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City Document. — No. 24, 




AUGUS T 26, 1844, 





18 44. 


No. 18 State Street. 


Hon. Martin Brimmer, 

Mayor of the City of Boston. 


The undersigned. Commissioners appointed under the 
order of the City Council of August 26, " to report the 
best mode and the expense of bringing the water of Long 
Pond into the City," having performed the duty assigned 
to them under their appointment, have the honor here- 
with to communicate to you their report. 

Very respectfully, your ob't serv'ts, 


NATHAN HALE, \ Commissioners. 



The Commissioners appointed under an order of 
the City Council, to " report the best mode, and 
the expense of bringing the water of Long Pond 
into the City," respectfully submit the following 


In determining the best mode of bringing the 
water from the proposed source to the City, it seemed 
to the Commissioners necessary to consider the pur- 
poses for which it is to be used, and the amount of 
regular supply required to serve those purposes. 
Presuming it to be the desire of the City Council 
that the water proposed to be introduced into the 
City, shall be sufficient to afford an ample supply to 
all the inhabitants, as well for domestic purposes, as 
for the protection of the City against fire and for 
cleansing the streets, and also for various economical 
and manufacturing uses, — particularly the feeding of 
steam engines, — it seemed necessary to base their 
calculations on some assumed amount of population 
to be supplied. It is presumed that since the sub- 
ject was last under the consideration of Commission- 
ers for a similar investigation, the population of the 
City has increased in a ratio of not less than 25 per 
cent., and that the present number of inhabitants is 

near 110,000. It maybe assumed therefore, that 
by the time the proposed introduction of water into 
the City can bo accomphshed, the population will 
not be far from 125,000. Presuming also that it 
will not be the intention of the City Council, to limit 
the supply of water to the wants of the existing pop- 
ulation, and taking into view the very great and un- 
interrupted increase of the City, not only within the 
period of seven years already referred to, but for the 
last fifty years, in which last period the number of 
inhabitants has more than twice doubled, it has been 
deemed reasonable to assume, as the basis of our 
computation of the amount of daily supply, such a 
quantity as will be sufficient for all the public, domes- 
tic and manufacturing uses of 250,000 inhabitants ; 
or for double the population the City may be expect- 
ed to contain, at the date of the completion of the 
proposed works. 

The next question for consideration is, what meas- 
ure of supply shall be assumed, as sufficient to meet 
all the wants of this number of inhabitants. On this 
point your Commissioners conceive it will be satis- 
factory, to adopt the conclusion which was arrived at, 
after a careful inquiry into the rate of supply which 
had been deemed sufficient in a large number of 
other cities, by the Commissioners who were appoint- 
ed under an order of the City Council in 1837. 
They refer in their report, to the water works of the 
City of Philadelphia, as those which afforded as lib- 
eral a supply of water, as those of any city within 
their knowledge, and they state that the quantity, as 
appeared from the official report of the preceding 
year, amounted to an average of 2o3< wine gallons, to 
each inhabitant within the limits of the distribution. 

The Commissioners are the more disposed to adopt 
this ratio, as the measure of the proposed supply, 
because as far as their knowledge extends, it has 
been generally regarded as fully sufficient. At this 
ratio, the supply of 250,000 inhabitants will require 
7,125,000 gallons of water per day. This is equal 
to 950,000 cubic feet, or very nearly a regular flow 
of eleven cubic feet a second, through every hour of 
the day. 

The next point of inquiry which has engaged the 
attention of the Commissioners, was to determine 
whether the water of Long Pond is sufficient, to 
affiDrd a constant supply to this amount. As the 
order of the City Council, which defines the duty 
of the Commissioners, demands only a report of the 
best mode of bringing the water of Long Pond to 
the City, without reference to the quantity, it might 
at first view appear that the foregoing computations 
as to the quantity required, are irrelevant to the ob- 
jects of our commission. In our opinion, however, 
a definite conception of the quantity required to be 
regularly supplied, for meeting the purposes in view, 
constitutes an important element, in the calculations 
for determining the best mode of bringing the water 
to the City. For the same reason, it is important to 
determine the extent of the permanent supply of 
water, which the pond is capable of affording ; that 
the works may be adapted to the purpose of bring- 
ing it to the City, without being of greater magni- 
tude, and consequently more expensive than is neces- 

This involves an inquiry of great difficulty, arising 
from the embarrassments to the exact measurement 
of the flow of the water, while it is subject to the 

uses of the proprietors of the mills at the outlet, and 
more especially from the great variableness of the 
flow, in different parts of every season, and also the 
great inequality between one season and another. 
The Commissioners have given as much attention to 
this inquiry, with the aid of a careful engineer, as 
the period which has elapsed since their appoint- 
ment would allow, and they have also availed them- 
selves of the observations and calculations, which 
were made by the Commissioners whose report is 
above referred to. The unusual drought of the past 
season, arising from the small quantity of rain which 
fell during a period of two or three months, was fa- 
vorable for determining what may be regarded as 
the minimum flow of water in any ordinary season. 
It may perhaps be proper to regard it as a season of 
extraordinary drought, not likely to be often sur- 
passed, though it would be unsafe to assume that 
even severer droughts may not occur hereafter. 

