is a populous town, with suburban arms stretching out on every side, and, as such, cannot hope that its watershed and the brooks that furnish the supply can be kept free from a pollution that brings with it disease-germs. These can be removed only bv filtration.
The close of 1906 shows that during the year the operations of the waterworks system of
have been fully up to the mark. I owards the end of 1006 a new reservoir was put into service, as a result of the failing water supply in the big tank. The failure was not due to leakage, but to the fact of the wells not affordin” their accustomed supply. The wells were thoroughly cleaned out and the perforated air-lift pipes were replaced. This solved the difficulty. During the past year over two miles of new water mains were put downmaking the citv’s underground system cover fortythree miles. All the mains were 6-in., and 10,601 ft. were laid at a cost of $10,450. The work done in 1906 by the department and the cost of each item was as follows; New 10-in, well, $1,000; cleaning of seven wells, $300; 8-in. soft-water well, $800; three new boilers, $12,000; putting concrete bottom in big well, $300; replacing air-lift pipes, $100—total, $14,500. The record of the water pumped in 1906 shows that about 622,000,000 gals, were put into the mains during the past twelve months—the month of December being estimated. The greatest amount pumped was in October—55,572,000; the least, in February—45,408,000. The monthly average was 5,185,525 gals.; the daily average, 15,225.
The year 1906 was an extremely successful one for
so far as concerned the revenue derived from the sale of water. The profits amounted to $26,311.04 The total receipts of the company from all sources during the year were $39,585.50, while the amount received from the city in the way of hydrant rentals was $13,267.40—making the total amount re ceived a little over $52,000. The expenses of the plant for the year were $17,212.36. Added to this the interest on the bonded indebtedness was $4,600, and the interest on indebtedness for improvements and extensions $4,729.50. During the year the company has retired $5,000 worth of the bonds outstanding—leavin” the total amount to be paid $87,000. The extensions made during the year cost the company $11,687.31. The company, it will be remembered, was purchased by the city in 1895, and at that time the bonded indebtedness was $137,000. The company has proved a success from the start, and in the eleven years $50,000 has been paid of the bonded indebtedness. Within ten years more the entire bonded indebtedness of the company will be paid off. In the ten years $10,000 have been spent in improvements, and the cost of the service to the people of the city has been reduced until at the present time the water is being supplied at the low price of twelve cents per 1,000 gals-a lower rate than that in any other city along the north shore. The showing would look better, if the water supplied to the city build ings and public schools were not furnished free If it were metered and then charged, the cost would be $2,500. The coming year will be a busy one for the commissioners, and numerous extensions are being planned. With many new subdivisions being admitted to the city, there is the general cry for water-connections, and, as soon as the ground will permit, the work of making these extensions will be started. The erection of the new steel water tower is now well under way, and it is expected that it will be completed early this year. The new tower costs nearly $20,000. and money has been provided to pay for this. With this new tower completed, the commission will be able to furnish a more even pressure on all of the mains, and thus give better service all round. The Kenosha Water company is one of the shining ex amples of the success of municipal ownership.
On November 9. 1875, seventv-five business men organised and subscribed for all the stock of the Muscatine Waterworks company of
Alex. Jackson being president. Without the res ervoir, the contract, as awarded, was for $31,138 The reservoir—still the only one in use—was not added for a year and cost $8,000. Its capacity is about 2,000,000 gals. The pressure in the citv is from 60 to 90 lbs—amply sufficient for all needs. The company’s charter expired on December 3, 1900, and the city purchased the works for $100,000. The system included 11 miles 1,320 ft of main, with 125 hydrants. The water was taken from the river and was not filtered. Hie first thing the board of water trustees did was to consider either filtration of the existing supply or finding a new source. The latter was decided upon and a bond issue of $60,000 voted The source of supply was to be wells driven on Muscatine island on which was built a brick pumping station, with boilerroom, 45×85 ft., and a coalhouse. 30×40 ft. The smokestack is 100 ft. high and a two-story dwellinghouse has been erected for the employes. The pumphouse consists of a room 40×43 ft., with a basement 12 ft. below grade, where the pumping machinery is located This basement is made of concrete reinforced by I beams and corrugated rods. Besides these buildinus a 16-in. pipe-line runs over two miles to the reservoir, and on it are set numerous hydrants and gate-valves. The source of supply is fourteen wells driven in the sand and gravel. These are placed on either side of a 20-in. pipe running south some 1,500 ft. They are about 100 to 110 ft. apart and consist of 6-in. pipe, with a strainer on the bottom. Their average depth is 48 ft. The pumping machinery consists of one llolly horizontal, compound, condensing, crank and flywheel, high-duty engine, with appurtenances, guaranteed to be capable, when operating under pressure at the throttle of 140 lbs. of dry steam, of delivering 3,000,000 U. S. gals, per twenty-four hours, against a head not exceeding no lbs. domestic pressure and against a fire pressure of 150 to 180 lbs. per square inch, including suction-lift when operating at a piston-speed of not to exceed 140 ft. per minute. The following are the dimensions of the engine; Two high-pressure 12-in. cylinders; two low-pressure 32-in. cylinders. There are two inside-packed 14-in. plungers, all with a stroke of 24 in., with a suction of 20 in., also an independent 16-in. air-pump and discharge and condenser, with an auxiliary jacket-pump. The pumps are also provided with a Westinghouse air-compressor. There is also a Worthington, horizontal, triple-expansion, outside-centre, packed plunger, pattern pumping engine, with the following auxiliary independent jet condensing apparatus; Jacket-pump and tank. This pumping engine is guaranteed to supply 3,000,000 gals, in twenty-four hours. The engine has the following dimensions: Two high-pressure 12-in. steam cylinders; two intermediate 19-in. steam cylinders; two low-pressure 30-in. steam cylinders; two double-acting 15in. water plungers, all of 24-in. stroke. The combined capacity, of the two pumping engines is 6,000,000 gals, in twenty four hours, while room has been left in the basement to erect a third pump, if it should be needed. The steam is supplied by two horizontal, tubular, 72-in. boilers, 16 ft. long, with 4-in. flues. A Stewart heater is used in connection with the boilers, and a feed-pump of ample capacity supplies them with water. The building will also be enuipned with a fifty-light electric engine, which will furnish the lights for the engiuehouse, boilerroom and the residence building. The reservoir is built on one of the highest elevations in the city; it will be covered in the near future. Since the citv purchased the works the trustees have laid six miles of mains through various streets and made other improvements. They now have in operation sixteen miles 1,425 ft. of main, with 185 hydrants. The board has many improvements in mind, one of which is the setting of water meters to stop the waste, which is excessive.