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City Document. — No. 13.
COCHITUATE WATER BOARD
CITY COUNCIL OF BOSTON,
FOR THE YEAR 1859.
GEO. C. RAND & AVERY, CITY PRINTERS,
No. 3 COENHILL.
CITY OF BOSTON.
In Common Council, Jan. 5, 1860.
Ordered : That the Cochituate Water Board be authorized
to make their Annual Report in print.
Sent up for concurrence.
J. P. BRAD LEE, President.
In Board of Aldermen, Jan. 9, 1860.
OTIS CLAPP, Chairman.
Approved, Jan. 10, 1860.
P. W. LINCOLN, Jr., Mayor.
A true copy. Attest,
S. P. McCLEARY, City Clerk.
E P E T.
Office of the Cociiituate Water Board,"!
Boston, January 15, 1860. ]
To the City Council.
The Cociiituate Water Board respectfully submit
to the City Council their Annual Report for the year
1859. In compliance, also, with the City Ordinances,
they submit also the Reports of the City Engineer,
the Water Registrar, and the Clerk of this Board, all
of which are worthy of attention from those who are
interested to know the condition and workings of this
department. The Water Registrar's Report is pub-
lished in a more condensed form than heretofore ; but
is still deemed to be sufficiently classified for popular
use. More minute details can always be learned at his
It is believed that the Works were never in a con-
dition so safe and efficient as at the present time.
The past year, 1859, has been crowded with import-
ant events and undertakings relating to the subject
matter of the Water Works. The breach in the
aqueduct at Needham, the raising of Lake Cochituate,
the quieting of the claim of meadow owners on Sud-
bury River, and the laying of the new main from
Brookline to Boston, all important transactions, and
worthy special notice in this Report.
4 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 13. [Jan.,
1. Of the Needham Breach.
On the 29th of March last, the aqueduct at its
connection with the pipes crossing Charles River,
on the westerly side in Needham, gave way early in
the morning, and the great volume of water which
was passing through the same, in a very short time
produced the most destructive havoc upon the prem-
ises, — carrying pipes, gravel, brick and stone masonry
and other materials away, and precipitating them
into Charles River, choking up its current, and caus-
ing it to overflow its banks and throw back water
upon the meadows and mills above. The sight of this
devastating outbreak was truly appalling. A young
man, son of Mr. Reuben Ware, living near at hand,
had the presence of mind to mount and ride with all
speed to the Lake to apprise Mr. Knowlton of the
breach ; and the water was instantly turned off, so that
in probably two hours from its occurrence the water
ceased to flow injuriously at the breach. This prompt
and highly meritorious act of young Mr. Ware, by
which further incalculable injury was seasonably pre-
vented, was deemed worthy of special notice by this
Board, and w^as rewarded by them by the gift of a
gold watch, of Waltham manufacture, and a suitable
By this untoward occurrence the stone gate-house
and near 100 feet of the brick conduit were carried
away, and with several of the connecting pipes, were
precipitated into the river to the distance of from 75
to 150 feet. What was the cause of this occurrence is
only matter of conjecture, as all the traces of weakness
and of failure were entirely obliterated in the accom-
I860.] WATER. 5
Though the gap was truly frightful, and the work of
repair was impeded by a violent rain storm, yet the
work was commenced and prosecuted with the utmost
vigor, and by as many men as could work to advantage,
both by day and by night. It was by no means an
easy task to find in a village like that the shelter and
the food necessary for the comfort and supply of so
many workmen ; and it became necessary to send many
into the city at night, and to return there in the morn-
ing. It providentially came to pass that we had on
hand a stock of both 36 and 30-inch pipes, sufficient to
connect the old pipes in the valley with the new gate-
house, now to be constructed far inward from its former
position. Had this not been the case, it is quite prob-
lematical how Ions; the breach would have remained
open before new pipes could have been cast and in-
serted. It seems as if great suffering must have
occurred in such circumstances. Such was the speed,
activity, skill and strength applied to this work, that on
Saturday evening, April 2d, (within five days and four
nights,) connection was made through one of the pipes,
and on the following night through another, and on the
following Thursday through the last.
This was a consummation exceedingly creditable to
those having charge of the work, and whose eyes were
ever watchful during its progress.
Having completed the connection, and insured to the
cit}^ its former supply, a new and somewhat improved
gate-house was constructed. The sand, gravel, masonry,
&c., which obstructed the river, was allowed to remain,
to a considerable extent, until the water was reduced
in the summer months. Mr. Curtis, who owned the
6 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 13. [Jan.,
land upon the opposite bank of the river, gave permis-
sion that we might spread the dehris upon his intervale
on removing the loam and replacing it over the gravel.
This work of clearing out the river was an arduous and
disagreeable one. But the weather proved very favor-
able, and the low stage of the water added facility to
the operation ; so that in less than four weeks' working
time, the job was completed, covering three acres of
land to the depth of three feet.
It was also found that the gate-house, on the easterly
side of the valley, was in an unsafe condition. Water
was oozing from it, and danger of undermining was
apparent. The occasion was taken to strip the founda-
tion, cover the same with cement and concrete, raise
the surrounding embankment, and add considerable to
the width and stability of the same. It is believed that
the Works on both sides the valley are now in a much
better state and condition than before the breach
The whole expense of what was done at the valley,
adding nothing for the worth of the new pipe, was
It is worthy of remark, that the citizens of the vil-
lage, as a general thing, were accommodating, and dis-
posed to facilitate, in any way they could, the operations
of the city. Some persons who suffered some damage,
and who, without impropriety, might have presented a
claim on the city, have forborne to do so. And, as a
general thing, those who have claimed damages, have
done so in a spirit of moderation. Such conduct is the
more worthy of notice and commendation, from its
strong contrast with what is often experienced under
I860.] WATER. 7
like circumstances, where a misfortune or accident is
looked upon as a windfall for every one to make the
Allow us here to repeat, what we have in a former
communication made known to the City Council, our
proceedings in the contingency.
" When the breach took place, the first order was to
have the water turned off for all purposes but domestic
supply; beginning with the largest consumers. But
this was a work of time. Beginning with the larger
and proceeding to the smaller consumers, the work was
not completed before the pipe was repaired, and the
work of letting on was commenced ; and shortly all
" But this process exhibited an enormous consumption
on the part of those cut off. At the time the breach
occurred there was brought daily to the city about
13,000,000 gallons, and in the course of repairs, the
amount fell gradually to 10, 8, 6, 4 and 3j millions.
This shows that the domestic supply, and some of the
mechanical, did not exceed three or four millions. It
is to be observed, however, that, beyond all doubt, the
domestic supply was curtailed by the consumers to an
inconveniently low average. The conduct of the citi-
zens in this respect, when there was danger that a por-
tion of the city would be entirely deprived of water,
was worthy of all praise, and should be highly
2. The raising of Lake Oochituate.
From the experience of two previous years in faihng
to obtain an acceptable act of the Legislature, author-
8 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 13. [Jan.,
izing the raising of the waters of the lake, it was
deemed by this Board, in its application at the last ses-
sion, to be the best policy to agree upon a form of bill
with the adjoining towns, so as to avoid the opposition
that for two years had thwarted our efforts. We there-
fore proposed to pay the town of Framingham $4,500,
and the town of Natick $3,000, and the town of Way-
land $1,000, — $8,500 in all ; and the act thus agreed
upon went through the Legislature without note or
comment, and is chap. 184 of the Blue Book of 1859.
On the principle that there was any justice in the
notion that said towns were aggrieved or injured by the
exemption of the property taken for the Water Works,
from taxation, the sums at which they were disposed to
waive all objections to the new act, were deemed to be
reasonable ; and it was thought better to pay them at
once than to renew our former efforts with the certainty
of encountering the same opposition which had been
successfully used against the project for two years.
This has accordingly been done.
As stated in the last report of this Board, much,
indeed, most, of the preHminary and preparatory work
of this project had been before executed. Nearly all
the roads had been raised ; many owners of lands to
be flooded, had been settled with. Scarce anything
remained to be done but to take down, re-construct,
and elevate the gate-house, and raise the sea wall in
different places, for a distance of over 100 rods. The
gate-house has been re-constructed on the same original
plan and foundation, and its floor and walls have been
raised 4f feet above their former | position. The sea
wall has been raised 3 feet. These operations secure
I860.] WATER. 9
the premises from all inconvenience from freshets and
high water from any cause in future. The sea wall
near the gate-house, is back filled from the adjoining
gravel hill, and the gate-house is surrounded with a
suitably graded sloping bank. All the premises are
now in a neat and becoming condition ; and with a
trifling annual expenditure, they can be made quite
ornamental and attractive. The whole expenditure at
the lake has been 1 18,630 45, besides the amount paid
to the towns,— $8,500, — in all, $27,130.
3. The quieting of the claims of meadoiv owners.
In last year's report, after stating that this Board
had acquired the control of the lease of the reservoir
at Hopkinton, it was further stated that "During the
last summer the proprietors of Sudbury Meadows
memorialized the City of Boston for damage done to
their property by letting down water from the reser-
voirs at unseasonable times. That memorial has been
referred to this Board, but has not been yet acted upon.