It is perhaps superfluous to remark, that all natural 
streams of water vary greatly in the amount of their 
discharge, according to the contingency of a dry or 
wet season, — the condensation of vapor and the 
fall of rain and snow, being the ultimate source of 
supply to them all. In our climate, as the summer 
and autumn months are usually comparatively dry, 
and as a greater amount of water during the heat of 
summer escapes by evaporation, the running streams 
are in general comparatively low in the autumn, and 
a uniform flow of water through the year can be 
preserved only by retaining, by artificial means, the 
supply afforded in the more rainy parts of the year. 
The minor streams and ponds, which serve as feed- 
ers to the rivers, are themselves fed in part from 

springs proceeding from a greater or less depth in 
the earth ; but even these depend for their supply 
upon the rain, and gradually diminish, during the 
continuance of every dry season — some of them, 
hov^^ever, being far more sensibly affected by changes 
of the weather than others. Happily for those who 
reside under our cUmate, the rain is never so long 
withheld, that any of the considerable streams are 
entirely dried up, though there is no one which is 
not subject to great fluctuation, from the alternations 
of wet and dry seasons. 

Long Pond is of course not exempt from the effects 
of these alternations, though it is not subject to them 
in any unusual degree. In the winter and spring, it 
receives very large accumulation of water from the 
snow and rain, which never fail to fall at those pe- 
riods of the year, in greater or less abundance, and 
from the small streams and springs which are fed 
from those sources. It is thus raised, without the 
aid of any artificial dam, to a considerable height 
above the level of the outlet. The stream, which at 
these periods flows from the pond, is consequently 
large, compared with its dimensions after a period of 
comparatively dry weather in summer. This stream, 
between its outlet and Concord river, is occupied by 
two mills, a woolen and carpet factory, belonging to 
Mr. WilUam H. Knight. For the supply of these 
mills, the water has been usually retained to a certain 
height, during a part of the summer, by a dam at the 
outlet ; but in every spring, a large surplus is sup- 
posed to escape. This dam has been recently in- 
creased in height by Mr. Knight, and it is his inten- 
tion hereafter, as he has informed the Commissioners, 
to retain the water in the spring, at a height of five 


and a half feet above the outlet, — having acquired a 
right to do so, by a purchase of a tract of meadow land, 
which will be necessarily flooded by the operation. 

This description is necessary, for presenting a dis- 
tinct idea of the productiveness and capacity of this 
pond. The pond is estimated to cover a surface of 
600 acres, but its extent has not been accurately as- 
certained by any survey, known to the Commission- 
ers. When raised to a height of five and a half feet, 
it will cover a still larger surface. The water thus 
accumulated will serve to afford, under suitable reg- 
ulations, a discharge for several successive months, far 
larger than it would afford, in its natural state, during 
the dry portion of the year. The pond was drawn 
down in part, at an early period of the last spring, 
to avoid the damasje which would have been occa- 
sioned to the adjoining meadow, which had not then 
been purchased by the proprietor of the mills. In 
consequence, before the end of summer, all the water 
which had been accumulated by artificial means was 
exhausted, so that the discharge from the pond had 
been reduced, before the first visit of the Commis- 
sioners to it, on the 30th of August last, to what 
may be denominated its natural summer discharge. 
There had been then a very little rain for several 
successive weeks, and the stream, in common with 
all the neighboring water-courses, was low. The dry 
weather continued, with the exception of light rains, 
for several succeeding weeks, in which period the sup- 
ply of the pond was reduced nearly as low as at any 
period of which any information has been obtained. 
During this period, a measurement was made under 
the direction of the Commissioners, of the period- 
ical discharge from the pond. For this measurement, 

Mr. Knight afforded every facility, by consenting to 
the interruption of the mills, so far as was necessary 
for adjusting the apparatus. These measurements 
exhibited a discharge, during the thirteen days end- 
ing September 24th, equal to an average of 5.1 feet 
a second, during the day and night, although the 
works were kept running only during the day. But 
during the last thirteen days of this period, the sur- 
face of the pond was gradually reduced about 0.01 
foot per day, or \H inches in the the thirteen days, 
which is equal to a draft of 3.2 feet a second. This 
shows that during the period mentioned, the quantity of 
water running into the pond from streams or springs, 
amounted to no more than 1 .9 feet per second, be- 
yond the quantity lost by absorption and evapora- 
tion. But by carrying this calculation back to the 
commencement of the observations on the 30th of 
August, we find that the discharge was equal to 5K 
feet a second, without any depression of the surface 
of the pond, between that date and the 12th of Sep- 
tember. By carrying it forward a day and a half, to 
the 26th, we find that the pond recovered, in conse- 
quence of a rain of twenty-four hours, the full quan- 
tity of water which it had lost in the preceding thir- 
teen days. The result, therefore, of the measure- 
ments, which have been made the present season, is 
that the minimum produce of the pond, independent 
of what is obtained by reducing the quantity accu- 
mulated in it during a period of thirteen days, was 
1.9 feet a second, but with the exception of those 
thirteen days, the average of any equal or longer 
period exceeded five feet a second. The supply since 
the 15th of October, and it is presumed through the 


other parts of the year, has been much larger than 
this last amount. 

