Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

* Two days in transit.
Results are expressed in parts per million. + Present. Absent.

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; &, grassy; m, musty; v, vegetable.

RAYBROOK (State Hospital for Incipient Pulmonary

tuberculosis)

HERMANN M. BIGGS, M.D., State Commissioner of Health:

I beg to submit the following report upon an investigation of the sanitary condition of the water supply of the State Hospital for Incipient Pulmonary Tuberculosis at Ray Brook made by Mr. C. M. Baker, assistant engineer, on November 1, 2 and 3, 1917.

This investigation was taken up subsequent to the occurrence of several cases of typhoid fever at the institution and following the receipt of information to the effect that a lumbermen's camp had been established upon the watershed from which the supply is obtained.

General information

Location.— Ray Brook, Essex county.
Population.- October 1, 1917, patients, 299; employees, 110; total, 409.

Source of supply.- Small mountain brook which is tributary to Ray Brook, the intake being about 21/4 miles northeast of the institution.

Consumption. -- Roughly estimated at from 50,000 to 135,000 gallons per day.

Distribution system.-A 4-inch cast-iron pipe conducts the water by gravity from the intake to a 1,000,000-gallon and a 25,000-gallon storage reservoir on a hill back of the institution, from which the water flows by gravity through the distribution system. These reservoirs are side by side and are supplied by a Y branch inlet.

Pressure.— The top of the storage reservoir is about 85 feet higher in elevation than the main buildings of the institution, thus giving a pressure of about 35 pounds per square inch.

Storage.-- Two reservoirs, one with an estimated capacity of 1,000,000 gallons and the other 25,000 gallons.

Purification.- None.

area.

Reference to previous investigations.-1915, 36th Annual Report and report under date of June 21, 1917.

The watershed from which the supply is obtained lies on the side of a mountain about 3 miles northeast of the institution and is about 1 square mile in

At the time of the previous investigations there were no inhabitants on this watershed nor were there any roads or prominent trails across it. It was therefore apparent that the supply was subject to only accidental, incidental or wilful pollution from chance hunters or trespassers upon the watershed or from wild animals in the vicinity. About the middle of June, 1917, however, a lumber camp was established on the watershed by the Champlain Paper Company, a subsidiary company of the International Paper Company. Furthermore, a road has been constructed across the watershed over which the logs being cut will be hauled to the Ray Brook station during the winter.

This camp is located on a stream tributary to the supply at a point about 112 miles above the intake. At the time of an inspection of the camp by an official of the institution, about October 10, 1917, two insanitary privies were found to be located close to the stream. On October 18 and 26 inspections of the camp were made by Dr. Ball, sanitary supervisor. At the time of Dr. Ball's first inspection one privy provided with a wooden box vault was found to be located about 25 feet from the stream and another provided with no vault was about 150 feet distant. Later at Dr. Ball's suggestion these.privies were moved to a greater distance from the stream.

An inspection was made of the camp by the Assistant Engineer on November 1, 1917. At this time one privy provided with a wooden box vault was located about 60 feet from the stream while the other was about 300 feet distant and was provided with an earth vault about 4 feet deep. Trenches were being dug well back from the stream in which to dispose of the contents of the box vault. The building which contains the kitchen and living quarters of the camp is located about 50 feet from the stream and the barn is about 150 feet distant. Slops and wash water are thrown on the ground near the kitchen. At the time of this inspection there were some 25 people present at the camp. The road mentioned above traverses practically the full length of the watershed crossing streams tributary to the supply in a number of places.

Six cases of typhoid fever have occurred at the institution, one case occurring on each of the following dates: September 24, 25, 28 and October 1 and two occurring later, on October 17, 1917. Three of the cases were patients at the institution and two were employees while the sixth was a storekeeper located about 14 of a mile from the institution. All of these people except the storekeeper used the water from the institution supply. Although full information could not be obtained, it was alleged that none of those at the camp had had any sickness. Accurate information of this character, however, is of course always difficult to obtain. Several employees had already left the camp. Although many of the present employees had been tested for Widal reaction, not all had been, nor had other tests been made to fully determine and exclude entirely the presence of any carriers among the employees or visitors to the camp.

Samples of the water were collected by Dr. Ball, sanitary supervisor, also by the authorities of the institution, and sent to the Division of Laboratories and Research for analyses prior to the time of this investigation. These analyses have not been completed as yet, but judging from the preliminary tion from the sources found to exist on the watershed. results there is little doubt that the final results will get

As a result of this investigation it is evident that the stream from which the water supply of the hospital is obtained is subject to contamination and that there is potential danger of an infection of the supply, not only from the privies located near the stream but also from the workmen who traverse the watershed and are at times working some distance from the camp and who doubtless do not at all times under these conditions observe proper sanitary precautions. The ways in which contamination may find its way into the stream from the various sources are too numerous and obvious to warrant detailed discussion here.

