This Day in History: August 24th, 1905

This Day in History: August 24th, 1905


Local Water Supply O. K. Says Prof. Smith But Surface Drainage Flowing Into Milltown Pond, a Menace.

New Brunswick is to be congratulated on its water supply and its natural facilities along this line, according to what Prof. J. B. Smith said last evening, at the meeting of the Board of Health. The condition of the water is better than usual owing to the copper treatment. He said further that the analysis of the water from the tap by the chemist at the Experiment Station and by Fred B. Kilmer, a chemist of the Board, had showed not sufficient copper in the water to give a reaction to an ordinary chemical test.

Dr. Mitchell, of the State Board of Health, said he had found no trace of copper. He said the water indicates improvement, and that there was less organic material than usual this year in the water. Prof. Smith said that the Water Commissioners had paid all the bills for the work and that a fuller report of the matter would be ready by the next meeting.

Prof. Smith has received a letter from the Philadelphia Water Improvement Co., which uses the ozone process, and they will have figures showing the exact cost of a plant here by the next meeting.

Prof. Smith said a few words of comment in closing about the great natural advantages of the local water supply with Its area of two miles. He emphasized the fact that a danger lay in the wastewater from Milltown Flowing into the Milltown pond. He said he recently went over this part of the watershed with Inspector Clark and made photographs at the Milltown bridge and at the power station. In the Milltown drainage problem, however, Prof. Smith said there of was a danger that could not be eliminated till Milltown should have a drain laid to the dam to carry off the surface drainage.

There is a brook on Oliver Street which Is a dead one. The channel le not very deep, but runs across Oliver Street, and numerous drains run into the brook. The Inspector said that complaints have come In from the family at Oliver street, whose premises are flooded when the brook is up. All parties who run drains into the brook will be notified to connect with the sewer, according to a motion of the Board, post last evening. People will be so notified

Even the Board of Health had to acknowledge that they could not see any way for Peter Zimmerman, of 34 Hartwell Street, to rely on the wastewater which comes from his property. The place is so situated that the change in the location of the street had placed him too far off to sewer. Inspector Clark had notified him to do something, but nothing has been done. The counsel and Inspector will try to devise a way. The complaint was made against the property of Mrs. Abby Jaques, corner of John and Hassatt Street, where a bakery is conducted. There is no sewer. The counsel will look after the matter in company with the inspector.

Solicitor Willis reported the receipt of a letter from Dr. J. W. Wood, of New York owner of the property at Baldwin Street, against which a complaint has been made. He will comply with the request of the Board.

A letter from Justice Sedam stated that Martin Sinisky, of Burnet Street, who had been arrested and fined for digging a drain from a vault which was offensive, had paid $10 of his fine.
The report of Treasurer Wills for the month was that $352.37 was on hand. The report of Inspector Clark showed five cases of typhoid and one of scarlet fever. Counsel Willis reported the receipt of a letter from John V. Pralt, of 127 Commercial Avenue, regretting that as Mrs., P Saydam and Laundryman Van Horn of Commercial Avenue, had connected with the sewer, further proceedings be stopped. Those present at the meeting were: Messrs. Dr. Cronk, Prof. Smith, d Inspector Chirk, City Clerk Morrison, and Architect Parsell.

The bills of Seiffert Bros, for $3 S. L. Bennett, for $12, and W. H. Van Deursen 1 for $18.50 were ordered paid.

This Day in History: August 23rd, 1907

This Day in History: August 23rd, 1907


It Is Completed by City Engineer, After a Month’s Work Is a Valuable Map

The survey along Lawrence Brook for the proposed Milltown sewer has been completed by City Engineer Fred c Schneider and submitted to the Michelin Tire Co.

The proposed course of the sewer is about three miles. It took a month to prepare the gap, showing the fall and grade of the sewer and the abutting properties along the sewer course, and it cost $70. Even if the sewer project: is now consummated the map will be standing record from the Milltown Pond to the Weston’s Mills, something which the Water Department never had.

