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bay, or navigable stream, canal, or basin," etc.

You soon will have two thousand people at your institution. The
combined personal offal of this number of human beings, men,
women, and children averaged, is one hundred and' forty-four thou-
sand pounds of solid matter, and one million nine hundred thousand
pounds of liquid, per year.

It may be well to ask whether it would " offend decency" to put this
matter into the Stockton Slough, the North Street canal, or even the
San Joaquin River; and it may be well to ask whether it would " tend
to obstruct" the passage of boats, etc., to put this matter into the
slough or river.

Of course I cannot advise you on these points, but simply bring
them .to your notice that you may inquire further from the right
source for legal advice.


As the alternative to the removal of the sewage from your institu-
tion to the river or other tidewater outfall, the question presented is:
can the sewage be retained upon the asylum grounds without 'pro-
ducing effects detrimental to the sanitary condition of the neighbor-'
hood — the health and comfort of persons there resident?

To this question 1 reply yes, in my judgement this can be done,
and, more too, the sewage is valuable and should not be wasted.

But, it will be answered: this sewage matter has been thus utilized
for years in the past, until now it has become a nuisance, and its
removal is demanded alike for the good of the health and comfort of
the residents roundabout.

That there are offensive odors pervading these grounds during the
warm and still Summer and Fall months, that the sewage itself at


such times is quite offensive, that the effect in the neighborhood of
the cesspool where it is collected is very repulsive, and that this state
of things is not only disagreeable but alarming and demands speedy
correction, I am prompt to admit; but that the mentioned effects are
due to sewage irrigation, I do not admit.

The Prefitiit Arrangements. '

With several thousand feet of large wooden box drain, which must
by this time be filled with decomposing and most foul matter, lead-
ing from the buildings through the grounds to the cesspool; with a
great pit or hole in the ground, unlined, uncovered, which has for
years been the receptacle for all this matter, for a cesspool, the earth
of its sides and bottom soaked and reeking with corrupt matter; with
an open bucket pump to raise the filthy liquid, all exposed to the sun
and air, dripping and dirty the year around; with open wooden
flumes, soaked with the fermenting matter of months ago, laid about
the grounds for the distribution of the sewage in irrigation; with
these arrangements, I say, you have quite sufficient cause for emana-
tions of the most repulsive kind and far-reaching power, without
attributing any part of such noticed effects to the sewage irrigated
grounds themselves.

If these grounds contribute in any material degree to this nuisance,
it is for reasons of sufficient preparation of them for irrigation, and
unsuitable' arrangements for the distribution of the waters in irriga-
tion, to wit:

1. Because they are not underdrained, and consequently (a) do not
take the sewage water promptly as they should, (6) at times become
over-saturated and give off their superfluous moisture by evaporation
from the surface instead of by underdrainage as they should, (c) do
not become promptly aerified after each irrigation, and {d) swell upon
being soaked and crack open on becoming dry.

2. Because in distribution, the sewage is run long distances in shal-
low open ditches, thus permitting the soil inclosing these channel-
ways to become overcharged with the liquid and the bottom and sides
of the ditches to become coated with sewage sediment, so that when
the irrigation is stopped and water withdrawn from any such ditch
there is a film or deposit of matter left in it — not taken into the soil
and deodorized as it should be by it. And finally,

3. Because the irrigation is not carried on with dispatch and prompt-
ness, but the waters are left running for hours, slowly finding their
way about the grounds. This is more the outcome of inefficient dis-
tributing works, perhaps, than of poor management in their use.


In my judgment, when the foul wooden box-drains shall have
been removed, and the ditches in which they have lain have been
refilled with fresh soil mixed with lime, when the earthen pit cess-
pool shall have been thoroughly emptied, cleansed, and in like man-
ner filled up ; when the wooden box distributing troughs or flumes
and open bucket pumps shall have been put well out of the way;
when the sewage is conducted from the buildings in good ironstone
glazed sewer pipes laid with neat cement joints, into a covered vat or
tank with concrete floor and walls neatly rendered in cement, and is
then pumped by some suitable closed pump through proper pipes


and thus distributed about the grounds so that it will never have to
run more than a hundred feet through an open ditch; when these
grounds are underdrained and about twenty acres of them specially
prepared for sewage irrigation, and twenty acres more kept in such
condition of cultivation that the sewage can occasionally be put
thereon to advantage, then — when these things are done — your sew-
age waters can be kept at home without nuisance or offense to any
one and with great advantage to the economy of your institution.

