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E P O R T 


A T E K 







P O K T • 

Charlestoivn, October 1, 1834. 

By your notes of May 7 and 10 in behalf of the Committee 
of the City Council, I am requested to make an examina- 
tion, survey and report upon the subject of supplying the city 
of Boston with pure water, agreeably to a vote of the City 
Council, passed April 14th, 1834, which provides that a Com- 
mittee be appointed " with authority to cause a survey to be 
made by competent persons for the purpose of ascertaining 
whether a steady and copious supply of pure and soft water 
can be obtained, and also what will be the best mode and the 
cost of introducing such supply of water into the city, and that 
the said Committee report to the City Council the result of the 
survey as soon as completed." 

As you express a wish to have the survey so far completed 
as to enable the Committee to make a report of their proceed- 
ings to the City Council at an early period in the autumn I 
present the result of my examination and survey for your con- 
sideration. It is as complete as the time and other engage- 
ments allowed me to make it, though far from being so full 
definite, and so much in detail as the important object demands. 

By the language of your commission it appears the City 
Council have in view only one mode of furnishing the town 
with water, and that is, by bringing it in from distant and 
abundant sources, either by canals, aqueducts and pipes, or 
by aid of pumps. But on reflecting much upon the enterprise, 
many other considerations intimately connected with it arose 
in the course of investigation that must have an important in- 
fluence upon the main design which is the Health, Cleanli- 
ness, and comfort of the City. 

There are four methods by which water is usually procured 
by the citizens of populous towns. First, by collecting in 
cisterns rain water falling on the roofs of houses, &c. Second^ 

by raising it from wells made in the common way. Third, by 
boring into the earth and tapping springs below. Fourth, by 
conducting it into town from high and distant sources either 
by aqueducts, conduit pipes, or Pumps. 

This mode of procuring good, soft water is often adopted in 
Boston and is more or less practised in all towns where no 
pure water can be obtained from the earth, and in some parts 
of the world no other fresh water can be had. 

Where natural springs at the surface are not at hand this is 
the first artificial means of obtaining good water. From the 
porous nature of the upper strata of the earth this expedient 
sometimes fails and is often deceptive, even where the ground 
a little below the surface appears saturated with copious 
springs. This is because the absorbent quality of the top 
layers receive, before it can escape along the surface, most of 
the filthy water that has been used, together with other fecu- 
lent liquids, which naturally filter through and mingle with 
lower veins of water and thus pollute that of wells situated 
in such soils. 


The name of Artesian Wells, called in French, puits arte- 
siens, is derived from that of Artois an old province of France, 
now within the department of Pas-de-Calais. It was in this 
district, that the practice of boring for water was first carried 
to great extent in former times, and where the nature of the 
ground and copious springs were uncommonly favourable to 
the operation. Hence this very convenient name for such 
works has been generally adopted in Europe and particularly 
on the continent. (I.) 

Artesian wells have been made in Boston and the neighbour- 
hood within a few years, but are by no means a very recent 
discovery. " The art of boring the earth for bringing up 
pure water to the surface has been the practice of ages. 
There are many reasons for believing it the invention of miners 
who have constantly occasion to use it in their works. Very 
small and deep wells are found in the East, called Greek wells, 
which could never have been executed without the aid of 

(1 ) See notes at the end. 

machines ; and some Missionaries relate that the Chinese are 
very expert in the art of using the fbuntaineers' auger which 
they employ with success in all parts of that vast Em- 
pire." (2.) 

The first evidence of applying artesian wells to the draining 
of land, bogs, and wet ground is found in Elkington on Drain- 
ing, though it is stated in the work, that it has been practised 
in Germany. (3.) His plan is, where the bog or wet ground 
lies upon a bed or stratum of clay or other nonconducting 
material underlaid with sandy or porous strata, to bore through 
the impervious sheet, and allow the water to descend into the 
earth. In Chap. V. page 46 is found the description of his 

In the Article before quoted from Annates des Fonts et 
Chaussees two or three novel and peculiar applications of such 
wells are given. The municipal council of St. Denis, near 
Paris,wishing to procure a supply of fresh water, from the known 
success of Artesian wells in that district, made a contract with 
the Engineers, Messrs. Flachat, Vt^ho bored one near the Post 
house 203 feet deep (62 metres) which produced from that depth 
more than 9,000 cubic feet, 71.000 gallons (270,000 litres) 
in 24 hours. In such cases the same supply is generally con- 
stant, and when the hydraulic pressure forces it above the 
surface it is impossible to check its flow ; and here great mis- 
chief arose from the continual flooding of the street. 

This serious inconvenience arrested the Council for some 
time in their preparations for sinking another in Flanders 
Square. But a remedy for the evil of streets inundated by 
water of a spouting fountain issuing from a depth of 203 feet 
below the surface was promptly furnished by Mullot, a dis- 
tinguished Engineer employed in the environs of St. Denis 
who made a contract with the City " to sink again (perdre) 
in the earth the water of the well after it should be used for all 
the purposes for which it was procured." 

Mr. Mullot's very curious method adopted for the new well, 
was formed upon his experience in making Artesian wells in 
the vicinity, and upon his science of the geological nature of 
the soil and strata. The following is a translation of its de- 

" The new well was bored to the depth of 213 feet {65 
metres.) Like the first it traversed four sheets or veins of 
water. Within the well three concentric tubes were placed 

like those of a spy glass, but with this difference, that they did 
not rub against each other like those of the optical instrument, 
but were seperated from each other by a space of about 2 
inches (0,054 metres.) The water of the lowest sheet arose to 
the surface of the earth within the smallest of the three tubes ; 
that of the vein situated at the depth of 180 feet (54.90 mUres) 
was received within the space between the smallest pipe and 
the middle one ; and the third pipe enclosing the other two, 
received and discharged into the third sheet, which was not 
an ascending spring, all the water rising in the two interior 

Many important advantages may be drawn from Mr. Mul- 
let's ingenious plan and several illustrations of the cheapness 
of Artesian wells of his contrivance both in ^England and 
France are stated in the article referred to. Great facilities 
are offered by applying this method to the immediate discharge 
of foul or putrid water into the earth in the spot where it is 
received and employed, and a remarkable case is given at 
page 317 of the same number of Annales des Fonts et 

In 1818 an establishment for making Potatoe Starch was 
begun at Villetaneuse, a village a league from St. Denis, sit- 
uated in the fields, but not legally authorized before July 
1822. It was at first on a small scale, but gradually increas- 
ing yearly, it became at last a manufactory, using daily about 
20,000 gallons (80,000 litres). This water charged with 
vegetable matter and albumen, a peculiar animal substance 
and all other soluble materials of potatoes, flowed off by a 
small gutter more than a mile across the plain to Enghein 
brook and into the Seine. Sulphurated Hydrogen and other 
gases arising from Chemical action of the various matters held 
in solution, &c. was distinctly perceived along the drain or 
gutter and the brook below where the water of the starchery 
entered it, so that loud and numerous complaints arose among 
the neighbours, till at last the magistracy interposed, and 
forbid the manufacturer discharging the waste water into the 
brook or even into the gutter. 

To silence these complaints the proprietor sunk wells in his 
own ground deep enough to enter the upper stratum of sand 
saturated with the water that supplied the common wells in 
the neighbourhood. Into these new sinks he discharged all 
the waste and refuse water. In consequence of this the com- 

plaints soon became more violent than ever, as the neighbours' 
wells like his own became corrupted, till the owner almost 
despaired of continuing his manufacture ; the council of health, 
in fact, leaving him no other alternative than " sinking the 
water into some subterranean current by means of wells or 
holes made by the fountaneers' auger." In this state of 
things he consulted Mr. Mullot, who readily engaged by con- 
tract to accomplish a remedy by means of boring and to fulfil 
two important conditions ; First, " to sink or lose (perdre) the 
dirty water of the starchery ; and second, to sink it in such a 
manner as not to injure the well of the Manufacturer, nor 
those of the neighbours at a short distance from the establish- 

The sounding was driven by the auger to a depth of 210 
feet (64 mHres) in the Calcarious Chlorite, stopping a little 
above the point corresponding to the deepest sheet of the well 
in St. Denis Place. The different sheets or veins of water 
passed in boring, were perfectly isolated by cast iron pipes 
driven down with great force, that the outside should touch 
and bear hard, all the way, against the interior of the bored 
hole, so that the veins of water should have no communication 
with each other. The two conditions of the contract were 
fully complied with, to the satisfaction of the Proprietor and 
Engineer and 20,000 gallons have been daily sunk or lost 
through the well and absorbed at the lower end of the tube, 
ever since the discharge commenced. At the end of the win- 
ter of 1832 and 1833 after this singular drain had been in 
operation five months, receiving during that time all the refuse 
and feculent liquid of the starchery, some of the water, &c. 
was brought up from the bottom by a peculiar instrument used 
by miners having a valve at the lower end, and both manufac- 
turer and engineer were astonished to find nothing but sand 
and whitish water. 

Success so complete and extraordinary both as regards in- 
dustry and health, soon made evident the benefits which might 
be drawn from the use of Artesian wells. A powerful com- 
pany was immediately formed after the winter of 1832 and 
1833, to apply them to draining of a totally new character, 
that of sinking all the foul water subsiding from the manure 
pits iyoiries) of Paris, of which, there were two, one at Mont 
.Faucon and the other in the Forest of Bondy 10 miles from 
the City. 

The authors of the article in the Annales desPonts et Chaus- 
sees, No. 157, give a striking example of the force of such 
springs which rise above the ground, quoted from another 
French vi^ork. It occurred in England about 3 miles from 

" Mr. Brook of Hammersmith having bored in a garden to 
the depth of 360 feet 4| inches diameter, obtained so copious 
a jet of water, that in a few hours the whole lot of ground on 
which the house had just been erected was filled with water ; 
all the Kitchens and ground floors within an area of 300 feet 
round were filled with it also and the evil became so great that 
upon numerous complaints the magistrate was obliged to inter- 
pose, expressing fears that the houses would sink into the soil 
or have their foundations sapped. Two men attempted in vain 
to stop the pipe by driving in wooden plugs, but they were 
constantly rejected again. Another man repeated the trial, 
but all efforts were ineffectual. At last an engineer proposed 
to drive in several iron pipes with diameters successively di- 
minishing, one within the other, and in this way the impetuous 
stream was stopped, which had created most lively apprehen- 
sions and threatened serious damages." 

A favourable opportunity exists at Norfolk in Virginia for 
supplying that Borough by means of Artesian wells with an 
abundance of pure, fresh water, which the inhabitants do not 
enjoy, while nothing but bad water is taken from ordinary 
wells. The upper stratum of alluvial soil, characteristic of 
that part of the country, for the depth of 10, 12 or 14 feet in 
Norfolk, Portsmouth on the opposite side of the river, and the 
surrounding precincts, is composed of sand with some clayey 
mixture towards the surface, and in a fluid state at the under 
side. In this bed is found a quiescent source of good water 
furnishing a sufficient supply by common wells. But the soil 
is absorbent, and hence in the thickly settled parts of the 
town, the water is not good in consequence of the polluted 
water discharged on the ground and in streets sinking and 
mixing with the spring. Those, therefore, who can afford it, 
buy water throughout the year, brought from a well in the 
outskirts of the town. Many have cisterns and depend most- 
ly on collected rain water. Next below, is a compact bed of 
marl with some shells, impervious to water. This is of varia- 
ble thickness from 15 to 30 and 40 feet. The next vein under 
the marl, or the third stratum, is friable shell lime stone or 

calcaneus tufa, which resisted the auger so much that it was 
worn smooth or often broken in boring one or two feet into it. 
This bed furnishes a powerful ascending spring of purest 
water, that rises in a hole bored through the marl to within 
about eight or ten feet of the surface of the ground. 

At the Dry Dock lately built at the Navy Yard there, the 
depth of the vein of water is seventy feet below the top, at 
the foot of the Dock next the river, and about 4.5 or 50 feet 
at the head. It became necessary to drive the foundation 
piles to this bed where they stopped and afforded the only 
safe bearing for the work. 

This spring is so powerful by its ascending hydraulic pres- 
sure, that after piles 30 feet long had been driven three or four 
days, the water made its appearance on the heads of most 
of them, arising throuo'h the pores of the piles, which were 
common pitch pine, [Pinus Rigida,) and stood in thin sheets 
with the upper surface flatly convex, often breaking over the 
edge and passing down the sides. Towards the head or up- 
per end of the Dock, the marl was only 10 or 15 feet thick 
after the excavation was effected 40 feet deep. Here the 
marl was broken upwards in large flakes or sheets, and the 
spring discharged itself through the fissures. This gave re- 
gular employment to the steam engine that had been prepar- 
ed for it, and when the foundation floor of masonry had been 
raised four or five feet, it became convenient to measure ac- 
curately the amount of water furnished from this vein, when it 
was found 10,000 cubic feet, or about 75,000 gallons in 24 
hours. It rises to the height of 9 feet belovr the coping of the 
Dock, and its hydraulic effect upwards on the underside of 
the floor, between the turning gates and head, produces a 
pressure of more than 23,000 tons, and furnishes enough to 
water a Frigate in one day. 



Before entering upon an exposition of the sources, routs, 
plans, &C. that have been considered for supplying the City of 
Boston with water, it seems requisite to give a sketch of seve- 
ral methods employed for similar purposes in other places 
or countries and in other times. As many such came mto 


view while investigating what scheme should be recommended 
to the attention of your committee, it cannot be unacceptable 
to the citizens at large, who are all interested in the inquiry, 
to know something of the simple, successful, or magnificent 
projects adopted elsewhere. 

The most authentic accounts we have of a copious supply 
of water in towns among the ancients, are those of aqueducts 
built by the Romans for conducting water to Rome. All data 
for the following tables are drawn from Rondelet's translation 
into French of the Latin work written by Frontinus, who 
died A, D. 101, and who had for several years the whole su- 
perintendence of the Roman aqueducts and of the manage- 
ment and distribution of the water flowing in them to the 
city (4.) 

In the following table is placed, First, the name of the wa- 
ter or aqueduct ; in the Second column the era of its con- 
struction ; and the Third the length of each aqueduct in 
miles and decimals ; in the Fourththe cubic feet discharged in 
24 hours, and in the Fifth column the gallons in wine measure 




Cubic feet. 


i. Appian Aqueduct, 

B. C. 312 




2. Old Anio " 

" 273 




3. Marcian " 

" 146 




4. Tepulan " 

" 127 ) 


( 903795 


5. Julian " 

" 35 

I 2449386 


6. Virgin " 

" 22 




7. Alsietina " 

A. D. 14 




8. Claudian " 





9. New Anio "' 








In the JVotions Preliminaires prefixed to his translation, 
Rondelet remarks, page 20. " It appears from this, that the 
water furnished by the nine aqueducts of Rome described by 
Frontinus, would be equal to a river 30 feet wide and 6 feet 
deep, flowing with the velocity of 30 inches a second, that is, 
with a velocity equal to that of the Seine in its ordinary height." 
These are French measures given by Rondelet, but reduced 
lo English, the velocity would be nearly 32 inches a second. 

Some auxiliary supplies or feeders make the total length of 
the Roman aqueducts exceed 255 miles, all of which were 
built of stone and covered either by arches or large flat 
stones. The works consisted of three modes of construction. 
First, of subteranean aqueducts, or so placed as to be wholly 
covered with '^arth when the ground admitted it, or when high 


land required deep excavation. Second, on substructions, 
where the surface was too low for the level or slope. In these 
places a solid mass of stone work was raised to a sufficient 
height to build the aqueduct upon, where in modern works 
earth embankments would be substituted for masonry ; and 
Third where it was to be conducted over streams of water 
and deep vallies or ravines, the aqueducts were elevated on 
stone bridges, built on arches, in some cases on two or three 
rows of arches one above another. In the 255 miles there 
were 191 of the first, 42 of the second and 22 miles of the 
third kind of construction. 


Rome is now supplied with water by three aqueducts, being 
three of the ancient works restored in modern times. 

First ^qxia Virgini, called by Frontinus Aqua Virgo, deno- 
minated in the above table Virgin Aqueduct. The trunk of 
the aqueduct having been injured, the reparation was begun 
under the Pontificate of Nicholas V. and Sextus IV. and 
completed under that of Pius IV, in 1568, This water sup- 
plies the beautiful fountain Trevi, thus named from the three 
discharges issuing from it, or from its being placed at the junc- 
tion of three streets. The water this aqueduct furnishes is 
2,322,762 cubic feet daily, discharging through 7 principal 
conduits, at 13 public and 37 other fountains. (5) 

Second, ^qua Felice. This is a part of the ancient water 
of the Claudian and Marcian aqueducts united with many 
others, and collected under Sextus V. The daily quantity it 
furnishes is 727,161 cubic feet, which supplies 16 public and 
11 other fountains. The Moses fountain discharges from this 

The Pauline aqueduct, called Aqua Paola, is the third 
of the ancient works restored. The water is collected within 
the territories of Arcolo and Bassano, and conducted along the 
ancient aqueduct of Alsietina. This was eifected under Pope 
Pius V. and directed by Charles Fontana, an eminent Hy- 
draulic Architect, who constructed the great fountain of S. 
Pietro-in-Montorio. Additional water was also taken from Lake 
Bracciano by Fontana in 1694, under Clement X. The w^hole 
quantity in 24 hours is 3,325,531 cubic feet, about one third 
of which goes to feed the fountains of St. Peters, and those of 
the Pontifical Palace on the Vatican Hill ; the rest is distri- 
buted among 8 public and 23 other fountains, as well as to 21 


work-shops, (usines) in St. Pancras street. All three aqueducts 
now give 6,375,455 cubic feet in 24 hours, equal to 49,688,403 

An evidence of the durability of these old Roman structures 
is furnished in this junction of water from Lake Bracciano by 
Cardinal Orsini, under authority of Clement X., upon condi- 
tion that a part of the water should be used to feed a second 
fountain about to be built in St. Peter's Square at Rome and 
the rest to be divided between the Apostolic Chamber and 
the House of Orsini. From the lake the conduit leads to the 
old Alsietina aqueduct in which it flows 20 miles to the city 
and it was found to be in so perfect a state when the trial 
was first made after the restoration, October 13, 1693, that 
all the water which entered the old aqueduct was discharged 
at Rome without any loss, after its use had been suspended 
nearly 1000 years. 

It is unnecessary to refer to more of the great and splendid 
structures of this nature built by the Romans in various plac- 
ces, or by modern nations in Europe. But those erected by 
the Romans near Constantinople and that at Lyons in France 
deserve notice for their singular character. 


Three aqueducts exist in the valley of Bourgas 8 miles 
from Constantinople, for conducting water into the city. One 
of them is remarkable for the beautiful architectural arrange- 
ment and the solidity of its construction. It is 115 feet high 
and was built under the Emperor Justinian, A. D. 527. 

These aqueducts are in some parts unlike those of Rome, 
which were formed on a continuous line for many miles with 
a regular slope from the source to the city, but are interrupt- 
ed by reversed syphons. Instead of crossing deep and wide 
vallies in the usual manner of stone structures, the aqueduct 
terminates on one bank in a reservoir or cistern and a pipe is 
laid from it down the sloping side of the hill to a stone pier 
erected at a suitable distance ; the pipe rises up the pier to 
the top wh^re the water from the reservoir is discharged into 
a small cistern nearly as high as that in the reservoir. From 
the cistern, another conduit pipe descends to the bottom of 
the pier, passes along the ground to a second pier at a proper 
distance and rises to another cistern on the second pier, and 
so on till it rises on the crest of the opposite bank, where the 
water resumes its regular motion along the aqueduct. Owing 


to friction in the pipes, some loss of head occurs, but the prin- 
cipal reason for adopting this expedient was the saving expense 
in building a high stone arched way or bridge with two or more 
rows of arcades to preserve a regular flow of water on a slop- 
ing plane. These piers are called Souterazi, which may be 
dispensed with in future works and the pipes laid down one 
side, across the bottom, up the other side of the valley and 
the continuous motion of the water preserved without any sud- 
den angles. 

