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building the proposed filtration system, as above recommended. Then,
at the request of various prominent citizens of Parkersburg, the Smith
system came up for consideration.

In May, 1910, Mr. Samuel M. Gray, reported on water-works im-
provements with special reference to the so-called Smith strainer-
pipe system of filtration, his conclusions in brief being as follows:

1. — This system, under local conditions, is both feasible and prac-
ticable for furnishing an ample supply of water of suitable quality
for the present needs of the city.

2. — If properly built and operated, this system will furnish water
of a better quality than a mechanical filter plant, as regards steam-
raising purposes, on account of the slight increase in permanent hard-
ness which is caused by the use of a coagulant.

3. — Though higher in first cost than a mechanical filter plant, the
operating cost of the Smith system would be materially less, amply
so, in fact, to warrant the higher first cost.

4. — That water from the proposed driven wells would be inferior
in quality to that from the Smith system, and, further, that such wells
would be very likely to lessen in yield in course of time, and the
water grow harder and contain more iron, with also the possibility of
local contamination from surface sources.

On considering this matter further, Mr. Gray modified the detailed
plans by recommending that the infiltration system should be divided
into five units, with a separate suction pipe for each unit. The
advantage of this was to facilitate back-flushing of the sand overlying
the respective units of pipe manifold systems, and for making repairs
and renewals without affecting seriously the service to the city. This
recommendation was authorized, and, for the sake of economy, it was
decided to abandon the so-called Camden Farm site and build a new
pumping station on the river bank nearest the site selected for the
infiltration system in order to economize in the cost of suction pipe.
The relative locations are shown on Fig. 1.

Mr. Gray suggested using a greater length of slightly smaller
strainer tubes, in order to increase the strainer surface. He also pre-



WATER SUPPLY OF PARKERSBUEG, W. VA. 775

pared the plans and specifications for the construction of the infiltra-
tion system, as well as for other improvements to the water-works plant.
Contracts were then let for the infiltration system, and the work
progressed to completion under the direction of Mr. Gray and accord-
ing to the plans and specifications prepared by him. Mr. W. G.
Wheelock was Resident Engineer.

Unusual Features of the Contract for the Smith Infiltration

System.

As there had been considerable skepticism regarding the successful
working of the Smith system, no similar works of comparable size
having been in operation, the contract was made unusually exacting.
Only 45% of the value of work done was paid on monthly estimates,
the remainder being retained until 30 days after the test period of
364 days after the beginning of successful operation, as guaranteed.
The contractor made the following guaranties for the system:

1. — The capacity to be 170 000 gal. per hour;

2. — The supply to be satisfactory, to the Water-Works Commission
and the Board of Affairs, for domestic and industrial uses;

3. — The water to be of pleasing appearance, practically clear and
colorless, and to contain not more than 5 parts per million
of turbidity;

4. — With 3 000 bacteria per cu. cm. in the raw water (or higher),
the filtered water to contain not more than 3% of that num-
ber ; with less than 3 000 per cu. cm. in the raw water, the
filtered water to contain not more than 100 per cu. cm.;
counts to be on agar plates incubated at 20° cent., for 48
hours ;

5. — Filtered water to contain on an average not more than 30
parts per million of total hardness in excess of Ohio River
water ;

6. — Iron in solution not to exceed 0.7 part per million;

7. — The foregoing requirements to be shown by daily tests cover-
ing period of 364 days from the date of beginning operation.

In case of failure to comply with the guaranty, the city was under
no obligation to pay the retained 55%, and the completed plant was to
become the property of the city.



776 WATER SUPPLY OF PARKERSBURG, W. VA.

The contractor was required to maintain the plant in good con-
dition and thorough repair until acceptance.

Construction Details of the Smith Infiltration System.

Under the contract, three units were completed and put in service
on November 12th, 1911. The other two units were completed and
put in service on December 15th, 1912. The plant has been in con-
tinuous operation ever since, except for 4 days during a flood which
broke the former highest record by 5 ft., and thereby partly submerged
the boilers and engines.

Fig. 13 shows the arrangement of the pipes in the infiltration
system, and illustrates the appearance of the units while being laid.

