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Some months ago, I published a pamphlet entitled Remarks on supplying 
(he City of Boston with Pure Water, which was distributed to a great ex- 
tent through the city. The views therein expressed were received with 
much more favor than I had reason, under the circumstances, to anticipate ; 
and, as I believe them to be still important, I now propose to review the 
several positions therein taken. In doing so, I shall of course have occasion 
to notice the objections which have been made to them ; and especially those 
made by Mr. Hale, in his Inquiry into the Best Mode of supplying the City 
of Boston icith Water, &c. I may truly acknowledge that the appearance 
of this last pamphlet is the occasion which calls me again before the public ; 
but, in the following pages, I shall by no means limit myself to the consid- 
eration of the objections therein made. I trust the author will excuse me 
for using his name for the sake of brevity ; as he must be sensible that the 
disguise assumed on the title-page is too transparent to serve any valuable 

In my former Remarks, I stated that I had endeavored to look at " facts 
and to form opinions for myself" on this subject of water; and that, in- 
quiring into the subject in this spirit, I had come " to some definite con- 
clusions, not altogether in accordance with the opinions of the commis- 
sioners." Of course, it was to be supposed that Mr. Hale and myself would 
differ in our opinions. I certainly had no expectation of bringing him to the 
approval of my views ; and I apprehend he did not expect me to be satisfied 

with his answer to them. My end, I hope, is (and certainly his should be) 
to impart information to our fellow-citizens, so that they may form a correct 
judgment on this most difficult subject ; so that the public mind may settle 
down in the approval and acceptance of that system of supply, which shall 
combine the best water and the greatest quantity with the greatest economy. 
In doing this, I shall endeavor to meet Mr. Hale's statements fairly, and 
qualify them, so far as they ought to be qualified, by other authentic state- 
ments, either from himself or others ; and, if he should deem it of import- 
ance to notice these further rebiarks, I hope he will have the same end in 

In my Remarks, I stated that I was inclined to favor the plan " to dis- 
tribute the water, for domestic purposes, free from charge."" From this 
doctrine Mr. Hale " feels bound to dissent j" and gives some reasons, which 
appear to have much more weight with him than they do with me. As this 
is still a matter of no public interest at present, I beg to refer the reader, 
who is desirous of seeing what my views are, to note A, at the end of the 
first edition of this pamphlet, where he will find the substance of two com- 
munications published in the Courier, September 24 and 25, 1844. I will 
notice this point no further at present than to say, that I am not tenacious of 
this plan ; I entertain no particular desire to have it meet with public favor. 
And yet I should exceedingly regret to have the city accept any act, or so 
commit itself in any manner, that it shall find itself restricted hereafter 
from the full and free control of the loater when it is brought into the city. 
The distribution, and the terms of distribution, should, I think, be always in 
the hands of the city government, to be affected through the ballot-box, like 
all other municipal interests.* 

Disposing in this manner of a question somewhat incidental, I propose to 
handle the matter again in the same order 1 did before. This is different 

* Since several other gentlemen, as well as Mr. Hale, have expressed dissent from these 
views, considering them tinged with a spirit of agrarianism, (if I may apply a land term to a 
water subject,) I must be pardoned for adding a word here; because 1 apprehend that this 
difference of opinion arises wholly from the different aspect in which we view the subject. 

I have been accustomed to regard this enterprise as a great protective and sanatory measure ; 
and, as such, entitled to be regarded as strictly a municipal enterprise. So far as it is protective, 
I apprehend that there is no difference of opinion in regard to the manner in which the expenses 
of It should be met ; I will therefore say a few words upon it only as a sanatory measure. 

Nothing is better established than the fact, that the health of densely populated districts is 
greatly dependent upon cleanliness, and exemption from all those causes which can in any 
degree vitiate the air, and render it unpleasant to the senses or unfit to sustain the system. 
And, among the contrivances adapted to promote cleanliness, and to remove all causes of im- 
purity in the air, a perfect system of drainage and sewerage holds the very first place. Now, 
there can be no perfect system of drainage aiid sewerage, unless there be a free and copious use 
of water in every tenement. If the use of water be stinted, from any cause, in every other 
house, or in every third house, just in the degree in which the use is stinted, in that degree the 
drainage and sewerage falls short of its object. It may be a matter of individual luxury and 
comfort to have a bath when desired, and to use water freely to refresh a few plants one may 
have in his yard ; but it is a matter oi public concernment that his premises shall be kept clean, 
that his drains shall be free and sweet, and that he shall contribute his share of water to scour 
and keep clean the common sewers. Hence, I regard it as of the greatest importance that the 
water shall go into every house, and be freely and copiously used therein. And as, in such 
case, one may obtain as much luxury and pleasure from its use as another, it hardly seems 
worth while to tax any one specially therefor. 

Now, if there be any other practicable way of getting water into every dwelling-house, and 
inducing a free use of it there, than to distribute it gratis, I should be glad to have the method 
pointed out. No one would treat a practical project, that had this object in view, with more 
respect and consideration than 1 should; but I think every plan, which falls short of this end, 
is, and must be, more or less imperfect. 

I will add, that it is only in this way that T can regard the introduction of water as a muni- 
cipal measure ; and the instant I lose sight of these public objects, and these public considera- 
tions, and begin to look at the convenience, and comfort, and luxurj^ of individual water-takers, 
that instant the whole plan begins to take a character suitable for joint-stock corporations. 

I propose to embody some extracts and statements in the appendix, which will have a bearing 
on this subject, as well as others. 

somewhat from that adopted by Mr. Hale ; but I can better examine and 
meet his views, by bringing them into connection with mine in the order 
1 have adopted, than to follow him. 

The three propositions which I undertook to maintain in my Remarks 

1st. The water of Charles River is better than that of Long Pond. 

2d. It is vastly more alundant. 

Sd. It can be introduced into the city at greatly less expense. 
And to the reconsideration of these several propositions I propose mainly to 
limit myself now. I shall notice some other matters at the close. 

Preliminary, however, to a consideration of the first point, I propose to 
consider the adventitious causes of impurity in Charles River, which form 
the staple of Dr. Channing's pamphlet, and which Mr. Hale dilates upon 
with apparently great satisfaction. 

In the first place, I wish to call the attention of the reader to the striking 
difference, noticeable in the tone and manner of treating this point, by Mr. 
Hale in 1837 and in 1845. In 1837, (Report, p. 15,) he says: "The 
opinion has been often expressed that the Charles is rendered very impure 
by filth from the various mills upon its course. The amount of this is 
exceedingly minute when diffused through the river. We are of opinion, 
therefore, that this ought not to be taken as seriously affecting the quality 
of the water of Charles River." And, in page 62, in answer to objections 
of Mr. Baldwin to Mystic Pond on account of mills on the stream flowing 
into it, the Report says, " With regard to the influence of mills in rendering 
waters impure, we have already expressed our opinion in the report, when 
giving an account of Charles River." This is all very temperate and cor- 
rect language — used undoubtedly under a responsible sense of the facility 
with which any water may be rendered unpopular by even a slight enume- 
ration of possible causes of impurity. How singularly such sensible re- 
marks as the above contrast with the whole scope and sentiment of Mr. 
Hale's pamphlet, from pages 47 to'54 ! Let me quote the following : " Into 
this basin (at Watertown) the water is received over another dam, on which 
are situated Bemis's mills, the seat of cotton and other manufactories. At 
Wallham, three miles only from the spot at which the water is to be taken 
out of the river for use, is a third dam, on which are situated the celebrated 
Waltham factories, with all their works for dying and bleaching, and also 
a great variety of other manufacturing establishments. All the waste water, 
and impure substances, discharged from these manufactories, and from the 
residences of 2500 inhabitants, including the operatives at the factories, are 
dischafged directly into the river. These, of course, go to swell the mass 
of those fluids, which, three miles below, is to be pumped into the reservoir 
on Cory's Hill, and conveyed thence to Boston, for the daily beverage of its 

Now can it be that the same hand that sketched the effect of these mills 
and factories in 1837, wrote the above (and much more in the same strain) 
in 1845 } And if so, can it be that the dams and factories are identically 
the same in number, and about the same in extent, now as then } All this 
is certainly true ; and it must be left to others to judge what can have so 
utterly and entirely changed the author's opinions and views, where there is 
absolutely no visible cause. The fact I suppose to be indisputable, that there 
has been no new dam erected on the river within twenty miles of Watertown 
during the last fifteen years ; and scarcely any extension of works. I have 
made inquiry, and can learn of none. What was said by the commissioners 
in 1837, is just as true, and as worthy of confidence, now as it was then. 

If the views then expressed were not Mr. Hale's real views, he must be 
esteemed to have been disingenuous ; and if they were his real views then, 
it remains to be explained how his views have become so completely revolu- 
tionized with so little, or no, change in the circumstances. 

In this connection I will introduce some other extracts showing the animum 
in which Mr. Hale writes. Speaking of the impurities (though perhaps not 
derived from mills) in that river, Mr. Hale says, [Daily Advertiser, Feb. 
10,) this impurity was " otie of the objections to the adoption (by the com- 
missioners of 1837) of this source of supply." But he afterwards affirms 
(Advertiser, May 19th,) referring to the action of the commissioners of 
1837, " the Charles River source was the nearest and cheapest, but it was 
rejected on the ground of the less degree of purity of the water." Here, " 
instead of its being one, it is taken to be the sole, cause of rejecting the 
nearest and the cheapest source. Now let us see what the Report of 1837 
says, and all that it says, on this subject, (p. 31.) " As the constancy of the 
supply, however, in this plan (that is, Charles River) depends upon the 
operation of machinery, which always implies some shade of uncertainty, 
though in this case, as our estimate provides for two complete engines, 
pumps, and buildings, either of which will elevate the supply by operating 
twenty hours per day only, the chance of failure must be very small ; yet 
taking into consideration the possibility of such a contingency, and likewise 
the better quality of the waters of Spot and Mysfic'ponds, we are of opinion 
that the first plan, founded upon Charles River as a source, ought not to be 
adopted." Will any one pretend that the sole, or even the leading, reason 
for rejecting Charles River, as here set forth, was the impurity of the water ? 
Certainly not; — it scarcely makes a reason at all in relation even to the 
Medford ponds ; and it is all but certain that it would not have been thought 
of at all, had the decision lain between Charles River and Long Pond. The 
enumeration of the Medford ponds as of " better quality" than Charles River, 
implies that Long Pond was not so considei'ed ; for there was as much reason 
to name Long Pond, as Mystic and Spot Ponds, as the course of the argument 

Still further, to show that Charles River was not rejected on the ground of 
its impurity, but on other ground, let us make one extract more. In answer 
to some of Mr. Baldwin's objections, p. 53, the commissioners say, " if it 
were possible to raise water by steam power, without expense, our exami- 
nation would have ended with Charles River or Mystic Pond." But how and 
why would the examination have ended with Charles River, if that source 
" was rejected on the ground of the less degree of purity of the water" } 
Surely the "expense" would be no greater to raise a less pure, than a more 
pure, water. Again, if Charles River was rejected on account of impurity, 
why did the commissioners estimate upon it at all > Why go to the labor of 
finding the cost of a supply of water, which, on account of its quality, they 
did not intend to take .'' 

Again : Why does Mr. Hale now print Dr. Hobbs's letter } Why did he 
omit it in 1837 .? The letter was written in 1834. If it contained views 
deemed to be important, why was it not printed by the commissioners in 
1837 } And if deemed not to be important, why is it printed now } Its real 
importance was just the same then that it is now ; and the reason for 
publishing it much greater then than now, because Mr. Hale was acting in a 
more responsible capacity. 

It seems to me, therefore, impossible to dismiss from the mind the idea 
that Mr. Hale has exposed himself to the charge of having been disingenuous 
in 1837, or of having indulged an unjustifiable spirit of amplification and 
exaggeration in 1845. 

And as further proof of this disposition to exaggeration in 1845, let me 
call attention to two prominent misstatements, which I chance to have the 
power to correct; how many similar ones may be in his book, which I have 
not now the power to correct, I know not. On p. 49, he says : " On the 
immediate banks of this basin (from which the water is to be taken) are 
dwelling houses on both sides the river, and also slaughter houses, soap and 
candle tvorks, and other manufacturing establishments.^' Afterwards he 
again speaks of the ofial of slaiigliter houses, alluding to the same establish- 
ments. Now probably some surprise will be felt at learning, that, as possible 
sources of impurity to the waters proposed to be taken,- these establishments 
can have as little eflect, as if they were established down the river in Cam- 
bridge or Brighton. Those on the north side stand beside a canal, I should 
judge to be 70 rods long, which takes the water from the pond above the 
dam down to the mills ; and if any drainage come either from these estab- 
lishments or the mills themselves, it can never pass up against the current to 
mix with the water of the pond. Every " establishment" here referred to, 
is more than 400 feet beloio the dam. And those on the south side are 
separated entirely from the water of the pond by Baptist, or Jackson's brook, 
which runs into the Charles belotv the dam, and which must take all the 
drainage, if there be any, from every one of these establishments. 

Again : Mr. Hale says, " At Dedham the river receives the waste water 
of such common sewers as are required for a manufacturing population of 
from 3000 to 4000." One can hardly express his amazement at such a 
statement, — so full of error. In the first place, the population of the whole 
town, in 1840, was but 3,290 ; and this is not a mayntfaciuring- populalion to 
any considerable extent, but an agricultural one, scattered through three or 
four distinct territorial parishes. In the second place, the Charles River 
scarcely runs through the town at all, and skirts it only on one side ; of 
course, nearly all the population live at a distance from the river. In the 
third place, there is not a dam on the river where it touches Dedham, and, 
of course, there are no manufactories on the river; and there is no tributary 
stream, of any consequence, in that town, to which the remark could apply. 
In the fourth place, the people of Dedham probably do not know what a 
common sewer is, having no such thing on their premises ; and should any 
one inquire for a " common sewer" there, he would be directed to a person 
who took in plain needlework. The only establishments in Dedham, worthy 
of being called factories, are on Mother Brook, which runs out of, not into, 
Charles River. 

The person who supplied Mr. Hale with such facts as I have here noticed, 
must, I should think, have earned more than a penny a line. The abjlity to 
draw so long a bow, should have received a compensation in some degree 
commensurate to the rarity of the accomplishment. 

But I have expatiated quite enough on this subject. There is one plain 
and conclusive answer to the whole difficulty, root and branch, namely ; 
that the real causes of impurity be removed. It is needless to criticise the 
precise meaning of the act which has been rejected ; but sec. 19 was, beyond 
all doubt, intended to give the city a complete remedy against all such 
practical causes of impurity ; and a new act should, and would, embrace 
provisions to obtain the same object, only more clearly expressed. Equity 
would require the city to pay the actual expense ; but it could be but a trifle. 
And no serious doubt need be entertained that the owners of the establish- 
ments on the dams would meet the wishes of the city in a liberal and accom- 
modating spirit. Under such legal provisions, we should drink our water 
with as little apprehension as we eat our food. When we purchase our 

meat and vegetables, we seldom examine them for taint or decay, because 
the presumptions are that the butclier and sauceman are under the restraints 
of the law, and would not offer offensive articles for sale. Just so, it being 
unlawful to render our water impure, we should drink it freely without any 
apprehension or fear that the provisions of the law would be violated, 


Thai the Water of Charles River is better than that of Long Pond. 

The waters of Charles Eiver and Long Pond are to be compared by the 
qualities or ingredients ; 1st, which they exhibit to the senses ; 2d, which are 
developed by analysis ; and 3d, which result from the circumstance of one 
being a running, and the other a stagnant mass. 

1. As to the qualities or ingredients which they exhibit to the senses. — 
Water is usually considered pure when it is free from odor, taste and color. 
Now, as I am not aware that any body pretends that the water of either 
Charles River or Long Pond is objectionable on the score of taste or odor, I 
shall limit what I have to say under this head to color. July 1, 1834, Dr, 
Jackson says, of Charles River water, " clear, transparent, colorless.'''' Of 
Long Pond water he says, " Has a slight tint of brown.'''' He says of another 
specimen taken from the owiZef, that " it was free from color;" but as it 
is not proposed to take the water from the outlet for the use of the city, it is 
not very obvious how this latter examination bears upon the question. Mr. 
Flayes, May 24, 1837, (near three years after Dr. Jackson,) says of Charles 
River, " Nearly colorless ;" and, to the praise, as I apprehend, of Long Pond 
water, he says, it " resembles (Charles River) in physical qualities." 
February 27, 1845, I obtained a bottle of water from Charles River, which 
was exhibited at the senate chamber before the committee, and afterwards 
on the first day of debate on the Water Bill in the house of representatives, 
and which I have still in my possession., which I regard as colorless, or nearly 
so. On the 3d or 4th of March, 1845, I obtained another specimen which 
was exhibited on the secorid day of debate in the house of representatives. 
I believe these specimens were regarded as colorless by the members of that 
body. The water of the last specimen is lost ; any one may still inspect 
the first. 

lam aware that, in point of color, the commissioners of 1837 ranked Long 
Pond water before that of Charles River ; but as the number of specimens 
examined, and the times and circumstances under which they were taken 
are not stated, what they say of their examination may be entirely true, 
and still the conclusion may be erroneous. So in the chamber of the senate 
before the committee, I believe there was a sample taken from the outlet of 
Long Pond as colorless as the sample from Charles River, but the samples gen- 
erally (for there were several taken from different parts of the pond) most 
certainly were not. I have also had specimens from Charles River taken at 
different times, say April 14 and 25, and May 14 ; and also of Long Pond, 
taken (I suppose) about March 1st, and (from the exact point of the pond 
which we propose to tap) April 25th. On carefully comparing these sam- 
ples as to color, the last specimen of Long Pond was whiter than the first, 
and whiter than some of Charles River ; while the first specimen from 
Charles River was a good deal whiter than the last from Long Pond, and 
the last from Charles River much whiter than the first from Long Pond, and 
somewhat whiter than the last from Long Pond, 

Now this appears to be the true state of facts, so far as my knowledge or 

reading goes, and which does not appear to be contradictory to any other au- 
thentic knowledge on the subject. There have been three times, with long 
intervals between, and at ditierent seasons of the year, when the water of 
Charles River was found to be colorless, or nearly so ; while there is not, 
that 1 am aware of, the slightest evidence or good reason to suppose, that 
any specimen was ever taken from Long Pond at the point where we propose 
to take it, that was i'ree (or nearly so) from color. The inference I draw is, 
that if we take Charles River we shall sometimes, probably often, have the 
water colorless, or nearly so, and can then have our clothes washed white ; 
while, if we take Long Pond, we shall have it with a perpetual discolora- 
tion, though this discoloration may occasionally be less than that of Charles 

Dr. Gould, describing a specimen of Charles River water received from 
Dr. Channing, who received it from Mr. Hobbs, says it " appears to be what, 
we doctors would call sadly jaundiced ; that is, it has a greenish yellow 
tinge, about the color of chlorine gas, probably arising from chlot'ophi/Il, the 
coloring matter of plants," &c. Having occasion to call on Dr. Gould, he 
showed me the identical bottle from which he took the water above de- 
scribed. It was a common junk bottle of black glass ; I noticed that it was 
partly full, and feeling desirous of examining it myself, Dr. Gould was oblig- 
ing enough to allow me to take it. I took it to my store, put the water into a 
clean, white, glass decanter, (and have it still for the inspection of the curi- 
ous,) and I find it to be just about the most free from color of any specimen 
I ever saw of surface water. I think the advocates of Long Pond may be 
safely challenged to produce a sample more free from color, from the point 
of the pond at which v/e propose to take it. Dr. Gould says, however, that 
the color has changed ; which he attributes to its having been kept from the 
light. Whether this can be so, I leave to others to judge. 

