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Recommendations Nos. 2 and 4 have been carried out, ice is not now cut from the reservoir and rules and regulations were enacted by this Department in 1911. Recommendations Nos. 1 and 3, however, have not been carried out. Reports have been submitted to this Department annually by the village officials regarding the sanitary conditions on the watershed, but it is apparent from the information obtained at the time of this inspection, that regular patrols of the watershed are not made.
The area of the watershed is approximately 2 square miles and consists of a small basin lying on the summit of the northern part of the Helderberg mountains. There are in all some 14 houses on the watershed representing a total population of about 70 persons, or an equivalent of 35 per square mile. Except for two cases the houses are located well back from the stream.
One house and outbuildings are located at the top of a steep bank directly above the reservoir from which the supply is obtained. A stream passes just to the west of these buildings and enters the reservoir at a distance of about 1,000 feet. A privy is located at the top of a steep bank leading toward this stream about 75 feet distant. The privy is not provided with a vault. The land on the north side of the buildings slopes directly toward the reservoir. This land was heavily manured at the time of the inspection. Drainage from this area, however, could be easily diverted about the reservoir by the construction of a drainage ditch within the enclosure owned by the village. The privy mentioned above could be moved a distance of about 50 feet or
as to be located on this slope and pollution therefrom could then be diverted from the reservoir by the drainage ditch mentioned above.
A second house occupied by Edgar Armstrong is located near a small spring stream tributary to the supply at a point about 34 of a mile above the intake. At this place a privy provided with no vault and a barn are located about 75 feet from the stream.
It is apparent from the above that considerable pollution at times finds its way into the supply from the sources mentioned above. Furthermore, there is also the danger of accidental, incidental or wilful contamination due to inhabitants and visitors upon the watershed.
Samples of the water were collected just prior to the time of the inspection and sent to the Division of Laboratories and Research for analyses, the results of which together with those of previous analyses are recorded in the appended table.
The results of these analyses show a water usually somewhat high in color and turbidity. The figures for nitrogen in its various forms are moderate. Those for chlorine, however, are alove normal. The bacterial counts are frequently high and colon bacilli are present in 10 c.c. inoculations in all but one of the 11 samples analyzed; they are occasionally present in dilutions as small as 1/10 c.c., thus indicating the presence of active and potentially dangerous contamination. As a result of this investigation the following conclusions may be drawn:
1. That the public water supply of Altamont is subject to considerable pollution:
(a) From the farm located just above the reservoir.
(b) From the farm of Edgar Armstrong located near a tributary stream about 34 mile from the reservoir.
(c) From accidental, incidental or wilful pollution by inhabitants on the watershed and visitors thereto. 2. That the supply is unsatisfactory in physical qualities with respect to color and turbidity. In view of the above I beg to offer the following recommendations to be acted upon by the village authorities :
1. That the unsatisfactory conditions on the watershed be improved :
(a) By moving the privy at the farm located near the reservoir to a point where the drainage will be away from the small stream tributary to the supply and by constructing a drainage ditch so located within the enclosed area owned by the village as to prevent surface wash from the nearby buildings reaching the reservoir. Every effort should also be made to maintain proper sanitary conditions on these premises.
(b) By providing the privy located at the farm of Edgar Armstrong with a watertight container and properly disposing of the contents therefrom at regular intervals. Furthermore, every effort should be made to maintain proper sanitary conditions at this farm to prevent, in every way possible, pollution from finding its way into
the stream. 2. That purification of the supply consisting of filtration supplemented by sterilization with liquid chlorine, be provided as soon as possible.
3. That pending the installation of the complete purification plant, apparatus be provided and the supply be sterilized with liquid chlorine. While sterilization of the supply with liquid chlorine will not improve its physical qualities it will render it safe for potable purposes if the apparatus is properly operated. This treatment can be carried out at a nominal cost and should be provided with as little delay as possible.
Finally I would recommend that copies of this report be sent to the various local officials and to the sanitary supervisor of the district.
Chief Engineer ALBANY, N. Y., December 27, 1917
RESULTS OF WATER ANALYSES Abbreviations used to describe odors of water: 0, none; 1, very faint; 2, faint; 3, distinct; 4, decided; 5, strong; 6, very strong; a, aromatic;
d, disagreeable; e, earthy; f, fishy; g, grassy; m, musty; v, vegetable
CHEMICAL (PARTS PER MILLION)
10 101 25 40 40 30 30
170 132 134 144 160 158 139 153 166 171
024.088).001 0.70 2.50
2.25 117.2 105.0
B. COLI TYPE += PRESENT
Source of sample
Bacteria per c.c.; gelatin
20°, 48 hours
Tap, public supply
2/ 3/12 5
-10+3 0+3– 0+3—
ALTAMONT (Private water supplies)
HERMANN M. BIGGS, M.D., State Commissioner of Health:
I beg to submit the following report of an investigation of the sanitary quality of several private water supplies at the summer residences of a small group of Albany people near Altamont.
