CHIEF ENGINEER OF THE
PHILADELPHIA WATER DEPARTMENT.
March 1, 1884.
To the Select and Common Councils
of the City of Philadelphia.
GENTLEMEN:I have the honor to present
herewith the Annual Report of the operations of the Water Department for the year
Owing to the nature of my engagements in Washington at the time
when Councils did me the honor of placing me in charge of this Department, I was
unable to report at Philadelphia until the 12th of March, 1888, and the operations
of the first three months,although necessarily included in this Report,should,
therefore, be considered as having been conducted under the direction of my predecessor,
Dr. William H. McFadden.
During the remainder of the year the work of
the Department was continued with unremitting activity until the close, and in
some important respects,particularly in connection with the re-inspection
of the City, upon which the revenues of the current year depend,the work
was so considerable as not to have been completed until about the end of January
of this year, and time has not permitted the earlier preparation of this Report.
March, 1883, the condition of the Water Supply to the City of Philadelphia was
such as to give cause for grave apprehension. The growing pollution of the Schuylkill
River, from which the greater part of the supply is derived, in conjunction with
the rapid diminution of its minimum flow (from five hundred million gallons in
1816 to less than half this amount in 1874), were circumstances of such serious
import as to have attracted marked attention more than twenty years ago. Not merely
were the efforts of the successive Chief Engineers of the Department, and others
both interested and competent, directed to urging remedial measures and a search
for other sources, but in 1875, public attention having been powerfully
attracted to all matters relating to the well-being of the City by the approaching
celebration of the Centennial,a Commission of eminent engineers was summoned
to consider the entire subject of the present and future supply, with special
reference to immediate needs. The Report of this Commission, which contains information
and recommendations of the greatest value, based upon conscientious and protracted
investigation by men of ability, has been before the community for nearly nine
years, during which the discussion of the subject, both in journals and in scientific
reports and papers, has been actively maintained; and yet, with the exception
of some additions to the pumping machinery and the construction of the Wentz Farm
Basin, little has been done to carry out the suggestions then made. The Commission
represented the value of storage and subsiding basins, but the East Park Reservoir
still lies an empty waste. They pointedly referred to the danger of drinking polluted
water, and published analyses to show the steadily increasing deterioration of
the Schuylkill; but the intercepting sewer from Manayunk to Fairmount is yet to
be constructed, and even the sewage flowing past the Spring Garden Station still
enters the stream, apparent to every sense. The contents of Gunner's Run,an
open sewer [PAGE 3] in Kensington, charged with the foulest matters,were
industriously pumped into the Lehigh Basin, and thence distributed to a large
and helpless population. Changes were recommended in the Fairmount machinery which
would increase the capacity from thirty-five to fifty million gallons daily, but
the pumpage now is about the same as then. The Pipe Bridge across the Wissahickon,
through which the Roxbury engines force the water for the supply of Germantown
and Mount Airy, still has but one sound member;the other spans the valley,
rent and useless. These are all points earnestly adverted to by the Commission,
whose labors and recommendations, supplementing those of others, have, by some
strange lethargy, been rendered futile. While favoring, upon the basis of the
information before them, one of the several projects which had been proposed for
the future supply, the Commission urged the necessity of full and accurate surveys,
and the collection of reliable data, from which the subject could be intelligently
considered and thoroughly studied; but nothing whatever in this entirely rational
direction was accomplished.
In 1882, by the imminent prospect of a water
famine, public attention was again aroused to the constantly increasing evils
to which the community actually and prospectively was subject, and another Board
of Experts, composed of gentlemen well known for their scientific attainments
and personal acquaintance with the subject, charged with the duty of ascertaining
what should be done for the present and future supply of the City. In October,
1882, the Board presented a preliminary report. They state that their examination
revealed a condition of affairs which would not justify delay in taking actionthat
the greater part of the machinery in operation was driven to its utmost capacity,
that at two of the most important Stations there were no spare engines, and two
others were dependent upon a single engine each, that during the year 1883, an
area containing two-thirds of the population would fail in Summer to receive an
adequate supply, and that in 1884 there would be a general shortage throughout
the City. [PAGE 4] The Board stated that four new engines, aggregating a pumping
capacity of forty-seven and one-half million gallons daily, were imperatively
needed to avert this probable catastrophe during the Summer of 1883, and that
two of them, if immediately contracted for, might be got into operation by June,
1883, and the others in August. The cost of these engines with the necessary houses,
boilers, mains, and appliances, was estimated at about $425,000. The Board further
urged the speedy completion of the East Park Reservoir, the construction of a
new Basin on the high ground near Thirtieth and Cambria streets, and the enlargement
of that at Mount Airy; and recommended that of the total amount (between two and
three million dollars) required for the reservoirs, about $650,000 should be made
available for expenditure during 1883, with increasing appropriations for the
two years following; further, that complete surveys for a future supply should
be immediately begun, and, considering the lapse of years before any practical
results could be secured in that direction, they urged the vital importance of
immediate measures to protect the intakes of the several stations from the large
and constantly increasing amount of offensive sewage that enters them.
Notwithstanding these startling warnings, and the impressive statement of facts
upon which they were based, and notwithstanding, too, that in the month of January
following, the Schuylkill itselfas though determined to arouse attention
assumed a most noisome and intolerable condition of offensiveness, the recommendations
of the Board awakened no response until early in April, 1883, when the final report
was submitted. In this report, the Board (with whichhaving meanwhile assumed
charge of the DepartmentI had the honor to be associated, both in its deliberations
and in the preparation of the report,) renewed generally its previously expressed
recommendations, and appended a table showing that with an actual steam pumping
capacity of seventy-four millions daily and an estimated delivery of five millions
from the [PAGE 5] Fairmount Turbines during low river, the Department would probably
be able to furnish but seventy-nine millions to meet a possible maximum demand
of one hundred millionsand in case of the failure of the largest engine,
the deficiency might reach a third of the greatest demand.
it a statement of the sums which, to the amount of $525,000, had, by the action
of Councils, been made available for new works in addition to that required for
the ordinary operations and maintenance of the Department for the year 1883, the
Board considered what would be the most advantageous disposition of this sum.
Their conclusions were; in brief, that two fifteen-million gallon engines, with
houses, boilers, mains, etc., should be constructed at the Spring Garden Station,
at an estimated cost of $263,500; that at the Roxborough Station, a seven-and-one-half-million
gallon engine, with mains, boilers, etc., should be built, at an estimated cost
of $62,000, and at the Frankford Station, a ten-million gallon engine, which would
cost about $50,000. A distributing main needed for Germantown would cost $70,000,
and the surveys for future supply would require for this year $20,000, leaving
a balance of $59,500$39,500 of which should be expended for indispensable
repairs to Buildings, Grounds, and Reservoirs, and the remainder$20,000be
held as a Contingent Fund for the general or special needs of the Department.
The allotment to Buildings, Grounds, and Reservoirs, was necessary by reason
of the fact that these were known to be in bad, and in some cases, dangerous condition,
and the regular Annual Appropriation Ordinance had authorized the expenditure
of but $18,500 to cover items, specifically designated, whose total amounted to
over $54,000, The annual Contingent Fund was regarded as indispensable to provide
for unforeseen emergencies and variations of cost.
Having thus allotted
the sum available, according to its best judgment, the Board renewed its recommendations
that the additional facilities for the storage of water be provided [PAGE 6] as
soon as possible, and discussed the question of future supply. This resolved itself
into two aspects; one, the necessity for accurate and complete surveys, which
had been entirely lacking in the past, and the other, the desirability,in
view of the long period that must elapse before new works could .be constructed,
of ascertaining as thoroughly as possible to what extent the increasing
pollution of the Schuylkill could be controlled by engineering works and legislative
enactments, and the river be in some measure restored to its pristine condition
of comparative purity and wholesomeness.
This brief statement of the
results of the more important investigations into the affairs of the Department,
seems requisite to a proper understanding of its condition in the spring of 1883,
and a suitable introduction to the account of the operations of the year.
OF MEANS AVAILABLE AND EXPENDITURES.
The means at
the disposal of the Department for expenditure during the year, are set forth
in detail in the appended report of the Chief Clerk. They were, in brief:
work to be done with the means available, arranged itself under several heads,
somewhat in the order of their relative importance.
- 1st. Repairs to
- 2nd. Preparations for, and making of, contracts for new
- 3rd. Reorganization of the personnel and methods of the Department.
Re-inspection of the City, to ascertain and collect its proper revenues, and to
restrict waste and peculation.
- 5th. Investigation into the condition of
the Distribution System generally.
- 6th. Organization and Direction of
parties for Surveys for Future Supply.
These were all
undertakings of considerable magnitude, and while some naturally took precedence,
under the pressure of circumstances, it was necessary, if anything of value was
to be accomplished during the year, to begin them all without loss of time.
The imminent danger of a failure to meet
the imperative requirements of the City during the rapidly approaching Summer,
demanded that the pumping plant should be put in as efficient condition as circumstances
would permit, with the least possible delay, and to this end the examination,
repair, and adjustment of the defective machinery and appliances were at once
The Report of the General Superintendent, in part details the
work at the several stations, but it is impossible, in an account covering the
operations of a year, to summarize with more than an approximation to completeness,
the very great labor involved in this.
[PAGE 9] From the singular condition
of decrepitude into which the Department had fallenowing to causes which
it is not requisite now to discussthe necessary repairs, as they were undertaken
at each station, at the more obvious points, extended until they became general.
The Engines and Boilers were nearly all in a more or less defective, and in many
cases, dangerous, condition. The intakes had not been cleaned for many years,
and the suction wells were full of debris that frequently obstructed the pumps.
The Buildings were generally in a very dilapidated state, a condition of affairs
which, from every point of view, is disadvantageous. In the first place, it destroys
the appearance of the station and seriously impairs its efficiency. To neglect
needed repairs as they develop is, in the end, to incur much greater expenditure,
to say nothing of the risk of serious accident.
But perhaps most important
of all is the depressing effect upon the morale of the employés. Discipline,
order, and efficiency cannot be imposed upon men working in the midst of dirt
and disorder, and, as every manufacturer knows, the greater the attention to systematic
good order and cleanliness, and the more complete the arrangements for the comfort
and convenience of the men, the better work will they do. From the money point
of view alone, it is a good investment. Furthermore, there is a certain responsibility
attaching to the management of the public works of a city, which requires that
it should be in no respect inferior, and, if possible, exhibit a better system
and efficiency than that of private establishments, both because the people who
defray the cost of the service are entitled to an economical use of the public
funds, which are heavily drawn upon for many other purposes, and because the city
works are open to examination, and subject to public approval or condemnation.
the repairs at the several stations, I shall, in this report, refer only to the
[PAGE 10] The FAIRMOUNT TURBINES have less than
half their proper efficiency, wasting large quantities of water, and wearing themselves
out more rapidly from the existence of their own defects than from their legitimate
work. The roof above them had for years been leaking rain and silt, and the engine
rooms looked as though they had been submerged by a freshet. The head gates were
in many cases past operating, and could not be moved. This Station was, however,
less important in Summer than others, since the low water would stop the wheels
in any event, so that no attempt was made at the formidable work of overhauling
the Turbines. In other respects, the condition of affairs was improved by replacing
the Asphalt with a Granolithic roof, covering the brick pavement with Neufchatel,
rebuilding the gates, thoroughly cleaning the station, and minor repairs. The
old Engine, No. 2, which for years had been useless, was taken out and sold.
At SPRING GARDEN is concentrated the largest plant, both in number
and capacity, and the station is additionally important as supplying a large population
direct from the pumps, without the intervention of a reservoir. A failure of the
engines meant a total deprivation of water for a large district, including the
Twenty-eighth, Twenty-ninth, and portions of the adjacent Wards, having a population
of over one hundred thousandwith all the inconveniences, loss and danger
that this condition of things would imply. Two of the oldest Engines, Nos. 4 and
5, over-head and side-lever Cornish, are very extravagant in the consumption of
fuel, and are not, for our purposes, worth the cost of retaining in service. No.
6, Simpson Compound, was in fair condition; so, also, was No. 8 Worthington, which
exhibited its good staying qualities during the Summer, with only an occasional
[PAGE 11] The largest Engine, No. 7,Cramp & Sons',had
never been put in good condition in its seven years' service, and, although designed
as a twenty-million gallon engine and readily capable of that work when properly
handled, had never pumped over seventeen and a half millions, and was rated in
the Department at fifteen millions. Time did not admit of thoroughly repairing
it, and the situation had to be accepted. It ran, with occasional halts, until
late in the Summer, when the cracks in the housings,which, from defects
in adjustment, had existed for years,began to look dangerous, and a fortnight's
time was taken to stay and brace them. New housings were made and put in late
in the year, and the Engine can now pump twenty-two millions against two hundred
feet elevation without difficulty.
The roofs over the boiler room were
raised for light and ventilation. Closets and bath-rooms for the men, and a small
storehouse were constructed. The only convenience heretofore, was a small building
on the hill, at some little distance from the station. It was therefore but little
resorted to, and in consequence, the grounds adjacent to the buildings were in
a very objectionable condition. In addition to this, the open sewer flowing past
the building, emitted the most nauseous odors, which, at times, occasioned sickness
among the employés. This is now covered in with a temporary wooden trunk,
open at the bottom.
At BELMONT the plant consists of three Worthingtons,
none of which was in good condition. Both Nos. 1 and 2 had cracked cylinders,
which were repaired, and a new one for No. 2 was made ready for an emergency.
The submerged main leading from the Belmont Basin past the Belmont Station and
under the river to near the Spring Garden Station, for the supply of the high
levels of the Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth Wards, had broken at the deepest
part of the river, at some indeterminable period in the past, and a large volume
of water escaped when admitted. It was [PAGE 12] as thoroughly repaired as practicable
at the time, and the broken joints encased in a heavy jacket of iron, bound with
straps and secured with steel bolts. This held through the Summer, and on several
occasions,when from one cause or another the Spring Garden Engines were
stopped,maintained the supply to the eastern high levels which otherwise
would have entirely lost it. The repaired section broke again December 4th, and
the main is at present out of service, but will be thoroughly and permanently
repaired this Spring.
The arrangement of the mains at the Belmont Station
needs amendment. At present No. 1 pumps direct to the basin through a main of
its own. Nos. 2 and 3, when they pump to the basin, are compelled to do so through
the upper part of what further down becomes the submerged main leading to the
east bank of the river. If, therefore, any draft is made to the eastward, the
two engines pump up against the backward movement of the water, occasioning great
confusion and excessive local pressure, with corresponding loss of efficiency.