On the 13th of August, 1845, a number of gentlemen, generally known 
and professed advocates of Long Pond, visited that source and Charles River, 
and, as was to be expected, decided in favor of Long Pond. One hundred 
and sixteen gentlemen have published a very strong but very general recom- 
mendation of Long Pond, but have very prudently abstained from particu- 
lars. They " certify that they have seen, tvith great satisfaction, that the 
water of this (Long) Pond is free from taste and odor; " but say nothing of 
its freedom from color. If they saw with great satisfaction that this water 
was free from qualities which it was never accused of possessing, what would 
have been the measure of their satisfaction if they had found it free from 
those which it has been accused of possessing, and which it undoubtedly does 
possess ? 

Several editors have given accounts of this excursion, but I have seen 
none so full as that in the Sun of the 15th. This account is written by one 
strongly in favor of Long Pond, and as strongly opposed to Charles River ; 
and embraces some matter of observation worthy of notice. I ask particular 
attention to the following extract : 

"The neck of the Pond, formerly called the 'Fording Place,' is here crossed 
by a bridge. It is at the easterly end of this crossing that it is intended to have 
entered the pond with the Boston Aqueduct. It is here, too, that the visiter may 
take an observation of ' Snake Brook,' a little rill which enters the pond at this 
point, and from passing a long distance through a meadow bottom, possesses a 
greenish color, not perceived in the waters of any portion of the pond beside. The 
instant a tumbler filled with water from this little inlet was presented to the party, 
several voices cried out ' This is the water which was shown to the Legislature as 
Long Pond water.' And upon a closer examination it was agreed that it was a 


perfect Tac simile; and we will here observe, without charging unfairness upon 
any one, that it is not a little remarkable, that a very thorough and searching ex- 
amination and tasting the water at every available point, should not discover the 
least resemblance to this 'Legislature sample,' except the sample taken from this 
same ' Snake IJrook.' " 

I wish the reader to notice that it is at the " easterly end of this crossing" 
that we are to tap the pond, and that " Snake Brook enters the pond at this 
point." Whatever then may be the contents of Snake Brook, they are nearly 
certain to be drawn into the conduit for our use. What these contents are, 
and are likely to be, may, in the Jirst place, be gathered from the description 
of the brook. It is said to be a " liltJe (any brook would be little at that 
time of the year) rill, passing a long distance through a rneadow botiom.^' 
A fine feeder this of a conduit to supply 250,000 inhabitants with drink. 
And in the second place, we know the contents from their description ; the 
water '■'■possesses a greenish color.'''' " Several voices cried out ' This is the 
water which was shown to the Legislature as Long Pond water.' And upon 
a closer examination it was agreed that it was a perfect fac simile." I sup- 
pose the samples here referred to were those furnished by Mr. Derby ; which 
truly were very much "jaundiced," and very turbid, about the color and 
consistence of camomile tea. I believe at that lime it was denied by the 
advocates of Long Pond that these samples were from that pond ; and it is 
something gained to have it admitted by "several voices" that they might 
have been taken from so important a tributary. 

Where those samples came from I know not. But even if obtained at the 
mouth of this brook, which is the point at which we propose to tap the pond, 
it is not readily seen why they would be very unfair samples. Certainly no 
sample could be regarded as a fair one that should not have a tinge of the 
quality of this brook. No samples taken from above its outlet, or from a 
great distance below it, could be so fair ; much less, taken from the outlet of 
the pond. Possibly a sample taken from the mouth of the brook might be 
considered unfair in the degree that the contents of the brook should be less 
than the contents of the conduit, — but scarcely more; about in the same 
degree that a glass of raw brandy would be an unfair sample of half-and-half. 

Had I written this description of the excursion, 1 should expect to have 
been charged with misrepresentation. But as it comes from a strong advo- 
cate of that source, it must be regarded as within the truth. 

In all the specimens which I have seen, the subsiding substance in the 
Charles River water has uniformly been of a less offensive character than 
that of Long Pond. 

Though animalcules are exhibited to the sense of sight, I shall defer the 
consideration of them to the third ground of comparison. 

2. Qualities or ingredients developed hy analysis. — There appear to have 
been three distinct analyses of both these waters, at distant intervals; viz. 
Charles River, by Dr. Dana, Dr. Jackson, and Mr. Hayes ; Long Pond, by 
Dr. Jackson, Mr. Hayes, and again by Dr. Jackson. The result of Dr. 
Dana's analysis has never been published. Mr. Hayes (p. 9, Report of 
1837,) gives the earthy matter, when dry, in Charles River water, 100,000 
grains, 3.22 grains, and in Long Pond water 3.03 grains ; when lurnt, Charles 
River 1.8 grains, Long Pond 2.1. Dr. Jackson, in 1834, gives earthy mat- 
ter in Charles River, when dry, 4. grains, and Long Pond 6. grains ; or fifty 
per cent, more in Long Pond than Charles River. In 1845, (p. 142, Pro- 
ceedings before Joint Committee, &c.) he found in the sample taken from 
that part of Long Pond, where it is proposed to take it for the city, 6. grains 
in 70,000 grains, or (to compare it with the foregoing results) near 8.7 

grains; that is, near fifty per cent, more than he found in the same pond in 
1834, and more than twice as much as he found in Charles River, and al- 
most three times as much as Mr. Hayes found in Charles River. Dr. Jack- 
son does not seem to have tested the substance by burning in either case. 

But there are more subtle analyzers than the crucible — the living fibre of 
men and animals. Mr. Lincoln, a representative of Boston, stated in debate 
on the bill, that a gentleman (a clergyman) who had resided many years on 
the banks of Long Pond, told him that he had known periods when the fish 
had become diseased and unfit for the table — supposed to arise from some 
deleterious ingredients in the water. An authority worthy of being quoted 
on such an occasion, I esteem worthy of being referred to on this. So Col. 
Baldwin, speaking of Concord River in 1834, says, that besides being charged 
with coloring matter, like Charles River, it " has the additional objection 
(that is, additional to the objections to Charles River, which has no such 
quality) of its possessing some poisonous quality. I remember when the 
locks, &c. of the Middlesex Canal were built thirty or forty years ago, the 
workmen obliged to labor in the water, complained that it made the hands 
and feet sore, and if a little scratch occurred to their flesh, or the skin 
was torn or bruised away, the ivater would cause it to fester into a serious 
wound, and it ivas often necessary to suspend loorking in it that the sore 
might heal. This character of the water was confirmed to me a kw days 
ago by Mr. Wilson, a master carpenter, who has been employed twenty 
■years in the direction of the canal works there (Billerica,) whose expression 
was, if a man gets a little piece of skin knocked off his hand while working 
in it, the water would fester it up so that I do not knnio hut it would eat his 
hand up in time ; but working in the Merrimac River would wash it well 
again." Now Concord River water is, to a grea^t extent. Long Pond water ; 
and, unless both these stories are fish stories, it might be well to exercise 
some caution. 

3. Qualities or ingredients, which result from the circumstance of one 
being a ru7ining, and the other a stagnant, mass. — Before entering upon 
this topic, I wish to introduce the following letter from Mr. Hayes. The 
substance of my letter to him, to which this is an answer, will appear from 
the questions which he has embodied in his letter. 

"RoxEUEY Laeoeatory, 13th May, 1845. 
"J. H. WiLKixs, Esq. 

"Dear Sir, — Your note, with the pamphlet, came to hand this evening. The 
queries which you have proposed to me, refer to an important and not less exciting 
subject. In the brief replies which follow, I must be allowed to express my opin- 
ion, without reference to considerations of comparative expense, quantity of sup- 
ply, elevation of source, &c. ; keeping in view only the facts of science, so far as 
they have a practical bearing on the points you have named. To your 1st, 'Are 
you aware of any general principles, on which pond water should be preferred to 
river water?' I reply, that I am not acquainted Avith any general principles, 
which would lead to such a choice being made. 

"2d. 'Are you aware of any particular reason, why the water of Long Pond 
should be preferred to that of Charles River? or, on the contrary, have you in 
mind particular reasons why ihe water of Charles River is to he preferred to that 
of Long Pond? ' 

" For the general purposes of consumption either of these sources would afford 
an abundant supply of excellent water. For all general purposes, I know of 
no reason for preferring one over the other. Of the desired supply, a very small 
proportion would be used for drinking in its natural state. It is in reference to 
the part so used, that I express a preference for the water of Charles River. 

" Both these waters belong to the same class, and differ but slightly, so far as 
physical characters are presented. The foreign matter dissolved in them differs 


but little in chemical composition. They are peaty waters, and contain all the 
substances of organic origin, usually found in such waters, in a changing state. 

"The proportions of these matters, when referred to weight, are very small, but 
they are sufliciently great to afTect the seases. The substances of organic origin, 
found in these waters, change in character and composition by exposure to atmos- 
pheric air, or by exclusion from it, as well as by elevation of temperature. The 
free access of air favors a change, by which a colored water becomes nearly desti- 
tute of color; the elements of the organic matter become differently arranged, and 
soluble colorless substances, and insoluble colored principitates, result. These 
changes are much aided by the presence of other substances, especially those be- 
longing to a different class of organic matter. Chemically speaking, therefore, the 
addition of matter repulsive to our senses may not increase the amount of organic 
impurity, but contribute essentially to diminish that already existing. It would be 
a forced comparison, to represent an almost pure water by ' wort,' or an infusion 
from which beer is made; but the action of the added impurities in water is not 
unlike that of the yeast, used with the intention of produting a more transparent 
and pure fluid. Flowing waters most rapidly undergo the changes, resulting in a 
diminution of the colored organic matter, at first dissolved. 

" Water, to he palatable and salubrious, must contain air, or gases, dissolved in 
it; and all waters, which are particularly prized for drinking, contain the larger 
quantities of gases, or air. In this respect, the waters of ponds and rivers differ ; 
and in the water of Long Pond and Charles River, the quantities are unlike. The 
river water contains a much larger proportion of air and gases, giving brisk- 
ness, or a sparkling appearance to the water. In the sample furnished to me 
by the water commissioners, for chemical analysis, the dissolved gases contained 
more oxygen than exists in the same volume of atmospheric air; indicatmg that 
the changes requiring the aid of oxygen, or the purifying processes, had been 

" The existence of the larger animalcules, in greater abundance, in the pond 
waters, is an indication, as Dr. Gould has observed, of impurity. In the water of 
Charles River the number is con)paratively veiy small, as is that of the infusorial 
insects ; partly from the fact, that they become the prey of other animals and 
fishes in flowing water. In flowing waters, the elements which have presented 
the forms of organic life in animalcules and insects, become the materials of vege- 
table growth ; and classes of plants result from, or depend on, the decay of ani- 
mal life; all tending to the purification of the water. In future years, the surface, 
drained into Long Pond, will doubtless become changed, and the increase of impu- 
rities will then be concentrated in that water. 

" Briefly, these are the reasons for preferring the ' living,' flowing water of 
Charles River to that of Long Pond. I have supposed, that from both these 
sources the obvious causes of impurity would be removed. 

" Respectfully, ' " A. A. HAYES." 

These are the views of Mr. Hayes, the same, gentleman who analyzed 
the waters for the commissioners in 1837, and who reported of the water of 
Charles River that " it is more brisk and sparkling than either of the other 
specimens.'''' And though Mr. Hale (Daily Advertiser, February 10,) thinks 
these qualities are of little value except as accompanying Chamjjagne y yet I 
can entertain no doubt that nine out of ten of those who, froin principle, 
choice, or necessity, do not take champagne at all, but take cold water in 
abundance, will be glad to find these qualities in their water. It is certain 
that many anitnals appreciate the difference between running and stagnant 
water. A clever horse, if left to himself, will pass into the current, and not 
stop to drink at the stagnant margin. 

I come now to the consideration of water insects or animalcules. In my 
Remarks, I quoted the authority of Dr. Lee, of New York, to the effect 
that these were not to be found in river or spring water. I have reason to 
suppose Dr. Lee's proposition requires considerable qualification ; still I 
suppose the reinark to have grown out of an important practiciji truth, viz. 


that animalcules are much less likely to he found in runnings or river, loaler, 
than in pond loater ; and when found, are less numerous and less formidable 
(if I may use the word) in the former than in the latter. In what I have to 
say of these disgusting objects, I wish to be understood as speaking only of 
such as are visible to the naked eye ; for it is to such only that any one can 
attach much importance. 

Before I enter upon the subject, I will take occasion to say that I am not 
without apprehension that some wHl think me not only contending against 
what cannot be avoided, but also against what it is not desirable to avoid if 
we can. I am not without suspicion that some esteem the presence of these 
creatures as a positive advantage. What can be the object of publishing to 
the world such facts as the following, unless it be to induce a taste for such 
things .? " Whatever its (the water of the Mississippi) efiect on health ma})- 
be, it is certain that it contains a sufficient amount of animal jnalter (20 kinds 
of animalcules in a living state, active, and in great abundance) to he some- 
what nutritious.'" Again, " That they (animalcules) are capable of afford- 
ing a considerable degree of nourishment e/ven to man is clear ; and the 
facts not unfrequenlly stated of persons subsisting for some length of time 
upon water alone, will not appear paradoxical." These facts were commu- 
nicated to Dr. Channing by Dr. Gould. They are sent out to the people by 
Dr. Channing. 

Now my doctrine is, that the presence of visible animalcules is an objec- 
tion to loater ; that it is to be avoided entirely, if possible, and to every 
practicable extent, if not. However nutritious they may be to all, and 
however agreeable to some it may be to take their food and drink at the 
same time ; I must be classed with those who are willing to forego all 
such advantages, and are desirous of taking their food from a plate and 
their drink from another vessel ; and the following remarks on this subject 
are submitted for the consideration of those only who sympathize with these 
views and tastes. 

We are told upon authority that I feel no disposition to dispute, " that 
animalcules exist in all water exposed to the open air;" but this is to be 
limited to ininsible animalcules, and is not true with regard to visible ones. 
Dr. Gould does not appear to have found visible jones (to the naked eye) in 
either sample of Charles River water sent him by Dr. Channing ; nor does 
it appear that any specimen has been taken from that river in which they 
are or wei-e visible. And here I cannot with propriety forbear to refer to 
Mr. Hale's manner of quoting. Page 48 of his Inquiry., Sj-c, he quotes Dr. 
Gould as follows, in regard to a specimen of Charles River water, " Ani- 
malcules of several kinds are detected without difficulty." This is given as 
Dr. Gould's statement. Now what is Dr. Gould's language } " Animal- 
cules of several kinds are detected without difficulty by a 7?iicroscope, upon 
allowing the waters to settle and pouring off the top." Now this is an 
important qualification ; and as not one person in a thousand has a micros- 
cope, I submit that Mr. Hale's quotation cannot be true, and is therefore a 
misrepresentation of Dr. Gould, whose proposition is undoubtedly true. 

The following extracts will place this matter in its true position. They 
are from Dr. Gould's Letter to Dr. Channing, an authority I regard as highly 
as any one. " In lakes or ponds of water., lohich may be called standing 
water., they (animalcules) will be found in greater abundance than in river 
or running water.''' Again : " They are much more abundant in stagnnnt 
than, in running loater.'''' Again : " Though they may be in myriads at 
some little shallow marginal nook, they will scarcely be found at all at the 
flowing outlet, although it be the same water of the same pond.''"' (This last was 


Dr. Jackson's experience of Long Pond water in 1834.) And the following 
is worthy of very particular consideration, " their presence indicates im- 
purity in the water ; and that which abounds most in them may be pretty 
safely set down as 7nost impure.'''' Can language be plainer, can ground for 
inference be stronger, that the water of rivers is more pure than the water 
of ponds } And this not only in regard to animalcules, but to other organic 
-matters which give life and sustenance to them. 

Here then we have the doctrine I contend for ; and now how do facts 
agree with it ? Dr. Jackson analyzed for Mr. Baldwin 9 different waters, 
viz. Spot Pond, Waltham Pond, Sandy Pond, Baptist Pond, Ponkapog Pond, 
Massapog Pond, Long Pond, Farm Pond, and Charles River ; and what was 
the result as to animalcules } In six out of eight ponds he found animal- 
cules ; but found none in Charles River. Again, Dr. Jackson analyzed 6 
specimens of pond water for Mr. Eddy in 1836, and what was the result ? 
In every one, with a single exception, he found animalcules. Besides the 
discoveries of the Doctor, I have inspected a great many specimens of 
Charles River water, and 1 have never been able to discover any animalcules 
with the naked eye. I have also inspected many specimens of Long 
Pond water, and have often seen them alive and active. Citizens were 
invited to call at the mayor and aldermen's room, just before the. vote on 
the water-act, to inspect several specimens of water. I called, and took 
particular notice that while the specimen of Charles River water was free 
from these creatures, all the specimens of pond water (Long Pond included) 
abounded with them. 

It is matter of some surprise to see with what zeal and industry Dr. 
Channing, and after him, Mr. Hale, endeavor to break down all distinction be- 
tween one water, or one kind of water, and another, in regard to animalcules, 
as if there were absolutely no degrees of better and worse, pertaining to 
them. They seem to insist, with a pertinacity worthy of having the truth to 
support and justify them, that all waters in this respect are alike, and that 
" the only remedy against them is, to avoid too curious a search by micros- 
copic eyes," &c. But they are supported by neither theory or fact at home., 
nor are the consumers across the ocean so accustomed to their presence, or 
so indifferent to it, as we might be led to infer from extracts of evidence 
given by Mr. Hale. As I deem the matter of considerable importance, and 
as I believe the evil can be, and ought to be, in a great degree, 
guarded against at the outset, and we and future generations be spared the 
disgust of witnessing forever these creatures in our drink, I propose to 
quote somewhat more largely from the testimony of Dr. Clark and others, 
before the parliamentary commissioners referred to by Mr. Hale, than he 
has done. 

Dr. Clark was professor of Chemistry in the University of Aberdeen. He 
appears to have given much attention to water, to its ordinary impurities, and 
to the most effectual method of removing them. His examination before the 
commissioners was long and minute ; and he was obviously a witness whose 
opinions were considered entitled to great weight. 

" Question 4.1. Is the presence of water insects * of any consequence ; 

* It has been suggested that there may be a difference between insects, as here referred to, 
and animalcules. I would remark, in the Jirst place, that if there be, I do not know how it 
would affect the argument ; for I do not know whether water that breeds water insects be 
better or worse than water that develops animalcules. 1 apprehend both are unfit to drink. 
In the second place, the two terms are often confounded. Shaw, in his General ^oolog-i/, says, 
" What are termed animalcules are frequently confounded with insects, though in reality belong- 
ing to a very different tribe of Vermes." And the editor of the London Encydopedice, treating 
of animalcules, says, " The most remarkable property of these insects is," &c. Doubtless other 


and is that peculiar to London water, or have you found them in the water 
of other districts in England ? Answer. Those insects are not peculiar to 
the London waters, hut the London are the first of the waters supplied for 
the use of the inhabilanis of Towns in luhich I ever saw them. They are 
not general in the waters of other towns, at least in Scotland, (Aberdeen, 
his residence, is in Scotland,) and are nowhere to be found except in 


indication in general of a vegetating process going on (in) the water ; I 
think I have observed, from examining a great variety of specimen* of water 
kept in glass vessels, that the two things generally go together, (viz.) the 
vegetating process and the breeding of those insects. Either circumstance I 
should apprehend to be a presumption of the other, and to indicate a state 


The above question and answer I regard as exceedingly pertinent. I 
shall have more to say of these London waters ; but 1 copy the next question 
and answer to show the effect of these impurities upon the consumption of 
water by those classes of inhabitants in London which ought to be the great- 
est consumers. 