" Nothing can give a better idea of the splendor of the city 
of Lyons under the first Roman Emperors than the ruins of 
its ancient monuments. Here are still observed the remains 
of temples, palaces, amphitheatres, basins for exhibiting sea 
fights, baths, and of many aqueducts, three of which were con- 
structed under Augustus, Tiberius and Claudius for supply- 
ing water to that part of the city situated on the Hill. "(6) 


This was built by Claudius; who was born at Lyons, to 
conduct water to the Emperor's Palace, situated on the high- 
est part of the city. It was 34| miles long. There were 13 
bridges of stone to support the aqueduct over rivers or deep 
vallies, two of which were crossed by leaden pipes laid down 
the sloping ground on one side, crossing the valley and rest- 
ing on the opposite bank. This is called by Rondelet, Syphon 
Bridge, (Pont-a- Syphon). A foundation -in masonry was laid 
on a regular slope, part of the way on arches, from the termi- 
nation of the aqueduct on the top of the hill, to the end of the 
Stone Bridge crossing the bottom of the valley. The bridge 
was about 40 feet high and the perpendicular height of the 
aqueduct above it was 140 feet. Nine leaden pipes of about 
8 inches interior diameter and 1 inch thick were laid upon the 
surface of this inclined plane, on the bridg^e across the valley 
and on a corresponding, ascending plane on the other side, 
and thus a communication was opened between the two oppo- 
site crests of the valley. 

It has often been said thai the Romans were ignorant of 
the hydraulic principle that water would rise in pipes &c. to 
the same level as the source when unobstructed. But the 
same charge of ignorance may be made against the moderns 
within the last two centuries with equal justice, if we judge 
from the works constructed under Louis J4thj for bringing 


water to Versailles ; from the aqueduct of Montpelier built 
iQ 1752 ; from that of Casertes near Naples built in 1753 ; 
and from numerous other modern works. 

I notice this ancient monument to shew that a Syphon 
Bridge erected nearly 1800 years ago by the Romans is a mo- 
del that may be judiciously applied perhaps in some circum- 
stances for an aqueduct to supply the town of Boston. (7) 


The quantity of water supplied to London is immense and 
nearly half of it by pumps and steam engines. The new river 
water is brought in an open canal about 40 miles and embra- 
ces two sources, one from a spring at Chadwell, between 
Hertford and Ware 21 miles north of London ; the other 
from an arm of the river Lea, whose source is near the Chad- 
well spring, in proportion of two thirds from the former and 
one third from the latter supply. The following tabular state- 
ment of water furnished to the city from incorporated compa- 
nies is taken from a report made to the King in 1828 by com- 
missioners appointed by him for that purpose, as given by Mr 
Williams in his work on Sub-ways of London. (8) 

The 5 first on the list are on the north side or left bank of 
the Thames and the 3 last on the right bank. The names of 
the Companies and number of houses or tenants are given 
in the two first columns and the quantity in cubic feet and gal- 
lons stated in the two last columns are those presented in the 



Houses or 

Cubic feet 
per day. 

Gallons per 

1. The New River Company by Canal, 

2. The East London Waaler Works, 

3. The West Middlesex " 

4. Tlie Chelsea " 

5. The Grand Junction " 

6. The Lambeth " 

7. The Vauxhall South London " 

8. The Southwalk. " 










Among the above named corporations, the New River Com- 
pany furnishes the most. It gives a mean of 197 gallons to a 
house daily. Taking the number of persons in a house at 7 
it is 28 gallons to each, and at 5, nearly 40 gallons to each in- 
dividual. In fact this aqueduct or canal supplies nearly half 
the water brought into London and the district is better served 
than any in the City. All the other seven companies supply 


water wholly from the Thames by pumps, have 13 reservoirs, 
21 steam engines of the aggregate power of 1,340 horses, and 
give an average of a little over 143 gallons to a house or 
tenant, which, supposing 5 inmates to a house is equal nearly 
to 29 gallons to a person, or over 20 to each where 7 constitute 
the family. 

Taking the eight watering establishments together, they 
give a mean of about 163^ gallons to a house or tenant ; and 
if each had 7 in the family, then about 23 gallons ; if 6, 27 and 
if 5, 33 gallons to each person. Upon the supposition that 6 
is the fair average number for each house or tenant, as set 
down in the table made up from the Parliamentary report, it 
results that the population furnished with water by incorporated 
companies is 858,600. But this is wild conjecture. Many 
set down as tenants, are owners and pay for several houses, 
sometimes a whole street ; besides, the English are a clean- 
ly people and use water very copiously for all personal 
and domestic purposes ; and although not a public fouotain 
and rarely a private one is met with in London, a vast quantity 
of water must be employed in manufactures, mechanic trades, 
markets, stables, gardens, Stc. which far surpasses the propor- 
tion due to the number of people supposed attached to each 
house or tenement by the foregoing estimate. 

Applying the same form of illustration which Rondelet pre- 
sented of the enormous quantity thrown into Rome by her 9 
aqueducts, the 8 London works deliver a column of water 
equal a river 30 feet wide and 6 feet deep, English measure, 
flowing at about the rate of 3^ inches a second ; or otherwise, 
the latter compared with the former would be as 1 to II nearly. 
It would fill a reservoir as big as Boston Common 2 feet 4 
inches daily and that delivered in Ancient Rome would fill it 
to the depth of 25 feet 8 inches. What is now furnished to 
Modern Rome by her three aqueducts would, in 24 hours, fill 
the reservoir 3 feet 3 inches, while an ample supply for Boston 
of 5 million gallons — 668,450 cubic feet would cover the Com- 
mon daily 4 inches only. 


A new supply of water was attempted for Edinburg a few 
years ago under direction of James Jardine, Esq , an emi- 
nent Engineer of the city, and while I was there in the sum- 


mer of 1823 the works were in progress, but unfortunately I 
had not an opportunity of seeing Mr. Jardine. I had the 
pleasure of accompanying a friend from Boston to view 
the works, about 10 miles from Edinburg. The water 
was collected by underdraining in various directions in the 
deep gravelly soil of the valley of Glencross Burn, about 9 
miles from the city. A small brook or burn runs down the 
valley and the water passed to and turned some miles lower 
down the stream. Instead of taking the water of the burn im- 
mediately into pipes, the process was adopted of digging tren- 
ches and collecting it from beneath the surface into a basin or 
cistern, covered with a neat stone building, and from the cis- 
tern the water entered the pipes and thus was conducted to 
Edinburg. Trenches 10, 12 or 15 feet deep were dug in a bed 
of loose gravel abounding in purest spring water. Stone drains 
were then made about 2 feet wide, the sides laid up in dry 
stone rubble walls 4 or 5 feet high and covered with large flat 
stones and then filled over with the porous earth which came 
from the trenches. 

Workmen were engaged on some of these when we visited 
the place, and one cistern if not the only one, was completed, 
into which a beautiful stream of clear water was running but 
passing to waste again because the line of pipes wore not all 
laid. To satisfy the millers against injury from this under- 
ground encroachment of their right, it became necessary to 
provide a supply to compensate their loss, and a reservoir 
was provided by a dam across the burn and the valley, which 
I saw raised only about half the intended height. 

The spot where the work is situated is called Crawley 
Springs and on the burn, about a mile above the dam is Hab- 
bies Howe the scene of Ramsay's pastoral — The Gentle 
Shepherd. I give the following particulars from minutes fur- 
nished by my brother George R. Baldwin, who had them 
from the Engineer in 1832. 

Boston, June 8, 1834. 
" Dear Brother, 

I have referred to my memoranda kept while in England 
and Scotland, relative to the Edinburg Water Works, and 
find the following account to be the substance of what I then 

" Mr. James Jardine Engineer of the water works at Edin- 


burg, informs me that the water brought from the country for the 
use of the City, is collected by digging trenches or ditches along 
the sides of hills to intercept the springs. These ditches ter- 
minate in one or more reservoirs, from which the water is 
conducted to the City in a cast-iron main, that drops 300 feet 
below the fountain-head, or surface of the reservoir. The 
main at the reservoir is about 20 inches in diameter, and 
at the lowest place between that and the City, it may be about 
15 inches, (the smallest diameter of the main) and l^ inches in 
thickness. The pipes were all proved to support a column of 
water 800 feet high, under which pressure none were broken, 
except one supposed to have been cracked while on its way 
from England. 

^' The compensation-dam on one of the branches or burns 
of the river,, which would have received the water taken 
for the use of the City, was built of earth in the following man- 
ner. Across the valley of the burn, an excavation was made 
5'2 feet deep, and say 480 feet in width at the lowest place ; 
this was filled with good embankmen'-earth, having a puddle- 
ditch of clay 60 feet wide at bottom, brought up with it, run- 
ning across the valley below the middle of the excavation. 
On this base the embankment was carried up together with 
the puddle-ditch 75 feet above the level of the burn, the 
embankment having a slope of 4 to 1 on the up-stream, and 
2 to 1 on the down-stream side of the dam. The puddle-filling 
was regularly diminished from its base in the excavation to 
the top of the embankment, where it had a breadth of 30 feet, 
and occupied the whole top. The slope above the puddle- 
ditch was made by depositing from waggons layers of earth 
one foot thick, well puddled down in succession." 

" The reason Mr. Jardioe gave for digging so deep into the 
valley of the burn was, that the natural soil being so loose a 
texture it was not considered safe to base the embankment at 
a higher level. 

" At the level of the burn, a cast-iron pipe was laid through 
the puddle-ditch, terminating at each end in stone culverts ; 
the up-stream one being 3 feet in diameter, the other 6 feet 
high and 4| feet wide, having an oval form for its cection ; at 
the other end of the pipe are fianch-cocks for drawing off the 
water for the use of the mills below. At a higher level in the 
dam, is another culvert for taking ofT the water, and at one 
end of the dam through a rock the water is allowed to run oiT 
and fall in a cascade to the burn below. 


The water conducted in this aqueduct to Edinburg is col- 
lected from pure native springs far beneath the surface of the 
ground ; it passes in this manner to the covered reservoir, 
hence in iron pipes 9 miles to the City, and throughout its 
passage is never exposed to the weather, or even to the light, 
until drav/n for use at Edinburg. From these circumstances, 
it constitutes, probably, the purest artificial supply in existence, 
for the domestic use of a town. 

Mr. J, Wright, in his memoir to the Commissioners ap- 
pointed to inquire into the state of the supply of water to 
London, published in the Parliamentary reports for 1828, says, 
after referring to Rome, Paris, &c. 

" To look nearer home. The City of Edinburgh receives 
a supply of excellent water from a distance of eight or ten 
miles. Under the able direction of the late Mr. Ronnie, Mr, 
Telford, and Mr. Jardine, and at an expense of only £175,000, 
the m.ost magnificent works of the kind in Great Britain have 
been completed. The water is excellent ; and the quantity 
to an inhabitant is nineteen gallons per day ; and not less than 
280,000 gallons are daily permitted to run to waste. In real 
utility, they rival the boastful aqueducts of ancient Rome, and 
are the admiration of all scientific strangers." 


A very interesting and extensive establishment, called the 
Shaws Water-works, has been effected since 1824, at Gree- 
nock on the Clyde, which arose from researches for supplying^ 
the town with water. Before the operation of this plan, Gree- 
nock was badly furnished, and what w'as used for domestic 
purposes was brought on carriages from a distance. To reme- 
dy this evil, many surveys were made by different engineers, 
without effect, Avhen Sir Michael Shaw Stewart employed Mr. 
Robert Thorn, an engineer, who, in 1824, explored the envi- 
rons of Greenock, and found that not only an ample supply 
for the uses of the City could be obtained, but also enough to 
create a water-power for mills equal to all the steam-power 
then used at Greenock and its vicinity. (9.) 

The principal source is in a stream called Shaw's Water, 
which, with other small tributary streams, fills the great re- 
servoir of 296.73 acres, containing 284,678,550 cubic feet of 
water. The compensation-reservoir has an area of 40.53 
acres, and contains 143465,898 cubic feet. Six auxiliary re- 
servoirs, the main feeder, and other parts of the works, make 


tbe whole amount retained in reservoirs, contemplated in their 
unfinished state in 18'29, to be 600,000,000 cubic feet of water, 
and from the experience of the two preceding years, the 
amount in reserve was above 700 million of feet. The area 
of the reservoir, feeder, &c. is more than 396 acres. 

Mr. Thorn's calculation was, that the inhabitants of Gree- 
nock were 25,000 souls, and to allow 2 cubic feel, making 
14,96, or nearly 15 wine gallons daily to each, or 18,250,000 
annually for the town of Greenock. For mills and manufac- 
tories the provision was 1,200 cubic feet of water a minute 
during 12 hours each day, and for SlO days in the year, on 
two separate lines of supply, thus making the total consump- 
tion for hydraulic power, 565,680,000 feet. 

The principal feeder is quite circuitous, and between 6 and 
7 miles long. It conducts the water to a regulating-reservoir 
on the hill behind Greenock, where the water is 513 feet above 
the Clyde at high water. From the reservoir the water is dis- 
charged into two lines of mill-sites, one falling into the Clyde 
on the east, and the other on the west side of the town. The 
whole fall on the west line is 5l3 feet divided into 18 mill-pow- 
powers, which gives a mean of 28 feet 5 inches for each. 
But on account of the peculiar character of the ground, I pre- 
sume, the falls are not all equal. There is one 43 feet 6 inches, 
one 42, one 15 feet, the last on the line. They are nearly all 
from 25 to 30 feet. The same variable fall exists at the mills 
on the east line, where there are 19 sites in a fall of 512 feet 
4 inches, giving a mean of 26 feet 11 inches. 

The whole work has been put into the hands of a company 
by act of Parliament, who have sold out mill-privileges, and 
engage to furnish 1,200 cubic feet a minute. The water 
passes through the first mill, and runs to the second, from the 
second to the third, and so down each line of mills. If any 
intermediate mill or mills stop, the water still passes on to 
those below. Mr. Thom estimates 1,200 cubic feet of water 
falling 30 feet as equivalent, in mechanical force, to one of 
Bolton &t Watt's steam-engine of 54 horse-power. 

All the contrivances of Mr. Thom are ingenious for regula- 
ting the discharges of the reservoir and the supply for the 
mills, which is done by self-acting gates or valves. The 
whole system shows an admirable combination of hydraulic 
science and engineering skill, perhaps never so well exempli- 
fied in any other work. But the most original and ingenious 
expedient was his method of constructing filters upon a large 


scale for purifying the water for the ordinary domestic use of 
the inhabitants. He constructed three, each 50 feet long, 12 
wide, and 8 deep. All filters, however, fill and choke so 
much, that after a short time they cease to transmit any water, 
and become useless, unless the sand is cleaned or removed. 
To remedy this evil, he constructed them so that when the 
sand became filled with the sediment, the passage of water 
through it is reversed, and thus all the impurities and sediment, 
consequent upon the process of filtering, are immediately 
washed out and discharged through a waste drain for that 
purpose. This operates completely, and is the first instance 
of the kind. After th-:^ sand becomes again clean by sending 
the water through it in a contrary direction for a few hours, 
the filter is restored to its ordinary functions in the usual way. 

Mr. Thorn closes a letter to Sir Michael Shaw Stewart, 
March 20, 1829, upon the, subject of the filters, as follows ; 

" You are also aware that the medium through which the 
water flows has been composed in such a way as to remove all 
the colouring matter of bog (^marecaguesc) water, and other 
similar impurities held in solution, and that in this respect we 
have also completely succeeded ; but as the substance em- 
ployed for this purpose is expensive and in time becomes satu- 
rated and requires being taken out and replaced by new, great 
care has been taken to prevent as far as possible the entrance 
of such water to the filters," 

" Upon the whole, a filter without the means of removing 
the sediment deposited by the water, cannot furnish for any 
considerable time a uniform supply of pure water. In fact, 
by giving a great surface to the filter, that is, to the surface of 
the sand or gravel with which the v/ater comes into contact ; 
in giving to the bed great thickness ; in arranging the strata 
of materials so that the gravel of coarser sand shall be at 
the top, and employing finer and finer sand as we approach the 
cistern where the pure water is received, there is no doubt we 
can construct a filter to operate for a proportionally longer 
time ; but still unless such an arrangement is made that the 
foreign matter deposited by the water can be removed, the ac- 
tion of the filter will gradually be lessened apd finafly cease.'" 

" As to the expense of the new system of filters, which I 
propose, it will depend much upon the localities, on the quality 
of water before filtering, on the more or le--s favourable situa- 
tions in which they may be disposed, on the price and distance 
4)f the materials to be used. In some circumstances the con- 


struction of filters will cost double of those other situations 
might require, and the same filter may furnish more or less, 
according to the purity of the water to be filtered and the kind 
of sediment he'.i in solution. 

" In favourable situations these self cleansing filters maybe 
so established as to supply a population of 25,000 inhabitants, 
with 2 cubic feet daily to each for three hundred jjounds ster- 
ling." (10.) 


The water works of this city deserve notice on account of 
the late Mr. Watt's ingenious method of laying cast iron con- 
duit pipes across the bed of the Clyde. The town is situated 
on the right bank which is clay, while the left bank is com- 
posed of pure fine sand. I take the follov/ing extract of a let- 
ter from Mr. John Robison to Dr. Brewster, dated April 3 820 
— it is published in the 3d vol. of the Edinburg Philosophical 
Journal, with a plate shewing the mode of uniting and laying- 
the main. 

" The Glasgow Water- Works Company derive their supply 
of water from a well and tunnel formed in a stratum on the left 
bank of the Clyde, which affords a natural filter for the water 
of the river. As the City lies on the right bank the convey- 
ance of the filtered water across the stream was a problem of 
some difficulty. The fertile genius of Mr. Watt, however, 
enabled him to solve it. 

" He suggested that a flexible iron main should be drawn 
across the bed of the river, through which pumping engines 
on the north side should raise the water from the well on the 
South side. In executing this plan, the well and tunnel were 
dug in the sand near the water's edge. The well is 10 feet in 
diameter and its bottom is 12 feet under the ordinary surface 
of the river, the feeding tunnel is 3 feet wide and 6 feet high, 
and extends for a considerable distance into the sand bank ; 
the well has a wooden platform bottom ; its sides and those of 
the tunnel are built of granite, put together without mortar, 
and backed with gravel, to prevent the influx of sand. The 
south end of the section pipe (or main) is turned down into 
the well to a sufficient depth. That part of it which lies in 
the bed of the river, is formed of pieces of 9 feet long (exclu- 
sive of joints) and 15 inches interior diameter. Part of the 
joints are formed in the usual way, but others are something 
like what is called " ball and socket''^ or " universal joint." 


The whole is laid on strong frames made of parallel logs ; these 
frames are joined by strong hinges, having their pivots in hori- 
zontal lines at right angles to the axis of the pipes, and passing 
through the centres of spheres, of which the zones of the 
sockets are portions. The flexible joints are at the extremities 
of the frames. 

" The frames and pipes were put together in succession on 
the south side of the river, and (the open or north end being 
plugged) were hauled into and across the bed in a trench pre- 
pared for them. The machinery for hauling them was of course 
on the north side ; the operation was aided and directed by pon- 
toons, &c. The moveable joints of the pipes and hinges of 
the frames, allowed them to assume the form of the bed. 

" Upon the plugged end emerging from the water on the 
north side, it was immediately opened and connected with the 
main leading to the pump to secure it against accidents from 
floods. There is a contrivance for removing any sand which 
may accumulate in the pipe. That part which is under water 
is covered over with stones and gravel, to protect it from in- 
jury from passing vessels. 