The site of the plant is on the lower end of the bar at the foot
of Vienna Island, at a point where the natural top of the bar forming
the bed of the river is about 1 ft. below the low-water level. By
inquiry, and the examination of Government hydrographic maps made
about 10 years previous to the preparation of the plans, it was con-
cluded that this bar had been practically stable for many years.

The system of five units of filters was placed by using two coffer-
dams of the ordinary box type common on the Ohio River lock and
dam construction; and the suction pipes to the power-house were
laid in an open trench, with the excavated material banked on each
side. The work was done during the low-water seasons of 1911 and
1912, with the top of the coffer from 7 to 8 ft. above low water.

At this point the fluctuation of the water is about 58 ft., and stages
up to 40 ft. are of annual occurrence. Coffer No. 1, enclosing Units
1 to 3, was built and removed in 1911, and Coffer No. 2 in 1912.

In the unwatered coffer the excavation for the pipes was made
to 5 J ft. below low water. On the floor thus formed a 6-in. layer
of gravel was placed, on which the pipes were laid and covered with
12 in. of gravel; on the gravel a 3i-ft. layer of clean washed sand
was laid, bringing the top of the sand to within about 6 in. of the
low-water line, or a few inches higher than the natural surface of
the bar.

The infiltration system of five units thus formed is 110 ft. wide
and 656 ft. long (1.G5 acres), and is 5 ft. deep. The gravel was the
washed and screened Ohio River product which passed a IJ-in. mesh,
and with the sand removed. The sand was taken from the Ohio
River and washed, and is fairly sharp and coarse. The filter



WATER SUPPLY OF PARKERSBURG, W. VA.



779



25?



2 5?



? 5-



-MSlS iJaSZ- _60.'0_ H,^ _60.'S_ ■, . JI13.'02 , , 1, _,05.5rl>33.'24 "3.'A^42.'6_ JK-J)^.^ OS.'g >h^ _65/G7_ ^

55^.3 I 559.4 ' ! " 559.6 '! 659.7 _ 7.'3iJ."r^2.8»^ 66978 , 659.8 ___ 560.0 566.1 _ __ 560.1

M _ "l^' ^ \l, '2 5.'5''p-^ P' 559.8" ' Q O^3 2/0^ T



561.1

t




780 WATER SUPPLY OF PAEKEESBURG, W. VA.

thus constructed lies in a natural sand bed of great dimensions,
as described previously. It is the writer's opinion that a very large
percentage of the water drawn is taken from the sand bed, possibly
a larger part than that from the open river.

Each unit of the filter system contains 32 brass strainer pipes,
16 ft. long and 5 in. in diameter, or 160 pipes in the five units. Each
pipe is perforated with 9 400 V-shaped slots, If in. long and about
■^^ in. wide.

From each unit to the gate-chamber there is an 18-in. cast-iron
suction pipe, each of these pipes forming a small reservoir. They are
connected with the pumps by one 24-in. cast-iron suction pipe. This
arrangement prevents serious trouble by the production of a vacuum
in the suction pipes, with the resulting flow through the filtering
material at an undesirably rapid rate.

Cost of the Smith Infiltration System.
The cost of the complete water- works improvements, including
the infiltration system, is indicated in the following statement:

Water-Worlcs Construction Fund.
Contracts Nos. 1 and 2 :

New mains including laying $45 626.15

Connecting service pipes to new lines. .. . 2 883.91

$48 510.06

Yalves and hydrants 5 936.53

Pumps 32 442.30

Boilers 8 055.30

Pump well 21 556.67

Pumping station 11 441.32

Brick chimney 1 374.43

Laying pipe (force main) 5 021.27

Pipe and castings (force main) 15 987.01

Valves, etc. (not covered by No. 3) 2 394.63

Infiltration system 80 700.03

Venturi meter 772.10

Electric light plant 1 953.81

Plumbing and heating 555.72

Stand-pipe 2 029.65

Carried forward $238 730.83



WATER SUPPLY OF PARZEESBUEG, W. VA. 781

Brought forward $238 730.83

Pumping station lot $1 700.00

Expense, sale of bonds 9 131.30

Tests for water supply 2 435.20

Kefund to water-works fund, on account of
preliminary engineer's report, test wells,

etc 5 000.00

18 266.50

Amount paid to engineers:

Preliminary reports and well tests 10 419.39

Design and supervision of construction 11 801.92

Miscellaneous expenses, Water-Works Commission,
Not chargeable to above items:

Office rent and expenses, clerk, Dr. L. O. Rose testing
water, electric wiring to pumping station, and
miscellaneous expenses. 4 952.58



Cash balance, January 31st, 1914.



The cost of operation is indicated by the following:
For the fiscal year, July 1st, 1912, to June 30th, 1913 :

Salaries and wages at pumping station

Fuel at pumping station

Oil, packing, etc., at pumping station

Repairs and improvements at pumping station



$284 171.22
2 658.76

$286 829.98



$5 541.00

3 319.61

889.76

2 142.09



$11 892.46

Average pumpage per day 2 955 000 gal.

Total pumpage for year 1 078 675 000 gal.

Cost $11.03 per million gallons.

The records for 1914 and 1915 show a slight reduction in this cost.

The expense of operating the filters in 1915, including flushing
the five units 73 times, is estimated by the Superintendent's office as
$673. The average quantity of water used for each imit at each



782 WATEK SUPPLY OF PAKKERSBURG, W. VA.

flushing is 40 000 gal. Although the tank capacity is 60 000 gal., it
is the custom, in operation, to use 40 000 gal. at each flushing. The
cleaning and flushing is practically all the expense which has been
incurred in excess of pumping out of the open river. The time
required to pass the 40 000 gal. through a filter is from 15 to 20 min.
When pumping out of the open river with the old plant, some
trouble was caused by ice, leaves, etc., but it is believed that the cost
of pumping from the filters and keeping them cleaned is no greater
than that of pumping from the open river.

The maximum piimped in one week in 1915 averaged 3 760 000
gal. per day and 154 166 gal. per hour. For 2 weeks after the great
flood of 1913, the average pumpage and consumption exceeded 5 500 000
gal. per day.

The water has shown a little turbidity about three times, at river
stages of about 45 ft. The writer has observed turbidity in that drawn
from his service pipes only once.

From May 1st, 1913, to January 31st, 1914, daily tests of the water
were made under the direction of the Commission by Dr. L. O. Rose
in his laboratory at Parkersburg, and report thereof is shown in part
in Appendix I. This report shows that the quality of the water
produced by the filters conformed in every respect with the terms
of the contract.

From time to time since making this series of daily tests, Dr. liose
has made tests of the water, and the data obtained by him for the
calender year, 1915, are included in the Appendix. The water has
been tested by numerous others, but the writer did not, until the
summer of 1916, hear of "a report indicating that it is not as good as
required under the contract.

A recent report of it, prepared for the City of Wheeling, W. Ya.,
has questioned its being of the highest standard. Since March, 1916,
samples of water have been shipped monthly to the West Virginia
State Bacteriologist, at Morgantown, W. Va., for test. Of about
14 shipments, several, when tested after standing a day or more, have
been reported "unsafe". From February 15th to October 27th, 1916,
Dr. Rose tested 38 samples and found Bacillus coli present in 11, and
absent in all the others. For each of these 11, 2 tests were made of 1 cu.
cm. and 10 cu. cm. each. In 3 of the samples coli were present in both
tests, and in the other 7, it was absent in the 1 cu. cm. Of the other 27



WATER SUPPLY OF PARKERSBURG, W. VA. 783

samples, the two tests were made for 19 of them and only the smaller
quantity for the other 8.

