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PURE WATER SUPPLY



• ITS PRESERVATION.



PRESENTED BY

Continental Water Meter Company.

BOSTON, MASS.



BOSTON :



'!^'



Wright & Potter Printing Company,
No. 1 8 Post Office Square.

1881.



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Continental
Water Meter Company.



Incorporated 1880.



CAPITAL STOCK, .... $500,000



P. A. COLLINS, President.
JOHN D. GOULD, Treasurer and Manager.



Office; 95 Milk Street, Boston, Mass.



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PURE WATER SUPPLY

I

ITS PRESERVATION.



PRESENTED BY

Continental Water Meter Company .

BOSTON, MASS^



OOBTENEKTAL WATER METEB 00.
1881.



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THE PRESERVATION



Pure Water Supply,

Is the subject of earnest consideration in our
thickly settled towns and cities. Of the three
great essentials of life — aivy water ^ and food
— the second named may be regarded not only
as the chief constituent part of man, but also
as peculiarly under his care and control.
Seventy-Jive per cent, of his. whole body is
made up of the elements of water ; ninety-five
per cent, of the healthy blood which flows in
his veins is water; and more than eighty per
cent, of the foods which give him life and
strength is water. In its agencies, too, water
is marvellous. In its purity it is a priceless
blessing, and in its abundance the ready ser-
vant of the usefiil and mechanical arts ; while,
on the other hand, its loss admits no substitu-
tion, and in its pollution it becomes the wide-
spreading source of pestilence and death.



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oomunkktaju watkk metku company.



GROWTH OP WATER SUPPLY.

Man in his relations to the use of water ma
be said to have reached three periods in everj
settled country. The first period is that o
mere settlement, when man in his isolation
instinctively seeks the protection of nature an<
fixes his habitation near some basin or flow oj
water.

The second period is that of aggregation.
Men are drawn together by mutual interests,
and communities spring up and grow until the
individual want and pleasure yield to the public I
good. Then it may become necessary to ex-
pend large sums in the acquisition and distri-
bution of water. This may be a demand of
luxury, as when ancient Kome in the opulence
of her power built her famous baths and pro-
vided a supply of three hundred gallons of
water per diem for each individual ; or it may
be a necessity of commerce, as when Constan-
tinople in the fifth century gathered the hab-
itable world to her borders, and was equally
liberal with her Latin sister in the use of
water. From whatever motive, it is certain
that the simple necessities and desires of men
have induced great enterprises for water supply
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COXTIXENTAL WATEU METER COMPANY.

and distribution, as is witnessed by the stupen-
dous structures of the Middle Ages, as well
as by the no less wonderful triumphs of the
engineer in our own day and country.

The third period is when the aggregation of
men becomes a manufacturing centre and a
great metropolis. The intermittent life of the
mere trader is lost, and the fixity of tenure of
the producer is established. "Population in-
creases ; the mass of buildings thickens ; the
lands upon which the town is built become
saturated with sewage, and the individual
sources within the town are polluted; the
atmosphere over and within the town is fouled
by gases arising therefrom ; and the dangers
of epidemics, fevers, and contagious diseases
increase." Moreover, many manufacturing en-
terprises are absolutely dependent upon an
abundant supply of pure water, while the com-
fort and luxury bom of prosperity equally
demand the same. In another relation, also,
the same necessity arises, and that is, when
some particular enterprise of great character
and profit — such as mining — attracts men to
localities where a supply of pure water is
obtained only by the greatest trouble and cost.

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CONTINENTAI. WATER METER COMPANY.

Here the preservation of a pure water supply
is not only a difficult scientific problem, but
upon the solution of that problem depends the
very existence of men as well as the success
of their enterprises. This third period has
arrived to many communities in this country ;
and it is proposed herein to briefly discuss the
difficulties surrounding them, especially our
thickly settled towns and cities, and to suggest
a remedy.

PRESENT DEMANDS.