This investigation was made at the request of' Mr. Lewis R. Parker, of Albany, one of the summer residents referred to, on November 24, 1917. Mr. Parker stated that typhoid fever had occurred in one of the families of the summer colony and that there was a very general feeling of concern over the sanitary quality of these water supplies. He also advised us that the water from the village supply and from certain of the private supplies had been analyzed under the direction of the city of Albany and that they showed pollution. Mr. Parker desired, therefore, to obtain more definite information regarding the sanitary quality of these private supplies and of the village supply. In conjunction with the investigation of the private supplies an investigation has also been made of the village supply and this investigation has been made the subject of a separate report.
The investigation on which the present report is based was made by Mr. C. M. Baker, assistant engineer, on November 28, 1917. At this time a complete inspection was made of the various supplies and samples of water were collected and taken to the Division of Laboratories and Research for analyses. The results of these analyses are recorded in the appended table.
The supplies investigated were those of Miss Jennie Wasson, of Messrs. W. F. Maver, Lewis R. Parker and John Becker, also the Estate of Charles Pruyn. The places are located on the side of the Helderberg mountains, 1 to 142 miles southwest of the village of Altamont.
Wasson supply The main supply used for potable purposes, is derived from a drilled well about 250 feet deep. The water is pumped from the well by means of an air-lift system into air pressure tanks located in the basement of the house. The sanitary conditions in the vicinity of the well appeared to be satisfactory at the time of the inspection and there appears to be little opportunity for pollution.
A secondary supply is obtained from a small pond fed by a surface stream. This supply is connected with outside hydrants only and is used exclusively for sprinkling purposes. Since this supply is not used for domestic purposes no samples of it were analyzed.
Analyses of samples of the water collected from the drilled well were made by the Laboratory Division, the results of which are stated in the appended table. These analyses show a high chlorine content, due in all probability to mineral deposits. The bacterial count was low and colon bacilli were not present. The results generally show the water to be free from active contamination.
Mayer supply Mr. Mayer's supply is derived from a spring located on the side of the mountain above the house. The spring is walled up with stone masonry, the enclosed being about 8 feet in diameter. It is covered with a board
The area above the supply is woodland and was said to be seldom frequented by visitors. An; embankment about: the curb of the spring protects it from surface wash.
The analyses of the sample collected from this supply show the chlorine to be somewhat high though probably not abnormal, the bacterial count low and colon bacilli absent, thus indicating the water to be free from active contamination.
Parker supply Mr. Parker's supply is obtained from springs located on the mountain side just south and adjacent to the Mayer supply. This supply is derived from several small springs protected by half barrels sunk into the ground. From the barrels the water is conducted to a collecting basin whence it flows by gravity to the house. Although these springs are located in woodland and there are no permanent sources of pollution in the vicinity, they are not adequately protected from surface wash.
Analysis of this water shows a rather high chlorine content and somewhat excessive hardness. The bacterial count was low, however, and colon bacilli were not found present, thus indicating the absence of active contamination at the time the samples were collected. While not actively contaminated, it is obvious that this supply should be more adequately developed:
(a) By the construction of more suitable basins about the springs.
(b) By the enclosure of an area about them with a substantially constructed fence.
(c) By the construction of drainage ditches within this enclosure to divert surface wash.
Pruyn supply The supply for Mr. Pruyn's residence is derived from a spring developed similarly to that of Mr. Mayer's. The cover was not tight, however, and there appeared to be considerable opportunity for surface wash finding its way into this supply. The spring is located on the side of the mountain just south of the supply previously described.
Analyses of samples of water collected from this supply show water slightly colored and turbid at the time of the inspection. The figures for nitrogen in its various forms are moderate but those for chlorine appeared to be somewhat high although possibly not above normal. The water is very hard. The bacterial count was high and colon bacilli were found present in all 3 of the 10 c.c. and in one of the three 1 c.c. inoculations, thus indicating the presence of active contamination. This supply should be more adequately developed:
(a) By the construction of a more substantial cover over the spring.
(b) By enclosing a suitable area about the spring with substantially constructed fence.
(c) By the construction of drainage ditches within this enclosure to constructed fence.
Becker supply The supply for Mr. Becker's residence is derived from four di rent sources, namely, the Altamont village, an artesian well, and two shallow dug wells. The village supply, as previously stated, is described in a separate report.
The artesian well is located about 150 feet south of Mr. Becker's house, near a small natural drain. The well is 505 feet deep. A casing is sunk for a distance of about 25 feet nearly to the rock formation which in this vicinity consists of shale. At this point a heavy flow of water was encountered. The well was drilled on through the rock, however, to a total depth of 505 feet. The soil from the surface to the rock formation is said to consist principally of clay. A 212-inch suction line was sunk through the casing mentioned above to the bottom of the well. Sediment settling between this pipe and the rock formation partly sealed the well and it was assumed that this seal would prevent the inflow of this water, from near the surface, into the lower part of the well. To dispose of the flow of water mentioned above the outer casing was tapped and a pipe laid for a distance of 30 or 40 feet whence this water was allowed to run to waste. distance of about 300 feet up the hill from the well is located a cesspool which receives the sewage from Mr. Mayer's place located about 18 mile above.