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Location.-- Niagara county, near mouth of Niagara river.
1. That the raw Niagara river water is dangerously contaminated.
2. That the purification plant was ineffective in removing this pollution, due to its incomplete equipment and inefficient operation.
3. That there is considerable danger of pollution of the local wells from which water is principally obtained for domestic purposes. As a result of these conditions and the dangerous condition existing at Youngstown, with respect to the water supply, the following recommendations to be acted upon the village authorities were made in the previous report:
1. That steps be taken immediately to improve the present filter plant and its method of operation by
(a) The design and installation of an apparatus for the satisfactory application of alum to the water before it passes upon the filter.
(b) Installing additional filters if no supplementary treatment is provided.
(c) Rearranging the pipe connections supplying the wash water for the filter, so that the filtered water may be obtained from the standpipe for washing the filter, and wasting the first filtrate after washing.
(d) Preventing the discharge of untreated water directly into the mains under any circumstances.
. 2. That, in view of the seriously contaminated condition of the Niagara river, and of the somewhat unreliable results obtained from this type of filter, and also in view of the comparatively high rate at which the present filter must be operated, suitable apparatus be provided for the constant sterilization of the filtered water with liquid chlorine.
3. That as soon as the above improvements are carried out and it can be shown that satisfactory results are being obtained, the well supplies be abandoned. It also seems advisable that regular analyses of the water be made during the year to control the operation and determine the effectiveness of the plant, and in view of the obvious lack of efficient operation of the filter plant, as above pointed out, and to the prime importance of this feature as affecting the safety of the water supply, it is suggested that the village follow out the plan which is now being generally adopted by the more progressive waterworks managements in this State of engaging the services of a competent consulting expert to make occasional visits to the plant during the year to study the local conditions and operation of the filters and give detailed advice as to the best methods to employ to improve the operation of the plant and maintain it at its highest pos
sible efficiency. As a result of the present investigations it is apparent that the village has taken no action whatever on the previous recommendations and, in fact, it appears that the village officials are indisposed to take any definite steps toward the securing of a pure and wholesome water supply. There is a controversy between the village and the company that installed the water purification plant, regarding settlement for the plant. The village contends that
the filter does not meet the guarantee given by the company and they have, therefore, held back part of the payment for the equipment. Due to these negotiations, which have been pending for some 5 or 6 years, the village authorities do not feel justified in taking any action regarding the matter, due in part to the fear of complicating the legal aspects of the case, if they in any way tamper with the present installation. It seems, however, that the installation of a liquid chlorine plant, as recommended by this Department, thus showing the necessity of additional equipment, in order to render the water satisfactory for potable purposes, would tend to strengthen the case of the village, especially since this could be accomplished without in any way altering the present installation.
Considerable emphasis is placed by the village authorities upon the fact that people of the village do not use the water of the public supply for potable purposes, but that they use water from local wells. This is a factor, however, which was discussed to a considerable extent in the previous report, in which report it was pointed out that there is considerable danger of these wells becoming polluted, and in fact, samples collected from a well near the center of the village at that time indicated active contamination. Furthermore, the village should not lose sight of the fact that, although the inhabitants know the insanitary condition of their public supply, the traveling public is not familiar with these conditions and is, therefore, quite apt to draw water from any convenient faucet for drinking purposes. The question then involves not only the protection of the inhabitants of the village, but also the protection of visitors thereto. It seems, therefore, that the providing of a pure and wholesome public water supply is of vital importance to the village of Youngstown, and that the matter should receive the careful consideration of the village officials.
Samples of the water were collected at the time of the present inspection and sent to the Division of Laboratories and Research for analyses, the results of which are recorded in the appended table.
The results of these analyses are corroboratory of previous statements, in that they show the unquestionably contaminated condition of the raw water and the ineffective purification accomplished by the filters. In fact, in this particular instance there were a greater number of bacteria in the filtered than in the unfiltered water, and colon bacilli were almost as prevalent. As a result of this investigation then, it may be concluded:
1. That the public water supply of Youngstown is at practically all times seriously contaminated and unsafe for potable purposes and is, therefore, a menace to the health, not only of the inhabitants of Youngstown, but also of visitors to the village.
2. That the village officials have appeared heretofore to be disposed to take the necessary steps to improve these conditions, since nothing has
been done to carry out the recommendations of the previous report. In view of the above, I beg to recommend that the village officials be again urged to proceed with the least possible delay to secure the carrying out of the recomendations of the previous report.
Chief Engineer ALBANY, N. Y., February, 7, 1917
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; g, grassy; m musty; v, vegetable.
In addition to the investigations listed above, inspections regarding water supplies were made and letter of advice transmitted to the local authorities in the following instances :
Amsterdam, Binghamton State Hospital, New York City, Peekskill State Camp (Swimming Beach for Boys Camp), Plattsburgh, Poughkeepsie (Hudson River State Hospital), Valatie (State Farm for Women Offenders), Wingdale (Water Supply for Proposed Prison).
TRANSMITTAL OF REPORTS UPON ANALYSES OF
PUBLIC WATER SUPPLIES
During 1917 the reports by the Division of Laboratories and Research upon analyses of public water supplies have been transmitted by the Engineering Division. The departure from past procedure was due to the fact that practically complete information regarding nearly all the public water supplies of the State is now on file with the Engineering Division. With detailed knowledge of the sources of the various supplies it is evident that more satisfactory interpretation of analyses can be made than where euch information is incomplete or wholly lacking. Furthermore, in many cases, recommendations for improvements had been made by this Department following the investigation of water supplies by the Engineering Division and, therefore, at such times as the results of additional analyses have been transmitted to the local authorities opportunity has been given to again bring up the matter of such improvements. During the year some 75 letters transmitting water analyses have been sent out.