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Full text of "The history and construction of the main sewerage pumping station at the foot of New Jersey Avenue, Washington, D.C."

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As a part of the development of the plan set forth by the 
Board of Sanitary Engineers in July 1890, a sewage pumping sta- 
tion was erected at the foot of New Jersey Avenue for the pur- 
pose of pumping sewage drained there to a sufficient height to 
force it thru an inverted siphon under the Anacostia River to 
the outfall sewer. The station was built from 1903 to 1908 at a 
cost of §1,217,020 under the direction of Asa S. n hillips. 

The sanitary sewage drained there is run thru a sediment 
basin and a set of screens to remove solid matter. It ia then 
raised by centrifugal pumps about 17 feet into the siphon head 
chamber, whence it goes thru the siphon. The sewage from the 
low area of the city is handled separately. The storm water is 
raised by another set of pumps and discharged into the river. 
The engines for driving the sanitary and storm water pumps are 
Allis-Chalmers triple expansion and double expansion, self con- 
densing, corliss valve engines, respectively. Steam is generat- 
ed bv six 293 HP Baboock 4 Wilcox boilers equipped witn Rooney 

Due to obsolescence of old equipment, new pumps, electric 
motors, and screening apparatus is being installed. The pumps, 
with increased capacity, will be operated by 2300 volt synchro- 
nous motors. Current will be purchased from PEPCO. 












THE BOIIERS .. . 27 




BIBLI OGRA^Y . . 38 

* * 





Tlie city of Washington until the year 1850 was a rather un- 
pretentious ana undeveloped town with poor municipal facilities, 
increasing in size at a rate of from four to nine thousand per- 
sons per decade. However, due to increased governmental activi- 
ty stimulated chiefly by the Civil War, the population took a 
sudden upturn, standing at 51,000 in 1850, 75,000 in 1860, and 
131,000 in 1870. Because of this rapid development, a Board of 
Public Works was formed in 1371, and among other municipal im- 
provements, construction of a sewerage system was begun. Sewers 
were planned and built to meet the drainage requirement s of that 
time without provision being made for future extension or devel- 
opment. Due to this lack of foresight, a dangerous nuisance was 
created by the aooumulation of sewage in the populated sections 
of the city. No proper disposal system was provided. All sew- 
erage was discharged directly into various small streams and ca- 
nals within the city. Mr. D. E. McComb, Superintendent of Sewer 
Department, in his annual report for 1387 stated that intercep- 
tion of the main sewers and conveyance of the sewerage to deep 
water was a necessity. The pollution of the James Creek Canal, 


the 17th Street Canal, and Rock Create had created a dangerous 
situation which was a health menace and had "become a oonstant 
source of complaint. 

To remedy this condition, and in the interest of public 
health, an act of Congress on March 2, 1889 authorized the Pres- 
ident of the United States to appoint a board of 3 competent 
sanitary engineers to design and report upon a suitable sewerage 
system for the city. Frederic ?. Stearns, Rudolph He ring, and 
Samuel Gray, who were appointed to this board in August 1889, 
made an exhaustive study of the requirements, and in July 1890 
presented comprehensive plans and recommendations for a system 
of interceptors, a pumping station, an outfall sewer, and for 
dikes about the low area of the city. On these plans, the 
city's present sewerage and sewage disposal system is largely 


It la felt that a brief summary of the sewerage and sewage 
disposal systems would not be amiss here in order to give a clear 
picture of the relation of the pumping station to the rest of the 
system. The term "sewerage system" refers to the system of pip- 
ing draining by gravity the refuse water of the city into larger 
and larger trunk sewers. A standard section of pipe sewer is 
shown in Figure 1. The tern "sewage disposal system" refers to 
the interceptors or large conduits which intercept the trunk 
sewers, the pumping station, the outfall sewer and the treatment 
plant at Blue Plains. 


lfl" Doa farter 

Fig. 1 
Typical section of pipe sewer. 