" Question 42. Can you state what effect on health is likely to ensue from 
the constant use of water containing animal or vegetable impurities ? A71S. 
I am not prepared to make any statement upon that subject ; nor am I 
aware that, in regard to a question of so much interest, there has been much 
accurate information obtained. However, there is one very obvious consi- 
deration, as regards the health of the inhabitants, that if you have whtcr not 
fit for drinking^ in which there is matter offensive in any degree., by so much 
as the loater is offensive you lessen the habit of drinking water. Noio you 
cannot restrict the supply of water to such quality as is naturally repulsive 
— you cannot thus render the inhabitants abstinent from water, without 
interfering with the healthful functions of their bodies. It was ivith ho 
small concern that I learned hoio few of the inhabitants of London., and 
especially of the LOWER ORDERS, drink loater. In making my experi- 
ments upon these (London) waters, when I inquired of the servants about 
me how they liked particular waters, it was with perfect surprise I discovered 
that they — generally mere lads — knew nothing about the taste of the 
water. They are the same sort of persons as would be accustomed to drink 
water in other places, but they have another beverage here.'''' 

And what beverage do the friends and advocates of Temperance think 
would be likely to be resorted to under such circumstances ? 

" Question 82. Are the animalcules of which you speak those visible to 
the naked eye, or those which you discovered by a microscope ? Ans. I 
speak only of such as I have observed by the naked eye ; but it is wonderful 
how the naked eye improves in its power of observation by some practice in 
watching those animalcules." 

" Quest.ion8S. Have you found any water supplied to the Metropolis more 
especially characterized by those animalcules than other .'' Ans. I found 
the animalcules to abound in the waters of all the companies." 

This answer requires some qualification or explanation ; Mr. Wicksteed, 

equally good authority might be found. In the third place, these terms are clearly confounded 
in the following quotations. Who can entertain the slightest doubt thai Dr. Claris refers to 
the same creatures, in his answers to questions 41 and 84 ? And yet one question mentions 
insects, 3.nd the other animalcules. Or who can doubt that Mr. Thorn made his reservoirs deep 
and cool to avoid the breeding of the creatures that he had noticed in waters shallow and warm ? 
And yet in one case insects is the term used, and in the other animalcules. But question 81 has 
animalcules, and the answer has insects; which would see;u to be couclusive of their identity in 
the minds of the commissioners and witness. 


engineer of East London Water Company, in answer to the Question (4527) 
*' are there insects in the water (of the East London Company) in hot 
weather?" answers, "Not that I am aware of; I have not seen any." 
Quest. 4516, to same, " Where is your water taken from ? Aris. From 
the River Lea, near Lea-bridge." From this testimony of Mr. Wicksteed 
there can be no reason to doubt that the Lea-waters, distributed by the 
East London Company, are an exception to Dr. Clark's assertion ; atid 
his answer prohally siiould be understood as true only under the circum- 
stance of having received a quantity of it at Aberdeen from Mr. Wick- 
steed, and having " kept the water for a long time in open vessels in a large 
laboratory." (Quest. 27.) Under such circumstances animalcules may have 
been developed. 

" Question 84. Do you find this common. A71S. I have never found 
them (animalcules) in the Scotch waters that I have been accustomed to in 
Towns, nor indeed had I ever observed them at all in any town's water, till 
I examined London water. 

" Question 85. Do you think the poor inhabitants of London are pre- 
vented from drinking the water supplied to them from finding objectionable 
matter in it ? A7is. Certainly." 

" Question 96. You have seen the mode in which it was proposed by the 
late Mr. Telford to furnish an increased supply of water (to the Metropolis) ? 
Ans. Yes. Quest. 97. He proposed to take it from Hertfordshire on one 
side, and Surrey on the other ; what opinion have you formed as to the 
modes suggested .? Ans. My real impression, from a consideration of the 
whole subject of water in connection with London, is, that the source of 
supply that should not be departed from is the Thames ; it is so copious. 
Then, with regard to a supply of water to London from a distance, there 
are many points that one would like to know beforehand ; for instance, I 
found some water in the neighborhood of Watford, in one of the rivers, the 
Gade, about one half harder than the water here (London). One would 
require to know a little more about the hardness of all the waters that have 
been proposed to be brought to London, and to hnoio tchether there would 
not be a tendency to vegetation in the course from the source to London. I 
do not mean absolutely to say there would be as much vegetation as we 
now have in the London waters ; but, I should like to see, from the ex- 
perience of other places, whether such would not be the result .'' My 
opinion is, that there would be as much vegetation and as many insects as 
from those waters.'^'' 

" Question 98. On the whole, from your consideration of the subject, 
you think the Thames would probably be the source from which to derive 
the additional supply to the Metropolis ? Ans. For this reason, as well as 
others, that where there is such a river there is an inexhaustible supply ; 
and there are so many instances where, having started with a limited supply, 
the inhabitants have experienced considerable inconvenience from a defi- 
ciency, that I do not think it ivould be desirable to look for a supply from any 
source but a large river." 

I now notice the evidence of Mr. Robert Thorn, quoted by Mr. Hale. 
He appears to have been the engineer for supplying Greenock, Paisley, and 
Air with water ; and plans for supplying other towns were furnished by 
him, but the duties of his business (cotton spinning,) rendered it impossible 
for him to attend to their execution. In describing his plan, he says 
(Quest. 109) " The distinguishing features of my plan are, the obtaining 
some natural basin at a sufficient height, either in itself containing a large 
supply of water, or into which a great extent of surface can be drained. 


Thus a reservoir Is formed, which 1 take care shall he deep enough to main' 
tain the water at a low temperature, and to prevent the breeding of insects 
and the growth of vegetables ; and capacious enough to hold at least 4 
months'' supply of loatery These are the features of his plan, to find, or 
make, a reservoir, which shall hold in a state of stagnation 4 months'" supply 
at least. And though it is a part of his plan to " take care " that this 
reservoir shall be " deep enough to prevent the breeding of insects," can 
any body doubt that he tells the truth when he says he " had seen ani- 
malcules in the water in particular parts of Scotland ! " and especially 
" wherever the water was shallow and warm," which of course was not 
in his own reservoirs, which were deep and cool. It is needless to call 
the attention of the reader to the different views of a source entertained 
by Mr. Thorn and Dr. Clark, who would look to no other than a " large 

Besides the fact stated by Dr. Clark, that insects in water prevent the 
-consumption of it by classes which ought, and under other circumstances 
would, use it freely as a drink, we may get some appreciation of the im- 
portance attached to the matter by several witnesses examined before the 

Dr. Clark speaks of the importance of having reservoirs neither too large 
nor too sniall ; not too large, lest the process of vegetation and of breeding 
insects should be promoted ; and not too small, lest an opportunity for set- 
tling should not be afforded. Mr. Thorn feels obliged to make his ponds of 
4 months' supply, deep and cool, to prevent, animalcules being developed. 
Mr. Haivkeshy, the resident engineer of the Trent water works at Notting- 
ham, says (Quest. 5330) " if we observe the growth of certain small 
aquatic plants, or — more especially if we remark ascenrling to the surface 
of the water small bubbles produced by gases resulting from the decomposi- 
tion of organic matter, we know that a habitat is being formed for insect", 
and that if this process be not arrested, insects will soon make their appear- 
ance in considerable numbers ; we therefore infer from these early indica- 
tions that the time has arrived at which it becomes prudent to anticipate the 
coming depuration of the water by cleansing out the reservoir." And at the 
Southwark works' in London, where the Thames water has animalcules, in 
order to have the water as free as possible from them (Quest. 5933) " in 
summer weather we frequently let the water out (of the reservoirs) in the 
afternoon, and take in a supply of cool water for next day's distribution," is 
the statement of Mr. Quick, the engineer. 

Hence, although the inhabitants of London are to a great extent afflicted 
with the presence of these ugly creatures in their water, and on that 
account forego the taste of it, year in and year out, in its natural state ; and 
although "Mr. Thorn discovered them in Scotland " wherever the water was 
shallow and warm," yet there is no doubt that their presence is everywhere 
in Great Britain regarded as a nuisance of a serious character, and to be 
guarded against by all the precautions and remedies which science and expe- 
rience can render available. We can discover no symptoms of indifference 
to them among the people, nor manifestation of faith in the doctrine that 
" the only remedy against them is, to avoid too curious a search," &c. 
The remedy of the paupers of London is to go without the water, or 
mix spirits with it to disguise its quality ; and we ought hardly to feel any 
disappointment, if a like sentiment and a like habit should prevail here under 
like circumstances. 

But Mr. Hale informs his readers " that the London companies obtain their 
supply exclusively, from rivers or springs — chiefly from the Thames — and 
none of them from ponds." 


The London water works derive their supplies from the Thames, the 
River Lea, and what is called the New Kiver. We have seen from the tes- 
timony of Mr. VVicUsteed, for many years the engineer of the East London 
Company, that the water drawn by him from the River Lea is free from 
visible animalcules. It remains, then, to consider those circumstances of the 
Thames and the New River to which the breeding of these insects is proba- 
bly to be attributed. 

Although Dr. Clark found animalcules in the water of such London com- 
panies as take the water of the Thames " much above any part affected by 
the sewage of London," yet it certainly is not above the influence of 
other causes which are known to favor the development of these creatures. 
The tides of the river affect the rise, fall, and stagnation of the water, 
many miles above the point where water is taken by any London company. 
Steamboats are continually plying up and down the river, going as far 
as Richmond at least. The natural current of the stream is therefore 
rendered sluggish., and entirely checked at high water. Besides, there are 
numerous densely populated towns on the margin, the sewage of which pro- 
bably flows into the river, and may be as prolific in this species of nuisance 
as the sewage of London. The town of Brentford, celebrated for mud and 
filth, is so situated, and probably so drained ; and also other towns. So that 
below the lock or locks at Tedington, the Thames may be said to lose the 
essential character of a r'wer or running stream, and acquires that of a turbid 
arm of the sea. It is no more to be e.xpected that the water of the Thames 
should be free from, animalcules in the parts under consideration, than those 
of the Mississippi should be below St. Louis, where we know they abound. 
The flow of each is altogether too sluggish to check the development of the 
nuisance in OjUestion. 

And how is it with New River, the supply of the oldest water company, 
whose works were competed in 1613 — 232 years ago? " The supply is 
from the springs of Chadwell and Armwell (two thirds) with addi'ional 
.''upply (one third) out of the (river) Lea, near Chadwell in Herefordshire, 
which is about twenty miles fronrt London, in direct distance ; but the course 
of the river is about thirty-nine miles." This supply being originally from 
springs and a river, and the s;ime river which gives the East London works 
water without animalcules, we must look to adventitious circumstances for 
their develop-ment between the source and the delivery of the water. And 
what are the circumstances which might be expected to produce such a 
result ? In the first place, the water traverses an lirtificial channel of great 
extent, near forty miles, open and exposed to light and air, ver^ sluggish 
in its currezit from two causes, viz. its circuitous course — going round two 
miles to gain one — and from its very slight fall — being only three inches 
in the mile. These are just such circumstances as are calculated to create 
an a priori expectation of animialcules ; and joined to the fact, that in a 
good many places the stream quite wide, and therefore "shallow 
and warm," we should be ra'her surprised if animalcules did not appear. 
It will be remembered that Dr. Clark gave as a reason for not quitting the 
Thames far a supply, that he thought the tendency to vegetation and 
breeding insects in the water, during its course from a distant source to Lon- 
don, would produce as many as were in the Thames, (see above, p. 14.) It 
is not unlikely that he had in his mind the example of the New River in this 

In the second place, it is not unlikely that the very extensive reservoirs of 
this company contribute to the development of this nuisance. I name this 
as a cause which may operate, though I am not at all certain of the fact; The 


reservoirs are very extensive, and the'Vater lies stagnant in them some time ; 
and if not long enough to generate animalcules, still it may aid preexisting 
causes of development. 

It seems to me, therefore, that the existence of animalcules in the New 
River water and the Thames water, under the circumstances of the case, 
does not at all weaken the general doctrine in regard to river and running 
water, nor blend the distinction I have endeavored to consider and establish 
between river and pond water. 

And here I close what I have to say on the subject of animalcules ; en- 
tering my protest against all statements and arguments going to show that 
there is no distinction in waters in regard to them ; believing that such state- 
ments and arguments are fallacious and deceptive. The foregoing facts and 
statements I believe sufficient to establish beyond controversy, that there is 
a distinction between river and pond water, and, of course, between 
Charles River water and Long Pond water, which is worthy of influence 
upon the judgment of the community in electing between them. On 
the influence which this distinction shall have, may depend the fact, 
whether the citizens of Boston, in all coming time, shall have foreign 
water suitable and popular for drinking, or fit for washing and cleansing 

There are some peculiar circumstances, worthy of a passing notice, at- 
tending Charles River. The fact that its stream, from the mouth to the 
source, is but a succession of ponds, affords the water peculiar facilities for 
becoming clear of sediment ; while the constant ingress and egress of the 
whole contents of the river, into and out of each of these ponds every day, 
changes the water so often and so rapidly, that no suitable time is allowed 
for the development of any processes of vegetation, or of breeding insects. 
In dry times, the ponds fill up by night and are drawn off by day ; and this 
to such an extent, that probably scarcely a hogshead of the water lies in 
bulk, unmixed with other portions, for eight and forty hours together, unless 
it be in some nook or eddy. This constant alternation of rest and motion 
is a most favorable promoter of purity ; so that in dog-days, when one 
would take a drink of Charles River water, he will feel a moral assurance 
that it has not been ten days from the springs, and in its course has been 
subjected to a succession of purifying processes ; while, in regard to that of 
Long Pond, he will feel a like assurance that it has been steeping near 
six months on the marshes and peat bogs of Natick, without having under- 
gone any purifying process at all, except what results from perfect stagna- 
tion ; a process, which, if it tends to purify in one way, most certainly 
tends to render impure in another. Within ten yards of the point in Long 
Pond, whence it is proposed to take the water, as laid down on the map, is 
an extensive swamp, the hillocks and mounds of which are submerged when 
the water is high, and left dry when the water is low. This swamp is full of 
all manner of vegetable growth, from the white birch and alder down 
through all grades of aquatic shrubs and plants. All this vegetable growth 
deposits its foliage and stems in the pond annually, where it lies and decays 
in mass ; and this, right at the mouth of the proposed tunnel. : 

Second Peoposition. 

The Waters of Charles River are vastly more abundant than those of 

Long Pond. 

The commissioners of 1844 say (p. 25) : " The maximum supply which 


In their opinion, can be held in reserve (in Long Pond) hy artificial means, 
for regular and permanent use, is connputed not far to exceed twelve feet 
per second." This is more than I can see good reason to regard as a 
minimum, and it is a minimum which in this connection we want. There is, 
in my judgment, serious ground to doubt whether any artificial means caa 
infalliblij supply twelve feet per second. It confessedly depends upon snow 
and rain ; for the springs do not sometimes yield one-sixth of that quantity, 
and the average natural yield is less than one-half. And snow and rain are, 
in the wisdom of Providence, sometimes in a great degree withheld. The 
system does not rely upon the natural resources of the pond, to yield half 
that amount; and the artificial ones proposed are subject to all the liabilities 
to failure which must necessarily attend experiments of this nature. 

It has been publicly stated, I believe on the authority of the owner of the 
pond, that, since the dam has been raised, the water covers an area of 800 
acres. The editor of the Transcript (and I believe other papers) stated 
that, at the time the pond was visited on the 13th of August, 14 million 
gallons were daily discharged from the pond, and that this reduced the level 
only five-eighths of an inch. Now. how much would a tub of such dimen- 
sions, without springs or rills, or even Snake Brook, be reduced by such 
a draft.? Why, almost exactly five-eighths of an inch. The depth of five- 
eighths of an inch, from a surface of 800 acres, would yield over 13|- 
millions of gallons; leaving the natural resources of the pond — the springs, 
rills, and brooks — to supply the natural evaporation. Now, if, in the order 
of Providence, the pond should not fill in winter, or if the rains of summer 
should be withheld, and the natural yield evaporated, so that a reduction 
of five-eighths of an inch, (or even much less,) daily, should bring the level 
of the pond below our conduit, — what is to become of us, when our pumps 
and cisterns are abandoned .'' 

But of the amount in Charles River, in the dryest seasons, there can be 
no fjoubt. In this connection, I wish to put upon record the following state- 
ments, furnished me in a letter from Lemuel Crehore, Esq., of Newton 
Lower Falls, dated Feb. 22, 1845. He says : 

"After years of controversy between the proprietors of mills on Mill Creek (or 
Mother Brook, as it is more usually called,) and the Neponset, and those on Charles 
Piiver, some time iibout 1832, an agreement was matured between the parties, that 
one-third of the water should pass to the former, and two-thirds to the latter; and, 
in 1840, to carry into full effect the stipulation, two canals were constructed, the 
one on the Creek (or Mother Brook) twenty feet wide, that on Charles River forty 
feet wide, and each twenty rods, or three hundred and thirty feet, in length. The 
sides are walled two feet high, and the bottoms level, with timbers across every 
twenty feet, and kept perfectly smooth. 

"That (canal) in the (Mother) Brook, or Creek, is situated immediately north 
of the old road leading to Dtdham village; that on the Charles River, about one 
mile above the dam at the Upper Falls (in Newton). These were completed in 
the sunirner and au'umn of 1840. 

"To determine whether the object had been effected with accuracy by what had 
been done, sundry comparative admeasurements were made in the two canals, 
during the low stages of the water, in 1841, and occasionally at subsequent periods. 
In 1841, the following were the results in the Charles River branch : — 


min. see. 

cull. ft. per sec. 

July 23—14 deep 




ity .5 4, 

.330 fret 

= 50 2-3 

" 24—14 " 

5 2(i, 

" 43 1-2 

" 23-13 « 

7 0, 

" 31 3-7 

" 29 — 12 " 

6 0, 

" 3R 1-2 

Aug. 3 — 121 » 

5 40, 

" 39 2-3 

« 7-13 " 

4 40, 

" 51 

" 24— I2J " 

4 4.5, ■ 

" 47 17-S7 

Sept. 4 — 142 " 

3 4, 

" 73 


"In 1843, I have been able to find but one memorandum of an admeasurement, 
%vhich was probably at its lowest. 

Aug. 3— 13J in. deep. Velocity 5 in. 30 sec. = 44 32-33 ft. per sec." 

In 1844, obstruction in the river was discovered, so that, instead of one- 
third, something more than onB-half the water was found running through 
the Mother Brook Canal. 

"After its removal, (i. e. the obstruction,) no rains intervening to materially 
affect the stream, it was measured, and the results were as follows : — 

July 26 — 14 in. deep. Velocity 5 m. sec. ^ 51 1-2 ft. per sec. 

Aug. 4—15 " " " 4 « .30 " " 61 1-27 " " « 

" 17—17 " " " 3 " 30 " " 88 2-21 " " " 

"These admeasurements were made, and minutes preserved, by Mr. A. C. 
Curtis, agent for the proprietors on Charles River, from whom I procured them. 

