THE DE\TELGPMENT OF THE METROPOLITAN DISTRICT OF BALTIMORE COUNTY INTRODUCTION The question of supplying water is an old one, and history shows that the Roman, Greek, and civilisation antedating the Greek by a thousand years, all had their water supplies. The Romans built large aqueducts, the remains of which are still standing. The most famous of these were the Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus. The Aqua Claudia, carried water to Rome from two springs that forty-five miles away. Thirty- five miles of this was underground, and the remaining ten miles above. The inside was rectangular, measuring four feet by nine feet. The Anio JSP"! AQUA CLAUDIA. Novus carried water sixty- two miles to the City of Rome. It was partly above and partly below the ground. The Greeks cut their aqueducts underground, often going under streams, through mountains, and in the case of the City of Syracuse, ran one under the sea. The Romans even had water meters. The earliest record of pipe was obtained from excavations of the Temple of Bel, at Nippur, Babylonia by Helprect who found clay pipe -2- which dates back 4000 B. C. It is believed that this work belongs to the fifth millenium in the Kingdom of Nimrod. The clay pipes were imbedded in the bottom of an arched tunnel, which compares on a small scale, with those of today. These clay pipes are about six inches in diameter and undoubtedly did not have much pressure on them. PIPE JOINTS. The first mention we have of iron is that of Tubal Cain, about 3874 B. C. Both clay and lead pipes were used by the Greeks 600 B. C. Viturvius, 25 B. C.j states that lead pipes were made about twenty-five feet in length, and bent up from sheets, the size of the pipe being governed by the width of the sheets. Cast iron was first mentioned as in use in France in the sixteenth century, and in London in the seventeenth century. In America nothing was done in the way of public water supply until the early part of the eighteenth century. -3- COMPLSXITY CF SANITARY PROBLEMS The sanitary problems in Baltimore County have always been complex, because of certain peculiarit s of the County, which are not common in most of the other counties, in this or other states. The peculiarities are of two kinds — those of geography and those of polit- ical subdivision. The geographic peculiarity is due to the fact that the more thickly populated part of Baltimore County practically circumscribes Baltimore City. Except for political boundary lines there is virtually no seperation of population from Baltimore City and Baltimore County. FIG. A -4- This geographic situation has resulted in an intensification of sanitary difficulties which probably do not arise in many other counties, where populations are scattered in small groups. FIRST WATER COMPANY IN THE COUNTY In 1888 the City of Baltimore took the Gunpowder River supply and erected the first Lock Raven reservoir. Under legislative enact- ment, the County was granted the right to withdraw, for Its own use, a maxirauiJFoT^fSh /gallons a day. However, no mention was made as to how this was to be gotten to the various parts of the County. Subsequently, the Baltimore County Water and Electric Company, a private concern, ac- quired therights in the patapsco River, and distributed water through its mains to a portion of the more congested district around the City. INCREASE IN POPULATION The population, moreover, was steadily increasing in Balti- more County. In three years, proceeding the taking of the 1910 census, the increase in population was about thirty- seven per cent. To meet this increase other water companies were organized and operated in the County, until there were seven in all. LACK OF SANITARY FACILITIES In 1912, the Baltimore ounty Commissioners, in a public document, reoognised the difficulties to be met in supplying the district with water and sewerage, in the following words: "The one great draw- back to the desirability of this entire section of Baltimore County has always been the lack of adequate sewerage and water facilities." — "That -6- for more than ten years past there have been frequent demands on the part of residents for relief from this intolerable condition of affairs." However, they were not able at this time to determine upon any proper, general plan of providing these requirements of modern communities, at minimum cost and with the most economical organization. One of the reasons for this was that at this time, the subject of annexation had begun to be agitated. Pending the outcome of this struggle, no plan could be undertaken by the County authorities that did not involve the contingency of annexation. ANNEXATION In 1918, annexation became a fact, and with it, or immediately subsequent thereto, the taking over, by the City of Baltimore, the sys- tems of seven water companies, including that of the Baltimore County Water and Electric Company. A large part of this company's system was now in the City annex. Everyone thought that the sanitary problems of this section were over, but, immediately following the annexation, there was an enormous increase in population and building operations in the district