It was this defect, in conjunction with the heavy blows simultaneously given the
submerged main by the action of the Cramp Engine at Spring Garden pumping into
the other end of it, that developed the nearly explosive pressure which broke
the steel bolts and split open the iron jacket at the break.
was at the deepest part of the river, where the static pressure alone, due to
head of water, was considerably in excess of ninety pounds, and where two lengths
of pipe made an angle with each other up-stream, both horizontally and vertically,
straining open the joint, which was unsupported. The evidence is to the effect
that the leak had existed for a considerable time.
The Engine House roof was
opened at the top for much-needed light and ventilation, and a bath and dressing
room for the men constructed in the rear.
The Station had no means of
lighting other than hand lamps, which, aside from the danger from their use, smoked
the walls and machinery. After advertisement, a sixty-light Edison Electric [PAGE
13] plant was put in at a total cost of $2,650, exclusive of the foundation for
the engine and dynamos, and steam connection from the boilers.
has given great satisfaction, although an undue number of the lamps burned out
by reason of the current having been set too high. The full account of this installation
is given in the General Superintendent's report.
The work of the other
stations, which were all in need of repair, was the occasion of less solicitude
by reason of the smaller requirements more nearly approximating their capacity
to meet them.
At the ROXBOROUGH STATION,supplying Manayunk,
the Falls of the Schuylkill, Germantown and Mt. Airy,the No. 1 Cornish was
in fair condition, although an extravagant and ponderous machine to operate. The
No. 2 Worthington had for a long time been in need of a thorough overhauling.
Repairs were made, and the engine was operated during the Summer.
the FRANKFORD STATION,which, in connection with the Wentz Farm Basin,
supplies Frankford and the adjacent population in the Twenty-third and Twenty-fifth
Wards,the No. 2 Worthington, a small two-million gallon engine which had
seen hard service at other points, was overhauled, ready for an emergency. No.
1 Cramp 10-million gallon engine was all through the season in a dangerous condition,
owing to its having been operated without proper adjustment, and at great disadvantages.
Working only in the day-time to the Wentz Farm Basin, it was made to meet the
necessities of the case by unremitting watchfulness, and occasionally an all night's
work at repairs, and was also kept going when the repairs to the basin necessitated
[PAGE 14] At the KENSINGTON STATION,which
pumps to the Lehigh Avenue Basin (formerly called "Fairhill,"a
name which should be retained,)it was necessary to practically rebuild the
air pumps of No. 3 Worthington, which, after thorough repair, did good work throughout
the year. Nos. 1 and 2 are engines of antiquated type, and in such condition as
not to be worth repairing or retention. They were run during the Summer as necessity
compelled. The water pumped at this station, notwithstanding the urgent representations
of its evil quality, was still taken from the end of the wharf, where it was contaminated
both by the general sewage of the river, and, on the ebb tide, by the contents
of Gunner's Run, otherwise called the Aramingo Canal. The only improvement to
be made at first was to cease pumping during ebb tide, and take the water only
on the flood. Later, a wooden trunk four feet square was laid to mid-channel of
the Delaware, and the water taken thence was much improved in quality and appearance.
As elsewhere shown, however, the Kensington Station must be abandoned as a source
of water supply, and no repairs were therefore made beyond those necessary to
a temporary use of the station.
The MT. AIRY STATION is designed
to supplement the supply to Mt. Airy and the vicinity, by drawing from the main
through which the water is pumped from the Roxborough Station to the Mt. Airy
Basin, and forcing it into the supply mains at an increased pressure. The station
is built on a level below that of the water in the basin, which is the cause of
certain disadvantages, more particularly referred to in the Report of the General
Superintendent. The two engines which constitute the equipment, have a capacity
of one-million gallons each, and having been tested in actual service, are found
to require certain alterations to improve their operation. In case of a failure
of the Chestnut Hill Supply, arrangements have been made so that the Mt. Airy
Engines can be put on this duty, as well as their legitimate work.
15] The CHESTNUT HILL STATION was purchased by the City in 1873, from the
old Water Company, and the pumping and distributing plant will require considerable
modification to adapt them fully to the increasing requirements of the district
supplied. The RESERVOIRS are, without exception, in need of considerable
repairs and improvements. In works of this character, constituting a prominent
public feature, it is not enough that they should be maintained in the most efficient
condition; some attention is properly due to their appearance. Not only
has their cleanliness been neglected and the apparatus pertaining to their use
been allowed to deteriorate,but the greater number are unsightly and forbidding
in appearance, and in consequence affect injuriously the value of properties in
The reports of the Superintendent and of Mr. Ogden, Assistant
Engineer, show their present condition, and the lapse of years since they were
cleaned. An analysis of the subsided muds shows that the material is of the most
deleterious character, and in a highly concentrated form. It is proposed during
the year to empty and clean them, making necessary repairs, and taking measures
to protect the outer slopes and otherwise improve their condition.
Wentz Farm Basin,the banks of which had slipped in September 1882, and which,
ever since its construction, had leaked to a greater or less degree,was
drawn down, the banks rebuilt and sodded, the brick floor repaired and a portion
of it adjacent to the inner slope covered with a coating of cement extended up
the bank some 12 feet. The stop house, which was in a bad condition and leaked
freely, was also repaired. The main difficulty with this basin is in the character
of the material of which the banks are built, and the absence of sufficient suitable
clay puddle to make the floor and walls watertight.
It may, in the end, require
considerable expenditure to remedy these defects of original construction.
[PAGE 16] During the year 1884, the general repairs to plant must be continued.
There is an almost total absence of proper feed and blow-off arrangements. Grate-bars
for burning pea coal have been ordered, and will be used this year. Feed heaters
and improved safety valves will be provided. Many of the boilers will probably
be condemned by the close of the season, and must be replaced.
As soon as
the new engines now constructing are in service, those which have been under steam
for a long period at great disadvantage, will be thoroughly overhauled and repaired,in
especial the No. 1 at Frankford, and No. 2 at Roxborough. With the steam engines
in good condition, no apprehension need be felt for the summer, and the Fairmount
turbines can be taken down one by one, and necessary repairs and improvements
Much remains to be done, but the greater part of what, is necessary
can be completed by the close of the year, with the funds now available.
It is proper to say, that to the unwearying energy and intelligence of the General
Superintendent, Mr. de Kinder, is largely due that rapid improvement in the practical
working of the service at the stations, which enabled the Department, with crippled
machinery, to meet the heaviest demands ever made upon it, and to carry the City
through the Summer without serious loss or inconvenience to the citizens.
The Water Department is a purchaser of
coal to the amount of twenty-five or thirty thousand tons annually. The coal bills
for 1882 were for 28,395 tons, costing $124,525, and for 1883, 27,486 tons, costing
$117,874. During the past year it was possible to effect a considerable economy,
and at the same time increase the average steam pumpage during the Summer months,
by improved discipline and better firing; but circumstances did not admit of such
[PAGE 17] general modifications as were required to secure the large saving to
be made by buying a less expensive coal than the Egg,which has been in use
for several years, and for which the 1883 Contracts had been made. In anticipation
of the new Contracts for 1884, experiments were made at Belmont to ascertain what
would be the probable result of reducing the size, and perhaps of changing the
character of the coal burned. The results of this are stated in a table accompanying
tile Superintendent's Report. The tests were made under the immediate supervision
of Mr. Lloyd Bankson, Assistant Engineer, and carefully conducted. The last column
of the table shows the relative economy, taking into consideration both steam-making
capacity, and the price of the coals tested. The Contracts for 1884 were therefore
made for Pea coal, and the necessary changes effected in the grate bars of all
the boilers in use in the Department. These alterations will be completed in March,
and for the remainder of the year, Pea coal only will be used, with a probable
saving of $25,000 or $30,000. It may be possible to take still further steps in
this direction, and the investigation of the subject will be continued until all
the conditions have been fully ascertained, and the best results secured.
As was anticipated, this has
proved itself to be an indispensable adjunct to the practical working of the Department.
Formerly, the watchmen at the Basins had no other means of notifying the Pumping
Stations of the condition of affairs than to leave their posts and do so in person,
and the Stations were in partial communication, only, with the Main Office, by
means of a Telegraph System of obsolete type, which was more often out of order
than in working condition. A Central Station (connected, also, with the general
system of the City) was established at the Main Office, and an operator [PAGE
18] is in attendance, day and night. By means of five separate circuits, every
Basin is connected with the Station to which it is auxiliary, and every station
with the central one. In addition, the Purveyors' Offices are all in communication
with the Main Office, so that at any time of the day or night, reports can be
made, and instructions promptly issued. The Basins and Stations make regular hourly
reports, so that the engines can be started or stopped, as occasion requires or
circumstances indicate, and in case of accident, remedial measures can be directed
and begun without loss of time.
In this connection it should be observed,
that an important advantage could be frequently secured in case of large fires.
For example,in the high district covering the Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth,
and portions of adjacent Wards, which constitutes the large area dependent upon
direct pumpage from the Spring Garden Station, between ten and four o'clock at
night, the consumption of water is much less than during the day. It follows,
therefore, that the engines are run at a lower speed. If now, a large fire should
occur, and the Department were notified promptly by telephone, the pumping engines
could be run up again, in a comparatively short time,say 20 minutes or a
half hour,and largely increase the delivery of water to the Fire Engines.
In many cases, the effect of this increased pressure might result in a large saving
of property. In case of fire in other portions of the City as well, benefit might
result from a notification to the Department. The Purveyors' Offices could be
called up, and the prompt opening or closing of a few stops would in many cases
increase or concentrate the delivery to the endangered locality. With the City
so inadequately protected from fire as it is, and the Fire Department so dependent
for its efficient working upon the Water Department, no means, however slight,
should be neglected, of increasing the chances of saving life and property. This
suggestion has heretofore been, made, officially, to the Fire Commissioners, but
not acted upon.
FOR NEW PLANT.
The appended Schedule is a condensed
statement of the Contracts made for new Engines, Boilers, and Buildings, giving
the names of the Contractors, dimensions of Plant, and cost. In general, the recommendations
formulated by the Board of. Experts in April were followed, although certain variations
therefrom were made, as upon the whole seemed judicious. The specifications were
carefully prepared, and the contracts madeafter due advertisementwith
the lowest responsible bidder whose proposals were in conformity with the requirements.
The general design of the new engine and boiler house at the Spring Garden Station
was prepared in the Department, and the working drawingscovering details
and architectural featureswere made in the office of Mr. Jos. M. Wilson.
It was desirable that Mr. Wilson's skill and cultivated judgment should be consulted
in this, as the building stands close to the Park Drive, and will always be a
prominent feature. It is believed that, while the means available for the purpose
did not admit of an elaborate or expensive construction, the building will be
such as to, fairly harmonize with both its purpose and surroundings. The site
for the building was excavated out of the rocky hill adjacent, and its construction,
as well as the draining and cleaning of the forebay, awaited the completion of
the excavation work. The contract fixed the date of this at September 1st, and
as by the 11th the contractors had made comparatively little progress, the work
was taken from them, and completed by the Department at their expense. The two
Worthington Engines for this station will be capable of pumping 15 million gallons
each, in 24 hours, to the proposed Cambria Basin, at an elevation of 165 feet
above City Datum; and the pumping mains will be so arranged as to deliver to the
East Park, Cambria, or Spring [PAGE 20] Garden Reservoirs, or to pump directly
into the distributing mains of the high levels of the Twenty-eighth Ward.
The ten Steel Boilers for the service of the engines are of the marine tubular
type, internally fired, with Fox's corrugated furnace flues. It was intended to
make use of two of the Frankford boilers, but as these are needed at the Roxborough
Station two others must be purchased. All the buildings at the Spring Garden Station
will be furnished with an Electric Light plant, which has been tried at the Belmont
.Station and found to have great advantages economical and otherwiseover
lighting by gas. A new Coal Bin will shortly be constructed, as well as a Storehouse
to serve as a general depot of supplies for the Department. In completing the
equipment of the station, a second conduit from the river to the forebay is nearing
completion. The difficulties in construction were seriously increased by the existence
of a heavy timber trunk which had formerly done duty as a conduit, and been abandoned.
To save time, and the expense of constructing a new brick conduit on uncertain
foundations, two lines of iron pipe 48 inches in diameter were substituted.
The open sewer which flows past the station, emitting the foulest odors,
will shortly be covered in with a temporary wooden structure, to conceal in some
measure, its offensiveness; but the prolonged retention of so obvious and flagrant
a pollution of the Fairmount pool, seems simply inexcusable, and until the City
shall cease to be one of the principal offenders against its own laws, as well
as those of nature and common sense, it will be useless as well as unjust, to
attempt the enforcement of them upon others.
The interlacing and cross-connections
of the numerous pumping mains back of the Spring Garden Station, which have been
made from time to time to meet temporary requirements without reference to any
general or intelligible system, [PAGE 21] has reached such a condition of complication
as to be fairly dangerous. Not only is the working capacity of the several engines
reduced by the insufficient dimensions and absence of directness in the pumping
mains, but the adjustment and alteration of the numerous stops and valves is in
itself a work of much labor and .uncertainty, giving cause for constant apprehension
of accident. It is quite necessary before the heavy Summer duty of this station
shall begin,when the demand for water is largely increased and the Fairmount
Turbines fail to deliver their proper amount by reason of low water in the river,to
effect a thorough re-adjustment of the mains. This is likewise required in order
to connect the two new engines with the supply system ; and also because of the
new Boulevard to be constructed from Girard avenue, past the station, and over
the Reading Railroad, necessitating the alteration of the position of the mains
to avoid burying them.
The Roxborough Worthington is now under steam
at the station, in the position originally designed for it when the station was
built. It will be able to deliver 7-1/2 millions of gallons daily, to the Roxborough
Basin. The Frankford engine is of a type hitherto unused in the Department, although
other of the Corliss pumping engines have been used with success in the New England
States and elsewhere. It will be of the same capacity as the present Frankford
engine, viz., ten million gallons daily to the Wentz Farm Basin, which has an
elevation of 167 feet above C. D., and is distant about four miles from the station.