" The demand for water having Increased beyond expecta- 
tion since 1810 (when this work was completed) a second main 
of 18 inches diameter, similar in all respects to the first, has 
fiinco been added, 

" At present the consumption of water is reckoned about 
8,000 tons per diem. The Company's establishment of En- 
gines is two of 36 inches cylinder and 7 feet stroke, and one 
of 54 inch cylinder and 8 feet stroke. These are employed in 
raising the water from the filter to the reservoir for distribu- 
tion ; but as some parts of the City lie 150 feet above the level 
of the river, there are two smaller engines for forcing water 
from the general reservoir to one still higher to supply these 

Assuming the population of Glasgow to be 60,000, the 8,000 
tons of water daily from the pumps would be equal to about 
37 gallons for each. The scheme of making a natural filter 
on one side of the river and pumping the water from the other 
was a very good expedient, but seems to have met with the 
objections incident to artificial filters. The deposition of the 
abundant sediment in the Clyde waters, has already lessened 
the supply of clear water to an alarming degree, and several 
attempts to increase the quantity of filtered Clyde water have 
entirely failed, Mr. Watt was consulted, who recommended 


the making more wells and tunnels in the same bank nearly 
surrounded by the river, which was done and the plan succeed- 
ed for a while and the inhabitants received a supply of excel- 
lent water. But it gradually decreased so that at the end of 
some years, they were obliged to take directly from the river. 
In the summer of 1828, Mr Thom visited the works and 
speaking of them he says "I advised the extension of the wells 
and galleries along the sand banks near the River in the man- 
ner originally proposed by Mr Watt, which they have done, 
and the supply of pure water has since greatly increased ; but 
there is no doubt that in the course of a few years, in conse- 
quence of the sand being choked with sediment, the product 
will gradually diminish so much that other means must be re- 
sorted to for a necessary supply of pure water." 


Water was brought into Paris by the Romans, under the 
emperor Julian A. D. 360, by an aqueduct above 9 miles and a 
half long, which was all under ground, except the stone arcade 
over a brook and deep valley at Arcueil. It conveyed water 
to the palace and hot baths, but was destroyed by the Nor- 
mans, and after its use had been suspended 800 years, a new 
and beautiful arched aqueduct was erected by the side of the 
ruins of the old one, and its final restoration to public use 
was completed in 1634. 

Other water works were also erected under Louis XIV^ 
and in subsequent reigns, most of which have been removed, 
except the Pumps and steam Engines constructed at the two 
Chaliot water works on the right and left banks of the Seine. 

The great and only considerable undertaking for supplying^ 
the city is the Ourcq Canal, which has been nearly twenty 
years in completing. It affords an abundant supply. The 
canal begins at the River Ourcq above 58 miles from Paris^ 
and in its course takes in five or six other streams or feeders. 
The trunk of the Canal is 36.08 feet (1 1 metres) wide ; depth 
8.20 feet (2.50 jKeh-es) depth of water 4.92 feet (1.50 metre) 
and slope of the banks 1,50 base to 1 rise. The velocity of 
the water is calculated to be nearly 13 inches a second, and 
the slope of the Canal about 3| inches a mile. 

It terminates in a large basin near the Barriere of Villette. 
From the S. West corner opens the St. Martin Canal, com- 
municating with tho Seine on the East side of Paris and a 
short distance before coming to the basin the St. Denis 


Canal is opened passing down to the Seine near that city on 
the north side of Paris. 

At the north-west corner of the Basin is taken out the water 
for supplying the City by a subterranean canal or aqueduct, on 
the north side of Paris, (aqtieduc de ceinture) nearly two miles 
and three quarters long. The work is in stone masonry, and 
the canal for the water is 3 feet 3 inches wide at bottom, 5 
feet 3 inches deep, and 4 feet 6 inches wide at top. On one 
side is an off-set 4 inches wide, and on the other afoot-walk 
1 foot 6 inches wide, making the whole breadth between the 
side walls above the trunk 6 feet 4 inches. These walls rise 
4 feet 6 inches covered with a semi-circular arch. At various 
points there are galleries and staircases to descend to the sub- 
terranean aqueduct. I descended to examine the work with 
M. Girard the Engineer,. by a flight of steps from the cellar 
of a house where one of the guardians resided. 

Convenient arched passages are constructed under three 
principal streets where one may walk, and where are laid the 
different mains taking water from the aqueduct to conduct it to 
the various fountains and other points for distribution. They 
are laid upon stone blocks or cast iron frames, so that they 
may be easily examined all round from one end to the other. 
The beautilul fountain in the Garden of the Palais Royal, that 
in the Boulevard of Bondy, &c. are supplied from this water. 

The Canal is estimated by Mr. P. S. Girard, the Engineer 
who constructed it, and had the whole superintendence of dis- 
tributing the Vv'ater in Paris, at 4,000 inches of water (pouce 
d''eau de fontainier.) An inch of water is so much as will 
flow through a hole 1 inch diameter, French measure, in a 
minute, under a head of 7-12 of an inch above the centre of 
the aperture, and is equal to SISg cubic inches in a minute, 
or, 678 cubic feet in 24 hours, amounting to 2,711,680 feet 
for the 4,000 inches daily^ or over 20 million gallons. 

'• The quantity of water necessary for a given number of 
inhabitants has not been accurately fixed. In France it has 
been generally estimated at 19195 litres (i inch) for 1,000 in- 
habitants. The Scotch Eng-ineers do not consider the supply 
complete at less than 9 gallons a day for each individual in a 
city. If we compare the distribution of water in London Vv'ith 
the population, the supply is at the rate of 20 gallons for each 
person. But there are no public fountains in that city and the 
people receive no water but what is furnished by independent 
companies. At Paris 4,000 inches of water of Ourcq are ap- 
propriated for fountains and for cleaning streets, so that water 


is raised from the Seine for domestic use. The actual quan- 
tity thus used does not exceed 200 inches," (equal 135,584 
cubic feet daily) " and it costs from an accurate and detailed 
estimate, the enormous sum of 4,265,756 francs," equal to 
^767,836. To supply the want of Seine water, on account of 
its cost, pumps are employed in nearly all private houses, and 
spring and well water is used, although it does not possess the 
qualities suitable for mechanical industry." (11-) ' 

Great inconvenience arises among engineers and hy- 
draulicians from the want of a standard unit to denote the 
quantity of water flowing in a given time. The fountaineer's 
inch (pouce d' eau de fontainier) is used by all French writers 
upon the subject, though admitted by most of them to be very 
indefinite. It is perhaps sufficiently correct for practical pur- 
poses, but not adopted in philosophical investigation. Gen- 
ieys says, it is " equal the quantity of water a pipe an inch in 
diameter would furnish in a minute, so placed that the centre 
of orifice should be seven lines below the surface of the reser- 
voir to which it is adapted. To estimate the quantity it is still 
necessary to determine the length of the pipe or thickness of 
the side of the vessel in which the aperture is made, through 
which the water is discharged. Now this has never been 
done in such a way as that all agree upon the exact amount ; 
but it is generally admitted to be equal to 15 pints, or 13.33 
litres a minute, or 19195 litres in 24 hours." 

The above are French measures. The litre is equivalent 
to 61,028 cubic inches ; hence the fountaineer's inch is 813^ 
cubic inches a minute, or 678 cubic feet a day. Gallon, as 
used by English writers is also a very ambiguous term, Avhen 
applied to hydraulic discharges. The gallon, which I employ 
in this report,=231 cubic inches ; the beer gallon,=282 j and 
the imperial gallon, =277, 274 cubic inches. 

Mr. Geniey's statement is that 19195 litres (one inch) is 
generally estimated in France, as a supply for 1000 inhab- 
itants ; which gives 0.6779 cubic feet, or a little over 5 gallons 
to each daily. Seine water is distributed by carriers in hogs- 
heads or carts, for which they pay at the pumps or filters 6305 
francs the inch, and retail again to the inhabitants for 30462 
francs. The amount thus paid by the Parisians is annually 
2,864,504 francs. Another class of water-carriers are those 
who carry it in buckets, {Porteurs d' eau a breielles) hung to 
straps connected with a kind of yoke over the shoulders. 
These take water gratuitously from fountains of the second 
class, from the Seine, or from the filtering establishments 


on the quay of the Celestins, and sell it for 10 centimes 
the voire, or two pailfuls of water ; about two cents for 4| gal- 
lons. In this manner the water-porters receive 1,405,252 
francs, thus making the total sum of 4,266,756 francs, = 
^767,83i5, as before stated, paid annually by the citizens of 
Paris for a daily supply of 135,534 cubic^ feet, or 1,013,163 
gallons. Mr. Jenieys says " a company might furnish for 
domestic use ten times the quantity for the same cost." 


In the 2d vol. of Annales des Ponts et Chausses, page 157, 
Mr. Maffre, an engineer des Ponts et Chaussees, has given 
a detailed account of an examination and experiments made 
to prove the capacity and effect of a new steam-engine for 
raising water from the river Orb, to supply the town of Beziers 
in the south of France, near the Laoguedoc canal. The ma- 
chine was intended as a substitute for an old and inefficient 
one, and was made and erected by Mr. Cordier, a locksmith 
of the town. He engaged to furnish to the basin in Saint 
Louis Place IB inches of water for 14 hours a day. Thence 
by two conduits are supplies furnish^jd to several fountains and 
basins in the town. 

The horizontal distance between the suction pipe at the sur- 
face of the river and the axis of the pedestal, on the top of 
which is a little box or cistern, is 373 feet, (113.7 metres.) The 
top of the pedestal is 224.15 feet (68.34 mUres) above the 
level of the Orb. The ascending pipe is 4 ^ inches interior 
diameter, with the lower third part of its length 1 ^ inch 
thick ; the second third, ~^.^^ ; and the upper third part of 
the length, ~ of an inch in thickness. 

On the top of the pedestal is a small copper cistern 24 inches 
long, 20 wide, and 15 inches deep. Into the bottom of the 
cistern or box opens the ascending pipe from the pumps, and 
from it also descends another pipe 20 feet ; thence a horizon- 
tal pipe passes 225 kei to the centre of the basin in St. Louis 
Square, where it is turned up, by which the water' issues from 
the cistern on the top of the pedestal, in the form of a 
low mushroom jet, rising constantly to the same height of 
16| inches. 

The whole quantity during the day is 18 pouces d' eau, or 
inches during 14 hours, equal to 7,1 19 cubic feet, or 53,257 
gallons. The cost of the engine house, machine, pumps, 
pipes, basins, &c. exclusive of the fountains, was 96,678 
francs, 5^17,402. All pipes in the town are of pottery, and 

tho annual expense of the works is 11,074 francs,=^ 1,993. 

The whole maintenance of the water-works is supported by 
the inhabitants of Beziers, and all the water is discharged at 
1 1 public fountains. Mr. Matfre found by experiment that 
the supply exceeded 18 inches, and that the contractor had 
fully complied with his engagements in all respects. He re- 
commends that the machine should act more than 14 hours a 
day, and says that the quantity may equal 22 inches daily. 
He also states that half the expense of the establishment can 
easily be defrayed by selling water to the citizens for domes- 
tic uses, &c. as is done in other places. 

This is another instance of the prevailing taste in France 
and other places on the Continent for fountains and public 
display of copious and convenient sources ©f water. In Eng- 
land and this country this rich and highly useful embellishment 
of towns is wholly neglected. 


The beautiful system of water-works erected at Fairmount 
on the Schuylkill near Philadelphia for supplying water to the 
City by hydraulic power, stands unrivalled, perhaps, for its 
simplicity, economy and effect. Jt was almost wholly owing 
to the ingenuity, perseverance, prudence and good sense of 
Frederick Graff, Esq. who is, and for many years has been, 
superintendent of the water-works. Many of the annual re- 
ports have recently been put into my hands, by the kindness 
of one of the City Council, Joseph R. Chandler, Esq. and 
from the last in the file, for 1832, I shall present an interest- 
ing account, drawn from the tables, shewing in detail the vari- 
ous objects, uses, and institutions, to which the Schuylkill 
water is furnished, with the water rents for each during the 
year 1831. 

In the report for 1831, made January 12, 1832, Mr. Graff, 
the Superintendent, has inserted an extremely valuable docu- 
ment in the appendix, being a condensed abstract of the origin 
and progress of the works and gradual change into their pre- 
sent improved state, to 1832, which I shall take from the re- 


1779. March . Mr. Latrobe commenced the first wa- 

ter-works by steam-power. 

1812. August 1. Commenced the steam-power works at 
Fair Mount. 


1815. Sept. 7. Supplied the City from the steam-power 
works at Fair Blount. 

1819. April 8. Councils agreed to build the water- 
power works at Fair Mount. 
" April 19. Commenced building the Dam at Fair 

Mount Works. 

1821. April 28. Laid the Corner StoneofMill^Buildings 

at Fair Mount. 
" June 25. Put in the last Crib of the Dam at Fair 

" July 23. The water flowed over the Dam at Fair 


1822. Feb. 21. The great ice freshet, which raised 8 

feet 1 1 inches above the Combing of 
the Dam at fair Mount. 
'* July 1. Began to supply the City with water 
from water-whee-l and Pump No. 1. 
" Sept. 14. JBegan to supply the City with water 

from water-wheel and Pump No. 2. 
" Oct. 25. Stopped the Steam works at Fair 

" Dec. 24. Started Wheel and Pump No. 3. 
1827. Nov. 10. Started Wheel and Pump No. 4. 
1832, Started Wheel and Pump No. 5. 

The Dam at Fair Mount is 6 feet 6 inches above high 
tide in Schuylkill. 

The Mill buildings are 238 feet front— by 56 feet deep. 
The water is raised from the Dam into the Reservoir, 96 
feet perpendicular height. 
Pump No. 1, raises per 24 hours, into 

Reservoir, when not impeded by tides, 1,313,280 gallons. 
Pump No. 2 and 3 ditto — ditto — each 

1,346,400— together, ---»-- 2,692,800 " 
" Pump No. 4, -------- 1,615,680 " 

5,621,760 gallons. 

" From which deduct one fourth for im- 
pediments by the tides and freshets, - 1,405,440 

Leaves the four pumps competent to sup- 
ply for 24 hours, ------- 4,216,320 gallons. 

" The average quantity of water required to scupply the city 
and districts for 24 hours, during the year 1831 was about 
2,000,000 gallons. In the Summer months, when the streets 


were washed by means of the fire plugs, upwards of 3,000,000 
gallons were consumed daily. " 

There are two mains leading from the reservoirs to the city 
of 20 inches diameter and at the time the above report was 
made, January, 1832, there had been laid within the city nearly 
44 miles of cast iron pipes. The following extract from the 
report shows how prosperous the establishment is. The whole 
cost of pumping is from 3 to 4 dollars a day. 

"From all which it must be apparent, that, in case the 
water revenue for 1832 shall be equal to that of 1831, of which 
there can be no doubt, there will be a balance in favour of the 
works, for the year 1832, of ^35,905 05, equal, it is hoped, to 
all the needful expenditure for 1833 ; and thus the whole reve- 
nue of 1833 may be applied to the extinguishment of debt 'and 
the same process be thereafter continued." What were the 
flourishing prospects of this admirable scheme of water works 
in 1831, may be learned from the following table combined 
from those annexed to the report, showing the water revenue 
for 1831 arising in the City, The District of Spring Garden, 
The District of Southwalk, and The District of the Northern 
Liberties. The rate of payment, by the year, is also put 

An account of the Dwellings, Manufactories, and Institu- 
tions supplied with the Schuylkill water, in the City, the Dis- 
tricts of Spring Garden, Southwalk, and the Northern Liber- 
ties, for the year ending December 31, 1831, 


34 Horses, - at $1 00 $34 00 

65 Wash Pavements, &c. - - - 2 00 130 00 

102 Tenements, &c. 2 50 255 00 

992 Baths, 3 00 2,976 00 

3 Taverns, 3 75 11 25 

1 Tavern, &c. 13 00 13 00 

25 Baths, - 4 50 112 50 

5959 Dwellings, &c 5 00 29,795 00 

6 Stables, &c. 4 00 24 00 

9 Dwellings, &e. 6 00 54 00 

2 do. 6 50 13 00 

296 do. and in courts, - - - 7 50 2,220 00 

91 Hatteries, &c. 8 00 728 00 

82 Printing Offices, &c. - - - - 8 00 656 00 

J4 Dwellings, &c. 9 00 126 00 

120 Dyers, &c. 10 00 1,200 00 

2 Dwellings, &c. 11 25 22 50 

14 Soap Boilers, 12 00 168 « 

8 Dwellings, &c. - - - - - 12 50 100 00 

1 Dwelling, ------ 13 00 13 00 

50 Distilleries, &c. 

7 Hatteries, &c. 

1 Court, &c. - . - 
1 Stable, &c, - - - 

1 Court, &c. - - - 
29 Taverns, Courts, &z-c. 

2 Taverns, &c. 

1 Court, &c. - - - 
17 Sugar Houses, &c. 
I Steam Engine, 

1 Tavern, &c. - - - 
12 Stables, &lc. - - - 

2 Courts, &c. - - - 

2 Mansion Houses, - 
4 Morocco Factories, 
1 Steam Engine, 

8 Baths, &c. - 

1 Marble Yard, &c. - 

3 Hospitals, &c. 

2 Courts, &c. - 

1 Brewery, &c. 

2 Courts, &c. - - - 

3 Stables, &c. - - - 
2 Manufactories. 

2 Breweries, - - - 

1 Deaf and Dumb Asylum, 

1 Bath, . . : . 

1 Mainifactory, 

1 Distillery, _ _ _ 

1 Almshouse, - - - 

1 Sugar House, 

1 Bath House, - - - 


$15 00 

$750 00 

16 00 

112 00 

18 00 

18 00 

17 00 

17 00 

17 50 

17 53 

20 00 

580 00 

18 CO 

36 00 

22 50 

22 50 

25 00 

425 00 

27 50 

27 50 

29 50 

29 50 

30 CO 

360 00 

33 00 

66 00 

34 00 

68 00 

35 00 

140 00 

36 00 

36 00 

40 CO 

320 00 

11 00 

11 00 

50 00 

350 00 

73 50 

73 50 

44 00 

44 00 

45 00 

90 00 

50 00 

150 00 

75 00 

150 00 

75 00 

150 00 

60 00 

60 00 

80 00 

80 00 

112 50 

112 50 

100 00 

100 00 

100 00 

100 00 

335 00 

335 00 

400 00 

400 00 


$43,682 25 


4 Horses, at $1 50 6 00 

1 do. &c. 3 00 3 00 

21 Tenements, ------ 3 75 78 73 

58 Baths, - - , - - - - 4 50 261 00 

1 Porter Cellar, 5 25 5 25 

21 Dwellings, 6 00 126 00 

676 Dwellings, &c. 7 50 5,070 00 

1 Slaughter House, 10 50 10 50 

4 Dwellings, &c. 11 25 45 00 

5 do. &c. 12 00 60 00 

4 Factories, &c. 15 00 60 00 

2 Taverns, &c. 22 50 45 00 

1 Dwelling, &c. 24 00 24 00 

2 Factories. &c. 30 00 60 00 

1 Court, &c. 48 50 48 50 

2 Courts, &c. 37 50 75 00 

1 Steam Mill, 40 00 40 00 

1 Tannery, 57 00 57 00 

1 Dwelling, &c. 75 00 75 00 

1 Steam Mill, 30 75 30 75 

Spring Garden, - - $6,180 75 



1 Horse, - - - - - - at $1 50 $1 50 

3 Bake Houses, &c. 3 00 9 00 

49 Taverns and Licensed Houses, - - 8 75 150 00 

16 Balhs, 4 50 72 00 

1 Conjniissioners Hall, - - - - 5 00 5 00 

12 Dwellings with Cisterns, - - - 6 00 72 00 
747 Dwellings, - - - . - - 7 50 5,602 50 

1 Dwelling, &c. 9 00 9 00 

1 School House, &c. - - - - 10 00 10 20 

13 Dwellin-s, &c. - - - - - 11 25 146 25 

3 llatteries, &c. 12 GO 36 00 

1 Dwelling, Tavern, &z,c 12 75 12 75 

8 Hattcries, &c. 15 00 120 00 

1 Soap Factory, 18 00 18 00 

1 Steam Engine, - - - - - 20 00 20 00 

3 Sugar Refineries, ----- 22 50 67 50 

] Livery Stable, - - - - - 25 00 25 00 

1 Distjllery, 27 00 27 00 

1 Court, &c. 30 00 30 00 

1 Court, 37 50 37 50 

1 Brewery, 45 00 45 00 

1 Brewery, 60 00 60 00 

1 Navy Yard, 75 00 75 00 

Southwalk, - - . . $6,651 00 

7 Horses, at $1 50 $10 50 

14 Wash Pavements, &c. • - - - 3 00 42 00 

68 Tenements, &c. 3 75 255 00 

83 Baths, - 4 50 373 50 

2 Stands for Horses, &c. - - - - 5 00 10 00 
72 Dwellings, &c. 6 00 432 00 

1360 Dwellings, &c. - - - - - 7 50 10,200 00 

1 Stable, 8 00 8 00 

5 Dwellings, &c. ----- 9 00 45 00 

5 Factories, &c. 10 00 50 00 

28 Dwellings, &c. 11 25 315 00 

20 Curriers, Hatters, &c. - - - - 12 00 240 00 

31 Curriers, Morocco Factories, - - 15 00 465 00 

1 Court, 18 00 18 00 

6 Taverns, with Stables, - - - - 18 75 112 50 

1 Brewery, &c. 19 50 19 50 

2 Soap Factories, &c. - - - - 20 00 40 00 
2 Taverns, with Stables, - - - - 2J 00 42 00 

15 Taverns, with Stables, - - - - 22 50 337 50 

5 Morocco Factories, &c. - - - 25 00 125 00 

9 Soap Factories, 30 00 270 ' 

1 Brewery, 33 00 33 00 

6 Stables with Taverns, - - - - 33 75 202 50 

1 Morocco Factory, 37 50 37 50 

2 Tanneries, 52 50 105 00 

1 Brewery, ------ 75 00 75 00 

1 Dwelling, &c. - - - - - 12 75 12 75 

1 f^table, 13 50 ]3 50 

Northern Liberties, - - - . _ $13 889 75 

Southwalk, . _ qq^^ qq 

Spring Garden, -----... q I8O 75 

^"'^' 43^692 25 

$70,403 75 


Much interesting information is derived from tlie a^ove ta- 
bles. They exhibit the rate at which the Schuylkill water is 
annually furnished at different houses and establishments, and 
for a great variety of purposes. The luxury of baths is ex- 
tensively enjoyed, and there can be no doubt that the cleanli- 
ness, comfort, and health of the City, are vastly promoted by 
this and other copious indulgence in the use of the pure river- 
water. There were, in 1831, 1,184 baths, yielding a revenue 
of ^4,595. Among them there is one bathing establishment, 
Swaim's, I presume, that pays ^400 a year ; 8 others paying 
$40 : one at ^80 ; 25 others in the City ^4,50 5 the 992 oth- 
ers in the City pay ^3 each ; all the rest are in the districts, 
paying $4,50 each. The me&n of the whole is $3,88 for each. 


