Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. SATURDAY, MAY 6, 1905. A HIGH PRESSURE WATER SUPPLY.
At the Mayoral Installation on Wednesday night, reference was made by several of the speakers to the necessity of providing the town with a high pressure water supply, The efforts that were made less than two years ago to bring a scheme of that kind to a successful issue wjl I be still fresh m the memory of our readers. A series of special articles ou the subject was published m the Mail and Guardian, and every aspect of the question was gone into as thoroughly as possible. The result was that a scheme to provide the town with a high pressure water supply was wall on the way towards being adopted by the burgesses, when one or two influential residents placed difficulties m the way and succeeded m blocking the proposal. However, it; is consoling to kaow that since that time they have altered their ways of thinking, and are now convinced tiia£ § high pressure water supply is one of the most urgent needs of the town. At last Wednesday night's funation and during the discussion that occurred a while ago on the proposal that the Borough should purchase the Gas Worke, this change of attitude on the subject of a water supply was made ( <jvide£t. We are glad to see that those who were ]bhe leading opponents of the high pressure s,cheme jbwo years ago ara not possessed of minqs th%t are glosed against cpjjviotion, apd that Jbhere now appears |to fee # project of thig matter *^ii?g puccesafaljy yev^ed before long. v -»«*«ia! ftPtioles 1 which we devoted to )\t «f,M«. MB*l» early part of 1903 dealt out by their writer m favour Oi. .. ° tion of a high pressure scheme. Ibiap... enough that a town of the size of Ashbur • ton should not be dependent for its water supply on wells Buck on the premises of individual consumers. The dangers of | the water being contaminated by impurities are considerable, and there is the mon serious danger that when a dry season arrives, a large namber of residents will find their supplies giving out and we shall be faced with the inconveniences of a drought.' The water nowiug m the street channels is, of course, useless for drinking purposes, though children have occasionally oeen known to use it m dry seasons m corrain portions of the town. But the risks of disease incurred by those using the channel water are very serious, and under such circumstances a grave epidemic might befall the town whenever a drought occurs. If a high pressure supply is provided m the town, ihe rates tor fire insurance will be very considerably reduced and the annual saving that this reduction would represent to tlio insurers would be a fairly substantial sum. Under a high presBure scheme the danger of a disastrous conflagration such as might destroy the main business portion of the town would be reduced to a minimum, whereas under present circumstances it a fire obtained a good hold m such a street as East Street where the shops are closely crowded together, the prospectß of extinguishing it under present conditions would be remote. Several schemes have been put forward m connection with this proposal, prominent among these being the erection of a water , tower such as exists m I aver car gill and
other large cities m the colony. The water J m Invercargill is obtained from an under- ] ground well near the centre of the town and is pumped up to a large reservoir, and thence ttken through 24 mi!e3 of mains to supply the wants of about 7,000 people. The question of cost, is of pourpe, of the greatest importance, and this ia estimated to amount to anything from JEI2OOO to .£20,000. The amount would havn to be rained by a loan, and would mean an additional sura to be uiec out of the rates every year. But when one considers the Faying that would be effected through ratepayers not having to provide and maintiin wells, t wind'nillß, plants, etc, and through the reduced cost of insurance, it seems most likely that the extra cost of the high pressure scheme to the individual consumer would be pretty well balanced by reduced expenditure m other directions. We hops to see this matter again brought before the burgesEea at an early date.