Fig. 2 

Typical section of an inter- 
ceptor, dinette section is 
shown in the lower part. 


Fig. 3 

Llap of ttia District of Columbia showing the sswa^e disposal 

system (in red) . 


The present sewerage system is essentially made up of com- 
bined system sewers carrying both sanitary and storm water 
drainage in the older sections, while in the newer outlying sec- 
tions, the policy is to construct separate systems for sanitary 
and storm water. The sewerage flows into large gravity inter- 
ceptors which are laid in the thread of the large valleys in the 
District. The interoeptors, a typical section of which is shown 
in Figure 2, connect and deliver substantially the entire sewage 
of the District to the pumping station. The main sewerage pump- 
ing station is located at 2nd and N Streets, S. E., at the end 
of New Jersey Avenue on the Anacostia River, at a point where 
the most satisfactory crossing could be obtained, as well as at 
a point convenient for connection from the interceptors. Four 
substations lift sewerage from low points in the city into tne 
interceptors. The Anacostia sewage is delivered with the aid of 
eight substations to the ra oplar "°oint Station, where it is dis- 
charged into the outfall sewer on the south side of the river. 
From the pumping station, the sewage passes thru an inverted si- 
phon under the river, thru the outfall sewer tc the ^otomac Riv- 
er directly, or to the treatment plant at Blue "Plains. After 
treatment, it is discharged at a point about opposite Alexan- 
dria, Virginia. The positions of these points are shown in Fig- 
ure 3. 


The Superintendent of the Sewer Department, "r. MoComb, in 
his report of 1887, as mentioned above, strongly recommended the 


eonstruction of interceptors to carry off sewage to deep water 
away from the center of population. In February 1890, he recom- 
mended the construction of a pumping station to pump out sewage 
and storm water from the low area, this area being roughly that 
south of S Street and west of the Capitol, which is below the 
level of the river when it is at flood stage. This is the first 
mention found regarding a pumping station. The Board of Sani- 
tary Engineers, in their report in July 1890, included the con- 
struction of a pumping station, the purpose of which would be to 
lift sewage drained there in the interceptors up to a sufficient 
height to force it thru a siphon over to the outfall sewer, and 
also to pump storm water into the river. 

In 1893, the first appropriation for the system planned by 
the Board, of $190,000, was made. This was for construction of 
the 2asby "Point Interceptor. In the following decade, in the 
development of the system, many more interceptors were author- 
ized and construction started. Altho not a part of the pumping 
station, they are such an important adjunct to it, that mention 
of them should be made. The following interceptors were author- 
ized by Congress: 

1393-Easby Point Interceptor 

1896-Rock Creek and B Street interceptor 

1898-Tiber Creek and New Jersey Ave. Interceptor 

1900-Boundary sewer and east side Interceptor 

1902-tow Area trunk sewer 

190 4- Out fall sewer and siphon 

1905-Water and I Streets Interceptor 

1905-4-§- Street Interceptor 

In the meantime, the advent of the pumping station was 
slowly approaching. In 1899, an appropriation for land and pre- 
paration of plans was made. Asa E. Phillips was engaged as 


ohief engineer in charge, and under his hand was developed an 
ingenious and foolproof pumping station whioh today takes care 
of a city oyer twice the size of Washington at that time. The 
careful planning and great foresight used is evidence of the en- 
gineering abilities of Asa E. Phillips. In 1901, the first ap- 
propriation for construction was made. Messrs. Didden and 
Volght were engaged as architects for designing the building 
proper. At this time, Major John Biddle, Corps of Sng'r, IT, S. 
Army, was Engineer Commissioner of the District. The substruc- 
ture of the plant was built by contracts with eight different 
companies, at a oost of $539,820, chief among which was the Am- 
brose B. Stannard Co. The substructure includes the foundation, 
the sea wall, the piers upon which the building rests, the cof- 
fer dams, the oast iron suction and discharge mains, and the 
sediment basin. 