Should it appear at the hearing that said proprietors
are entitled either in law or equity to consideration by
way of damages, the entire and free control of these
works may afford the readiest and most effectual means
of repairing said damages and quieting said claim,"
and practically, this was found to be the case.
This Board gave a good deal of time, attention, and
consideration to the subject matter of these petitions
We gave a public hearing to the parties, in which
opportunity was given for every one interested to state
any and all facts bearing on the question.
This Board also visited such of the premises as lay
10 CITY DOCUilENT. — No. 13. [Jan.
in Waylancl, and which were visible from the various
roads and causeways in said town, and observed their
state and condition, and held free intercourse with
many of the proprietors on the spot. The quantity of
intervals thus cursorily inspected, amounted, probably,
to thousands of acres.
After hearing all that could probably be said, and
seeing a very considerable portion of all that could be
seen, this Board embodied the results of their conclu-
sions in a report which was printed, and constitutes City
Document No. 49 for 1859. By that report, it appears
that this Board made the following proposition : that
the City of Boston will convey to some responsible
agent or committee, authorized to act in behalf of the
proprietors, by quit-claim deed, all the right, title, and
interest which the city possesses in and to the reservoir
at Hopkinton, with its dam, gate-house, and flume, to
have and to hold, and lawfully manage and control the
same as they please.
To this proposition no direct reply was made ; but
Judge Mellen, the solicitor of the meadow owners, ^
called upon the president of this Board, and after stat-
ing that the proposition was not acceptable to the
owners, suggested that if we would add all the real
estate and personal property owned by the city, in con-
nection with the reservoir in Hopkinton, he thought it
would be satisfactory. To this the president replied,
that the city had made its proposition, and he was not
authorized to make a new one ; but if the meadow
owners had one like that proposed, to make to the city,
it would be received and considered, and perhaps
accepted, as the additional property asked for was not
regarded as of great value.
I860.] WATER. U
In due time, a formal proposition was made to us,
based upon that suggested by Judge Mellen. This
proposition was signed by 136 meadow owners, obli-
gating themselves to forbear all claims for damages, on
condition that the city would convey to Col. David
Heard, of Wayland, the property of the city in and to
the reservoir and other real and personal property appur-
tenant to and connected therewith. The Board accepted
the proposition ; and as all the owners had not signed
the obligation, and there might arise some difficulty
with some who had, it was deemed prudent to require
a good and sufficient bond to secure the city from all
claims of everybody interested, — those who had, as
well as those who had not signed the release. Messrs.
David Heard and his brother Horace executed a bond
to that effect, in the sum of $10,000, for the considera-
tion of two hundred dollars. And thus the matter was
Thus has terminated a controversy which has caused
this Board much anxiety, in a manner apparently mutu-
ally satisfactory. Not that it is to be supposed that the
damages done by the city were nearly so great as the
sufferers thought them ; nor that their grievances will
end with this addition to their means of security ; but
because appearances were against us ; and if in a
single case, out of 150 owners, a single one could estab-
lish even a small damage, the aggregate would be fright-
We think the city, and, indeed, all parties, are to be
congratulated on the final happy settlement of this
irritating controversy, — the city, that it has amicably
disposed of all the quasi claims at so moderate a cost —
12 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 13. [Jan.
and the meadow owners, that they have got restored to
them all their natural rig-hts. and more too, forever, in
lieu of grievances which it would have cost much labor
and money to have got into the form of claims, and
then very equivocal ones.
Much of the success of this amicable arrangement is
beheved to be due to the wise counsels and judicious
conduct of Judge Mellen.
4. The laying of the neiu main from BrooJdine to Boston.
In the last year's report it was stated that a contract
for this pipe was made with Messrs. J. W. & J. F. Starr,
of Camden, N. J. This contract was for " 20,000 feet
when laid," and the price $33 per gross ton. After-
wards 3,000 feet more were ordered, at |37 per ton, —
making 23,000 feet which will complete the job. The
contractors have given us an excellent quality of pipe,
smooth and strong, standing remarkably well the pre-
scribed test of 300 lbs. to the square inch. With the
exception of some delay in shipments occasionally,
resulting in the outset from incomplete arrangements
for freighting, the job has been executed, and the con-
tract on their part fulfilled with remarkable fidelity,
honor and promptness. Our negotiation and intercourse
with them have been of the most agreeable kind ; and
though we have not yet closed up the contract, and
made the final payment (though all the pipe is re-
ceived), we know of no misunderstanding or difference
of opinion that can arise to mar the good feeling, and
diminish the very great res^DCct which this Board enter-
tains towards those gentlemen.
I860.] WATER. 13
Some circumstances connected with the execution of
this great and important work, seem to render it proper
to allude to some early steps taken by this Board in
relation to it.
By vote of the City Council, this Board were author-
ized to construct this new main of such size as it should
deem best, and to bring it into the city in the way they
should deem best. Before proceeding to make a con-
tract for pipe, or making any preparation for exercising
their authority, it was deemed prudent to learn exactly
what was practicable for us to do under existing acts of
the Legislature. Certain questions were therefore asked
of the City Solicitor, which are stated, with his answers,
in the accompanying document :
City Solicitor's Office,
Boston, July 20, 1858.
Sir : — I have considered the questions which you
recently submitted to me. They are as follows :
1. May the City of Boston bring water from the
Brookline reservoir into the latter city by a new line of
works, and take lands for that purpose, without the con-
sent of the owners thereof?
2. May the city lay an additional water-pipe along
the line of the present works, for the purpose of bring-
ing a larger supply of water from the reservoir into the
It is my opinion that the authority does not exist
in the city to take lands for a new line of pipe, except
by purchase; that when the line of the works was
originally selected, the lands therefor taken, and record
made thereof as the statute requires, the power which
14 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 13. [Jan.,
was conferred upon the city in this respect, was
exhausted. If this be not the proper construction of
the water act, then the city may build as many new
lines of work as it may now, and at all times hereafter,
see fit, and take private property to any extent, for
The Legislature could not have intended to confer
upon the city a power so unlimited ; and indeed it may
well be doubted whether they could constitutionally
make such a grant.
The laying of a new pipe along the line of the pres-
ent works, it seems to me, is within the limits of the
authority conferred upon the city by the water act.
The easement originally taken included not only the
right to lay the pipes, but the right to dig up the soil
for the purposes of repair, and to do all other things
necessary to the preservation and maintenance of the
works. I do not doubt, therefore, that the city may
rightfully substitute new and larger pipe for the old, or
lay new pipe along the same line, to any extent the
public convenience may require.
Very respectfully your obt. serv't,
J. P. Healy.
To John H. Wilkins,
Chairman of the Cochihiate Water Board.
From this opinion we felt confident that there was a
luay, and for anything we knew, the hest ivay, by which
the pipe could be laid, viz., to follow the line of the old
pipes ; and we did not hesitate to proceed and make
contracts for the necessary pipe, as before stated. Still
the engineer, in making his estimates, had devised a
I860.] WATER. 15
diiferent route ; and in the uncertainty of what might
finally prove the most desirable route, it was deemed
prudent to give seasonable public notice that applica-
tion would be made to the next Legislature for power
to lay the pipe over any route deemed best; which
notice was given, and the application duly made.
The result of this application was the passage of the
act being chapter 222 of the Blue Book of last year.
This act gave the most unlimited freedom to the city
in selection of the route, " and for this purpose (said city)
may take and hold, by purchase or otherwise, any lands
or real estate necessary therefor." In the passage of this
bill there was very much conversation with the author-
ities of Brookline and Roxbury. To follow the old pipe
through Roxbury, would require severe rock cutting in
passing over Bumstead Hill. The trench would not
only be necessarily very deep, (near or quite 12 feet)
but would have to be most of the way in dangerous
poximity to the old pipes, including the hazard of
breaking them by the new explosions. And besides,
the old jDipes were laid in such a ziz-zag manner as to
require them to be crossed probably three times by the
new pipe. On all these accounts, besides some saving
in distance, it was deemed desirable to find a route that
would pass to the northward of this hill ; and a portion
of this Board went out and selected what appeared to
them at the time the most desirable line, which was to
come over the Mill-dam road from the Punch Bowl, so
called, to near Appleton Place, and thence at near right
angles, follow a projected new street across land of Eben.
Francis and others, by Ward's Soap Factory, to the
Tremont Road. Tn all the conversations with the
16 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 13. [Jan.,
authorities of Brookline and Roxbnry, and before the
Committee hearing the case, this was the route pressed
upon their attention as the one desirable for the hue of
our pipe; and none other was suggested. But still no
scientific and accurate measurement of this route had
been made, and no vote adopting it had heen passed, and
nothing was said that could or should limit the city to
this location, if a still better one should suggest itself;
and the language of the bill as before quoted, and the
additional authority to " lay said pipe over or under
any water course, or any streets, turnpike roads, rail-
roads, highways, or other ways," was allowed to remain
and constitute a portion of this act.