It will be conceded that many towns and
cities have reached the extreme of what scien-
tific engineering can do for them in the way of
acquiring a water supply, since nature herself
shows a limit, and that nearly all have made an
outlay for their supply which should be suf-
ficient for present and future population for
many years to come. Yet it is a fact that in
many cities and towns the water supply is
impure and imperfect, and that public safety
and private comfort are thereby seriously threat-
ened. To quote the words of Fanning, in his
great treatise upon Water-Supply Engineering :
" When people have become accustomed to the
ready flow from the faucets, at the sinks and

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CONTINENTAL WATER METER COMPANY.

basins, and in the shops and warehouses, then,
if the pumps cease motion or the valve is closed
at the reservoir, the household operations from
laundry to nursery are brought to a stand-
still; engines in the shops cease motion;
hydraulic hoists and motors in the warehouses
cease to handle goods; railway trains, ocean
steamers, and coasters delay for water ; and a
general paralysis checks the busy activity of
the city. What a thrill is then given by an
alarm of fire ! " Now, what is to be done ?
Civilization does not retreat; and since men
have enjoyed the advantages of pure water and
know its absolute necessity for life and pros-
perity, they will suffer nothing less. " When
the people have learned to depend, or must of
necessity depend, upon the public pipes for
their indispensable water, it must flow unceas-
ingly, as does the blood in our veins. All
elements of uncertainty must be overcome."
They demand of science all that it can furnish.
They demand of the municipal authorities and
commissioners to whom they have entrusted
the management of water supplies the utmost
vigilance and a determined effort to prevent
the dangers which threaten.

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CONTINENTAL WATER METER COMPANY.



.WASTE.

If it is conceded that the present water
supply should provide for the natural and
proper wants of our cities and towns, then
the inquiry seems pertinent : Why is the
supply constantly threatened and often in-
adequate? The answer is, Because of reck-
less and careless waste. After every allow-
ance is made for evaporation and for loss by
defective mains and imperfect distributing ap-
pliances^ it is found that only a small percent-
age of the total loss has been accounted for.
Kigid investigation and long experience have
established beyond question the fact that the
great source of loss is waste. So well known
is this fact that it seems almost superfluous to
adduce proof; but, nevertheless, several relia-
ble authorities may be quoted. Joseph P. Da-
vis, City Engineer of Boston in 1878, made an
exhaustive search into the cause of insuflicient
water supply, and in his Annual Report for that
year showed conclusively that about one-half
of all the water supplied to the city of Boston
was wasted.

The Superintendent of the Water Works of

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CONTINENTAL WATER METER COMPANY.

the city of Pittsburg, Penn., in his Eeport for
the year ending Jan. 31, 1880, says : —

"It is the experience of most cities where water
works have been long established, that wasteful-
ness in the use of water, on the part of consum-
ers, has become so great a percentage of the total
supply, that almost any expenditure is warranted to
reduce it within reasonable limits. If such a waste
should be allowed to continue, enlargement of works
and increased expenditures will be needful to keep up
with the demands. From careful experiments, made
in this country and in Europe, it has been demon-
strated that where water is freely used by all classes,
and waste prevented, forty-five gallons per capita
was estimated to be sufficient to cover all purposes y
including fire. These data have been used by me-
chanical engineers in estimating the amount required
by different cities in erecting water works. And
when the demand overreached this, it was traced
almost exclusively to waste.

"The waste of water involves a large pecuniary
loss, being at least one-third of the amount deliv-
ered into our reservoir; therefore, the adoption of
some means by which this profligate use of water
may be avoided is a subject deserving of serious
consideration. Consumers are only willing to pay
for a limited quantity of water, but wish to use an
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CONTINENTAL WATER METER COMPANY.

unlimited amount. There is no doubt but most of
our consumers use or waste two or three times more
water than their needs demand. This great waste
is due to the wanton disregard, on the part of con-
sumers, to the public interest, and a mistaken view
as to the obligation of the city in undertaking to
supply them with water. The city only undertakes
to supply them with sufficient for domestic and other
legitimate uses, precisely as a private firm would do,
except that the city does not aim at any profit in
the transaction, but has fixed water rates suggested
by different demands. The revenue derived from
this source is to support the works and liquidate its
indebtedness. It must be borne in mind that each
gallon of water wasted requires additional expense
to replace it.

' ' The fact has been made apparent that, like all
other water works, we are suffering from the con-
stantly increasing waste of water. We find that after
using the greatest possible diligence in endeavoring to
protect the waste of water, our rules and regulations
are disregarded, and that mostly by the parties from
whom we should expect most assistance in enforcing
them. Where wealth and intelligence are conibined,
we often find parties using water as if it had no in-
trinsic value, and apparently ignoring the fact that
others have rights which they refuse to recognize."