The superstructure, consisting of the building housing the 
equipment and the supporting members for the engines, was con- 
structed by the Ambrose B. Stannard Co. and the American Bridge 
Co, at a total cost of $310,000. 

The equipment, including the engines, pumps, boilers, 
screens, sluice gates, elevator, crane, coal nandling mechanisms, 
recording and metering apparatus, etc., was installed by nine 
companies, with whom oontraots were made at a total outlay of 

Five years were required to consummate the building of the 
station. In the meantime, work: had progressed on the various 
interceptors and was oompleted at approximately the same time. 
The plant was put into operation by 1908. 

Since this time, little change has been made in the station 

up to the present. The paving and improving of the water-front 
area behind the station was accomplished in 1932, along with the 
const ruction of a garage. This construction required about 
eight months. The garage, like the station, is set on piers for 
support, the saturated condition of tne eartn preventing any 
other method. After 1930 or 1931, trucks were used to bring 
ooal to the plant, instead of barges. Therefore, in 1933, the 
old crane equipment for carrying coal from the barges to the 
bunkers was removed. 

The equipment of the plant was given a rated life of 25 
years. This equipment, after giving 30 years of dependable ser- 
vice, was becoming worn, inefficient, and expensive to operate. 
Therefore, specifications for a complete rehabilitation of the 
plant were drawn up. Money was obtained from ?WA funds, and on 
July 28, 193?, reconstruction was started. The new electrically- 
operated equipment, including pumps, improved type screens, sol- 
id matter disposal equipment, reserve emergency equipment, and 
metering apparatus, has a total estimated cost of -f 567, 766, and 
is being installed by the Suburban Engineering Co. of New York 
City. The installation will be completed by July 11, 1938. 
This rehabilitation again brings the station up to date, making 
it modern and efficient in every respect, and giving it increased 
capacity to handle the city's sewage up to a total population of 
much greater than exists at present. 



In designing the pumping station, it was deemed advisable 



Fig. 4 
View of the station from H street. 

Fig. 5 
View of the station along 2nd 
s t re e t , show! ng s ta ck 1 n the 
rea r . 



^ETiErfiAL PLAN or pviiflNi 

NEWE>»WFM£rfT 1« REP (NOT t«<H>P'*ti P*>« *>J> > MOTOR S) 



to consider the building simply as a shelter for the machinery, 
and not as an enclosure for the entire plant. Therefore, the 
equipment for handling the sewage was first designed by Mr. 
Phillips. Following this, the architects designed the building 
to house the boiler, engines, shops, and offioes, muon of the 
substructure being without the confines of the building walls. 
The substructure occupies an area about 300 X 700 feet. The 
building, 138 X 300 feet, is located at about the center of this 
space. This is indicated in Figure 6. 

As mentioned before, the station is so designed as to be 
practically foolproof. The course of the sewage thruout the 
station is provided with by-passes at several points, so that in 
case of failure of any part of the station, the sewage may be 
by-passed, thus eliminating the danger of backing up. 


The interceptors have combined into two main channels by 
the time they have reached the station (not including the Low 
Area sewer) . The sanitary sewage flows in the ounette section 
of the interceptor (See Figure 2.). As the conduit reaches the 
station, the ounette section sweeps away at point A in Figure 6 
from the main body of the interceptor and runs into the junction 
point at the head of the sediment ciiamber. The level of the ou- 
nette on the west side is -13.44'. This figure, as well as oth- 
ers mentioned in this paper in regard to elevation, is based on 
as the mean tide level at Washington. The level of the remain- 
der of the conduit is -9.14*. This gives the effect of a 4- foot 
dam to the storm water suction conduit. During time of storm, 
water over this 4- foot level flows Into the storm water screen 