The boilers hitherto in use were constructed for a working pressure of 60 pounds
only. It is recognized that a considerable economy of fuel can be attained by
the use of higher pressures, and both the present and the new Frankford engine
are of types that admit of the application of these. It was determined, therefore,
to construct four new steel boilers of the same type as the new ones for Spring
Garden, but calculated [PAGE 22] to work with a steam pressure of 100 pounds instead
of 60. The Corliss engine is arranged for this, and the necessary modifications
of the Cramp engine now in service offer little or no difficulty. A comparison
of the useful effect of the higher pressures will be carefully made. The four
boilers hitherto in use at Frankford will all be transferred to Roxborough as
soon as the new ones are delivered. A new coal bin is immediately required at
Frankford, and will be constructed this spring.
Following are descriptions
of the new Spring Garden engine house, and the new engines and boilers.
ENGINE AND BOILER HOUSE AT SPRING GARDEN STATION.
new building stands on the north side of the forebay, with a total frontage of
166 feet southward, and 58 feet on the river end, and is built of Hummelstown
brownstone, brick, and terra cotta, with a light, double corrugated galvanized
iron roof, supported by wrought iron trusses. The engine house, 58 feet square,
adjoins the River Drive, with south and west fronts of similar construction. It
has a batired plinth of brownstone, 5 feet in height, and is surmounted by an
ornamental lantern 18 feet square. The boiler house, 48 by 110 feet, is separated
from the engine house by storerooms and offices, and has a louvre with swinging
windows overhead. The arrangements for light and ventilation throughout are good.
The stack stands in the rear of the boiler house. It is 16 feet square at the
base and 100 feet in height, with wrought iron cap and railing at the top.
AT FRANKFORD AND SPRING GARDEN STATIONS.
- Ten at Spring Garden;
four at Frankford. Constructed by Edge Moor Iron Company, Wilmington, Del.
return tubular, internally fired, cylindrical; 11 ft. 6 in. diam.; 10 ft. 10 in.
- One cylindrical steam drum (3 ft. 6 in. x 12 ft. 6 in.) for each
pair of boilers.
- Two furnaces to each boilerFox's corrugated steel3
ft. 7 in. greatest diameter, 8 ft. long, with 188 lap-welded,
tubes(3 in. x 8 ft.) for each boiler.
OF CONTRACTS FOR NEW WORK.
The work of the Department Shop, on Cherry
street, near Ninth, is given in the Report of the Superintendent. The establishment
is a valuable adjunct to the Department, both in respect of convenience and economy,
but its usefulness is restricted by the lack of space, of light, and of proper
tools. The combining of the Second Purveyor's Office and Yard with the Shop, is
the cause of great inconvenience to both.
When the Kensington Station
shall have been abandoned as a Pumping Station, as it will be this year, it mightwith
great advantagebe converted into an enlarged Shop. The local facilities
for land and water carriage, its central position with reference to the corresponding
class of industries, its nearness to other establishments with which the Department
has frequent business, combine to indicate the desirability of converting the
Kensington Station into a Shop. The buildings, steam-power, and floor space required
are there, and the only expense attending the alteration would be that needed
to make the transfer, and to properly equip the new shop with appliances and tools.
OF THE DEPARTMENT.
In a business so extensive as
that of the Water Department, involving the collection and expenditure of large
sums of money, as well as engineering work of considerable magnitude and interest,
it is essential that the methods of administration should be as simplified and
thorough as possible. With a system clearly defining and enforcing responsibility,
individual defects are readily discovered and corrected, and the work of the Department
can be increased or diminished as occasion requires, without embarrassment or
confusion. To this end, however, authority must flow from above downward [PAGE
26] through the successive grades of employés, its limits for each being
clearly fixed and adhered to; accurate records must be kept of all transactions,
and accountability be rigidly enforced at every stage. From this point of view,
the organization and methods of the Department were found defective in several
important respects, the more obvious being the lack of necessary records in the
main office, and of proper accountability in ordering and disposing of supplies.
It soon became evident, also, that there were both an excess of employés
of the lower grades, and an insufficiency of those with higher functions through
whom the various branches of the Department business must be supervised and conducted.
At the pumping stations, the absence of order and the looseness of discipline
were marked. The engineers, assuming that they were so disposed, could not enforce
their orders, and the subordinates, who were in most cases entirely too numerous,
attended to the work in their own way, and were present or absent very much at
their convenience. The results were manifest in much disorder and waste; while
bad firing and cleaning ruined the boilers, wasted the coal, and furnished insufficient
steam to the engines, whose efficiency was still further reduced by needed repairs
not having been attended to, and by the use of improper lubricants.
The pumpage accounts are based upon the recorded revolutions of the engines in
connection with the volume of water corresponding to each stroke. It was ascertained
that when the engines were not performing their duty, the relief valves were at
times opened, reducing the load on the engines, and thereby making a show of pumpage
without delivering the full amount to the basins. At one of the statioFONT SIZE="4"ns,
at least, the counters registering the number of strokes were sometimes worked
ahead by hand.
At the Spring Garden station, tramps slept on the boilers
in consideration of throwing coal into the furnaces, and the Kensington station
was a common loafing place for the neighborhood, where fishermen dried and mended
their nets, and boys ran riot.[PAGE 27]
In stating these typical facts,
it is intended to convey the idea only, that the laxity of supervision and discipline
enabled the defective-work of the stations to be in part concealed by derelict
employé's, and responsibility for shortcomings averted. The root of the
evil must undoubtedly be looked for in the fact that other considerations than
those of the effective working of the Department, crippled authority and made
the enforcement of discipline impracticable. The correction of these evils was
effected by giving full authority and support to the Engineer in Charge, and holding
him strictly responsible for the carrying out of his instructions. If then found
unable to accomplish this, he was removed.
The enforcement of discipline
at first developed opposition. At Spring Garden, where the largest number of men
is employed, the discharge of several superfluous and inefficient men,among
them some who supposed themselves possessed of "influence,"caused
a mutiny. The men drew the fires and nearly all abandoned the Station. The Fourth
of July was selected for this demonstration, for the reason that new men could
not be secured on that day. Fortunately, the basins were full, and by the next
morning new employés were at work. Finding themselves superseded, the better
men made excuse that they had been misled, and pleaded for re-employment. There
was no further trouble in this direction. The number of employé's on the
salaried roll whose services were unnecessary was found to be thirty, and the
corresponding net reduction of the salary list of the stations and grounds amounted
to over $18,000.
On the other hand, Councils authorized the
employment of two Assistant Engineers of lower grade; an Engineer in Charge; two
Draughtsmen; two Clerks; several Storekeepers and six additional inspectors. In
the Registrar's Office the additional assistance was especially required, as the
records of water appliances upon which the collections are based, were known to
be defective. A general inspection of the city had not been made in many years,
[PAGE 28] and then but loosely, by leaving printed schedules of appliances to
be filled up by householders. Even assuming that this had been honestly done,
the Inspectors had not subsequently given that attention to their duties which
was indispensable to have the records keep pace with building operations and other
changes. A re-inspection of the whole city was therefore necessary, and to effect
this within the year, so that correct bills could be made out for 1884, would
require the unremitting industry of a considerable force. The valuable results
of this work are elsewhere reported.
To secure economy and responsibility
in the purchase and use of supplies, all requisitions were submitted directly
to the Chief Engineerby the Purveyors, through the Assistant Engineer in
charge of the Distribution System, and by the Engineers at the several Stations
through the General Superintendent,and nothing was ordered without the personal
approval of the Chief Engineer. A system of requisitions and receipts fixed responsibility
at every point, and made it possible to trace a purchase from requisition to delivery,
and final expenditure.
The weighing scales at some of the stations had
been out of order for years, and the receipts for coal upon which payments were
made, were practically based upon the bills. The consumption of coal per day was
necessarily estimated only. This was remedied by repairing the scales, and requiring
every pound of coal and ashes to be actually weighed into and out of the station,
Small store-rooms were constructed at each of the more
important stations, and a store-keeper employed whose business it was, in addition
to acting as Clerk and Telephone Operator, to receipt for and issue, under the
direction of the Engineer in Charge, all the small stores at the station. Daily
reports, covering the work at each station and in each Purveyor's District, were
directed. The watchmen at the Basins report by telephone every half hour, day
and night, [PAGE 29] to the Pumping Stations, and the Stations every hour to the
Main Office, at Thirteenth and Spring Garden streets.
makes a daily report of the work of the preceding day, and other reports, weekly
and monthly, are submitted by all assistants in charge of work, covering the entire
operations of the Department,the number of employés of each grade,
how employed, etc. With regard to the services of employés of all grades,
they were given clearly to understand that the efficiency of the Department would
be the first consideration,that removals and changes would not be made without
due cause, that every man should stand upon his own merits, and that his continuance
in employment would depend upon the need of his services, his qualifications for
the position occupied, and the faithful and satisfactory discharge of his duties.
I am glad to say that at the present time, while many improvements remain
to be effected, the Department is in good working condition. The employé's,
as a rule, feeling that their future depends upon themselves, discharge their
respective duties with interest, emulation, fidelity, and courage, working harmoniously
for the benefit of the service and its improved efficiency and usefulness.
OF THE CITY.
This work, which engaged a considerable
number of employé's for a period of several months, viz.: from August,
1883, to February, 1884, was a sufficiently important feature of the year's operations
to justify special mention. The methods of levying household water charges, vary
in different cities. In some the bills are based upon the ratable assessments,in
other words the rental derived from the property is adopted as a measure of water
charges. In others, the dimensions of a dwelling are taken as a basis,its
breadth [PAGE 30] upon the street, and the number of stories of which it is composed.
In others again the actual amount of water furnished, as measured by meter, is
In Philadelphia the household water bills have always been
made out from a record of the number and character of the appliances in use, in
accordance with a schedule of charges, irrespective of the amount of water taken,
or of the number of occupants.
These several methods have their respective
advantages and disadvantages. That of actual measurement is undoubtedly at once
the most equitable, convenient, and direct, but is open to the objection that
the bills would be paid by the occupants of the premises, instead of, as now,
by the owner, and therefore it might tend to effect an undesirable economy among
that class of population which should be encouraged to make the freest use of
water in their dwellings. The "ratable assessment" and "dimensions"
plans are artificial means of averaging charges which, in individual cases, are
The Philadelphia plan, on the whole, seems fairly
satisfactory. It is true that the number of appliances in a dwelling is no measure
of the amount of water used, but as the multiplied modern plumbing fixtures may
be fairly classed as luxuries, their number indicates what the owner of the house
is willing to pay for, and whether few or many, no restriction is placed upon
the amount of water legitimately used. As at present provided for, the Philadelphia
system involves the serious disadvantage of domiciliary visits of inspection by
employé's of the Department, which must, of necessity, be a greater or
less source of annoyance to the inmates. This could be almost entirely obviated
by such legislation as would practically enforce a notification to the Water Department
of all alterations in the plumbing. This matter will be hereafter adverted to
Examination of the Records of the Registrar's Office made
it clear that the charges entered upon the books were, to a [PAGE 31] great extent,
imperfect. No general inspection of the city, had been made for many years, and
the work of the Department Inspectors had not been in all cases carefully or conscientiously
performed. As a rough experimental test of this, an accounting was ordered of
the actual number of bars and horse troughs in the city, to each of which is made
a special charge of $10 per annum. These two were selected for the reason that
both possessed a certain character of obviousness that challenged attention, and
in fact made it somewhat difficult to overlook them. It appeared, nevertheless,
that in one of the districts the Inspector had succeeded in accomplishing this
to the number of over 100, and in some of the other districts to a less degree.
It was evident that to systematize the work of the Department, and in especial
to ascertain in each case what should be the annual water charges in order that
the City should receive its proper dues without discrimination in favor of or
against individuals, a general re-inspection of the city was necessary.
The undertaking was certainly a formidable one, especially as it had to be completed,
or nearly so, within a year, in order that the corrected bills for 1884 could
be prepared by February 1st. The detailed statement of the results of this work
cannot be presented in this Report. It was completed late in January, and the
making out of the bills and receiving moneys for 1884 have left the Registrar
without opportunity to thoroughly compile and collate the information. This will
be fully stated in the annual report for 1884. The number of properties examined
was in excess of 160,000, and in some cases a re-inspection was necessary where
errors and omissions had occurred. There were very numerous changes, making the
rents in some cases less, but, as might be expected, in the greater number, larger.
The total increase of the revenue, due to the [PAGE 32] re-inspection, cannot
yet be given. In many Districts the increases were heavy, in others, slight.
On Spruce Street, taking that as an illustration, the average increase due
to the additional number of appliances disclosed by the re-inspection, is about
14 per cent. Were this average applicable to the entire city, the increased revenue
to the Department would amount to about $225,000. The actual amount collected
this year may, however, fall short of this, for the reason that the general average
may be less, and further, because many of the manufacturing establishments have
taken advantage of the reduction, by ordinance dated Feb. 9, 1884, of the "charge
for water registered by meter, from $1.00 to 60 cents per thousand cubic feet,
to have meters applied to their supply pipes, and payments made according to the
amount actually used. Payments by meter are made at the end of each quarter, and
therefore the meter charges for the last quarter of the year will not appear in
the receipts previous to Jan. 1, 1885. The equalization of this will, of course,
be evident in the year following.
The re-inspection has been as thorough
as possible, and actual tests have shown it to be gratifyingly accurate on the
whole. Frequent attempts were made to bribe the Inspectors, but these were, it
is believed, in very few cases successful. To the Registrar, Mr. Keithler, and
his assistants, is due high commendation for energetic and faithful discharge
of an arduous, and, in several respects, an unpleasant task. The cost of the re-inspection
in excess of the ordinary expenses of the Registrar's Office, was $10,353.03.
OF THE NUMBER OF DAYS' SUPPLY CONTAINED IN EACH RESERVOIR.
FOR EXTENSION OF RESERVOIR CAPACITY.
Table shows the capacity of each Reservoir now in service, the area and population
dependent upon each, and the number of days' supply contained therein. It will
at once be seen that with the exception of the Wentz Farm and Belmont Basinswhich
are larger in extent and less drawn upon than the othersthe number of days'
supply ranges from 1-1/3 days in the Spring Garden and Corinthian Basins to 4
days in the Lehigh avenue, or, as it should be called, the Fairhill Basin. There
is, therefore, practically no reserve storage at all for the main portion of the
City, and the water pours through these basins without opportunity for subsidence
or purging itself of impurities.
For the large district covered by the
Twenty-eighth, Twenty-ninth, and portions of the adjacent Wards, including a rapidly
increasing population, of probably 130,000, with numerous large manufacturing
establishments, there is no reservoir whatever, nor is it possible from any of
the existing basins (including the East Park Reservoir, supposing that to have
been completed), to distribute water to the higher elevations of the area described.