This town, situated on the right bank of the Ohio River, is 
in a lime stone country and the water from wells is of course 
too much affected with the usual lime stone qualities, and for 
several years the inhabitants have enjoyed a supply of good 
water from the river. To obtain correct information, I ad- 
dressed a letter to William Green, Esq., one of the most ac- 
tive and intelligent gentlemen by whose exertions these water 
works were established. He has promply, in a very kind and 
efficient manner, communicated answers to my inquiries, by 
sending a full statement drawn up by Mr. S. H. Davis, the 
Superintendent of the works from the origin, together with a 
short note by himself I cannot avoid giving their account, 
instead of attempting to make one so good of my own. 

" To William Greene, Esq,. 

" I have embraced in the following communication all the 
information which I have thought it important to know in the 
construction of a new establishment of the kind contemplated 
by the City of Boston. The Cincinnati water works were 
constructed in 1820. The water was taken from the Ohio 
river by the common forcing pump worked by horse power, 
and was placed upon the bank of the river sufficiently near 
low-water mark to be within the usual atmospheric pressure, 
and thrown from that point to the reservoir 160 feet above low 
water mark, from which it was conveyed to the City in wooden 
pipes. The City at that time afforded no inducement for a 
larger supply of water than could be brought through wooden 
pipes of 3| inches in diameter, consequently the works at the 


river were only calculated to supply 'a pipe of that size. A 
short time, however, was necessary to prove the necessity of 
an increase, and a change from horse power to steam. The 
unexpected increase of the City and the consumption of 
water, kept it in advance of the supply and from that time 
they have been constantly increased and enlarged from year 
to year. The works now consist of 2 Engines, one propelling 
a double force pump of 10 inches in diameter and 4 feet stroke^ 
throwing into the reservoir about 1,000 gallons a minute, the 
other propelling a pump of 20 inches in diameter 8 feet stroke 
and discharging about 1,200 gallons per minute. The reser- 
voirs are built of common limestone ; the walls are from 
3 to 6 feet thick and grouted. The water is conveyed imme- 
diately to the City without being permitted to stand or filter. 
Iron pipes of 8 inches diameter convey it through the heart of 
the City from which it branches in wooden pipes of from 1^ to 
3| inches diameter, from which it is conveyed intO' private 
dwellings in leaden pipes at the expense of the inhabitants 
who pay from 8 to 12 dollars per annum, according to the pur- 
poses for which it is used. Each family, of course, use any 
quantity they choose, their hydrants communicating freely 
with the main pipes. The iron pipes are made in lengths of 
9 feet each and ©onnected together by the spigot and faucet 
joint run with lead, which occupies a space round the pipe of 
§ or I an inch in thickness. Experience has proved here as 
well as elsewhere, that iron pipes should be used in preference 
to any others and that it is certain economy to lay down such 
a pipe in the first instance, as will give an ample supply for 
any reasonable increase in the town or city about to be sup- 
plied. The error has never been committed of creating too- 
large a supply, but instances of the reverse are of almost daily 
occurrence. The foregoing comprehends all that occurs ta 
me now as necessary for the letter in my hands." 
" Respectfully yours, 

" Cincinnati, Aug. 2, 1834." 

" N. B. 100 gallons per day will not be found to be too 
large an estimate for the use of each family. 

S. H. D," 


Cincinnati^ Aug. 2, 1834. 
" Dear Sir, 

I have lost no time in procuring the foregoing as a reply to 
your favour of 16th ult. I know of nothing that I can add^ 
except that payments for water are always in advance and 
never for less than ont year, though we always pay back any 
unexpired fraction of a year and slop off the supply upon any 
particular application. 

" The gentleman from v/hom I procured the foregoing has 
been connected with our establishment from its very com- 
mencement. He has greut enterprize, industry and integrity^ 
and if, with his present practical experience, he had our works 
to rebuild he would save us tens of thousands of useless expen- 
diture. In my judgment he is just the man to act as your 
principal assistant in the work you propose, and I should think 
a salary of 1,500 or 2,000 per annum might be wel! afforded 
for such a man as connected wit!-i the permanent economy of 
such an establishment." 

" Very respectfully, 



I am indebted to the Hon. B. W. Leigh of Richmond, for 
sending me a copy oftiie Engineer's report of the water-works 
macic by the Watering Committee on tJe 1 !th cf January 
1832, and read before the Common Council of the City on 
the 12th. Mr. Albert Stein was the Engineer who planned 
and superintended the Execution of the works for supplying 
the City of Richmond with water from the James River, and 
on the termination of the works he made a b ng and de-lailed 
report of all parts, from which the following abstract is made. 

An Engine House 58 feet lonii and 53 feet wide is erected 
of Stone on the bank of the river with the upper story of brick 
and only 32 wide and 10 feet high, which is intended for the 
keeper or guardian, and the lower part for two wlieel pits and 
two pumps, which appear by the report to have been con- 
structed and applied in a similar manner to the works at Phila- 
delphia. Only one wheel and a double horizontal forcing 
pump connected with it was erected at that time. 

The water wheel is of iron with the exception of the buckets 
and soling, 13 feet in diameter to the points of the buckets, iO 
feet wide between the shroudings and 14 inches deptli of 
shrouding. The cast iron shaft of the water-wheel is 10 inchee 


in diameter in the journals and 16 feet 6 inches long. The 
crank wheel to which the connecting rod is attached is 7 feet 
in diameter, with a rim of 3| inches thick and 5 inches wide, 
and hooped with wrought iron around the socket. The head 
and fall of the water is 10 feet. The barrel of the forcing 
pump is 9 inches in diameter, the stroke 6 feet in length and 
the pump intended to make ten strokes per minute, or raise in 
24 hours 400,000 gallons into the Reservoir 160 feet above 
the pump and when at work the pressure on the piston is sup- 
posed to be 6,000 pounds. 

The ca^st iron main from the pumps to the reservoir, is 2,400 
feet long, 8 inches diameter and for 450 feet from the pump 
is I of an inch thick, and for the remaining distance of 1,950 
feet to the reservoir is only 9-16 of an inch in thickness. The 
reservoir is 194 feet long 104 feet wide and 10 feet 8 inches 
deep and contains upwards of a million gallons. It is divided 
into four apartments, two of which serve for filtering. The 
top of the partition wall is 12 feet above the highest ground 
in the City and 182 feet above the Market bridge in E street, 
the lowest point in the line of pipes. The filter is 22 feet 6 
inches long and 16 feet wide and the process of filtering is ef- 
fected by the water a.xending upwards from the bottom, and 
the sediment is washed away by dischargir.g water downwards 
from the top. This reversing the course of water through the 
filter appears to be like tiie plan adopted by Mr. Thorn at 

The length, diameter, thickness and cost per foot, of pipe 
laid in Richmond are stated below. The pipes and other 
castings were delivered in Richmond by Messrs. Samuel and 
Thomas Richards of Philadelphia, at the prices stated. 

Diameter. Thickness. Length laid. Cost per foot. 
10 inches, 9-16 inches, " $1,38 

" 1,25 

" 1,20 

9,816 ket, 70 

6,040 " ^2 

' 45 

















The stop cocks and fire plugs were made by Messrs Mingle 
and Son in Philadelphia, at the foUovving prices . 


10 inch stop cock with brass faces, cast iron excepted, ^70 00 
8 " " " " 56 00 

6 " " " , •' 43-50 

4 " " " " 33 00 

3 " " " " 28 00 

A fire plug, including eye bolts " 16 00 

The whole amount stated by Mr. Stein as paid by the 
Chamberlain of the City for the works, is ^76,860 83, 

The Clerk of the City Council has added to the copy of Mr. 
Stein's report from which the foregoing statement was drawn, 
the following note. 

" Mr. Stein has omitted to state in his report, that the pump 
and water wheel were furnished by the West Point Foundry 
Association, (William Kemble Agent) New York. 

" Since the completion of Mr. Stein's contract, another 
pump and wheel have been erected, of the same size of the 
first, and to work alternately with that, and in case of accidents,^ 
&c. They were also procured from the West Point F. Asso- 
ciation, upon not quite so good terms as the first, but with 
some improvements in the construction of the wheel. 

" Another Reservoir of equal size with the first, with a 
filter between the two, is not completed yet. It has been con- 
structed with the view of cleaning the water, which at times 
has been found too muddy for use. The first filter does not 
seem to have had much effect in purifying the water. The 
second differs from it, in filtering downwards instead of by 
ascending, and it is expected when in operation, to render the 
water fit for use at all times, with the aid of the settlement in 
the New-Reservoir. 

" These improvements with the extension of pipes into 
other streets, and the compensation of the Engineer (not includ- 
ed in the report) have made the cost of the works to this time 
about ^100,000. 

" W. P. S. Clerh C. C." 

The first inquiry is, what will be " a copious and steady 
supply of pure and soft water" for the town of Boston ? From 
the foregoing sketch of several plans for furnishing towns, no 
practical scale can be framed to graduate the quantity to each 
inhabitant. Mr Treadwell fixed the quantity at 1,600,000 
gallons daily, in his plan for furnishing water from Charles 
River or Spot Pond, and the population was a little over 

61,000 in 1830. In 1840 the census will probably be 80,000, 
and the water he proposed introducing would then be 20 gal- 
lons for each, and as population increases, the ratio diminish- 
es. But much would be lost by waste and leakage, and the 
supply would be limited to the discharge of Spot Pond, if ta- 
ken from that, or by the machinery if brought from Charles 
River at Watertown. In addition to what is wanted for the 
inhabitants a vast q-uantity would be taken by the shipping, 
and could be profitably supplied by the town. 

To make any prudent estimate of water required from dis- 
tant sources, it became necessary to ascertain pretty correct- 
ly what was the character of the town water, and what the 
nature of the geological structure of the Peninsula for ordi- 
nary wells. By my inquiries I could obtain no correct, defi- 
nite information sufficient to establish a proper scale of works 
for the object the City Council had in view. I therefore em- 
ployed Mr Eben. A. Lester to make a careful investigation as 
to the number of wells in town ; to collect all facts from the 
owners or occupants as to the character, quality, and uses of 
the water taken from them in every street, and to make a ta- 
ble shewing the number, with the peculiar kind of water they 
furnished for domestic use. The result of his researches is 
very curious ; and his report is full, with a table shewing in 
detail all the wells distributed into seven difljerent classes. 

The following abstract is given from this Table, 
Whole number of Wells, - - - - 2,767 

Water drinkable in, - - - - - 2,085 

" bad, • 682—2,767 

hard, not used for washing, - - 2,760 

soft, occasionally used for washing, 7 — 2,767 

fail, 427 

injured by vaults, drains, or are 

nuisances, - - - - 62 

brackish, bad, tolerable or turbid, 

but drank, - - - - 134— 630 

Bored, or Artesian Wells included in the 

above, ----- 33 

Wells at Distilleries, _ - - - is — 51 

Within a few years it has become common in Boston and 

the vicinity to boro for water aud to make what are called 
Artesian Wells. But 410 certain and valuable result has 
grown out of these endeavors. I cannot find that any geolo- 
gical science has been acquired by any one to guide or to 
check those fruitless attempts ; and great sums of money are 
idly expended every year upon mere projects founded on 
guesswork. In my previous remarks relative to Artesian 
Wells, a few instances were given where this mode of obtain- 
ing water was valuable ; such as at Knightsbridge and Ham- 
mersmith in the neighborhood of London ; in Artois and the 
vicinity of St. Denis, in France ; and Norfolk in Virginia. 
Many other places may also be named ; but the Geological 
formation of the Peninsula of Boston seems to afford no cer- 
tain resource of this kind. There are 33 bored Wells, as 
.given by Mr. Lester, only two of which are stated as furnish- 
ing soft water. 

All the dug or Artesian Wells of Boston, are in strata of 
different materials in very irregular position, so that whatever 
.may be the success in making one well, no certain result can 
be predicated upon another trial at a short distance from the 
first. The wells in town are polluted by the dirty water 
at the surface being absorbed, settling and mingling with the 
veins below ; or are adulterated by mixture with little streams 
of sea water. That the latter case frequently occurs is very 
natural, as can be illustrated by the following facts. 

In excavating in hard compact gravel mixed with some 
clay, for the foundation of the Dry Dock in Charlestown Navy 
Yard, at the depth of about 40 feet, they came to a small 
spring of fresh water on the S. W. side next the ship house, a 
few feet outside the exterior line of Masonry. This became 
valuable and convenient to use in the mortar. But it was ne- 
cessary also to separate it from another spring of salt water 
which arose within a few feet of it. This was done by sink- 
ing a hogshead and puddling it all round with clay to pre- 
serve it pure. In this way fresh water was furnished from 
this little spring for making mortar throughout the whole 
work and no other fresh water was used. Had any one at- 
tempted to dig a well from the surface on this spot he might 
have hit the salt instead of the fresh source, or both, and his 
well be good for nothing. So on the opposite side of exca- 
vation, near the head of the Dock, where the hard gravel 
stood perpendicular for 30 feet, two similar springs issued 
from the side 20 feet from the surface, within a few feet of 


each other, one of which was of beautiful pure water, fre- 
quently drank by workmen and the other was salt as sea 
water. The same geological phenomena doubtless exist in 
most parts of Boston where the same kinds of strata are Ibund 
in well digging. 

From these circumstances it seems advisable not to confine 
the supply to any limited wants founded on what the town ac- 
tually affords, but to provide for a supply for all purposes- 
whatever within the town, and to render it copious and conve- 
nient to every section of (he City, and sufficient for fountains 
in tl\e squares and other public places. With this view I 
have examined the subject and think I can satisfy the com- 
mittee, that two or three million of gallons more or less, will 
make but little addition to the expense, when compared with 
the immense advantages. I shall therefore proceed to the 
investigation of the means of supplying or of bringing withia 
the control of the town 5 million gallons daily. 

The water brought in from Jamaica Pond by the Aqueduct 
Corporation is found to be excellent, and together with a vast 
deal collected in rain water cistern is wholly used for wash- 
ing. During the last year the Directors requested me to exam- 
ine their whole scheme of water works, and report upon the 
best method of extending their establishment, and making it 
more generally useful to the public. Engagements with gov- 
ernment prevented me from attending to it then, but last 
spring I performed these services in part, and as the interest 
of this company may become the subject of inquiry by your 
committee, I take the liberty of inserting, in the Appendix (A), 
a copy of my report made in May last. This establishment 
will not interfere with any plan the town may have in view, 
as the corporation will be perfectly ready to surrender their 
franchise to the City upon equitable and fair terms, to be de- 
termined by disinterested and intelligent persons, if the cor- 
poration and the City authorities cannot adjust it themselves. 

There are many Ponds within the distance of about twenty 
miles from which a supply of pure water may be had by 
its natural flow to ground, within four or five miles of Boston, 
sufficiently elevated without the intervention of machinery, to 
pass through pipes to the highest points of the City and even 
to flow upon the floor of the State House. Some of these 
ponds, which have been examined, are put down in the folr 
lowing table. Most of them have been analysed by Dr. C. T 
Jackson, and found to be sufficiently pure. They are all high 


enough, but they are not all equally adequate for a steady and 
copious supply. In the table, the letters are marks of refer- 
ence, used by Dr. Jackson in his clear and valuable analysis, 
as given by his report in the Appendix (B. ) Column 1, is 
the name of the Pond ; 2, the town where situated ; 3, the 
areas in acres, quarters, and rods ; 4, the height of surface 
above marsh ,• and 5th column, the distance from Boston. 



■^.:;^n»»^-»»^-M.ii... lUM.,..— . 

Area 1 Jt't. above 


1 J\ame ol rona. 


A. a. R. 1 Marsh. 


A 1. 

Spot Fond, Stoneham, 

260 " " 

143 58 

B 2. 

VValtham Pond, Waltliam, 

52 51 

192 67 

11 3 55 

C 3. 

Sandy Pond, Lincoln, 

152 1 24 

222 95 

16 3 26 

D 4. 

Baptist Pond, Newton, 

33 2 24 

137 46 

9 3 40 

K 5. 

Punkapos Pond, 



147 77 

15 41 

F 6. 

Charles Rivei-, 


G 7. 

Massapog Pond, 


H 8. 

Long Pond, 


600 2 24 

127 91 

24 3 08 

I 9. 

Farm Pond, 


J 93 

149 37 

26 2 60 


Sliakum Pond, 


89 2 

155 01 

27 20 


Learnard's Pond, 



158 32 

27 1 70 


Dug Pond, Natick, 


133 66 

24 63 


Morses Pond, Needham. 


112 40 

20 70 


Billiards Pond, " 


104 45 

19 7 

1. Spot Pond, in Stoneham, was contemplated by Mr. 
Treadwell, in his report of November 4, 1825, as a source for 
supplying the City, to be brought in cast-iron pipes. But it 
is very doubtful whether it would be sufficient for furnishing 
1,600,000 gallons daily, which he recommended to be brought 
into town. Besides, the mode of bringing it across the beds 
of two salt-water rivers, the Mystic and Charles, by iron 
pipes, appears very objectionable, and the intermediate coun- 
try is too low and irregular for an aqueduct. The area is 260 
acres, and it is 143.58 feet above the marsh in Medford. The 
result of Dr. Jackson's examination is favorable to the water 
as marked A. No good opportunity has occurred this season 
to measure the discharge. All the water flowing from it es- 
capes by leaking through the dam and gateway, exeept the 
gate, which is occasionally drawn for the mills below, during 
the present wet summer. It was shut on the 7th September ; 
and on the lOth, by measuring the velocity of the current in 
the ditch, some way below the dam, the discharge was found 
to be 1.67 cubic feet a second by Dubuat's formula, and the 
1,600,000 gallons, proposed by Mr. Treadwell, is =2.41 feet 
a second, which is to this calculation nearly as 3 to 2. 