ohamber. If it flows high enough, it will discharge by gravity 
into the river thru the tidal gates. Otherwise it is handled by 
the storm water pumps. Prom the above, it will be seen that the 
storm and sanitary sewage nave a common carrier, but due to the 
design, sanitarv sewerage is ordinarily diverted away. Of 
course, during a storm, when a sudden large volume of water is 
handled, most of the water goes to the storm pumps, and sanitary 
sewage is naturally mixed in with this. However, owing to the 
greater density of sanitary sewage due to suspended solid matter, 
it tends to remain at the bottom of the stream and is still di- 
verted from the remainder of the water. The two main sanitary 
sewage streams converging at the entrance to the sediment cham- 
ber are admitted thru an 84" hydraulioally operated sluice gate. 
The rate of flow at this point is about 1/5 foot per second. 
This gate is shown in Figure 7. In case the sediment chamber is 
inoperative, the water may be admitted thru a similar valve 
(shown at C in Figure 6) into a by-pass around the sediment 
chamber. If the entire sanitary side of the station were inop- 
erative, the sewage could all be disposed of thru the storm oon- 
duits. As a matter of fact, at the time of writing, just that 
is being done, as the sanitary sewage pumps are in process of 
replacement . 

Upon entering the sediment chamber, a room 50 X 104 ' in 
size, the sewage loses its velooity. Most suspended matter which 
would sink is here deposited. About eight times a year, the 
sewage is by-passed, and an average of 300 tons of silt removed 
from the floor and deposited in lowlands below the city limits. 
The floor of this chamber is at an average elevation of -16'. 


Pigure. 7 
84* Sluice gate at entrance to 
sediment chamber. 

Pig. 8 
One of the screens elevate! 
for cleaning. Cables supporting 
another acre n can be seen 
In foreground. 

Pig. 9 

Hydraulic press for 

compressing and drying 
refuse matter. 


Fig. 10 
68,000,1000 g.p.d. cent- 
rifugal pump for aanif-ry 


Fig. 11 
Siphon chamber showing 
entrance to twin mains 
of the inverted siphon, 


From the sediment ehamber, the sewage flows thru the screen 
chamber. Here are four screens, 9' X 10' in size, whioh collect 
all floating matter remaining. At least one of the screens of 
each tandem set of two is always down- The other one is raised 
alternately with it every half hour by a hydraulic ram. Figure 
8 shows the screen ohamber with one screen raised. Here the 
collected refuse is scraped off with pitchforks and placed in 
the hydraulic press shown in Figure 9. This press expels water 
from the screenings whioh are then burned in a water. jacketed 
inoinerator. Numerous strange objects find their way into the 
sewerage to be picked up on these screens. For example, lumber 
measuring as large as a 4- foot lengtn of 12 x 12, 2 X 4 T s, etc. 
have been removed. Any object which happens to get thru both 
the sediment chamber and the screen chamber can usually also 
pass the pumps and be discharged. 

After passing the screen chamber, the sewage enters the 
cast iron suction mains and is drawn into the centrifugal pumps, 
one of which is shown in Figure 10. These impel the fluid up 
thru the discharge conduits towards the siphon chamber. 

There are three centrifugal pumps, each with a oapacity of 
6000 oubic feet per minute, or 65,000,000 gallons per day 
(g.p.d.), handling main sanitary sewage. They are at the bottom 
of the lift; that is, they push the water up thru the discharge 
mains. The suction inlets are 66" in diameter where they leave 
the main oonduit and 50" at the pump. The discharge main ex- 
pands from 54" at the pump to 66" again at the check valve, 
where the sewage flows into the main discharge conduit. The 
pumps on the average lift the sewage about 17 to 19 feet witn a 


possible maximum of 27 feet in case sewage is discharged into 
the Anacostia instead of the outfall sewer. The pumps' casings 
are about 16 feet in diameter with an 8' 6" impeller revolving 
around 100 rpm. The sewage is now at a point indicated by D in 
Figure 6, at a level of 18 feet. From here it is impelled to 
the siphon chamber. This is a large square well and is shown in 
Figure 11. Here the water rises, due to the force of the pumps, 
to sufficient height to force the water thru the siphons to the 
outfall sewer across the river. The entrances to the twin si- 
phons, eaoh 5' in diameter, can be faintly seen at the bottom of 
the well. A 5' by-pass is also provided for passing water di- 
rectly to the river. 