This bill was reported in the House. An attempt
was made to engraft upon it a right for the town of
Brookline to tax the property of the city lying in that
town, which had formerly been taken for the Water
Works. But this effort, after full discussion, failed, the
bill passed and was sent to the Senate in the form it
was reported in to the House. In the Senate the bill
was taken up in a very busy day — believed to have
been the last of the session. A proviso in these words
was moved by a Senator from Brookline, viz. (follow-
ing the words first quoted above), ''■Provided, all lands
so taken and held, or that are now held by virtue of
any former act, shall be liable to taxation." Without
opportunity for discussion, this amendment was adopted,
the bill hurried through its stages under suspension
of the rules, and returned to the House. Here it came
up in the evening session, the speaker's table being
loaded with papers pressing for action, the amendment
was hastily put, and as hastily and impatiently passed,
I860.] WATER. 17
thus reversing the decision of the House, when the
question was fairly up before. Before this act could
take effect, it was requisite that it should be accepted
by the City Council of the City of Boston.
It will be noticed that this proviso not only author-
ized the town of Brookline to tax the land originally
taken for the Water Works in that town, but empow-
ered all the towns on the line up to the lake to do the
same thing — not restraining even Pramingham, Natick
and Wayland, to each of which towns we had just before
engaged to pay a substantial compensation for exemp-
tion from precisely this taxation. By accepting this
act, the City of Boston would have laid itself at the
mercy of the towns to tax on property which had cost
more than $200,000. Of course such acceptance was
not to be thought of
Such being the result of legislation on this matter,
we abandoned all idea of taking any but the old route
as the only lawful one open to us. But from some
cause not well understood by this Board, and for rea-
sons to which this Board did not attach much impor-
tance, an unquiet feeling was engendered in the City
Government in relation to this route, and an order
making inquiry of this Board why the originally con-
templated route was abandoned, was passed and sent to
this Board. An appropriate answer was returned,
stating in substance that we could go lawfully in no
About this time the idea that we might make a pri-
vate arrangement with the Mill-dam Corporation to
pass under their road, received attention ; and in order
to see what could be accomplished in that direction, the
18 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 13. [Jan.,
president took occasion to sound the agent of that
company on the subject. His first reply was of a char-
acter to inspire no hope that an arrangement satisfac-
tory to us could be expected. On a subsequent meet-
ing, the agent said he would consult the directors, and
name their deliberate price. In a few days we received
a proposal in writing, to sell the City a ivarranted right
of way or easement to lay our pipes from Washington
street in Brookline to Charles street in Boston for
$25,000. This Board then went into some calculations
upon the distance that would be saved, and the probable
saving in rock-cutting, by adopting this route, and con-
cluded that it would be advisable to commence a ne-
gotiation on this basis. It was finally agreed that the
Mill-dam Corporation should give a warrantee deed
authorizing the City to pass under their road for $20,000,
the title to be made satisfactory to the City Solicitor.
But it was at once discovered by the City Solicitor that
the Corporation could give no valid title. It had already
deeded away to the Commonwealth all its interest and
fee in the road, reserving only the franchise of using
it and taking toll thereon till May 1st, 1863. On learn-
ing this, the bargain was given up, and the offer of war-
rantee was withdrawn by the Corporation. The plan
was abandoned, and men were set to work laying pipe
on the Tremont road in Roxbury. About 100 feet
having already been laid at the other end near Rox-
bury line in Brookline.
Still the matter was one of deep solicitude to this
Board. We were satisfied that much saving would be
made by passing over the Mill-dam, and also much
time. It was manifest also, that popular sentiment was
I860.] WATER. 19
strongly in favor of this route. We also considered
the probability of interference from the State, when it
should be found that we were trespassing on her rights ;
and for reasons which will be alluded to in the sequel,
we did not think this circumstance worthy of great
weight. It was concluded therefore that a fresh ne-
gotiation should be opened with the Mill-dam Corpora-
tion to give us such privileges and powers as they could
give by quit claim deed ; and for this we proposed to
give $10,000. This was at once refused, and it was
supposed the matter was ended. But by this time,
several persons became interested in the question, —
some who felt very averse to our going over Bumstead's
Hill to Koxbury ; some interested in the Mill-dam, were
desirous that that route should be taken, and others,
purchasers of Back Bay lands, thought that this route
would give popularity to the Back Bay project, and
give impetus to the sale and occupancy of the premises.
At this point of dead-lock, when we had made our last
offer, and it had been promptly declined, a mutual
friend passed between the parties, and it was finally
agreed to take the right with a quit claim deed, and
pay therefor the sum of twelve thousand five hundred
dollars. An additional $500 was paid the Water Power
Company for drawing down the water so as to accom-
modate the laying of the pipes. Thus ended this ne-
gotiation, and decided the route to be over the Mill-
dam. In the mean time, nearly or quite 800 feet of
pipe had been laid under Tremont road, and 100 at the
other end of the route, all which had to be taken up.
At this point, a new question came up, viz., whether
we should proceed and lay the pipe, or break off and get
20 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 13. [Jan.,
authority from the Commonwealth to use this road-bed
before proceeding with it. In the first place, it would
cost a large sum to break off and disperse the employees
and violate engagements for the season. Probably
$10,000 was a low estimate for this. Then if the con-
tract with Messrs. Starr should be broken, untold dam-
ages might be claimed by them. If the pipe came
forward and were not used, they would have to be
stored, and twice carted. So that in all it was supposed
$20,000 or $25,000, would be a low estimate of dam-
ages from delay. And as to the length of this delay, it
was entirely problematical. Though the Legislature was
to assemble in a few months to revise the Statutes, it was
supposed that it would not attend to other business ;
and if deferred to next Legislature it was doubtful
what turn the matter might take, and the delay might
be interminable. We therefore determined, with a great
degree of unanimity, to proceed with the work with all
The laying of this new pipe was commenced late in
March, a few days only before the breach in Needham,
and was completed so far as to connect with the old 30
inch pipe on the Common, on the 24th day of December.
Adverse storms and winds keeping back two or three
freights late in the season, retarded the work for a
week or two, and those very severe ones. When the
water was let on, a leakage discovered itself in a deep
stone-cutting in Brookline, — nearly in the very worst
place in which it could occur. On Christmas day and
the two following nights and days, the labor of uncov-
ering the pipes, finding and repairing the leak, was ex-
tremely severe and trying. The cold was intense and
I860.] WATER. 21
unceasing ; and the exposure of the men to the cutting
wind was almost unendurable. It was very difficult to
make the lead run and to drive the joints so as to make
them perfectly tight. This, however, was finally ac-
complished, and with the exception of a very small
leak upon the Mill-dam, easily repaired. The whole
work appears to be sound and tight. The further ex-
tension of this will be accomplished in the spring ; all
the pipes necessary therefor have been obtained.
The length of this pipe is 22,418 feet, or a few rods
short of 4:^ miles. About 6 inches were lost in each
pipe by overlapping at the joints. The whole cost thus
far has been only $270,276 26 — estimated at $e500,000,
and $400,000, were appropriated.
In this connection, perhaps better than in any other,
it may be stated that the Water Works are divided into
two great divisions : 1st. The eastern, embracing the
pipe-yard, reservoirs, and all the pipes laid in the city
and out of it, as far as the Brookline Reservoir, and also
at Newton ; 2d. The western division, embracing the
Brookline Reservoir, and the conduit extending to the
lake, the lake, gate-house, dams, and all matters apper-
taining to the Water Works in that locality. Of the
first, Mr. Stanwood is the employee of this Board as
superintendent, and has been the practical operator in
the job of laying all the new pipe, both large and small,
of the season. Of the second, Mr. Knowlton has been
the superintendent, and has been the practical operator
in the work done at the lake and at Newton Lower
Falls, except the laying of the pipe. It is but matter
of the simplest justice for this Board to state, that these
gentlemen have executed their respective trusts with
22 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 13. [Jan.,
singular fidelity, assiduity, promptness and success dur-
ing the past season ; that this Board has derived much
aid from the practical knowledge and skill possessed
by them in all matters relating to their respective trusts.
It is not obvious how their places could be adequately
and satisfactorily supphed. Mr. Jones, also, Mr. Stan-
wood's assistant in laying the new main, exhibited traits
of skill, judgment, and efficiency, which gained for him
the high regard of the Board. He appears to be wor-
thy of a better position than this Board has at its dis-
Permit us here again to revert more particularly to
the interests and rights of the Commonwealth in rela-
tion to the right of way which we have taken under
In the published fifth Annual Report of the Commis-
sioners of the Back Bay lands, being Senate Document
No. 17, 1857, there are several appended documents
which appear to exhibit the full relations of the Com-
monwealth to the Mill-dam Corporation and to the pub-
lic. In the paper marked F, which purports to be a
copy of Indenture, Dec. 30, 1856, between the Com
monwealth and Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation,
(which latter is the Mill-dam Corporation) it is stated
that by a previous indenture (a copy of which is not
given) "made and concluded June 9, A. D. 1854, be-
tween the parties hereto," it was stipulated that said
(Mill) Corporation shall and will surrender to the said
Commonwealth, its franchise of toll, together with its
right of way over the Mill-dam and Cross-dam, and over
all bridges and reads, as said roads are now constructed,
connected with or leading to either of said dams, when-
I860.] WATER. 23
ever certain events therein occur ; or at the expiration
of ten years from the first of May, 1853," — that is, after
the 1st of May, 1863. We have not the means of know-
ing precisely what the " certain events " here alluded
to as contingent really were, but we suppose them to
be of no importance ; and that the period of surrender
is absolutely fixed May 1, 1863.