"In addition to what flows through the canal, at the place of admeasurement, 
there fall into Charles River below, Garfield's Brook, Rice & Parker's Brook,' 
Stoney Brook, Waltham Brook, (between upper and lower factories in Wallham,) 
Major Jackson's Brook, and Baplist Pond Brook at Watertown, (all) which may 
be safely estimated at one-fifih in (additional) quantity." 

It is worth remarking, that the velocity, in the above instances, was meas- 
ured by putting light substances afloat. Now, it is very apparent that causes 
might operate materially to retard the speed of the floating body, so as to 
show that speed considerably less than that of the water ; but no cause 
could operate to give the floating body a greater velocity than the water 
which bore it : so that, whatever errors may have resulted from the imper- 
fect mode of operation, it is almost certain they are on one side ; that is, 
they made the quantity less than it really was. 

In my Remarks, I did not feel inclined to attach much importance to the 
greater quantity of water in Chttrles River than in Long Pond, because I 
did not see reason to believe that the city would ever require more than 
12 feet per second, or 7 millions gallons per day. But, since those Remarks 
were published, I have heard so much about the importance of an " abun- 
dant," "never-failing" supply to the city "for all coming time," &c., that 
I can hardly be blamed if I catch a little of this expansive spirit, and inquire 
whether Long Pond is the source which can supply it, and if the " abun- 
dance," confessed to be in Charles River, is not worthy of more weight 
than I have hitherto been disposed to claim for it. 

However unfortunate it may have been in other respects, it is certainly 
a great advantage to me, that the commissioners of 1837 were divided in 
their opinions. It gave occasion to Mr. Baldwin to urge some very strong 
objections upon his colleagues ; and it gives me occasion to avail myself of 
some very appropriate answers, i. e. appropriate on the supposition that the 
demand for water will be as great as those commissioners, and also those 
of 1844, suppose. 

One of Mr. Baldwin's objections was, that the works recommended by 
the majority (Mr. Hale and Mr. Treadwell) were not adequate for such an 
increase of population as he contemplated ; and that, if adopted, the city 
would go on in ''piecemeal way," "and never satisfy the wants of the 
citizens." Mr. Baldwin (who was in favor of Long Pond) probably did not 
dream that he was to be met by his associates on his own ground, and to be 
battled with his own weapon, and in a manner, too, perfectly indefensible; 
but so it was. The majority say (p. 56) : " Let us look a little farther into 
the future. When the population shall have increased to 240,000, which 


may he in thirty or forty years, all the water which will be supplied by the 
conduit from Long Pond to Corey's Hill, or all the water from Long- 
Pond, WILL BE REQUIRED FOR THEIR USE, and an additional population can 
only he supplied by neio loorks.'''' " It appears, therefore, that additions will 
he required to the loorks, whichever plan may he adopted?'' 

With such prognostications as this before them, it ill becomes those who 
advocate Long Pond to dwell upon its capacity to furnish a permanent and 
everlasting supply for the use of the city, when, by the prediction of one 
who is the most prominent in their ranks, it may be entirely drained in thirty 
years. If any confidence at all is to be placed upon such opinions, then 
certainly it does become a matter of serious consequence whether the se- 
lected source will furnish 40 cubic feet per second certainly, or only 12, 
and that prohlematically . I will just add, that the commissioners of 1837 
estimated the yield of Long Pond about 124- per cent, greater than those 
of 1844. How the next board would estimate it is doubtful. 

Third Proposition. 

The water of Charles River can he introduced into the city at vastly less 
expense than that of Long Pond. 

In my Remarks, in supporting this proposition, I went upon the supposi- 
tion " that enough was as good as a. feast'''' — that an adequate, and even 
liberal, supply of the present wants of the city, with provision for increased 
demand, arising from a more general habit of using the water, and from 
increase of population, was just as valuable as a supply four or five times 
greater than can at present be wanted, and which must run to waste till a 
demand- shall be created. But Mr. Hale, I suppose, would hardly agree to 
this doctrine. " If it (what I would save in providing for the supply when 
wanted and not before) is to be regarded as a saving, it is a saving purchased 
at the sacrifice of 4,500,000 gallons in the amount of supply." Well, if 
the supply be 4,500,000 gallons greater than can be used, and will run to 
waste if attained, where is the sacrifice ? -It is very easy to talk about an 
abundance of pure water, and it is easy to talk about the magnitude and 
magnificence of the cost that shall furnish it ; but, really, that abundance is 
utterly valueless which cannot be appropriated, and that magnitude of scale 
and expenditure is a public loss which is uncalled for by public use and 

In the Remarks, I undertook lo show that a sufficient supply of water 
from Charles River can be delivered into the same reservoir, at the same 
place, and that the quantity can he regidarly increased till it equals in 
amount that from Long Pond, at an expense but little more than half the 
estimates for bringing 7,000,000 gallons from Long Pond. 

Reasoning as 1 could, on the data before me, and the best opinions 
I could form, I arrived at this conclusion, viz. : " So far, then, as the city 
supply is concerned, it seems that the larger work of bringing water from 
Long Pond possesses absolutely no advantage whatever over the smaller one 
of bringing' it from Charles River; and, of course, that the expenditure of 
$436,000, which the larger is estimated to cost more than the smaller, is a 
sheer waste of so much public money, for which the public benefit 

What were the data and opinions which formed the groundwork of such 
conclusion > I will state them. 


1st. That the demand for loater, when the works should he completed, 
would not exceed ten gallons a day, for every man, icoman, and child in. the 
whole city ; and that this demand might regularly increase till it reached 
twenty-eight gallons per head daily in thirty years. 

2d. That the number of inhabitants at the completion of the works might 
he 120,000 ; and that this might increase to 180,000 in fifteen years. 

3d. That the estimates of 1837, in regard to Charles River as a source, 
were to be relied ujjon, and might be reduced in the ratio that coal and other 
leading articles had since fallen in price, and also somewhat by the increased 
facility in the manufacture of engines, &c. 

If I had any success in showing that these points were to he relied upon, 
or if, in reviewing them now, I can establish them as sound, the conclusion 
I before came to, that near half a million of dollars could certainly be saved 
by resorting to Charles River, must be regarded as established and confirmed. 
But if (contrary to my belief) I should, in any degree, fail to establish each 
of these positions, it will not by any means follow that Charles River should 
be abandoned ; for I shall maintain that the lohole 7,000,000 gallons (which 
is all that Long Pond can supply) can he delivered now, at the outset, into 
the reservoir on Cory''s Hill, cheaper than it is estimated to bring the same 
quantity from Long Pond. 

The first point 1 propose to review is, Will the demand for water, at the 
completion of the works, exceed ten gallons per day for every inhabitant, as 
well those who do not take the ivater as those tvho do ; and ivill the demand^ 
arising from a more general habit of taking the water, carry up the con- 
sumption to twenty-eight gallons per head per day in less than thirty years 7 
Will the present demand exceed ten gallons per head of the whole popula- 
tion .? I think not, because I can find no instance on record where such a 
consumption has occurred at first ; and I know of no reason why more 
should be expected of Boston, under such circumstances, than of other places 
vastly more deficient in water than Boston is. 

Before I proceed farther, I will notice what I regard as a great error in 
Mr. Hale's representation of the consumption in Philadelphia. He limits 
himself to the city, leaving out the districts, and makes the consumption 
come up to twenty-eight gallons or more for each inhabitant. Now" every 
one conversant with this matter, knows that the city of Philadelphia is but 
the central portion of what is usually understood by Philadelphia. It is the 
central region cut out from the suburbs, or districts as they are there 
called. Thus we are accustomed to hear of the Navy Yard at Philadelphia ; 
but Philadelphia city has no navy yard ; it is in a district. So of her 
Water- works and Penitentiary, — they are not in the city. The city of 
Philadelphia is the central and wealthy portion of that mass of population 
which lives upon the business of the place ; while the working classes, the 
mechanics, artisans and laborers, are found in the districts. In other words, 
the inhabitants of the city are precisely the folks who will take water, while 
the inhabitants of the districts are those who, to considerable extent, will not, 
because they cannot aff"ord it. Now if Boston were supplied with water, it 
would be just as absurd to select a half dozen streets, where necessity or 
choice should induce every occupant to take it, and hold them up as an example 
of the consumption of water in this city, as to abstract the city of Philadel- 
phia from its suburbs, and hold that up as an example. The true way and 
the only way worthy of the slighest regard, is to take the %ohole water dis- 
trict, as well the suburbs as the city. You then get the mass composed of 
all classes ; those who can and will, and those who cannot and will not, take 
the water. Hence, although Mr. Hale may be correct in stating that the 


city consumes twenty-eight or even more gallons per day per head, so is 
Mr. Shattuck doubtless correct in stating that the consumption of the tvater 
district is only eighteen gallons per day per head. Now which is the irue 
method to adopt ? Most certainly the principle adopted by Mr. Shattuck is 
the true one. Mr. Hale may, perhaps, with propriety, say that such a prin- 
ciple does not give a perfectly true result, because there are parts of the 
districts to which pipes do not extend, and that of course the option of tak- 
ing it is not extended to all. This may be true ; but it only shows the diffi- 
culty of making a calculation that is entirely correct — it no way justifies 
the use of one obviously and clearly incorrect. 

I am aware that Mr. Hale makes the distinction, and speaks clearly 
enough of the city ; and yet, from keeping out of view the true charac- 
ter of the city and the true character of the districts, and the intimate 
connection between them, and limiting himself to the consumption of the 
city alone, I think he has done the subject injustice, and induced others 
to form notions of the consumption of water, which well-established ge- 
neral facts, or even all the facts of this particular case, will not at all 

Philadelphia city was supplied with foreign water about 1780, and has 
had it ever since. Successive works have been erected, the present one 
having gone into operation in 1822. In 1826, the districts were supplied ; 
and at the end of 1831 the consumption of the whole water district was 
about 11 gallons per head per day. Now considering that the city portion 
of the water district had taken foreign water 50 years, and the district por- 
tion had taken it over 5 years, and the ivhole had arrived at a consumption of 
only II gallons, is it unreasonable to suppose that the city commenced with 
much less, and that it would be a very moderate time to allow both 10 years 
to come up to a consumption of 10 gallons per head per day ? If so, how 
very liberal is it to allow Boston to commence with a consumption which was 
not attained there in less than 10 years. 

Besides Philadelphia, Mr. Hale takes London as an example. Mr. Hale 
affirms, on the authority of the evidence taken before the Parliamentary 
commission in 1843 and '4, that the consumption of the Metropolis was 
equal to 24|- imperial, or near 29 wine gallons to each inhabitant. 1 suppose 
Mr. Hale took this from Mr. Wicksteed, (Quest. 4484). It is only an esti- 
mate or supposition, riot derived from actual data ; and though an opinion, 
or off-hand estimate of Mr. W. is generally worthy of confidence, yet I 
think this is not. For as London is supplied by eight different and inde- 
pendent companies, nothing can be clearer than that nobody was authorized 
to speak for them all. The agent or engineer of each company might speak 
for that company and for no other ; and from these answers of all an aggre- 
gate might be made up. Mr. W.'s statement was made merely as a basis to 
calculate the expense of pumping, and not to give any information as to the 
quantity consumed. 

Now in the volume above referred to is the testimony of several of the 
engineers of the different companies, to which I beg to call the reader's 
attention. W. C. Mylne, the engineer of the New River Company, (as his 
father was before him,) states (Quest. 5760) that " the population within 
the district is nearly 900,000 individuals ; " that is, nearly half the popula- 
tion of the metropolis ; and I believe it is generally supposed that this com- 
pany supplies about as much water as all the other companies. Quest. 
5716. " What is the quantity of water at present (March 21, 1844) distrib- 
uted by the New River Company .? Aiis. The average annual quantity of 
water supplied by the New River works for the lust 3 years has been 


614,087,768 cubic feet." A cubic foot is7J- wine gallons. Hence the amount 
furnished annually is 4,605,658,260 wine gallons ; or 12,618,242 gallons per 
day. Apportion this quantity among 900,000 individuals, and. it gives to 
each almost exactly 14 gallons per day. Now I do not see where there is 
room for error in coming to this result. 

Mr. Wicksteed puts the consumption in the East JL-ondon district at 18 
gallons daily per head. I suspect he means those who take it, but it is not 
certain. Mr. Quick, the engineer of the Southwark Co., computes that 
district (Quest. 5874.5 and 5926) to contain 23,000 tenants ; — 18000 take 
water and 5,000 do not. At 6 individuals to a tenant, the population is 
138,000, and the supply is 2,160,000 gallons per day, which yields 152 
gallons per head per day. In regard to 1000 of their tenants, Mr. Quick 
remarks they are " consumers, having manufactories, tanners, fell- 
mongers, hairvvashers, glue makers, curriers, dyers, hatters, brewers, dis- 
tillers, steam engines, railway stations, hospitals, &c. which take large 

Now taking what I suppose, but do not know, to be true, that the gallons 
of Mr. Wicksteed and Mr. Quick are imperial, equal to about 5 quarts, and 
that Mr. Wicksteed allows 18 gallons to each mhabitant, (which I doubt), the 
supply to an inhabitant in East London district is near 23 wine gallons, and in 
Southwark district about 19 wine gallons. 

The daily supply of these three water districts is then as follows : 

inhabitants, galls, each gallons per day. 

. New River Company, 900,000 14 = 12,600,000 

East London " (about) 300,000 23 = 6,900,000 

Southwark " 138,000 19 = 2,622,000 

1,338,000 22,122,000 

Now, if we apportion 22,122,000 gallons among 1,338,000 persons, each 
will receive very nearly i6^ gallons. 

Here then we have the particulars of 3 out of the 8 water districts of 
London ; and we find that the average supply to each inhabitant daily is 
about 16^ wine gallons. Now jvhat can there be in the other 5 districts, 
embracing a population that cannot exceed 6 or 700,000, or say ^ of the New 
River district, that can call for such an enormous consumption of water as 
shall not only go themselves, but shall carry all the other districts with them 
embracing twice their own population, up to 28^- gallons per day .? It is ut- 
terly preposterous to suppose any such thing. 

On the contrary there are abundant reasons for supposing that the re- 
maining districts would not increase the average, but rather diminish it ; for 
■ it is well known that the west of London embraces the population which 
quits the Metropolis in the warm weather, and is also more free from manu- 
factories than the more central and eastern parts. I can therefore find no 
reason to suppose that the actual consumption of London at this moment ex- 
ceeds I62- wine gallons per day per head. 

And I find the common statements of the enormous consumption of water 
in London have not passed without suspicion on that side of the water. Mr. 
Thorn, whom Mr. Hale quotes, says in relation to them, " 1 have seen them 
and heard them explained. Judging from my knowledge of the facts in 
other towns, I should say that the quantities set down were seldom deliv- 
ered ; " and afterwards he says " these facts lead me to question reports 
which state the family supply beyond 13 (16 wine) gallons per diem. In 


London, doubtless, the quantity used for watering streets, for public works 
and the like, must be very great." 

B. G. Soper, Esq., resident in London, who nnade a report upon the filtra- 
tion of water, (p. 168, Appendix,) is incredulous in regard to the reported 
large quantities of water consumed in families. He says ; " I will state 
some experiments I have recently made to ascertain the real quantity of water 
consumed in a private family. These experiments have convinced me that 
there is considerable mistatement or miscalculation on the subject of the sup- 
ply of water to private houses. 

" My family consists of 5 grown persons and 6 children ; " have two 
cisterns, both together of a capacity of 150 imperial gallons ; " the water 
being turned on three times a week, if both cisterns were entirely empty 
before the water came in, the total consumption would be 450 gallons per 
week." But from repeated guages, is certain that the " whole consumption 
of water in my family does not exceed 315 gallons per week, or 45 gallons 
per day." This being for eleven persons, is about 4 imperial or 5 wine 
gallons per head, per day. He adds, " that from 20 to 24 dozen of linen 
are washed in the house weekly," and "I am not aware that any economy 
is particularly practised by the servants, or that there is a deficiency in the 
common amount of scouring and waste usually practised." After such an 
experiment, he might well doubt the usual estimates. 

William Gravatt, (p. 259,) the engineer of contemplated works at Bristol, 
intended the works to be competent to aflTord twenty gallons, per day, to 
each inhabitant ; but says, " the quantity persons actually require is very much 
less. I have taken some pains to find out what quantity of water wlych 
families, wlio are cleanly^ and are abundantly supplied, would use. I have 
(at Bristol) allowed 20 gallons a head, but the quantity that a family will 
use is only 4 gallons a head each day," (or 5 wine gallons, agreeing in this 
respect with. Mr. Soper's experiment.) He adds further : " The actual con- 
sumption of water of an English family — a man and his wife and three 
children — taking the cleanest of several families of the working classes, 
was under 20 gallons a day, (or 4 gallons, 5 wine gallons, a piece.) This is 
far greater than the average of a great number ; where I saw, on going into 
their houses, that they were clean, I ascertained this to exceed by far the 
quantity they could use." 

Having then, as I conceive, shown that in regard to both, London and 
Philadelphia, the consumption of water ought not to be taken at over 16 or 
18 gallons per head per day, instead of 282^ as taken by Mr. Hale ; I will 
now refer 10 the consumption of other places, which are esteemed to be 
well furnished with water. Mr. Thorn, as quoted by Mr. Hale, says, " the 
quantity supplied to Glasgow did not amount to 13 (16 wine) gallons for 
each, and nearly one quarter was suffered to run to waste." " In Perth, the 
quantity supplied to each individual, was only 8 gallons. In Greenock and 
Paisley, where the pipes are kept constantly full, and there is nothing to 
prevent the people from using what they please, the quantity taken is less 
than 12 (15 wine) gallons for each." " Plymouth has only 10 gallons per 
head — man, woman and child." At Ashton-under Lyne, where, according 
to a report of I. R. Coulthart, Esq., the supply is most copious, (p. 75, ap- 
pendix,) " 55 gallons per day to each house, or 10 gallons per day to each 
individual," is given ; i. e., to each who take the water, but considerably less 
when averaged upon the whole population. Large quantities are used for 
manufactories which are excluded in this estimate. 

At Nottingham, Mr. Hawksley, the engineer, says (p. 136, appendix,) 
" it is impossible to state the quantity of water consumed by each class of 


tenants, as all take it ad libitum. The quantity delivered by the Trent 
Water Company, is after the rate of 17 or 18 gallons per diem, or 80 or 90 
gallons per house, but this is inclusive of trade consumption," and is esti- 
mated on those who take the water only, and would be much less if averaged 
upon the whole population. The works went into operation in 1831, and in 
1844 only f of the houses took water. Mr. Hale refers to the case of Not- 
tingham (p. 29) ; and unless the reader were particular to notice the distinc- 
tion between water-takers or tenants, and the whole population, he would be 
likely to derive a very erroneous impression (as Mr. Hale appears to have 
done) of the water consumed in that place per head of the whole popula- 
tion. Mr. Hale goes through some statistical arguments, the force of which 
I hardly see, but the result, I apprehend, is clearly erroneous There are 
but four and a half individuals to a tenement, and Mr. H. infers that each 
person has 25 wine gallons per day. Now Mr. Hawksley distinctly states 
(Q. 5248), that he supposes the consumption in a laborer's fimily to be 40 
gallons per day (or 50 wine gallons) ; which, divided among four and a half 
persons, is about 11 wine gallons per head, of those who actually take the 
water ; and this would be reduced one third, or say to 8 gallons, if averaged 
upon 50 per cent, more, or the whole, population. And it is to be kept in 
mind that the water-takers here have the water on at all times, and may draw 
it, for use or waste, as they see fit, at any hour, day or night. And as five- 
eighths, at least of their tenants appear to be of the laboring class, it shows 
that a very large proportion of the water supplied goes to the great consum- 
ers, such as " brewers, dye-works, steam-engines, and inns, and other places 
of large consumption." 

