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.
Advisory Commission Recommends That City and Borough Get Together- Pollution of Lawrence Brook New Brunswick’s Greatest Danger.
Co-operation with Milltown on the basis of a bargain by which that borough may obtain a water supply from this city in return for its establishing a sewage disposal plant to prevent contamination of Lawrence Brook, is the fundamental plan proposed for the purification of the city water supply proposed by the Advisory Water Commission to Common Council last night.
A filtration plant is also recommended, but as a matter of secondary importance “The necessity does not depend,” says the report. “upon present conditions at Milltown, for that situation must be changed in any event. But that (pollution) being eliminated, a suitable filter will not only tend to protect the water from sporadic or possible contamination elsewhere, but will remove vegetable matter which now causes objectionable color, odor, and sometimes taste.”
The commission as side issues recommends the raising of the dam at Weston’s Mills three feet to increase the reserve supply and also the reformation of rates by which Highland Park is supplied, that borough actually getting water cheaper than the inhabitants of New Brunswick.
The commission, which was appointed on April 17 last, consists of Former Mayor Drury W. Cooper Eugene P Darrow, William H. Benedict, Alfred A. Titsworth, Frederick C. Schneider and Alfred S March
The commission visited Council in a body last evening, and the report was presented by its president, Mr. Cooper, who expressed the thanks of the members for the honor conferred upon them, also for Council’s support in the matter of appropriations for necessary expenses, of which, he said. a balance would be returned to the city.
“Our recommendations,” said Mr. Cooper, “do not entail the expenditure of any great amount. We have not sought ideal conditions, but simply to advise the city to under- take just such work as is actually necessary
“The report lays particular emphasis upon conditions at Milltown. which are not due to any fault or intention on the part of Milltown, nor to any inattention on the part of the officials of New Brunswick, but to the ordinary growth of the neighboring community. We hope that means will be found, acceptable to all parties, so that the matter can be attended to with the least possible expense and trouble”
Milltown Mayor Willing.
On motion of Mr. Ridgeway the report was received and referred to the Finance Committee.
The report in its opening reviews the history of the commission and says that co-operation by Milltown was invited, but that the commission did not feel justified in waiting longer than it had for such co-operation. Continuing the report says:
Possible Sources of Supply.
“Aside from the present source of supply, we have Investigated the Raritan river and the driving of artesian wells. The river, while furnishing an abundant supply, is harder in quality of water than Lawrence Brook, besides containing a greater percentage of mineral matter, and showing higher color: in addition, it is open to the same objection raised against the present supply: Danger of pollution from settlements above us
“Repeated attempts have been made in this vicinity by private users to drive artesian wells, but the results are far from encouraging
“On the other hand, the city now enjoys water of admirable softness. supplied by a system that has been enlarged as the city has grown, and drawn from a water shed having much less density of population than the Raritan valley; there is an investment of more than $150,000 in the present pumping station and its mains to the reservoir, which would be lost if the supply were changed.
“From these considerations (which have been greatly amplified in the commission’s investigations) It is clear that, unless serious objection be raised, regarding either limitation of present supply or unavoidable pollution, the city should not change either to river or to driven wells,
“The city’s supply is drawn from the lowest of a series of five ponds, the highest of which lies on the south side of the Pennsylvania Railroad’s main line, a little more than a mile east of Monmouth Junction. The storage capacities of these ponds, as now dammed, are given in the following table:
Pond No. 1 . . . . . . . . . . . 26,542,000
Davison’s Pond . . . . . . . 10,557,000
Parson’s Pond. . . . . . . . 39.455,000
Milltown Pond . . . . . . . 9.765,000
Weston’s Mill Pond. . . 130.399,000
Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .226.718.000
“From this it will be seen that, of the total stored by dams now built on the watershed, more than one- half is in our own pond: secondly, that, although it is the lowest of the series, its storage capacity is only equal to about 5 days maximum production of the entire shed, or cording to the estimates of the State Board: furthermore, that our pond holds less than 50 days’ supply at the present rate of consumption-in other words, that the amount actually stored behind the present dam would last the city a little over a month If the flow into it should stop.