The supply is, therefore, derived directly from the pumps, with all the entailed
The most favorable point at which to construct a reservoir
for the high district is in the vicinity of Thirtieth and Cambria streets, upon
an elevated ridge which commands the surrounding country, and where a basin of
210,000,000 gallons capacity has been projected, with a surface elevation of 166
feet above City Datum. This height would be ample to supply all the City to the
East and South, whether directly or through the intermediate basinsSpring
Garden, Corinthian, and Fairmount; and, furthermore, the necessity for the construction
of this Reservoir is greater than for the completion of the East Parknotwithstanding
its grand capacity of [PAGE 34] 700,000,000by reason of the inferior elevation
(133 feet, C. D.) of the latter, which will not admit of its supplying more than
a small marginal area of the high district. An additional argument for the construction
of the Cambria Reservoir, if any be needed, is that whether the future supply
be derived from a reformed Schuylkill, from the Delaware River or from Perkiomen
Creek, the Cambria Reservoir will constitute a convenient and natural terminal
and distributing point, whence the other reservoirs may draw their supply. Upon
representation of these facts by the Department, Councils passed Ordinances, approved
July 7, and November 14, 1883, appropriating the necessary lands, and sought means
to make pecuniary provision for beginning the work.
Of the funds appropriated,
a large portion, derived from the balance of a Park Loan, was decided to be inapplicable
to this purpose, and, therefore, nothing more could be done than to make the careful
surveys and examinations necessary to a thorough investigation, of the site, preliminary
to the consideration and preparation of the working plans. The Department, upon
the basis of the ascertained data, is now prepared to begin work upon this basin
whenever the necessary funds shall be provided. The cost in round numbers will
amount to about $500,000, exclusive of the cost of the site, for which additional
provision must be made. This matter is now in the hands of the City Solicitor,
for the conduct of the proper legal proceedings to determine the price per acre
which the city should pay.
It should be said that if the labor of the
House of Correction be employed upon this work, a large saving in cost would be
effected, and it would seem obvious that since the inmates of that institution
are maintained by the taxation, direct or indirect, of every citizen of Philadelphia,
the most natural and proper use that could be made of their time and labor would
be in the construction of great public works, whose costwhich must also
be defrayed out of general taxationwould be thereby [PAGE 35] [be] correspondingly
diminished. Arrangements to this effect were discussed with the Managers of the
House of Correction, and the practical details adjusted, but the lack of funds
prevented any action.
Surveys were also made for the extension of the
Mt. Airy Basin. This reservoir, to which the water is forced" from the Roxborough
Station, supplies the rapidly extending Germantown District. The basin holds at
present a supply of about two and one-half days only, and it is highly desirable
that the additional available ground to the eastward be secured before it shall
have still further advanced in price.
There is no doubt whatever of the necessity
for enlarging the basin, and the sooner steps are taken to secure the site and
begin the work of excavation, the sooner it will be completed and the less the
ultimate cost, which, as now estimated, exclusive of land damages, would be about
Another new reservoir site is required for the distribution
to Manayunk and the Falls of Schuylkill. At the present time these points are
supplied from the Roxborough Basin, having an altitude of 366 feet above City
Datum. In consequence of this, not only are the local pressures in the two places
named much greater than occasion requiresthereby calling for more costly
plumbing than would otherwise be necessarybut the considerable expense is
incurred of pumping the Schuylkill water to the great and unnecessary height,
only to let it run down again to near the river bank.
Other things being
equal, the cost of pumping is in direct proportion to the height to which it is
pumped, and were a basin of suitable capacity constructed at some point west of
Manayunk, and at an elevation of, say 180 feet, the pressure would be ample and
half the cost of pumping would be saved. No surveys have yet been made for such
basin, nor has any site been selected. A preliminary investigation of this matter
will be made during the ensuing season.
It is probable, also, that in
the near future a storage basin [PAGE 36] will be needed at Chestnut Hill, as
well as an enlargement of the visible supply and of the pumping machinery.
The completion of the East Park Reservoir is called for by several considerations
of importance. It is designed as the storage reservoir for all that area now supplied
from the Spring Garden, Corinthian, Fairmount, and Lehigh Avenue or Fair-hill
Basins, which its surface elevation of 133 feet will enable it to feed. The present
combined capacity of these basins is about 100 million gallons, and the population
supplied is about 700,000. At 70 gallons per day per head, therefore, there is
only about two days' supply in store, or at 40 gallons per head, three and one-half
days'. The East Park Basin with its capacity of 700 millions, will increase the
storage to about 25 days supply, which is not in any sense more than a moderate
and safe allowance.
The advantages of possessing this storage capacity
are several. In the first place, security against the results of accident is obtained.
Secondly, the water will have an opportunity to settle, and measurably clarify
itself. Thirdly, it will enable the Department to stop pumping when the river
is muddy, and let the successive freshets pass without taking up the dirty water.
Fourthly, it will permit of the more constant use of the Fairmount wheels, which
now are frequently stopped even when the river is high, because, the basins being
full, there is no place to store the water. The East Park Reservoir has cost in
round numbers 1-1/4 millions, and as much more will be needed to complete it.
OF THE DEPARTMENT.
The Registrar is charged, under
the direction of the Chief Engineer, with the collection of all the revenues of
the Department, with the exception of those claims for frontage which remain unpaid
for four months from date of laying the pipe, and which, upon due certification
from the Chief Engineer, the City Solicitor institutes legal measures to recover.
There has also been, heretofore, a certain amount received in the office of the
Chief Engineer, from bills for work done by the Department, such as putting in
fire attachments and other special constructions and repairs properly charged
to private persons, but I could see no good reason for continuing the practice
of receiving money in my office, and therefore had these, as well as all other
Department bills, receipted by the Registrar.
The report of the Registrar,
herewith, contains a full exhibit of the collections for the year 1883. It will
be seen that while there is a decrease in the collections of delinquent rents
and penalties, due to their having been more closely brought in for the last two
or three years, there is a large increase in the regular collections for the year.
The total receipts for 1882 were $1,516,904.64, and the probable receipts for
1883, as previously estimated by the Chief Engineer, were $ 1,425,000. The actual
receipts for 1883 were $1,627,069.16, exceeding the estimate by $202,000, and
the receipts of 1882 by $110,000, so that the books of the Department, notwithstanding
the expenditures for 1883, 1,047,227.02,were considerably larger than
usual, show an excess of receipts, or a gross profit for the year's business of
For the year 1884, the general re-inspection of the City
which has been made will still further increase the revenues by an amount which
cannot be certainly determined until the close of the year. The preliminary examination
of the books, as made up upon the basis of the re-inspection, shows an apparent
increase over the year 1883 receipts of some $233,000, of which the larger part
will certainly be realized, although reductions will no doubt be made upon affidavits
as to the non-use of appliances.
It is probable, therefore, that my estimate
of last September to the Controller, of a revenue for 1884, of $1,750,000 will
prove to be approximately correct. It seems quite certain that it will not fall
short of $1,700,000, although it must be observed that a number of large consumers
have taken advantage of the reduced rate of water measured by meter, to be transferred
from the regular rates to the meter account. It results that, as the meter accounts
are payable quarterly, the receipts for the concluding quarter of the year will
fall into the first quarter of 1885, and will, therefore, not appear in the reported
receipts for 1884, although properly belonging there.
Should the revenue
reach the sum of $1,750,000, a comparison of this sum with the total appropriations
for the current year ($813,385) will show a surplus for the year 1884, of $936,615.
The following is a general statement of the entire receipts and expenditures of
the Department since its organization in 1854 to the close of the year 1883, a
period of twenty-nine years. [PAGE 39] The total profits since consolidation are
nearly eight and three-quarter millions, and for the past eleven years there has
been an average Annual Surplus of over $550,000, equal to 66 per cent, of the
STATEMENT OF THE COLLECTIONS AND EXPENDITURES OF THE WATER DEPARTMENT SINCE ITS
ORGANIZATION IN 1854.
may have been the causes of the extraordinary and prolonged neglect and consequent
dangerous decadence (elsewhere adverted to) of a service established for the benefit
of the citizens, and holding such intimate relation to the comfort, health and
prosperity of the entire community, the above statements from the records of the
Department make it sufficiently evident that a lack of funds properly and equitably
applicable to its necessary support and enlargement, in proportion to the growth
and requirements of the City, was not among them. It is probable that investigation
would, without much or any difficulty, discover these, and establish their close
connection with certain erroneous principles, misdirected economies, and radical
defects of administration.
The business of supplying water
to the citizens is no necessary municipal function or obligation. It might with
entire [PAGE 40] propriety have been relegated, as in many large cities, to a
chartered company, with careful stipulations as to the percentage of profits,
and rigid provisions for penalties in case of inadequate or unsatisfactory service.
The City, however, has voluntarily chosen to engage in this business on its own
account, and by Ordinance has created a monopoly, by forbidding others to compete
therein. This assumption of an extraneous function cannot, however, relieve the
City from the natural and equitable obligations thereby incurred, but on the contrary
imposes additional and weighty responsibilities. As a vital need, whether for
daily domestic uses, for manufacturing purposes, for protection against losses
by fire, or for the conservation of the public health, there is no requirement
which approaches in urgency the demand for an ample supply of wholesome water,
and yet, as has been shown, the City has permitted the service to languish until
not only is the quality of the water unsuitable and its quantity insufficient,
but there was danger that a large portion of the City would be deprived of its
The appropriations for necessary improvements were
withheld year after year, while the heavy Annual Surplus collected from citizens
was used for other and less important improvements. It would seem clear that until
the Water Supply of Philadelphia is such as a City of 1,000,000 souls,the
second in population and the first in manufacturing importance in the United States,should
have, there can be no application of the Water Revenues so just and so judicious
as their expenditure for the imperative requirements of a service upon which the
well-being, comfort and prosperity, individually and collectively, of the community,
is wholly and without alternative, dependent.
OF THE PRESENT WATER SUPPLY.
With the substantial addition
of the new Pumping Plant which is now under construction and which will be available
for service during the ensuing season, the Department will be able to pump up
a daily average of 90,000,000 gallons, should so much be required, and as the
minimum flow of the Schuylkill is not less than 180 or 200 millions, there is
no doubt of the ability of the Department to pump a full supply for the City.
Leaving aside, for the present, the question of quality as affected by sewage
and other contaminations, the most serious defects of the present system are found
in the absence of adequate storage capacity and the lack of proper means to distribute
the water to the several portions of the City, and the improvement of these constitute,
at the present time, the most urgent need of the Department. In my remarks upon
the Extension of Reservoir Capacity, I have called attention to the inadequate
provision for storage, by reason of which the water, being in constant movement
through the basins, has little or no opportunity to free itself of even the grosser
impurities, and is delivered to the consumers in pretty much the same condition
as it came from the river. It is only the Wentz Farm Basin supplying Frankford
and the vicinity, and the Belmont Basin supplying West Philadelphia, that exhibit
any proper proportion between their capacity and the daily draught, and it may
be said that while the large area north of Spring Garden street and west of Ninth
street has no reservoir at all, the remainder of the City is not much better off.
The works especially needed to amend this condition of affairs, with reference
to the main City, are the construction of the new Cambria Basin of 200,000,000
gallons, with a surface elevation of 165 feet above City Datum, and the completion
of [PAGE 42] the East Park Reservoir, with its 700,000,000 capacity, and elevation
of 133 feet. It will take about three years to complete these two works, at an
estimated cost of over $2,000,000, and until then there can be no escape from
the disadvantages now endured.
An even more important matter, however,
is that of the distributing mains and pipes. Previous to Consolidation, in 1854,
the Districts of Spring Garden, Northern Liberties, and Kensington had their own
supply systems, and Germantown and Chestnut Hill were served by private companies.
The original Station at Fairmount and the Fairmount Basins then supplied, as now,
the old City lying between Vine and South streets, and the Districts of Southwark
and Moyamensing below. All these systems later came under the management of the
consolidated City Government, but the original disadvantages of inadequate distribution
facilities, and the absence of unity of system, have never been fully removed.
To illustrate this subject without unduly extending the statements in regard to
it, it may suffice to take the condition of affairs in the old City proper as
typical of all. Within these limits, viz.: from Vine to South streets, and between
the two rivers, there are at present in service about 490,000 feet of water pipe,
laid at different periods, as shown in the following table.
OF WATER PIPES IN THE OLD CITY,
Viz.: The Ffith, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth,
and Tenth Wards, showing their size and the date when laid.
will be seen that most of these pipes are of great age and small dimensions,150,000
feet or 30 per cent, being less than six inches in diameter, and over 90 per cent,
of the total having been in the ground from 30 to 60 odd years. Experience has
shown that, under ordinary circumstances, naked iron pipes such as were formerly
laid, become, to a considerable extent, obstructed by the accumulation of rust
and sediment in the interior, and that in a period of from 10 to 20 years this
obstruction will become so serious as to nearly or entirely close the pipes. This,
as a matter of fact, is known to be the case with by far the larger proportion
of pipes now in service less than six inches in diameter, and the [PAGE 43] accompanying
drawing is intended to illustrate the interior condition of the tube, and the
extent to which the obstruction proceeds.
PIPE TO 1716, 18, 20, 22, & 24 CATHARINE ST.
has a number of striking examples of this effect, and the drawing was made from
a longitudinal section of a two-inch pipe which had been in the ground for about
24 years. The opening available for the passage of water would not admit the tip
of the little finger. It is manifest that pipes in this condition are almost useless,
and in particular for fire purposes are of no value whatever. The sole remedy
is to replace them with larger pipes, which, coated inside and out with a protective
covering of asphalt, will last for many years.
In addition to the necessity
of replacing the ancient and small pipes, is that of laying larger mains,and
the deficiencies in this respect are serious. There are many portions of the City
to which, in the Summer, little or no water is delivered, for the reason that
the mains are of such inadequate capacity that the water is all drawn from them
before reaching the end. My letter of last August to the Controller, explanatory
of the estimates,which is appended to this Report,as well as the Report
by Mr. Ogden, the Assistant Engineer in immediate charge of the Distribution System,
throw much light on this subject; and while the entire ground is not covered nor
the subject fully treated, enough is shown to illustrate its importance and convey
some idea of the expenditures which will be necessary to fully meet imperative
It is necessary to bear in mind that the Fire Department, however
efficiently organized, is helpless without an abundant supply of water flowing
freely to the hydrants, and this can only be secured by having in the principal
streets, mains of adequate dimensions and suitably connected with the supply pipes
and with each other.