On account of these reports, early in September, 1916, Mr. Gray
was engaged to have all the filter beds examined and cleaned. He
assigned G. H. Leland, M. Am. Soc. C. E., to carry out this work
personally, and Mr. Leland was engaged in doing this for nearly a
week. The writer spent several hours with him on his second day
of inspection. At several places there were holes in the sand and
gravel covering. The holes were from 5 to 10 ft. in diameter, and
were formed like craters. They extended down to within 1 or 2 ft.
of the level of the brass strainer pipes. The work done imder Mr.
Leland's supervision consisted of stirring the deposit on top of the
filter beds with a powerful force pump, at the same time gi\'ing
each section nvmierous back-flushings, and thereafter filling the holes
with fresh gravel and sand. In the 10 samples tested by Dr. Rose
since that work was done, no coli were fovmd. Of these 4 were tested
in both 1 cu. cm. and 10 cu. cm., as previously explained, and the other
6 in only the smaller quantity.

The writer is of the opinion that tests should be made at regular
intervals, weekly or more frequently; but, on account of the confidence
in its quality, it appears that such an important work to safeguard
the health of the community has not been done regularly.

Under date of June 10th, 1913, Mr. I. L. Birner, Bacteriologist,
certified to Contractor Smith, after a series of tests in a laboratory
at the pumping station, that:

"An examination of the results of 400 separate analyses of the
filtered water at the Parkersburg filtration plant, made between Janu-
ary 23d and June 4th, 1913, covering a widely varying set of conditions,
from a river stage at 5.8 to 58.9 ft., and with a river turbidity varying
between the extreme limits of 15 and 1 950 parts per million, shows
a clear water, with an average total hardness of 10.5 parts per million
in excess of the river water; the total iron in solution, of the filtered
water, was 0.19 of one part per million, against an average of 5 to 16
parts in the river, and a bacterial removal, or bacterial efficiency,
of 98.28 per cent."

Until recent years an accurate count of typhoid cases in the city
has not been available. However, the public impression is that,
previous to 1912, the yearly number was comparatively very large.



784 AVATEK SUPPLY OF PAKKEESBUEG, W. VA.

For 1915 there were twenty-two cases which started in the city and
ten cases which were brought in after illness commenced, making
thirty-two cases in all. Of the twenty-two, three were traced to a
well, three were railroad employees, and one was a United States
clerk, and these men were out of the city much of their time.

Dr. Stone, the City Health Officer in 1914, informed the writer
that all the typhoid cases in the city that year except four were
traced definitely to other causes than the city water.

Dr. Rose has stated that not one recent case of typhoid has
been proved to have come from the city water supply, and this report
is confirmed by Mr. Nearn, City Health Officer, whose present duty
includes an investigation of the cause and history of all such cases.
However, the monthly reports of typhoid cases in 1916 show a little
higher numbers than for 1915.

Thus far, the system has been entirely satisfactory to the citizens.
Its success has been fully equal to the most sanguine hopes of the
writer when, as a commissioner, he voted for its adoption. However,
he realizes that the experimental stage is not past.

Three units are now ending their fifth year of service, and the
other two their fourth, with comparatively little indication of failure
in quantity, or in the quality of the water.

However, the writer knows that it is only a question of years
when the sand and gravel over the strainer pipes will have to be
replaced by fresh clean gravel and sand; the principal question being
the number of years before this will become necessary in order to
maintain the good quality of the water. He is also impressed with
the great importance of vigilance and care in its operation, and of
systematic daily or weekly tests of the water.



WATER SUPPLY OF PARKERSBURG, W. VA,



785



APPENDIX I

Eeport of Tests of the Water from the Filtration Plant and the

Ohio River, for January, 1914.

By Lonzo 0. Eose, M. D., Parkersburg, W. Va.

The results are given in parts per million.





03


'■3
a


1
<




CO


a

o


Bacteria
per cubic
centi-
meter.


0) a.


s

a


Stage of

river, in

feet above

low water.


R.
F.


Jan. 1
" 1


70
Clear


14
26


55.0
57.5


69.0
83.5


3.26
0.02


600
13


2 200


14.5


10.1


R.

F.


'• 2


50
Clear


21
37


60.0
60.0


81.0
97.0


2.70
0.01


200
4


2 200


17.0


9.2


R.

F.


" 3
•' 3


50
Clear


16
30


60.0
55.0


76.0
85.0


2.30
0.1


300

8


2 300


17.


8.4


R.

F.