If anything further is required to insure perfect sanitary results, I
should first look to your house plumbing and indoor drainage work.
All the outside work may be perfect, but with these defective, as they
are in ninety-nine cases out of every hundred in this State, and, as I
have no doubt they are in the older buildings at least of your institu-
tion, no amount of conducting the sewage away or properly using it on
the grounds will accomplish the result which should be your primary
object to attain.

If after these works are tried, it appears desirable to make assurance
doubly sure in the line of complete sanitary treatment of your sewage,
which I do not think will be the case, it will then be time to erect a
proper tank or tanks, and by the use of some one of the processes for
precipitation heretofore described, clarify your sewage before applying
the water to the land, and promptly mixing the precipitated matter
with ashes, dry stable manure, and dry earth, sell it for manure, or
apply it at the proper season to enrich the fields and gardens of your

I am satisfied for the present, however, that with proper means of
collecting and promptly and rapidly distributing your sewage on well
prepared grounds, and with a skillful use of these appliances, you will
not need any precipitating tanks, for you have ample grounds to spare
upon, which, if properly prepared and arranged, to put the sewage of
6,000 people, at almost the minimum rate at which such disposal is
made in older countries, in instances where no nuisances or bad effect
of any kind is produced.

Your land, soil, and subsoil, to be sure, is not of the most favorable
quality for irrigation. It is a heavy adobe soil, varying in depth from
two to four feet, on a clay marl subsoil; whereas it should to best
advantage be of lighter, more sandy, texture, deeper and on a more
open subsoil. But thorough tile underdrainage will do much to cor-
rect the defects of the soil and make up for the want of a porous
subsoil and the absence of natural drainage-ways in the vicinity.

This absence of natural drainage-ways, and the small slope of the
plain, rendering it difficult to get a good gravity outfall for the under-
drainage of the land, it may be necessary and probably will, at times
during the rainy season at least, to lead the drainage waters into a
well, and pump them out into some neighboring natural surface
drainage channel, or into the North Street canal. These waters, of
course, will be inoffensive and nearly if not quite as pure as any
drainage waters, for they will be in part rain waters, and will all have
passed through the soil, and have been subjected, as we have seen, to
the best known process for their purification — the natural one of land
filtration and plant action — and hence they can be discharged any-
where that any waters may be run, without giving cause for complaint.
Such drainage waters are freely admitted into all streams in the
countries where this subject has received so much attention, and

where the war against sewage pollutions is most earnestly carried on.



Beyond these arrangements, there should be some sj^stematic crop
rotation estalilished for your grounds, whereunder your sewage can
be utilized in the watering of such plants as best receive it and thrive
by its use, while other crops which we know do not do well under its
influence should be irrigated with pure water.


An essential feature of preparation, natural or artificial, for success-
ful irrigation — good crop returns and good sanitary condition of the
fields and neighborhood — Avhen carried on with the purest waters
even, is perfect drainage and a well aerated soil. Where these are
absent, crops will after awhile begin to fail, special plant diseases
appear, malarial affections will become prevalent amongst the people,
and irrigation will be voted a failure and fraught with more harm
than good.

There are localities where such conditions prevail, and such results
are being encountered now in California. It is an old story in older
countries, but here the question is not understood. All over this
State, where irrigation is practiced, provision for drainage will after
awhile have to be made.

You cannot have a fine stand of alfalfa under irrigation on thirty
to forty acres of your land, the soil and subsoil being as it is, and long
preserve a good sanitary condition of your grounds and neighborhood
unless you drain them. If irrigation is to go on and be extended
around your buildings, of the character that has been carried forward,
there should be underdrainage, whether you use sewage waters or
clear artesian well waters.