The Executive Board of the Water Works

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CONTINENTAL WATER METER COMPANY.

of Rochester, N. Y., in their Annual Report for
the year endmg April 1, 1880, observe : —

^^ Attention is called to the fact that a large
amoui\b of water is wasted by consumers. This
practice should be sternly repressed, as it results in
serious loss of pressure obtained for the suppression
of fires, and is a habit that should be discontinued
before it becomes so settled as to lead to the most
serious consequences. Any citizen who indulges in
this practice is committing a fraud on his neighbor,
and is appropriating a valuable thing for which he
does not pay, and which is not his.'*

REMEDY.

Inasmuch as the discussion of waste is gen-
erally attended by some suggestions in regard
to its prevention, it will be convenient, before
quoting other authorities upon this subject, to
take the above premise for granted; viz., that
waste is the cause of failure of water supply ^
and at once proceed to seek a remedy. The
gravity of this question is apparent, and is
occupying, as the various Water Board Re-
ports clearly show, the attention of the whole
country. All mankind are prone to waste,
and especially to waste whatever costs them
as)



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COmiNENTAL WATER METER COMPANY.

little or nothing. The hunter kills more than
he can eat or carry away, solely from wanton-
ness. In short, waste is in human nature.
This great and growing evil can only be met
and overcome by an appeal to another ^jrin-
ciple, equally strong in human nature — the
love of gain. The consumer must, as for all
other articles, pay for the water which he uses.
Let him be free to waste as much as he will;
but let him be made to pay for what he wastes
as well as what he rightfully uses. That
this mode of correcting this evil is not mere
theory, is abundantly proved by comparison of
the amount of water daily consumed in cities
which have adopted this idea with the amount
consumed in those that have not. The remedy
is apparent; but will the people submit to it?
They will most readily, as soon as they are
made to realize the justice of it, and the per-
sonal profit they may derive from it. People
do not waste to any great extent the milk,
the gas, the ice, the coal, and the wood whicl
they pay for: why do they then actually
waste one-half the whole water supply, if noi
more? Because it makes no difference, is thei]
reply. But it does make the difference, le
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CONTINENTAL WATER METER COMPANT.

them learn, of additional millions expended in
new water works, and in consequent additional
taxation. The people have only to know this,
and to see the injustice of one person's paying
for the waste and improvidence of another, and
in the end they will themselves demand it as
a right — to pay only for what they use. His-
tory records the fact that the ancients imposed
a fine of a pound of gold for every ounce of
water surreptitiously or wastefully taken. No
less carefully should the citizen of to-day guard
that upon which his individual comfort and
health, and the public safety and prosperity
depend. To the question, What is the best
remedy for this waste? we reply, A system of
correct meter measurement. After years of
trial the old schemes for intercepting and pre-
venting waste have been abandoned. The sys-
tem of meter measurement is rapidly coming
to the jfront as the only method which effectu-
ally prevents the evil complained of, and with
equal justice to all parties. It is the only
method by which the y^esponsibility for waste is
fixed upon the actual culprit. Humber in his
great work upon Water Supplies, says : —
"When the increasing size of a town renders it

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CONTINENTAL WATER BfETER COMPANY.

necessary to economize the supply of water at it
disposal, or when the acquisition is expensive, si
it is for instance by pumping,. the great differena
in its consumption by various consumers shows ik
desirability of possessing an instrument that can
measure separately the quantity used by each party."

In resuming our examination of the question
of waste, and in support of the assertion that
a system of correct meter measurement is the
best method of suppressing waste, careful at-
tention is invited to the verdict of the best
authorities upon the subject; viz., the Wateii
Boards of our cities and towns.

The Commissioner of Public Works for the
city of New York, in his Report for the quarter
ending March 31, 1880, says : —

" The most important step, however, which has
been taken towards the suppression of waste, is the
introduction of the meter system, under which watd
meters are being placed upon all buildings and estab^
lishments where water is used in large quantities
and for business purposes, other than private
houses, which are exempt by law from the applicai
tion of meters. It is only within a recent period
that meters have been applied to any considerabk
extent. On Jan. 1, 1876, there were in all 275i

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CONTINENTAL WATER METER COMPRINT.

On August 1, 1879, there were 609, and at this date
there are 1,976, which number will be increased to
about 3,500 by the close of the year. As the larger
establishments have been first metered, the good
effects of the system are even now quite evident,
and as the work is to be continued without intermis-
sion until all business places are metered, very great
improvements ai'e anticipated within the next two
years.

"The meters now in use are distributed among
various establishments as follows : —
On railroads, . . . . .121 meters.