As a result of this investigation it may be concluded:

1. That the following conditions on the watershed from which the hospital supply is obtained constitute a serious menace to the sanitary quality of the supply:

(a) The maintenance of a permanent camp and privies in connection therewith in close proximity to the stream from which the supply is obtained.

(b) The presence of some 20 or 30 persons on the watershed, who traverse it to a considerable extent and who work in different parts of the watershed some distance from the permanent camp during the day.

(c) The maintenance of a road across the watershed which crosses the stream in several places and along which there will be consider

able travel. 2. That although these cases of typhoid might be attributable to other causes than the water supply, such as milk, contact or typhoid carriers, the contamination of the water referred to above might readily account for the cases that have occurred.

3. That irrespective of the part which the water supply has actually played in the causation of the cases of typhoid that have occurred there is absolutely no doubt as to the potential danger of the present supply under the conditions found to exist on the watershed nor as to the impracticability of adequately protecting the supply by applying preventive measures of protection only under the existing conditions. It follows therefore that adequate protection from this potential or actual menace

can be secured only by proper treatment of the water supply. In view of the above, I beg to offer the following recommendations:

1. That apparatus be provided by the institution at once and that the water supply be sterilized with liquid chlorine.

2. That the Champlain Realty Company maintain in a proper sanitary condition the privies and labor camp located on the watershed and that the use of the privies at all times by the workmen be enforced in order to minimize the pollution of the stream and vicinity as far as possible.

3. That inspections be frequently made of the camp by the institutional authorities and that every effort be made to have proper sanitary condi

tions maintained at the camp. The apparatus for sterilizing the water can be conveniently installed just below the storage reservoir so as to apply the chemical into the main from the intake before the water reaches the Y branch leading to the separate reservoirs. It would be necessary to provide a small structure to shelter the apparatus, also to provide some method of heating it, since, if the temperature of the apparatus drops below 40 degrees F., trouble is apt to be experienced in its operation. It is probable that, if the building is tightly constructed, an oil heater would furnish sufficient heat. The advantages of applying the chlorine at the place indicated are: First, all of the water could be treated at this place; second, the flow of water through this main is practically constant, the excess over consumption being allowed to discharge through an overflow from the reservoir; and, third, the plant would be located near the institution so that it could be easily looked after by a regular employee.

Finally, I would recommend that copies of this report be sent to the Fiscal Supervisor of State Charities, to the board of trustees and superintendent of the institution, to the sanitary supervisor of the district and to the Champlain Realty Company.

Respectfully submitted,
THEODORE HORTOV,

Chief Engineer ALBANY, N. Y., November 7, 1917

RENSSELAER (Municipal Supply)

HERMANN M. Biggs, M.D., State Commissioner of Health :

I beg to submit the following report on an investigation of the public water supply of Rensselaer, made by Mr. C. M. Baker, assistant engineer, on March 23, 1917.

Rensselaer is a city of 11,210 inhabitants, located on the east bank of the Hudson river, directly across from Albany Municipal and private sewers are provided which discharge without purification into the Hudson river.

The water system is owned and operated by the Rensselaer Water Company and was completed and first put into operation in 1901, the supply being obtained from the Hudson river. Purification was then provided by means of gravity mechanical filters only. Later, in 1911, the plant was equipped with apparatus for sterilizing the water witi hypochlorite oi lime, and in January, 1917, apparatus was installed for treating the supply with liquid chlorine. The water is pumped from the river by low lift pumps into coagulating basins, whence it flows by gravity through the purification plant into a clear water well. From the clear water well the water is pumped by high duty pumps through the distribution system into a storage reservoir located on a hill just east of the city. Practically all of the people of the city are served with the water, there being in all about 2,000 service taps, 50 per cent of which are metered. The average daily water consumption is approximately 1,550,000 gallons, the maximum 2,500,000 gallons and the minimum about 1,200,000 gallons. These figures corresponding to per capita rates of 137,208 and 100 gallons respectively. About 15 per cent of the average consumption is used for railroad and manufacturing purposes. Due to the heavy draft by the railroads, however, about 50 per cent of the water is used for other than domestic purposes at times of There are in all some 20 miles of water mains ranging in size from 2 to 16 inches in diameter.

The reservoir into which the water is pumped from the purification plant is constructed by excavation and embankment, is concrete lined and has a capacity of about 512 millon gallons. It is adequately protected from surface wash and is enclosed by a fence.