"We proceed to quote stipulations of the indenture, F.
"It is agreed by and between the parties hereto,
that said above described dams and roads, and the
bridges connected therewith, shall be forever open as
public highways, free from all toll from and after May 1,
" Now in consideration of the covenants, agreements
and releases herein set forth, the said Boston and Eox-
bury Mill Corporation doth hereby release, remise and
forever quit claim to the said Commonwealth and its
assigns, all the right, title and interest of said Corpora-
tion in and to the foregoing described dams and roads,
with all its rights in and to the land, flats and channels,
with the bridges as above defined and described, and
appertaining in all or either of said dams and roads, with
and in either of the cities of Boston or Roxbury, or
either of the towns of Brookline', Brighton or Water-
town. It being expressly understood, however, that said Mill
Corporation retains and expressly reserves all the rights which
it now has hy its charter, and under the indenture of June
9, 1854, relative to its right of way and franchise of toll, and
rights necessary and convenient to the full enjoyment of said
rights of franchise of toll, in, upon, and over the several
dams, roads and bridges herein before described'' ... To have
and to hold, &c.
24 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 13. [Jan.,
From these extracts it appears that a stipulation was
entered into as early as June 9, 1854, that the Mill-dam
would surrender its property to the Commonwealth as
early as May 1st, 1863; and that said surrender was
actually accomplished by indenture Dec. 30, 1856, re-
taining and expressly reserving to said Corporation all
the rights which it now has by its charter relative to
its right of way and franchise of toll, up to that period.
From this it would appear that the Commonwealth can-
not interfere rightfully in this matter until that time
comes ; and if the charter of the Corporation were a
perpetual one, the easement granted by that Corpora-
tion would also be perpetual. Up to that period, there-
fore, it would seem to be plain, that under our contract
with the Mill-dam Corporation we are in rightful pos-
session of the road-bed for the purpose of laying the
pipe. But after the expiration of that time, it would
seem that we may be found trespassing upon the abstract
rights of the State.
What then may be the consequence of this trespass,
four years hence, when the Commonwealth comes into
the full exercise of its rights in the Mill-dam for a pub-
lic highway, forever to be kept open and free from
"We have stated under what urgent circumstances the
trespass was made. It was done under the pressure of
a great public exigency — an exigency which has hith-
erto appealed successfully to the Legislature for the ex-
ercise of its power of eminent domain. It was for an
object having the most useful ends in view — the very
best interests of society and of humanity were within
its embrace. The trespass was a measure that could
I860.] WATER. 25
injure no one, but was the means of benefit to multi-
tudes, and to no one interest more than to that pertain-
ing to the Commonwealth itself.
To show that this Board were not unmindful of its po-
sition, and the proprieties pertaining to it, the President
took occasion to consult the Commissioners on the Back
Bay lands, as the body having the most direct charge
of the State's interest in the matter. He spoke to Mr,
Hale on the subject, who requested him to meet the
Board who were to hold a session on the next day.
He did so, where he found Mr. Hale and Mr. Purdy, a
quorum of the Board. The point was brought up
and very freely discussed, whether there could be any
reasonable objection on the part of the Commonwealth.
The opinion of both Commissioners was fully ex-
pressed, that so far from there being on the part of the
State any objection, in the view that a leading object
of taking this particular route was to supply the lands
of the Commonwealth and others, it was thought that
this should and would find favor with the Legislature.
They both spoke as encouragingly as they ought to
have done in their office.
The President was also desirous of consulting the At-
torney-General on the subject ; and for this purpose
called four several times, at least, at his public or private
ofiice. But he was not in, and the time of deciding
the question pressing upon us, no further effort to see
him was made.
In the worst aspect of this case what may be the
result of this trespass if the State object to it ? We do
not see but two results, either a claim for damages, or
a mandamus to take up the pipe. If damages are
26 CITY DOCUMExNT. — No. 13, [Jan.,
claimed, and if they are assessed as is usual, by a jury,
it is not obvious why the City should not pay them.
But the idea of claiming compensation for using a street
under which pipes are lawfully laid is a novel one,
and it is believed has never been thought of Though
of late years the City of Boston has been in the habit
of acquiring the fee of the streets it has laid out or
widened, yet there are doubtless scores of miles of
streets in this city where the water pipes are laid, the
fee of which is in the abutters. And the same is doubt-
liess true of other cities and towns in the Commonwealth,
where water pipes or gas pipes, or both are laid under
legislative authority. But did ever a man suppose that
an abutter was entitled to damages, because he was the
owner of the fee under the street where a pipe was
lawfully laid ? That is exactly the position of the
Commonwealth in relation to the Mill-dam. It is the
owner of the fee of a public highway, and nothing else ;
for the condition that it owns it all is, that it shall for-
ever remain a highway But the damage 'per se to the
owner of the fee in such cases, is just the same whether
the pipe be laid hivfiilly or unlawfully ; and if in lawful
cases a claim for damage never was made, it surely is
not to be expected that such a claim will be made and
sustained merely because the laying was a trespass, but
no injury done.
The second visible result of this trespass may be
a mandamus, or injunction to take up the pipe. The
Commonwealth being hypothetically above all law, may
undoubtedly exercise such a power, unenlightened and
unguided by rational ends and useful purposes, and
may adopt such a measure. But it is not to be ex-
18t>0.] WATER. 27
pected. It is hardly possible in the full blaze of the
civilization of the age.
Feeling desirous that this technical trespass should
be healed as quickly and quietly as practicable, the
President of this Board introduced into the last Legisla-
ture an order " that the Committee on the Back Bay
Lands be instructed to inquire into the expediency of
further legislation in order to supply the Back Bay
Lands with pure water." That Committee was made
acquainted with the object of the order, and the actual
condition of the work, and was satisfied with it, and re-
ported the annexed bill, which was prepared by the
City Solicitor, to the Senate ; which was printed, had
its several separate readings, and passed without any
Relative to supplying the Back Bay Lands with the
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in
General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as
follows : —
Section 1. For the purpose of enabling the city of Boston
to supply the Back Bay Lands, and other parts of said city,
with pure fresh water, the said city of Boston is hereby au-
thorized to lay and maintain all water pipes that may be
necessary or convenient, under the road-bed of the Mill-dam,
and the Brookline branch thereof, from Charles street, in the
city of Boston, to Washington street, in the town of Brook-
line, and to connect said pipes with the other water pipes and
conduits of said city, in such manner as may be convenient :
provided, however, that the said city of Boston shall not, by
virtue of this act, take or use any land or easement not
28 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 13. [Jan.,
belonging to the Commonwealth, without the consent of the
Sect. 2. This act shall take effect from and after its
Tt will be noticed that no more harmless bill could
be framed, as it particularly excluded all power to in-
terfere with private or corporate rights. When this
bill came up in the House, a motion was made, without
any reason assigned, that it be laid on the table. And
in a short time after, it was taken from the table and
recommitted without any instructions and without any
declared object. The gentleman representing Brook-
line, subsequently met the Committee at a hearing on
the subject, and objected to it on the ground that the
requisite power was already given in the act of the
previous session, which authorized the towns on the line
to impose taxes ; and that all the city had to do was to
accept that act. Whether this representation had
weight with the Committee, is not known. But the
Committee retained the bill more than two months
in its hands, and then without note or comment recom-
mended that the subject be referred to the next Gen-
eral Court — which report was accepted.
Such a disposition of sach a matter, after such delay,
is an inauspicious circumstance. A case so plain, would
seem to be disarmed of all opposition. The Committee
saw its bearing and its importance, and promptly re-
ported the bill. Why it should subsequently get into
any doubt about it, is unaccountable.
As such legislation, or want of legislation, may indi-
cate an unfriendly and unfavorable state of feeling in
regard to the subject matter, it seems now to be of
1860.J WATER. 29
some importance that the pohcy of the State in regard
to it should be developed at an early day. In seeking
legislation on this subject, the interests of the State
should be pressed quite as strongly as those of the city.
It will be noticed that the title of the bill is for supply-
ing the Back Bay Lands with Cochituate water-
Some objection has been made to this, that it seems
to be attaining city ends by cover of State interests.
But a moment's consideration will divest the subject of
this overt character. The Back Bay Lands are not
only the lands of the Back Bay owned by the State,
but they are also all the lands that were ever covered
by the waters of the Back Bay, and would be now so
covered if the Mill-dam were removed. Instead of the
patch owned by the Commonwealth merely, the term
properly embraces thousands of acres, belonging to
the Water Power Company and sundry individual ri-
parian proprietors. And when it is considered that in
all probability all this region of both flats and marshes
is destined to be filled and builded upon, and that the
same will be supplied with water from this identical
main pipe, it surely cannot be regarded as in any sense
an inappropriate title to a bill so pregnant with future
benefit to such a vast region that it is entitled a bill
for that very purpose.