'■ 4
" 4


20
Clear


16
30


57.5
55.0


73.5

85.0


2.22

0.08


200
3


2 000


16.5


8.2


R.

F.


" 5
" 5


20
Clear


16
31


67.5
60.0


83.5
91.0


2.23
0.12


500

12


2 550


19.0


8.7


R.
F.


" 6
" 6


15
Clear


11
32


52.5
57.5


63.5

89.5


1.18
0.09


200
5


2 900


18.0


9.0


R.

F.


" 7


15
Clear


15
31


62.5
60.0


77.5
91.0


1.60
0.06


800


2 200


18.0


9.0


R.
F.


" 8
" 8


12
Clear


14
31


72.5
62.5


86.5
93.5


1.80
0.06


800
9


2 450


19.0


8.9


R.
F.


•• 9

" 9


15
Clear


13

30


67.5
62.5


80.5
92.5


2.04
0.09


900
12


2 300


18.0


9.9


R.

F.


" 10
'• 10


50
Clear


13
S2


70.0
67.5


83.0
99.5


2.52
0.07


1 200

22


2 450


17.0


12.0


R.
F.


" 11
" 11


150
Clear


15
31


50.0
57.5


65.0

88.5


4.6
0.1


3 100
16


1 900


17.0


12.8


R.

F.


" 12
" 12


140
Clear


16
34


60.0
55.0


76.0
89.0


3.00
0.11


1 500
14


2 600


17.0


14.4


R.
F.


'• 13
" 13


100
Clear


9
14


75.0
70.0


84.0
84.0


6.50
0.12


1 700
14


2 400


17.5


15.4


R.
F.


" 14
'• 14


100
Clear


9

27


75.0
67.5


84.0
94.5


5.06
0.06


1 900
5


2 100


15.0


12.9


R.

F.


" 15
" 15


70
Clear


9
24


55.0
65.0


64.0
89.0


4.60
0.11


500
16


2 200


18.5


10.6


R.
F.


" 16
" 16


50
Clear


12

17


55.0
50.0


67.0
67.0


3.20
0.1


600
24


2 700


8.0


9.4


R.
F.


" 17
" 17


50
Clear


12
20


55.0
60.0


67.0
80.0


2.52
0.11


1 100
11


2 500


8.5


9.2


R.

F.


" 18

" 18


40
Clear


16
22


62.5
60.0


78.5
82.0


3.00
0.15


1 200
23


2 000


8.0


8.8


R.

F.


" 19
" 19


30
Clear


16
25


57.5
60.0


73.5
85.0


2.92
0.1


100
18


2 300


8.5


9.2


R.
F.


" 20
" 20


15
Clear


14
22


65.0
70.0


79.0
92.0


1.06
0.06


1 300
10


2 100


9.5


9.2



R. Indicates river water.



F. Indicates filter water.



786



WATEE SUPPLY OF PAEKEESBUEG, W. VA.



Report of Tests of the Water from the Filtration Plant and the
Ohio River, for January, 1914. — (Continued.)







S

D
H


■a
1


1^


J3


2


Bacteria
per cubic
centi-
meter.


o a
It


B


3

o

CO

>


Stage of

river, in

feet above

low water.


R.

F.


Jan. 21

" 31


10
Clear


11

22


62.5
67.5


73.5
89.5


3.33

0.08


300
5


3 350


8.0


10.0


R.
F.


" 22
" 22


25
Clear


14
23


.57.5
60.0


71.5
83.0


3.52
0.11


1 500
5


3 350


8.0


11.5


R.

F.


" 23
" 23


20
Clear


19
36


60.0
67.5


79.0
93.5


3.30
O.l


1 300

1


3 350


6.5


13.0


R.
F.


•' 24
" 34


100
Clear


11
36


73.5
70.0


83.5
96.0


7.04
0.1


1 900
6


2 500


4.0


16.0


R.
F.


" 35
" 25


100
Clear


9
22


55.0
57.5


64.0
79.5


6.16
0.19


900

4


1 900


5.0


15.8


R.

F.


