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THE RESERVOIR., Issue 7940, 22 June 1889, Supplement
TO THE EDITOR.
SIK, —The awful catastrophe that has lately occurred in America through the bursting of the reservoir embankment at Johnstown has naturally drawn public attention to the one in our immediate neighborhood near Woodhaugh, and I think the thanks of the community are duo to Mr Clifford for bringing the matter so prominently forward. If, as Mr Clifford asserts, the small trickle of water that was issuing from the foot of the embankment in 1870 has been gradually increasing until in 1880 it had amounted to 14,400 gal in twenty-four hours, and at the beginning of the present year may have reached to double that quantity, surely it behoves us to look at the matter seriously, and endeavor to induce the Corporation or the Government to have a thorough and exhaustive survey by a competent expert. Anyone who will take the trouble to walk as far may be able to see for themselves that even now, with the small amount of pressure, there is a considerable flow, which is thickly impregnated with red clay, showing the source to be other than springs. If anything is to be done no time should be lost, as in all probability we shall soon have heavy rains and floods after the six months we have experienced with a minimum of rainfall; and when the reservoir is full we shall then only be able to judge of the increased leak, perhaps too lato to remedy the evil. This important matter does not merely concern the residents of Woodhaugh and the lower parts of North Dunedin, whose lives would be in jeopardy should an accident happen, but it affects the whole of tho ratepayers of Dunedin, who might bo called upon for a os special rate to meet the calls for compensation from owners of property. If a serious leak exists let us at ouce try to find out the cause before it goes any further, and if a practical expert is satisfied that there is no cause for alarm, the public will not regret the matter having been so freely ventilated in your columns.—-I am, etc., J.II. Dunedin, June 20. TO THE EDITOR. Sm,—The dreadful account of the Johnstown disaster ought surely to stir up our citizens to see that such a thing does not happen with us, Mr Clifford, who so ably wrote in your issue of last Saturday, and whose statements I believe to be correct, deserves the thanks of Ills fellow creatures, especially those in Woodhaugh and the lowlying parts of the north end of our town. Let anyone picture the Leith, Ros?, and Nicol Creeks in flood similar to that of 1884 the reservoir overflowing, and tho embankment giving way; then the gully on both sides will be stripped of its foliage, trees, etc,, the paper-mill, flock-mill, and all machinery and other materials, as well as all the houses in Woodhaugh, in all probability to bo precipitated on to the Town Belt, and checking the whole volume of water until Woodhaugh becomes a frightful water dam. Then another burst more dreadful than the first, as there is no telling what course it may take. One thing is clear: the heavy materials will be deposited in the lowest and most hollow places, causing those places to be raised, and making the water work destruction on the parts which give way easiest to it. Can any reasonable person consider the embankment safe with the main water-pipe and scour-pipe put through near the bottom, and unprotected from tho made-up bank? It may be said that if the enbankment does give way it will do so gradually. I reply that the great fall directly underneath will not permit this chance. Land slips occur on lesser grades, and the moat likely time for the embankment giving way is in the time of heavy rain and floods. That there is a leak has been proved beyond all doubt by the scientific examination of Professor Black, whose chemicals found their way through the embankment, and appeared in the so-called springs, and that at a time when the reservoir was nearly empty. It is to bo hoped that if the authorities do not get the matter rectified the public will see to it, and not allow the collection of any more water until its safety is put beyond doubt. —I am, etc , William Grant, Woodhaugh, June 19.
THE RESERVOIR., Issue 7940, 22 June 1889, Supplement
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