So intimately however are the immediate interests of
the Commonwealth bound up in the matter of laying
this pipe, that its policy in regard to it ought at once
to be indicated, especially as the matter has been
brought to its notice. If the State manifest a disposi-
tion to withhold such action as will legalize this laying,
it would seem to be time for the city to consider what
3 , CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 13. [Jan.,
course it would be proper to take in such a contin-
gency. The city has laid these pipes in good faith with
a view of supplying, among others, the lands owned by
the State, and thus giving value to those lands. If she
does not approve of this method, surely she cannot be
so unreasonable as to expect that the old works will
be tapped for that object ; and the alternative may
fairly be anticipated of receiving water for her lands
from this pipe exclusively or going without any. And
it may be well for both buyers and sellers of Back
Bay Lands, whether belonging to the State or to indi-
viduals to at once consider the effect of this alternative
upon the lands they are buying or selling, and be gov-
erned in their transactions accordingly. It seems to
this Board to be too much for the Commonwealth to
ask of -the city to supply this region with water from
any other and far more inconvenient main ; and can
hardly with reason expect that the city will eventually
distribute to these lands any of the Cochituate water
which does not pass through this new main.
We have been particular in going into the doings of
the Board in this matter, and the reasons which have
governed us. Perhaps it may appear to others use-
lessly and tediously so. But as it is an unfinished mat-
ter, the result of which cannot be foreseen, we were
desirous of putting ourselves right before both the city
and the State ; and of stating the facts of the case while
they were fresh in the memory, even at the risk of
tediousness. We therefore now gladly revert to other
topics of this report.
The daily consumption of water during the last year
has been (as appears by the City Engineer's Report)
I860.] WATER. 31
13,175,000 wine gallons — last year 12,847,000; differ-
ence, 228,000. Last year the consumption was esti-
mated at 721 gallons for each individual, estimating the
number at 178,000. If the number be taken for last
year at 183,000, the number of gallons consumed by
each individual is 72, scarcely varying from that of
1858 and 7. It seems as if we might now fairly con-
clude that the individual consumption had come to its
maximum, — the variation in three years not exceed-
ing one gallon.
We notice that a petition is before the Legislature
for the annexation of Charlestown. Again w^e would
warn the city against any annexation of municipalities,
that would or might subject it to a scarcity. It is to be
hoped that the great additional supply brought to the
city, and the cheap rate at which it is supplied for me-
chanical purposes, will give a new impetus to mechanic
arts and employments — thereby not only making sub-
stantial contributions to annual income, but in other
respects contributing to the welfare and prosperity of
Meters have been purchased and applied in the last
year more numerously than in any previous one. Those
of Worthington's construction are deemed, when made
of composition, to be accurate, reliable, and therefore
satisfactory. And it is proposed to use them still more
Extension of the Works. Besides the new main and its
appendages, there have been laid 1,395 feet of 12 inch
pipe against 2,689 inlaid in 1858 ; 12,015 feet of 6 inch
against 6,877 in 1858 ; and 1,630 feet of 4 inch against
1,991 in 1858; — in all 15,040 feet against 11,557 in
1858. So that besides the heavy jobs previously noticed^,
32 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 13. [Jan.,
the works have been largely extended in the past
year over the previous one. The whole length of pipe
now laid is equal to about 130 miles.
The number of new stop-cocks is 39, making the whole
number now 1,085.
The number of new service pipes is 938, making the
whole number 22,264.
New Hydrants to the number of 32 have been estab-
lished during the year, making the whole number now
Many other interesting details in relation to these
matters will be found in the Report of the City Engi-
The Annual Report of the Water Registrar is annexed, a
concise document, well worthy of reference.
The ivhole amount of Receipts is $316,290 97, or $6,290 97
over the estimate at the beginning of the year. The
estimate of the Water Registrar for 1860 is $325,000 ;
but under the increased use of meters, and the newly
raised tariff of water-rates, we shall be disappointed if it
do not exceed $330,000.
The table containing the usual classification of water-
takers is here omitted, as the condensed manner in
which the Registrar's Report is made up, renders all
information therein contained readily accessible.
The tvhole number of imter-takers is now 23,271, being
an increase over January 1, 1859, of 1,057.
The report of the Clerk of this Board, or the service
clerk, is hereto annexed, exhibiting the whole receipts
and expenditures of the year. The whole expenditure is
$385,652 47. Of this $266,682 95 was for the new
main, and for the extension of the works $74,500 52 —
$341,183 47; leaving $44,469, as the expenses of the
I860.] WATER. 3^
year. But out of this is to be taken for repairs at the
lower Falls $15,380 73, leaving |29,088 27 as the actual
current expenses of the department, which is only
$643 67 more than the year previous.
In the extension of the works is embraced all the
money spent at the lake, embracing the sums paid Fra-
mingham, Natick and Wayland, - - $8,500 00
Cost of raising gate-house, building sea wall,
digging down the hill, and raising the land,
and all land damage, _ . - 16,610 43
The expense of this improvement was greater than
was expected ; but it seemed to be required, and after
all has cost no more than it was worth. Taking this sum
of $25,110 43 from $74,500 52, the whole cost of exten-
sion of the works, and the remainder $49,390 09 is but
$1,828 68 more than was expended for extension of the
works in 1858, though near 4,000 feet of pipe were laid
in this year more than in last.
In our last Report we took the occasion to point out
what we regarded as an erroneous mode of putting the
Water debt in the Auditor's Annual Report. We still
think our remarks were correct, and that the Water
debt should be stated in conformity to the mode there
All which is respectfully submitted.
JNO. H. WILKINS, President.
JOHN T. DINGLEY,
GEORGE P. FRENCH.
34 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 13. [Jan.,
RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITUEES.
Statement of Expenditures made by the Cochituate Water
Board, from December 31st, 1858, to January 1st, 1860.
Laying Main Pipe, for stock, &c. -
" Service Pipe, for stock, &c.,
Blacksmith Shop, for stock, &c..
Proving Yard, for stock in repair shop, -
Pipe Yard, for painting buildings, &c.,
Hydrant and Stopcock Boxes,
Tolls and Ferriages,
Carting, - -
Postage and Express,
Tools, - -
Stationery, (including stationery for Water Reg-
istrar, and Superintendents,)
Laud and Water Rights,
Damage in streets, &c.,
Amount carried forivard,
I860.] WATER. 35
Amount brought fonvard, $15,816 36
Printing, (including Water Registrar and Super-
intendents,) 235 47
Miscellaneous Expense, (counsel in case of Sud-
bury meadows, expenses of the Board, &c.,)
Meters, - -
New Main. Whole am't drawn for 269,776 36.
Less the am't drawn for in 1858, 3,093 41.
Repairing Main Pipe,
" Service Pipe,
" Streets, .....
Aqueduct Repairs, (repairing break at Newton
Lower Falls, 15,380 83,) ... - 16,391 44
Lake, (raising the Gate-house, land around the
Lake, and building sea walls,) - - - 18,630 45
Repairing Hydrants, 1,428 79
Salaries, 7,861 55
Office Expenses, (including rent, fuel, and gas
for City Engineer's Office,) - - - 1,917 20
Off and on Water, 2,475 46
Wages, Proving Yard, 2,084 00
" Blacksmith Shop, .... 948 47
" Laying Main Pipe, - - - - ^ 3,955 58
" " Service Pipe, - - - - 3,740 40
" Plumbing Shop, 517 62
Beacon Hill Reservoir, (for labor, &c.,) - - 425 54
So. Boston, " " u a . . 236 50
East Boston, " " « a . . 423 47
Brookline, " (resetting steps, &c.,) 1,701 74
Service Pipe, 9,887 61
Main Pipe, 17,630 24
Stable, 1,281 26
Less this amount drawn for new Main, - - 266,682 95
Amount carried forward, $118,96952
36 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 13. [Jan.,
Amount brought forward.
CASH PAID THE CITY TEEASURER.
Received rent for arches under B.
H. Reservoir, ....
Received for Land, <fec., - ...
" '•' " Wood,
•' " Pipe, and Laying, &c.,
" " Off & on Water, 1,378 00
" " " « Waste, 270 00
" " '' " nonpay-
ment, 1,482 00
Less this amount for Non
Payment, which was
paid the Treasurer, 1,482 00
Received for Old Shanty, &c., -
" " Pasture,
" " Stone,
40 00 5,554 45
Balance, - - - -
- $113,415 07
EXTENSION OF THE
17,630 24 $118,969
Laying Main Pipe, - - - -
Lake, (raising the Gate-house, land
around the Lake, and building sea
Hydrant and Stopcock Boxes, -
Carting, . . . . .
Amounts carried forward, $47,770 42 $118,969
I860.] WATER. 37
Amounts brought forward, $47,770 42 $118,969 52
Oil, - - - . - - - 50 00
Wages, Proving Yard, - - - 2,084 00
" Plumbing Shop, ... 350 00
« Blacksmith Shop, . . 700 00
" Laying Main Pipe, - - 3,955 58
" " Service Pipe, - - 3,740 40
Land and Water Rights, - - - 8,500 00
Blacksmith Shop, for stock, &c., - 300 00
Proving Yard " " " - 200 00
Meters, 6,050 12
Brookline Reservoir, Screens, and
fitting in, preparing for new Main,
&c., 800 00 74,500 52
Amount of this Year's Expense, - - - $44,469 00
From this should be deducted the amount paid
for repairs of the Aqueduct at Newton Lower
Falls, 15,380 73
Leaving the usual Annual Expense, - - $29,088 27
Expenditures and Receipts on account of the Water
Works, to January 1st, 1860.