I have been enabled, by the kindness of Mr. Lorin
Blodget, to collect some data in regard to the value of property at risk from
fire in the Old City. The Fifth and Sixth Wards, in [PAGE 44] especial, are heavy
manufacturing districts, and contain valuable stores of merchandise. East of Ninth
street, and between Vine and South streets, Mr. Blodget calculates that there
are not less than $100,000,000 of active merchandise at risk, and by examining
the assessment of properties and making due deduction for the value of the ground,
I have computed the total value of perishable property exposed to danger of fire
within the old City limits as approximately £250,000,000. To protect values
of this extent, the means available are absurdly inadequate. There are about 800
fire plugs, of which one-half are of an obsolete pattern, and 100 are attached
to old pipes of 4 inches diameter or less, from which the Steam Fire Engines cannot
get enough water to do any service.
It is unfortunate that the elevation
of the Fairmount Basin 94 feet above City Datumis quite insufficient
to give a proper pressure at the hydrants. This defect, for the present, cannot
be amended, but it is intolerable that the supply should be destroyed altogether
by the retention in service of appliances which a generation ago were unsatisfactory,
and which to-day are practically useless.
It is essential that a Department
having such close relation as this to general and individual interests, should
assiduously and faithfully keep pace with the growth and improvement of its City,
and to accomplish this there must be wise prevision of the needs of the immediate
future, in order that when the demand shall be made there may be no hesitation
or delay in meeting it. This is a matter of such very great importance, and one
in which every inhabitant of the Citywhether a property owner or notis
so deeply interested, that I may be pardoned for some urgency in pressing it upon
the attention of Councils.
QUALITY OF THE PRESENT SUPPLY.
As previously indicated,
it may be considered that with the Delaware on one side and the Schuylkill on
the other, there need be no question as to the possibility of procuring an ample
supply of water, and were the means of distributing it suited to meet the necessities
of the city, the serious aspects of the case would be resolved into the single
question of quality.
Of the six principal Pumping Stations, two take
water from the Delaware River and four from the Schuylkill River.
peculiarities of the Kensington supply have already been adverted to. The Delaware,
along the city front, is the recipient, sooner or later, of the sewage refuse
and street washings of a city area occupied by a population probably exceeding
800,000. These waste matters are borne up and down by the tides, and usually pass
and repass the city several times before taking their final departure. Under these
circumstances, whatever may be the volume of the stream, it is by necessity polluted,
and is not suitable for immediate and habitual daily use.
is the vicinity of the Kensington Station marked by an accumulation of the foulest
materials. Its central position insures its getting the full benefit of all the
city sewage, and, in addition, the Aramingo Canalan open sewer of large
dimensions and choked with filthdischarges in its immediate vicinity. The
water taken thence is utterly unfit for human consumption, and the construction
last Summer of a wooden trunk to mid-channel, is but a temporary device to mitigate
the evil until such time as a connection can be made from the Stations on the
Schuylkill to the Lehigh Avenue Basin.
The other Delaware Stationthat
at Lardner's Point, one mile above Bridesburg, from which the supply of Frankford
and the vicinity is derivedhas characteristics so much less objectionable,
that few complaints are made of the quality of the water. Nevertheless, since
the flood tides sweep upwards for five hours twice in 24 hours, with an average
velocity of 1-1/2 miles an hour, the general sewage of the city is carried some
distance above Lardner's Point, and in particular, that from [PAGE 46] Frankford
Creekwhich is the sewer for that districtis taken up stream for several
miles, to return on the succeeding ebb. As the ebb tide runs but two hours longer
than the flood, it is during this interval only that the river may be considered
free of the city sewage and contaminated only by that which we derive from the
several cities above. The Lardner's Point supply, therefore, must be viewed with
suspicion as undoubtedly containing a considerable amount of diluted and partly
oxidized sewage, and cannot be considered as an acceptable or satisfactory source
for the future.
The condition of the Schuylkill supply is the important
one, and a considerable body of facts regarding it is furnished in other portions
of this Report, particularly the paper of Dr. Leeds on the chemical investigation,
and Mr. Barber's tables on the physical and sanitary features.
above Fairmount Dam, is the natural sewer, first and last, for a population of
350,000, largely engaged in manufacturing, and whatever may be the varying judgments
of physicists as to the power of a running stream to purge itself of foreign contaminations,
it is very certain that the river itself has, from time to time, furnished the
most convincing evidence of its inability to digest or dispose of the extraneous
and injurious matters discharged into it.
The character of the pollutions
is as diversified as the occupations of the people. Sewage, chemicals, wool-washings,
dye stuffs, butcher and brewery refuse---there is almost nothing lackingand
the most singular feature of the case is that the worst and most deadly contaminations
are those which enter the river within the city limits and under the control of
the municipal authorities. The circumstance has this advantage, that matters can
be amended whenever the city shall choose to exercise her powers, and the construction
of the intercepting sewer on the east bank, from Manayunk to Fairmount, will no
doubt be of great utility.
It should not be believed, however, that
the sewer,even [PAGE 47] should it accomplish all that it is designed for,will
be able to do more than a part of the work. There will still be the entire pollution
of the stream above the Flat Rock Dam to prevent or neutralize, the waters of
the Manayunk Canal to purify, and the Wissahickon and other streams to regulate,
and in addition there will remain sources of contamination within the limits of
the Fairmount pool itself, that are not the less deadly because they are concealed
from view and escape direct observation. The movement of ground water is, in general,
slowly towards the river, and it will be years before the sewage-saturated soil
underlying a long inhabited area, and filled with cess-pools, can free itself
In particular is there a subject from which sentiment and
the imagination alike recoil, but to which the Engineer, in the interest of the
public health, is forced to allude. Civilized communities have for generations
recognized the danger to the living from the presence of the dead, and decreed
that no well be dug in the vicinity of their last resting place, nor any water
taken thence, lest the potency of lethal matter slay the living. The thought is
one which cannot now be pressed, but it is necessary to suggest it, that the gentle
souls who lie at rest, and who on earth would have shrunk from the thought of
injuring any living being, may by some means be spared becoming a peril to their
descendants and successors.
Aside from the Engineering and other means
of modifying the contaminations of the Schuylkill, involving years for their accomplishment,
it must be said that little can be done to purify it. It is true that filtering
the water will remove the visible impurities, and if thoroughly done, will render
it a bright and sparkling fluid pleasing to the eye and generally acceptable to
the palate, but the impurities thus removed are the least harmful of those contained
in the water, and in reality, the river when muddiest from a recent freshet, is
probably in its most wholesome condition, since it then contains the largest percentage
of fresh water and the least of foreign matters. It is in Summer, [PAGE 48] when
the movement of the stream is the gentlest and the waters the most pellucid, that
the largest proportion of dangerous contaminations is held in solution, and these
the ordinary methods of filtering are powerless to remove. . It is true that the
passage of water through a mass of spongy iron has been found to oxidize in part
the organic matter, but the cost of inaugurating a plant of this sort, or any
filtering appliances such as are used in Europe, on the scale necessary to purify
the water supply of Philadelphia, is too formidable to contemplate unless all
other means of procuring a better supply shall prove impracticable. When all was
done, the organic matters would still remain, and it is these which constitute
the real danger. It is known that the germs of cholera, of typhoid fever and other
diseases, although their real nature or function can only as yet be guessed at,
may be carried by water which to every sense is pure, and that these germs may
entirely escape detection by the most subtle analysis, while existing in a condition
of the deadliest activity and only awaiting admission to a living organism to
develop their latent morbific energy. Against this danger science has no absolute
specific, although the boiling of water is supposed to destroy the germs.
By far the most practicable and effective means of improving the present
supply would be the completion of the East Park Reservoir, into which the water
would be pumped when in its best condition, and drawn out for the supply of the
smaller basins after having had from two to four weeks in which to deposit its
sediment and rid itself of at least the grosser impurities.
The use of well
water within the inhabited area of the City should be absolutely prohibited. Nothing
is more deceptive than the cool sparkling water drawn from a well or spring which
is the out-flow of a water stratum into which cess-pools or foul deposits discharge;
but there are numerous wells, even in the old part of the City which are in daily
use. Ignorance is responsible for this in part, and habit, in part. Again a vicious
economy will sometimes induce people to continue the use of wells, and thus avoid
the cost of introducing water-pipe in the [PAGE 49] street and the payment of
water charges. Councils might well make provision for these cases by ordering
the filling up of all wells and cutting off all sources of supply which analysis
should show to be prejudicial to the public health, and requiring all houses and
blocks of houses now built or in process of construction, before being occupied
by tenants, to be connected with the City mains, whenever it is practicable to
Much has been said of the possibility of procuring a supply from
Artesian Wells or other ground sources, but while it is entirely possible that
there may be a water stratum of sufficient purity and volume to answer a part,
at "least, of the requirements, there is always danger of pollution from
increase of population and an uncertainty with regard to the future, both in quality
and quantity, that would make it injudicious to depend solely upon such sources.
The water in the wells sunk into the water bearing rock on the elevation
upon which it is proposed to build the Cambria Basin, is shown by analysis to
be of exceptional purity, and would no doubt suffice for the time and for a limited
supply, but the future extent and requirements of the City are entirely out of
proportion to such insufficient and unreliable sources, and as works of the magnitude
required need years for their construction, it would not be worth while to waste
time and money in the effort to utilize them. It can be proved that the waters
of a swiftly flowing stream, thoroughly exposed to sun and air, are superior in
purity and wholesomeness to all other sources, whether gathered from the Heavens
above or from the Earth beneath, and it will be time enough to undertake the task
of sucking from the ground a supply of 100 or 200 million gallons per day, such
as Philadelphia will need for the future, when investigation shall have proved
the impracticability of drawing from a nobler source which can be traced and protected,
from its birth on the mountain top to its final utilization.
WASTE OF WATER.
The importance of this subject in
its relation to the question of Water Supply has, until within comparatively a
few years, been almost ignored, especially in cities having a public service.
As the appliances for delivering water failed to meet the rapidly increasing consumption,
and even the sources themselves became inadequate to furnish the enormous amount
which was apparently required, the attention of the City and Department officials
seems to have been directed solely to multiplying pumping machinery, the construction
of new aqueducts and reservoirs, and the search for new sources whence an increased
volume could be derived.
The advantages, and even necessityaccording
to modern domestic, sanitary, and industrial needsof an ample supply is
obvious, and those charged with the responsibility of its maintenance were quick
enough to realize this, but while noting the fact that the demand had increased
in a much greater ratio than the population, and the total amount per capita had
attained proportions exceeding the bounds of possible utility, in few cases does
it seem to have been thought necessary to investigate the disposition made of
the water, or to definitely ascertain what proportion of the total pumpage was
really utilized, and what was entirely wasted.
The practical ignoring
of the subject may be, in the main, attributed to the fact that with a population
habituated to the freest use of water, any attempt to limit or restrict the consumption,
would, in all probability, arouse opposition, and perhaps affect unfavorably those
holding official positions. Of late years, however, the development of cities
and the increasing consumption of water have, by the apparent exhaustion of the
available sources, in many cases directed attention to the subject of waste, and
commanded consideration of its extent and the means of checking it. In a few cases,
also, while no deficiency of supply was threatened, an intelligent [PAGE 51] study
of the subject and constant effort towards effective and economical administration
had the same effect.
In Philadelphia, notwithstanding the annually increasing
danger of a water famine, the matter seems to have been quite overlooked, or,
if observed, no attempts were made to apply remedial measures.
In the investigation
of this subject it is desirable, first to define what is meant by waste, and then
to ascertain, as clearly as may be, what amount, per capita, should be considered
an ample supply. Having fixed a standard, any amount less than this might be regarded
as a deficiency, and anything more, as waste.
By waste, then, is meant
the water which, having been pumped into the reservoirs and distributing mains,
escapes thence into the sewers, the ground, or the street, beyond the possibility
of utilization, without having performed in its journey any useful function or
service whatsoever. In this sense it will be seen that the restriction of waste,
so far from being a restriction of supply, is a positive addition thereto, for
by so much as the useless expenditure of water is prevented, by so much is the
amount available for useful purposes increased.
The cost to the city
of pumping and distributing water . which is wasted, is precisely the same as
for water which is usefully employed, and it follows that with waste prevented,
the expense of the Department is decreased and its service improved. It must be
understood, therefore, that the prevention of waste is designed to give a more
ample supply for all requirements, and to admit of the use of the water for the
proper flushing of sewers,for which no provision is now made,and for
public drinking fountains and ornamental purposes, the lack of which in Philadelphia
impairs both its appearance and the comfort of its inhabitants.
waste may be classified under three heads : First, leakage from the pumping or
distributing mains or reservoirs. The amount of this, with good administration,
is comparatively small, as precautions are taken to make the [PAGE 53] reservoirs
tight, and the mains are carefully laid and are much stronger than is needed to
withstand the actual pressures to which they are subjected.
from defective service pipes and faulty plumbing appliances. The waste from this
cause is very large, as plumbing work in Philadelphia has not been subject to
any real supervision, nor is there any effective discrimination between good and
bad workmanship, or much attention to making repairs when needed.
loss from careless or willful opening of taps and faucets. It is this cause to
which, perhaps, the largest part of the waste is due, and which would not exist
if consumers were as careful in the use of water which is paid for at an annual
rental, as of gas for which they pay by the cubic foot.
In fixing the
standard of an adequate supply, it is necessary to rely upon the experience and
statistics of cities where the subject has been carefully investigated, and in
especial those in which the local conditions are, as nearly as may be, analogous
to our own.
The European cities, in general, are content with a daily
supply which we should consider absurdly inadequate as Vienna and Berlin,
with a daily allowance of 15 or 18 gallons, or St. Petersburg with 22 gallons.
In Paris, howeverwhere, although the domestic use is limited, large amounts
are used in keeping the streets cleanthe daily consumption is about 42 gallons
per capita. In the principal cities of Great Britain the supply averages from
35 to 40 gallons per head; and in London, which, in its general features, approaches
perhaps more nearly than any other to those of Philadelphia, the daily supply
is about 31-1/4 British, or 37-1/2 United States gallons.