2. fValtham Pond, in the north part of \Valtham, near 

Sherman's Hill, on Hale's map, is 192.67 feet above t^e 
marsh level in Watertown, and has an area of 52 acres. 
From the analysis made by Dr. Jackson, and from its char- 
acter in the neighborhood, it is not sufficiently pure. This is 
marked B in the table. 

3. Sandy Pond, near the meeting-house in Lincoln, is a 
beautiful lake of 152 acres, and 222.65 feet above the marsh. 
The whole shore is formed of sand and gravel. It is fur- 
nished by springs, but its discharge does not appear adequate 
to the supply, though it has not been guagcd. It appears 
from Dr. Jackson's trial to be the most pure, from its specific 
gravity being equal to pure water. It is C in the list. The 
whole intermediate country to high land in Roxbury or Dor- 
chester is mostly too low and very unfavorable for an aqueduct, 
and the distance too great for pipes. 

4. Baptist Pond in Newton near Dr. Homer's Church, is 
only 33 acres and an half and 137.46 feet above marsh level, 
It is a beautiful sheet of water in a gravelly bason, fed by spring's, 
and has a small outlet, but is too small lor the occasion, un- 
less like many others, it be united as a feeder to some other 
source. Its place is D in the table. 

5. Punkapog Pond in Canton has an area of 217 acres and 
147.77 feet above marsh level, or high water mark at the 
mouth of Neponset River. From the appearance of the pond 
and of the copious discharge from it, it was hoped that this 
was a practicable and abundant source, and the analysis of 
Dr. Jackson marked E, shows it to be sufficiently pure. But 
on trying the levels, in two or three directions, the ground was 
too low for an aqueduct. Finding these circumstances un- 
favourable, I turned my attention next to sources in the west 
and examined the Ponds in Natick and Framingham. But 
attempts were subsequently made to find the amount and to 
guage the discharge from Punkapog. The U. S. Engineers 
on their surveys for the Weymouth Canal, in 1830, had the 
outlet guaged by allowing the v/ater to flow through a weir or 
notch 24 inches wide and it was found to be, as I am informed, 
10 inches deep, which gives by a rule in Robison's Mechani- 
cal Philosophy, II Vol. page 515, 5.10 cubic feet a second. 
But five million gallons daily v^ould require 7 7 cubic feet. 
This measurement was during a dry summer, and much water 
escaped by leakage at the weir. On the i Ith of September, 
I attempted to guage the water flowing through two gateways 
at the mills abont a quarter of a mile below the pond. At the 



mill-gate it was 15 cubic feet a second, and at the guard-gate, 
at the head of the mill-pond, it was over !2 feet. But the 
measures attainable at these points conld not be considered 
accurate, though sufficient to show the supply is ample at this 

6. Charles Rivir water. This specimen, F, was taken 
by the falls in Watertown, at the head of tide-water. This 
river-water was formerly, and still is by some, used in the 
manufacture of paper of all kinds, but was soon found to be 
unfit for the finer kind on account of its having a dark tinge 
usual in boggy or ditch water. Such was the effect of this 
discoloration several years ago, when paper was made at the 
mills of Bemis & Eddy, at the second dam above Watertown 
bridge, that they were at the expense of conveying pure water 
to the manufactory from a distant spring for making the best 
sort of paper. Some families, who still use the river-water 
for washing, do all the rinsing with that of a spring. The 
Waltham factories, next above on the same stream, carry on 
an extensive bleaching operation, in connexion with the man- 
ufacture of cotton cloth, and sometimes employ the river- 
water, but it often gives a shade of reddish tint to the goods, 
and spring-water is used for rinsing. Complaints are occa- 
sionally made on this account by customers in Boston for 
whom they bleach, and the bleaching is performed wholly 
with spring-water. The river-water at times is much clearer 
than at others, and the discoloration is probably much in- 
creased of late years, in consequence of the extensive but 
shallow fiowage over meadows and swamp land, caused by 
the upper dam of the Waltham factories having been raised. 
These facts I have from Caleb Eddy, Esq., Seth Bemis, Esq. 
and from Dr. llobbs, agent of Waltham factories, whose state- 
ment in writing is in the Appendix C, with a second letter 
from Dr. Jackson. 

The water of Concord River, from Sudbury to the Middle- 
sex Canal at Billerica mills, has the same defect as to its dis- 
colored state, together with the additional objection of its 
possessing some poisonous quality. I remember when the 
locks, &c. of the Middlesex Canal were built 30 or 40 years 
ago, the workmen obliged to labor in the water, complained 
that it made their hands and feet sore, and if a little scratch 
occurred to their flesh, or the skin was torn or bruised away, 
the water would cause it to fester into a serious wound, and 
it was often necessary to suspend working in it that the sore 
might heal. This character of the water was confirmed to 


nie a few days ago by IMr Wilson, a master Carpenter, who 
has been employed 20 years in the direction of the Canal 
works there, 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 don't know but it would eat 
his hand up in time ; but working in the Merrimack river 
would wash it well again." 

This natural defect of streams flowing through extensive 
boggy soil and lying as the water does in winter and spring, 
and often in summer, upon immense fields of morass lands 
bordering on the Charles and Concord, should induce great 
caution in taking their waters for the supply of towns. On 
the other hand, rivers springing from pure lakes and moun- 
tain brooks, and flowing throughout in rocky, gravelly and 
sandy beds like the Merrimack, must always be free from per- 
nicious vegetable solution. 

7. This specimen of water was taken from Massapog Pond 
in Sharon and is marked G. Analysis has given it a good 
character ; but there are the same objections to bringing it in 
an aqueduct which exist to that of Punkapog. Its elevation 
above the tide has not been ascertained, nor has it been sur- 

8. Long Pond is situated in Framingham and Natick but 
about six sevenths of it are in the latter town. From a calcu- 
lation on the plan made on the late surveys of ihe Common- 
wealth, the area is 600 acres and itp surface J 27.91 feet above 
marsh level. The first specimen of water tested by Dr. Jack- 
son marked H, was taken from the south end of the pond and 
was not so favourable a sample as that subsequently obtained 
at the outlet, and of which his analysis is more satisfactory as 
he mentions in a note. At the outlet which falls into the Con- 
cord River is a Cotton factory and at the mill race just above 
the mill was a convenient place to guage the discharge while 
the machinery was in motion, which was done on the 16th 
August last. The race was 12 feet wide with parallel, per- 
pendicular side walls for the distance of 30 or 40 feet. Two 
straight ti:-nbers were found lying across the top of the race at 
right angles with it and 18| feet apart. The bottom was very 
nearly level and the mean area of the two sections of the 
stream, one under each cross timber, was 32.08 feet and suf- 
ficiently correct for the whole stream. It was next required 
to ascertain the velocity in inches of the top surface along the 
middle of the current, which was found to be, on the mean of 


6 trials, equal 13| feet in 18 seconds. To obtain the mean 
velocity of the whole section, Dubuat gives the following for- 
mula : V=(V A— 1) 2 and ^^±^'=C, where A=top velocity 
in inches per second ; V=bottom velocity, and C==mean 
velocity ; both also in inches. By this formula the mean 
velocity reduced to feet per second, multiplied by the mean 
area of section in square feet, gives the di5charge=24,89 cubic 
feet a second. Prony's more simple formula viz : A X 0?^ 
=26,35 cubic feet for the discharge. Taking 25 for the 
mean of the two formulas, the result is 2,163,000 cubic feet 
or 16,156,803 gallons in 24 hours. This Pond is evidently 
sufficient for a supply, but it will become important on account 
of its relative level compared with the next two, and the greater 
expense of effecting a discharge from it, to know if they and 
other sources will not also be fully adequate ; for if they are 
not, I propose relying on this. 

9. Farm Pond in Framingham, marked I, has its outlet into 
Sudbury River, which unites with the Concord in the same 
town and is the last submitted to analysis. Its area is 196 
acres and 149,37 feet above the marsh. It is 21,46 feet higher 
than I-ong Pond and about two and a half miles to the west of 
it. The outlet passes first through meadows about 40 rods ; 
then through hard land and joins the Sudbury River in meadow 
land, the whole fall from the pond to the river being 2 feet 
1 1 inches in a distance of 134 rods. In the ditch leading 
through the first meadow is a stop gate opened and shut occa- 
sionally in dry seasons, for the use of mills situated some dis- 
tance below at Saxonville Village on Concord River, in 
Framingham. On this account it became very difficult to 
guage the stream during the driest part of the last summer. 
On making a trial on the 15th August, in the same manner as 
that used the day after at the outlet of Long Pond, it was 
found to be equal 0.766 cubic feet a second by Dubuat's rule 
and 0,954 by Prony, the mean of which is 0,86 feet a second 
=74304 cubic feet or 555794 gallons daily The land on the 
South side is only t'.vo feet above the pond and during winter, 
spring, or high state of the pond, the water flows over and 
passes dov/n the meadows to Long Pond, in a direction oppo- 
site that of the natural discharge to Sudbury River. 

10. Shakum Fond in Framingham has the appearance 
and the character of being a collection of clean, pure water, 
but has not been analysed. It is half a mile south of Farm 
Pond and contains 89 acres and is 155.00 feet above Marsh 


levf^l, 5.64 feet above Farm and 27.10 above Long Pond, 
There are two outlets on the south side and it discharges into 
Long pond. Both outlets were stopped for the farmers to get 
their hay on the extensive meadow below, when the other 
guages were taken and no trial could be made as to the dis- 
charge. It is wholly fed by springs, it is from Farm Pond 
with this, together with copious additions from springs every 
where indicated for several miles, through which an aqueduct 
must be cut, that a sufficient supply can be expected ; but 
Long Pond is abundant, though the excavation will be deeper. 
The character of the route from each will be given below. 
The supply is apparently equal that of Farm Pond. 

11. — Leurnarcfs Pond is about a quarter of a mile north 
east of Farm Pond in the same town ; containing 39 acres 
158 26 feet above marsh, 30.35 above Long, 8.89 above Farm 
and 3.25 feet fibove Shakum Pond, but has neither inlet nor 
outlet and is supplied wholly by springs. It is a clean basin 
of clear water in a gravelly bed, fluctuating by change of sea- 
sons, and perhaps deserving no further notice for our purpose. 

12. Dug Pond, in Natick, is supposed to contain about 30 
acres, but has not been surveyed. It lies a quarter of a mile 
to the south of, discharges into, and is 5.75 feet above Long 
Pond. Several years ago, the outlet was deepened by the 
owners of mills at the discharge of Long Pond, for the pur- 
pose of making it a reservoir. The consequence was that the 
pond was drawn down about 7 feet to it present level, where 
it has remained for some years, having been found ineffectual 
as a reservoir. Its shore all round is a steep gravelly bank, 
eight or ten feet high, and it is furnished wholly by springs. 
It was through this Pond I first contemplated cutting an aque- 
duct from Long Pond, but a preferable route has been exam- 
ined, and the far more favorable direction from Farm Pond, 
&c., render this line inexpedient, 

Morse''s and Bidlardh Ponds, in Needham, will be noticed 
on the second route from Long Pond, but as a supply are of 
little or no consequence. 

From a consideration of all the sources I have examined in 
the vicinity of Boston, as before stated, the most eligible are 
those of Farm and Shakum Ponds in Framingham, together 
with incidental ones dependent upon them and Long Pond, in 
Natick, and the mode of bringing the water to town is by an 
aqueduct, without the use of pipes, to the nearest point of 
sufficient height to allow it to flow through cast-iron pipes to 
the highest land in the City, 


For this purpose, I propose establishing a reservoir near the 
road leading from Roxbury to the Brush Hill Turnpike, by 
the rocks on the west side of the road north of R. G. Amory's 
house, or some place in that neighborhood. The reservoir to 
be of such form and dimensions as the nature of the ground 
and future surveys may justify, and of such height that the 
surface of the water, when full, shall be 1 10 feet above marsh 
level. The aqueduct to be formed in the earth like an open 
canal, or made of stone and covered, with such form, dimen- 
sions, and slope, from the source to the reservoir as to be ad- 
equate to conduct five million gallons at least to the reser- 
voir daily, for the use of the City, should it be required, but 
in which the supply shall be easily restricted to any less 

From the surveys already obtained which are mainly on the 
most eligible routes, but which must be considered only as 
trial levels and surveys, the distance from Farm Pond to the 
proposed reservoir is 23 miles and 3 quarters ; that from the 
south end of Long Pond, through Dug Pond to the same point, 
is 21 miles 3 quarters ; and that from the east side of J^ong 
Pond nearly 22 miles. The route thus indicated is common 
to all the resources, westward from the reservoir or basin, for 
the distance of 16 miles, but the difference in the lines before 
given, takes place above that point where they diverge. The 
position and profile of the surveys and levels will be seen on 
the plan. 


Four plans for constructing an aqueduct are given. First, 
an open canal or drain, like common navigable canals, but on 
a small scale. Such is the New River, which has supplied 
part of London for two centuries, and such is the Ourcq Ca- 
nal, furnishing Paris with pure water, though upon a much 
larger scale to answer also for inland navigation. This mode 
has nothing but economy to recommend it, for unless other 
objects, than solely furnishing water for domestic use are 
wanted, in every other respect it is objectionable. 

A second mode is to build stone walls four or five {"eet high, 
instead of leaving the sides of the aqueduct or canal of natural 
earth. This would tend to protect the canal from filling and 
choking by the bank's washing in, and lessen the liability of 
encroachment from the growth of weeds and aquatic plants 
along the borders. In cases, more especially where 


stones are abundant and convenient, it would be much better 
than the first. 

A ihird kind, and in many places preferable to the other 
two, is a drain with stone walls laid up on each side without 
mortar or cement, two or three feet apart, three or four feet 
high, with flat stones to cover the top, and earth laid over the 
whole, so as effeclually to conceal the work from sight, pro- 
tect it from mischief and frost, and leave the ground free for 
ordinary use. This resembles the admirable scheme adopted 
for furnishing a supply of pure spring-water for the City of 
Edinburg, and which is to be recommended for some miles 
in this, to secure the acquisition of spring-water that plan 

Finally, the/owrZ/i construction is that furnished by Ancient 
Roman works, and nearly all, except open canals, used in 
Europe, which is like the third in form, but built in regular 
masonry, laid in hydraulic cement, or in common mortar, and 
lined with cement. In this, the bottom should be stone, the 
top covered with the same, and the whole laid under ground, 
or where the foundation is too low, the work to be surrounded 
and covered with an embankment. Before proceeding to a 
description of the proposed aqueduct and estimate, I will pre- 
sent for the consideration of the Committee a table exhibiting 
the effective discharges of several canals and aqueducts, 
founded on the modification of the form, dimensions, and slope 
of different plans, compared with that of a cylindrical pipe hav- 
ing the same area of cross section with the aqueducts. 

In the following table are given seven cases or forms of ca- 
nals or aqueducts, showing in each the area or cross section, 
the slope in inches a mile ; the velocity of discharge a second; 
the discharge a second in cubic feet ; and same in 24 hours,, 
the measures all in feet : 1st. — An open canal 4 feet wide at 
bottom, 4 deep, with banks sloping with 1.5 feet base to 1 
rise, the area being =40 square feet — 2d. Similar canal, but 
5. 13 feet deep, area =60 feet. — 3d. An open canal, 5 feet 
wide and 3 deep, with perpendicular sides of stones, with an 
area of cross section =15 feet. — 4th. Ccnal of same form, 
with depth 3.46 feet, and width 6.50 feet, the section 22.50 
feet. — 5th. A stone Aqueduct, of 8 feet cross section, 2 feet 
wide and 4 high, covered with stone and earth. — 6th. Anoth- 
er of stone, but equilateral, having the same section of 8 feet. 
7th. A conduit pipe 3. !9 diameter, giving a cross section of 
8 feet. 



Kinrl of Aqii"dii,",t. 



V. a sec. 

D. a second. 

D. V ft. in 
24 houis- 

1. U, en Caiiai, buttum 40 4 

j ! u^a) 

1 41,6340 

1 ..597 177 

4 wide, 4 deep, 16 6 




feer wide at t!ie top 8 



5229iil9 I 

1 ami piopes 1.5 base 10 



5896281 1 

1 to I loot rise. 12 








2. Optju Cahai, l)ot. 4 60 4 



wide, same sIo])es, 6 




5.13 deep and top 





breadth 19.39 feet. 



] 14.1260 











3. Canal 5 feet wide, 3 






feet deep, with per- 



15 1245 


pendicular sides of 

8 1 1,1797 



stone masonry. 













4. Canal of same form 





3.46 feet deep and 





6.50 wide. 









i 12 








5. Aqueduct of stone, 

8 4 




either with or with- 





out cement, 2 feet 





wide and 4 deep. 










1,2248 1 



3. Aqueduct with 

8 4 1 

,5250 1 



equilateral side.s, 





same area of cross 


.7822 1 



section, each side 


,8875 1 



being- 9 feet 10 

1 12 




1 inr-iiU"; ne.iriy. '] l8 


9 8704 

859SC 2 

p. Ciisl ii-on Conduit i 8 
f pipe, same area of j 


..5rj»l 1 


c'o-Ji ./8 





] cross section as the | 





1 two last aqueducts, | 


,9435 1 


652147 1 

1 3.19 feet diamsuer. 

12 1 


8,3632 i 


! 18 1 

1.3 i 17 

10,4956 1 


The 1st construction of an aqueduct or canal is the most 
simple and economical, and will furnish more water than re- 
quired. The quantity proposed is five million gallons daily, 
equal to 608,450 cubic feet, or 7.7367 feet a second, while the 
canal would give 41, 634 feet a second, or about six times what 
is wanted. But it must be considered that an open canal is 
liable to fill up and be choked, and if reduced below the di- 
mensions given in the table, this circumstance will soon pro- 


t!uce sei'ious inconvenience. In common earth, such a canal 
in 6 feet cutting would cost, at 15 cents the cubic yard, ^2238 
a mile. 

The third, an open canal, 5 feet wide and 3 deep, with the 
sides formed of stone walls, is much preferable to the other, 
and the excavation 6 feet deep and 11 wide, at 15 cents the 
yard, would cost, per mile, ----- <^1,180 

The side walls, 4 feet high and mean thickness 
of 2 feet, at ^2 a yard, - ^ - » . 5,866 


An open canal, like either of these, will be exposed to the 
frost, and the ice which will cover them in winter will lessen 
the discharge about one third in the former, and little more 
than a quarter in the latter form, with a slope of 4 inches in 
ihe mile, when the water beneath the ice has the same depth 
as noted in the table. 

A close stone aqueduct, like the 5th case in the table, is 
the most proper construction. The 6th is only a change 
of form ; and the 7th being a cylindrical pipe, is added to 
show the difference of discharge arising from a simple change 
in form of the same area of cross section, which is 8 square 
feet in each of the three. 

No reduction of dimensions from those above given, can be 
made in an open canal, even for a less quantity than five mil- 
lions, and that the Committee may judge how far the stone 
aqueduct can be reduced for a shorter supply, the following 
statement furnishes convenient data for comparison t 
1,000,000 galls. = L5473 cubic ft. a sec. or 133690 ft a day. 
2,000,000 " 3.0946 " 267380 " 

3,000,000 " 4.6420 «« 401070 " 

4,000,000 '' 6.1893 " 534760 '^ 

5,000,000 " 7.7367 " 668450 '' 

Now in reducing the aqueduct, 5th case, to 6 feet instead 
of 8 feet cross section, by making the sides 3 feet high, the 
discharge, at 4 inches slope in the mile, will be only 249588 fl^ 
or 1866318 gallons daily ; and if the same redaction be pro* 
duced in the cross section by making the breadth 1 foot 6 in. 
keeping the same height of 4 feet, the discharge will be still 
farther reduced more than 90,000 gallons. Hence it will no 
be expedient to calculate upon an aqueduct on a smaller scale, 
unless peculiar circumstances of ground, change of directioa 
m slope, which will probably often occurj shall require. 