A sewage farm is what we choose to make it — unobjectionable as a
neighbor if we will, very objectionable if we allow it to be.

Sewage waters are not offensive during the first twenty-four hours
after their pollution, if they are kept from the sun, or in any event
for the first eighteen or twenty hours, if retained in proper receptacles.

An essential feature of an unobjectionable sewage farm is an unde-
filed receptacle for the fresh sewage, which can be washed out and
kept pure, and like means of distributing the sewage rapidly and to
points near where it can be absorbed by the ground.

You have not any of these essentials to success in conducting your
sewage irrigation. Let us provide them, and then see if anything
more be needed.


In carrying out these suggestions — bj' keeping your sewage at home
and utilizing it on your grounds — you will be only doing what hun-
dreds of other authorities in charge of similar institutions less favor-
ably situated, with respect to climate at least, are doing or preparing
to do, what hundreds of small and large towns are doing or preparing
to do, what many others would do if the local circumstances would
admit of it, and what is gradually being recognized throughout the
world as the proper and only reasonable thing to be done with sewage.

Sanitary and engineering literature of this day and for the past ten
years is replete with evidence of this fact, and with practical informa-
tion as to how to insure success in such works. Your minds once
made up to this course, and your work well done, you will have taken
the right steps to accomplish your purpose of proper sanitation of


your institution, and will have done nothing not necessary in any

The engineering aspect of your problem, with plans and estimates
for your work, will be briefly set forth in the next and final part of
this report.



The sewage of your institution should be collected through iron-
stone sewer pipes from the various buildings of the institution into a
concrete and cement-lined cesspool, and thence pumped through
similar pipes laid above ground and distributed on to lands under-
drained with tile drains which have an outfall into the North Street
canal, or into a well whence the drainage waters may be pumped into
the North canal.

Upon this outline I estimate in detail the cost of the work, and
summarize the result as follows:


Ironstone drain pipe, 4 to 8 inch, 3,220 feet, laid $1,056 40

Cesspool, concrete, walls and floor cemented, capacity two thirds full 67,500 gallons. 1,455 00

Pump house and cesspool cover, pump, engine, boiler 2,000 00

Distributing system pipes, ironstone drain pipe 1,484 00

Drainage of lauds, as per estimate ' 2,S46 00

Delivery of pipe, etc 700 00

$9,541 40

The very level surface of the tract necessitates, in the interest of
economy, the laying of all pipes upon the least grades that can be
adopted and assure efficient duty. This, in turn makes necessary the
greatest degree of care in laying such pipes, and it would be desira-
ble to attain a nicety of workmanship which, so far as my observa-
tion goes, is never acquired by contract work in this State, and it
would require the constant attendance of an engineer to adjust grades
for the work.

The tile drainage work, particularly, must be under constant super-
vision, for everything depends on careful adjustment of grade and
alignment where such little pipes are to go down an almost imper-
ceptible grade.

So far as I know, there is no such piece of work in California, and
I very much doubt whether contractors here are prepared to bid
upon it, and do the work as it should be done at a reasonably low

For these reasons I strongly recommend that all of this work, except
the cesspools, house, and pumping works, be put down by day labor,
under the direction of an assistant engineer, who can carrj^ out my

The order of work would then be to contract for pipe delivered in
cars at the manufactory, or in cars at the Stockton depot, or delivered
on the grounds; to have these pipes inspected, each and every length
thereof, and laid by days' work; and to contract for the cesspool and
appliances, as above, unless it appeared that the cesspool, also, may


be constructed to better advantage by days' work, which I am inclined
to think will be the case, seeing that you will have a superintendent
and organized force on the grounds, and could doubtless work to
advantage by having the more to do. With this idea in view, I esti-
mate that the total cost of works will be as follows:

Amount, as above. j $9,541 40

Contingent 500 00

iuperintendence 500 00

Total $10,541 40

The cesspool should be put at a point nearly equidistant from the
several groups of buildings, as near as may be, in order that the pipe
lines will be at a minimum length, and elevation be saved in grade,
thus limiting to the lowest amount the excavation for ditches and for
the cesspool itself, and making the pump-lift the least practicable.
The point east of the main north and south road through the grounds,
and opposite the junction therewith of the main east and west road,
next south of the north building, where now there stands a rough
frame structure, is about the most suitable locality, or a point about
200 feet further north, and on a line east of the south wing of the
north building, would be somewhat less conspicuous than imme-
diately at the junction of the roads, and almost equally as central.

