Whitin’s Excellent Water-Works.
One of the most complete and best arranged systems of water-works for both domestic and fire purposes has recently been completed in Whitin, a suburb of Worcester, Mass., and has probably a capacity that will be equal to any emergency. The water supply is derived from three reservoirs, two of which are so situated in springy land as to be fed with pure spring water, which is unexcelled for domestic purposes. The largest of the three reservoirs is situated about three-quarters of a mile north of the village, and has a capacity of 1.000,otto gallons, with a pressure of 51 pounds to the square inch and a fall of 102 feet. An 8-inch pipe leads from this, connecting with the regular fire system. The next in size is the one recently completed on the Taylor Hill, so called, with a capacity of 600,000 gallons, a pressure of 75 pounds to the square inch, and a fall of 150 feet. The old “Taylor” reservoir has a capacity of 350,000 gallons, a pressure of 44 pounds to the square inch, and 82 feet fall. This reservoir is principally for fire purposes, and has a 12-inch pipe leading into the regular 6re system. The water far domestic purposes is from a pure spring, and is as clear as any in the Stale. The water has been put into nearly every house in the village, the old method of pumping the water from well in the cellar having been abandoned.
For fire service numerous hydrants have been located, and there is hardly a place in the village but can be reached with ease. The expense of putting in the water-works has been borne entirely by the Whitin Machine Works, and is under the able supervision of John F. Snelling, who has been in their employ for a number of years. Holders of private property throughout the village are being supplied at a moderate consideration, and all of the tenants of the corporation are supplied gratis. The bountiful supply of water for fire purposes is greatly augmented by the addition of a fine rotary pump recently built and placed in position by the Holyoke Machine Company of Worcester. The size of this pump is No. 4 ; has a pressure of 150 pounds to the square inch, and will throw a six-inch stream. The pump by actual test has thrown a thousand gallons a minute with a pressure of but 60 pounds to the square inch.
The recently organized and more recently reorganized Whitinsville Fire Department, consisting of 53 men, are now drilled so that even an extraordinary fire could be handled. Four trustworthy men are detailed as gatemen, and upon the breaking out of a fire it is their sole duty to attend to the water supply and to man the rotary pump. The pump can be set in full operation inside of a minute, and in emergency a flow of about 100,000 gallons an hour can be obtained. The connections of the various reservoirs are separated by valves, so that in case of a large fire in extinguishing which the water of one reservoir should be exhausted, another reservoir can be attached, while the first one is being filled by means of a huge force pump in the basement of the shop which has a feed connection with the waters of the Mumford river.
The apparatus of the fire department consists of a first-class Harriman hand tub, manned by twelve men ; three hose companies of eleven men each, and a hook and ladder truck, manned by twelve men. In the recently completed addition to the shops of the machine works a room has been finished off for the storage of the fire apparatus and the headquarters of the firemen. The room is 28 by 34 feet, has a tower for drying hose and the modern appliances of a first-class hose house. A fire alarm service, which is the first ol the kind in use in the village, and will undoubtedly prove effective in calling out the firemen in the night, has just been put in by a Worcester firm. The headquarters of this system are in the machine shop, but an alarm can be rung from any part of tltf: village. There are seventeen large gongs placed in the houses occupied by members of the department, and those hearing the alarm are supposed to awake those in their immediate locality belonging to the company. Huge gongs are also placed inside the shop and the Whitin cotton mills. The factory bells are also rung for a general alarm. Whitinsviile is now able to cope effectually with any lire that might be expected to break out in that beautiful village in the Blackstone valley.