Farm Pond, the highest source in view, is 149.375 feet above 
marsh and 39.375 above the basin in Roxbury. Its situation 
IS favourable and very remarkable, being only 2 feet 1 1 inches 
above Sudbury River on the north, into which it has its natural 
outlet at a distance of 134 rods. The surface of land above 
the Pond on the south side, through which it would require 
cutting, is about 2 feet, though the survey was carried on 
higher ground, as shown on the profile, to lessen the distance^ 
By digging 5 or 6 feet deep, therefore, for about a mile or 
mile and a half, the whole of Sudbury River, with all the rain 
water falling upon its extensive valley, may be here inter- 
cepted and conducted through Farm Pond into the Charles, 
instead of pursuing its natural course to the Concord River. 


This Section for the distance of 3 m. 3 qrs. 10 rods to A, is 
mostly upon a thin boggy soil on a gravelly bed, so that afier 
passing a mile from the pond, the level comes out to the sur» 
face of the ground, and almost any convenient level or slope 
may be taken for this section. Some rock would probably be 
found, but the ground has the appearance of being porous 
gravel and full of springs. The position of this, and other 
lines and levels, will be seen on the plan and profile which ac- 
company and make part of this report. 

An open Canal, like No, 1 in the table, 6 feet deep would 
cost, at 15 cents the cubic yard, >^2288, adding for subsidary 
work makes it ^3000 ; and with stone walls, like case 3d, 5 
feet wide and side walls 4 feet high, the excavation 1 1 feet 
wide and mean depth 6 feet^ at 15 cents a yard would be .?^ 1880: 
the walls of 2 feet mean thickness and 4 feet high at ^2 the 
yard, would Gost^6258 ; and the whole ^8130 per mile, 


From A to B the second section is 4.0.36, This line falls 
upon the left Bank of Charles River in South Natick, and 
passes along the valley of that stream to the point B where it 
meets the Eastern survey from Long Pond. The profile 
shews and the ground indicates some irregularities on this sec- 
tion, which careful repetition of the survey would remove, 
but an open Canal may be effected at a mean depth of 8 ieei 
ciutingj at 15 cents the yard, for ^3754 per mile and subsidiary 
work will mak© it ^5,000. With iton© walla it would be 
1 10,000. 5 



This section, extending from B to C — 6.1.48, is still along 
the left bank of Charles River. The section terminates at the 
commencement of the lowgound and meadow separating the 
main from Dedham Island. Much uneven ground is found 
in this part of the line, but a better direction may be se- 
lected, than the profile affords, on repeating the levels. Some 
projecting points are rock, but they are all small, and with the 
low lands requiring embarkment, an open canal may be ef- 
fected for about |^7,000 a mile. 


The embarkment across the low and meadow land to Dead- 
ham Island, for the distance of 0.3.71 to D, constitutes the 
Fourth Section. The level of Farm Pond is 39,375 feet above 
the level of the Basin, which is 27.72 feet higher than the 
Charles at this place. The aqueduct must be somewhat high- 
er than the Basin, to allow for the requisite slope. It is called 
30 feet, to which it will be necessary to raise the embank- 
ment, making the top breadth 20 feet and base 1 10 feet. 
I state the length 1 mile, though this section is little 
less. This embarkment at 20 cents the cubic yard, would cost 
^76,266. A covered stone aqueduct should be constructed 
upon this bank, after it has had time to settle, for which pur- 
pose the water must be brought upon it as early as possible 
by a small open canal. Arched roadways, and a culvert for 
the stream dividing the main from Dedham Island, will be 
required, which will probably raise the cost of this section to 


This embraces the cutting on the Island and the aqueduct 
bridge across the river to the right bank, extending 0.2.51 
from D to E. The first part will be excavation of about 20 
feet deep for half a mile, which, upon a mean breadth of 20 
feet will cost, at 20 cents a yard, $7,822. But all this earth 
with much more will be required for the embankment in the 
last mentioned section, and may properly be considered as in- 
cluded in that estimate. The bridge, with two arches of 50 
feet span and 20 wide, with an aqueduct laid in cement, will 
require 1,000 cubic yards at $12==$ 12,000, and this section 
would therefore cost $20,000. The point of crossing the 
River is at the old abutments of a Bridge, now removed. 


which are a few rods below the present brfdge from Spring- 
street to Dedham, and is the most favorable within the distance 
of some miles, for passing Charles River. 


From the River, passing along the lowest ground to a ridge 
near spring street in Roxbury, thence east of Spring street 
Meeting-house crossing the Dedham Turnpike to the east of 
the Halfway house, to the Providence Rail road, the distance 
is 4 miles from E to F, and makes the sixth section. Two 
difficult passages occur in this section. The first is the deep 
cutting near the road, east of the Meeting-house, as seen on the 
profile. This will require an average cutting of 25 feet deep 
for a mile and mean breadth of 10 feet, which, at 20 cents the 
yard,=^9,777. Since the soil here indicates gravel with 
springs, if rock is not met, a stone aqueduct 2 feet wide and 4 
feet deep, of dry stone rubble, covered with flat stones, will be 
preferable to any other work. This will require 4,500 yards at 
^2=^9,000, amounting to $18,777 the mile. 

The second very expensive part of the section is the low 
ground, for one third of a mile, at the east end next the Rail 
road. This will require an embankment of thirty-five feet 
mean height, and at 20 cents a yard=$32,854. The other 
parts of this section may be made an open canal at about 
^5,000 a mile. The whole section amounting to ^64,964. 


This is 1.0.18 from F to G, and embraces a bridge over the 
Rail Road and two accommodation Brides. On further ex- 
amination a more practicable line may be found, which, how- 
ever, must cross the road and the valley through which it passes. 
This will require an embankment from 45 to 50 feet high and 
alto-gether will probably cost $150,000. 

It may become a question with the Committee, whether cast 
iron pipes could not be substituted for the high banking in this 
section and at Dedham Island in the 4th, for in fact these two 
places are the only points that offer any embarrassment, I 
give the following statement for their consideration. 

Cast iron pipes 1 inch thick at 5 cents the pound, delivered 
on the line will, at the diameters given below, with a head of 
2 feet for the mile, cost and discharge as follows. 


Cast iron pipe i ri- „, 
1 inch thick. 1 D'am. 


Uis. per 1 (J. It. 24 
second. | hours. 


Cost per 1 
mile. 1 





2.042 176428 
2 615 229392 
3.373 291427 
4.190 362461 

1310681 147,050 
1715852 52,224 
2179873 57,198 
2710460 62,172 

From these data it appears, that even a pipe 2 feet diameter 
with a head of 2 feet, will discharge at a mile distance, little 
more than half what is proposed to bring to it, for the use of the 
town, and at 4 feet head nearly 4 million gallons. If two pipes 
of 18 inches diameter, are laid with 2 feet head, they will fur- 
nish but 2639362 and cost over $100,000. Under all circum- 
stances the preference in favour of pipes is not great, in relation 
to cost, and when it is considered, that a permanent aqueduct 
dispenses with all care and expense of reparation, an aque- 
duct is to be prefered. 


On the profile this section, from F to H, appears to be very 
uneven and is in fact impracticable, but a line may be chosen 
very favourable so as to bring the termination in the neighbour- 
hood of the point proposed for the Basin or revervoir at H. 
It is 2.3.55 long, and the aqueduct terminating here, will leave 
the remaining distance to the State house 2 miles 3 quarters 
and 12 rods. It is extremely difficult to estimate its cost, as 
the land is broken and presents much of the Brescia ledge 
prevailing in Roxbury. A route may be selected, nearly coin- 
ciding with the level of the basin, through the whole section, 
and avoid the elevation seen on the profile above the Basin 
level. The survey was carried, part of the way, along the 
road leading from Roxbury to T. K. Jones', or Grove Hall, 
more than a mile to the bench on the Rock at H, and the ad- 
jacent lands admit of a higher line and even appear favorable, 
for advancing the aqueduct and reservoir half a mile further to- 
wards Boston. 

The ground affords many opportunities of forming basins 
near the end, tmd perhaps it will be convenient and economi- 
cal to construct the aqueduct into a long and wide canal as a 
substitute for a reservoir. A covered stone aqueduct, like that 
proposed in the 3d. section will cost $8,131 per mile, but the 
best mode is to build it in cement with the sides and bottom 
plastered also with cement. This would cost at $10 the yard 
and 50 cents a square yard for plastering, $35,933 a mile. 
The character of the soil mav not require this consfruction ; 


but If it is sand, gravel or other porous and absorbent earth, 
this work in masonry laid in cement cannot be dispensed with- 
Taking into view the irregular surface, this section will cost 
$12,000 per mile. 







, 3. 









































dd for c 














From the reservoir to the State house the distance would be 
2 miles 3 quarters and 12 rods. The fall from the top of the 
basin to the floor of the building Would be 14 feet, and a pipe 
18 inches in diameter would discharge at that level, making 
some deductions for sinuosities, upwards of 2 million gallons 
daily ; and a similar pipe would discharge upon the top of 
Washington Square at Fort Hill, about 50 feet below the level 
of the reservoir, supposed the same distanse, little less than 4 
millions. Such a pipe would cost taken at 1 inch thick and 5 
cents a pound, $47,050 a mile, and for the whole distance, 
either to the State house or Washington square $131,150. 
If therefore we add for digging the trench and laying the pipe, 
making the cost ==:$ 150,000 for the main conduit to the town, 
which may be relied upon as a very safe calculation, and to 
this be also added $100,000 more to contingencies in the esti- 
mate of the chief line to the Basin, which is an average of con- 
tingencies of more than $6,300 a mile over the estimate, the 
whole expense of bringing a most copious supply into the City 
will not exceed $750,000. I omit all calculation as to the 
distribution in town, as every thing in relation to that branch 
must depend upon the quantity brought to distribute. 


The supply Irom Long Pond by cither survey is quite prac- 
ticable but will be more expensive than the line from Farm 
Pond. From Long Pond the distance is a few feet more than 
6 miles, when the survey falls into the route from Farm Pond 
at B the end of the second section. One mile would require 
digging to the average depth of 25 feet and would cost the 
same as the deep cutting in the 6th section or ^18,777. The 
remaining distance would amount to $7,000 a mile, and the 
whole to $53,777, being a substitute for the two first sections 
of7 miles and 3 quarters estimated at $31,391. The other 
line from the South end of Long Pond through Dug Pond is 
more unfavorable. Both lines with the prefiles are seen on 
the plan. Should any doubt exist as to the sufficiency of supply 
from Farm and Shakum Ponds, with what will come from springs 
for a distance of several miles, with numerous little brooks, &c. 
which can be intercepted along the left bank of Charles river, 
the adoption of Long Pond resource will add between 20 and 
30,000 dollars only. 

Upon the whole, the proposed line of aqueduct is the best 
of any I have been able to discover to any competent source 
within the same distance from Boston, and with the exception 
of the low ground at Dcdham Island and on the east side of 
Providence Rail road, presents extraordinary facilities for the 
intended object, which no one could have supposed attainable 
from the known irregular character of the surrounding coun- 
try. The surveys have been made by IMr, Perham and Mr. 
Fillison assisted by other gentlemen in my office, under my 
directions, but with little of my own personal inspection. I 
have however reconnoitered the routes, and on a renewal of the 
levels, more of my personal attention in the field will be re- 
quired than I have yet been able to bestov.^. Li making up 
the report I have endeavoured to make the subject familiar to 
the Oommittee and the Inhabitants so deeply interested in the 


With great respect your obedient servant, 

L, BALDWIN, Engineer, 
To Gen. Theodore Lvr-tAN;, Jr. 

Mayor , and Chairman of ike 
Oct. 1, UM. 


(i.) — De VArt du Fonlenier Sondeur et des Puits Arle^ 
Stens, ou Memoire sur les differentes especes de Terrain^ 
dans lesquels on doit rechercher des eaux souterraines, et sUf 
les moyens qu'il faut employer pour ramener une partie de ces 
eaux a la surface du sol, a I'aide de la Sonde du Mineur ou 
du Fontenier. -^ Par F. Garnier, Ingenieur au corps royal des 
mines, ancien eleve de I'Ecole polytechnique, 1822. 

This very Valuable work in 4to. with 19 plates, was the re-= 
suit of a premium of 3000 francs offered in 1818 by the Socie-* 
ty for the encouragement of National Industry in France^ 
awarded by the Society in 1821 to the author Mr. Garnier >, 
The premiuiii Mas offered in the following terms. " For the 
best manual, or practical and elementary instructions upon the 
art of piercing or boring Artesian wells with the miner's of 
fountaineer's auger, from ^5 metres (82 feet) to 100 metres 
(328 feet) depth and deeper if possible." 

(2.) ~- Annales des Fonts et Cliaussces^ Vol. VI page 3 13. 
See a very interesting extract from a report upon Artesian 
wells employed for the discharge of foul and infected water, 
and for the purifying of manufactories, made by a corhmissioil 
of the Council of Health attached to the Prefecture of Police, 
consisting of JMessrs. Girard and Parent-Duchaleteti 

(3 •) —^ An account of the mode of draining- land according 
to the system practiced by Mr. Joseph Elkington. Drawn 
up for the consideration of the Board of AgricultUfe — By 
John Johnstone, Land Surveyor, London, 1801. Second 
Edition. This curious work and valuable to all agriculturists, 
was the fruit of thirty years experience in the art of Drain-^ 
in2, by Mr. Elkington, a Warwickshire Farmer, whose sue* 
cess had become so famous that Mr. Johnstone was appointed 
by the Board of Agriculture, and the Highland Society of 
Scotland, to examine and report the various processes adopted 
and Mr. Elkington was induced to communicate them to the 
public. Their importance is shoVv'n by a vote of Parliament 
in 1796 for authorizing the King to offer ,f 1,000 to Mr. Elk- 
ington as an inducement for making known his discovery. 

(4.) — Commentaire de S. J. Frontin, sur les aqueducs do 
Rome, Traduit avec le Textc en regard, Precede d'une notice 
sur Frontioj de Notionspreliminaircs sur les Poidsj les mes- 


wres, les Monnaies, et la maniere de Compter de? Romains ', 
Suivi de la description des princepaux AqueduCs, construits, 
jusqu'a nos jours ; des lois ou Constitutions imperiales sur 
Jes aqueducs, et d'un Precis d' hydraulique, Avec trent« 
Planches, Par J. Rondelet, Paris, 18^20. 

(5.) — The names of the Roman Aqueducts are taken from 
those of the River er Lake which supplies them, or from the 
Emperors who caused them to be constructed. In the lOth 
Section, Frontinus gives the following as the origin of the 
name of this. " It is called the Virgin (Virgo), because it 
was a young girl who showed some veins to a (ew soldiers who 
were in search of spring water. Those who dug followed 
these veins and found a great quantity, and th«re is a painting 
in a little temple erected close by the source representing this 
event." Rondelet's Translation, p. 19. 

(6.) — Addition au Commentaire de S. J. Frontin sur les 
Aqueducs de Rome, Slc. Par J. Rondelet, p. 19. 

(7.) — A Fragment of a pipe forming part of this reversed 
syphon, is still preserved in the Museum at Lyons, and an 
instance of the Romans having laid pipes across the beds of 
rivers is given by M. Gautier, Architect, Engineer, &c. in 
his work called, Traile de la construction des Chemins. Pub- 
lished in 1778. 

About 70 or 80 years ago he was directed by Mr. Pontchar- 
train Minister of State, to repair to Rochefort, to conduct 
spring water to the Port from the fountains of the City, which 
were supplied from a source, though quite insufficient for the 
City, in the neighbourhood. In his researches he discovered 
a good and copious source, at less than half a league, but on 
the other side of the river, the Charente. Many difficulties 
were presented, because at low water, vessels might ground 
upon the pipes and injure them. However, Mr. Gautier pro- 
posed to lay down two leaden pipes, to preserve a supply in 
case of accident to one, and to protect them by wooden frames 
in an effectual way against injury, should vessels lay upon the 
defence frames during low water. Mr. Begon, intendant of 
the Marine, approved the plan, but it was finally rejected. 

" Some years after" says Mr. Gautier " when I had charge 
of the roads on the Rhone, and of many other works in the 
Province of Languedoc, and while at Aries, I heard that a 
vessel had cast anchor in the Rhone, opposite the City, to take 
some loading ; but when the commander wanted to sail again 
he could not raise his anchor. This fact attracted much at- 
tention, and many people went to witness the singular circum- 
stance. The Captain, unwilling to lose his anchor, sent down 
a man, to find what was the matter. The diver reported that 
the anchor was hooked under something round, but he could 
not tell what it was. A capstan was applied to raise it, which 
succeeded. It brought up a leaden conduit pipe from the bot- 
tom of the Rhone, which crossed it from theCityof Aries, towards 
Trinquetaillade, over a breadth of about 90 toises (575 feet) 
in a depth of 6 or 7 toises (42 feet), the deepest part of the 


Rhone. I saw some pieces of this conduit of Lead, 5 or 6 
inches in diameter, about 4 lines (one third of an inch) thick, in 
joints of 1 toise each soldered lengthwise, and covered by a strp 
or sheet of lead of the same thickness covering the first solder 
about 2 inches. The Conduit was soldered at the joints, 6 
feet apart, by the same material, which made a swell at that 
distance. On each joint were these words in relief, C. CAN- 
TIUS POIHINUS. F. which was apparently the name of the 
maker or architect, who laid down the conduit pipe in the time 
of the Romans. I delayed not to inform Mr. Begon, at Roche- 
fort, of this discovery, because he had always favored my 
project of conducting water along the bottom and across 
the Charente, which would not have been half so difficult as it 
had no doubt been, to lay one across the Rhene where this was 
found. Hence it may be believed, as I think now myself, 
that many things supposed now-a-days to be new and never to 
have been previously invented, may have been thought of 
long before, even in remote ages." Pages 129 and 130. 

^8.) — An Historical account of Sub-ways in the British 
Metropolis, for the flow of pure water and Gas into the houses 
of the inhabitants without disturbing the pavement, including 
the projects in 1824 and 1825. By John Williams, the Paten- 
tee, Cornhill, London. London, 1828. 

(9.) — An abstract of Mr. Thom's report and description is 
inserted in the Mechanics Magazine, Vol. 17 page 311, but I 
have not been able to find the pamphlet in English. It has 
been translated by Mr. Mallet into French, and is inserted with 
three plates in the Annates des Ponis et Chaussees, Vol. 1 of 
Memoirs and Documents, and from this the account is taken. 

(10.) — Jlnnales des Fonts et Chaussees 1 Vol. Memoires 
et Dociimens, p. 228. 

(11.) — Essai Sur les Moyens de Conduice, d'Elever et 
de Distribuer les Eaux, Par M. Genieys, Ingenieur au corps 
royal des ponts et Chaussees, attache au service de la Distri- 
bution des eaux dans Paris, — Paris 1829, page 153, 



^^karleslown, May 16, 1834, 


I had the pleasure of receiving your letter of June !6th, 
1833 in due time, with a copy of the vote passed June 14th, 
at a meeting of the Directors of the Aqueduct Corporation. 
My engagements last year were such, that I could do nothing 
in the service of the company, except directing the survey of 
Jamaica Pond and the line of existing pipes from the pond to 
the city. During the winter I was occupied at Norfolk in 
Virginia, with my duties in the Dry Dock. I returned to 
Boston in March last, and have so far accomplished the object 
of the company as to report in part, pursuant to their vote. 

The wishes of the Directors are as follows ; " To make an 
■accurate survey of Jamaica Pond ; to estimate the capacities 
of the water rights of the Corporation, and if found sufficient 
to authorize a more extensive supply of water, so as to meet 
the wants of the inhabitants of the City of Boston, in the ele- 
vated part of the City ; to make accurate estimates of the ex- 
pense of raising the water to a reservoir of sufficient height, 
either upon the hill adjacent to the pond, or to some other suita- 
ble elevation in the City of Boston, and to obtain all possible 
information essential to the interests of the Corporation, in re- 
ference to an extended use of the water, and an increase of 
income ; and to report as soon as may be." 

It thus appears that the objects of the company are three, 
viz ; First to examine the resources of water and tiie means of 
increasing them ; Second, the best method of bringing the 
water to town, and Third, the best mode of distributing the 
water, and to what extent the inhabitants may enjoy the ad- 
vantages of such supply. 

From the short time I have been able to devote to this sub^ 
ject, I shall now only point out the state of the Pond, and the 
existing conduit pipes to conduct the water to the City, with 
the advantages of substituting better and larger pipes than 
those now in use. 