If the State Sewerage Commission insist upon a sewerage disposal plant, this could be erected at Cremoline Creek, a short distance below Weston’s Mills. The Cremoline site adjacent to the river is an ideal one for such a plant a it is low and marshy. A sewerage plant is erected at Plainfield and another al Freehold. The plant is made up of several vats or tanks into which the heavy matter from the sewer is collected and this could be readily sold to the adjacent farmers for fertilizers The light matter could be allowed to pass into the rive after it had passed through the sewerage disposal process.

The method of making the survey was two men of the corps in a row boat obtaining the level, while a third man re training on shore staking out the creek out every 10 feet. To do this he was obliged to chop the greater part of his way for the whole distance.

City Engineer Schneider was assisted in his work of making the survey by Walter Nelson, of New Market, and Monroe Taylor, of this city.

The Michelin people are now considering the project of the sewer, but are not undecided. It is understood that J C. Matlack, the vice president of company, took a blue print of the survey to France with him when he left last week.

This Day in History: January 27th, 1919

This Day in History: January 27th, 1919


The concrete arch dam for the city water supply has been completed and is now ready to be put into service so the supply of stored water will be largely increased. The dam is located six hundred feet above the old dam and is built in the form of an arch spanning the mill pond from bank to bank. The spillway of the new dam is two hundred feet in length which is forty-six feet longer than the spillway of the old dam. The new dam will raise the water behind it four and a half feet higher than the previous level of the pond and will back the water as far as the dam at Milltown. The water in the new pond will overflow forty acres in addition to the area now covered. most of which is located between. Ryder’s Lane and Milltown. The amount of water which was available in the old pond which could be drawn to a depth of five feet below the dam was 87 million gallons. The new dam will add 146 million gallons to the capacity of the pond so there will be an available storage in the Weston’s Mill pond of 233 million. gallons.

The dam is built in the form of an arch. This form where the site is suitable makes it possible to build a dam with greater strength with much. less material than the form of dam which depends on the weight of the structure only to resist the water pressure. The older type of dam usually has a factor of safety of two while the arch dam which has been constructed has a factor of safety of ten. An unusual feature of the dam was that it was constructed in the water of the pond which was over eighteen feet deep and which could not be drained on account of having to maintain the city water supply during the construction of the dam. The construction under these difficult conditions was carried on by building the dam in twenty-five sections which were surrounded by a tight cofferdam of steel sheet piling.

Concrete Poured in Movable Forms.

After pumping out the cofferdam the concrete was poured in movable forms which were used for the whole. structure.

The dam has a spillway with. a length of 200 feet which is held by abutments of twenty-five and thirty feet in length at the two banks. The j dam rests on the solid shale rock and the abutments reach to the shale in each bank. The crest of the dam is three feet wide and the base is nine) feet wide. The height of the dam in the pond is twenty-three feet. The normal difference of water level above and below the dam is four and a half feet but the structure is designed to hold the water for the full height of the dam if the water in the lower pond is entirely drained.

In fixing the location of the structure complete plans and estimates! were made for the dam as built and also for raising the old dam. It was found that it would take more labor and material to raise the old dam than to build an entirely new structure in the adopted location. In addition to the cost of the work there. would be a very great risk of accident during the construction of the dam which might wipe out the pumping station. There would also have! been the work of caring for the ice;” house property which was located Just above the old dam and which would have involved serious expense,

The question of additional storage has been a pressing one for sometime. In 1911 the advisory water commission, the members of which were Drury Cooper, E. P. Darrow, W. H. Benedict, A. A. Titsworia, F. C. Schneider and A. S. March, strongly advised the immediate raising of the present dam three feet to provide the additional storage. They stated. at

that time that this would take care of the immediate need and that additional provisions could be taken after some years had passed. The present structure raising the level of the pond four and a half feet adds over) fifty percent to the additional storage contemplated by their recommendations.

Plans Made in 1914.