On hotels, 298

On slaughter and packing houses, . HI
On breweries and malt houses, . . 154

On stables, 498

On gas companies, .... 33
On bottling establishments, . . 62

On docks, 93

On miscellaneous places, . . . 606



Total, . . . . 1,976 meters.

" As instances of the saving of water effected by
meters, I will cite two cases. One large hotel which,
on the first application of a meter, was found to be
consuming, or, rather, wasting, 115,000 gallons of
water daily, is now reduced to 45,000 gallons, and
another has fallen from 80,000 gallons to 24,000

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CONTINBNTAL WATER METER COMPANY.

gallons daily. In the case first cited resort was had
to the aid of a well, but in the second the saving
was entirely from stoppage of waste. Some manu-
facturing establishments, such as breweries, have
bored for water, since the introduction of meters,
the well water being used for washing and cooling
purposes. I would be very glad if our water supply
could be increased from subterranean sources, as the
Croton service and pressure would be benefited
thereby. The success in boring, however, has not
been very great, and the water thus obtained is not
pure, and can only be used for cleaning, cooling,
etc.

'' There is no doubt that great waste takes place
in private houses, and I have under consideration,
and in fact ah'eady on trial, some methods for con-
trolling such use of water without placing meters
within the premises. In ofiScial reports I have sug-
gested that a stringent law should be passed giving
to the Department of Public Works supervision of
buildings in respect to the matter of plumbing and
water pipes. If pipes are properly placed within
the buildings so as to prevent freezing, the perni-
cious habit of allowing water to run to waste to
guard against frost would be broken up. We are
now placing stop-cocks in the service-pipes of several
houses at the curb line, so that, by the application of
a portable waste- water gauge devised by Mr. B. S.

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CONTINENTAL WATER METER COMPANY.

Church, Resident Engineer of the Croton Aqueduct,
the quantity of water per hour running into the
house is accurately indicated upon the face of the
instrument. It may be practicable, also, to place a
small portable meter within a box near the curb,
which could be locked up and left for a few days, so
that the amount of water consumed (or wasted)
within the house can be correctly ascertained. By
some method of this kind a large saving of water
will be effected. The knowledge of every house-
holder that the Department has the power at any
time, night or day, to ascertain the measure of waste
going on, and for which proper penalty will be exacted,
will induce all to protect their plumbing, and to avoid
all drafts upon the water except for necessary pur-
poses. A sj^stem to accomplish the same thing has
been tried in Liverpool and some other cities of Great
Britain, known as the Deacon system, and with
good effect. I had this system investigated by the
engineers of the Croton Bureau, but the arrange-
ment of our water pipes being radically different
from those of Liverpool, the system is not applica-
ble here. The plans above described, of which
trials are now being made, will accomplish the de-
sired end more simply and directly. The great
object in either mode is to bring a moral pressure
upon householders to avoid waste, from the fact that
an unseen agent, in the shape of a waste gauge or a

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CONTINENTAL WATER METER COMPANY.



hidden meter may, at any time, be taking note of
unlawful waste.

' ' With this system for checking waste at privafe
houses fairly introduced, in addition to the general
appliance of meters to business places, as heretofore
described, the resulting benefit will be very great.
The Croton Aqueduct delivers 95,000,000 gallons
daily, and can deliver no more ; therefore, this
amount only can be distributed daily. Now, if bv
suppressing waste in the manner proposed and now
being adopted, one-thu'd of the quantit}^ now distrib-
uted can be saved for useful purposes (and many
claim that the proportion will be greater) , the saving
would be equivalent to the addition of over thirty
million gallons daily to the supply, and would have
the effect of increasing the pressures in all parts of
the city, and of postponing for several years the
construction of an expensive aqueduct.

" For a number of years past the winter season
has been the most trying period in respect to keep-
ing up an adequate water supply, owing to the great
waste which results from the custom of letting water
run day and night from the faucets to prevent freez-
ing in the pipes. The past winter has been exception-
ally mild, and the occasion for such waste has been
less than in former years, yet there is no doubt that
it has been practised to a considerable extent during
the past three months. The revival of business,

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CONTINENTAL WATER METER COMPANY.

manufactures, and commerce, increase of buildings
md population, and extension of elevated railroads
iiave added largely to the legitimate demand for
w^ater. We have no new elements of supply to
meet these new elements of consumption. The fact
that the pressures in the delivery of water have not
Dnly been maintained but improved, and the supply
in the city reservoirs increased, is therefore due to


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