Amount drawn by the Commissioners, - - $4,043,718 21
" '' " Water Board, 1850, - 366,163 89
Amount carried forward,
- 385,652 47
38 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 13. [Jan.,
Amount brought forward, $5,514,7.67 32
Amount paid the City Treasurer
by the Commissioners, - - $47,648 38
Am't paid by Water Board, 1850, 8,153 52
'' " " 1851, 5,232 38
'^ " " 1852, 15,869 12
" •' '' 1853, 4,621 40
" '< ■' 1854, 12,423 29
" " " 1855, 9,990 38
" " " 1856, 7,840 43
« '' " 1857, 13,750 00
'' '' '■ 1858, 9,200 00
" '^ '^ 1859, 5,554 00 140,282 90
Sundry Payments by the City, $52,065 94 $5,374,484 42
Discount and Interest on Loans, 3,098,797 82 3,150,863 76
Sundry Credits by the City, $52,384 84
Amount rec'd for Water Rates, 2,380,165 45 2,432,550 29
SAMUEL N. DYER,
Cleric of Cochituate Water Board.
CITY ENGINEER'S REPORT.
Boston, January 9th, 1860.
Hon. John H. Wilkins, Pres. of the Cochituate Water Board :
Sir: In accordance with the requirements of the Water
Ordinance, the following annual report of the general condi-
tion of the Water Works is herewith submitted.
Everything connected with the line of conduit was, at the
commencement of the year, and until the latter part of
March, in its usual safe and reliable condition ; frequent
examinations having been made of the whole line by Mr.
On the 29th of March, early in the morning, a break was
discovered in the pipes and conduit on the westerly side of
Charles River. Mr. Ware, a resident of one of the nearest
houses, on seeing it, immediately started on horseback for
the lake, a distance of about eight miles, to notify Mr.
Knowlton, who immediately shut off the water at the lake.
As the break occurred before daylight, the water was not
shut off" until the gate-house or pipe chamber, a portion of the
conduit, and nearly all the pipes on the sloping side of the
hill, had been broken down or washed away.
Notice having been brought to the office, the City Engineer
immediately started for the scene of the accident, and, acting
under that clause in the rules and regulations of the Water
Board, in which the City Engineer is required to " take imme-
diate measures for the repair of any damage which may happen
to the aqueduct, pipes, reservoirs, dams, gate-houses, and all other
structures or property belonging to the Water WorJcs,'' the City
Engineer immediately took very energetic measures for mak-
ing the necessary repairs.
Persons were sent in various directions for laborers,
teams, and all the necessary materials of bricks, cement,
pipes, and all the various tools requisite for the repairs.
As would naturally be expected at the sight of the hole in
the hill, of perhaps one hundred feet long, some thirty feet
wide, and thirty to forty deep, very serious misapprehen-
sions would arise as to the time necessary for making, the
repairs, and the time that the city would be deprived of
The pipe chamber was originally constructed very nearly
on the verge of a bluff, composed principally of sand and fine
gravel, and the pipes were laid down a very steep inclined
plane, formed of this material, to the bridge crossing Charles
From the appearance of such of the broken pipes as could
be found after the accident, there can be no doubt that it
was first caused by a slight leak, probably a crack, in one of
the pipes. A little water running down by the pipes would
very soon wash down enough sand and gravel to undermine
them, when, having nothing to support them, they must, of
necessity, break, and, one of them once broken, such a torrent
of water would flow from it as to wash out, in a very short
time, a very large hole in such material as the hill was com-
As the hill was washed away, first went the pipes, then the
pipe chamber, and, lastly, portions of the conduit, until the
water was shut off at the lake.
The surface of the ground being frozen, and the water from
the leak following down by the side of the pipes, without
showing on the surface, would be suflScient cause of the leak
not having been discovered the previous afternoon, when the
spot was passed over for inspection by Mr. Knowlton.
Most probably, the leak in the pipes did not commence
until some time during the night.
Instead of restoring the hill to its original shape, the new
pipe chamber was set further back in the hill, a distance of
about ninety feet, and the hole filled up by puddling in the
gravel and sand to a much flatter slope than formerly. This
process of puddling in was chosen in preference to building
up piers of masonry under the pipes, because, in this way, the
pipes could be laid, and the water could be set running to
the city again, in a great deal less time than it would have
taken to build up brick or stone piers. The filling is
now quite as firm and solid as the hill ever was previous to
the break ; and, because of the greater flatness of the slope,
it is now much less likely to break away than formerly.
The break occurred on Tuesday, the 29th day of March,
early in the morning. On the next Thursday morning, the
trench was filled in enough to receive the pipes. On the
next Saturday night, at nine o'clock, one line of pipes was
laid, and water passed through it to the city. At six, P. M.,
on Sunday, the second line of pipes was connected, and water
passed through it to the city ; and on the succeeding Thurs-
day, at half past five, P. M., the third and last line of pipes
was connected, and the water was flowing through all the
lines of pipes to the city. The whole time from the break
to the full restoration of the pipes, conduit, and g^te cham-
ber, having been nine and one-half days.
A very great amount of gravel and sand was washed into
the river, and, for a short time, it was entirely dammed up,
and had it not been for the presence of mind of some of the
neighbors, who set themselves immediately at work to open a
channel through it, it is probable that the river would have
broken through the line of pipes laid in the valley or around
the abutments of the bridge. In either case, the damage
would have been vastly greater than it was, and would have
taken a much longer time to repair. All those gentlemen
who aided in opening the river, deserve the heartfelt thanks
of all the inhabitants of the city.
Messrs. Knowlton and Stanwood, Mr. Bird, the Chief
Engineer of the Fire Department, and many other persons,
aided very efficiently in the repairs of the break.
During the summer, a large force of men was employed,
under the personal supervision of Mr. Knowlton, in clearing
out the river, so that no obstruction would be made to the
flow of water to the mills, by the accumulation of anchor ice
during the present or any succeeding winter.
Waste Water at the Lake.
On the 23d of January, the lake being at the then high
water mark, the waste gate was raised, and water flowed
over the outlet dam at a depth of six inches. It was kept
running at heights varying up to nine inches, until early in
March, when the gate was raised to allow a flow of from
twenty to twenty-four inches over the outlet dam ; and water
was allowed to waste constantly from the lake, from the 23d
of January until the 8th of July, when the gate was shut
During this time, a period of 167 days, the total waste
amounted to 7,569,000,000 gallons. Had we the means of
saving it for use when wanted, it would have supplied the
city with an average of 20,700,000 gallons daily, for the
whole year, in addition to the daily average of 13,175,000
gallons, which was used in the city.
At the time of shutting the gate, the water in the lake
was eleven inches above original high-water mark. The
water has at no time during the year been more than one
foot eight inches below this mark, and then only for about
three days. On the 1st of January, 1860, it was only six
inches below original high-water mark.
Raising the Gate-house at the Lake.
The Legislature passed an act authorizing the raising of
the dam at the lake in April last.
During the past season, by direction of your Board, the
gate-house at the lake has been raised a height of four feet
eight inches. As part of it stood over the lake, it was con-
sidered best, and cheapest to take it down, and after raising
the floor to the required height, to re-lay the stones of the
building as originally constructed, instead of endeavoring to
raise it on screws.
The roads near the gate house have been raised two feet,
so that we can now keep the water in both divisions of the
lake at a height of ten feet above the floor of " Knight's
New forty-inch Main.
The laying of the new 40-inch main was commenced early
in the spring, and a junction was made in the latter part of
December with the 30-inch main crossing the Common.
Its continuation to join with the other 30-inch main at the
corner of Boylston and Tremont streets will be made the
The junction with the 30-inch main on the Common, has so
much increased the supply in the city, that, although the
weather has been extremely cold for some ten or twelve days
past, yet there has been very little lack of water in the higher
parts of the city. In previous winters such a long spell of
cold weather has deprived the higher portions of the city of
water, and has. entirely drained the reservoirs.
The length of this 40-inch pipe as laid the past season, is
22,414 feet. To make suitable blow-offs and connections with
the other pipes in the city, and also to make arrangements for
other connections hereafter, it has been necessary to put in
three 40-inch stop-cocks ; one 30-inch do. ; one 20-inch do. ;
seven 16-inch do.; one 12-inch do.; and four of 4-inch do.
Also 382 feet of IG-inch pipes. Other stop-cocks will be
required when the final connection is made next year.
Corrosion of Pipes.
Making the connection of this line of pipes with the 30-inch
has given us another opportunity to examine the amount of
corrosion in the pipes.
In the report for 1858 the corrosion was spoken of in con-
nection with the pipes re-laid on Dover street bridge. The
corrosion in these 30-inch pipes did not appear to vary essen-
tially from the description given of those on Dover street
bridge; except that the 30-inch pipes were the most uniformly
I am still of the opinion as then expressed, " that the cor-
rosion is very energetic at first, hut that it gradually decreases in
energy, year by year."
