THE WATER SUPPLY QUESTION.
The following report has been handed to us for publication • , t- ' “ Christchurch, Oct. 11,1879.; “Sir,—lnconrieotioh with our recent view',’ I Have tlie honour to forward in writing' ’ a full statement of my .reasons for declining to undertake -the '.superintendence;, of the scheme of water supply proposed, by Mr WWhite and adopted” by the City Council, and to request that you will ; forward the tame to the Council for their information, and for publication in the usual manner. The requirements of the town of Christchurch in the matter of water supply may be classed under three heads, viz.; — “ I. Domestic Supply. “ 11. Street cleansing. ' “ 111. Fire extinction.
“Domestij Supply.—A* regards, water for domestic purposes Christchurch is already well supplied, as there aria few houses without artesian wells, which furnish an abundant supply of the; purest water. Bren in those localities in which the water does not rise to the surface, the water can always he obtained by pumping. The cost, at present prices, for the tuba well and -pump, fixed complete, ranges from £7 to £lO. “ Street Cleansing.!—Whether the supply- be obtained from a distance by a gravitation scheme from the oyer flow of artesian springs in the town, or from a pumping: station supplied either from a well or, from a natural water course, the arrangement of the reticulation for the distribution of the water through the town will be precisely the same, and therefore need not here be taken into consideration; The results obtained from the tube wells recently sunh into the lower water stratum, show that an abundant supply may be obtained from, this source, which will rise to a height of several feet above the ground at the highest parts of the town. So soon then as the reticulation of the town is completed, the street mains may be connected with artesian tanks and kept, constantly charged, whilst the street channels can be flushed: at any part of the town by simply opening the nearest fire. plug. Further, it ia wished to give a domestic supply from, this, source, in order,to save either the, trouble of pumping Or the,;cost of . sinking to the dower, waiter stratum, in the localities where the water does not at present rise to the surface. This can be done,from! the street mains whenever ;required,the simplest plan being to supply each block ; from /the main through a rider pipe, into which the house services will be tapped, and which can he, shut off for repairs or fixing services by a stop valve, thus leaving the mains always charged for flashing and fire extinction. I am aware that many persons apprehend that the: artesian supply is gradually failing , because the .water does not, now rise in the tube wells, to its original height, but I consider this is due pot to the failing of the supply, nor in any large degree to the quantity of artesian water actually used, but to the constant waste which is going on night, and .day throughout the wholeof the,district, andl am.of opinion that were the same regulations adopted against waste, as would necessarily be enforced in the case of services supplied from: street mains, that the water woiua in a few months time rise to very nearly its original level. “Fire Extinction. —Assuming that. it is part of any scheme' which would meet the approval of the Council to provide for the extinction of fires i without the use,, of portable fire 'engines, whether worked by steam pr ,by band power, it will be necesspy to be able. tx> c deliver ip ,the immediate neighbourhood of any fire which mav! break ont, a supply of from 1500 to 2000 gallops per, minute under a pressure at jthe stand pipes, to which the hose are attached, of from 80 to lOOlbs to.,the square inch. ■ Speaking with some ooniiderableexperienoe of the advantages, and defects of the gravitation , scheme, I consider that in the present instance, the most effective, and hr fur, the-least expensive method of meeting uis requirement is to substitute for the. fire.engines a stationary engine at a pumping station, the supply to which, mightj be in the. first instance from the Avon, so long as. tha -water in the mains was, only used for street rieansing and fire oxtino* tion, and ultimately from a tank supplied by an artosianwellon alargeeoalewhenereritmay be wished to give a high pressure supply .for domestic use or fop manufacturing purpocM. Judging from recent .trials,* 3ft cylinder soak into the lower stratum, and perforated in its lower portion, would provide more water topa would be raquired.for all .purposes of water supply in CUmtohorob.. /Under this system the connection with the artesian tanks would, be furnished with reflex valves to prevent the escape ol the water through the tanks whilst pumping was being-earned on.. .The method here suggested of obtaining pressure by pump* ing bra Men adopted in many executed works, and has proved perfectly effective. It is unnecessary here for me to comment upon Mr WWte’s gravitation scheme, as I; have alreadyhad toe honour of reporting uponite practicebility on previous, occasions, but I may be allowed to remind you that I have sever .been asked to give an opinion as to the advisability of its adoption, or m to whether it possesses advantages, over other schemas of water supply which have been, or which might be, submitted to the Council.:. Briefly then, to ; sqm up the - preceding remarks, ..-I may state that I consider that Christchurch possesses in its artesian , springs. a source of, supply unexceptionable m , to quality, and if. properly developed,,abundant in quantity for. all existing requirements,! and, ruing ,to . a, height,, sufficient for , domestic, supply, and, street oleansing, and that the whole question of water supply is therefore narrowed to thecoqiidoratiou of the most effective - means of putting such pressure intotKe mains as 'wrlilq euablo the Council/-to dispense with the pre-j pent system of fire engines. It is’; on : toe, above - grounds -that Ij< recommended-'- your ; Committee at ourraceut inter news toprooeed
at onoe with the reticulation of the town (the water for which will be the same whatever the source of supply), and to charge the inajD* with arteiian water f»om wells sunk to the lower stratum, which will gire an ample • u PP}y for domestic use, for street cleansing, and for the working of the (team Are engine* now in u«e. The further question whether v! squired for Are extinction ihould be obtained by mechanical power, the costly expedient of taking the water from a distant pointto obtain the head necesMry to give the required pressure, i» in mr opinionfpr too important to be decided withOut full inquiry, and under those oircumto report, that whiut I shall always have pleasure, in assist' ing the Council to estimate the cost, or to inquire into the merits of any plans which they may submit for my consideration,! must decline the advocacy of a scheme which I should hob myself recommend, and which •ppMri to me to have been adopted without sufficient knowledge of the conditions of the question.—l have, 40.,
“E. Dobsok. “The Chairman of the Wate* Supply Committee.”
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