THE LATEST WATER WORKS NEWS ITEMS FROM ALL PARTS
Judge Sater decided at Cincinnati last week that the city of Urbana is indebted to C. H. Venner & Co., for its waterworks to the extent of $117,700, and ordered that this money be paid. The court also said that a raise of the water rents to make up the sum asked annually by the Venner concern should be made.
The franchise of the water and lighting company that has supplied Nebraska City, Neb., for twenty years expired a year ago. At about the same time a law was enacted by the state legislature requiring the granting of such franchises to be submitted to popular vote. The city has recently voted by a large majority to renew the company’s franchise in spite of some opposition.
The public service board of Martins Ferry, Ohio, announces that it will after the first of the year make a reduction in wafer rates of $2 a year for 3,000 families in that city and 2,000 in Bridgeport. The present water rate of Martins Ferry is lower than 95 per cent, of the cities in the country, but the city plant has been making a profit ot $17,000 yearly.
The collector of water rates of Paris, 111., advocates the collection of the accounts monthly, in place of quarterly, as at present. He argues that the small monthly bill would be more promptly paid and that the losses from parties using the water for a few months and then moving away would be prevented. He maintains that in ten days each month the water taxes could be collected.
Salina, Kan., refused, by a decisive vote, to expend $202,749 in the purchase of the local water company’s plant. Municipal ownership of waterworks has been the chief subject of discussion in Salina for months, but the impression got about that the city was getting the worst end of this transaction, hence its emphatic rejection.
A valuation has been placed on the plant and water supply of the Denver Union Water Company, of Denver, Colo., by the appraisement committee of the Water Consumers’ Protective Association. While the figures arc not given out, it is said the appraisers placed a higher valuation upon the plant and its auxiliaries than did the city’s appraisement commission, which placed the figure at $14,400,000.
Duluth, Minn., has under consideration the reconstruction of its water supply plant. The plan proposed contemplates the relocation of the plant on Presque Isle, where an electric pumping station would be installed and the construction of a reservoir of sufficient capacity to insure at all times an adequate, supply of water for fire purposes.
Negotiations are said to be in progress for the purchase by the Pottsvillc, Pa., Water Company of the Minersville and Schuylkill Haven Water companies. By increasing in size the Indian dam the first named company would have water enough to supply the latter communities, which have been very much dissatisfied with the water furnished them. The borough of Cressona would also be supplied by the Pottsvillc company.
After several years controversy the people of Hood River, Ore., have voted a bond issue of $90,000 to install a municipal water system. This puts the city in competition with a private company, unless the latter can be taken over or eliminated. As the company demands $40,000 for its system and plant, which sum the city considers exorbitant, the matter will probably be, settled in the courts.
‘The city council of Youngstown, Ohio, before it will pass the new franchise for the Mahoning Valley Water Company, wants the company to guarantee a pressure of 40 pounds to the square inch, and only in case of unforeseen accident or uncontrollable circumstance to allow the pressure to fall below that figure, and never to fall below a pressure of 25 pounds. Representatives of the water company at the meeting said they would agree to make the change.
A special meeting of the city council of Lewisburg, Pa., voted unanimously for a municipal water plant, and a committee, consisting of Dr. George C. Mohn, George F. Miller and Aaron C. Stahl, was appointed to carry into effect the resolution of council. The surveys will be from Spruce Run, and no better water can be found in the state. The estimated cost will be $75,000, and the council proposes to install a municipal plant without increasing the debt of the borough.
A firm who had contracted with the city of Norway, Mich., for the construction of an extension to the waterworks and a concrete tank, for a total of $21,168 and who had drawn $6,994 on account, threw up the job and skipped, leaving more than $3,000 in unpaid bills for material and labor. Now it is up to the National Surety Company of New York, who bonded the contractors, to step in and complete the contract or for the city to take charge of the work and the surety company to foot the bills.
It is reported that on many of the underground valves of the Newport, Ky., water supply system the stems are so badly corroded that they twist off when attempts are made to operate them. Now that the city is about to receive a large addition to its water supply through the new 29-inch main to the Highlands, and the 5,000,000-gallon pumping engine at the pump.ng station is approaching completion, the necessity of looking after the valves is realized, and the water commissioners propose to appoint a valveman to have charge of this work.
Superintendent George G. Earl, of the New Orleans sewerage and water board, says he doubts very much if the city’s waterworks system is now paying expenses, and is certain the plant in Algiers is losing money with only four hundred consumers. While the main station in Carrollton is about paying expenses, Mr. Earl expressed the opinion there will be very little left after the operating bills are met, but eventually the system as a whole will pay. He does not, however, believe anything will be realized from the Algiers system for many years to come.