The plans for the dam were made! in 1914 at the time of the serious water famine which occurred in:” September of that year and it was strongly urged that the structure be, built at once so sufficient water could be stored to prevent the recurrence. of the shortage. On account of the authority to build being withheld je from the Board of Water Commissioners by the Board of Aldermen, the work was postponed until Commission Government took hold of t matter. The building of the dam was again postponed by the judgment of the advisory water board until after the completion of the filter plant as it was thought that building operations would cause the water to be made turbid. The work was finally started in the fall of 1917, The necessity of the work was shown last fall when all of the storage was used up and temporary pumping was required from the creek below the dam to maintain the necessary amount of water.

During a dry time all the water required beyond that furnished by the flow of Lawrence brook must be taken from storage. The flow of the brook was estimated by the state as given in the report on water supply as a minimum of five and a half gallons a day for the driest period. This estimate is largely in excess of the actual amount which was observed in the dry periods of 1914 and 1918. A careful measurement of the individual streams of the watershed. show that the minimum flow of the Lawrence brook area amounts to only 1,800,000 gallons for 24 hours. The consumption last September, due largely to war conditions perhaps, required seven million gallons a day so five million under these conditions must be taken from storage. City Can Supply 100,000 Population With Water by Damming Near Milltown.

When the water consumption of the city again exceeds the present provision additional storage will have to be sought by a dam somewhere above Milltown or by taking water from the Raritan River. The late Dr. Cook reported on a project for a high dam at a site near Parsons pond which would impound 1,640,000,000 gallons of water. The cost of the dam at that time was $347,000, but under present conditions, it would be two or more times that figure. As everyone has great faith in the steady growth of the city of New Brunswick which is largely dependent on the water supply the necessity of looking! forward is apparent. With the above] storage a population of 100,000 could be supplied with an adequate amount of water.

This Day in History: January 24, 1905

This Day in History: January 24, 1905


Clarence Schaffer Went Through Ice While Skating at Milltown.

Clarence Schaffer, the eight-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Schaffer, of Milltown, was drowned in Lawrence Brook, near Millers’ creek, yesterday afternoon, about 4 o’clock, while skating. He and some boy friends had gone to the brook after school hours and Schaffer went out on the ice, while the other boys stayed on shore. The ice was weak, owing to recent thaws, and the boy fell in. His companions on shore were un- able to do anything for him, and the boy drowned before their eyes.

The boys carried the news to Kohlhepp’s Hotel. Bartender Denhardt and others searched for the boy for a long time and it was nearly 6 o’clock last night before. their efforts were rewarded and the body was brought ashore.

Coroner Quackenboss visited the scene of the accident and gave a permit for burial. The boy was a member of the Milltown M. E. Church, and of the Sunday School. He was a bright boy and his death will be a severe shock to many friends.

His death marks the first fatal skating accident of the season, although there have been several cases of people getting through the lee and being rescued.

This Day in History: May 4th 1914

This Day in History: May 4th 1914

Tomorrow’s Election Is Most Important in History of the Borough

Milltown’s Future Depends Upon It Michelin Co. to Build Reclaiming Works if Water and Sewer Systems Are Voted For.

MILLTOWN, May 4. – May 6, is “Decision Day” in Milltown, when the voters will decide whether or not they want the proposed water and sewerage systems. Arguments have been heard for and against the proposition.

The principle arguments against are these:

  1. The Increased tax rate.
  2. The discomfort of making Improvements, such as torn up streets, etc.
  3. Annexation with the New Brunswick sewer system.
  4. The probable pollution of private wells now in use.
  5. The size of the main which will carry the sewage from Milltown to New Brunswick.

