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day (24 hours) more than in 1875; 8,000,000 more than in 1873; 13,000,000 more than in 1870, and 17,000,000 more than in 1864.

This increase can in part be accounted for by the large number of water-takers, both in new and old houses, as also in the waste of water both in private and public buildings.

The following table illustrates the number of water-takers from July 1st, 1859, to date:

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In private buildings, during the past season, measures were taken to check the evil, and with success, so far as to give parts of the city on the higher elevation, heretofore without water, a fair supply. This subject, “waste-water," is fully discussed in another part of this report. As to public buildings owned and occupied by the General Government, this department has no control either to regulate the water-supply or to check the waste that is daily observed.

The following table illustrates approximately the quantity of water Used every twenty-four hours in nineteen public buildings :

Amount of water used by Government buildings every twenty-four hours.

Treasury .........
Treasury machine-shop..
Navy-yard ........ ...
Navy Department....
State Department ......
War Department.....
Winder's building .......
Patent-Office .....
Post-Office ........
Agricultural building and grounds
Smithsonian Institution ..........
Botanical Garden, including fountain
Hydrograpbic Office ..
Capitol ........
President's house............
Pension Bureau, Twelfth street and Pennsylvania avenue ......
Post-office, Georgetown....
New jail ........
Quartermaster-General's Office, Pennsylvania avenue and Fifteenth street..

Gallons. 600.000 280,000 700.000 300,000 400,000 350,000 200,000 400,000 400,000 350,000 150,000 500,000 150,000 600,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 200,000 200, 000




Total number gallons used.....

This figures up 6,380,000 gallons; and add the amount of water used and wasted in the different Government reservations, fountains, and so fortb, it is safe to assume that 9,000,000 gallons every twenty-four hours is not too liberal an estimate.

The capacity of 12 and 30 inch mains: 12-inch .............................................

1, 150, 560 - 30-inch ........

...... 11, 368, 500 Total capacity of 12 and 30 inch mains......

.. 12,519, 360 And of 36-inch main ......

...... 17, 935, 200 Total of 12, 30, and 36 inch mains...

... 30, 454,560 So that in public buildings, reservations, &c., we consume daily threefourths of the whole supply brought to the city by the 12 and 30 inch mains, and nearly one-fourth of the supply brought by the 12, 30, and 36 inch mains combined.

It is true the act of Congress approved March 3, 1859, says:

The said engineer (engineer of the Washington Aqueduct) shall have full power and control over the said water-works, and shall regulate the manner in which the said corporations of Washington and Georgetown may tap the pipes for the supply thereof, and shall stop the same whenever it is found no more than adequate to meet the wants of the General Government.

The above law is just, and was passed for the purpose of protecting the Government interest and necessities, and is often quoted to explain the supremacy of the Departments in the use of water. But it was evi. dently not the intent of this law, nor was it the intention of those who passed it, to permit a river of water to run to waste, to the inconvenience and injury of many citizens and their property. To remedy this and other defects, as well as to provide ways and means for the future watersupply of this District, I recommend the appointment of a board of engineers, experts in the matter of water-supply to cities. This board shall thoroughly examine into the whole question in all its details, and recommend a system that will embrace plans for the laying of additional mains, construction of reservoirs, filtration, and other subjects in connec ion with water-supply; and when the same shall have been approved, it shall be the guide bereafter.

The necessity for such action is very apparent to all, particularly so to those who have made a study of the subject.

WASTE WATER. In all large cities there is now, and has been for years, a growing scarcity of water, and to this rule the District does not prove an excep. tion. In addition to an insufficient supply, the most prolific cause of this evil is the waste of water, which in this department may be classified as follows:

First. The extravagant use in the several Departments of the Gov. ernment, or, more properly speaking, the buildings owned and occupied by the Government.

Second. The extravagant use by citizens.

Third. The waste by the use of different patterns of closets, so constructed as to allow a continuous flow.

Fourth. Leaks in mains and services.

Fifth. Leaks in fixtures in residences caused either by accident or defective plumbing.

In regard to the first-named cause, this department has no remedy. but the preceding statement of the daily average use in said buildings, amounting to 6,380,000 gallons, will prove the truth of the assertion, Over the remaining causes the water department has entire supervision; and during the past year I have made the utmost endeavors, by every means in my power, to prevent them.