But Mr. Hale (p. 28 and 29) says: "There are other towns which are 
supplied at a rate exceeding the estimate of Mr. Thorn, above stated. The 
situation of the town of Preston is described in the testimony of the Rev. I. 
Gray (should be Clay) before the above-mentioned commissioners, as having 
been very similar, before the establishment of a water company, to that of 
Boston at the present time, except that it is much smaller." Having then a 
place acknowledged to have been as Boston is, I suppose the experience of 
that place in the enjoyment of water, may be taken to illustrate what that of 
Boston will be in the enjoyment of a like blessing. It becomes of some im- 
portance, then, to get at the facts. 

In stating this case of Preston, I will quote Mr. Hale's account, supplying 
in brackets such additional facts or remarks as seem relevant. " Water 
was supplied from various sources, wells, pumps, water casks, rain water 
cisterns, &c., besides private works erected in 1729 [answering to our 
Jamaica Pond works] which afforded a limited supply. Under an act of 
Parliament, [obtained in 1832, and look near 2 years to get into full opera- 
tion] the Preston Water Works Company had been established, which brings 
in an abundant supply of excellent water from a distance of 7 miles. Al- 
ready [i. e. in 10 years] more than half the houses in the town, 5,026 out of 
9,994, are supplied with water by the company, and there is [i. e. was 
" during the last three years "] an increase in the number who take it of 
about 400 annually." [If this increase has been regular, what was the 
original number of water-takers r] Omitting a few sentences not important, 
Mr. H. goes on thus, " The average supply is about 80 gallons to each house 
daily, factories and public establishments included. [" The quantity of 
water provided is at the pleasure of the consumer, the mains being con- 
stantly full and at high pressure."] This is equal to 16 imperial or 21 [20] 
wine gallons to each individual supplied [but as only half the individuals 
are supplied, the amount averaged upon the whole is but 10 gallons] of a 


chiefly laboring population, and evidently [?] with a small allowance for 
public and manufacturing purposes." Evidently ! " By means of the 
company's fire plugs, and carts adapted to the purpose, the police commis- 
sioners are enabled, in dry weather, to promote the public comfort and 
convenience by regularly watering the principal streets." " Fire plugs are 
placed in all the streets, &c." in which there are mains. " The quantity is 
at the pleasure of the consumer," factories and all. These quotations are 
from Mr. Clay. But Mr. Robert Anderson, manager of the Preston water 
works, gives some additional facts, p. 159, Appendix. He says, " Our 
actual consumption of water is 76 gallons per house (daily,) hut this includes 
all the large consumers, of which we have a great many in mills and 
RAILWAYS. [Here is the evidence of " a small allowance for public and 
manufacturing purposes."] The average consumption in tenements of the 
laboring class, is 45 gallons daily," [so that the public and manufacturing 
purposes consume the " small allowance " of the difference between 45 and 
76 gallons to each individual water-taker, or a trifle over 40 per cent of 
the whole, less the excess of the better class of water-takers over this 

Here then we come to a result in a town which was like Boston, and 
which it is expected, in the consumption of water, Boston may emulate. 
After having had a full and abundant supply of water 10 years, half the 
people take it and half do not ; those who take it consume 15 gallons per 
head daily, (76 per tenement of little over 5,) or 19 gallons wine measure ; 
but as only half take it, the consumption averaged upon the whole population 
is 9J- wine gallons per head per day. And yet I am not considered " liberal" 
because I think that Boston, whose situation is granted to be similar to that 
of Preston, will not require at the outset a supply greater than Preston has 
been growing up to in 10 years. 

Such being the consumption of water at Preston, the scope of my argu- 
ment does not invite me to question the correctness of Mr. Hale's opinion, 
that "the situation of Preston" is, or ever was, " very similar to that of 
Boston." But as showing another instance in which Mr. Hale has given 
the weight of his character to very inaccurate statements, it is worthy a pass- 
ing notice. 

If by situation be meant the condition and character of the people, as I 
suppose it does, 1 apprehend it would be difficult to name two places, the 
situation of which is more dissimilar. Boston is essentially a commercial 
city. Though many citizens are interested in manufactories, those establish- 
ments are out of the city, and Boston is affected by their operations only as 
they supply articles of merchandise. But Preston is essentially a manufac' 
turing Town. It has no commerce ; and the results of its operations affect 
the character of the place only as having created demand for labor and me- 
chanical skill. Mr. Hale even refers to it as consisting " of a chiefly 
laboring population;" and the commissioners refer to Preston "as an in- 
stance of a population almost entirely engaged in manufactures." Mr. 
Clay in his account of Preston, gives an account of the proportion of deaths 
in the several classes of inhabitants, which will serve to give an idea of the 
proportion which the laboring class bear to the whole population. The 
total number of deaths between July 1, 1837, and June 30th, 1843, 6 years, 
were as follows : — 

1. Of gentry and professional men, and their families, 148. 

2. Of tradesmen and their families, 764. 

3. Of operatives and their families, 8017. 

How can the " situation " of Boston, which may almost be said to be 


without manufactories, be regarded in any manner "similar" to that of 
a place which appears to have scarcely anything else ? 

Here I close my reference to the consumption of water in other places. 
I have taken considerable pains to come at facts ; and have endeavored to 
learn the lesson which experience would teach. It is idle to suppose that 
people here are going to do very differently from what they have done 
elsewhere ; and so far as we have regard to the general practice elsewhere, 
we shall be in no danger of important errors. I have made no allusion to 
New York ; for she has so entirely disappointed all calculation, reason- 
able and unreasonable, that I believe she is regarded on all hands as an 

And what does experience teach that bears upon the proposition under 
consideration .'' Does it teach that when our works are finished, the demand 
for water will exceed 10 gallons per head per day } Certainly not ; — but 
on the contrary that this amount is " very liberal," and considerable time 
will be required to grow up to such a consumption. Does it teach that the 
consumption will come to 28 gallons per head per day in less than 30 years } 
No such thing ; — but, on the contrary, that the consumption of Boston will 
not attain even to 20 gallons in 30, if it does in 100 years. Here then is a 
great gain upon my former estimate ; a gain sanctioned, as I conceive, by 
all experience without exception. Should, therefore, any one consider the 
minimum of 10 gallons to begin with too small, but that 20, as a maximum, 
is sufficient, he may considerably increase this minimum, without at all 
impairing the general result of my former calculations ; while those who 
think 10 gallons to begin with, and 20 gallons to grow up to, are quite ade- 
quate and sufficient, will not fail to notice how very far within the truth those 
calculations really are. 

The second element, assumed by me as a basis to estimate the demand 
for water, was, that the population of Boston might be 120,000 when the 
works icere completed, and might reach 180,000 in 15 years, and my esti- 
mates were made on such a number and such an increase. On this point 
Mr. Hale says nothing; and, of course, I suppose I may assume that it 
meets his views. Although I conceive that the complete establishment of 
my points does not require me to reduce this estimate, yet there are certain 
facts which I did not before take into account, and which have so important 
a bearing upon this question, that 1 hardly feel justified in omitting to notice 

In the first place, if the population be 120,000, when the works are com- 
pleted, they will not all be dependent on the contemplated works for water. 
To say nothing of East Boston in this connection, it is entirely reasonable 
to assume, that the Boston aqueduct will continue to supply to the extent of 
the present works, if not to the capacity of the pond. The present company 
will reduce their water rents to the city's scale, and they will be certain to 
retain their customers ; and if the city should ever distribute water gratis, 
for domestic purposes, it will then be for the interest of the city to purchase 
those works at a fair value, and to use them to supply the southern district : 
so that, whatever may be the policy of the city hereafter, I do not see any 
reasonable ground to doubt that those works will be relied upon for such 
supply as they can affiDrd. 

These works, I believe, are now supposed to supply about 30,000 inhabit- 
ants, situated in different and remote portions of the city. But as the 
supply is, to a considerable extent, partial and insufficient, and in many 
instances delivered under great disadvantage, I suppose it would hardly be 
prudent to rely upon these works to supply a greater district than 25,000 ; 


and if that district be selected, so as to deliver the water under the most 
favorable practicable circumstances, I do not know of any reasonable ground 
to doubt that it may be fully supplied. If, then, we deduct from the sup- 
posed population of Boston at the completion of the works (120,000,) the 
district supplied by the present works, (25,000,) we shall have only 95,000 
inhabitants relying upon the contemplated works for a supply ; and the ex- 
penses necessary to deliver 10 gallons daily to 120,000 persons, would de- 
liver nearly 12| gallons to 95,000 : so that the calculations in the Remarks, 
which gave only 10 gallons, are really good for i2| gallons, to each inhab- 
itant in the district to be supplied. 

Again, as to the increase of the city, or 180,000 to be supplied in 15 
years. It is obvious that a considerable part of the increase to our popula- 
tion in the next 15 years is to be in East Boston, where the contemplated 
works can give no supply. I say obvious, because this increase must be on 
the outskirts somewhere, and the circumstance that the lands in East Boston 
are in the hands of individuals who are always alert in crowding them into 
the market, while those on the neck belong to the city, in whose behalf no 
such alertness is usually exercised, will, I conceive, operate, for many years 
to come, to bring into occupancy the lands of East Boston much faster than 
the vacant lands in the city proper. I conceive, therefore, that it is a very 
reasonable estimate to allow to East Boston a population of 25,000 at the 
end of 15 years. Here, then, will be a population of 25,000 which cannot 
be supplied, and another 25,000 which will be supplied from another source: 
making 50,000, to be deducted from 180,000, to be supplied 15 years hence : 
leaving only 130,000 to be supplied at that time, or 10,000 more than were 
allowed in my former calculations to start with. I do not care to trouble the 
reader to go through a calculation to see how strongly such facts fortify my 
former calculations. Their bearing is obvious, and their precise value may 
be readily calculated. Here, again, the reader cannot fail to notice how 
very far within the truth my former calculations, based upon population, pre- 
sent and prospective, really are. 

I now come to the third and last element or ground of calculation, adopted 
in tiie Remarks, viz., that the estimates of 1837, in regard to Charles River 
as a source, were to be relied upon, and might be reduced in the ratio that coal 
and other leading articles had since fallen in price, and also somewhat by the 
increased facility in the manifacture of engines, &c. Mr. Hale admits that 
. the estimates for pumping are sufficient if the works were "executed under 
his (Mr. Treadwell's) supervision ; " that is, sufficient for the work then 
estimated, but not for the addition I put upon them for a part of the time. 
But he objects to various deductions made by me, which I will notice in 

1st. ^5 to fuel. "■ The reduction " made by me, he regards as " exces- 
sive by at least one half." On what grounds he objects to my reduction, I 
am at a loss to conceive, as he gives none. The estimate of the commis- 
sioners of 1837 was based on using bituminous coal at $10 per chaldron. I 
reduced it to $3 per chaldron in this way, viz., by " the general reduction 
which has since taken place in fuel, the substitution of anthracite for bitu- 
minous coal, and the improved methods of generating steam since adopted." 
Now, is this reduction unreasonable ? It is certain that there has been a 
general reduction of fuel within that time. It is certain that anthracite has 
been substituted for bituminous coal, to a great extent, within that time. 
And I supposed also, that new (and I presume improved) methods of gener- 
ating steam have been since adopted, certainly to the extent required by the 
above change of fuel, if no further. To substitute 1^ gross tons of 


anthracite for 1 chaldron of best bituminous coal, is, I suppose, very liberal 
• — more so than need be. I submit, then, that an allowance of ^6 per 
gross ton for anthracite (or $8 for 1^ tons) is a very liberal pric6. 
Hence I conceive I have a right to insist, that the deduction I made is a fair 
one, even if there have been no improved methods of generating steam 
adopted since. 

But it is truly surprising that Mr. Hale should object to this deduction ; 
for in a written estimate which he submitted to the committee of the legis- 
lature, when he was giving testimony before it, he himself put down bitumi- 
nous coal to $8 ; — just as 1 had done. Why he thinks this too low now, 
does not appear. 

2d. As to cost of engines. I made a deduction on the estimated cost of 
engines in 1837, of 10 per cent, or 87,000. To the whole of this Mr. Hale 
objects. The grounds of this deduction are thus stated by me : " The two 
engines are heavy items in the cost (say $70,000) and are constructed 
almost entirely of iron. It is not obvious, therefore, why a similar reduction 
on the iron used for them should not be made as upon that for the pipes." 
(I had just gone through with a reduction of f ths on the cost of the pipes, 
to which Mr. Hale does not object.) " There can be no doubt, too, thar, in 
the last seven years, important improvements have been made in construct- 
ing engines ; so that from both considerations, it appears to be a moderate 
assumption that engines, of the capacity estimated, can be constructed 10 
per cent, cheaper now than in 1837." But Mr. Hale will allow no deduc- 
tion on either of these grounds. But if there had been a fall in iron, (as 
there notoriously had been at the time of writing) why should not the cost of 
the engines be reduced to that extent ? Surely there can be no reason. 
Then as to improved methods of constructing engines ; — if nothing is dis- 
pensed with or altered now, that was in use then, surely the vastly increased 
demand for engines since, must have given important facilities in manufac- 
turing them. New methods, by which labor and expense are saved, are 
introduced into every species of manufacture,; and the competition growing 
out of a brisk demand is constantly operating in the same way to reduce 
price. In whatever way I am able to look at this matter, I do not see the 
slighest ground to question a reduction on the cost of the engines to the ex- 
tent proposed. 

But besides these conclusions from indisputable facts, a letter was submit- 
ted by Mr. Derby to the legislative committee from Messrs. Hinkley &, Drury, 
engine builders of this city, of established reputation, in which they offered 
to construct an engine that would raise 2,304,000 gallons, of 10 Ihs. each, 
100 feet high in 10 hours ; — but as the weight of a gallon is usually reck- 
oned only 8 lbs., the work would be equal to raising that quantity 120 feet, 
or to the top of Cory's Hill,- — for 22,000 dollars. The pumps, gearing, 
fixtures, and other matter ready to put in operation, were supposed to be 
from $2,500 to $3,500 additional ; — say in all, $25,000. Here instead of hav- 
ing a deduction of 10 per cent, on the cost of 1837 ($35,000), we have a saving 
of f ths, or near three times as much as I asked. Besides this, we are offered 
an engine that will do in 10 hours nearly as much work as one of those of 
1837 would do in 20. - 

So far then as the deduction of 10 per cent, on engines is concerned, I 
think I have shown that it is not unreasonable ; and that Mr. Hale has no 
just ground to object to it. But, on the contrary, a larger deduction might 
have been reasonably made. 

Again, Mr. Hale objects that I have put upon the works more labor than ' 
was contemplated by the commissioners ; and " that so far as the estimate 


of 1837 is relied on for an authority, it should be taken as conclusive only 
for the quantity for which the scale of work was specially adapted." "It is, 
therefore, unreasonable to assunrie the estimate of 1837 as sufficient for a 
greater permanent practical effect, than the works proposed were designed 
to produce." Let us look at the details of this plan of 1837. The first and 
largest item in the proposed works was the pipe from the source to the reser- 
voir. The next was provision for two engines, each of which would do all 
the work in 20 hours per day. Now as to the pipe, why may it not convey 
water 24 hours as well as 20 hours.? It is an arm that never tires; and if 
no more strain is put upon it in the additional 4 hours which it is used, it is 
not obvious why it may not be so used. The proposed conduit from Long 
Pond is to convey water 24 hours in the day ; and it is not very obvious why 
as strong an objection may not be made to that arrangement, as to imposing 
a similar constant service upon an iron pipe. The only ground of objection 
that seems to me can be entitled to the least consideration, is afforded by the 
circumstance that my calculations sometimes required both engines to be at 
work at the same time ; thus increasing the velocity of the water in the pipe. 
How much, if anything, this may be worth regarding, I am not prepared to 
say ; and it is hardly worth estimating, as the time is so short in which this 
extra duty is required, as we shall see. 

And as to the engines, no theory requires that half the motive power 
should be constantly idle. Prudence requires that there should be a spare 
engine to resort to in emergencies ; and it comes to pass in this case that 
the spare engine is half the motive power provided. But if the work to be 
done required 3 or 4 engines, still it would not be necessary to provide more 
than a single spare one ; — just what it is necessary to provide in this case, 
where the work is only that of one engine. Now the utmost labor, which 
any of my calculations imposed upon the two engines, was to raise 3,420,000 
gallons, per day, for a short portion of the 15 years. This is near 27^ hours' 
work of one engine, or 13| hours of two, I put the question then to practi- 
cal men, if this be an unreasonable effect to rely upon the engines to produce ? 
Is not reasonaJZe provision made for all Ordinary contingent interruptions? 
I think there is ; and more especially, when it is further taken into considera- 
tion that all engines are tested by a pressure many times greater than that 
under which they ordinarily operate ; and for limited periods may be safely 
relied upon to perform twice their ordinary work. 

I find that for 13 out of the 15 years, on which I calculated, no more than 
the labor of one engine is required, and no increase at all in the velocity of 
water in the pipe. If, then, it should be found practically expedient to in- 
crease the works or engines at the end of 13 years, instead of 15, the result 
will not very seriously affect my calculations. Still I regard the probability 
much more reasonable that the new outlay will not be required in 20 years, 
than that it will be needed in 13. 

There is another item, introduced by Mr. Hale, to be noticed. He says, 
that to the estimate of 1837 for water rights, " we must add for increased 
value of the water right at Watertown at least $25,000." The estimate of 
1837 was $15,000, of course Mr. Hale's present estimate is 840,000. It is 
admitted on all hands that the water of Charles River, in the dryest time, 
equals 40 cubic feet per second. All that Long Pond yields is 12 feet per 
second. But the commissioners allow 1 foot for loss between the pond and 
reservoir, relying only upon receiving 11 feet per second. As it is proposed 
to lose nothing between the river and reservoir, the present course of my 
argument does not require that the whole water right of 40 cubic feet should 
be purchased ; it would be sufficient to acquire a right to draw 11 cubic feet 


per second out of the 40 ; and it would not be material whether this right 
were the first., second, or third., provided it came within the 40. Now it 
comes to pass that the water power at the Watertown dam is divided into 
various distinct rights, which may properly be denominated first, second, 
&c. ; — the first drawing to the extent of its right to the exclusion of the 
second, and the second to the exclusion of the third, and so on. The first 
and second rights of water are now used to operate two distinct mills. The 
first., a grist mill., with all its right of tcater and appurtenances of every 
kind, together with one third the water right of the second mill, together 
with an undivided half of another piece of property, is in the hands of a 
single individual ; and I have in my pocket-book a bond executed by him, 
by which he obligates himself to sell me, or to my order, the whole of this 
property for 825,000. If the city shall wish to avail itself of this obligation, 
it shall freely have the power to do so. 

As this grist-mill has the first right to water, it is obvious that nothing 
more need be purchased, if its right to draw be adequate to supply the 
city, or be equal to 11 cubic feet per second ; and if so, all the other 
pieces of property may be at once sold, I have therefore taken some pains 
to ascertain what the right of water attached to this mill is ; and from the 
best information I can obtain it amounts to 30 cubic feet per second, or near 
3 times as much as we are to get from Long Pond. 