The following table shows the diflferent heights at which
the water has been running, and the number of days in each
month at the different heights.
HEIGHTS IN FEET AND INCHES.
NUMBER OF DAYS IN EACH MONTH.
It will be seen by this table that in 105 days the conduit
has been empty, or run less than full; in 145 days just full,
and in 115 days it has been running with a head on it varying
from four inches to one foot eight inches.
Six feet four inches is the full height of the conduit. It was
originally intended to carry but four feet four inches of water.
Should we keep it down to this point, we should come far
short of a full and sufficient supply.
Loss of head from the BrooMine Reservoir to Beacon Hill and
East Boston Reservoirs.
The effect of increased consumption of water in the city
may be seen by reference to the table in this and previous
reports of average annual heights of water in the reservoirs.
A synopsis is given in the following table.
Average annual heights of Water
above Marsh Level in
H 0! .=;
H- 1 0) Ph
^ a --
tn 3 ^5
m O "
'U O a
o t, 3
ca -►- «
"H — q
Extreme high water in Brookline Reservoir is 124.6 feet.
CO^ C^l^ 1-H^
O" r-^ CO
C5 t^ i-<
rt" cT ^
O ^ Q
Monthly Fall of Rain, in inches, in 1859.
PLACES AND OBBEEVEKS.
Besides the iO-inch pipes laid, the following is a statement of the location, size and num-
ber of feet of distributing pipes laid in the year 1859 :
In what Streets.
New Devonshire, .
East Concord, ... .
New Devonshire, .
Worcester Place, .
Jones' Wharf, ....
Half Moon Place,.
(jlover Court. .
Between what Steeets.
Boylston and Beacon,
Total IS-inch, Boston. Proper,
Shawmut Avenue and Tremont,
West of Tremont,
Franklin and Milk,
Poplar and Leveret,
Tremont and Camden,
West of Public Garden,
West of Tremont,
Washington and Harrison Avenue,.
Tremont and Shawmut Avenue, . . . .
Federal and South,
West of Tremont,
West of Tremont,
South of Church,
Washington and Harrison Avenue,.
Franklin and Winthrop Place,
For Public Garden,
Total G-incIi, Boston Proper,
From 1198 Washington street.
From Commercial street,
Connected with Leveret,
Total 4r-incli, Boston Proper,
Seventh and Eighth,
Total 1^-iucIi, Soutli Boston,
Dorchester and Mercer,
To connect with Eighth,
I and iv
K and L,
D and E,
Seventh and Goddard,
D and Dorchester,
L and N,
E and F,
First and Second,
I and K ,
Dorchester street and Dorchester Avenue,
Broadway and First,
I and K,
Total 6-incli, Soutla Boston,
C and D,
For Norway Iron Co., .
Total 4:-inch, South. Boston,
Porter and Brooks,
Total 6-inch, Slast Boston,
East of Orleans,
Total 4;-iMich, East Boston,.
Boston Proper, . . .
South Boston, . . .
East Boston, . . . .
( Total number of feet laid,
( Stop-cocks in the same, . .
f Total number of feet laid,
( Stop-cocks in the same, . .
( Total number of feet laid,
( Stop-cocks in the same, . .
Sums of Pipes, . . . .
Sums of Stop-cocks, .
Diameter in inches.
During the year 700 feet of 6-inch pipes has been taken up
and re-laid on Plymouth street, south of Northampton street.
< • Oi
^ : •*
r M e
^ 1 1
I i .
3 »* ;
ks in the s
> .s =
3 .a 5
3 ci :2
- o -g
> ^ c
I 2 ^
!* 's '
3 _2 c
" -M ft
3 o a
H ft V
> fl <
= 5 =
H ° "S
3 =« ;
3 Cm a
■t a> H
2 o ^
2 O ^
3 -S 1
3 S ;
H ^ W
Statement of Service Pipe laid in 1859.
1 . .
Making the total number up to January 1, 1860, 22,264
Repairs of Pipes during the Year 1859.
DIAMETER OF PIPES IN INCHES.
South Boston,. .
East Boston, . . .
Of leaks that have occurred in pipes of 4 inches in diame-
ter and upwards, sixty-one were caused by the loosening of
lead in the joints, two by frost, thirteen by settling of earth,
one by boxing, one by fish, and four by flaws in pipes.
Total eighty-two in pipes of four inches and upwards. Of
the leaks that have occurred in service-pipes and two-inch
pipes, ninety-four were caused by settling of earth, twenty-
eight by defective pipes, one hundred and fifty by fish, seven
by rats, thirty-six by stiff connections, fifteen by rust, seven-
teen by frost, fourteen by joints, thirty-eight by defective coup-
lings, eight by digging drains, one by driving piles, six by
tenants, seven by defective cocks, four by cocks blowing out
one stopped by gasket, three by boxing cellars, and twenty
struck by picks.
Total, four hundred and forty-nine in service and two-inch
Statement of the Number of Leaks, 1850—1859.
LEAKS IN PIPES OF A DIAMETER OF
Four inches and upwards.
Less than four inches.
. . 74
During the year, thirty-two new hydrants have been estab-
lished as follows : fifteen in the city proper, thirteen in South
Boston, two in Roxbury, and two in Brookline.
Altogether there have been established up to the present
In Boston proper, - - - - - 902
'' South Boston, 261
" East Boston, 170
" Brookline, ------ 3
'' Roxbury, ------ 9
" Charlestown, . . - - - 11
" Chelsea, ^
Total, ------ 1,363
Fifty-eight hydrants have been taken out, and replaced by
new or repaired ones ; eighty-three decayed hydrant-boxes
have been renewed. The hydrants are in good condition.
The unusual cold weather in the present month of January
has made it necessary to keep an extra force of men employed
to keep the hydrants free from ice, and in good order for use
in case of fire.
The stop-cocks are all in good working order, and have
had the usual cleaning and oiling. Twenty-five new stop-
cocks have been put in and covered by new stop-cock boxes ;
and thirty-two stop-cock boxes have been renewed.
Statement of Pipes and other Stock on hand, exclusive of Tools,
January 1, 1860.
DIAMETER IN INCHES.
4- Way Branches,
3 New York.
For Hydrants. 7 bends, 24 frames, 25 covers, 40 caps, 14
lengtheners, 100 weight of composition castings, 24 valve
seats, 8 nipples, 42 stuffing boxes, 15 screws, 20 plungers, 7
unfinished hydrants, 9 wooden boxes, 10 unfinished do., lot of
old rods and parts of hydrants, 76 straps, 10 rings, 1 band.
For Stop Cocks, 10 4-inch plugs, 4 frames, 5 covers, 10
stands and gear for 36 and 30-inch, 4 composition screws for
6-inch, 11 plungers for do., 1 composition screw and 3
plungers for 12-inch do., 5 iron screws for 6-inch, 25 cast
iron nuts, 13 rings, 2 screws for 24-inch, 1 for 30 and 2 for
36-inch, 12 unfinished stop cocks, 6-inch, 1 wooden box, 8
unfinished do., 4 boxes flange bolts, 2 screws for 30-inch
(old,) 157 lbs. ^-inch bolts, 588 lbs. 1-inch bolts, 113 lbs. |-
inch do., 169 lbs. of l|-inch do., 140 lbs. l-^-inch do.
For Service Pipe. 22 1-inch air cocks, 5 1 -inch union do.,
21 1-inch T do., 3 |-inch union do., 5 f-inch T do., 102 |-inch
union do., 12 f-inch Y do., 9 f-inch straight do., 4 f T do., 9
flanges, 7 tubes, 10 caps for 1-inch do., 40 caps, 25 boxes, 25
tubes, 370 straight boxes, 6 2i-inch couplings, 7 li-inch con-
nection couplings, 7 1-inch do., 50 f-inch do., 65 lbs. old f
and f-inch do., 12 1^-inch flanges, 876 lbs. |-inch union cock
castings, 300 lbs. castings for couplings, various sizes, 112
lbs. castings for 1-inch cocks, 252 lbs. castings for |-inch do.,
160 f-inch flange cocks.
Meters. 51 composition 1-inch Worthington, 4 2-inch do.,
10 |-inch do., 6 1-inch iron do., 6 f-inch iron do., 1 1-inch
Scotch, 4 f-inch do., 44 Huse's, 40 lbs. composition nipples
for 1-inch, 7 connection couplings for 2-inch, 4 6-inch flanges
Lead Pipe. 525 lbs. 2Hnch, 150 lbs. l^-inch, 135 lbs. 1-
inch, 1,150 lbs. f-inch, 1,650 lbs. f-inch, 345 lbs. pieces f.
Pig Lead. 3,150 lbs., 714 lbs. sheet lead, 55 lbs. block
tin, 9 lbs. solder.
Blacksmith'' s Shop. 392 lbs. cast steel, 170 lbs. working
pieces do., 2,590 lbs. bar iron, 3,181 lbs. working pieces do.,
131 lbs. truss bolts, 88 lbs. boiler iron, 700 lbs. scrap iron.