Observations were made under the direction of 
the Commissioners appointed in 1837, by which it 
appeared that in the autumn of that year, which was 
a remarkably dry season, the discharge of the pond, 
in the last five days of September, averaged only 
1.83 feet per second; and the average of the months 
of August, September and October, was 4.93 feet. 
The produce of the pond in these three months, after 
deducting from the amount of discharge the quantity 
obtained by reduction of the pond, was equal to an 
average of 3.71 per second, and for four months 
5.62 per second. 

The above computations of the natural discharge 
of the pond, during a season of drought, or during a 
a long continued absence of rain, are not to be con- 
sidered as affording a measure of the constant sup- 
ply, which the pond is capable of affording. The 
accumulation of water, in those seasons of the year 
which never fail to afford an adequate supply, is a 
much surer source on which to rely, than the imme- 
diate produce of springs and rivulets, the amount of 
which will always fluctuate with the changes of the 
weather. According to the observations above re- 
ferred to, the discharge of the pond from July 27, 
1837, to July 27, 1838, including the dry season of 
the former year, was estimated to be equal to an 
average of 15.36 feet a second ; and from Novem- 
ber 1 837, to November 1 838, embracing a part of the 
same year, with a portion of the succeeding year, in 
which there was more rain, the discharge amounted 
to an average of 21.82 feet a second. These esti- 
mates of the discharge from the pond, within the 


two periods here mentioned, taken in connexion 
with such other information as it has been practica- 
ble to obtain, relative to the flow of the stream for 
some years past, and to the mill power at the out- 
let, seem to justify the inference, that the amount of 
that flow will, every year, equal an average of at 
least twelve feet a second, for the whole year. It 
remains to be shown, how the surplus of one por- 
tion of the year can be made to supply the deficien- 
cy of another, so far as to secure a regular discharge 
equal to twelve feet a second, through every part of 
the year, — or a certain supply of eleven feet, after a 
liberal allowance for leakage and waste. 

The pond, as has been observed, forms a natural 
reservoir, covering an estimated surface of 600 
acres. It is possible that it may fall short of this 
estimate, but if we add to it Shakum and Dug Ponds 
which communicate with it, and which may be held 
in reserve if necessary, there is no doubt that the 
three embrace an area of more than 600 acres. 

The Commissioners propose, in the mode of con- 
structing an aqueduct which they recommend, for 
conducting the water to the City, that it shall be so 
placed, that when filled to a suflScient height, to af- 
ford a supply of eleven feet a second at Corey's Hill, 
the surface of water in it shall be seven inches above 
the present flume at the outlet, and 3 feet and 10 in- 
ches above the bottom of the aqueduct. The pres- 
ent dam, as has been stated, was designed to raise 
the water to a height of five and a half feet, or four 
feet and eleven inches above the proposed water 
line in the aqueduct ; and the proprietor of the wa- 
ter has acquired the right to flow all, or nearly all, 
the land, below this level. There appears to be no 


room to doubt, from the facts above stated, that wa- 
ter enough will flow into the pond every winter and 
spring, to fill it to this height, if it should be neces- 
sary, and that if the dam should be closed to this 
height, a considerable surplus will flow over it, dur- 
ing a portion of every year. There will thus be 
held in reserve, with a dam of this elevation, 128,- 
602,000 cubic feet of water, to be drawn upon at 
pleasure during the dry months of the year, or those 
in which the flow into the pond may be less than the 
required draft upon it. This quantity will be suflicient 
to sustain a continued draft of 12 feet a second for a 
period of 1 24 days, or seven feet a second for 2 1 2 days. 

It has been seen that the produce of the pond, in- 
dependently of any draft upon its accumulated re- 
sources, during the past summer, was estimated to 
exceed 5 feet a second, with the exception of a short 
period, and that in 1837, which was also a dry sea- 
son, the produce was computed to be equal to an 
average of 5.62 feet during the four dry months. 
These facts afford the principal data for calculating 
the quantity of water which must be held in reserve 
for ensuring a continued supply, and the height to 
which the dam must probably be raised for the pur- 
pose. Further observations will be necessary for de- 
termining the most suitable limit to the height of this 
reservoir. A very large reserve may be obtained by 
a foot or two less of depth than that assumed above. 
If raised to a height of 3^ feet only, the quantity 
accumulated will be 91,476,000 cubic feet. This 
is adequate to sustaining a draft of 12 feet a second 
for 88 days, or to making up a deficiency of 7 feet 
a second, for 161 days. 

Upon the evidence of these facts and computa- 



tions, the Commissioners are of opinion that al- 
though the supply of water, running into the pond 
from tributary sources, is liable to be reduced, for 
short periods in seasons of extreme drought, to a flow 
of less than two cubic feet a second, it may safely be 
relied on for producing every year an average of at 
least 12 feet; and also for retaining, by means of a 
dam and gates at the outlet, such a quantity of wa- 
ter, as will ensure a regular supply equal to that 
amount, through the whole year. Whether it will be 
necessary for this object, to retain the water to the 
maximum height to which the present proprietor of the 
water proposes to raise it for the supply of his mills, 
or whether the object may be attained by means of 
a dam of considerable less height, is a question 
which may be safely left, to be determined hereafter, 
especially as the maximum quantity of water cannot 
be required for a number of years to come. 