This one mill, then, having the first right to 30 cubic feet per second, its 
value, even in dry times, can be affected but little for many years by the 
draft the city will make upon it. 4 feet per second will give near 2,600,000 
gallons per day ; and this is less than ^ of the power. And it is to be borne 
in mind that during 8 or 9 months in the year, the water wastes over the 
dam, and the draft of the city would injure no right at all ; and that it is 
only during 3 or 4 months in the year, that the mill privilege would be af- 
fected by such draught. Hence it appears to me quite certain that a right 
to draw from Charles River more water than can be had from Long Pond, 
can be obtained for a sum considerably less than $15,000,the estimate of 1837. 
On the ground that the water power of the grist mill has been accurately 
cast, which I have no reason to doubt ; and that there are no flaws in the 
title, which I have no reason to suppose ; I should esteem it a very satisfac- 
tory business transaction to sell the city the right to draw forever any 
amount of water it would bring into the city, under 24 cubic feet per second 
(or twice the product of Long Pond,) for ^15,000, or the bare estimate of 

I believe I have now noticed all the points of objection made by Mr. Hale 
to my former estimates ; and I trust I have shown satisfactorily that those 
objections are generally not entitled to any weight. But, on the contrary, 
that the positions taken by me are far within the truth. 

Mr. n., however, has introduced an estimate of the cost of pumping at 
the new water works at Philadelphia, which 1 beg leave to notice. By this es- 
timate, the expense of pumping 2^ millions daily, 127 feet high, is $531,000 
My estimate for pumping the same quantity, is, 471,000 

i 60,000 
Mr. Hale says of the former: "This is near $100,000 (not very near) 

over the estimate of Mr. Wilkins, although the distance which the water is 

conveyed is but 1 mile, instead of 3^ miles," 

Feeling much surprise on seeing this estimate, I took occasion to address 

the engineer (W. E. Morris, Esq.,) and made some inquiries in regard to 

its accuracy. His answer confirms its general correctness, but states the 


height to be 115 instead of 127 feet. But Mr. Morris gives a key to the 
great expenditure. The duty of his new engines (like most others in this 
country) does not exceed 15 millions pound, one foot high, with a bushel of 
coal. The duty of the engines estimated in 1837, (and which, Mr. Hale 
thinks, maybe relied upon if constructed under Mr. Treadwell's supervision) 
was 60 millions, or four times that of Mr. Morris's engines. Of course, Mr. 
Morris consumes 4 times as much fuel as would be required on the plan 
adopted by the commissioners of 1837. The estimated cost of coal per 
year, for the Philadelphia works, is, $9,100 ; f of which is consequently 
lost, — $ 6,825. This sum represents a capital, at 5 per cent., of 136,500 ; 
which taken from the estimate, 531,000 


leaves . . . $394,500 

as the cost of raising 2J- millions in Philadelphia, on the principles adopted 
in 1837. This is $70,000 less than my estimate. Mr. Morris says, the 
" pumps are driven by condensing crank engines, intended to work expan- 
sively, but the cut-ofF valves not yet used. A material saving is antici- 
pated when the half stroke is put in operation." It appears, therefore, that 
the engines, at present, work to disadvantage, and consume more fuel than 
they will when completed ; and, as they now work, the practical efTect is 
near 10 per cent, greater than the estimated. 

I cannot but express surprise that such works should have been con- 
structed at this day. Mr. Morris says, " I was desirous to see at our new 
works this kind of machinery (referring to the Cornish engine) introduced. 
But anxiety to secure cheapness of first cost, and apprehensions of delay 
and failure arising from the novelty (in this country) of the work, prevented 
its adoption by the water commissioners." He adds : " There are engineers 
in Philadelphia, who, I believe, would be willing to construct steam water- 
works, and guaranty double the above stated performance," (or a duty of 30 
millions lbs.) 

Under all the circumstances of such a case, one would about as soon 
expect that water commissioners would resort to actual horse-power to pump 
their water, and estimate the expense by the quantity and price of hay and 
oats, as to such machinery. 

I shall have further occasion to consider the practical duty of engines. 

I have now gone over all my former propositions ; — have examined them 
anew, and the several grounds on which they were based. The result is a 
conviction of their truth. I have endeavored to do this in a fair and libe- 
ral spirit, in regard to points involving expense ; and to err, if at all, upon 
the safe side. The result is a renewed conviction, that, on the principles 
then adopted, the saving of $436,000, as then stated, may be effected, with- 
out the slightest detriment to the supply of the wants of thecity, by resorting 
to Charles River instead of Long Pond. All the reasoning by which such a 
conclusion was reached, appears to me to be valid and irrefutable. But if 
we qualify my former conclusions by what I now believe to be facts, viz., 
that the population of the city, to be supplied by the contemplated works, 
present and prospective, was then much over-estimated, and the maximum 
consumption per head was also much over-estimated, I can see no good 
reason to question that the saving would far exceed this sum. For myself, 
I think this sum worth saving, " and that it is an economy worthy of the 
attention of the city," — whatever views of such economy may be enter- 
tained by Mr. Hale and the advocates of Long Pond. 

But, after all, the scheme of introducing 7 millions gallons of water per 


day is so magnificent, and spreads such an extent of canvass to the breeze 
of popular favor, when compared with one that at present promises but 2^ 
millions per day, though in the end it promises even more than the other, 
that it becomes a matter of some moment, if it can be done as I think it 
can, to take the wind out of that sail, by showing " that the whole 7 millions 
gallons can he delivered now, at the outset, into the reservoir on Cory's Hill, 
cheaper than it is estimated to iring the same quantity from Long Pond.'''' 

When Mr. Hale was examined before the committee of the legislature, 
he gave in for the use of the committee a written estimate of the expense of 
delivering 7* millions gallons daily at Cory's Hill from Long Pond and 
Charles River. 

In this statement, all land and water damage was omitted entirely, in 
both estimates ; and a few unimportant items were also omitted in the Long 
Pond estimate. I subjoin a copy of this statement, so far as relates to the 
point in question, putting in, in brackets, the items which were omitted, and 
which should clearly be embraced. I do this to save printing the statement 

Estimate of supply of 7,000,000 gallons of water per day, by pumping from Charles River, on 
the basis of the calculation of 1837 — corrected for the increased amount of supply, and also 
for reduced cost of materials. 

Cost of Construction. 
Reservoir on Cory's Hill, same as Long Pond estimate, - - - - $30,715 

2 iron pipes, 30 inches diameter, 31-4 miles, 33,820 feet, at S9 63 (per foot) same as 

Long Pond estimate, --...... 325,686 

4 Stop cocks, ..--..... ijOOO 

[4] I'^-ngines, double the estimate of 1837, which was for 2 1-2 millions gallons in 20 

hours,] - - -- - - - - -- 126,000 

Buildings, &c., estimate of 1837 increased 50 per cent. ... - 33,000 

Annual Expenses. 
Coal for 2 1-2 millions, 507 chaldrons, for 7 millions, 1420 ditto, at $8, de- 
livered at [Charles River) instead of $ 10, as estimated in 1837, - 11,360 
Superintendent, Enginemen, Firemen, Wear, Tear, Insurance, &c. (esti- 
mated in 1837,) at ...... 6,738 

Add to above 50 per cent. .--... 3,369 


[Expenses] per annum, - - ... . . $21,467 

Equal, at 5 per cent., to a capital of ...... 429,340 

[Water rights and land damage, as per Report, 1837,] .... 18,949 


Estimate of same supply from Long Pond, ..... 749,191 

(Water and land damages, as per Report, 1844,) ..... 121,600 

(Sundry small items omitted from page 32,) ..... 4,700 

[Making a difference in favor of Long Pond,] ..... 89,199 


According to this estimate, corrected, so as to cover the land and water 
damages and a few items omitted, Mr. Hale's statement shows the Long Pond 
scheme to be cheaper than Charles River by $89,179. 

Now the first thing to be noticed in this paper is, that though it pur- 
ports to be an estimate "' on the basis of the calculation of 1837, corrected 
for the increased supply, and also for reduced cost of materials," this basis 
is soon abandoned. In this estimate is an item for two iron pipes of thirty 
inches each. But why two, instead of any other number, would not have 
occurred to any one, from inspecting the paper alone. In the estimate of 
1837 there was only one, and that of twenty-one inches. And taking that 
of 1837 as a basis, and correcting it " for the increased supply," what is 


required ? Of course one pipe, that shall bear the same relation to that of 
1837 as the increased supply bears to the supply of 1837. This is ob- 
viously the true problem — and the whole of it. The increased supply is 
7,000,000 gallons per day ; and the supply of 1837 was 3,000,000 gallons 
per day. What is wanted, then, is a pipe whose capacity shall be to that 
of one of twenty-one inches, as seven to three. By calculation, this is 
found to be one of thirty-two inches diameter ; only a little larger than one 
of the two here estimated for. That is, one pipe of thirty-two inches 
diameter will deliver 7,000,000 gallons in the same time, and under the 
same circumstances, that one of twenty-one inches will 'deliver three 
millions ; and it will deliver it with a less proportional expenditure of 
poioer, because the friction in a large pipe is proportionally less than in a 
small one. 

Here, then, instead of providing tivo pipes of thirty inches, we have only 
to provide 07te of thirty-two inches ; and the estimate must be corrected by 
the difference in cost. 


Now the two iron pipes of 30 inches, are here estimated to cost $325,686 ; of 

course one costs . . . . . . . . $162;843 

By the ordinary rules of increase in cost, as the size is increased, there should 
be added for a 32 inch pipe a trifle less than 12j per cent. ; but call it 12^ 
per cent. ......... 20,355 

The cost of one 32 inch pipe ....... 183,198 

Take this from the cost of two 30 inch pipes ..... 325,686 

Makes a saving of ........ 142.488 

Now take from this the balance against Charles River, as above stated . 89,199 

Leaves in favor of Charles River . ...... 53,289 

Here, then, we come directly and irresistibly to the result, that 7,000,000 
gallons per day can he delivered into a reservoir on Cory''s Hill, cheaper 
ly $53,289, than the same quantity can be delivered at the same place from 
Long Pond. 

It seems to me that the propriety of the corrections here made is too plain 
to leave any doubt. But I should hardly do justice to the argument if I 
omit to notice at least one other item. I refer to the engines. Allowance 
is here made for 4 engines, each of which will deliver 3 millions of gallons 
in 24 hours. Of course 7 millions requires two engines to be at work all 
the time, and one a third of the time. In other words, one engine is allowed 
to be idle all the day, and another two thirds of the day. I can entertain 
no doubt but that this allowance is too large, and is unreasonable ; and I 
think one engine might with safety and propriety be dispensed with. &ut 
as my proposition will permit me to be liberal, I will allow provision for 
three engines, any two of which will do all the work, leaving one to be 
resorted to in emergencies. This plan would require the three engines ts 
be increased in power ^th each, or the three should have the power of 3^, 
such as were embraced in the plan of 1837. But to increase the power of 
engines one sixth will not require an equally large increase of expense. I 
presume that ^'^ added to the cost, will effect this increase of power. 
The cost of each engine in the above statement is $31,500, and three stich 
will cost ....... $94,500 

add yL for increased power . . . . . 9,400 

Cost of the three proposed engines .... 103,900 

which deducted from the cost of 4 in the estimate 126,000 


leaves a saving in engines of . . . . $22,100 

Add this to the former balance .... 53,289 

Makes balance in favor of Charles River . . . 75,389 

or something more than 8 per cent, of the whole cost. 

But 7 millions is estimated by the commissioners to be a supply for 
250,000 inhabitants. Of course only a part of that supply is wanted at 
present, and the rest will be required nobody knows when. So that to this 
advantage here stated, of $75,389 in favor of Charles River, must be added 
all the saving that may accrue from the circumstance that only a part of this 
supply is wanted now, while the rest will be called for gradually, through an 
indefinite period of time. 

Thus far the argument has been based upon the principles of the esti- 
mate of 1837. The foundation of that estimate was, of course, the duty of 
an engine, or the mechanical effect that might be produced by the consump- 
tion of a bushel of coal. This was assumed to be 60,000,000 lbs. raised 
one foot high. This, although far exceeding the duty of any engines that 
have been set to pumping in this country, is still far below the practical 
result brought to pass in England. Mr. Wicksteed had an engine erected 
in 1838, to pump water for the East London works, which performs a duty 
of 90 millions, or 50 per cent, more than that estimated upon in 1837 
by our commissioners. And this was not any hap-hazard result, brought 
about by a kindly working that nobody could account for. He says, 
"Messrs. Harvey & Co. were bound, under heavy penalty, to effect an aver- 
age duty during 12 months' regular work of the engine, equal to -90 mil- 
lions lbs. raised 1 foot, by the consumption of 94 lbs. of good Welch coals, 
which ivas accomplished." (It is to be remarked, however, that it is only 
the best of bituminous coal that weighs 94 lbs. to the bushel. Generally it 
weighs less.) 

Besides this result effected by Mr. Wicksteed, at page 170, Appendix to the 
Parliamentary Examination, so freely quoted from in the foregoing pages, 
may be found the fgllowing extract on 


" To give a correct idea of the performance of the most economical 
steam engines yet constructed, Mr. Farey has made the following compu- 
tations : — 

" Taylor's engine, at United Mines, which has made the highest perform- 
ance of any yet constructed, has, on an average of all the variations of its 
performance, during the 12 months of the year 1841, raised 92|- millions lbs. 
water, one foot high, by each bushel of coal which has been consumed by 
it ; and in 1842, the average was 99^ millions. 

" An average of, the two years would be 95f millions. A bushel of the 
coal actually used is considered, on an average, to weigh 94 lbs. and if 
Taylor's engine be reckoned to raise only 94 millions one foot high, by the 
consumption of 94 lbs., then one pound of coal will raise one million pounds 
of 10 at er one foot high.'''' 

No one is more sensible than I am that we are liable to disappointment in 
the results of mechanical operations, both favorably and unfavorably, in a 
manner for which we cannot easily account. But in the matter of a steam 
eqgine, where an effect has not only been produced, but been guarantied 
under a heavy penalty that it should be produced, it is difficult to see why 
what has been done may not be done again. If Harvey and Co. engaged 


with Mr. Wicksteed to make, under heavy bonds, and did make, an engine 
to effect certain results, why would they not engage with the city of Boston 
to do the same thing ? Undoubtedly they would. And if they would do 
so, I doubt not some of our own builders would do the same, even if they 
went across the water to obtain the necessary knowledge. 

I cannot, therefore, see any good reason to doubt that the estimated duty 
of the engine, in 1837, is from 40 to 50 per cent, lower than need 
be ; and, of course, that the quantity of fuel might be estimated at the 
same rate less. It will be seen at once that such a saving in an annual 
expense would relieve the Charles River estimate of such a sum as could 
not fail to give it in any possible aspect of the city's wants, a decided 

I had intended, in this connexion, to have obtained and presented some 
estimates from city builders of engines, to show what could be effected in 
the present state of that art or science as practised now. But I have been 
deterred from soliciting such proposals or estimates, because I did not feel 
free to put them to so much trouble with so little prospect as is at present 
offered of their obtaining a job. 

From the foregoing facts and estimates I cannot doubt, and I can see 
no good reason for other people to doubt, that a much larger quantity of 
water than 7,000,000 gallons daily can be delivered on Cory's Hill from 
Charles River, at the estimated expense of delivering that quantity from 
Long Pond. 

I here close what I have to say upon Charles River and the expense of 

A few other matters claim notice, and especially the proposed conduit 
from Long Pond. 

In my Remarks^ I stated in relation to the Long Pond conduit, that " in 
this construction there is novelty, so far as my inquiries haye extended. I 
can find no example where a structure, so frail and unsubstantial, has been 
relied upon to perform so important service ; and for myself, I hope I shall 
never see it relied upon. If the Long Pond scheme is to be executed, let it 
be done on a plan less liable to failure, less liable to perpetual patching and 
repairing, than this project contemplates. But even at the best, a structure 
like this, if executed in the most substantial manner, like the Croton works, 
is much less secure than one of iron pipes." Mr. H. questions all these 
propositions. Though there is a flavor of flippancy in the passage which I 
do not feel disposed to justify, I believe all the important allegations to be 
true. With regard to " novelty," Mr. Hale refers to sewers constructed in 
London, Philadelphia and New York, 8 inches thick or two courses of brick, 
as examples to the contrary. Now I do not regard them as pertinent to the 
point. In the first place, they are laid deep in earth, never disturbed. Those 
in Philadelphia are laid to the depth of 3 to 30 feet ; those in London never 
less than 10 feet (without the utmost necessity,) and varying to 20, 27, and 
even, in one instance, to 68 feet deep. Now, I think, these are important 
circumstances, that tend to give support to the structure. In the second 
place, they are not " relied upon to perform so important service," as the 
proposed conduit. If a drain gives way, the evil is local. It may obstruct 
a street for a few days, and put a neighborhood to inconvenience. But if 
the proposed conduit should fail, it would affect the whole city. No region 
would escape its injurious effects ; while some could hardly endure them. 
I submit the point, then, that, if all Mr. Hale claims for the strength and 
stability of the drains he names, were well established, it still would not 
obviate the charge of " novelty " in relying upon " a structure so frail and 


unsubstantial" "to perform so important service." The different import- 
ance of the services, I think, greatly qualifies the folly or wisdom of the 
risk incurred in their perforrriance. As to the remaining point, that a struc- 
ture of this kind, " if executed in the most subst-antial manner, like the 
Croton works, is much less secure than one of iron pipes," I beg leave to 
quoto from Messrs. Treadwell and Hale's Report of 1838, p. 16, as follows: 
" We believe, if anything may be relied upon for conveying water from one 
point to another, it is an iron pipe. Experience for more than half a cen- 
tury in Europe, and for many years in this country, attests its excellence. 
We may, therefore, consider this as Jpekfectly safe." I regard this as quite 
satisfactory authority as io the security of iron pipes. Now, the Croton 
<^onduit has been delivering water during three years only. It is notorious 
that it lias repeatedly been examined, and repairs found necessary — and 
these requiring a large expenditure. On p. 33 of Proceedings before a Joint 
Committee of the Massachusetts Legislature, &c., I find the following item 
in a statement for the year 1844, made by Mr. Shattuck, viz., ''From 
which (viz. amount of water rents for 1844) deduct the annual cost of main- 
taining the aqueduct from the Croton River to the city, about $25,000." 
And by the semi-annual Report of the Water Commissioners to June 30th, 
1845, 1 notice the repairs have cost $9,230 — a rate of $18,460 per annum ; 
and this expenditure was all above or beyond the Harlaem bridge, and 
exclusive of^ repairs of reservoirs and pipes, &c., in the city, which are in 
charge of another board. If then iron pipes be " perfectly safe," it may be 
assumed that it would not cost these sums per annum to maintain them, as 
the Croton aqueduct appears to; and therefore I think the proof is furnished 
that works like the Croton are less secure than iron pipes. 