Jersey City, N. J., which obtains its water supply from the Rockaway river, and already supplies North Arlington, has contracted to iurnish water to the township of Union, which embraces Kingsland and Lyndhurst in Bergen county. The contract calls for the supply by Jersey City of 1,500,000 gallons of water daily at $60 a million gallons. The contract will go into operation as soon as the necessary pipe connections can be made. Engineer J. W. Griffin and Commissioner Winke of the Jersey City water department, expect to still further extend the list of Bergen county customers for Hudson county water.
City Auditor Lawrence, of Pittsfield, Mass., has figured out that the Mill brook and Ashley reservoir dams have cost the city up to this time $208,100.66. There is yet considerable work to be done on the Ashley reservoir dam which will further increase the cost. The total capacity of the storage of these reservoirs is about 24,000,000 gallons, which, under ordinary circumstances, will be an eight-days’ supply for the city. For a similar amount, according to the report of the city engineer, a reservoir could have been constructed that would have held a supply sufficient to last the city for six months.
The war for a municipally owned Sierra water system in San Francisco, Cal., has been cleared by the adoption of a formal resolution by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, calling an election for December 28 to vote $45,000,006 worth of bonds to build a complete independent system to be owned and operated by the city of San Francisco. Offers to sell the city portions of two different systems, one by the Spring Valley Water Company and the other by W. H. H. Hart, were rejected on the ground that neither of the offers conformed to the requirements of the charter provisions nor the general call of the board.
The statement of the operation of the Louisville Water Company for the month of October shows that the amount of the gross earnings of the company during October was $58,671.69; the total operating expense $17,056.72, interest on notes and bonds $6,314.13, which leaves $35,300.84 to represent the total net earnings for the month. At the river pumping station 766,795,959 gallons of water were pumped. The pay roll for the month totaled $14,179.88, with 234 men employed. In the distribution department the work done included 127 new services, three services enlarged, 25 new meters, 4,340 feet of pipe laid and three gates put in. The total liabilities are placed at $1,817,297.99.
Montreal, Can., is now getting its water supply pumped from the new conduit. The present daily consumption of water in the city is about 40,000,000 gallons. Upwards of 70,000,000 gallons could be pumped through the conduit, so that, unless there should be any breakdown of pumps, there no longer need be any fear of shortage in the supply of water to the city. One of the turbines is pumping an overflow from the conduit, and for the time being the aqueduct is “out of action.” This will enable the contractors to go ahead with the project to complete the enlargement scheme by widening the open canal to double its present capacity. The total cost of the enlargement works will be upwards of $2,000,000.
After squabbling with the Akron Waterworks Company for several years over the quantity and quality of the water furnished, the city council of Akron, Ohio, finally, last spring, took action under the Bense law, which provides for the intervention of the state board of health, and that body sent investigators here last summer, whose report resulted in the water system being condemned. Three plans are under consideration, that the city purchase the Akron Waterworks Company’s plant, which it may do in 1911, establish a plant of its own ,or allow the Akron Waterworks Company to establish a purification plant. An appraiser has been appointed to determine the value of the company’s plant, should the city decide to buy it.
The reason for the numerous reports in re gard to the condition of the Geneva, N. Y., city water supply was disclosed by President Harding, of the board of health, when he declared that the large amount of coli shown in recent examinations of the water was due to a nest of muskrats in one of the city ponds. In explanation, President Harding said that there was no more need of alarm over the condition of the Geneva water supply now than at any time within the past ten years. In accordance with the practice of the health department, said Mr. Harding, samples of ciy water have been subjected to bacteriological examination regularly at the state experiment station, Cornell University, and by the county baceriologist.
The installation by the local water company of meters in hotels and manufacturing establish ments is regarded by the people of Lewisburg. Pa., as a violation of the promise made by the company, when it succeeded the previous corporation, that no future advance in water rates would be made. In retaliation an ordinance was passed by council, placing a license tax on all water and gas pipes of $30 per mile and 20 cents on all poles within the borough. The water com pany has refused to pay this license tax, and a suit is now pending in court. One half of the borough tax is required to pay the orders of the water and gas companies. Municipal ownership suggests itself as the only remedy, and councii has decided to install a water plant of its own.
After the water board had voted to raise the salary of the general manager from $3,000 to $3,600, and that of the secretary from $2,000 to $2,400, at a meeting recently, General Manager Park Woodward arose and asked that the matter be reconsidered, and that the salaries may be allowed to remain as they now are. The matter was given this direction, and there will be no raise of the two salaries. In asking the board to take this action, Gen eral Manager Woodward said it had been stated during the meeting by members of the board that a raise in the salaries might help to defeat the bond election, and he did not think any city official should let anything be done that would in the least hurt the vote for bonds.