On the whole
the English engineers estimate that 35 United States gallons per head of population
is an ample supply for all purposes, domestic, industrial, sanitary, and protective,
and this estimate is justified by the experience of American cities in which the
matter has been intelligently investigated. Prominent among these is Providence,
a city having a large [PAGE 53] population, as well as extensive manufactures,
where for several years past the average supply has been from 30 to 35 gallons
In Boston, where the water question has occasioned great anxiety,
as the consumption had reached and overpassed the capacity of the plant to meet
it,it has been clearly shown by actual tests, that of the former 95 gallons
per head, at least 50 per cent was wasted. Similar estimates are made by the New
York engineers, where again the increasing demand is in excess of the capacity
of the Croton aqueduct, and the problem of the future is a pressing one.
In general, in all the American cities where the subject has been examined, the
estimates of waste are from 25 to 75 per cent, of the total supply. It may be
assumed then, with much confidence, that 40 gallons per day per head of population
is an ample amount for all purposes, and an estimate of the magnitude of the waste
in Philadelphia may be reached by comparing this figure with the average daily
The total pumpage for the year 1883 was 25,182,775,641, which gives
a daily average of about 69,000,000, equivalent to very nearly 70 gallons per
day per head. It may, therefore, be considered that of these 70 gallons, 40 gallons,
or 57 per cent, are used, and 30 gallons, or 43 per cent., are wasted, and these
proportions cannot be far from accurate.
The loss is a formidable one
from any point of view, and especially was it evident last summer, when the pumpage
in one day exceeded 100,000,000 gallons, that if by any means the waste could
be checked, the amount saved might be sufficient to avert disaster when the sole
dependence, the steam-pumps, were in an unreliable, and, in some respects, dangerous
condition. An attempt was therefore made both to remedy the evil in part, and
to collect data for the ascertainment of its causes and amount, and in this, valuable
assistance was rendered by the Bell Waterphone Company, who had, with much success,
used their methods and appliances in Cincinnati, and who tendered [PAGE 54] their
services gratuitously to the Department, with the expectation of illustrating
its practicability and value.
The instrument used resembles an ordinary
telephonic receiver, and simply magnifies sounds transmitted to the diaphragm.
In service it is attached to a steel rod, which is inserted in the stop-box over
the service stop at the curb, and resting upon the cock, transmits to the ear
the sound of water passing in the pipe. The examinations were made between the
hours of 11 P. M and 4 A. M., when the occupants of dwellings were presumably
asleep. If any flow of water was detected, the inspector made a note of the premises
in his book, and visited the house during the following morning. The results of
the trial with this apparatus are given in the accompanying table. The district
examined lay between the two rivers and from Vine street to Washington avenue.
It will be seen that of 12,000 stops examined, the sound of running water was
heard at 3,631,over 30 per cent of the total. In 302 of them the day inspection
failed to reveal a cause, which was, therefore, either an underground leak or
the use of the water appliances by the inmates during the night. The remaining
causes were all either the wasteful running or leakage of openings from the pipes,
and some approximate computations of the loss of water due to these will be useful,
both to illustrate its amount and to support the conclusions already reached.
From the actual tests it was found that a horse-trough, water closet, or
hydrant running full head under a pressure of 13 pounds would discharge 5 gallons
in one and half minutes, or 4,800 gallons per day; and a washstand, urinal, fountain,
or faucet would flow a gallon a minute, or 1,440 gallons per day. With 20 lbs.
pressure, which is about the city average, these amounts would become respectively
6,000 and 1,800 gallons.
OF NIGHT INSPECTIONS WITH THE BELLWATERPHONE,
from May 4 to September 15, 1883.
the 12,000 inspections there were 428 water closets, 249 hydrants and 32 horse-troughs
running,a total of 709,which, at 13 lbs. pressure, would discharge
over 3,400,000 gallons per day. There were also 153 wash-stands, 148 urinals,
3 fountains, and 9 faucets,a total of 313,which would waste [PAGE
56] 448,000 more. Deducting proportionately the 302 cases where it might be that
the appliances were in legitimate use at the time of the inspection,the
total waste due to running of the remainder is 2,740,000 gallons per day.
For the sake of being entirely within probabilities, it may be assumed that
these appliances, not being fully open, were discharging only about one-half of
this,the amount would then be 1,370,000 gallons. If now a moderate estimate
of the average waste due to the 3,583 leaking and defective appliances be added
of, say 100 gallons each,and some of them will waste many times this quantity,we
have a total waste of 1,726,000 gallons per day.
The 12,000 stops examined
are considerably less than one-fifteenth of the total number in the City. The
aggregate loss, therefore, from this cause alone, is probably in excess of 25,890,000
gallons per day. To this loss is still to be added the large amount wasted in
manufactories. In many of these, while the quantity actually used is very great,
the waste is equally so from allowing the water to run during the day when not
required, and especially at night when work is suspended. In some of these the
flow of water is never stopped, and I have known a mill which had shut down at
3 o'clock on Saturday afternoon, to waste a full stream from a four inch pipe
until work began again on Monday morning. The quantity escaping from this pipe
alone was probably not far from 500,000 gallons in 24 hours.
It may be safely
assumed that the loss from this cause is not less than 20 or 25 millions per day,
which, added to the domestic waste, gives a total of 45 or 50 millions. This computation
was made at a time of year when the pumpage was from 85 to 95 millions daily.
In Winter, while the waste is little less in the business establishments,
in dwelling houses it is diminished unless it be in very hard freezing weather,
when the fear of bursting pipes induces the cautious householder to protect himself
against a plumber's bill by keeping the water in constant flow at the [PAGE 57]
expense of the City, and to the detriment of his neighbors' supply. Another considerable
source of waste is the indiscriminate and illegal use of the fire plugs, which
seem for some reason to be considered the property of everybody, and to be used
for all purposes, without reference to the inscription on each that forbids its
use without a permit, under penalty of $5.00.
the waste of waterof which enough has been said to indicate its magnitudeis
of much importance. If, for example, it could all be stopped and the pumpage restricted
to a sufficient amount only, the annual coal expenditure by the Department of,
say $130,000, might be reduced to $80,000, and a yearly saving effected of $55,000.
Fewer employés would be needed at some of the Pumping Stations, and the
wear and tear, and consequent repairs and renewals of the boilers and machinery
would be reduced in proportion with the pumpage. On the other hand, the saving
of water would effect general increase of pressure, and enable the water to reach
the upper stories of houses to which it is now a total stranger.
figures as to cost may be of use. Comparing the total number of buildings with
the total revenues of the Department, it may be said generally that the average
charge per building is $10.00 per annum. A dwelling which pays $15.00 may be considered
fairly well equipped with plumbing conveniences. At the rate of charge for water
by meter, viz.: 60 cents per thousand cubic feet, or 8 cents per thousand gallons,
a house paying $10.00 per annum is entitled to, say 17,000 gallons, or, if it
pays $15.00, to 25,000 gallons, and these amounts are in reality much in excess
of those actually drawn, even by persons who use it lavishly.
in the yard, or a horse-trough in the street, will run about 6,000 gallons daily,
and in three or four days therefore, will waste a year's supply for a family.
A wash-stand or faucet will flow 1,800 per day, and exhaust in ten or fifteen
days respectively, the entire amount needed by a family for a year. The mill pipe
before mentioned will, in one day, waste enough water to supply from 20 to 30
families through the entire year.
From the sanitary point of view, the
stoppage of that large portion of the waste which is due to leakage or flowing
pipes, hydrants, wash-paves, or horse-troughs, is highly desirable. The Department
is almost daily in receipt of complaints of water flooding cellars and sapping
foundations, which investigation shows proceed in the majority of cases from willful
or careless waste by neighbors. Aside from the injury to property, the close relation
of certain forms of disease to a saturated dwelling site, is well understood,
and no sanitary engineer or physician will hesitate to condemn the continuance
of practices involving evils of such serious extent. Among the minor though quite
obvious of them is the frequent sluicing of sidewalks, which, with a mistaken
idea of cleanliness, is really an unmitigated nuisance. The brick pavement is
saturated, and beneath it the soil in which the house stands, and the surplus
water flowing down the gutter supplies the one element needed to convert the street
dirt collected under the hot sun into putrescent matter emitting the poisonous
germs of disease.
For every reason then, economic and sanitary, the prevention
of waste is desirable, and while the accomplishment of this must be a work of
considerable time, requiring both additional legislation, and to a certain extent
the education of the public mind to make it effective, no time should be lost
in taking the necessary preliminary steps. The remedial measures may be classed
under several heads, viz.: Instrumental determination, Domiciliary inspection,
Regulation of plumbing appliances, and Infliction of suitable penalties. These
must all be employed conjointly.
For the waste in large establishmentsmanufacturing
and othersI know of no remedy at once so just and so effective [PAGE 59]
as recording meters, by which the actual amount of water consumed, usefully or
otherwise, is definitely ascertained and charged for. For private houses, the
Waterphone, or some similar contrivance, in conjunction with inspections, has
shown itself to be of use, but if the Water Department is to perpetually maintain
a conflict with defective appliances, a considerable increase of force will be
required. In this direction legislation is needed, both to restrict waste and
protect the public health.
The relations of the Water Department to the
plumbing business are extremely intimate. It is upon the plumbing appliances in
a house that the water charges are made, and any defect or changes therein affect
the revenue of the Department. They should, therefore, be strictly regulated by
law, and the possibility of bad or dishonest work prevented. Furthermore, the
work of the plumber is a matter of life or death to the inmates of a house.
Civilization, while it has enhanced the comforts of life in this respect,
has introduced into our homes a most deadly enemy unless due precautions are taken
to control it. The plumber, therefore, should be a workman sufficiently intelligent
and conscientious, and versed in his art, to be trusted with a, matter of such
vital importance, which, furthermore, should not be left to his sole discretion,
but be supervised by some competent authority under regulations established by
law. At present, the legislation bearing upon this subject is exceedingly defective,
and the example of other cities should be followed in procuring as speedily as
may be, more effective administration for the protection of the public health
against the fatal effects of ignorance and dishonesty.
With all its fortunate
conditions, climatic and local, the expansion of its population and the intelligence
and good conduct of its citizens, Philadelphia has a higher death rate than London,
notwithstanding the greater age of the latter, its population of four millions
to Philadelphia's one, and the average of eight persons to each house against
less than six in [PAGE 60] Philadelphia. To a great extent this relatively high
death rate is chargeable to the diseases known as zymotic, and classed as preventable,
viz.: typhoid fever, diphtheria, scarlet fever, et al.
one person in a thousand more than London. In all, the lives of more than 1,000
persons are uselessly sacrificed every year, and the health of thousands more
impaired. The causes of this are a sewage polluted soil, bad water, defective
sewerage, defective highways, and defective plumbing. The responsibility for these
things does not rest with the people, who cannot be expected to fully appreciate
or understand them, but upon those whose business it is to know and whose duty
it is to make them plain, and to indicate and provide the proper remedies.
FOR FUTURE WATER SUPPLY.
The increasing pollution
of the Schuylkill, whence the main Water Supply of Philadelphia is derived, and
in particular the occasional exacerbation of its unwholesome symptoms to the degree
of rendering it totally unsuitable for ordinary purposes, have been already referred
to, but the discussion which for a generation has been maintained with more or
less earnestness and intelligence, has resulted only in confusing the subject
with multiplied and variant suggestions, and in the absence of exact and carefully
determined data, could not in the nature of things reach definite conclusions.
Not only has the quality of the water itself been the subject of dispute, but
the widest diversity of opinion has been expressed as to the means best adapted
to amend existing evils and to make suitable provision for the future.
It seems strange that, in a matter of such vital economic and social importance,
this very contrariety of opinion should not have called attention to the one essential
point, which had, [PAGE 61] moreover, been urged by competent advisers, viz.:
The necessity for such thorough scientific investigation based upon the actual
ascertainment of facts, as should eliminate doubt, and simplify the consideration
of the problem by clearly determining its real conditions.
later all cities are brought face to face with the water problem, and even when
it has been thought that a solution has been reached, the development of industries
and the growth of population out-run the provision which it was believed would
suffice for long periods, and call for constant watchfulness and care to meet
the growing demands. In the case of Philadelphia, the problemnotwithstanding
an apparent simplicity of conditionsis more than ordinarily complex. The
Schuylkill brings the water to the heart of the City, and even furnishes the power
with which to pump it, and it was therefore natural and proper enough to regard
it as the main reliance. But the valley of the Schuylkill has peculiar features.
At its source, the waterto a large extent the drainage of the coal measuresis
charged with the acids resulting from the decomposition of the iron pyrites, and
this-excess of acid is still further increased by the great development of the
Farther down, the affluents drain a limestone region,
and the commingling of the acid and alkali tends to neutralize both and to impart
a certain degree of potability to the stream. As was pointed out long since, the
water of the Schuylkill is an artificial product, depending for its quality upon
a nice balance of chemical constituents, the undue preponderance of either of
which would injuriously affect its usethe acid by destroying boilers and
water-pipes, the lime by causing scale and rendering the water too hard to be
This chemical balance has been hitherto sufficiently well
maintained to give no great cause for complaint, but the pollution of the stream
by the growing population and industries of the valley, has become a most serious
feature. [PAGE 62] The Schuylkill is the natural drainage outlet and sewer for
the entire region traversed by it, and unless means can be found and applied to
effectually cut off or thoroughly neutralize the multiplied sources of pollution,
it is hopeless to consider it available in the future for drinking purposes. To
accomplish this, however, both legislative action and costly engineering works
will be required, and the discussion of these must be deferred until the investigation
now in progress shall have fully disclosed their character and extent.
Leaving aside the Schuylkill proper, it then remains to consider whether or not
one or more of its affluents could be made to meet the necessary requirements.
Of these, the Perkiomen alone is of such character as to promise good results,
and in consequence the project of impounding the Perkiomen waters and bringing
them to Philadelphia by a gravity conduit has heretofore presented itself as a
plausible one, and been urged with more or less earnestness. In the absence, however,
of such accurate data as must be obtained, it has been impossible to do more than
accept estimates and opinions as a basis of argument, and there now appears good
reason to believe that in respect of both quantity and quality, the Perkiomen
supply would prove deficient.
Should it result that neither the Schuylkill
nor its main affluent can be securely relied upon for the future, the Delaware
must be considered, and this aspect of the case has hitherto been scarcely more
than glanced at. Numerous suggestions have been made, but again the lack of precise
and authentic information has crippled investigation and made discussion futile.