The Pond was surveyed last fall with great care. In addi-^ 
tion to the area when surveyed, I caused soundings to be taken 
at 3 feet depth, at convenient distances, to ascertain the area 
of the surface if the water was drawn down three feet below 
the level when surveyed. In the same way, and by soundings 
taken in the same manner, at 6, 9, and 12 feet below the sur- 
vey. Similar surveys were made within the banks of the Pond, 
at successive levels of 3, 6 and 9 feet above the surface. 
From these measures the surface of the pond, when the sur- 
vey was taken, is obtained, as well as the surface, as it may 

successively fall to 3, 6, 9, o? 12 feet below, OT rise 3,6 or 9 
feet above the actual survey. The result is given in the fol- 
Jowing table in which the number of each area is shown in the 
First column ; the Second column shows the aera of the depth or 
height of three feet successively, below or above the surveyed 
area of the pond : the Third column — the acres at each level, 
and the Fourth column the same area in square feet, which is 
the mean of an equal number of cubic feet of water at that 

Table of superficial areas of Jamaica Pond at different levels. 

No. Acres. Square feci. 

1. Area supposed 12 feet below survey, 50.316 2191764 

2. " 9 " 64.915 2892097 

3. " 6 " 58.90 2565684 

4. " 3 «' 62.688 2730684 

5. Areaof Pond when surveyed, 67.22 2928103 

6. " supposed 3 feet above survey, 71,445 3112144 

7. <« 6 " 73.668 3208978 

8. " 9 " 76.443 3329857 
From the foregoing table it will be easy to obtain the mean 

area, and of course, the quantity of water the pond contains, 
at each successive foot, between the highest and lowest state 
of the pond. Thus, taking the area when surveyed, for the 
mean depth of a foot, between six inches below and six inches 
above, we get 2,928,103 cubic ^eet of water. Multiplying this 
by 7.5j which is nearly the number of gallons in a cubic foot, 
we have 21,960,772 gallons, that is, one foot in depth of the 
pond at the level when surveyed, contains about 21 million of 
gallons. This result of the survey is very interesting, and will 
become important in considering the supply, and the means 
of securing and increasing it, in a future report. 

Another important inquiry was requisite, even before pro* 
posing any alteration in the pipes for conducting the water to 
town, which was, to ascertain the fluctuations in the rise and 
fall of the Water, independent of the quantity drawn from it by 
the conduit pipes. This has been furnished from the office, 
with sufficient details for our present purpose, and is presented 
in the following table, as delivered by Mr. Allen. The height' 
of the water was taken with considerable accuracy, at or very 
near the end of each month during" eleven years, by Mr. Al- 
len -—the superintendent. The depths of water are set down, 
as they were taken, in feet and inches, for every month during 
the last 11 years, and are all counted from the bottom, of the 
trunk in which the water flows from fhe'pond, and which is one 
foot above the bottom of the pipes. 

The upper horizontal line in the Table shows the year, and 
the perpendicular column on the left, the month, when the 
measurses were taken. The first column on the right of 1833 
shows the aggregate, and the second the mean depth, for each 
month ; the first horisontal line below December shows the 
aggregate, and the second the mean depth of each year. The 
means are set dov^n in feet and decimals to three places.. 






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The highest month during the 1 1 years was April ; the 
highest was 9 feet 4| inches in 1831 ; the lowest was 3 feet 
0^ inches in 1826 ; and the mean of all the years for the 
month was 6. P. 14 feet. The lowest month was JVouem6er, the 
lowest 0.1 1| inches in 1825; the highest in 1831 6 feet 6 
inches ; and the mean for the eleven years was 3,871 feet, for 
the month. 

The mean height of the pond, above the pipe, for the 132 
observations during the eleven years, was 5.221 feet. 

On the 27th, October 1822 the aqueduct stopped for want of 
water, that is, the level fell a iew inches below the bottom of 
the trunk. It continued very low to January 1823, when it 
appears to have been, at the end of that month, the time when 
the observations were commenced, only A\ inches, and in Feb- 
ruary 4 inches above the pipe. During the succeeding March 
it rose 2 feet 82 inches, and has since been sufficiently high 
to furnish water at all times, for the last eleven years. The fore- 
going table furnishes sufficient authority for the belief, that more 
than ten times the quantity of water may be distributed in the 
town of Boston, than has been hitherto used. But I shall leave 
all further consideration relative to the pond, and an increased 
and permanent supply, to a special report upon this branch of 
the inquiry, and proceed to examine the existing state of the 
conduit pipes, as well as to recommend a total change of the 
present system. 


The line of pipes from the pond to the old reservoir, and 
other branches, are very defective, and are necessarily subject 
to many injurious operations in renewing, separating, oniting, 
or stopping them, for conveyance of water, or for inspection and 
repair. I shall give a detailed description of the manner in 
which they are laid ; the mode of some being united into one, 
or again divided from one into two, begining at the pond, and 
pursuing the line of pipes to the reservoir, from information 
obtained from Mr. Allen, the superintendent, and from Mr. 
George M. Dexter, Mr. Perham, and Mr. Ellison, who were 
employed to make the surveys and levels. A general plan of 
the route and changes is herewith sent to the Board of Direc- 

The water is first drawn from the pond by two wooden pipes 
of 5 inches diameter each, for the distance of 184 feet and a 
fall of 12.50 feet from the surface of the pond when the sur- 
vey was made, and 4.43 feet above the pipe, to the place mark- 
ed A on the plan. 

At this place, the two 5 inch pipes are united into a cast iron 
pipe 8 inches diameter, by a cast iron branch, as it is called, 
formed as shown on the sketch at A. This pipe extends 3,150 
feet to a box near the edge of the marsh, where the iron 
main is changed into two bs again at B. in the same form, 
though reversed, as at A. 

Thence the two Ss extend 5,764 feet to a box near the site 
of Wait's old mill on the crock. Here one of the 5 inch pipes 


divides into two of 3 inches diameter each, by means of what 
the workmen call saddles, in the following way. The end of 
the 5 inch log is stopped, and laid so as to leave about 2 feet 
between it, and the ends of the two 3 inch wooden pipes, stop- 
ped also. The end of a bent leaden tube is then inserted into 
the 5 inch, rising up and passing in the form of a basket handle, 
having its other end inserted into one of the 3 inch pipes. 
Another similar leaden pipe is let into the .5 inch pipe behind 
the first, and opens a communication with the second 3 inch 
log. These short connexions are made with leaden tubes, 
from 2| to 3 inches diameter, and may be understood by figure 

The other 5 inch pipe proceeds to a shed, marked D, 2,014 
feet, where it is divided into two of 4 inches, with the directions 
of which it forms a very obtuse angle, and the connexion is 
made by a short strait wooden pipe laid so as nearly to divide 
the angle formed by the two lines, having the 5 inch opening 
into it about the middle in one side, and the 4's taking out on 
the opposite side, near the ends as seen at E. — These two 4 
inch pipes proceed towards the Reservoir near Fort Hill in 

At the creek F, after leaving the box C, the two 3s are turn- 
ed together into a pipe or log of 7 inches diameter for about 
100 feet, curving downwards from the marsh on one side, and 
rising again on the other when it is divided again into the two 
3s. These crossing logs are large and at the end of that joint 
where the small pipes unite with it, there are two short tubes 
bored obliquely, perhaps two feet long, forming an acute angle 
at the axis of the 7 inch pipe, and being at the end so far 
apart as to admit one of the 3 inch pipes into each. The 
separation is made on the other side in a similar manner, as 
represented at F. 

The pipe 5 inches diameter crosses the creek before reach- 
ing the shed, in^the'same way as the two 3 inch pipes, by one of 
5 inches, and separates again into 2 of 3 inches at the shed, 
and thence they proceed with the two of 4 inches to Washing- 
ton street. 

From the shed to Mrs. Williams' house H. on the east side 
of Washington street is 3,264 feet, and the two 3 inch pipes 
and two of 4 proceed to near Mr. Wheeler's house I. on the 
north side of the street nearly opposite Mrs. Williams'. Here 
the 3s unite into one 5| inches diameter, by a cast iron branch 
like A, and crossing the street to Mrs. Williams', go down the 
east side of Washington street to a box J. near Mr. Chick- 
ering's 2,462 feet from Mrs. Williams'. 

At this box the 5| inch branches into two 3s by joints of 
logs thus. A wooden pipe 5| inches diameter is laid across 
the street 30 feet long, at right angles with the line of pipes, 
into one side of which the leading pipe enters, and the two of 3 
inch take out'on the opposite side near the ends, and proceed 
one on each side of the street. These two proceed 2,140 feet 
to the head of Bridge street, where they are united into a 5 
in a similar way as seen at J. 


The two 4 inch pipes turn at Wheeler's down the west side 
of Washington street and go without change 4,642 feet to a 
box K. in Bridge street, when they are united into one of 5 
inch, by a cast iron branch like A. The joints or bends in all 
these cases being at right angles. 

It then proceeds along Front street to another box in front 
of the aqueduct shop L, when the 5 changes into two 4 inch 
pipes like J. one of which turns up Roe place and the other 
passes along Essex street, up Short street, turns down Bedford 
street to near Summer street church, (where a branch of 3 
inches is taken off,) along Summer and up Purchase street to 
the Reservoir. After passing a short distance beyond the 
head of Russia wharf, the 5 inch pipe is changed into one of 
1| in. diameter for about 3 feet, then to 4 again for about 15 
feet where it is reduced to 3 inches for 6 feet, and thence in 4 
inches to the Reservoir. 

The reservoir was many years ago, at times, nearly full of 
water, but seems never to have been much used or re- 
lied upon, because, I presume, the conducting pipes from the 
Pond could not supply it, especially after the houses were fur- 
nished with water to such an extent, as to take all that could 
be given by the aqueduct. Now, and for many years, the 
communication has been cut off by what is called a gate, 
Avhich will be described presently. 

From the Pond to the Reservoir, along the line of aqueduct, 
is 25,613 feet or 4.85 miles. When the level was taken from 
the pond by Mr. Dexter, the surface was 4.43 above the pipes. 
Thence to the underpinning of Mrs. Williams' house, the fall 
was 47.07 feet in 14,376 feet ; thence the rise, to top of brick 
at the man hole or opening in the top of the arched covering 
of the Reservoir, was 34.45 feet in 11,237 feet. This leaves 
the top of the Reservoir 12.62 feet below surveyed surface of 
Pond; and deducting 4.43 feet, the pipe or bottom of trunk 
leading to it from the pond, is 8.19 feet above the top 
of the Reservoir, which being 21,58 feet deep, according to 
Mr. Ellison's level and survey, makes the bottom of Reservoir 
34.20 feet below the surveyed surface of the pond, and 29.77 
feet below the head of the pipes. 

I have pursued the line of pipes from the Pond to Washington 
street, where it is divided into two branches, following only that 
which goes to the Reservoir, leaving the other and all small 
branches and distributing pipes of minor consequence in the 
immediate inquiry. Besides the numerous junctions and se- 
parations, changes of diameters, and angular forms of the con- 
nexions, along the whole line, there are other practices injuri- 
ous to the speedy and adequate supply. I give them as des- 
cribed by INIr. Allen, who has been general superintendent of 
the aqueduct and distribution of the water for 17 years. 

One of the evils of the present practice is putting in a Gate, 
as it is called. This operation is performed in the following 
manner. The Gate is a thin plate of iron about ^ of an inch 
thick, as wide as the diameter of the pipe where it is to be 


inserted, with the lower end formed semicircular to conform 
transversely with the lower half of the pipe. Above the hori- 
zontal diameter, the sides of the gate are perpendicular, rising 
several inches above the top of the interior diameter of the 
pipe, and tapering on the flat sides like a thin wedge to the 
lower end. The upper part of the gate is made narrower and 
thicker to serve for a handle, and to be struck with a hammer 
to drive it into its place. An opening is made in the earth 
and the log laid bare. The top is then dubbed off" to a flat 
surface with an addice, and a hole from an ^ to J of an inch is 
bored into the pipe, as near as may be, in the direction of the 
perpendicular diameter, from which, with a key hole saw, a slit 
is made in a transverse direction each way, from the hole to the 
side of the pipe at the ends of the horizontal diameter, and into 
this transverse slit the gate is driven, so that the convex end 
closes upon the concave lower side of the pipe. This effectu- 
ally stops the passage of water. 

Two of these gates are thus inserted about 200 or 300 feet 
apart, the intermediate space, in which a leak is suspected, 
being thus closed to the water flowing. The next tiling is, the 
boring a hole about an inch diameter in the conduit about 10 
inches or a foot distant from a second hole, one on each side 
of one of the gates. A tin tube, open at both ends, an inch 
diameter and about 7 feet long, is then inserted into the hole 
between the gates. A second tube, with a stop cock near the 
lower end, is let into the other hole, rising upwards parallel 
with the first, having a horizontal branch 10 inches or 1 foot 
long with a short piece turning downward over the upper open 
end of the first tube. On turning the cock, the water passes 
up the tube and falls into the one first described. If in this 
operation the water remains stationary in the tube between the 
gates, it indicates that there is no leakage between them, for 
the distance of 200 or 300 feet. But if the water sinks and it 
requires a constant supply through the tube with the stop cock, 
there is a leak somewhere in that section between the gates. 

When it is thus ascertained that a leakage exists, to avoid 
the labour and delay of digging out the earth, for a distance 
of 200 or 300 feet, to find it, the following expedient is adopted. 
The superintendent goes along the line, and with a crow bar 
makes a hole in the earth over the conduit, to within a {"ew 
inches or a foot of the wooden pipe, and generally in soft 
ground, not so near, and drives or pushes down a small pointed 
iron rod so as to strike into the wood ; then putting the upper 
end of the rod to his ear, he can almost invariably and plainly 
hear the waste stream running from the pipe. This audible 
discharge is more or less distinct, according as the leak is near 
or more remote, and practice has made it so effectual that Mr. 
Allen tells me he can without much trouble trace it, in a few 
trials, to the log or joint where it exists. When the trial is over 
the gate is withdrawn and the saw slit filled with wedges. 

This very simple, ingenious and harmless proof by the iron 
rod has only been in use for a few years, and it is singular that 


it has been so often employed, that Mr. Allen iias evidently 
suffered in his hearing, which he can account for in no other 
way, than by the rod being closely pressed into his ,ear so fre- 
quently as to injure it. The boring and sawing into the pipe 
and driving in the gate, must naturally leave splinters, indenta- 
tions and roughness on the interior sides wherever it has been 
applied, and probably greater obstructions are left inside when 
the great holes are bored on each side of the gate. In every 
instance, more or less obstacles are created, and repeated oper- 
ations of this kind must produce a most important retardation 
of the velocity. 

Of all the serious defects of the present system of pipes, the 
greatest is that of the frequent branching of the pipes from 
one of large diameter to two of smaller size, and uniting two 
into one again, by tiie vicious mode of making the changes at 
right angles. There are between 30 and 40 changes of direc- 
tion or angles of this kind, from the pond to the reservoir, al- 
most all of which are at right angles, and where this is not the 
case the exceptions are but a little better. The whole of these 
should be avoided, and although the loss of head, of velocity, 
and consequently a diminution of supply are susceptible of 
calculation, the obstructions are so numerous and of such va- 
riety that no safe practical inference could result from it. How 
much water is lost by leakages on the way cannot be ascer- 
tained, but the moderate height to which water is delivered in 
town, to points supposed most elevated, with any continued sup- 
ply, shows that great imperfections somewhere exist. 

Water is well furnished to the Hon. P. C. Brooks, at the 
head of Pearl street, which is considered one of the highest 
points. It is received by a cock in his cellar, at a. point about 
5 feet helow the foot path at the end of his house in High 
street, and 37.64 feet below the surface of the Pond. 

Mr. T. B. Wales' is called another high point, in Winter 
street, and water is received into his cellar at a level of 10 feet 
below the side walk and 22.07 feet below the level of the 
Pond. The water is received here into a hogshead, at night 
only, and seldom rises above 2 feet. 

Another point of supply is Mr. Fox's house in Hollis street. 
Here water is delivered at a point 43.37 below the Pond, and 
it has been supposed that this was a high point from the un- 
certainty of keeping up a supply. Perhaps the water is too 
much drawn off, before reaching these places, by other cus- 
tomers, but there is no doubt that more than double the quan- 
tity might be brought to the City, if the two first pipes of 5 
inches diameter, which take it from the pond, were continued 
without changing and abrupt deviations. 

Such appear to me the obvious defects of the actual state of 
ihe wooden pipes, and the manner in which they are laid, that 
I would advise the company to abandon the present works, 
so far as regards the main conduit to town, and substitute an 
uninterrupted cast iron pipe with proper branches to discharge 
into reservoirs. I shall therefore proceed to state my reasons 
for the satisfaction of the Directors. 



Many Philosophers and Engineers have investigated the 
principles upon which water flows through pipes, open canals 
and rivers, and have given various formulas for calculating the 
velocity and discharge^ in all cases suited to practical occasions 
for use. Prony has given two very safe formulas for pipes ; — 
the most simple and which he recommends lor practice is, 

'V=48.52o4yDS, as reduced to English feet, 
Where J ''^=^h^ velocity in feet per second, 
1 D=:^diameter of the pipe in feet, 

H is the head or height, from the surface of the pond or 
source, at the entrance, to the level of the a.xis of the pipe at 
the lower end, when it discharges into the air, or to the sur- 
face of the water above the mouth of the pipe, and L=^the 
whole length of the pipe. The measures are all in feet. 

Having used this formula in numerous calculations, upon 
pipes of various diameters, in the course of the inquiry, I shall 
place the result in the form of a table, and proceed to illustrate 
some principles to guide in adopting a plan for works of this 
kind. A loss of velocity is produced in water flowing through 
a pipe, by its friction along the interior boundary, and as this 
boundary or interior periphery varies as the diameter, while 
the area or transverse section varies as the square of the di- 
ameter, it follows that two pipes of given and equal diameter, 
will not discharge so much water in a g-iven time, as one 
wherein the transverse section is equal in area to that of both 
the others, of the same length and under the same head ; be- 
cause the two will have a greater rubbing surface than the 
single pipe. 

The two 5 inch pipes which take water from the Pond, pass 
through the arch way under the road 184 feet to their union 
with the 8 inch iron one, and the head or fall from the surface 
of the Pond to the place of junction is 12.50 feet. If the ends 
were not united into the large pipe, but were open into the 
air, each pipe would discharge 4008 cubic feet an hour, while 
a pipe 7.071 inches diameter, equal to both the 5s in section, 
would discharge 9428 cubic feet per hour ; that is, 1412 feet 
mere than the other two. This difference is owing to the dif- 
ference of friction mentioned in the preceding section, and to 
the viscosity of the water. The same disparity exists in 
greater lengths and less heads, though the discharges will be 
less, by both pipes. The whole distance to the reservoir is 
25,613 feet=4.85 miles, and a pipe 5 inchrs in diameter, en- 
tering near the bottom, and the water therein standing above 
the mouth, and 10 feet belo w the level of the pond, would dis- 
charge 303,8 cubic feet in an hour=7,291 feet or 54,684 gal 
Ions a day. That of 7.071 inches, under thesnme circumstan- 
ces, would discharge 720 feet an hour, and during the day 
17,280 feet=l 29,600 gallons, or 20,232 gallons more than both 


the 5 inch pipes, and if one continuous cast iron pipe 8 inches 
in diameter were laid in a judicious manner, it would discharge 
into the reservoir, wherein the water stood 10 feet below the 
pond 23,610,5 feet or 177,078 gallons a day. 

These observations show the importance of Hydraulic prin- 
ciples, where works of this kind are to be established, or any 
other constructions relating to water-works. But another 
very essential consideration is that of economy. Suppose the 
two pipes to be half an inch thick, cast and delivered along 
the line at 5 cents the pound and taking cast iron at 4 cubic 
inches to the pound. One foot of the 5 inch would cost ^1,30 
and the two together $2,60. In the whole distance, 4,85 miles, 
the cost of the two would be $66,580, while that of the single 
pipe 7.071 inches in diameter, would be $1,783 a foot or 
$45,659, for the whole length. Thus a saving of $20,921 
would be obtained by adopting the large single pipe, instead 
of the other two, whose joint areas of section are equal to that 
of the large one. The ratio of discharge in favour of the sin- 
gle pipe is as 1.185 to 1, and of expense as 1 to 1.457. The 
advantages therefore on the side of a single one areas 1.72 
to 1. 