Thus have we followed the path of the sanitary sewage thru 
the station. 


The Low Area has been previously mentioned. The sanitary 
sewage from the deep basements of this area is carried by a sep- 
arate carrier, the low Area Trunk Sewer, directly to the pumping 
station, where it is handled entirely independently of the other 
sewage. The sewage goes thru a small screen chamber of its own; 
and it is then pumped by a centrifugal pump, lifting about 20 to 
22 feet, similar in design to the. other three sanitary pumps, 
except for size. It is a 20,000,000 g.p.d. pump (1920 c.f.m.) 
with a discharge opening of 48". The discharge is normally emp- 
tied into the main discharge conduit, but may be by-passed and 
discharged separately into the river. 



When storm water flows thru the storm water suction con- 
duits, it flows into the storm water screen chamber pictured in 
Figure 12. Hare it flows thru screen placed all along the east 
side of the chamber under the gallery from which the picture was 
taken. The suction Inlets of the pumps receive tae water and 
the pumps raise It from 3i to 5 feet thru S6" discharge mains to 
the discharge conduit, the floor of which is at a level of -3. 
The discharge opening to the river of this conduit may be seen 
in Figure 13 as the large arched opening to the right in the sea 
wall. The many rectangular openings are the tidal gates on the 
overflow conduits (See also Figure 6.). As many of the pumps 
are brought into use as the volume being handled requires. The 
plant is designed for oarrying the heaviest storm to occur on the 
average in 12 years, so that it is very seldom that all the pumps 
are used. It might be mentioned here also that much storm water 
in the city is diverted at other points and never reaches the 
station. Float gates at 27th and G- Streets divert much water 
directly to the Potomac River. 


Each sanitary pump is operated by an Allls-Chalmers, tri- 
ple-expansion, self-condensing, corliss valve engine placed di- 
rectly over tae pump on the engine room floor, which is the 
ground floor of the building. The eight storm water pumps are 
likewise operated by All! s- Chalmers, double expansion, self-con- 


Figure 1& 
General view of engine room* 

Figure 14 
General view of engine room 
showing sanitary sew^.e engines. 
20 million g.p.d. pump in fore- 
ground. Note tail rod which, op- 
erates condenser pump. 

Figure 16 
Close view of engine operating 65,ooo,ooo g.p.d 

pump. Level gages may be seen on the wall near 







of cylinder 

pai abs. 




14 X 30 


26 X 30 


40 X 30 

denaing, corliss valve engines. A general view of the engine 
room is shown in Figures 14 and 15. The three cylinders of the 
engines for the sanitary pumps are placed at 120 degrees to each 
other, the connecting rod a all working on a common crank: pin and 
rotating the pump impeller shaft. Three of these engines are 
identioal. A view of one of these is shown in Figure 16. 
Operating figure a on these engines are as follows: 

Initial pressure, 
High press, cyl . 

1st receiver, 
In termed, cyl. 

2nd receiver, 
low press, cyl. 

Back pressure in 

condenser 4 (varies) 

These pressures originally were considerably higher, running 

about 150 psi initial pressure when new. However, due to aging 

of the boilers, the operating pressure has several times been 

reduced. The engines have no given rated horsepower, but the 

figure runs around 300. 

The engine operating the low area pump is similar in every 
respect except for size to the three main aanitary engines. Its 
operating presaurea are the same. The h.p., i.p., and l.p. cyl- 
inders have diameters of 9", 16", and 24" respectively with a 
24" throw. 

The storm water pump a have engines having 2 cylinders 
mounted at 90 degrees to eaca other. 


Figures on these engines follow: 

■pressure Size of cylinder 

psi-abs. inches 

Initial press. 