The raising of the pond to the greatest height above 
proposed, would probably have little injurious effect 
upon the banks, or upon the adjoining lands, with 
the exception of the tract of meadow already men- 
tioned. It is surrounded, for the most part, with a 
gravelly beach, entirely free from all vegetable sub- 
stances. In some small part, bordering upon streams 
flowing into it, there are collections of mud, which 
if it be found necessary for preserving the purity of 
the water, may be removed. Should it be found 
necessary permanently to flow the meadow, it would 
be a question for future consideration whether it 
would be expedient to remove the peat, of which 
it is formed. Whatever may be the height to which 
it may be found expedient to raise the surface 
of the pond, there can be no difficulty in surround- 


ing it with a well defined margin, by excavating the 
parts imperfectly flowed, so that the part covered 
with water shall be permanently covered, and vege- 
tation prevented. The injurious effects upon the wa- 
ter, from the decay of vegetable matter, in conse- 
quence of the flowing of an increased surface, would 
be but temporary, and all inconveniences from this 
source, may be obviated by raising the pond at once, 
in anticipation of the period of the completion of the 

Having from the foregoing considerations adopt- 
ed the conclusion, that on a liberal estimate of the 
probable wants of the City, a supply of water of not 
less than 7,000,000 gallons per day ought to be pro- 
vided, and that Long Pond may be safely relied up- 
on to produce a constant supply to this extent, with 
as great a degree of certainty as calculations of this 
nature will admit of, it remains next to consider the 
best mode of introducing this water into the City, 
and of placing it at such an elevation, that it may be 
advantageously distributed throughout all parts of 
the City, for the purposes for which it is designed. 

Before determining upon the character and di- 
mensions of the work which should be recommended 
for this object, two of the Commissioners visited 
New York for the purpose of examining the recently 
erected Croton Water Works, for the supply of that 
City. By the kind attention and assistance of Hon. 
James Harper, the Mayor of the City, and of James 
A. Coffin, Esq., President of the Board of Water 
Commissioners, and also of Horatio Allen, Peter 
Hastie, and E. French, Esqrs., Engineers, the two 
latter resident Engineers at the City, and at Sing 
Sing, they were aftbrded the fullest opportunity for 
examining every part of this magnificent work, which 


the time they could devote to the inquiry admitted ; 
and all their inquiries in regard to the principles of 
the work, the method of conducting it, the choice of 
materials, and the cost of the various parts of it, were 
freely and most satisfactorily answered. The result 
of their examination, while it has deeply impressed 
them with the skill with which that work has been 
conducted, and particularly with its strength and ap- 
parent durability, has satisfied them that the leading 
principles on which it is constructed are well adapt- 
ed to the object proposed here. The Croton Water 
Works are of much greater magnitude, and had 
much greater obstacles to encounter, than those 
which are proposed for the use of this City. They 
are adequate to the supply of a million and a half of 
inhabitants ; — the aqueduct is of more than double 
the length of that proposed by us, — and it traverses a 
very uneven and rocky country, in which frequent 
tunnelling through extensive ledges of rock and high 
embankments were necessary. For retaining the 
water of Croton river, and forming a reservoir five 
miles in length, covering an area of 400 acres, a 
part of which is 55 feet deep, a dam was required to 
be erected, of 40 feet in height above low water in 
the river : an aqueduct bridge has been built over 
the Sing Sing Kill, more than 70 feet in height, and 
supported by an arch of hydraulic stone masonry, of 
88 feet span ; a much larger bridge yet unfinished, 
but rapidly advancing, is to be erected over Harlem 
river, 1450 feet in length, on 8 arches of 100 feet in 
height, and 80 feet span, and 6 arches of 50 feet 
span, — the top of the parapets to be 114 feet above 
the ordinary high water line of the river, and 149 
feet above the lowest foundation of the piers. There 


are also two very capacious reservoirs in the City, of 
the most thorough construction, one of a capacity of 
20,000,000 of imperial gallons, and the other of 
150,000,000. All these works are of massive ma- 
sonry, of superior workmanship, exhibiting great ar- 
chitectural skill, and consequently of great cost. 
The water is conveyed from the Croton dam to 
Harlem river, through an uninterrupted conduit of 
hydraulic brick and stone masonry, 7 feet 5 inches 
in width, and 8 feet 5^4 inches in its greatest height. 
The aqueduct is laid on a bed of concrete, formed of 
hydrauhc cement, sand and broken stone ; it is lined 
throughout with brick laid in cement, the covering 
consists of an arch of the same materials, and the 
sides are supported by walls of stone masonry laid 
in cement. 

The works proposed, for bringing the water of 
Lond Pond to this City, will require no construc- 
tion bearing any comparison for magnitude or cost, 
with those above enumerated. The Commissioners 
recommend the construction of an aqueduct, from 
Long Pond to a reservoir, of sufficient capacity to 
contain a day's supply, to be formed on Corey's Hill 
in Brookline, — a distance of about sixteen miles. 
They propose that the aqueduct shall be of brick, 
laid in hydraulic cement, of an oval form, five feet 
in width, and six feet four inches in height, in the 
interior, and broader in the lower section than in the 
upper. They recommend this form of the structure, 
as well adapted to give it strength, and these dimen- 
sions, as sufficient to affi)rd sufficient capacity, and 
also to admit of its being easily entered for the pur- 
pose of examination and repair, should it become 
necessary. They propose that the brick work shall 


be eight inches in thickness, and that the whole 
structure shall be covered with an embankment of 
earth, four feet in depth, in every part. They pro- 
pose that the conduit shall be laid with an incli- 
nation from a level, of three inches in a mile, — 
which inchnation is computed to be sufficient, to 
admit of the flow of the proposed supply of water, 
viz. 1 1 feet a second, by filling the aqueduct to a 
depth of three feet and ten inches ; leaving a space 
of two and a half feet in height empty. 