Two small pipes should, therefore, never be applied instead 
of a large single one, within ordinary limits of practice, unless 
local and peculiar circumstances render it necessary. A pipe 
of 6. 60 inches diameter would afford the same discharge as 
the two of 5 inches, and would cost only $1,67 a foot, or 
$42,970 for the whole length, or $23,789, less than two smaller 

I shall give a table of the effective discharges of pipes of 
different diameters, under different heads and of different 
lengths, that the Directors may be able to form a pretty cor- 
rect opinion of the size, they may think it policy to adopt, and 
afterwards present some remarks which may influence their 
decision. The first column shows the diameter in inches ; 
the second the velocity in feet per second ; the iJiird the area 
of section in feet ; the fourth discharge in cubic feet per 
second. Fifth discharge per minute — Sixth in an hour — 
Seventh in a day, and the eighth the gallons, obtained by mul- 
tiplying the feet by 7.5. 

It should be observed that a deduction must be made from 
the velocity and discharge given in the table, on account of 
an unavoidable deviation from a right line, in which the con- 
duit must be laid. There will be some perpendicular, as well 
as horizontal bends and especially in turning corners and 
streets in town. The main line will not be subject to much 
retardation from the Pond to the City. Whenever an abrupt 
turn or a right angle is formed, a curved pipe, with a section 
made a little larger, will be expedient. 






12 .50 feet and Length 184 feet. 

iJ)i;iml Velocity. 

Area. | Second, | Minute. | Hour. | Uuy. | Gallons. 




0,31046 1 18,6276 



1261 72 







55065 312 

















11373 J 5 

















Head 25 feet and Length 25,613 feet. 









































































































Head 20 feet, same length. 
















































































Head 15 feet, same length. 
































Head 10 feet — and length 25613 feet.. 

Uiami Velocity. 

Second. | 


1 Hour. 1 





































J 29772 

























































By the preceding table is shown the capacity of pipes for 
discharging water into the Reservoir, near Purchase street, on 
the South side of Fort Hill. The pipes are supposed to dis- 
charge into the Reservoir near the bottom, and the water to 
stand at the height of 25, 20, 15, or 10 feet below the level of the 
Pond; or in the Reservoirsuccessively, at 9,20; 14,20 ; 19,20; 
and 24,20 feet depth. The first part of the Table is confined 
to the distance of 184 feet from the Pond, with a fall of 12, .^0 
feet, to show the comparative eflfective discharge of various 
pipes, from 3 to 8 inches diameter inclusive, with that of the 2 
of 5 inches now placed in that distance. The comparison 
shows the disadvantage, under many circumstances, of laying 
small pipes, when a single one of UttJe larger diameter can be 
applied instead of them. In this case, the pipe of 8 inches 
diameter will discharge the same quantity during a day, as the 
two of 5 inches, the two of 4 inches, and six sevenths of that 
of 3 inches diameter, although the aggregate diameters of the 
five pi pes would be 21 inches, while the single pipe nearly 
equal to them all, is only 8 inches. The daily discharge is 
added in gallons, as many people may better understand the 
comparison in that measure. 

It will be convenient now to present a view of the relative 
cost of pipes of different capacity, which will become useful in 
deciding upon the diameter to be adopted. The usual lengths 
of the joints are 9 feet, and half an inch is sufficient thickness 
for that to be recommended here within the preceeding table. 
Four cubic inches of cast iron is the general allowance for a 
pound, in such estimates. Pipes half an inch thick, and of 9 
to 15 inches diameter would cost from 4 to 5 cents the pound, 
delivered along the line, nearly upon the spot where they are 
to be laid. 





Cost per foot. 

Per Mile. | Cost of 4.85 Miles | 

5 inches, 

6 " 


$1,30 at 5 cts. 



7 " 

8 " 





9 " 





10 " 




6325 1 ,00 

11 " 

12 " 





13 " 





14 " 





15 " 





18,99 ft. above Pond, 

below Pond. 

Level with Pond. 

The following are the relative heights of some points in 
town compared with that of the Pond at the time of the sur- 

1. First step at street going up to the 

State House, marked on end, 

2. Floor of State House, - - 46,61 

3. Mark on North Gate post of Mr. 

Gardner Green's house, about 2 

or 3 inches above foot walk, 16,38 

4. Bottom of column of Tremont 

House, - - - - - 8,61 do. 

5 Mark at east post of S. Appleton's 
house, Beacon street, about 6 
inches above foot walk, - - 

6. Mark on Stone foundation of Dr. 

Keep's back yard in Beacon st. 
aboiit 1 foot above foot walk and 
10 feet below the gateway. - Level do. 

7. Mark on Basement story of house 

No. 6, Park street, 2 inches 

above foot walk, - - _ Level do. 

8. Mark on underpinning of Mr. 

Jackson's house, Somerset st. 

No, 21, - - - . . Level do. 

9. Mark at corner of Belknap and 

Myrtle street, Provision Store, 

about 1 foot above foot walk, - Level do. 

10. Mark N. E. corner of Hancock 

and Myrtle street, about 1 foot 
above foot walk and 2 feet from 
corner, ----- Level do. 

11. Mark on underpinning of Mr. 

Lemuel Pope's house, corner of 
Bowdoin and Derne street, up- 
per side, - - - - Level dp. 

12. Mark on top of foundation of Iron 

fence, corner of Mrs. Blake'i^ 
house, Bowdoin square, corner 
of Square and Cambridge st. 
8 inches above foot walk, - 28,19 ft. below Pond. 


below Pond, 
above Pond, 
Level with Pond. 







13. Upper step of Purchase Street 

Meeting house, - - - 33,54 

14. Upper step of Mr. ToplifF's front 

door in Oliver street, - - 9,70 

15. Highest point of Fort Hill near 

centre of circular inclosure, - 11,94 

16. Mark on South edge Stone near 

head of Gibbs' lane, 
17* Mark on Stone of Mr.VVaterston's 
yard corner of Oliver and High 
streets, near corner of edge 
Stone, - - - - - 

18. Mark on octagonal stone post 

near E. Reynold's house, cor- 
ner of High and Hamilton 
streets, about 15 feet below the 
corner, - - - - - 

19. Mark on North end of Gun house, 

Fort Hill, 10 bricks below top 
of window, about level with 
the street in a line with that end 
of the house, - - - - 

20. Top of plinth of columns of Mar 

ket house, _ _ . 

21. Coping of Reservoir in North 

Square, 23,96 do. 

22. Highest point on Copp's Hill, - 0,70 above Pond. 

23. Coping of Dry Dock in Charles- 

town Navy Yard, - - - 49,70 below Pond. 

I had intended to offer some considerations for substituting 
a large iron pipe instead of those now existing ; but shall de- 
fer it until better opportunities offer for ascertaining 
whether a greater supply of water can be obtained than what 
the Pond now furnishes. You will perceive by what has 
been done, that almost all the town can now be furnished from 
the Pond, except the highest point on Beacon Hill round the 
State House, and in order that the water may be extended 
to the highest points with facility, a large conduit pipe should 
be laid. I have no doubt that a pipe 12 inches in diameter, 
will supply five or six times the persons who now take it, with 
more constancy than heretofore. Further remarks as to the 
supply, manner of laying the main, Reservoirs in the City, 
and other particulars referred to in the vote of the Direc- 
tors, will be given in a few days. 

With great regard, your obedient servant, 

- 45.55 below Pond. 

To Henry Codman, Esq. 
Thomas A. Dexter, Esq. 

Committee of Directors of 
Jiqueduct Corporation. 



Boston, August 28, 1834, 

Col. L Baldwin, 

Dear Sir, 
Herewith I send you an account of my analysis of nine 
specimens of Lake water, from the vicinity of Boston, under- 
taken at your request last month. The bottles were all mark- 
ed with letters of the alphabet and their examination was 
taken up in the same regular order. The sources from which 
the water was obtained are to me unknown ; thus I am able 
to furnish you with an account of their several merits without 
being in any way liable to imputation of bias in my judgment. 
The objects to be accomplished in a chemical examination 
of this water are, to determine which of the specimens submit- 
ted to me are the most free from foreign matter, and best 
adapted to the ordinary purposes of life. With these objects 
in view the specimens were examined with great care, and 
compared with each other as to freedom from colour, flocculi 
of animal, vegetable or mineral matter and animalculi. Then 
their specific gravity, as compared with pure distilled water at 
eO** F, was taken in a specific gravity bottle containing 1000 
grs. After which, 5000 grs. of the water was distilled and 
when reduced to a small bulk, was removed from the retort, 
and the evaporation of the remaining water was finished under 
a bell glass over a surface of concentrated sulphuric acid, 
which, by absorbing the water without heat, is less liable to ef- 
fect any decomposition of the residue. The remaining solid 
matter, which was contained in a watch glass of known weight, 
was then submitted to a very delicate balance and its weight 
determined. A portion of it was then incinerated in a platina 
capsule, and its nature ascertained by tests. 

The water was next examined by tests calculated to detect 
the nature of the foreign matters they were liable to contain 
in solution. 

Below, you have a statement copied from my Laboratory 
notes, which will give you the processes and the results of my 

I hope to be able to furnish you with analyses of the dif- 
ferent well waters of the City, by which it will appear that 
we are in the habit of drinking several salts in considerable 
quantities, which must have deleterious effects on the human 
constitution. I will now only observe that one of the best 
specimens of clear well water from Bowdoin street, yields 3.6 
grs. ot the salts. Sulphate of Lime, Muriate of Soda, and 
Muriate of Lime, to the pound of water. The well is 30 feet 
deep and is situate high up on the side of the hill, I have 
also examined the water of the well at my residence No. 11, 
Hanover street. The well is 40 feet deep and the water 


stands about 10 feet from the surface. This water gives 7.5 
grains of the above salts to the pound of water ; although the 
taste of the water is net unplea-ant to those who have been 
accustomed to it. It must however be prejudicial to the 
health, when we consider that several pounds of it are drank 
by each person in (he course of a day. 

I have made examinations of the water of several other wells 
in the City, but have not kept notes of the quantities of mat- 
ter they contain. I am satisfied, however, that there are wells, 
whose water is infinitely worse than those I have mentioned, 
which have the reputation of being good water although they 
contain noxious matter. 

P'rom conversation I have held with several eminent physi- 
cians of the City, I have learned as the result of their obser- 
vations that the well water of the City is prejudicial to the 
health, and that where dyspeptic persons have been able to 
change their drink from well to aqueduct or rain water, they 
have always found their symptoms abate and have often been 
entirely cured. 

There are many persons upon whom the well water of Bos- 
ton acts very unpleasar.tly, making them sick at the stomach 
almost as soon as it is drank, in most persons it produces 
co!istipation of the bowels and many other concomitant or 
consequent symptoms of diseased functions. 

It is much to be desired that good water should be supplied 
to the City so as to reach every dwelling and supply every 

The advantages of Lake water consist in its being entirely free 
from IMineral salts, and its softness renders it appropriate for 
washing, while its freedom from all deleterious matters renders 
it desirable for drink and for cooking. It being well known 
that infusions made with pure water are much stronger than 
those made with well water, it will appear that Lake water is 
better adapted for making tea and coffee than well water. 

Allow me to express the high consideration with which I 
have the honour to be, your obedient servant, 


A Chemical Examination of nine specimens of Lake 
water from the vicinity of Boston. July 1st, 1834. 

The bottles were marked A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, and I. 

A. The water in this bottle contains a few minute flocculi, 
but is otherwise transparent and colorless. It contains a few 
oval shaped animalculi, with antennae and a tail of a minute 
size, which move i with great velocity by starts through the 
liquid. Specific Gravity =1,003 pure water being =1. 

5000 grains distilled and the evaporation finished in a 
watch glass over sulphuric acid covered with a bell glass there 
remained a brown residue =0.12 gr. which when burned gave 
odour of vegetable matter, and left a grey ash consisting of 
lime and silex =0.01 grains. 

let. The water was now tested with a solution of nitrate of 


pure water. No precipitate took place until the test 
s exposed to sun light when the solution changed to 

colour, and a black precipitate subsided to the bot- 
he glass. This indicates organic vegetable matter. 
Tested with oxalate of ammonia. No precipitate ; 
jntains no salt of lime. 

Tested with IVIuriate of Barytcs. No precipitate ; 
>es not contain any Sulphate. 

Tested with Ferro-cyanate of Potash. No precipi- 
3nce does not contain any salt, of iron. 

Tested with Hydro-Sulphate of Ammonia. No pre- 

Tested with lime water. No precipitate ; hence 

contain any carbonic acid. 

Tested with a solution of soap in alcohol. No pre- 

takes place, and when shaken it froths well ; hence 
adapted for washing. 

The water in this bottle is of a brown colour and con- 
'.malculi, like those in A. Specific gravity =1.002. 
grains distilled and evaporated to dryness gave 0M5 
f brown vegetable matter. 

d in the same manner as A, it gave signs of vegetable 
matter, but no mineral salts. When this water is fii- 
rough charcoal it becomes colorless. 
The water in this bottle is transparent and free from 
las a few animalculi like those in A. Specific gra- 
1 ,000. 

d like A it gives a trace of vegetable matter, but no 

shes well and gives no precipitate with tincture of soap, 
ains evaporated to dryness gives 0.02 grs brown vege- 

The water in this bottle is free from sediment, trans- 
ind colorless. It contains a iew animalculi like those 
Specific gravity = 1.001. 

d like A with similar results, 5000 grains of the 
vaporated to dryness leave 0.15 grs. vegetable matter. 
Water clear, transparent and colorless ; has a few 
uli. Specific gravity = 1.001 . 5000 grs. evaporat- 
yness leave O.I gr. brown matter, 
id as A similar results were obtained. 
Clear, transparent and colorless. No animalculi. 
■■ gravity = 1.0002. 5000 grs. evaporated to dryness, 
.2 gr. brown matter. 
3d as A same results. 

Clear, transparent and colorless ; has a few flocculi. 
nalculi. Specific gravity == 1.0005. 5000 grs. evapo- 
1 dryness leave 0. 1 gr. vegtitable matter, 
id as A with similar results. 

Has a slight tint of brown and contains a few floc- 

r specimen of H. taken from the outlet of the lake was examined, wli ch was- 
olor, flocculi and animalculi. Specific gravity same as above, but yields some- 
egetabie matter. 


culi and animalculi. Specific gravity =1.0005. 5000 gr eva- 
porated to dryness gave 0.3 gr. Tested as A with same 

I. — Clear, transparent and colorless. No flocculi or ani- 
malculi. Specific gravity = 1.0002. 5000 grs. evaporated 
to dryness yields 0.15 grs. vegetable matter. Tested as A 
with similar results. 

From the foregoing researches it will appear that the water 
in bottles A, C, D, E, F, G, H, and I, is sufficiently pure for 
the ordinary uses of life. B is too much charged with vegeta- 
ble matter to be desirable. C, D, F, G, and I, are prefer- 
able and are nearly pure ; the quantity of vegetable matter 
contained being extremely minute, sensible only to deli- 
cate tests. This vegetable matter is common in all lake wa- 
ter in which there grow aquatic plants, and its quantity is 
greater near the shores of the lake than in deep water. 

The water in B, I suppose, must have been taken from a 
small lake with a peat or boggy bottom, in which grew many 
aquatic plants, and that the lake had not free circulation by 
an outlet and supply from springs. 

The animalcules noticed in the water are extremely com- 
mon in all water exposed to the air at this season of the year, 
and are probably the larvae of some small insect like the 
musquito. The water in the middle of the lakes will proba- 
bly be found free from them, as they breed in the shallow 
warm water near the shore. It will also be less liable to be 
contaminated by vegetable and animal matter. 

I mayj^now be permitted to state in conclusion, that the lake 
waters here examined, with the exception of B, are all suflS- 
cieiitly pure for the supply of water to the City, and that the 
water is wholesome and pleasant to drink ; well adapted for 
cooking and washing. It is also recommended particularly to 
brewers, for the making of beer or porter, as it not only ex- 
tracts better the virtues of the hops and grain employed, but 
enters more readily into fermentation tlian hard well water. 
For the same reasons it is more appropriate in making bread 
and all infusions and decoctions of herbs. It is also better for 
the supply of ships going on long voyages, as it soon purifies 
itself in the cask, and is then absolutely free from all unpleas- 
ant smell and taste, provided the casks are charred on their 
inner surface, so as not to add anything soluble in water. It 
is better for the manufacture of soda and other artificial mine- 
ral waters. It is better adapted for bleacheries, dye houses, 
chemical laboratories ar.d manufactories, Tanneries, &c. Its 
advantages are so great over well water, that even if an abun- 
dant supply of the latter could be obtained by boring, still it 
would be desirable to bring lake water from the vicinity, on 
account of its greater purity and adaptation to our wants. 

Your obedient serv't, 




Waltham, Sept. 17, 1834. 
L. Baldwin, Esq. 

Dear Sir, 

I have looked over the analysis made for us by Dr. J. F. 
Dana in the year 1820, but can find nothing relating to the 
water of Charles River. 

I called on Dr S. L. Dana last evening, to see if he had any 
facts relating to this subject. He says that he once analyzed 
the water, but did not preserve the minutes ; he recollects that 
the principal impurities in addition to the vegetable matter in 
solution, were carbonate uf iron and sulphate of lime. 

Charles River water is soft and excellent for washing. 
Goods dried from it, however, become yellow ; we were obli- 
ged therefore, at some thousands of dollars expense, to bring 
spring water in pipes to our bleachery for our last washings. 

Would not the impurities which the river collects in passing 
so many manufacturing establishments be an objection to its 
use in families .'' 

In addition to the waste liquors from paper mills, iileache- 
ries, dye houses, and other works, it receives its daily contri- 
butions from every person employed in the establishments. 
In a very large stream these additions could never be discov- 
ered, but Charles River in a dry season is quite a moderate 
sized stream. Whether it had any sensible effect on the 
water or not, the idea of drinking it, could not be very pleas- 
ant to those who were acquainted with the facts. 

With much esteem, I am, dear sir, very sincerely yours, 


Boston, JYov. 21, 1834. 
Col. Baldwin, 

Dear Sir, 

Since I gave in my report on the lake and river waters in 
the vicinity of Boston, I learned through your letter from Dr. 
Hobbs, that Dr. Dana had detected sulphate of lime and car- 
bonate of iron in the water of Charles River, which substances 
were not found by me in the water marked F, in my report. 
Aware of the just reputation of Dr. Dana as a chemist, I was 
anxious to satisfy myself of the truth of his observations by a 
second analysis of the water in question. The specimen which I 
had already examined was regarded as an unfair one, and on that 
account, I obtained, through your kindness, a fresh supply, 
free from all objections as to the locality from whence it was 
taken . 

This water was then marked F 2d, and was examined like 
those formerly analyzed. Its specific gravity was 1.0004. 


10000 grs. distilled and the evaporation finished in a porcelain 
capsule. The residue dissolved in dilute nitric acid without 
effervesence. The solution was then tested by oxalate of am- 
monia, when a slight pr«^cipitate took place of oxalate of lime. 
Tested with a solution of muriate of barjtes, a white precipi- 
tate of sulphate of barytes took place. Tested by liquid am- 
monia for iron no precipitate took place, but when the vegeta- 
ble organic matter was incinerated and the ashes dissolved in 
dilute acid and treated with hydro sulphate of ammonia, a 
trace of iron is easily obtained. From this circumstance, it 
appears that the oxide of iron must have existed in combina- 
tion with the vegetable organic matter, or that it prevented 
its precipitation by the ordinary means. 

The water does then contain a trace of sulphate of lime, 
but I am not decided whether the oxide of iron exists in the 
state of carbonate, or in combination with the organic matter. 
It will require that a very large quantity of water should be 
operated upon to settle this question. Please enter this note, 
in whole or in part, as you may see fit, in 'my report which 
you have undertaken to publish in your appendix. 
Your obedient servant, 



3 9999 06428 000 9 

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