The estimated cost of every one of the Delaware projects has been so large as
to discourage their consideration, but if the best results are to be attained,
the investigation must be made. For a gravity supply, the Delaware water must
be taken somewhere in the vicinity of the Gap, since it is not until that point
is reached that the elevation of the stream is sufficient to [PAGE 63] give the
necessary fall. For a supply by pumping to a conduit, points nearer by offer themselves.
The Delaware, too, has affluents which might be impressed into service, at least
to diminish the necessary pumping.
A third possible source is the Upper
Lehigh, whose waters in respect both of purity and altitude, present most favorable
conditions, although the distance is great and the minimum flow less than is required
for a full supply.
The ideal source is one whose swift waters, drained
from a wilderness barren of mines or agriculture, and which the laws of nature
will effectually guard from defilement by population or industry, can be diverted
from the living reservoir of their rocky channel, and through an aqueduct of reasonable
length, be delivered to the city receiving basins, as limpid, palatable, and free
from contamination as when tumbling freely in their native bed. Of all the sources
available, the Upper Lehigh comes nearest to this standard, and the Upper Delaware,whose
greater flow is ample for all needs,comes next.
however, that ideals are rare of attainment, and in the present case, economic
considerations intervene to counsel caution, and compel the fullest and most careful
investigation before a decision be made, but it cannot be denied that Philadelphia,
with all her fortunate conditions, is doubly favored in having at her command,
whenever she shall choose to claim it, a superb source of Water Supply which for
generations to come will fulfill every requirement.
the Delaware project, some unexpected features were developed. It was necessary
in running the conduit lines to the Gap, to take advantage of the valley itself
to pass the South Mountain, and in doing this, Point Pleasant,about half-way
between Trenton and Easton, and 30 miles from Philadelphia,was readily seen
to be the most advantageous point at which to reach the valley. The conduit line
to this point proved to be much more favorable than was anticipated, largely reducing
previous estimates, and furthermore, the [PAGE 64] quality of the water in the
Delaware at Point Pleasant was found to be extremely good,better, in fact,
than that of any of its affluents,and almost comparable with the water of
The Conduit line to Point Pleasant intercepts the Pennypack
and the Big and Little Neshaminy, and when nearing the Delaware valley taps also
the Tohickon. It results from this combination of circumstances, that the Delaware
Project might be considered as terminating temporarily at Point Pleasant, where
pumps could lift the Delaware waters to the conduit and send them in to the Wentz
Farm and the proposed Cambria Basins at an elevation of 165 feet. Furthermore,
the waters of the intercepted affluents could be used to decrease the pump-age,
and in fact for the greater part of the year, would, in all probability, furnish
the full amount required.
An aqueduct Northward from the Wentz Farm Basin
would therefore come almost immediately into service by bringing in the supply
from the several streams as they were successively reached, and the Point Pleasant
Pumping Station would continue to furnish any amount of excellent water while
the construction of the conduit should be proceeding towards the Gap. The unexpected
purity of the Point Pleasant water is due to two causes: First, the considerable
aeration and consequent purification the Delaware waters are subjected to by flowing
swiftly in a natural channel, and over numerous riffs and rapids; and secondly,
the partial exclusion of the low water drainage of the Lehigh by means of the
canal on the right bank of the Delaware, which absorbs the Summer flow of the
Lehigh when. it is most highly charged with the sewage of Easton, Bethlehem, and
other cities in that valley.
The problem of the Future Supply of Philadelphia
therefore, presents itself under three aspects:
practicability, the requisite means, and the cost of redeeming the Schuylkill,
and so effectually guarding it against [PAGE 65] future pollution as would justify
the City of Philadelphia in depending upon the use of its waters for domestic
and manufacturing purposes.
- SecondThe determination of the
quality and quantity of the waters that can be reliably obtained from the valley
of the Perkiomen; and,
- ThirdThe cost and other particulars
of the Delaware projectaccepting Point Pleasant as a half-way station, and
looking to above the Gap for a gravity supply.
alternative to this, the excellent suggestion is advanced by Mr. Hering, of bringing
the waters of the Upper Lehigh into the Upper Perkiomenthereby increasing
the quantity and improving the quality of the latter.
It will be seen
by any one conversant with the subject, that it has grown to great, and it may
be said, unexpected proportions. The area of country to be examined, whether by
accurate surveys or reconnaissances, is larger than has ever been attempted in
this country; and, in this connection, a comparison of the necessary extent of
the Philadelphia surveys with those made by other cities, will be instructive.
New York, with a topographical area to be covered of about 2,000 square miles,
of which 100 were mapped and 250 were carefully reconnoitered, has, since 1875,
spent an average of over $30,000 annually, or about $250,000. The Baltimore surveys
cost about $15,000, but only the Gunpowder project, which has since been successfully
completed, was seriously considered, and the length of the conduit was seven miles
only. In Boston, the areas surveyed were about 50 square miles, and examinations
were made of a total of about 5,500 square miles. The length of conduit line was
15-1/4 miles. The investigation occupied about three years, and cost $60,000.
The Philadelphia investigation will require careful surveys of about 468 square
miles, conduit lines about 183 miles, and a general examination of about 6,500
[PAGE 66] The work which has so far been accomplished
is excellent in character, large in amount, and economical in cost; and it is
of the greatest importance that it should be carried to completion with the parties
now fully equipped and trained to their work. The total expenditure that will
be required cannot yet be determined. The investigation, owing to an unexpected
balancing of various advantages and disadvantages, physical and economic, has
assumed proportions that were not at any time heretofore contemplated. But it
is work that is absolutely essential to an accurate and reliable solution of the
problem, and I feel no hesitation in saying, that whatever necessary expenditures
are incurred will be amply repaid in the end. The expense of maintaining and supervising
the work is about $2,500 per month, and this year will probably see the greater
part of the field work fairly advanced to completion. The results are too important,
and the consequences of a failure to obtain all necessary information would be
too serious to allow me to feel any hesitation in asking for such funds as may
be required to complete the investigation.
The accompanying reports from
Dr. Leeds and Mr. Hering furnish a full account of the operations under their
respective directions, and contain information of the greatest interest and value.
The Department was especially fortunate in securing the services of these two
gentlemen, both of whom are well known in the professional world in their respective
branches of inquiry and have evinced the highest interest in the important labors
entrusted to them.
The circumstances are such as to necessitate a continuance
of the investigation in order to cover the entire field, and to reach such reliable
results as shall justify the preparation by the Department of final estimates
and recommendations; but the conditions are now thoroughly understood, many points
of doubt have been eliminated, and the work can proceed with clear conceptions
towards a determinate conclusion.
[PAGE 67] The varying character of
the several streams at the different seasons makes it necessary to establish minimum
as well as average data, and observations extending over at least a brief term
of years are required. Analysis has so far confirmed opinions formed from engineering
and physical data, and Dr. Leeds is enabled to reach the preliminary conclusions
expressed in his final remarks, viz.: as to the advisability of ceasing to pump
water at the Kensington Station, and as to the necessity for immediate measures
to guard the Schuylkill from pollution, if its use as a source of supply is to
continue. Inasmuch as any modifications of the existing system must, under the
most favorable circumstances, require for their completion a period depending
upon the means which can be made available for this purpose, the conclusion of
Dr. Leeds as to the frequent and recurring non-potability of the Schuylkill, call
for most serious consideration on the part of those upon whom is laid the responsibility
of making adequate provision for the necessities of this great city.
Mr. Hering's report contains a careful resume of all publications upon the question
of future supply, and gives a detailed account of the work of the surveying parties.
The plan of operations was laid down after a careful preliminary examination of
the subject, and from time to time fresh or modified instructions were given as
the work extended. Great care was exercised in selecting the gentlemen to conduct
the field work, and the results are such as to reflect high credit upon all engaged.
It is believed that the greater part of the field work of the survey can be completed
before the close of this year, and the entire investigation concluded at a total
cost not much in excess of the expenditure made by Boston, to cover an area of
very much less extent.
WATER FURNISHED PUBLIC
AND CHARITABLE INSTITUTIONS.
The Water Department
does a large amount of pumping for which it receives neither revenue nor credit,
and to illustrate, in part, the extent of this, I have had tables prepared for
publication with the Registrar's report, of the numerous Institutions which are
supplied with water either gratis or at a reduced rate. Under the former head
are included the Public Buildings, Independence Hall, the Court House, Prison,
Almshouse, Police and Fire Stations, Public Schools, etc., as well as the numerous
outlets by which water is supplied to the East and West Parks. Were this charged
for at the regular rates the Department would be entitled, as nearly as can be
computed, to an annual revenue of about $29,000. But the loss to the Department
does not end here. Water of which no account is kept, and for which no charge
is made, is wasted in large quantities, and it is probable that the loss of water
through these buildings alone is much more than the regular rating would pay for.
It would be well, also, for the Police and Fire Stations to have regular attachments
to the mains, and avoid the large waste of water due to using fire plugs for washing
The Park, with its fountains and other openings, would be charged
with $18,000 per annum. As a matter of fact, out of the three engines in the Belmont
Station, the entire work of one is needed to keep the West Park supplied during
the summer. There is a 10-inch main to the fountain, while a 20-inch main is the
sole dependence of West Philadelphia. The use of water for ornamental and public
purposes is recognized as legitimate and proper, but the main consideration is
this:that the Water Department, to the extent to which the other Departments
draw upon it, is charged with expenditures which should legitimately be borne
by them ; in other words, [PAGE 69] a misleading balance is struck, and the cost
of the Water Department to the city is artificially increased, while that of other
Departments is apparently diminished.
Were each Department to stand upon
its own basis and discharge its own liabilities, Councils would then know with
exactness the actual necessary expenditure for each, and appropriate accordingly.
It would be a simple matter of bookkeeping to accomplish this, as the Water Department
would present bills and have them paid, and the money would remain in the treasury
as now, but the real expenditures and receipts of each Department would be shown
upon the books. I believe this suggestion a useful one in the direction of simplifying
and regulating the city business.
The ordinance of June 21, 1878, authorizes
the Chief Engineer of the Water Department to fix the water rents of Charitable
Institutions and the Academy of Natural Sciences at 15 per cent, of the regular
rates, and in other cases special ordinances make similar provisions. As shown
in the Registrar's table, the effect of this is a loss of revenue to the Department
of not less than $19,000 per annum. In many cases the loss can only be approximately
computed, as it is impossible to say what amount of water is used. The Zoological
Gardens, for example, have a 6-inch connection with the main, which would use
over 1,000,000 gallons per day, and the actual cost to the Department in coal
and wages at the Belmont Station to pump this amount, is $13.00 per day, while
the ordinance fixes the rental at $1,000 per annum.
I would not dispute
the propriety of these benefactions on the part of the City, but since the burden
of them is laid upon the Department, it is only proper to let it be understood
what they are and what amounts they involve. [PAGE 70] Comparing the total expenditures
of the Department for the period since Consolidation in 1854 with the total work
as represented by the number of gallons delivered, I find that the cost of pumping
and distributing 1,000 gallons is 4.78 cents. For the period 1872-1883, during
which the pumpage increased while the outlay for improvements was injudiciously
restricted, the cost was 4.33 cents per thousand gallons. These figures are based
upon the actual outlay of the Department since 1854 for material and labor, including
the cost of purchasing, constructing, repairing, and renewing pipes, reservoirs,
and machinery, as necessary appliances to enable the Department to distribute
the water, but do not include interest on the previous cost of plant, nor upon
the $6,500,000 of Water Loans which are charged upon the books of the City Treasurer.
It is difficult to determine with exactness what has been
the total cost of the plant, since some of the data relating to the old Fairmount,
Spring Garden, and Kensington Works could be recoveredif at allonly
by means of a prolonged investigation, but as nearly as can be ascertained the
total cost is approximately $15,000,000, on which the interest at 4 per cent,
would be $600,000 per annumwhich, however, the City is not really called
upon to pay. Computing the interest on the $6,500,000 of Water Loans at the average
rate of 5 per cent, the annual charge would be $325,000, for the payment of which
provision is requisite. Prorating this sum with the pumpage of last year, it is
found that to the average cost of pumpage, as previously computed, viz.: 4.78
cents, there must be added 1.29 cents to cover the interest charge on loans, making
the total cost to the City of delivering 1,000 gallons, 6.07 cents. [PAGE 71]
It seems proper to compute the cost of pumpage in this manner, since the extension
and renewal of plant is an annual necessity, and because it is quite clear that
considerable expenditures must be made in the immediate future for pipes, mains,
reservoirs, and other works, owing to the failure to make due provision for many
APPOINTMENT AND SELECTION OF EMPLOYÉS.
a business employing regularly from 300 to 500 people, which is not only of large
extent but involves much diversity of labor with technical training and skill
of many sorts, it is of the utmost importance that the methods of selection should
be such as to secure capable, industrious, and faithful men in every grade.
I am not one of those who believe that City business must, by necessity,
be less well managed, or that City work and expenditures must be less productive
of good results, whether in point of efficiency or economy, than private business.
I believe, on the contrary, that under favorable circumstances, and with proper
encouragement, the wider field of operations and the greater responsibility and
degree of publicity attaching thereto will operate as a wholesome stimulus, and
impel a faithful employé to a more earnest discharge of duty than even
the moderate wage he draws. In order, however, to realize this view in practice,
it is essential that the methods of administration shall be such as to obtain
and retain the services of skillful and conscientious men, who, uncontrolled by
any considerations other than the advantage of the work in which they are engaged,
shall be left free to develop their best energies and skill in performing the
duties assigned them.
It is necessary, therefore, to exercise as careful
a discrimination as possible in the original employment of men, to replace them
without hesitation when found unsuited or unfaithful, [PAGE 72] and to retain
and promote them if their original capabilities and the value of their services
are enhanced by familiarity with and practice in their work. In particular is
it essential that every man should understand that his retention and advancement
depend absolutely and solely upon the necessity for and value of his services
to the Department, and that no considerations foreign to its welfare and proper
administration will avail, either to discharge or retain him.