" 36
" 26


90
Clear


10
34


52.5
47.5


63.5
71.5


4.00
0.15


400
6


2 150


7.0


16.1


R.
F.


" 27
" 27


60
Clear


16

27


60.0
55.0


76.0
83.0


2.80
0.11


600
4


2 100


9.0


16.0


R.
F.


'• 28
" 28


60
Clear


13
35


60.0
65.0


73.0
90.0


3.62
0.07


500

7


2 300


8.0


16.0


R.

F.


'• 29

'• 29


60
Clear


11
35


60.0
55.0


71.0
80.0


3.50
0.07


300
4


3 650


9.0


15.5


R.
F.


" 30
" 30


60
Clear


12
24


52.5
57.5


64.5
81.5


4.00
0.05


300
6


3 500


7.5


15.9


R.

F.


" 31
" 31


80
Clear


11
24


57.5
60.0


68.5
84.0


4.96
0.14


1 300
6


2 200


4.0


18.1



R. Indicates river water.



F. Indicates filter water.



WATER SUPPLY OF PARKERSBURG, W. VA.



787



APPENDIX II

Reports of Bacteriological Tests of Water of the Parkersburg

Water-Works for the Year 1915.

By Lonzo O. Rose, M, D.



Date of
collection,
1915.



Jan. 23..

•' 23..

•' 24..

" 24..

" 25..

" 25..

" 26..

" 26. .

" 27..

" 27..

" 29..

29..

1..

1..

27..

27..

27..

4..

4..

Aug. 19..

Sept. 9..

Oct. 10..

" 10..

•' 10..

•' 28..

Nov. 1..

Dee. 20..

" 20..



Feb.



May



Source.



River 604

Filter 3

River 800

Filter , 3

River 500 +

Filter

River 200

Filter 2

River 300

Filter 4

River 200

Filter 2 —

River 1200 +

Filter 12 —

River 200 —

Filter 12 —

Tap 18 —

Pump Station Sterile —

Parkersburg Machine Co j 3 —

No. 1800 20th St 2 500 dead end , —



Bacteria

per cubic

centimeter.



Bacillus coli on following
SOWINGS :



1/10 c. c. 1 c. c.



10 c. c.



+


+

+
+


+
+


+
+


+


+


+


+


+


+





+



..|No. 1800 20th St.

..jNo. 1303 Si. Mary's Ave.

23d St. and Dickel Ave. .

No. 559 5th St

No. 1711 Park St

No. 712 Grafton St

No. 409 12ih St

No. 982 Juliana St



+



+



+ — present.
— — absent.



788 discussion: watee supply of parkersburg, w. va.

Discussioisr



John W. Hill,* M. Am. Soc. C. E. (by letter). — The writer has
read with interest this paper on the recent improvement of the Parkers-
burg Water- Works. Having had the honor of making the original plans
for the Parkersburg Water-Works Company in 1881, and later of
revising these plans and constructing the original water-works in 1884,
he is naturally more or less familiar with the location and history of
this improvement.

The original works, planned by a company of which the late Sen-
ator J. N. Camden was a member and the leading spirit in the enter-
prise, looked almost exclusively to fire protection for the city and the
furnishing of water to railroads and manufacturing enterprises; in fact,
at that time, 36 years ago, little attention was paid to the hygienic
qualities of water supplies in America.

The Ohio River water in its then polluted condition was accepted
for drinking purposes by all the cities taking water therefrom. The
dangers lurking in sewage were not then well known, and in some
respects not suspected. Time, research, and experience have since
demonstrated that the Ohio River water in its natural state has not
been suitable for drinking purposes for many years, if it ever was.

The Smith system of filtration has been proposed for several cities
along the Ohio River and came prominently to the writer's notice while
he was the Engineer Member of the Ohio State Board of Health, when
it was proposed as a mode of supply for the City of Portsmouth, a
few years ago. At that time, as well as before, the proposition was
studied and classed as an artificial sand and gravel filter, and it was
thought that such a filter, placed beneath the bed of the river — or
rather below low-water stage in the river — ^beyond reach and examina-
tion, during ordinary and high stages, would not satisfy the modern



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