Early in the present year a competent corps of assistant inspectors was organized, the city divided into inspection-districts, and a careful and thorough examination made of the streets, alleys, and residences in each district.

The number of leaks in the mains, services, hydrants, and fire-plugs reported and repaired during the year was 812 ; the number of wasteleaks in private residences reported was 740. In each of these cases a formal notice to have the waste cease and leaks repaired within a stated period was left with the owner or occupant of premises, and at the expiration of the time allowed a re-examination was made. In most instances the terms of the notice had been cheerfully complied with; but in some, on account of the continued refusal of the owners to repair, the department was forced to resort to the arbitrary power conferred by law, and the water-supply was cut off, and only restored after the necessary repairs had been made.

In making their tour, the inspectors ascertained that by far the most fruitful source of waste was the carelessness of occupants of residences who permitted spigots and closets to flow continuously, possibly not aware of the value of water, and probably caring but little for it. In all these cases a warning was given that if the practice was continued the water would be cut off; but, as it was entirely impracticable during the period of this inspection to make continuous visits to private resi. dences, the result of the warning cannot be stated.

The following table will explain the result of the labor of the inspection:

E.ramination of houses from January to July, 1876.

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of the above, a re-examination proved that more than one-half, both of waste and leaks, were rectified by the owner without further trouble ; in many instances additional time was given to make the necessary re. pairs; and in 321 cases the supply of water was cut off, and only restored when the owners had promised the waste should cease in the one case, or until the necessary repairs had been made in the other.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES. The act of April 12, 1861, (sec. 32,) for the government of the water department provides :

If any occupant of premises into which has been introduced the water shall permit the same to run or waste unnecessarily from any hydrant, cock, jet, street-washer, or other fixture; or if any hydrant, jet, cock, street-washer, or other fixture be found leaking, and said occupant, owner, or agent of the premises shall refuse or neglect to have the necessary repairs made without delay, or refuse admission to the water registrar, inspector, or other authorized agent into his premises when in the official discharge of his duty, as hereinbefore provided, the person so offending sball forfeit and pay a fine of not less than five dollars nor more than thirty dollars for each offense, and the supply of water shall be stopped from said premises until satisfactory evidence is given the water-registrar that the like case will not occur again.

June 18, 1875, the honorable Commissioners issued an order as fol. lows:

Owing to the waste of water in public places, and the inconvenience resulting therefrom to many of the citizens of the District, the Commissioners have deemed it proper to adopt the following orders: The spigots therein mentioned can be procured at any plumbing establishment. Ordered : Spigots used in bar-rooms, restaurants, barbershops, and similar places must be of the make known as spring-valve spigots.

2. Only one spigot will be allowed each bar.

3. Water-closets, where Potomac water is used, must be so constructed as to prevent waste; those now in use that are of a pattern to allow a continuous flow of water must be altered so as to prevent the same.

4. Fixtures for the use of water in livery-stables, railroad-depots, dyeing establishments, hotels, market-houses, station-houses, school-houses, barber-shops, and similar places must be of such, a character as to prevent the unnecessary use and waste of water.

5. It shall be the duty of the water-registrar to examine and inspect, as now provided for by law, all premises using Potonnac water, and in any place where the fistures are not of the character herein before provided, be sball notify the occupants of said premises to make, within ten days after notice, such alterations as may by him be deemed necessary to prevent the waste and unnecessary use of Potomac water, and if such alterations are not made within said ten days after notice, the water shall be stopped off until these requirements are fully complied with and satisfactory evidence of the fact given to the water-registrar at his office.

In accordance with the two above-named ordinances, a canvass of the city was made by the assistant inspectors, and the result was a noticeable decrease in the waste of water mainly by the substitution of the spring-valve for ordinary spigots in the restaurants and exchanging the common valve for other and more desirable classes of closets. There was at the time considerable opposition ou the part of restaurant-keepers to the change, but they finally complied, more especially after they had ascertained that there was no patent on the spring-valve, and that they could be obtained for a very moderate cost from any of the plumbers of the city.