But even the sewers named by Mr. Hale, are not worthy the confidence 
and the commendation which he claims for them. The Philadelphia and 
New York drains have just been laid ; and whether they will be successful 
or not, time will decide. It is not safe to deduce an argument from them ; 
especially an argument which will be of little or no weight in regard to the 
present question, even if the sewers should remain firm. New York has 
built her palaces almost to the clouds, with walls of 8 inches only; and, per- 
haps, Philadelphia has done the same. It is no wonder, then, that their under- 
ground masonry is of a like slight character. Experiments are so rife that 
no wonder they are tried in such cases. The disposition to run great risks 
for small gains, in this country, is so connate and urgent, that we perhaps 
ought to marvel less that these cities reduced their sewer walls to 8 inches, 
than that they did not reduce them to 4. 

Let us look now to the London sewers, referred to by Mr. Hale. The 
English brick is 4^^ inches wide and 9 inches long ; and generally I find that 
a brick in length and width is usually reckoned a wall of 14 inches. Hence 
those bricks are 12^ per cent, greater than ours, and this difference may be 
of importance. As a small per centage upon the result of a voyage may 
often make all the difference between a good or bad voyage ; so a difference 
in the size of brick, no greater than this, may make all the difference be- 
tween a successful and unsuccessful experiment. The act of Parliament 
(1667) for rebuilding the city of London, (repealed in reign of George III.) 
directed, " that sewers 5 feet high and 3 feet wide, shall have side walls 1^ 
brick thick, the top 1 brick on end ; the bottom to be paved plain, and then 
1 brick on edge circular." Qu. 3409. This act was without doubt the origin 
of the custom, which has prevailed, and still does prevail, in most of the 
districts of London, of building the side walls, let the form be what it may, 
1^ brick or 14 inches thick. Even when the form was changed, as it ap- 


pears to have been in the city, still this thickness was preserved ; while the 
Westminster and other districts retain both the form and thickness contem- 
plated by the act. But within a few years, the Holborn and Finsbury dis- 
tricts have taken upon themselves to construct egg-shaped sewers with walls 
of 1 brick. As to the the egg-shaped form, I am not aware that any one 
objects to it ; though some do not allow it any advantages in regard to strength^ 
and 7nciny do not to the extent claimed. As to the reduction of material in 
the Holborn and Finsbury districts, quite a diversity of opinion prevails 
among those who have these matters in charge in regard to its safety and 
expediency. There seems to be considerable feeling existing among the 
commissioners of the different districts in regard to the Holborn innovations. 
Mr. Hale, with a little infusion of a spirit, which I have regretted as charac- 
terizing a single paragraph of my Remarks, has referred to the tesimony of 
" four eminent civil engineers," as commendatory of the deviation. Mr. Hale 
stretches the testimony of these gentlemen to establish a point which, from 
a careful reading I am satisfied, was not in the mind of one of them. I mean 
the proposition, that an oval or egg-shaped form has " superior advantages 
in point o? strength'''' over a circular one. When these gentlemen spoke of 
the " greater" or " greatest" strength to be attained by this form, they were 
in their mind always comparing it with the Westminster form, and not with 
the circular. If Mr. Hale would establish this proposition, I think he must 
bring some other witnesses, and develop some new scientific principle. I 
have never before seen the proposition laid down, and, of course, never 
noticed any attempt to prove it. I will quote some testimony not favorable 
to Holborn foroi and construction. 

Mr. Thomas L. Donaldson, Chairman of the Westminster Commission 
of Sewers 8 years, and a Commissioner 27 years, examined. Qu. 4158. 
" Do you consider that a straight side is as much equal to sustain pressure 
as a curved side.' Ans. Yes, built with brick." Qzi. 4159. "You think 
a curved side has no greater power to sustain pressure .'' Ans. No ; for the 
difference of form is made up of soft mortar." It is very plain, that, to 
obtain the full benefit of a curved side, the brick should be bevelled or radi- 
ated ; in which case, one witness ( Qu. 2025) was in " doubt whether there 
would be the necessity for any mortar at all." 

Mr. Richard Kelsey, Surveyor to the Commission of Sewers for the 
city of London since 1832, examined. Qu. 3397. " What do you consider 
a good sectional form of sewers for a main sewer .? Ans. If you have a 
semicircular top and a semicircular bottom, and straight sides, I think that 
all the conditions of a sewer are answered." This is the more candid from 
the fact that, in his district, the sewers are mainly of an oval form. Qu. 
3406 (to same). " You say that some of your sewers are elliptical, or egg- 
shaped, or oval } Ans. They are true ellipses, some of them. Inclined 
sides have been largely used. They were introduced by my predecessor 
prior to 1823." Qu. 3408. " What are the dimensions of the brick-work.? 
Ans. 14 inches all round." Qu. 3409. " Do you not think that is heavier 
than necessary } Ans. I do not like to trust to anything else ; I think the 
commissioners ought to build as it were forever." This witness then states 
that the Fleet Street sewer, built in 1668, with 9-inch walls, " and 14-inch 
contrefortes at intervals," fell in, at three separate places, in 1715, 1725, 
and 1737, and was rebuilt with 14-inch walls ; while the ancient brick arch 
of the Walbrook sewer, li brick (or 14 inches) thick, stood near 400 years, 
till destroyed in 1834. Qu. 3412 (to same). "Do you not think it would 
be possible, by altering the shape of those sewers, to make 9-inch brick- 
work answer where you now put 14-inch brick- work — that is to say, make 


a cheaper, and at the same_ tuiie a stronger, sewer? Ans. I think not. 
I do not feel myself justified, as an ofRcer of the commission, in recom- 
mending them to do that which, if they went into a court of justice, they 
could not justify." I do not know how such testimony as this strikes others ; 
but the facts stated, and the opinion given, seem to me exceedingly pertinent 
and judicious, as applied to seioers, and vastly more so, if applied to a 
conditit of the importance of the proposed one. 

But I have not quite done even with the sewers. Mr. Hale refers to the 
testimony of Butler Williams, Esq., Professor in Putney College. The 
testimony of this gentleman is of a very diffusive and expansive character, 
abounding in maps, diagrams, figures, formulas, and statistics, to a much 
greater extent than that of any other witness; — not to say more than that 
of all the rest put together. He' appears to be a man fully up to the spirit 
of the age in detecting and repudiating the errors and mistakes of a bygone 
generation, and even of some of his contemporaries. He would, I doubt 
not, soon become rich — a second Crcesus — if he could appropriate to his 
own benefit a moiety of what the world might save if it would adopt his 
suggestions. Mr. Hale says: "The witness (Mr. Williams) knew of re- 
peated instances, in which the latter structure (the Westminster sewer) had 
failed for want of sufficient strength in the straight side's ; he slated that he 
had recommended the former (the Finsbury sewer) to be substituted, which 
he had never known to fail." This is Mr. Hale's account of Mr. W.'s testi- 
mony ; and the fair inference from it would seem to be, that it was a not 
unfrequent occurrence for a Westminster sewer to fail, while a Finsbury 
one was certain to stand. 

Now let us look at his testimony. Qu. 5823. " In respect of the strength, 
how have you found sewers with upright walls, and with arched walls, to 
stand.? Ans. No instance of the failure of the arched sewer has come to 
my knowledge. I have seen one instance near Notting Hill, where the 
upright sewer had fallen in, been rebuilt, had again fallen, and was rebuilt, 
a third time, with extraordinary precaution," &c. This is the whole extent 
of his mon knowledge ; — had known of no failure of an arched side, which 
(with the economy of masonry) is a modern innovation, and has not had 
lime to fail yet, and had "seen one instance" where a straight side had 
given way twice (before it was finished). This is the whole of his own 
knowledge. He says Mr. Sopworth, an engineer, recites an instance of 
failure in Newcastle of a straight-sided sewer, which had been replaced by 
a "circular" one (not egg-shaped), which had not failed. But whether the 
old sewer had lasted 50 or 500 years, is not stated. The lohole, then, of 
the "repeated" instances of failure which this witness "knew," was the 
single "one instance" of failure at Notting Hill. 

This Notting Hill case appears to have been a remarkable one, and to 
have drawn out the advocates of the difl^erent kinds of sewers. Mr. Wil- 
liams took his pupils to see it, much as an anatomist takes his pupils to 
witness a hospital operation, or a post-mortem examination. The facts 
appear to have been these. Mr. Connop, proprietor of the estate, employed 
J. Stevens, a city architect and surveyor, to lay out the ground and erect 
buildings thereon. Being in the Westminster district, the sewers must be 
constructed on the Westminster plan, though Mr. Stevens (a very fair and 
candid witness) preferred the Finsbury form. The sewer was constructed, 
and the owner discovered that it had given way, and called Mr. Stevens's 
attention to it. Mr. Stevens says : " I went into the sewer, and through it, 
as far as practicable, and found the sides had collapsed. 1 found the ground 
had slipped (a stiff clay, very liable to sudden slips, being on a hill-side) 


from 40 to 50 feet from the sewer, and the width between the walls was 
only 1 foot 7 inches, instead of 2J- feet, the original size. Was summoned 
before the commissioners, and slated that I believed the failure to have 
originated in the form of tlie sewer. The commissioners thought otherwise, 
and ordered it to be rebuilt on same plan ; that they would send a person 
from their office to be constantly on the spot and give directions. The 
sewer was carefully rebuilt. When about 100 feet of the sewer had been 
constructed in this (careful) way, and the ground filled in upon it, we per- 
ceived indications of a fresh failure, and, in 3 or 4 days after, the pressure 
of the ground became so great, that the ends of the struts were forced 
through 3-ineh planks. Hence, we were obliged to take it up a second 
time." (This testimony is abridged, but is in the language of the witness.) 
Mr. Connop then applied to the commissioners to obtain leave to reconstruct 
the sewer in the Finsbury form, " but rather more round." The commis- 
sioner held a regular court upon the question. Their own surveyors exam- 
ined the matter, and made a report. This report says, the surveyors had 
examined the premises, and "are apprehensive whether the parts which 
have lately been built, will be found to withstand the lateral pressure of the 
banks any better than the portion which was first built, owing to the insuffi- 
cient, unworkmanlike, and injudicious manner in which the work is pro- 
ceeded with." " The persons who have contracted for building the sewer 
(receive) a sum so little above the actual cost of the brick-work alone, that 
scarcely any price is allowed for the digging, strutting, and filling in the 
ground." The report goes fully into several other causes of the failure. 
Mr. Joseph Bennett and George Bird, contractors, were examined, and 
thought the failure owing to " want of judgment in the building." The 
question was finally taken on granting Mr. Connop's request, and decided in 
the negative, nem. con. Afterwards Mr. Stevens says, we have '' rebuilt the 
sewers in the form prescribed by them (the Westminster), and they stood 
perfectly well." Thus ended the only instance of failure in straight sides 
that Mr. Williams knew of Many details are given in the testimony of Mr. 
Stevens, and also of Mr. Donaldson, which I have not room even to con- 
dense, but are well worth the notice and consideration of those who take an 
interest in such matters. 

I here dismiss the subject of sewers. If all Mr. Hale claims for the im- 
provements in their construction were true, it would not justify a similar 
construction of the proposed conduit, because the circumstances are not the 
same, and the necessity of guarding against failure anything near so press- 
ing in one case as in the other. But, unfortunately, the merit claimed for 
them by Mr. Hale is not established. No other district of the metropolis, 
except Holborn and Finsbury, have adopted the economy of constructing 
1-brick walls ; nor is there any appearance that any others will. We have 
seen what the Westminster commissioners' opinion is, and also a city sur- 
veyor's (Mr. Kelsey). In the city, so far are they from adopting 1-brick 
sides, that they make l^-brick tops — which is 50 per cent, more than the 
act of parliament required. The whole scheme (so far as economy goes) 
appears to be the repetition of an experiment (only under worse conditions) 
which was tried 150 years ago, and which then failed. Those who are on 
the stage 15 or 20 years hence, (or perhaps sooner,) will probably have 
occasion to notice its failure again. But, as its failure is of small moment, 
we may never hear of it. 

Let us return now to the proposed conduit. Whence did the idea of such 
a structure originate ? If we examine the Report of 1837, we may get 
some light, and discover, that, in this case, as in most others, necessity was 


the mother of the invention. On p. 33, the commissioners say : " We have 
no doubt but a conduit may be constructed from Long Pond to Cory's Hill, 
which shall be as much beyond the reach of interruption in its operation, 
as any work of human art can be beyond the reach of accident. We can- 
not pretend, however, that the cost given in our estimate is sufficient to 
produce a work of this permanent character; and we should not think it 
expedient to increase the expenditure beyond the limits of our estimate^ as 
the object of supply may be obtained upon either of the other plans, (i. e. 
Charles River, or Spot and Mystic Ponds,) tcith more advantage to the city 
than by this, if its execution must be at an expense much beyond that which 
we have assigned to it." That is: We cannot pretend that a structure of a 
" permanent character," that may be " beyond the reach of interruption," 
can be made for our estimates ; and the estimates ought not to be increased, 
because, for such a sum, the object can be otherwise obtained. Hence 
came the necessity, by a short process, of either abandoning, out-and-out, 
Long Pond as a source, or of devising and estimating for a structure, con- 
ceded to be not of a " permanent character." No other alternative was left 
them ; and I cannot but regard it as very unfortunate that they did not 
accept the first, and abandon the second. 

I hardly know how far I am called upon to set forth the demerits of a 
structure, in favor of which the commissioners themselves have said so little. 
They do not seem to have considered it of such a permanent character as 
every body must concede to be desirable ; and how far it was allowable to 
run risks, for the sake of the proposed end, they left for others to judge, but 
for themselves, the majority did not recommend it. It is proper to add that, 
so far as economy of material is concerned, the conduit of 1844 was like 
that of 1837. 

But from some cause or another, not very satisfactorily explained, Mr. 
Hale's views of the strength of this structure appear to have undergone a 
change since 1837. In testifying before the Legislative Committee, he 
stated that he considered a brick aqueduct, like the one proposed, to be as 
durable as iron pipes ; and page 55 o^ Inquiry , &c., he says : " The [proposed] 
structure, taking into consideration its comparative size, is demonstrately stronger 
than that of the Croton aqueduct." In his testimony, he based his opinion 
upon experience had since 1837. Now I submit that no experience whatever 
(however favorable its character might be,) in 7 or 8 years, is sufficient to 
warrant any such opinion. What is experience, in this short period, worth 
in testing a work which is, or should be, (in the language of Mr, Kelsey,) 
built to last forever ? But there has been, in that time, no pertinent expe- 
rience that I am aware of, except of the Croton works ; and from the 
published reports of the expenses of repairing that, experience seems to 
justify anything but such an opinion. 

Now, as to the proposed conduit being " demonstrately " stronger than 
the Croton, considering its size, I for one should be glad to see an attempt at 
demonstration. Until such attempt be made, I deem it quite sufficient to 
invite the reader to inspect the sections of each work furnished by Mr. 
Hale, on page 80 of Proceedings before the Legislative Committee, &c., or 
page 58 of Inquiry, &c, ; — bearing in mind that the stoiie masonry at the 
bottom is 2^ feet thick, and laid all the way up in cement, while the founda- 
tion is always of stone where the conduit passes upon embankments, I am 
utterly at a loss to understand the grounds upon which such an opinion is so 
confidently put forth. All I can say is, that I should be unwilling to hazard 
sqch an assertion, until I was prepared to lose whatever reputation I might 
chance to haye acquired for good judgment, — be it much or little. 


One other circumstance has been forced upon my attention, bearing upon 
the character of a conduit for conveying water, which I beg to notice. In 
the Parliamentary examination, so often referred to above, several witnesses 
spoke of the exudation or percolation of water from without into the sewers. 
Sometimes this was of an exceedingly offensive character, especially when 
the sewer passed through churchyards. When men went into the sewers to 
cleanse ihem, the character of this exudation became manifest. Mr. John 
Roe, who appears to have been the suggester of the Flolborn and Finsbury 
innovations, and Samuel Mills, testify to this exudation. Qu. 1973. " You 
do not believe that the nuisance arises, in all cases from the main sewers ? 
Ans. by ^Ir. Roe. Not always from the main sewers. {Mr. Mills,) Con- 
nected with this point, I would mention, that, where the sewers came in 
contact with churchyards, the exudation is most offensive. Qu. 1974. Have 
you noticed that in more than one case ? Ans. Yes. Qu. 1795. In those 
cases have you had any opportunities of tracing in what manner the exudation 
from the churchyards passed to the sewer ? Ans. It must have been through 
the sides of the sewers. Qu. 1976. Then, if that be the case, the sewer 
itself must have given away ? Ans. No ; I apprehend, even if you use 
concrete, il is impossible hit that the adjacent loaters would Jind their way 
even through cement ; it is the natural consequence. The wells of the 
houses adjacent to the sewers all get dry, whenever the sewers are lowered. 
Qu. 1977. You are perfectly satisfied that in course of time exudations very 
often do, to a certain extent, pass through the brickwork ? Ans. Yes ; it is 
impossible to prevent it.''' 

From this testimony it appears to be certain that a brick conduit, like the 
one proposed, does not, and cannot, protect the current within it from the 
percolation of liquids without. The thinner the walls, of course, the liability 
to exudation is the greater ; and by building them of a great thickness, 
probably little or no injurious effect of this character could result. Now 
there is one part of the proposed conduit which will, as it appears to me, be 
particularly exposed to an objectionable percolation. For 4 or 5 miles fi'om 
the point of leaving the Pond, the conduit is to pass through a perfect swamp 
or morass, with scarcely any exception. In order to convey the water in 
this direction, it must, at the beginning, be almost entirely submerged in 
mud ; and until it passes by Morse's Pond, which is but 12 feet lower than 
Long Pond, it cannot, to any considerable degree, be raised out of it. By 
looking at a map which accompanies the Report of 1844, (a part of them 
at least,) the reader will be able to trace the line of conduit here referred to. 
A more thorough" New England swamp, than this is, I never beheld. And 
how any reliance is to be placed upon obtaining a practicable^ foundation, is 
more than I can see. But this is not the point I have in mind. This extensive 
swamp, embracing that portion drained by Snake brook into Long Pond, at 
the very point where we propose to tap it, and that portion drained by a 
nameless, but. I presume equally snaky, brook into Morse's Pond, appeared, 
when I saw it in April last, to abound in frogs and other offensive water 
animals, as well as to be steeping with a rank growth of vegetable mattef. 
While these offensive things, especially the living, proved that the water was 
not poisonous, they certainly satisfied me tlial it was everything short of it. 
I do not intend to exaggerate in this matter ; and if any one thinks I do, I 
wish he would visit the locality. Pass up the Worcester turnpike, survey the 
boors, right and left, where the turnpike crosses the swamp as laid down on 
the map. Then pass up the county road, and survey the swamp drained 
into Long Pond. Consider that the conduit must be submerged in this 
semifluid mass, and that the walls of it are to be so thin that percolation is 


inevitable ; and then make up his mind how he is going to relish the wafer 
when it gets to Boston. Several advocates of Long Pond have told us that 
they have drank those waters ; but they do not seem to. have tried the juices 
of this swamp by themselves. 

I here close what I deem it expedient to say in relation to the proposed 
conduit. I for one confess I have no confidence whatever in its strength or 
durability. With my present views, I never would be accessory to, or share, 
in any degree, the responsibility of erecting so frail a structure to perform 
a service so important. I am, therefore, constrained to repeat that, " if the 
Long Pond scheme is to be executed, let it be done on a planless liable to 
failure, less liable to perpetual patching and repairing, than this project 
contemplates," or will, in all probability, require. 