Stable. 300 lbs. English kay, 3 horses, 3 sets of harness,
4 wagons (1 old,) 1 pung, 22 bushels grain, stable utensils ; be-
side the above, 1 large hoisting crane, 1 boom derrick, 4 prs.
crank derricks and 2 prs. shears, with apparatus belonging.
4 proving presses and apparatus, complete lot of tools for
laying main and service pipes and repairs of same, also tools
for machine, blacksmiths, plumbers' and carpenters' shops, for
reservoirs and fountains, office and watchroom furniture.
At Beacon Hill Reservoir. 1 cast iron drinking fountain, 2
composition reel jets, 2 4-inch cylinder jets, 1 6-inch do., 1
composition reducer, 5 waste cocks, 1 composition cylinder, 6
jets, 3 plates, 6 jet plates, 9 cast iron jets, lot of old lumber,
capstan, frame and levers, large copper ball, 5 swivel pipe
patterns, 3 boom carriages, 1 swing stage and irons.
Miscellaneous. 1 bbl. oil for lanterns, 8 tons of old cast
iron, large lot of old lumber used on new main, large lot of
patterns for proving presses, pipes, branches, stop cocks,
hydrants, &c., lot of old bolts, cast oif drills, drilling machines
and clamps, lot of machinery from Marlboro', 1 cask of spikes,
f cask sperm oil, 1 bag cotton waste, 250 lbs. composition
chips, 223 lbs. old composition cocks, 60 pipe plugs, 25
baskets charcoal, 1 ton hard coal, ^ ton soft coal, 50 tons
paving gravel, 5 man-hole frames and plates for large pipes.
JAMES SLADE, City Engineer.
WATER REGISTRAR'S REPORT.
Water Registrar's Office,
Boston, January 1st, 1860.
Hon. John H. Wilkins, Pres. of the Cochitiiate Water Board :
Sir : I herewith present my annual report, containing the
usual classification of water takers, and the amount of water
rate received from each class, together with such other mat-
ters as are required by the 16th section of the ordinance.
The total number of water takers, now entered for the
year 1860, is 23,271, being an increase since January 1st,
1859, of 1,057.
During the year, there has been 1,023 cases where the
water has been shut off. Of these, 977 were for non-payment
of water rates, and 46 were for unnecessary waste of water.
The number of cases where the water has been turned on,
is 1,413. Of these, 643 were cases which had been shut off
for non-payment of rates ; 30 were shut off for unnecessary
waste, and 740 were turned on for the first time.
The total amount received from December
31st, 1858, to January 1st, 1860, is - - $314,808 97
Of the above, there was received for water
ised in previous years, the sum of - $471 46
Leaving the receipts for water
3ed during the year 1 859, the sum
of 314,337 51
In addition to the above, there has been
receive(f for letting on water, in cases where it
had been turned^ off for non-payment of rates, 1,482 00
Total amount received during the year, in
this office, $316,290 97
The increased amount of receipts in 1859,
over the previous year, is - - - - $12,359 24
The amount of assessments already made
for the year 1860, is 255,760 80
The estimated amount of income from the
sales of water during the year 1860, is - - 325,000 00
The expenditure for meters during the past year has
been $5,580 50. The increased charges for the use of water,
against the establishments to which these meters have been
attached, have already equalled, if not exceeded, this expendi-
ture. By reference to schedules A and B, will be seen the
result of the meters in some of the largest establishments.
Schedule contains the usual statement, showing the num-
ber and kind of water fixtures within the premises of water
The expenditures of my department during
the year 1859, have been . . . . $3,055 94
The items of this expenditure are as follows :
Paid Chas. L. Bancroft, for services as clerk, -
Stephen Badlam, " "
Chas.B. Dunham, for services as inspector,
N. P. Burgess, " "
Eayrs & Fairbanks, for stationery, -
George West, for distributing bills,
Theodore Badlam, " " -
M. Lyon, " " - -
N. B. Allen, " " - -
Of the sixty meters purcliased last year, twenty-three have
been attached, and are now in operation at the following
hotels, and show the average daily consumption of water,
also the amount of water rate charged to each, as compared
with the amount received in 1858.
American House,. . .
United States Hotel,
Gallons per day.
Water Rate, 1859.
Water Eate, 1858,
. $571 00 .
. 240 00 .
. 475 00 .
. 810 00 .
. 267 00 .
. 672 00 .
. 354 00 .
. 281 00 .
The following comprise some of the largest establishments
to which meters have been affixed, and show the average daily
consumption of water, together with the amount of water rate
paid by each.
Boston and Worcester Railroad Co., .
Boston and Maine Railroad Co., . .
Old Colony Railroad Co.,
Eastern Railroad Co.,
Fitchburg Railroad Co.,
Bay State Rolling Mill,
Norway Iron Co.,
Pembroke Iron Co.,
Kerosene Oil Co., East Boston, . . .
Kerosene Oil Co., South Boston, . .
J. Trull, distillery,
Jno. T. Heard, distillery,
W. E. French & Co., distillery, . . .
J. M. Barnard & Co., distillery, . . .
Sylvester Bowman, distillery, for 5 mos.
Lovis & Hodges, Chemical Works, . .
Statement, showing the number and kind of water fixtures
contained within the premises of water-takers in the city, in
1857, 8 and 9.
Taps ; these have no connection
with any drain or sewer.
Wash hand basins.
Pan water closets.
Hopper water closets.
Self acting water closets.
Wash tubs ; these are perma-
nently attached to the build-
Shower baths in houses where
there is no tub.
Statement, showing the Number of Houses, Stores, Steam
Engines, &c., in the City of Boston, supplied with
Cochituate "Water to the 1st op January, 1860, with
THE AMOUNT OP WaTER RaTES PAID FOR 1859.
17,001 dwelling houses, from |6 00 to $31 00, $193,231 25
13 boarding "
33 00 to
97 model "
14 00 to
8 lodging "
15 00 to
3,298 stores and shops
6 00 to
6 00 to
6 00 to
15 00 to
6 00 to
6 00 to
16 private schools,
6 00 to
15 00 to
1 green house.
1 Custom House,
1 Post Office,
21 67 to
1 medical college.
1 State House,
from 6 00 to
35 00 to
30 00 to
52 market stalls.
6 00 to
6 00 to
15 00 to
352 restaurants & saloons "
8 00 to
4 club houses,
15 00 to
7 bathing houses.
15 00 to
Amount carried fort
Amount brought forward,
759 stables, from
$5 00 to
68 shops and engines, "
10 00 to
8 foundries & engines,"
12 58 to
1 forge & engine,
11 printing & engines,
15 00 to
22 factories & engines, "
25 50 to
30 factories, "
9 00 to
79 68 to
2 sugar refineries,
16 mills and engines, "
20 00 to 1,507 20,
16 engines, '*
12 00 to
47 printing offices, "
6 00 to
9 distilleries, "
46 95 to
11 breweries, ''
10 00 to
2 bacon works,
6 bleacheries, "
9 00 to
54 bakeries, from
I 6 00 to
3 " & engines,"
20 00 to
8 buildings & engines,"
29 90 to
1 ship yard and engine.
9 ship yards, "
10 00 to
4 dry docks, "
15 00 to
607 hose, "
3 00 to
30 fountains, "
3 00 to
9 packing houses, "
9 00 to
8 railroad companies,"
75 00 to 1,886 64,
3 ferry companies.
30 steamboats, "
15 00 to
232 schools, "
6 00 to
22 engine, hose, & hook
& ladder houses,
Amount carried forward,
Amount brought forward,
8 police stations, from $15 00 to $80 00,
2 city stables,
6 fire alarm motors, " 10 00 to 15 00,
1 Court House,
1 City Hall,
1 Faneuil Hall,
1 City Building,
1 Probate Office,
1 office at City Scales,
4 offices, Niles' block,
1 Dead House,
1 Public Library,
1 House of Correction,
1 Lunatic Hospital,
1 Faneuil Hall Market, urinals, &c.,
1 street sprinkling.
1 offal station.
Common Sewer Dept., (for making mortar.
&c.) 75 00
1 house in Vine street,
1 steamer Henry Morrison,
1 Jail for Suffolk County,
1 Massachusetts State Prison,
Mill Dam Company,
Contractors for supplying shipping,
WILLIAM P. DAVIS, Water Registrar.
CITY OF BOSTON
One volume can be taken at a time from the
Lower Hall, and one from the Bates Hall.
Books can be kept out 14 days.
A fine of 2 cents for each volume will be
incurred for each day a book is detained more
than 14 days.
Any book detained more than a week be-
yond the time limited, wiU be sent for at the
expense of the delinquent.
No book is to be lent out of the household
of the borrower.
The Library hours for the delivery and re-
turn of books are from 10 o'clock, A. M., to
8 o'clock, P. M., in the Lower HaU ; and from
10 o'clock, A. M., untU one half hour before
sunset in the Bates HaU.
Every book must, under penalty of one dol-
lar, be returned to the Library at such time
in August as shaU be publicly announced.
The card must be presented whenever a
book is returned. For renewing a book the
card must be presented, together with the
book, or with the shelf-numbers of the book-