High press, cyl. 118 10 X 30 


low press, eyl. 38 22 x 30 

Condenser "back 

pressure 4 (varies) 

Altho the pumps operated by these engines have the same ca- 
pacity as the sanitary pumps, the engines needed are smaller, 
due to the muca smaller lift necessary for the storm water. 
Thev are about 250 HP. 

The valve mechanism on the engines is of an adapted Corliss 
type, only the exhaust valves being operated by the wrist plate. 
The inlet valves are operated by a separate rocker arm and con- 
necting rod, to which is also attached the governing mechanism. 

The oondensers are operated by a reciprocating pump run by 
the tail rod of the engines. River water is used as the cooling 
medium. The steam coils are of copper. The engine is incapable 
of operating at atmospheric pressure, that is, without the con- 

Each pump shaft is mounted on a large 4-plate brass and 
steel thrust bearing situated about half way between the engine 
and the pump. Two guide bearings are provided, one at the top, 
and a lignum- vitae wood and bronze one at the pump. 



Steam is provided for the engines by three batteries of two 
Baboock and Wilcox water tabe boilers rated at 293 IIP each, 
burning Cumberland soft ooal. These boilers, shown in Figure 
17, receive the coal from overhead bunkers with a storage capa- 
city of 1,800 tons. The eoal is delivered thru the weighing 
chute to Boone y automatic mechanical stokers, which propel the 
fuel across an inclined grate by a rocking or jiggling motion. 

Coal is now brought to the plant in trucks and dumped into 
a hopper, which discharges to a MoCasslin bucket conveyor which 
carries the ooal overhead to the coal bunkers. Originally, the 
coal arrived on barges and was hauled up by a bucket crane to an 
endless belt that carried the coal across to the bunkers. This 
old equipment is entirely dismantled. 

The combustion gases formed are run thru a Green economizer 
which heats the boiler feedwater. The feedwater is treated by a 
Permutit water softener outfit and metered thru a venturi before 
entering the boiler. The steam was originally generated at about 
150 psi., but at present at only a little over 100 psi. 

Ashes are taken from the ash pit and removed from the plant 
thru the cleaning and ventilating tunnel, a low arched tunnel 
running the length of the building at an elevation of -1.5 T . 
This tunnel was originally equipped witn overhead trolley tracks 
carrying bucket trains for hauling out the ashes. This equip- 
ment was torn out in 1933, the ashes from then on being handled 
by barrows. The exit to the tunnel is shown in Figure 18. The 


Fig. 17 
Two of the three batteries 
of Bxbcox & Wilcox boilers. 
Weighing mechanism for coal seen in foreground, 

Fig. 18 
Exit from ventilating and cleanout 
tunnel. Bargee in foreground. 


Fig. 19 
One of tae 220 volt B.C. 
generator units. Control 
board In background. 

Fig. 20 

Distant control board for hydraulic 


ashes brought out here are dumped on "barges such as are seen in 
the foreground of the picture and are towed away to be used in 


Electric current for general lighting, operation of the 
shops, and operation of the Poplar "Point substation is provided 
by three 220 volt DC generator units operated by vertical re- 
ciprocating steam engines. One of these units is pictured in 
Figure 18, with the control panel showing in the background. 

The station has a well-equipped machine shop, forge shop, 
and carpenter shop. These shops not only do the repair work for 
the station, but also all necessary shopwork for the sewer de- 
partment, including repairs for the 12 substations. In the car- 
penter shop are made special forms for concrete sewer junctions, 
Y f s, etc. 

The twelve large sluice gates and valves, and the screen- 
raising mechanism are operated by hydraulic machinery. A boost- 
er pump raises the pressure of the city water, which is used, 
from around 50 psi to 140. The gates are operated by distant 
control from the control board situated in the engine room and 
illustrated in Figure 19. 

Seepage into the building due to its low position relative 
to the river, pump leakage, and local drainage are collected in 
a sump from whence they are removed by a sump pump. 