around the new city line. It was now necessary to supply this community with water and sewerage. POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM When the County authorities and citizens found themselves confronted with this situation, it was evident to them that there were only two possible solutions to the problem. First, to seek an entirely seperate source of supply, with the necessary reservoir, pumping, and -6- filtering stations, and a system of mains of sufficient size to dis- tribute the water over the entire populus area of the County, parallel- ing in part, or acquiring in part, that part of the old Baltimore County Water and Electric Company* s system, which still remained in parts of the County. Second, to effect some arrangement with the City by which it would supply water through its plants, and by an extension of its mains, through the district around the City. ADVISABILITY OF SECOND PLAN Such a project as the first would have involved a large ex- penditure of capital, to be borne either directly by the entire County, or by a sanitary district to be created. It would also have brought political and legislative complications in the acquirement and adjust- ment of the water rights and properties of Baltimore City. Hence the second plan seemed the only sensible and practical solution to the prob- lem under all circumstances. The principle question of the plan was, could such an arrangement be effected with the authorities of Baltimore City. After many negotiations, the City finally agreed to enter into the second plan. CITY FAILS TO COOPERATE However, as the population continued to increase, the City made no extension in the County, thus depriving the community of proper sanitary facilities, which greatly retarded its development. In 1923 , the State Department of Health pointed out to the Baltimore County Commissioners that neither sewerage nor water supply were available at -7- Landsdowne, Arbutu3, Oella, Wood lawn, Pikes villa, Essex, and several other communities. They also pointed out that there were no sewers of proper design or adequacy in Halethorpe, Relay, and several other localities. All of the above mentioned communities were, and had been for some time, sufficiently populated to require something other than ancient forms of water supply and sewage disposal facilities. The only conclusions , which could be drawn in 1923 from the facts mentioned above were that relatively little improvement had taken place in twenty-five years, in the sanitary conditions in these areas. In some cases, conditions were considerably worse, because of overflowing cesspools and polution of streams, than in previous years. Water service had become increasingly difficult to obtain after annexation, since private water enterprises in Baltimore County had been eliminated by purchase, by Baltimore City. A REMEDY SOUGHT At that time a small group of prominent citizens, numbering about twenty-five or thirty, started a movement to secure a remedy for the relief of the situation. They decided that what was most needed was some plan for the co-operative solving of water and sewage problems common to various communities in the area under consideration. In other words, some principle of organization was needed to be established for the construction, maintenance, and operation of sewerage, water supply,, and stormwater drainage systems. They also decided that two primary elements were essential, one, that the control of the undertaking should remain in the hands of the Baltimore County Residents; and, two, that -8- some duly constituted authority should be granted legal powers to pro- vide for proper co-ordination of the problems and plans involved in such a complex undertaking. The also realized that aa water and sewerage systems must always be treated as co-ordinate units, it would be undesirable to attempt to design and construct individual water supply and sewerage systems for individual areas. The rate of growth in the area surrounding Baltimore City had been so rapid that the mere differences in the names of these areas did not signify distinct and seperate communities. Topography and over-lapping of populations indicated to most persons interested in the sanitary problems of Baltimore County that any plan for improve- ment muct recognize that the thickly populated section encircling the City of Baltimore was, in reality, a single unit rather than a group of isolated towns. PLAN DECIDED UPON In view of these facts it was evident to the persons concerned in the future of the County, that the best plan from a sanitary and an ecomomie point of view would lie in the establishment of an organization for the construction, maintenance, and operation of sewerage, water sup- ply, and storm-water drainage systems for the entire area, each unit of which would be coordinated with the design for the entire area. The engineers consulted on this problem agreed that this co-ordinated plan would offer the most economical, and most prompt solution to the in- creasing difficulties. The next thing, which had to be accomplished was to establish the form of organization by legislative enactment. This would provide -9- th© administrative body, the engineering forces, and the system of financing to meet the peculiar geographic, political, and economic demand of this area. The result of a careful investigation of possible plans was the Baltimore County Metropolitan District legislation, known as Senate Bill No. 175. This bill was enacted by the 1924 Legislative Assembly of Maryland and became effective May first 1924. THE METROPOLITAN DISTRICT ACT This bill created a metropolitan district in Baltimore County, contiguous to Baltimore City, to provide for the construction, maintenance, operation, purchase, or condemnation of water supply, sew- erage, and storm water drainage systems, and for the issuance of bonds, and the levy of taxes, assessments, benefits, and chafcges. The bill designated by the county Commissioners of Baltimore County as the duly constituted authority for carrying out the provisions of this act. They were made responsible for the appointing, and fixing of the compensation of the engineers to carry out the details of the project. It granted the commissioners rights of acquiring land, struct- ures, sources of water supply, or other property which might be necessary for the proper development of their programs. All of Baltimore County was not placed in the Metropolitan District. Of the six hundred and four square miles in Baltimore County, two hundred and thirty-four were placed in the district. The boundaries of this part of the county were specified in the bill. As the problems of the district were very closely connected with those of Baltimore City, the bill provided that all surveys, studies. -10- and plans must be made in co-operation with the Chief Engineer of Bal- timore City. This provision was essential in order that the systems des- igned and constructed would follow a uniform plan and would not conflict with the programs and policies of Baltimore City. Due to the fact that water supply facilities were not easily available, the act also provided, subsequent to agreement with Baltimore City authorities, that Baltimore City be authorized and directed to make extensions of water supply in the district, whenever and wherever requested by the Commissioners of Baltimore County. At the request of these Commissioners, the City of Baltimore was empowered to assume operating control of the water supply services in the Metropolitan District, after the extensions had been made and paid for by the County Commissioners. OTHER PROBLEMS However, there were still many problems to be solved after the passage of this bill. First, there was no orginisation, machinery, or equipment that was capable of performing the task. There was however, a small body of men that had been engaged on the Towson Sewer Installat- ion. These were given places, and around them, as a nucleus, the present orginlzation was formed. Another problem which confronted the Commissioners, was the best method of oontrol of this area. They decided that the best way was to divide the territory into seven sub-districts. The areas of these districts varied from five to twenty-five square miles. (See fig. a.) -11- Metropolitan District Organization WORK ACCOMPLISHED TO DATE Work was begun immediately* Between May 1924, and April 1926, eighty miles of water pipe, ranging in size from six inches to twenty inches; and thirty-five miles of six inch to forty-eight inch sewer pipe were laid. Besides this, a substantion of five million gallon daily capacity has been constructed on North Point Road, A three -12- hundred thousand gallon stand pipe was erected on Upper Landing Avenue. This has an elevation at one hundred and thirty-five feet for maintaining the pressure on the Eseex distribution system* This Btandpipe is on a hill, having an elevation of one hundred and five feet A. M. T. In the year ending April 30, 1926, sixty-two per oent of the total disbursements was for water construction. Two of the greatest demands on the district at this time is that of Bdgemere for water supply, and enlargement of the Towson disposal plant, whioh at present is serving the maximum number it was designed for. This brings the development of the Metrolpoitan District up to the present time. • PERCENTAGE. CHART - 3HOWIHS DISBUR5E.ME.NTS FOR. THE YEAR, ENQ1NS APRIL X>, I92&. ii promotion ruprwj;) AWtftTuiNa.K I ,02% IS IMJURE AKO DAMAfltl I .037- 6t MISCELLANEOUS PROPERTIES [ .047. M LtSAL EXPENSES PRINTIHS,RECOftD>MB | .10". n insurance | .207 77 deferred expenses .20 7. V 6rnERAL ASSETS. TAH6L&LE. 1 .907. UN PUMPIN* SYSTEM PROPERTIES WATER ■ 1.507. ll ACCOUNTING AND OrflCt, 6IU.INS ■ 1.807 11 ADMINISTRATIVE ■ 1.907. 10 SINKING FUND ■ 2.107. M INTEREST AKO SYSTEM RENTALS | A.d07. V&7 SEWER CONSTRUCTION W- 47 WATER CONSTRUCTION Z4.G07. 162,007. -13- Substation on North Point Road. Pump Room -14- The Easex Stand-pipe District. Served By The Above Stand-pipe -15- t •* Towson Disposal Plant. -16- All the data for this thesis was obtained from the following: 1. The Baltimore County Metropolitan District's bulletins. 2* The Annual Report of the Metropolitan District 5. A personal interview with Mr. A. E. Walden, Chief Engineer of the Metropolitan District.