The estimate provides for the underdrainage and preparation of
twenty acres of land for irrigation. There is just about this area
lying in the northeast corner of the asylum reservation north and
east of the north building, and conveniently adjacent to the north
canal for drainage purposes.

I recommend that this tract be used for sewage irrigation, and at
least half of it be cultivated in Italian rye grass, to be cut for green
food for the dairy stock of the institution. I shall have some further
suggestions to make with respect to crops, rotation of crops, manage-
ment and cultivation of your irrigated field in the future, should you
conclude to follow the suggestions I have already submitted.

The adoption of this area as a main sewage irrigation field will
leave sixteen acres south and east of it, and north of the present dairy
house, to be put in alfalfa for pasture, that can occasionally be irri-
gated with the sewage water, but generally by the water of an artesian
well, should you sink one; and it will leave eight acres in reserve
west of the sewage field, and north of the north asylum building and
next to the drainage canal, for the extension of the sewage irrigation
and occasional use, should future developments seem to require it.

The grounds around and south of the north asylum building, to
which this sewage has heretofore been chiefly applied, may with
propriety be best cultivated under clear water irrigation, seeing that
they are necessarily the most frequented and prominent portions of
the reservation.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


State Engineer,
Sacramento, September 7, 1883.


Eigtitli and Ninth Annnal Reports of tlie Resident Physician








BENJAMIN SHURTLEFF, M. D., President : Napa

J.C.MARTIN Oakland


D. L. HAAS Napa

JOHN Q. BROWN Sacramento




E. T. WILKINS, M. D Resident Physician

L. F. DOZIER, M. D Assistant Physician

F. W. HATCH, Jr., M. D Assistant Physician

J. B. STEVENS Secretary

J. M. PALMER Steward



Miss ELIZA KENNEDY . Supervisoress

GEO. R. WALDEN Druggist


To his Excellency George Stoneman, Governor of the State of Cali-
fornia :

In compliance with the law, the Board of Trustees of the Napa
State Asylum for the Insane respectfully submits a report of the
expenses of the institution for the two tiscal years ending with the
thirtieth day of June, 1884.

Desirous of keeping within the limits of the most rigid economy,
the Board recommends no improvements, which, if granted, would
involve appropriations by the State, except in a very few cases where
the demand is urgent and indispensable to the welfare of the insane.
You will see by the statement of the Treasurer, whose report is here-
with submitted, that the appropriations made by the Legislature at
the last regular session, for stable and barn, fencing, painting, and
wharf, have all been expended as directed by law. You will also
observe that there is an unexpended balance due from the State of
$681 72 belonging to the fund for the improvement of grounds; also
a balance of 81,938 05 remaining in the Fire Protection Fund. Vouch-
ers for all expenditures are on tile in the office of the Treasurer.

Following is a statement of receipts and expenditures on account
of the Contingent Fund, from April 1, 1883, to June 30, 1884:

Received ou account of board .$14,773 00

Received on account of Steward's sales 3,959 00

Total receipts .$18,732 00


Painting materials and labor $305 78

Books and stationer}' 85 30

Hardware 110 30

Labor on waterworks 119 55

Rubber hose and couplings 115 85

Labor on repairs 64 75

Repairs 65 03

Improvement of grounds 1,203 75

Horses and cattle 800 00

Labor on farm and reservoir (cartmen) 631 55

Blasting powder and fuse 81 25

Furniture 113 23

Freight and expressage 34 95

Lumber 1,716 52

Castings, water pipe, and iron 786 05

Farming implements 11 50

One wagon 75 00

Two carts 205 00

Rope and barbed wire 57 25

Sand, lime, and cement 138 20

Blacksmithing 81 50

Carried forward . $6,811 31

Brought forward $6,811 31

Blacksmith shop and tools 200 00

Interest for payment of wages to employes 569 25

Surveying land and recording deed 89 10

Rent of telephone 50*00

Thrashing wheat, sacks, and twine 126 35

Labor, draining tule lands 222 00

Labor on barn 1,822 63

Window frames and glass 156 60

Advertising 50 00

One set tinner's tools 244 50

One boat 40 00

Service of stallions 50 00

Ridding for stable 45 00

Buitding wharf 329 00

Expenses of Dr. Wilkins to Sacramento and San Francisco 26 00

One derrick 30 00

Returned to pav patients 375 00

11,227 74

Balance June 30, 1884 - §7,504 26

The above statement shows that there was a balance in the treasury,
belonging to the Contingent Fund, at the close of the last fiscal year,
of 87,504 26. The greater part of this amount, however, will be ex-
pended within the next two months in completing and making
imperatively necessary improvements.

The completion of the fire protection improvement will exhaust
the appropriation for that purpose, and leave a deficiency of several
thousand dollars, which will have to be met by a draft on the Con-
tingent Fund. Another heavy outlay from this fund must be made
to pay the cost of the contemplated extension of the main sewer pipe
a distance of some two thousand feet.

By authority of an Act, passed at the last- biennial session of the
Legislature, the Board of Trustees, on the twenty-ninth day of June,
1883, purchased from the late Cayetano Juarez, for the benefit of the
asylum, a tract of land, lying between the Napa River and the asylum
grounds, containing 5.33 acres, at a cost of $1,000.

Included with this communication, as a part thereof, is the lumin-
ous report of Dr. E. T. Wilkins, the Resident Physician. The
thorough completeness of his instructive report renders any extended
remarks by the Board redundant.

At the regular meeting in August, the doctor submitted his report
to the Trustees, all the members being present, and after careful con-
sideration his recommendations were unanimously approved.

It will be seen that the daily per capita cost for the fiscal year end-
ing with June 30, 1883, was -iOyV cents. For the last fiscal year it
dropped to the remarkably low rate of 38y% cents.

Many desirable improvements have been made during the last two
years. A convenient stable of suitable dimensions has been built of
stone, quarried, from a ledge upon the asylum grounds. A wharf
has been constructed on the bank of the Napa River, where all the
asylum coal is discharged and received. This is a great convenience
as well as economy for the State. By the construction of a dam
across the creek, about one half a mile east of the asylum, a fine
body of water is secured in the rainy season, and held for irrigation
when required.

This body of water, known as Lake Camilla, is already connected
by pipes with the asylum grounds, where it is now in use, proving a
timely adjunct to the system of irrigation.

Four miles of barbed-wire and lumber fence has been built, besides
many other improvements of minor importance.

One thousand three hundred fruit trees and tive thousand grape
vines of the best varieties have been planted, wliicli are generally
healthy, and making a rapid growth.

The fire protection improvement is near completion, with every
assurance that the enterprise will be a crowning success.

The Board deems it the part of wisdom to establish intirmaries,
where the more feeble and sick patients may be removed from the
noisy and tumultuous wards, and receive proper care and treatment.
The judgment of the Resident Physician, matured by long experi-
ence, and supported by the high authority of Dr. John P. Gray,
Superintendent of the State Lunatic Asylum, at Utica, New York,
is entitled to great weight in the determination of this important

We earnestly ask your cooperation for an appropriation to build
two infirmaries, one for each sex, in accordance with the original
plan for the asylum.

The crowded condition of the asylum is a growing evil of alarming
magnitude, which cannot longer be tolerated without dishonor to
the State.

The increase of patients for the last year was one hundred, making
the total number in the institution on the first day of July, 1884, 1,319.
While crowding patients together beyond the capacity of the asylum
to accommodate, is a most grievous annoyance, it also tends to thwart

Online LibraryCalifornia. LegislatureAppendix to the Journals of the Senate and Assembly of the ... session of the Legislature of the State of California (Volume 1885v.1) → online text (page 47 of 83)