Mr. Hale, on page 25, says ; " In the city of London, water is supplied by 
several rival companies. In some instances, the pipes of three or four com- 
panies, in addition to gas pipes, pass through the same streets 

The consequence of the rivalry between the companies is, that they produce 
an average income to their proprietors of not more than two or three per 
cent, per annum. Another consequence of the low price is, that the quantity 
used is much larger in proportion to the population supplied, than in any 
other town of England." This I esteem a very remarkable statement, — 
full of error. It is true that the metropolis of London (but not the aVy, 
which is supplied exclusively by the New River Company) is supplied by 
■several water companies ; but they have long ago ceased to be rivals. I 
believe there is one company on the Southwark side of the Thames which 
has not yet lost money enough, and has recently laid, or attempted to lay, 
pipes into a parish belonging to another water district. But, generally speak- 
ing, there is no rivalry between the companies ; — their-districts are defined, 
and they do not interfere with each other. Mr. Mylne, Mr. VVicksteed and 
Mr. Quick, all- speak with as much definiteness of their districts as we should 
of our wards. As to the statement that the pipes of three or four water 
companies pass in the same street, I cannot but think Mr. Hale is mistaken. 
Possibly the pipes of two companies may pass the same street, where the 
difl^erent sides belong to different water districts ; but, except in such cases, 
it seems to me the statement cannot be correct. In looking over the 
Parliamentary Commissioners'' Report, so often referred to, I noticed no such 
statement. Mr. Mylne, the engineer of the New River Company, speaks of 
the great confusion and evils of laying gas and water pipes in the same 
streets, and gives a diagram exhibiting a striking complexity in their interlac- 
ing; and though the gas pipes belong to four different companies, all the 
water pipes belong to one. I cannot but think that, if rivalry between the 
companies existed, it would ajapear in some portions of this Report. 

But, besides this absence of evidence, there is some of a positive char- 
acter looking the other way. Mr. Fletcher, the counsel for the city before 
the Legislative Committee, based a strong point of argument upon the fact 
that between the London companies there was no competition, but that they 
had carved the metropolis into districts, and each company took its own. 
And he seems to have derived his information from a Parliamentary Report, 
which I have not seen. I beg to quote what Mr. F. is stated to have said, 
from p. 114 o^ Proceedings before a Committee, 8fc. "A parliamentary ex- 
-amination — to a copy of which Mr. F. referred the committee — had shown 
that in London great trouble had arisen from this cause (the supplying water 
by private companies.) They had there thought to avoid the miseries and 
evils of permitting a monopoly of water by establishing a number of compan- 
ies, thinking that competition would reduce the prices. But these companies 


combined together, each took a particular section of the city, and raised the 
prices by agreement. The monopoly was worse than before, and one witness 
said that he had been afraid lo attend the commission until compelled, for 
fear that the company would stop His supply of water." I will add that it is 
well known that the companies are on the best possible terms, and if from 
any cause the supply of one company fails, others connect their mains with 
it and supply its customers. 

To this rivalry, which we have seen does not exist, Mr. Hale attributes 
the small dividends of the companies. I apprehend that the true cause of 
the small dividends is the great expenditure upon the works. The works are 
old works; — iron pipes have been substituted for wooden ones; — new 
improvements have been introduced. (Qm. 5269.) All these expenditures 
have gone into that " receptacle of things lost upon earth " — a construction 
account. The expenditure has been so great that the companies cannot 
realize a greater dividend than that received. For I have seen no evidence, 
nor do I know of the slightest reason to suppose, that the companies have 
not, and do not, regulate their water rents with the sole view of getting the 
greatest possible income. Mr. Hale attributes these small dividends to the 
" low price" of the water. There can be no greater mistake ; for, on the 
contrary, the London water rents appear to be the very highest of any I 
have noticed.* Dr. Clarke' (Qii. 31) says: " 35. 4fZ. seems as accurate an 
estimate as can now be made" " of the water rent paid by each person in 
London." But at Nottingham (Qu. 5269) it is but Is. 6d., or less than half 
of London ; and at Preston it appears to be but little, if any, higher than at 
Nottingham {Qu. 13, p. 159. Ap.) ; while the several places named by Mr. 
Thom (Qm. 140,) have water at even a much lower rate. I have noticed 
no place in England or Scotland, where the water rent is anything near so 
high as in London. The ditTerence in the income of the London companies, 
and those of Nottingham and Preston, arises undoubtedly from the different 
expenditure for individuals supplied. In Nottingham this is £1, in Preston 
£2, (but will be less as water becomes more generally taken) ; while it is in 
London £3, and no reasonable ground to expect much increased consump- 

Mr. Hale deduces, from what he considers this low price, the consequence 
" that the quantity used is much larger in proportion to the population sup- 
plied, than in any other town of England." Whether such be fact or not, 
it is clear that it cannot be attributed either to rivalry between the companies, 
or the low price of water. But I have already shown that there is every 
reason to suppose the consumption of water in London is greatly overstated ; 
and that it does not probably exceed 162- gallons per day, per head. Whe- 
ther tliis be a greater consumption than is elsewhere in England, is of no 
importance. It is not large. 

I here close what I have to say upon the pamphlet. of Mr. Hale. In this 
review I have endeavored in no case to pervert his meaning, or to misrepre- 
sent him. If I have done so, it has been unintentional. I have, also, 
endeavored to use no fact or argument to prove, what it did not fairly 
tend to prove. Whether my review has a substantial substratum of facts 
to sustain the points intended to be established, I leave others to judge. 

With a-few general observations I propose to close these Further Remarks. 

I. For all purposes of general reasoning in discussing questions like this, 
we are obliged to assume average results. But this is liable to lead to an 
erroneous view of the subject. Now, in the consumption of water, it is obvi- 

* I should add that T have not made a very thorough search on this point. Possibly some 
instances may have escaped notice. 


ous from nature of the case, as well as from experience, that in the hot sum- 
mer months much more water will be consumed than in the cold winter ones. 
Probably a ditference equal to twenty-five per cent, between the extremes, 
is not too much to be allowed. If the Long Pond scheme be adopted, per- 
manent provision must be made for the maximum demand during the whole 
year; i. e. 25 per cent, more than will be wanted in some parts of the year, 
and 12^ per cent, more than the average demand. So again, with regard 
to the future population of the city, and the demand for water growing out of 
the number and habits of that population — how much uncertainty must be 
allowed to hang over it. The Long Pond sheme contemplates to burden a 
population of 125,000 (or less) with all the expense necessary to supply 
250,000. But if this dem.and fluctuate between summer and winter to the 
extent of 25 per cent., and the works be calculated to deliver but 11 cubic 
feet per second, and that be only an average supply according to the calcu- 
lation of the Commissioners of 1844, it is obvious that a scarcity of water will 
be felt many years before the population comes up to 250,000, and before 
the average consumption be 28 gallons per head daily. 

II. But why limit the populfition to 250,000 } The territory of the 
peninsula is limited ; but still there is room for an immense increase. Be- 
sides South Boston and the neck lands, it is understood that the proprietors 
of the empty basin in Back Bay are ready to fill up every foot south of the 
Mill Dam and east of the Roxbury branch, as soon as the city shall build 
upon the lands of the public garden, or otherwise release them from the 
restrictions imposed upon them. Should this be done, (and it is difficult to 
see good practical reasons why it should not be done rather than compel 
population to go out of the city,) it will add immensely to the extent of the 
city, and it will be a region that must depend entirely upon water works for 
a supply. I do not see any reason to doubt that by such additions the city 
may contain many more than 250,000 inhabitants. 

But it is rather a contracted view of this subject to limit the supply to the 
city. From a reservoir on Cory's Hill it would be practicable and con- 
venient to supply the low parts of Old Cambridge, Cambridge Port, and 
East Cambridge, of Brookline, Brighton and Roxbury ; — all which are fast 
filling up with a population living upon the business of the city. It is as 
certain as anything of the kind can be, that, within less than. 50 (if not 
within 20) years, there will be a water district containing much more 
than 250,000 inhabitants, which might with the utmost convenience and pro- 
priety, draw its supply from the city's reservoir ; and there is nothing in the 
way that I can see, why in process of time even this number may not be 
doubled or trebled. 

Now the great beauty of the Charles River plan, is its adaptation to all 
-these varying elements. The expense of pumping is the great leading 
expense ; and the excellence of the scheme is, that, be the demand great or 
small, the city need not pump a gill more than is wanted, and when another 
gill is wanted, it may be had for the pumping. The present generation is 
not thus taxed (to any considerable extent) to provide for a doubtful and 
far distant demand ; but as that demand grows up, whether in the city 
or out of it, it can be readily and conveniently supplied. How the Long 
Pond scheme dwindles into insignificance, in view of the demands of 
such a water district, as is most certain to grow up within a convenient 
distance of the proposed reservoir ; and how short-sighted is the policy 
that would, without necessity, and, indeed, without a single substantial 
reason, adopt a plan which forever puts it out of the power of the city to 
supply it ! 


III. I do not know how other people feel upon the subject, but for myself 
I should much prefer to pay the amount necessary for pumping annually 
for that purpose, than to pay an equal amount for interest on a city debt. 
I pay no money less cheerfully than interest money. When I pay for labor, 
for articles of consumption, or personal service, I feel as if I had received 
an equivalent, or that it was my own fault if I had not. I feel as if I was of 
some service in the world, and was contributing a share to the daily livelihood 
and comfort of my fellow-men. But the payment of interest is not with 
me always attended with the same feeling ; and especially is a lively sa- 
tisfaction wanting, if the debt be entailed by a foregone generation. 

Besides, if we pay for pumping as we go along, we live in hopes that in 
every successive year it will be done cheaper. Within 14 years Mr. 
Wicksteed effected a saving of 60 per cent, in the expense of pumping; 
and though we may not reasonably expect a like saving in a like period, 
yet there can be no doubt that improvements will be in constant process of 
development, that will afford substantial saving. But once incur a city debt, 
at an interest of 5 per cent., and woe to the unlucky wight whose bread shall 
be dependent upon a diminution of the rate. 

IV. Of the great importance of furnishing the masses of a densely 
populated district, with a full and copious supply of good water, no one is 
more sensible than myself; and no one would more cheerfully take his share 
of the necessary burden, in order to afford such a supply to this city, than 
I would. It is becoming and proper that a great and growing city, like 
Boston, should receive this supply without stint. I would have every inhab- 
itant take the water, — pay for it who could (if that be the plan adopted,) 
and without pay who could not. It is not because I would stint the use, that_ 
my estimates of consumption are below Mr. Hale's ; but because from the 
experience of other places I do not find reason to suppose that, with a full 
supply, and right to use or waste i7i houses, ad libitum, the consumption 
would exceed my estimates. I say in houses, because I am inclined to 
think that the water should be taken into every house where it is used, and 
that no individual should be allowed to take it from the street. Public 
Tiyd rants, or stand pipes, for the use of the poor, are fast going out of use 
in England. They are extremely liable to get out of order; and during 
many months they are kept from freezing with great difficulty. Hence in 
the erection of new water works, it is getting to be the custom to have no 
public hydrants for the use of citizens, but to carry the water into the 
houses of all who are to use it. And this method is found to be econo- 
mical ; — much less water is wasted, and much less stolen. The municipal 
corporations pay for the poor ; but they are supplied in their houses. 
And truly, it seems to be a pitiful condition to impose upon the indigent and 
infirm, who from a decent pride would feel it a much greater hardship to 
expose themselves in the street for a supply, than to pay for it if they Were 
able, that they shall obtain their supply from a public hydrant, in order to 
obtain it gratis. Especially when that hydrant, open to whole neighbor- 
hoods, is, and will be, drawn from by many who are well able to pay for their 
supply. - I am inclined, therefore, to think well of the practice now grow- 
ing up in England, of abolishing public hydrants, except for strictly public 

To return from this digression, I repeat that, in my judgment, Boston 
should have a supply of water from a foreign source ; and I cannot better 
give my views than in the language of Mr. Quincy, appended to the second 
edition of my Remarks, viz., 

" 1st. That loater ought to be introduced into the city of Boston. 


" 2cl. That this great and all-important interest of the city ought never to 
le placed under the control of one or more private corporations. 

" 3d. That ponds, such as now exist in our vicinity^ ought never to he 
depended upon as the source of supply. 

" 4th. That a river ivas the only source on which a supply of that element, 
so essential to life and comfort., should he alloived to depend.'''' (In this Mr. 
Quincy agrees with Dr. Clarke and Mr. Hayes.) 

Who can read and reflect upon these positions of Mr. Quincy, whose 
municipal experience far exceeds that of any of his successors, and to whose 
wisdom and ability the city owes many of its most valuable improvements, 
without feeling and acknowledging that they are the results of enlarged and 
comprehensive views of the city's interest ; and that, as such, they ought to 
be adopted. 

V. I think this enterprise should be undertaken by the city itself not 
that its powers should be delegated to others for the purpose. The regular 
organs of municipal opei'ations should, by their own agents, execute and 
manage, now and forever, this great and important public interest, especially 
tviihin the jurisdiction of the city ; and I think no act of the legislature, 
granting power to execute it, but taking the execution, control, and manage- 
ment out of the hands of the regularly constituted city authorities, ought 
ever to be accepted either as a " boon " or a bane. I do not wish to 
review the act which has been rejected ; nor to characterize its provisions in 
such terms as I thinli they richly deserved. Nor would it become me to 
give adyice in regard to the future. To impart counsel becomes those who 
have treasured up wisdom from an enlarged public experience ; and to 
cause it to be received, is the province of those who, from nature or educa- 
tion, possess largely those qualities which exercise sway over popular senti- 
ment. But it is the lot of the humblest to entertain hopes and fears ; and it 
is the privilege of the humblest to express them. I would, then, express the 
hope that the legislature will never grant, and that the citizens of Boston 
will never accept, an act that interferes with the regular and orderly work- 
ing of all the various departments of our city government. I hope no man, 
or body of men, will ever be allowed to expend public money, or run the 
city in debt, except those to whom the law has given authority to assess 
taxes, to raise the money, or pay the debt. 1 hope no man, or body of men, 
will ever be authorized to fill or exhaust, on the city's account, any treasury 
but the city treasury ; and that every dollar ever in hand, or expended for 
the city, will be in the custody, or paid out under the sanction, of the city treas- 
urer, whose oath of office, and whose bonds, and whose annual account- 
ability, give some assurance of honesty and security. I hope no man, or 
body of men, will ever be allowed to ride over the authority of the lawfully 
constituted surveyors of our highways, — impeding our streets, jeoparding 
life and limb, and, perhaps, subjecting the city to great expense in way of 
damages. Finally, I hope that the citizens will see to it, that the exe- 
cution, control, management and use of this great and important interest be 
always kept in the hands of the city government, to be affected through the 
ballot-box like every other interest ; and that they will be " deaf as adders" 
to every attempt to persuade them to allow a different course. 

I here close these Further Remarks. The views I here express, are re- 
spectfully submitted to the consideration of such fellow-citizens as take an 
interest in the question. I hope they will serve to enlighten the mind of the 
public upon a topic which deeply affects their welfare. 


Since the publication of these Further Remarks, I have received a " Further " Report of the 
Parliamentary Coinmission, made February 3, 1845. This "Further" Report, if not the 
final, is undoubtedly the principal, one to be expected frorn the commissioners. It is exceed- 
ingly elaborate, occupying 76 folio pages. The commissioners bring forward 30 distinct recom- 
mendations, to be embraced in a new law, having reference to promoting the objects of their 
inquiry. If these recommendations be embodied in a law, and its provisions be faithfully car- 
ried out, a new face will be put upon the condition of the poorer classes in such towns and 
districts. It is quite refreshing to peruse a plan so comprehensive in its provisions and so bene- 
volent in lis objects. I should be glad to quote largely from it, but must limit myself to a few 

" We recommend that the necessary arrangements for drainage, 'paving, cleansing, and an 
ample supply o/" lija^er should be placed under one administrative body." " With a view of 
insuring a sufficient supply, and proper distribution of water to all classes, we recommend that 
it be rendered imperative on the local adniinislralive body, to procure a supply of water in 
sufficient quantities, not only for the domestic wants of the inhabitants, but also for cleansing 
the streets, scouring the sewers and drains, and the extinction of fire." It is here proposed to 
invest the local administrative body with a new power, and impose a new municipal duty, viz., 
to give the authority and impose the duty of furnishing a sufficient supply of water. •' We 
recommend that as soon as pipes are laid down, and a supply of water can be afforded to the 
inhabitants, all dwelling-houses capable of benefiting by the supply, be rated in the same way as 
for sewers, and other local purposes ; and the owners of small tenements be made liable to pay 
the rates for water, as we have already recommended in respect to drainage." 

I would here remark, that if these recommendations be embodied in a law, the local author- 
ities must obtain a supply of water, and every house must take and pay for it. Sewerage, pav- 
ing, cleansing, and a supply of water, are all put ujjon exactly the same footing, and the 
expense is to be paid for in the same way. That way is recommended to be (as now is gener- 
ally the habit in England,) to assess the expense upon the abutting estates ; but in Boston this is 
in the main done by a general tax. And were it now the habit in the leading cities of England 
to pay for paving and sewerage by a general tax, there is no reason to doubt that this commis- 
sion would have recommended that water should have been paid for in the same way ; — as I 
feel desirous that it should be in Boston. The commissioners come as near to the plan which I 
prefer, as the municipal habits of London do to those of Boston. 

Now as to quantity. The commissioners say " in estimating the quantity of water for do- 
mestic supply, we think that in all cases where an ample supply can be procured, it ought not to 
be calculated at a less rate than 12 gallons (15 wine gallons) pei diem for each individual of 
the population." This language amounts to an opinion, that this quantity would be " an 
ample" supply. "The quantity required for public purposes will vary according to the situa- 
tions, and other peculiarities of towns." 

Now if we allow an addition of one third for public and manufacturing purposes, we shall 
probably allow more than is necessary ; lor in Preston, where only half the population take the 
water for domestic use, and where more in proportion is consumed for public and manufac- 
turing purposes than anywhere else that I know of, that proportion is only about one third, 
and of course would be considerably less, if the whole population took the water. So that as 
nearly as we have ground to go upon, 20 wine gallons per head per day would be an ample sup- 
ply for all purposes in the opinion of the commissioners. 

Of course I feel much gratified to find the views I have expressed on these important points 
so fully sustained and corroborated by an authority of so very weighty a character. 

Having on several occasions heard an expression of apprehension, that 
great difficulty and expense would attend the removal of the privies attached 
to the manufacturing establishments on Charles River, if the city of Boston 
should decide to take water from that source ; — 

We, the undersigned, interested in manufacturing establishments on that 
river, take occasion to state our full conviction, that said apprehension is 
entirely groundless. Should it become important to preserve the water 
pure for the use of the city after it has passed the mills, we are of the opin- 
ion, that the proprietors of the mills generally would not only abstain from 
pressing for unreasonable damages, but would, with great good will and 
promptness, endeavor to facilitate the object of the city, by removing their 
privies, or giving their contents a different direction, foj- the most moderate 
and reasonable compensation. The fact unquestionably is, that the contents 
of these establishments are quite too valuable to the farmer, to be allowed 
to pass into the river ; and the mere expense of removing and refitting the 
building would be, we think, in most cases, all the compensation asked or 
expected. Having lived many years on the banks of this river, and being 
familiar with the character of the water, using it often for domestic pur- 
poses, we take the occasion to state that we regard it of the best quality ; 
and for ourselves would prefer it to any pond water we are acquainted with 
in the vicinity. 












EBEN HOBBS, Jr. Agt. B. M. Co. 


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