The dimensions thus proposed are considerably 
larger than those of the aqueduct recommended by 
the Commissioners of 1837. The reasons for recom- 
mending a work of these greater dimensions are, 
that the calculations are based on the supply of a 
greater number of inhabitants than those of 1837 ; — 
it has been deemed an important object to form a 
structure of greater height, to admit of its being 
more readily entered for the purpose of examination ; 
and it was deemed also desirable to deliver the water 
at as great an elevation as is practicable, at the res- 
ervoir on Corey's Hill, for the purpose of obtaining 
the power of a more satisfactory distribution in all 
parts of the City. This increase of the dimensions 
of the work adds something to the estimate of the 
cost, but the advantages gained by it are believed to 
be sufficient, to justify the increase of cost. 

A line has been surveyed between the termini 
above described, on which it is ascertained that 
there is no formidable obstacle to the construction 
of the work. There will be several places of deep 
cutting, none however exceeding 36 feet in depth, 
and several large embankments will be required for 
sustaining the level. The heavy excavations will be 


mostly through earth, consisting apparently in great 
part of sand or gravel, of easy excavation, and there 
are no indications of rock to any great extent on the 
line. No measures however have been taken to as- 
certain, by any examinations under ground, the 
character of the excavations. There are two val- 
leys to be crossed, which are too low to admit of the 
Hne of the aqueduct being sustained over them, 
without incurring an excessive cost. One of these 
is at the crossing of Charles River near Newton 
Lower Falls, and the other is near Lime Grove, be- 
yond Brighton Village. It is proposed to suspend 
the brick aqueduct at the crossing of these valleys, 
and to convey the water across them by means of a 
double line of iron pipes, each of 30 inches diame- 
ter, to be laid near the natural surface of the earth, 
and to be covered with earth to a depth of four feet. 
The length of the two proposed sections of pipes is 
2,470 feet, and it is computed that in consequence 
of the diminished area of the section of water pass- 
ing through the pipes, compared with that in the 
brick aqueduct, there will be a loss of level, at the 
two valleys, amounting to about fifteen inches. 

It is proposed that the water shall be taken from 
the pond at a height, after it is introduced into the 
aqueduct, of 124.86 feet above the marsh level; and 
allowing about four feet for the inclination of the 
aqueduct, and 15 inches for fall at the two valleys 
crossed by iron pipes, that the surface of water at 
the reservoir on Cory's Hill, when it is filled to its 
usual height, shall be 119.61 feet. Corey's Hill is 
the nearest point of land to the City, which can be 
approached by such an aqueduct, as that above de- 
scribed, and which is of sufficient elevation for the 


site of a reservoir. It is at a distance of about four 
miles from the State House. From that reservoir, 
the water must be conveyed to the City, and dis- 
tributed, by means of iron pipes. 

To effect a more satisfactory distribution, and to 
insure an unfeiUng supply of water for all emergen- 
cies, it is recommended that there shall be three or 
four reservoirs of moderate dimensions ; one to be 
situated on Beacon Hill,— -another on Fort Hill, — 
the third on Dorchester Heights in South Boston, — 
and a fourth on Copp's Hill in the North part of the 
City, if a suitable site can be obtained for the purpose. 
These reservoirs may perhaps be dispensed with, by 
adopting pipes of larger dimensions for the introduc- 
tion of the water from Corey's Hill ; but it is believ- 
ed that the object of maintaining an uninterrupted 
delivery of the water, at a high level, will be most 
effectually and most economically attained, by their 

It is computed that for the distribution of the pro- 
posed quantity, of seven millions of gallons per day, 
it will be necessary to lay two iron pipes, of 30 inches 
diameter, each, from Corey's Hill to a part of Tre- 
mont Street near the Roxbury boundary ; — that a 
branch from on€ of them, of perhaps 12 inches diam- 
eter, shall be carried from this point, in the most 
direct and eligible course, to Dorchester Heights, 
for the supply of South Boston • that one of them 
shall be continued through Tremont Street to 
Boylston Street; that branches shall be carried 
thence to the reservoirs on Beacon Hill, Fort Hill, 
and Copp's Hill ; — and that such other branches 
shall be laid, for the conveyance of water to all parts 
of the City, as shall be found, on a careful study of 


the best system of distribution, to be necessary. It 
is proposed that the water should be dchvcred at the 
reservoir on Beacon Hill, at the height of 111.61 
above the marsh level ; 4.68 feet above the level of 
the State House floor; and 60 feet above the foot 
of the columns, in the Piazza in front of Tremont 
House. The proposed level of the reservoir will be 
19.81 feet above the level of the sidewalk, at the 
corner of Mount Vernon and Temple Streets, and 
34.62 feet above the summit of Somerset Street, op- 
posite to Somerset Court. 

The most extensive and costly works of stone ma- 
sonry, which are proposed in this plan of construc- 
tion, are the Beacon Hill reservoir, — an arched pas- 
sage way, for carrying the aqueduct over a public 
highway in Brighton, — and a structure with two 
arches for carrying the iron pipes, with a proper 
covering of earth for their protection from frost, 
across the Charles River. 