I am of
opinion that so far as these principles are adhered to, so far will the work of
the Department be found effective, economical and advantageous to the community;
and to the extent to which they are disregarded will the service lose in character,
and become wasteful and unsatisfactory. When a year ago I assumed charge of this
Department, in a field of labor which, though in many respects consonant with
previous occupations, was entirely untriedwith an organization to which
I was an entire stranger and which I knew to be in several respects seriously
defective, and with the assurances of a failure of the water supply during the
ensuing Summernot the least of the embarrassments surrounding the situation
was that of appointments, and it soon became evident that the time given to listening
to solicitations for employment would leave no opportunity for the serious and
necessary technical and administrative work of the office. Rules were therefore
adopted, and have since been in effect with excellent results. The applicant for
employment (above the grade of laborer) submits his application in his own writing,
and in accordance with printed instructions requiring statements as to his age,
trade or occupation, how and by whom employed for several years past, etc.supports
it with such testimonials as to his general character and qualifications as he
may be able to obtain, and bides his time. If a man of his sort be needed, selection
is made from those of his class, and the one who, according to the evidence on
file, is best qualified, is sent for, in most cases personally examined by the
Chief Engineer, in [PAGE 73] others, by special subordinates. If the case be judged
favorably, he is employed on trial; if rejected, another is sent for. This method
not only saves the time both of the applicants and of the Chief Engineer, but
secures applications from excellent men who would not hope or be able otherwise
to submit their cases for consideration.
In other respects the principles
above mentioned are followed. No man is discharged except for just cause; his
employment is secure so long as he is needed and his work and conduct are satisfactory
; promotion awaits him if found qualified and the opportunity offer. The result
is that the Department is in fairly good form, organized, vitalized, working harmoniously,
with responsibility fixed, accountability enforced, and discipline maintained.
There is still very much in this direction to be done, and another year's work
will not be too much time in which to accomplish it, but the beneficial results
are already manifest and will be still more evident hereafter.
OF REPORTS AND ESTIMATES.
It appears to me that
in the preparation of communications to Councils, but one course lies open to
the Head of the Department. He has not the means of ascertaining, nor is he charged
with the duty of determining what may or should be the amounts actually available
for the uses of his branch of the City business. This duty is imposed upon Councils,
and the Department Officer has no responsibility therefor[e], beyond making the
fullest exposition of the affairs and condition of the Department of which he
is in charge, in order that when the questions of Tax Rate and Appropriations
are to be decided, it may be in the light of actual facts of which no essential
portion or feature is omitted or suppressed. His reports, therefore, are simply
statements to Councils of the needs of the Department, and of the amounts which
are [PAGE 74] required to meet them, and his estimates are of the sums which,
were they available, could be advantageously and economically expended during
With the great responsibility resting on the Councils of the
City within their statutory limitations to regulate and provide for all matters
relating to its welfare, it has seemed to me essential that they should be in
the fullest possession of facts connected with City Affairs, in order to enable
them to judge wisely as to the requisite legislation, and I have therefore endeavored,
within the brief limits of this Report, to condense the essential facts relating
to the condition of the Department, its needs and its relation to the Community,
in order that some means may be provided of meeting its most pressing requirements
and of enabling it to discharge to the City that full measure of service for which
it was originally designed, and from which at the present time it falls so far
short of accomplishing.
could not properly conclude this Report without making some acknowledgement to
Councils of my recognition of their uniform consideration and support during a
year of arduous labor, and in particular to the members of the Water Committee,
of my appreciation of their unfailing co-operation and assistance. Without these,
the work of the Department would have been, to a great extent, shorn of its due
effect, and the favorable results been seriously diminished. I desire also to
express generally my great obligations to the employés of the Department
who have worked early and late with unflagging zeal and devotion to its best interests.
STANDING COMMITTEE ON WATER,
For the year commencing the first Monday in April,
JOHN K. CUMING (Chairman], CHARLES
H. BANES, THOMAS GREEN, WILLIAM THORNTON, GEORGE R. SNOWDEN, JOHN BRADY, JOHN
H. GRAHAM, PHILIP MITTON, JOSEPH B. VAN DUSEN, JOHN J. McDEVITT, ALBERT A. ARDIS,
GEORGE W. HETRICK, WILLIAM B. SMITH, President of Select Council.
JOHN BARDSLEY, HENRY CLAY. JAMES McCORMICK, GEORGE H. McCULLY, CHARLES
ROBERTS, JOHN T. STRICKLAND, J. RAYMOND CLAGHORN, JOHN M. WALTON, ALEXANDER REINSTINE,
CHARLES LAWRENCE, JOHN SMETHURST, SAMUEL R. MARSHALL, WM. HENRY LEX, President
of Common Council.
OF THE WATER DEPARTMENT.
CHIEF ENGINEER, WILLIAM LUDLOW.
JOHN L. OGDEN, CHAS. G. DARRACH, WM. P. OSLER, LLOYD
John E. Codman, O. Lindroth, T. Mellon Rogers.
JOSEPH J. de KINDER.
Assistant ClerkL. L. Dean.
Clerk to General SuperintendentJohn
Pipe Recording ClerksWilliam Whitby, Allen J. Fuller.
Pipe InspectorTheo. S. S. Baker.
Time ClerkWilliam J. Innes.
A. N. KEITHLER.
Registrar's Chief ClerkWm.
CashierJohn F. Scheldt. Permit
Clerk-E. S. Higbee.
Registering ClerkA. Buckheister.
ClerksGeorge S. Macauly, Chas. D. Birney.
Fisher, Chas. L. Hayden, John M. Stacker,
W. W. Widdifield, Chas. H. Russell,
Chief InspectorThomas Orr.
Edw. D. Thomas, Edw. M. Rowe,
William Erwin, Wm. H. Hergesheimer, Wm. A. Agnew, Henry Marshall,
James Carr, S. D. Woodington, Jas. H. Graham, Thomas Shaffer, James Cameron, John
Superintendent of ShopJAMES F. NEALL.
Clerk to Superintendent of ShopChas. K. Adams.
First District, John H. Holmes, Office, llth and Wharton streets.
District, David A. Craig, Office, 918 Cherry street.
Third District, Chas.
J. Lowry, Office, 1420 Frankford avenue.
Fourth District, John Montgomery,
Office, Corinthian ave. and Poplar st.
Fifth District, Henry Dawson, Office,
Lyceum Building, Roxborough.
Sixth District, David B. Morrell, Office, Town
Samuel Moore, George
B Bunn, Henry K. Wildey, Arthur B. Cook, Charles H. Fletcher.
First District, James Humes. Second District, Michael Young.
Third District, Daniel Ahern.
Fourth District, George W. Showaker. Fifth District,
Charles Franks. Sixth District, George W. Jones.
Foremen of Repairs.
First District, W. Wellington. Second District, Joseph Bryan.
Wm. Magee., Fourth District, James Hutchinson.
Engineers at Pumping
FAIRMOUNTFirst Engineer, Joseph Moyer.
Robert K. Matlack.
SPRING GARDENEngineer in Charge, A. C. Bonsall.
Assistant Engineers, David Pyke, Wm. Wakefield.
BELMONTEngineer in Charge,
Assistant Engineers, Abram Stott, John E. Smith.
in Charge, William H. Smith.
Assistant Engineers, Lewis Gulp, Joshua Bartley.
MOUNT AIRYEngineer, Archibald Weir.
CHESTNUT HILLEngineer, James
FRANKFORDEngineer, Charles Douglass.
Engineer, D. B. Perkinpine. Second Engineer, William Kiner.
Foreman BricklayerFrank A. Mooney.
Foreman Stone MasonCrawford
Foreman RiggerJames Forrest.
for material not included on this Web page.
entire 1883 Annual Report can be viewed at several Philadelphia-area archives
the Chief Clerk.||75-93|
|Letter of transmittal.||75|
|Detailed expenditures of the Department.||76-93|
|PUMPAGE DIAGRAM, showing pumpage at each station during every day
in the year, height of water on Fairmount Dam, noonday temperature, daily rainfall,
|REPORT BY THE GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT of the operations in connection
with the Stations, Buildings, Grounds, and Reservoirs.||95-125|
|Letter of transmittal.||95-96|
|Buildings and Grounds.||97-98|
|Table showing operations of the Fairmount Turbines. Table showing
pumpage, etc., at Fairmount Station.|| |
|Spring Garden Station.||99-107|
|Buildings and Grounds.||99-100|
|Table showing pumpage, etc., at Spring Garden Station.|| |
|Buildings and Grounds.||107-108|
|Electric Lights. ||111|
|Comparison of the evaporative power of pea, egg, and soft coal,
|Table showing pumpage, etc., at Belmont Station.|| |
|Buildings and Grounds.||112-113|
|Tables showing pumpage, etc., at Roxborough and Roxborough Auxiliary
|Roxborough Auxiliary Station.||114-115|
|Buildings and Grounds.||114|
|Mt. Airy Station.||115-116|
|Buildings and Grounds.||115|
|Tables showing pumpage, etc., at Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill Stations.|| |
|Chestnut Hill Station. Buildings and Grounds-Machinery-Boilers.||117|
|Buildings and Grounds.||118|
|Table showing pumpage, etc., at Frankford Station.|| |
|Buildings and Grounds.||119-120|
|Table showing pumpage, etc., at Kensington Station.|| |
|Belmont-Roxborough-Mt. Airy-Wentz Farm.||123|
|Table of reservoirs, showing capacity, etc.||124|
|Table showing greatest and least pumpage in one day during 1883.||125|
|Table showing total gallons pumped during 1883.|| |
|Table showing running expenses for all the stations for 1883.|| |
|Report by the Registrar of the receipts of the Department during
1883; also, of the Results of the re-inspection of the City, and Schedules of
charges against the Public Buildings, Schools, Charitable Institutions, etc.,
at the regular rates.||127-157|
|Letter of transmittal.||127-128|
|Table of total receipts of the Water Department for the year 1883.||129|
|Table of receipts through the Chief Engineer's office for the year
|Comparative statement of receipts for the years 1882 and 1883.|| |
|List of dwellings, factories, horse-power, etc., charged on Registers
for 1883 (table)|| |
|Permits issued during the year 1883, (table.)|| |
showing the general results of the re-inspection of the city, 1883 ||133|
|Schedule of charges against Public Buildings, at the regular rates.|| |
|Schedule of charges against Fairmount Park, at the regular rates.||135-136|
of charges against Police Station Houses, at the regular rates. ||137-138|
|Schedule of charges against Fire Stations, at the regular rates.||139|
|Schedule of charges against the Public Schools, at the regular
|List of Charitable Institutions which are charged 15 per cent,
of the regular rates.||150-157|
|Report on the operations in connection with the Distribution System
of the Department during 1883, by John L. Ogden, Assistant Engineer in charge.||159-197|
|The Distribution System.||159-160|
|Water Pipes. 160 Fire Hydrants.||160-162|
| Detection of Waste.||163-164|
|General summary of meter operations during 1883 Complaints.||165-166|
|Table showing repairs to Plugs, Stops and Mains, and Plugs and
Stops taken out during 1883|| |
|Table showing account of new Stops and Plugs for 1883.||170|
|Statement of the number of Fire plugs by Districts and Wards during
1883, and total previous thereto Table of Fire Hydrants, by Wards.||171|
|Table of Fire Hydrants, by Purveyor's Districts.||172|
|Table showing number of Valves raised in the different Districts
during the year 1883; also, in each year since 1874.||173|
Shut-offs during 1883, by Wards and Districts. ||174|
Shut-offs during 1883, by Months. ||175|
|Iron Service and Supply Mains laid in 1883.||176-197|
|Recapitulation of First
|Recapitulation of Second District.||182|
|Recapitulation of Third District.||186|
|Recapitulation of Fourth District.||191|
|Recapitulation of Germantown District.||194|
|Recapitulation of Manayunk District.||197|
|Tables-General recapitulation of work on the water pipes; and recapitulation
by districts.|| |
|LIST OF STREETS UPON WHICH THE LAYING OF PIPE HAS BEEN DIRECTED
by ordinances not yet complied with.||198-208|
|Third District. ||202-204|
|Report on the Operations of the Shop During 1883.||209-217|
ON THE SURVEYS FOR THE PROPOSED CAMBRIA RESERVOIR, and the enlargement of the
Mt. Airy Reservoir, by Chas. G. Darrach, Assistant Engineer. ||219-29|
|Statement of Expenditures, Cost of Surveys, Plans, Calculations,
etc., for Cambria Reservoir.||220|
|Maps, Sections, and Plans.||221-222|
|General description of Cambria Reservoir.||222-224|
|The construction of the Reservoir.||224|
|Estimates of material and costs.||224-225|
|The enlargement of the Mt. Airy Reservoir.||226-228|
|Cost of Surveys, Plans, etc.||226|
|Estimated cost of extension.||228|
of Reservoirs, showing date of construction, cost, etc. ||229|
|Preliminary Report Of A Chemical Investigation into the present
and proposed Future Water Supply of Philadelphia, by Albert R. Leeds, PhD.||231-262|
|Collection of samples.||233-237|
|Methods of Analysis. ||237-239|
|Interpretation of data. ||240-251|
|Analyses of Philadelphia Water Supply, according to dates (table),
of analytical results. ||252-260|
|Analyses of Philadelphia Water Supply, according to localities,
chart-graphical representation of analyses, between. ||254-255|
|Sanitary considerations ||260-261|
showing deaths from all causes, etc., in Philadelphia, 1872-1883. ||261|
|Table showing Water Supply of Philadelphia, by Wards, and Death
rate from Typhoid Fever.|| |
|Surveys For Future Supply. Report of Progress during 1883, by Rudolph
Hering, C. E., Assistant in Charge.||263-311|
|Schemes for Supply by gravity.||273-275|
|Schemes for Supply by gravity, supplemented by pumping.||275-276|
|Supplies entirely by pumping.||276|
|Table showing precipitation-in inches and hundredths-1883, facing.||288|
|Sanitary survey of the Schuylkill valley.||300-303|
|Collection of samples.||307|
|SUMMARY OF STATISTICS OF POLLUTION OP SCHUYLKILL RIVER, (tables)|| |
Distribution Of Valuable Property at risk from Defective Water Supply within the
limits of the old city, or between Vine and South streets. Information furnished
by Mr. Lorin Blodget, 1329 South Broad street, Philadelphia. ||313-316|
PHILADELPHIA WATER DEPARTMENT, 1884, presented by the Chief Engineer to the City
Controller, August 24, 1883. ||317-323|
FURNISHED TO THE WATER COMMITTEE, September 27, 1883, showing the amount of street
mains less than six inches in diameter within the city limits, and dates of laying. ||324-327|
|FINAL REPORT OF THE BOARD OF EXPERTS, dated April, 1883.||329-341|
OF A. R. LEEDS, PH. D., to the Board of Experts. ||343-372|
|Analytical Chart--graphical representation of analyses, facing.||369|
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