“We are clearly of the opinion that the capacity of the city’s storage should be substantially increased by one of the plans that will be discussed presently.
Character of the Water.
“As stated above, the water is of unusual and most desirable softness, and so is especially adapted to domestic and factory uses. It teems with organic life, both animal and vegetable Something like 15 species of alga and other forms of vegetable growth have been identified. From the changes incident to the life and growth of these organisms arise the color, odor and taste which at times reach a point where they are very objectionable and deleterious
“Color, odor, and taste are chiefly. the results of decaying vegetation On the average there is very small mineral content.
“These objections, while serious enough to require attention, are of far less importance than the matter now to be considered.
“Were it not for Milltown and the dangerous and intolerable nuisances there, our citizens need have no special anxiety as to the contamination of their water supply
“The conditions at Milltown are these:
Superficial examination shows a number of pipes leading from the Michelin factory to or into the water and a free discharge of more or less offensive fluid from them.
Analysis of Samples.
The report then tells of analysis of duplicate sets of samples taken on June 7 last, one set being submitted to the State Board of Health at Trenton, the other to Prof North and Mr. Doryland, of Rutgers
Present Conditions Are Dangerous.
“The only safeguards that New Brunswick has at present from an epidemic of any communicable disease affecting the Intestinal tract- typhoid and typhus, for example, that may exist in Milltown are, first. the two miles or so of flow down the city’s pond; second, such rough and ready means as are now employed at the pump house to purify the water before drinking it. But these means are Inadequate.
Thus, with reference to treatment of water by calcium hypochlorite, where the water is not filtered, there may be minute particles of matter enclosing bacteria which are not affected by the chemical, besides, there is always danger of incomplete mixture of hypochlorite with the water in any scheme of application. We believe that this means of treating our water should be continued pending the permanent improvements referred to.
Likewise, the two mile now in our pond, although sluggish and thereby increasing the tendency to self purification by exposure to air and sun- light and by sedimentation, is insufficient, according to experience, to eliminate colon or typhoid bacteria. It is understood that in the case of the typhoid epidemic Scranton, Pa. the bacilli were carried a greater distance than that, while a recent writer cites a similar epidemic that caused 69 deaths out or a total of 1.067 typhoid cases, which was traced to sewage from towns and mills dumped into the water supply at various points the nearest of which was only about eight miles away”
The boiling of water is, of course, efficient, but as it makes it unpalatable in many mouths, imposes an easily shirked duty upon those who are either indifferent or already over-burdened with household cares, and distributes among all the inhabitants a duty or an essentially public nature, this safeguard is least of al to be relied on.
“The question naturally arises. why should Milltown be permitted to pollute our water supply and thus constantly menace the health of New Brunswick? Apparently, the only answer is, that what is everybody’s business is nobody’s business.
“Ample authority to Institute suitable action to suppress such nuisances was given the Board of Water Commissioners by the statute under which the City acquired the property and franchises of the New Brunswick Water Company, which company by the statutes of 1859 and subsequent years had been clothed with very extensive and valuable powers to establish and acquire water-rights in Middlesex and Somerset Counties.
“Although, by some recent legislation, the State Board of Health is given the power to initiate and enforce action to prevent or stop pollution of the potable water within the State, nevertheless the health of the city should not be jeopardized because of the laxity or inaction of any State authorities.
“The prime requisite to any scheme of betterment is the total elimination of pollution by sewage at Milltown in our judgment, this can be accomplished only by the erection and maintenance by Milltown of a sewage disposal plant, located at some point outside the water-shed of Lawrence Brook.
In the present are your Commisions recommended to following plan as
Adequate to meet all present conditions, and future requirements, so far as they are now foreseen:
“1. That the pollution by sewage at Milltown be eliminated by persuading or encouraging, that Borough to erect a sewage disposal plant outside the water-shed.