This is the general outline of the plan of a work, 
which the Commissioners recommend as, in their 
opinion, best adapted for bringing the water of the 
pond into the City, — and on which they have made 
an estimate of cost, exhibited in a tabular statement, 
which is presented as a part of this report. This 
estimate including an allowance for contingencies, 
amounts to ^2,1 18,535 83. 

The largest item of the estimate consists of the 
sum of ^440,155 for the cost of the proposed brick 
structure, from the pond to Corey's Hill, which they 
have computed at the rate o( $\6 for each thousand 
of brick, laid in hydrauhc cement. It is well known 
that the price of bricks, in this market, is extremely 
variable, according to the extent of the demand ; and 


that the wages of mechanics and laborers are subject 
to material changes, from year to year, from causes 
which cannot be foreseen. It is therefore impossible 
to estimate with any degree of certainty, what a 
work of this description will cost, in any future year. 
It is believed, however, that in the estimate here 
given, a sufficient allowance has been made for the 
different items, to cover the cost of the work, in any 
probable state of prices ; or at least that the proba- 
bility that the work may be done at a less cost than 
this, is greater, than that it will cost more. 

Another item of nearly equal magnitude consists 
of the cost of iron pipe, for conducting the water 
across the two vallies, and from the reservoir on 
Corey's Hill to the reservoir in the City, amounting 
to $366,501. This is estimated at the rate of 2J4 
cents a pound. A similar remark, to that made 
above, may be applied to the cost of this article. 
The price of pig iron has varied in England during 
the last year, from 375. 6d. to SOs. per ton, and in 
this country from 20 to 35 dollars. It is therefore 
very difficult to foresee at what price any manufac- 
ture of iron may be obtained, at a future day. The 
rate of our estimate is higher than it would be neces- 
sary to pay, if the pipes were to be contracted for at 
the present time. The lead to be used for the joints 
is estimated at 4 cents a pound, a price higher than 
the average value of the article for two or three 
years past. 

The quantity of excavation, and embankment, is 
computed upon the hue of the survey of 1837, with- 
out any allowance for a probable improvement of it, 
by further examination. In the absence of any 
satisfactory evidence as to the character of the earth 


to be removed, in the deep cuts, the whole excava- 
tion and embankment, including tlie embankment for 
covering the brick aqueduct, except where it is cov'- 
ered by replacing the excavated earth, is estimated 
at the price of 17 cents per cubic yard. The tilling 
of tlie cuttings, by replacing the excavated earth, is 
estimated at 10 cenrs per yard. 

In the computation for the cost of distributing the 
water in the City, the Commissioners instead of 
attemptinii a detailed estimate, founded on a digested 
plan of distrilninon. and embracin:: a measurement 
of tlie streets, and the assignment of tlie particular 
size and extent of pipes in each, have taken the esti- 
mate which was made for this object, by the Com- 
missioners of 1837. without any deduction from this 
part of it, tor the reduced cost of iron and lead, since 
that date. — and have added to the amount, an increase 
of "2-3 per cent, for the increased population now to 
be supplied. This result it vras thought would serve 
as an approximate estimate, sutnciently accurate tor 
the purpose now in view, and nearly as correct as 
could be made at the present time. If it is errone- 
ous, it is presumed that it errs on the sate side, by 
allowing too large rather than too small a sum. 

The amonnt allowed, for the cost of a reserroir on 
Beacon Hill, can hardly be called an estimate, as it 
was impossible to assume for tlie basis of it. any defi- 
nite dimensions, or form of construction, without 
knowing what suitable site cou Vtaiued for the 

purpose. The sum given in the table, embraces the 
amount of the estimate made by the Commissioners 
of 1837. for a reservoir wliich should hold 750.000 
gallons, together with an additional allowance for an 
increased cost of land. It was thought safe to assume. 


that for this cost, a lot of land suitably situated may 
be obtained, and a reservoir may be erected, of per- 
haps less lateral extent, but of greater depth, which 
will serve the purposes of the aqueduct then pro- 

The only remaining item of the estimate, of suffi- 
cient magnitude to require particular remark, is that 
which is given for the cost of water rights. The 
compensation which will be demanded for the di- 
version of the water of Long Pond, from the uses 
to which it is now appropriated, to the important 
one of supplying the inhabitants of the City with 
water for domestic uses, presents perhaps the most 
difficult question which has yet been considered. 
Jn estimating the water rights, which will be thus 
invaded, at ^100,000, the Commissioners would not 
be understood as rating their actual value for manu- 
facturing purposes, independently of the property 
which may be injured by withdrawing the water, at 
near so high a price. 

The supply of the City with water for the domes- 
tic purposes of its inhabitants, it is presumed will be 
regarded by the Legislature of the State, as one of 
those public objects, which justify the taking of pri- 
vate property at a valuation to be determined, when 
not adjusted by agreement with the parties, in such 
manner as shall be provided by law. For property 
taken under such circumstances, the City will expect 
to pay, not only a full, but a liberal rate of compen- 
sation. Such a rate, according to the estimate which 
shall be made of the actual value of the water to its 
present owners, they will doubtless be ready to offer. 
Were the title to compensation vested in a single 
claimant, it might have been more easy to ascertain 


what price would be demanded for it. In the present 
state of ownership, of the water of Concord river, the 
estimate of the claims of the several parties, presents 
a complicated question. 