The pumping and purification plants are located in a brick building on the bank of the Hudson river in the northern edge of the city. There are two low lift centrifugal pumps, one having a capacity of 3,000,000 gallons and the other of 3,500,000 gallons per day. The high duty pumps consist of one 3,000,000 gallon compound duplex Laidlow Dunn-Gordon pump and two 1,500,000 gallon Worthington pumps. The pumps are now operated by steam power but arrangements are being made whereby electric pment is to be provided. The steam power will be retained, however, as an auxiliary. In connection with this improvement the 3,500,000 gallon low duty pump is to be replaced by a new pump and one of the 1,500,000 gallon Worthington high duty pumps is to be replaced by a new 3,500,000 gallon two-stage centrifugal high duty pump.

The Hudson river above the intake has a total area of approximately 8,000 square miles, with a population of about 600,000, or an equivalent of 75 per square mile. The sewage from 500,000 of the inhabitants is discharged directly to the river and its tributaries. It is obvious, therefore, that the raw water is at all times grossly polluted.

The process of purification consists of coagulation with alum, sterilization with liquid chlorine, filtration through gravity mechanical filters and final. sterilization with liquid chlorine. The water is pumped from the river into the coagulation basins, from which it flows by gravity through the filters to the clear water well. The coagulant is applied in the centrifugal pump before the water enters the coagulating basins and liquid chlorine is applied to the effluent from the basins and to the intake of the high duty primps.

The coagulating basins, 4 in number, are 16 feet in diameter by 20 feet high, having a total capacity of about 120,000 gallons and giving a period of coagulation equivalent to about 1 hour. In addition to these, 6 of the filters have coagulating basins, located under the filter beds, 15 feet in diameter by about 5 feet deep, having a capacity of about 13,000 gallons each, thus giving an additional period of about 3 hour. One and one-half to 21/4 grains of alum per gallon are used as a coagulant, the average being about ž grains per gallon. The alum solution is prepared in 2 concrete tanks 5 feet in diameter by 5 feet decp. One bag of alun is placed in a slat tray which is immersed in the water of the tank and allowed to stand until the alum is dissolved and the solution ready for use. One tank is in operation while the solution is being prepared in the other. From the tank the solution flows by gravity to an orifice tank in which a constant head on the orifice is maintained by a float valve. By means of this orifice the flow of the solution is regulated so that the required amount of alum may be applied to the raw water. The amount of alum necessary is judged by the condition of the raw water with respect to color and turbidity.

The filters, 8 in number and 15 feet in diameter, are of the original type manufactured by the New York Continental Jewell Filtration Company. Six of these filters are of the high type, that is, with coagulating basins located beneath them. Two of more recent construction, however, are not provided with these basins. The filtering medium consists of about 2 feet of sand with an effective size of .48 mm. and a uniformity coefficient of 1.59. The strainers are of the standard continental Jewell type, connected with pipe underdrains. About 112 feet of water is maintained over the sand of the filters,

The average rate of filtration is about 425,000 gallons per filter per day, which corresponds to a rate of about 105,000,000 gallons per acre per day. There is little variation in the rate of filtration, since the rate depends upon the capacity of the low lift pumps, which are operated on an average of about 10 hours per day. Furthermore, Weston controllers are provided in the six old filters and controllers of the Venturi type on the two new filters. The storage reservoir supplies the city when the pumps are not operating. The filters are washed by filtered water which is forced upward through the filters at a rate of about 1,200 gallons per minute per filter, or 6.8 gallons per foot of area. Agitation is provided by means of mechanical agitators. About 612 per cent of the total water filtered is required for washing. The period of run between washings ranges from 6 to 12 hours and the time required for washing is about 5 minutes. All valves are operated by hand. The first filtrate after washing is wasted.

The clear water well is constructed of concrete, is located directly below the filters and has a capacity of about 100,000 gallons.

Two apparatus are provided for applying chlorine to the water, both of the Electric Bleaching Gas Company type. These apparatus are located in a small room on the operating floor of the filter but the absorption tower of the apparatus which applies chlorine to the effluent from the coagulation basins is located at an elevated position near the top of the building so as to give a gravity flow of the chlorine solution from the absorption tower to the point of application. Scales are provided on which the chlorine cylinders are placed and daily records are kept of the actual amount of chlorine applied as indicated by the scale readings. At the time of the inspection chlorine was being applied at a rate of 14 ounces per hour to the raw water and of 6 ounces per hour to the filtered water, or a total rate of 20 ounces per hour. These figures correspond to 0.84, 0.36 and 1.20 parts per million. Chlorine has been applied at a rate as high as 34 ounces per hour or 2.05 parts per million. It is aimed to apply the gas in an amount sufficient to cause a slight trace of residual chlorine in the water as indicated by the Tolidin test. As stated above, the chlorine plant was put into operation in January, 1917, and since this time little trouble has been experienced with its operation except that at one time, due to the collection of air in the pipes, the absorption tower feeding the chlorine solution to the raw water overfilowed and the water backed up into the apparatus, thus causing considerable

« PreviousContinue »