The sewage flow is metered by keeping records of the level 


of the sewage on the suction and discharge sides. These figures 
will give the head on the pump, which value, along with the 
speed of the pump, can be plotted on the original pump curves 
furnished by the Alii s- Chalmers Co., to find the quantity of 
sewage passed. The construction of the level recorders consists 
principally in having a float actuate a pencil axially along a 
drum turned by a clockwork. The wheel over which the float tape 
wraps actuates an ingenious device which thru a system of mag- 
nets and solenoids operates large sight dials looated on the 
walls of the engine room. The sanitary sewage pumped has aver- 
aged recently about 115,000,000 g.p.d. 'Tore statistics on pump- 
age will be found near the end of the paper. 


As was brought out in the section on history of the station, 
due to obselesence of equipment, a rehabilitation was deemed 
necessary. Altho the previous section on construction and oper- 
ation is written in the present tense, installation and construc- 
tion of the new equipment started July 28, 1937, and at the time 
of writing, the station is in a process of metamorphosis. 

The new equipment is to be entirely electrically operated. 
Current will be bought from the Potomac Electric ^ower Co. and 
brought to the station at 13,200 volts. The ourrent will be re- 
duoed to 2300 volts thru six 500 kva transformers mounted out- 
side. The foundations for this transformer station is shown in 
Figure 21. The current will then be brought to an indoor trans- 


ng. 21 

Mountings for new transformer 
station stepping down 13,200 v. 
Pep co. current to 2300. 

Pi«. 22 

Mounting for new motor to oper- 
ate storm water pump. (80 million 
g.p.d. capacity) 


former vault where it will be distributed to the motors, and 
where some of it will be reduced to 220 and 110 for lighting and 
minor purposes. There is a total of 6535 watts lost thru the 

All old equipment, including the boilers, engines, and 
pumps, is to be scrapped. The new synchronous, 3- phase, 60 
cycle motors will be mounted over the same positions the engines 
now ocoupy. The original foundations are to be used, but addi- 
tional beams must be placed to support the motors. The complet- 
ed foundation ready for mounting of the motor is shown in Figure 
£2. The motors will rest in a vertical position and be directly 
connected to the new pumps below. The pumps have increased ca- 
pacity. On the sanitary side will be one 100 million g.p.d. 
pump, one 80 million, and two 60 million. The storm water pumps 
will number six at 80 million g.p.d., the capacity of each. 

Specifications on the motors for operating these pumps fol- 

Make: Electric Machinery Mfg. Co. 

Type: Synchronous, separately excited, full voltage 

starting, 3-phase, 60 cycle, 2300 volt, power 

factor: 1, temp, rise: 40 deg. C. 


T'ump Capy. 
of g.p.d. 



































The motors will be separately excited by three 125 volt, 25 
kw. exciters sets running at 1200 rpm. The exciter will be 


driven "by 220 v. -40 H? induction motors. As a reserve, there 
is to be one exciter driven by a 40 H? 4 cyl. gasoline engine. 

In case of failure of electric power, current will be sup- 
plied by a 485 few. "Diesel alternator to be installed where the 
boilers now are. The engine is an 8 cylinder, 700 HP Winton op- 
erating at 365 rpm. The 485 lew. supplied will be sufficient to 
operate two of the small pump a. 

The motors ordinarily will be operated by automatic float 
switches, but they may also be operated by nand. They are pro- 
tected from overload "by heat- sensitive relays and alarms. 

The shaft between the motor and pump is mounted on a Kings- 
bury thrust bearing in the motor taking about 10,000 Ids. live 
load, and two guide bearings. These are lubricated by oil baths. 