The exclusive right to the use of the water for 
manufacturing purposes, from the outlet of the pond, 
to its union with Concord river, as has been stated, 
is owned by Mr. Knight of Framingham. From 
this point the whole of the water of Concord river, 
including that of Long Pond, is held by the proprie- 
tors of the Middlesex Canal, for the purpose of feed- 
ing the canal, with the exception, however, of a 
certain reservation for the use of Billerica Mills. 
Whether that corporation has a right to use it for any 
other purpose, and in such a manner as to divert it 
from the Billerica Mills, or from the other mills on 
Concord river below Billerica, is a question which 
may be raised, but which it does not belong to the 
Commissioners to settle. The surplus of water, be- 
yond what the Middlesex Canal is competent to use 
or dispose of, belongs to the proprietors of Billerica 
Mills, and to those of three other privileges on Con- 
cord river. 

It is perhaps not important for the present purpose, 
to know whether the right of disposing of the water 
of this river, for any other use than that of supplying 
the canal, belongs to the Middlesex Canal Company or 
not, because if they are entitled to compensation for 
a diversion of the water, the other claimants are not, 
and if they are not entitled to it, the other claimants 
probably are. 

So far as the value of the water depends upon the 
actual quantity, and upon the regularity of the sup- 
ply, the explanation which has been given above, 


will serve to show in what manner, in the opinion of 
the Commissioners that quantity must be estimated ; 
and also such data for the estimate, as can be at 
present obtained. The maximum supply which, in 
their opinion, can be held in reserve by artificial 
means, for regular and permanent use, is computed 
not far to exceed the quantity already named, of 
twelve feet a second. It might probably be increased 
somewhat beyond this amount, but with more or less 
hazard of a failure, in the constancy of the supply. 
The statements above given also show, that the mini- 
mum supply, in periods of drought, without the aid of 
improvements yet to be made, and which when made, 
must be subject to the control and pleasure of the 
proprietor of the falls at the outlet, is less than two 
feet a second, and that sometimes during several 
successive months, it does not exceed five feet a 

The height through which this water falls, at the 
two mills of Mr. Knight, as measured by our Engin- 
eer, is 12.89 feet. The damage which would be 
occasioned by the taking away of a water power, 
created by a fall over such a height, of the quantity 
of water here described, is not to be estimated merely 
by the amount of power produced, independently of 
the value of existing works, of which it has become 
a necessary appendant. The buildings and machine- 
ry would be rendered comparatively useless, if de- 
prived of the water power, unless a substitute of 
some other power, were provided in its place. The 
most obvious mode of computing the value of the 
water power, in this case, would therefore be, to 
compute the amount of capital which would be re- 
quired to provide an equivalent in steam power, and 


afford a sufficient income to maintain it in perma- 
nent operation. In this mode, it is evident, a full 
equivalent for the water power could be provided, 
by the substitute of steam power. In addition how- 
ever to the loss of the water power, he would sus- 
tain an injury from the taking away of the water re- 
quired by him in a running stream, for the washing 
of wool, used in the manufacture carried on by him. 
The only mode therefore in which he could be ade- 
quately compensated for being deprived of the water 
would probably be, to pay him such a sum of money, 
as would be equivalent to the purchase of another 
water power, and the removal to it of his buildings 
and machinery, or perhaps the erection of new build- 
ings with a proper allowance for the value of the old 
for other uses. 

The proper estimate of the damage to the Canal 
Company, must depend upon the question whether 
the water is likely to be actually wanted for the pur- 
pose of sustaining the navigation of the canal. If it 
is not wanted for this purpose, it is not apparent in 
what way the company would sustain an injury, un- 
less they have a right to appropriate it to other uses. 
If it is wanted by them for the purpose of feeding 
the canal, the most suitable mode of estimating the 
damage would probably be, to ascertain the cost of 
providing a substitute, for such quantity of water as 
the canal would be deprived of, during the seasons 
in which they would suffer from a deficiency, by an 
equal quantity to be held in reserve for that use, in 
an artificial reservoir, to be formed in the vicinity of 
Concord river, or on some of its tributary streams. 
Such a supply it is believed might be provided for, 
at a moderate cost. 


Should it be decided that the Canal Company has 
an unlimited right to dispose of the water of Con- 
cord river, including that of Long Pond, for manu- . 
facturing purposes, or should it be abandoned by 
them, and in consequence become the property of 
the owners of the mill privileges, from the canal to 
the mouth of Concord river, there seems to be but 
one rule by which to estimate the proper value of 
the power which can accrue from it, at the several 
falls over which it flows. The height of the several 
falls is ascertained to be 11.11 feet at the BilL.ica 
Mills; 25.31 at Whipple's Mills; 8.39 at the Massa- 
soit Mills, and II. 21 at the Middlesex Mills. 