These arguments are answered by those favorable to the plans In this manner:

  • A town never begins to grow until it is bonded. The total bonded Indebtedness will amount to approximately $100,000. The interest on this plus the cost of the establishment of a sinking fund plus the cost of operation of the system, will amount to approximately between $8,000 and $9,000 annually, which cannot be claimed to be excessive in a town of one million dollars valuation. In the last ten years this valuation has Increased from five hundred thousand dollars valuation. In the next ten years, with added advantages of sewer and water the valuation should Increase in proportion. Besides this the water system should be a paying proposition by 1918, and undoubtedly will be.
  • Contracts awarded for these systems will embrace a clause requiring that the streets be returned to the same condition as when opened, and before final payments the borough councilmen will satisfy themselves on the condition of the thoroughness.
  • The annexation with New Brunswick brings with it $12,500 form the treasury of that city for the construction of the force line from the borough limits to New Brunswick., curtailing the cost of an expensive disposal plant on the banks of the Lawrence Brook. Our acceptance of this offer from New Brunswick does not place us under any obligations to that city, being but a purely business proposition for the protection of their water supply.
  •  With the clay and sandy soil, which proves to be an excellent filter, it is unlikely and improbable that the wells will be polluted, the small amount of sewage which escapes from the pipe cemented together, and plastered manholes, will become purified in a flow of a few feet in that nature of the soil.
  • Three engineers of note have declared that a twelve inch main, will carry all the sewage from Milltown, if there was a house on every lot in the borough, which should be satisfactory to those skeptical on this point. Many arguments have been advanced in favor of the plans, among them are
    • Encouragement for industries.
    • Increase of population.
    • Cleanliness
    • Domestic uses.
    • To place the town on higher level with towns of the same size and population.
  • Fire facilities.

What has Milltown to offer at the present time to new industries? Practically nothing but land and railroad facilities. One of the principal needs of any large industry is water and a place to dispose of the sewage. The Michelin Tire Company is at the present time severely handicapped in its growth by the lack of these facilities. The State Board of Health is decidedly against any addition pollution of the brook by the company, which is necessarily put an end to the plans of the building of a re-claiming plant, which it is understood the company will build upon the advent of water and sewerage systems, thereby greatly increasing the size of their plant in America.  

What has Milltown to offer at the present time to new industries? Practically nothing but land and railroad facilities. One of the principal needs of any large industry is water and a place to dispose of the sewage.

Why is it that Highland Park has increased in population during the last few years? Why is it that so many employed in Milltown who have their interests here have moved from New Brunswick to Highland Park and not from New Brunswick to Milltown. Because the facilities for modern improvements in modern homes fall short in that the borough has no water or sewers.

Upon the installation of a sewer system there will be a remedy for odors incidental to the distribution of sewerage on land and the other ills incidental to the lack of a system.

The slogan of the housewife tomorrow will be “Down with the rain barrel and in with the clear running water from the faucet.” Man can figure on saving his wife one-half her trouble by the installation of the pipe line and a receptive for the sewerage.

To compete with surrounding towns as a place for industry or a place for residence Milltown must sewer. New Brunswick is well sewered, as are South River, Metuchen, Highland Park and other surrounding towns Milltown must grow.

Milltown has a fire department of volunteers that is capable of fighting any fire. It Is equipped with a chemical auto truck which has done excellent work in small fires, but the company is seriously handicapped by the lack of pressure and lack of water, and it is likely that every fireman realizes it and those in the department who will be against it will be in the minority. The decision on its arguments advanced will be rendered by Milltown voters tomorrow.

The increase in the tax rate will be about 50 points, but this will be more than offset by the increased valuations. It is stated that the plan; Is not to pay off any bonded Indebtedness for five years, except Interest, so that property owners can connect with the systems without increasing their expenses too much.

This Day in History: Jan. 23 1912

This Day in History: Jan. 23 1912

Possible Co-operation With Milltown Leads to Withdraw of Motion That it Be Discharged

The Water Commission Continued

The Advisory Water Commission was not discharged last night, though it had its final report to Council. Alfred S march secretary of the commission, made his final report and enclosed a certified check for $149.91, the balance left over and thanked Council for its support. Alderman Nicholas moved that the committee be discharged with the thanks of Council, but Alderman-At_large Burt suggested that as the matter of co-operation with Milltown in the water supply question might come up soon. It might be as well to refer the communication and check to the Finance committee for the present. This was done.