December 4

December 4, 1913: Municipal Journal. A series of stories that dealt with both drinking water and sewage problems, which were typical for the beginning of the 20th century, were featured in this issue.


Sewer Gas Explosion

Sewer Gas Explosion

Terrific Sewer Explosion in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, Pa.-Almost a mile of a nine-foot sewer in the Lawrenceville and Bloomfield districts was rent with a terrific explosion last week that tore up streets and alleys, demolished houses and solid brick buildings and broke gas mains. Estimates place the more seriously injured at 17, but scores were slightly hurt. Sewer gas is generally accepted as the cause of the explosion.

Newark’s Sewer Disposal Plant Finished. Newark, N. J.-Newark’s new disposal plant is now finished. The pipe line, however, will not all be in before some time the first of the year, so the modern disposal plant that has been constructed by Contractor L. B. Jacobs, can not be put in operation for several months.

1204 Chicago TyphoidTyphoid. Chicago, Ill.-Typhoid fever has invaded Chicago with a force not felt for several years, according to the bulletin of the Health Department just issued. More cases have been reported each week during the last month than for any similar period for several years. Figures of the Health Department show that 68 cases of typhoid fever were reported two weeks ago, compared with 58 the preceding week and but 16 for the corresponding week of 1912. Commentary: The chlorination systems on the lake water source would not be finished for 3 years, but after completion, typhoid disappeared.

New Sewerage System at Valley Junction. Valley Junction City, Ia.-The Valley Junction City Council has voted to accept the new sewage system which has recently been completed by the contractors.

Ashokan Reservoir Increases Salinity of Hudson. Poughkeepsie, N. Y.-The relation of the filling of the Ashokan reservoir to the increasing salinity of the Hudson river in the neighborhood of Poughkeepsie formed one of the main topics of discussion at the meeting of the Poughkeepsie Board of Health. Mayor Frank, president of the board, said that the river water is getting constantly more salty, and that the natural supposition would be that the fresh water being taken by the Ashokan reservoir for New York City was being drained from the twelve-mile watershed in the neighborhood of Esopus Creek and its tributaries, which formerly emptied into the Hudson and were the main sources of the city’s water supply. Commentary: I seriously doubt that this is true.


1907 Postcard of Binghamton Waterworks

1907 Postcard of Binghamton Waterworks

Filter Plant Overtaxed, Water Polluted. Binghamton, N. Y.-A note of warning was sounded by Health Officer D. S. Burr to all water users, directing that until the new filter plant is completed all water used for domestic purposes be boiled. This is made necessary by the discovery of sewage bacteria in the filtered supply and the realization that the present filter plant is entirely inadequate to answer continually increasing demands.

Altoona Has Solved Its Water Problem. Altoona, Pa.-All the city’s storage and service reservoirs are now filled with water, including Lake Altoona, in which there are 601,000,000 gallons, the big basin being filled to its capacity and running over. After the impounding dam became filled following the heavy rains of several weeks ago, Lake Altoona filled up very rapidly and several days ago it was filled and is now running over.

Cannot Find Waterworks Leak. Dayton, O.-Consternation is beginning to develop in the water department because of its utter inability to locate a bad leak or a series of leaks that developed and which now threatens to cause a serious water famine all over the city. There is scarcely any part of the city that is not now affected, and there is no means of determining when the difficulty will be adjusted.

Reference: Municipal Journal. 1913. 35:23(December 4): 770-1.

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