“2. When that is done, we recommend that the dam at Weston’s Millpond be ramed 7 foot in height. This will increase the storage capacity of the pond from 120,000,000 gallons to 200,000,000 gallons approximately, Because of the step banks this would not materially widen the pond or overflow adjacent lands. The advantage of this will be not merely in the increased available — which in seasons as dry as that of 10 would be immensely valuable to the city but, regulating the flow of the stream will give greater opportunity for sedimentation, and consequent self-purification of the water.
It is estimated that the cost of the work necessary for the additional height of dam and retaining walls the sides of the pond will not exceed fifteen thousand dollars $15,000, or fall below thirteen thousand dollars $13,000.
“3. The necessity of filtration does not depend, in our judgment, upon the present conditions at Milltown, for that situation must be changed in any event. A filtration plant should not be relied upon to safeguard against manifest pollution. But, that being eliminated, a suitable filter will not only tend to protect the water from sporadic or possible. contamination elsewhere, but will remove vegetable matter which now causes objectionable color, odor and sometimes taste,
“4. In the event that sewage at Milltown cannot be dealt with as heretofore recommended because of legal obstacles not apparent from our Investigations, or because those charged with the duty of acting fail to protect the city’s interests, there is no safe recourse for the city except to acquire land and build a large storage reservoir at Parsons Pond, and pipe from there to our present pumping station. Provisional plans and estimates were made for such a scheme some 30 years ago by the late Dr. George H. Cook and having reviewed his plans and figures (which are filed herewith, we are of opinion that his estimate of maximum storage capacity of 1,640, 000,000 gallons and of probable cost of $347,000, including cost of land, dam and piping, are fair and just now.
“But this plan is open to patent objections; among them these: It saddles upon the city an expense that Is avoidable if pollution at Milltown be eliminated; it does not avoid the necessity of filtering in order to rid the water of odor, color and taste: and it reduces the drainage area by more than 25 per cent and that means a lowering in that proportion of the average daily flow available for our uses, in dry seasons.
“Such a storage reservoir may, in years to come, be necessitated by large increase In population, as an auxiliary to Weston’s Pond: but no such necessity now exists, in our Judgment.
“5. Contain matters of relatively minor importance claim attention. The city has the right to assess and collect water taxes on all lands fronting on lines of pipe, whether or not the owners use the supply. We understand that this power has not been exercised in the practice of the Water Department.
“The city at present delivers water to the neighboring Borough of Highland Park at less net rates than in our own city. We have examined the contract, executed about two years ago, and find that, upon its face it provides for equal rates in both places; but Highland Park taxes our city for the value of the piping system that is laid there, so that the Borough has a preference despite the facts that our citizens own the plant, and that the average distance of delivery in Highland Park greatly exceeds the average distance of delivery to our own townspeople. We can find little to commend in the terms of the Highland Park contract: In case of threatened famine. this city should have a preference In the use of its own water, but that is specifically excluded: no lien is given against property in the Borough for unpaid water rates, so that the city’s ability to collect seems to depend entirely upon the willingness of the users there to remit; and apparently no right is given our Board to charge property there that abuts our lines unless the owners connect with them. We strongly recommend that, if possible, this contract be rescinded, or reformed, in order to give New Brunswick its due.
“It is believed by the members of this Commission that, with the improvements in plant that we have recommended, the Borough of Milltown may agree to take water from our plant. For obvious reasons, It has no present interest In doing s But if that Borough will remove its sewage from the watershed, Its suspicions of the purity of the supply will be gone; and, it if then becomes a customer of our water department, the individual and collective interest there in avoiding pollution, will be as great a sin this city.
“Without making a specific recommendation on this point, we leave it to the good judgment and self-interest of both communities to determine whether co-operation is not the best course. Having examined the physical conditions, we are satisfied. that a workable scheme is entirely feasible
Respectfully submitted, DRURY W. COOPER, Pres, EUGENE P. DARROW WILLIAM H. BENEDICT, ALFRED A. TITSWORTH, FREDERICK C. SCHNEIDER, ALFRED S. MARCH, Sec. November, 1911.