By a rule which has been adopted by the proprie- 
tors of the Locks and Canals at Lowell, for comput- 
ing the amount of mill power, 25 feet of water per 
second, on a fall of 30 feet, is assumed to be a 
mill power ; and if the fall be less than 30 feet, the 
quantity of water to be increased in proportion to 
the diminution of fall ; one foot in height to be de- 
ducted in all cases for loss of head, and not to be 
included in the computation of the proportion. The 
highest price at which such a mill power has been 
sold at Lowell, is ^^ 14,336, and this is regarded as a 
high price for water power. If then a water power, 
measured at 25 feet a second falling 36 feet, is worth 
;^ 14,336, what is the value of a power arising from 
12 feet of water a second, upon falls of 11, 25, 8, 
and 1 1 feet respectively ? It is not intended to in- 
timate, that these mathematical proportions will in- 
dicate the exact value of the water in question, to 
these mill privileges, but they show the principle by 
which the amount of power may be computed, and 
its value estimated, for the purpose of comparison 


with the estimate, which has been put on proportion- 
ate amounts of water power, in other situations. 

The computations and estimates, in this report, 
are based chiefly on the surveys which were made, 
under direction of the Commissioners of 1837. 
Some additional surveys have been made for obtain- 
ing such further information as was deemed neces- 
sary, particularly a revision of the level of the whole 
line, and the determination of certain other levels. 
For the purpose of indicating the route recommended 
in this report, and of explaining the form and dimen- 
sions of the proposed aqueduct, the Commissioners 
refer to the engraved plan which accompanied the 
report of 1 837, impressions of which have been pre- 
pared, with some alterations, and with the addition of 
a section of the proposed aqueduct. The profile, 
exhibited on this plan does not correspond exactly 
with that of the work recommended, but it may aid 
in rendering the description given in this report more 

Which is respectfully submitted. 

P. T. JACKSON, j) 

NATHAN HALE, > Commissioners. 


Boston, November 9, 1844. 


Of the cost of an Aqueduct for conveying the water 
of Long Pond, lying in the towns of Framingham, 
Natick and Wayland, to Boston, and for distributing 
the same through the City, by a Conduit of brick 
masonry, of an oval shape, 5 by 6.33 feet diame- 
ter, and by iron pipes, with necessary Reservoirs, 
&c. &c. 

1844. ^°"'- ^^'• 

Nov. Guard Gates, Building, &c. at Long 

Pond, 6,000 00 

Brick Conduit from Long Pond to Co- 
rey's Hill, in Brookline, 84,423 f.=:15 
miles 5228 feet, or 15.9893 miles, in- 
cluding 1624 feet along side of Reser- 
voir, and excluding two pipe sections 
of 2470 feet; say 16 miles. 

1,719,358 bricks to a mile, laid in hydrau- 
lic cement, 8 inches thick. 1,719,358 
by 16 miles=27,509,728a $16perm= 440,155 65 

For forming bottom for laying brick and 

for puddling where necessary, say 10,000 00 

Two Pipes, each for Charles River and 
Brighton valleys, both equal to 2692 f. 
including slopes and laps, and being 
double lines=5384 feet. Pipes 30 
inches diameter . . . . 51,862 22 

Excavation and embankment from Long 
Pond to Reservoir on Corey's Hill, in- 
cluding earth and rock excavations 
and back-filling over brick work and 
valley pipes, 180,674 00 

Bridges and culverts from Long Pond to 

Corey's Hill, 29,785 00 

Reservoir on Corey's Hill, 1624 f. long 

120 f. wide, 10 deep, - - - 30,715 00 

Amount carried forward, ... 749,191 87 


Dolls. Cts. 


Amount brought foricard, ..... 749,191 87 

Two 30 inch pipes from Reservoir on 

Corey's Hill to Tremont road, 10,810 f. 
Excavation and back-filling, 8,911 95 
Bridge across Creek, - 4,507 60 

Double line of 30 inch pipes 

laid, .... 219,435 60 

232,855 15 

One 30 inch main pipe, from Tremont 

road to Boylston street, 9614 feet, 

biidge and earth work, - - - 102,127 46 
One 20 inch pipe from Boylston street to 

Mount Vernon street, 2310 feet, 11,998 50 

One 12 inch pipe from Tremont road to 

South Boston Reservoir, say 12,000 ft. 28,701 69 

3 Waste Weirs with Ventilators, - 3,000 00 

4 Intermediate Ventilators, - - - 1,000 00 
Pipes and stop-cocks for drawing off wa- 
ter in the 2 valleys, - - - - 700 00 

Waste or discharging pipes and stop- 
cocks at Corey's Hill, - - - 500 00 

Branch pipes with gates or stop-cocks for 
letting water into and from Reservoir 
on Corey's Hill, .... 1,500 00 

Damages for land to be taken around 
Long Pond and for the line of Aqueduct 
and for Reservoir on Corey's Hill ; 
also for line of pipes to Boston and 
South Boston, 21,600 00 

Water rights, 100,000 00 503,982 80 


1,253,174 67 

Reservoir on Beacon Hill or Mount Ver- 
non, 77,339 00 

Ditto on Fort Hill, - - - - 6,224 00 
Ditto at South Boston, - - 10,000 00 

Mains and service pipes for distributing 
water through the City, per estimate 
of 1838, - - - 463,363 00 

To which, add 25 per cent. 

for increase of population, 115,841 00 579,204 00 672,767 00 

1,925,941 67 

Agents and Engineers, Clerks, Office 
Rent, and Contingencies, 10 per cent, - - 192,594 16 

$2,118,535 83 



3 9999 06428 000 9 

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