The new pumps are manufactured by the Worthington ""ump and 
Machinery Co. They are vertical volute, centrifugal pumps with 
a smaller diameter and larger impeller than the old pump. For 
example, the 100 million gpd pump is about 9* in diameter as 
compared with 16 or 17' for the old 65 million gpd pump. It has 
a 50" suction opening and 54" discharge. Some figures on these 
pumps follow: 


mil. gpd 



















27,700(for two) 








88,900(for six> 



The coarse of the sanitary sewage thru the plant will un- 
dergo only one change in the rehabilitation. This will "be in 
the screening. The sediment basin will be omitted. A concrete 
wall as shown in Figure 6 will divert the water coming thru the 
main sluice gates and send it to the new screens. 

These screens, one of which is shown in Figure £3, are 
fixed. The matter gathered on them will be collected by the 
travelling rake shown in the foreground in the picture. The 
rake will travel down in front of the screen, and back up mesh- 
ing with the screen. The refuse collected will be dropped into 
an endless belt at the top of the screen as shown in Figure 24. 
This belt will carry the material to a grinder situated in the 
foreground of Figure 24, which will macerate the material and 
feed it back to the sewage. It will later be removed at Blue 
^lains Treatment Plant. The old screen will of course be re- 
moved. From here on the course of the sewage will remain as be- 
fore. The course of the storm water will not be affeoted. 

New recording apparatus will be installed which will be 
more accurate and entail less calculation. 

Heat for the building will be supplied by two new oil-burn- 
ing 70 HP boilers installed expressly for this purpose, 

7/hile the construction is taking place, sewage is being 
handled by the old storm water pumps and is being discharged di- 
rectly into the Anaoostia River. The low Area sewage is being 
pumped by three portable 4- cylinder diaphragm pumps set up in a 
temporary shed in the street, running 24 hours a day. 

With the installation of this new equipment, the plant will 



Figt 23 
Hew fixed type screen. 
Revolving rake in the 

Fig. 24 
Top of fixed screen is seen in 
background. Endless belt carries 
collected matter to grinding mach- 
ine in foreground. 


oe capable of handling efficiently and economically the total 
sewage of a city far larger than Washington i3 at present. With 
the present rapid rise in population, due principally, as eighty 
years before, to ever-increasing governmental activity, it is 
well that this provision for the future is being made. 

In addition to those statistics given before, a few others 
might be of interest, and are included here: 

Total capacity Sanitary Storm 

Old 215,000,000 grd 520,000,000 gpd 

Sew 300,000,000 gpd 480,000,000 gpd 

Flow figures for 1926: 

Ave rage s swage : 68, 000 , 000 gpd 

Average storm: 6,000,000 gpd [or 30,000,000,000 gal, 

per year 

Total: 74,000,000 gpd 

Average lost: f 0.00 42 per 1000 gals. 
Flo-;/ in 1937: 

Average sewage: 115,000,000 gpd 
Flow in Potomac River: 7,200,000,000 gpd 
Total cost of station (1905-1908): $1,217,000 
Total cost of rehabilitation: §567,766 

On the average, two pumps are run from 8:00 a. m. to mid- 
nite, and one pump from midnite to 8:00 a. m. 
The Low Area pump runs about one hour a day, pumping around 
25,000 gallons. 



The Sewerage System and the Sewage Disposal System -19£6- 

Commissioners of the District of Columbia 

The Y/orld Almanac of Fact 3 -1933 

The Annual Report of the Engineer Commi ssioner s-1904 

Original installation plans of the sewage pumping station-1901 

(Especial mention should be made of the first booklet men- 
tioned above, from which a great deal of information was 
obtained, and from which the diagrams were cut.) 

I am greatly indebted to the following persons who were so 

helpful in giving me information for this paper: 

Hr. M. H. Kinsinger 

) located at the station 
Mr. John Tambert 

Mr. Smedley T>. Butler, Jr., Engineer inspector for the new 


Mr. Aula at the District Bldg. 

Also to Prof. Steinberg, Acting Dean of the College of En- 
gineering at the University of Maryland, Mr. J. B. Cor- 
don, Sanitary Engineer of the District, Mr. Sagrario of 
the sewer department, and T 'r, Chapin, in oharge of the 
pumping station for giving introductions and getting me