In the case of the water-closets which were constructed to run continuously, more trouble was experienced, as in many instances the owner or occupant of premises declined to undergo the expense of a change, but promised that the constant flow should cease. They may have kept their promise for a while, but it is probable that a further inspection will prove that the stoppage was only temporary, and that they are allowed to flow, as they were constructed to flow, constantly. In that event I sball vigorously enforce the law requiring that they be changed. In connection with the subject of waste by closets, the following carefully-prepared statement of the relative use of water by different classes of closets, submitted by the water-registrar of Boston to the Cochituate water board, will be found to contain information at once interesting and valuable, and at the same time equally as applicable to this District as to Boston.


January 1, 1874, there were 16,137 of the different styles of these "hoppers” located within the premises of water-takers. They are found in all classes of houses ; in the best ones, they are usually situated in the area under the sidewalk, or in back premises, exposed to frost, for the use of servants. The water is turned on in general by turning a crank, whereupon the water runs until turned off; and this turning off is precisely what is omitted, because, totally unlike the pan-closet, which must of necessity elose when the hand is removed, the water in the "hopper" flows until the specific operation of turning the crank again is performed, which is very apt to be inadver- . tently, negligently, or willfully left undone.


C'nder this head are two hundred and nine self-acting closets ; that is to say, by open ing a door or seat-pressure. These allow a flow of water only when in use, consequently the liability of these being left open is less than with the plain "hopper," but they require a much larger quantity of water than either the pan or self-acting closet. For instance, a family of seven persons, each one using the self-acting closet five minutes a day, these two hundred and nine closets call for 36,575 gallons, or saving in favor of the “pan or self-closing" of 30,723 gallons per day.

The manifest economy of the pan or self-closing closet over the “hopper" is still more forcibly shown from the following cases, which the introduction of meter-measuretdent has enabled the department to set forth accurately:

Case No. 1.- Where there were five hopper-closets supplied, in twelve months they consumed 1,088,750 gallons. By substituting pan-closets for these, consumption for the same time was reduced to 384,831 gallons; amount saved, 703,919 gallons.

Case No. 2.- Where there were three hopper-closets supplied, in twelve months they consumed 1,255,470 gallons. By substituting pan-closets for these for the same length of time, the consumption was reduced to 19,859 gallons; amount saved, 1,235,611 gallons.

CASE No.3.- Where there was one bopper-closet, in twelve months it consumed 554,760 gallons. By substituting a pan-closet for the same length of time the consumption was reduced to 100,572 gallons; amount saved, 454,208 gallons.

Case No.4.–Where there were three hopper-closets supplied, in twelve months they consumed 494,180 gallons By substituting six pan for the three “ hoppers" for the same length of time, the consumption was reduced to 113,774 gallons; amount saved, 300.406 gallons.

Case No. 5,- Where there was one bopper closet supplied, it consumed 554,800 gallops. By substituting one self-acting closet for the same length of time the consomption was reduced to 79,205 gallons; amount saved, 475,595 gallons.

The result of the above five cases shows in thirteen closets alone a total saving of 2219,739 gallons a year, or a daily saving of 685 gallons for each closet, at the same time affording all the needed service. In these cases meters are attached, and the water is doubtless shut off at night, showing in part that the great waste was in the workinghours of the day. But for the meter, which compels the consumer to pay for the water wasted as well as used, the estimate of loss above given would be more than doubled.

NOTE.-The closets termed "bopper," in the above report, are identical with the several valve-closets used in this District, in which the supply is controlled by a crank or wheel ; in other words, closets which will How continuously unless the supply is shut off by the turning of a crank or wheel.


Attention is particularly invited to a table which is the result of a thorough canvass of the city and a personal visit and inspection of each house taking Potomac water by the assistant inspectors. The task was a laborious and expensive one, but the results fully justify the undertaking, as by it the exact number and condition of fixtures was ascertained, and many houses were found to be using water without anthority of law, and without the payment of rent, and they were at once required to comply with the law. The classification of business is pot as detailed as it might have been, but those specially enumerated in the table are the only ones which are charged extra rates.

The hotels, churches, schools, and charitable institutions, police. stations, engine-houses, &c., were omitted, as it was at the time imprac. ticable to inspect them, but at an early day they will all be subjected to examination. The table which is annexed in detail shows that 1,170 squares were examined, 11,964 houses inspected, with the following result: Total number of closets in use, '10,246; baths, 5,543; basins,

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