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7 



City Document. — •/Vo. 19. 



111^^ %W IB(D^l^(I)Sr^ 



SOFT lYATER. 




In Common Council, May 2, 1 839. 

This Report from the Standing Committee on 
Water, with the Resolve accompanying, were read, 
the Resolve passed to a second reading, and the doc- 
ument ordered to be printed for the use of the City 
Council. 

Attest, Richard G. Wait, Clerk C. C. 



2 SOFT WATER. May, 

Boston, April 29, 1839, 

To the City Council. 

Gentlemen, 

In obedience to instructions given by the 
Joint Standinjj; Committee on the introduction of a 
supply of Soft Water into the City, I present to you 
the following report respecting the course adopted by 
the Committee in relation to the petition of the City 
to the Legislature, the proceedings had on that peti- 
tion, and their result. 

It will, doubtless, be recollected that the Mayor 
was instructed, by a vote which passed the Council 
on the sixth day of April, 1838, to apply to the Leg- 
islature for the powers necessary to bring water to the 
City, either from Long Pond, or from Spot and Mys- 
tic Ponds. This application was immediately made, 
but the session of the Legislature was then so near its 
close that it was deemed proper to refer the consid- 
eration of the subject to the session of the next year, 
in order that other corporations and individuals inter- 
ested might have ample notice of the wishes and 
projects of the City. The Revised Statutes having 
made provision for giving notice of petitions to the 
General Court before the commencement of the ses- 
sion, it was thought desirable to take advantage of 
that means of bringing the subject to the attention of 
the Legislature at the earliest possible period, so that 
there might be time enough to ensure its action on 
the petition. Notice was accordingly given to all 
the towns which were known or supposed to be in- 
terested, by serving a copy of the petition on their 



1839. CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 19. 3 

clerks severally, within the period prescribed by law, 
and by publication in all the newspapers that print 
for the City. The municipal government of this 
year was organized on the seventh day of January, 
and on the tenth the petition was presented to the 
House of Representatives, where it was referred to 
Messrs. Hunting, Poor and Spooner, to whom were 
added by the Senate Messrs. Armstrong and Willard. 
On the seventeenth, this Committee reported a bill 
containing such provisions as the Committee of the 
City Council on the Introduction of Water thought 
desirable. On the twenty third, — remonstrances 
having been presented to the Legislature by several 
towns, the Middlesex Canal, and sundry inhabitants 
of Boston, against the project of the City, — the bill 
was recommitted, for the purpose of giving a hearing 
to those who might deem themselves injured by the 
execution of the plan. On the 24th and 30th Jan- 
uary, and the 1 st and 6th February, accordingly, re- 
monstrants appeared and were heard in behalf of the 
towns of Medford, Maiden, and the heirs of 
Barrett, who thought that their respective inter- 
ests in the ponds proposed to be taken, or their out- 
lets, would be injuriously affected in various ways. 
Their statements went merely, or principally, to 
show that the remonstrants would be damaged, if the 
powers prayed for were granted to the City. It 
was, indeed, intimated, though not strongly urged, 
by one of the counsel, that the injury which would 
be caused by the contemplated diversion of certain 
waters was of such extent, and of such a kind, that 
it could not be compensated in the manner proposed 
in the bill, and therefore that it was a sufficient rea- 



4 SOFT WATER. May, 

son for refusing the grant of powers that might cause 
such irreparable injury. This argument was much 
more strongly pressed by the counsel for the Middle- 
sex Canal, who went so far as to contest the consti- 
tutional right of the Legislature to grant to the City 
the powers it asked. 

The Middlesex Canal and the remonstrants from 
the City first appeared on the 12th of February, and 
stated that it would be convenient to them to adjourn 
their further appearance for some time, the one party 
for the purpose of obtaining the evidence of a wit- 
ness who was then sick, and the other to gather stat- 
istical information on the subject. The Comm.ittee, 
in compliance with this suggestion, adjourned for fif- 
teen days, viz : to the 27th of February, when the 
Canal Corporation produced the deposition of their 
agent respecting the injury which would ensue to 
their property from diverting the water of Long 
Pond, and their counsel concluded his argument on 
the subject. The counsel for sundry inhabitants of 
the City, opposed to the project, then opened their 
case, and on the following day commenced the ex- 
amination of witnesses under oath, to show that not- 
withstanding the City, in its corporate capacity, and 
by its municipal government, had applied for power 
to introduce water from one of two sources, there 
w^as no real need of any such thing being done, that 
no public exigency had arisen requiring water to be 
brought for the inhabitants of Boston from adjoining 
towns, and therefore that the City ought not to have, 
nor the Legislature to grant the powers necessary for 
the completion of this great work. 

In the course of this examination, which occupied 



1839. CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 19. 5 

six successive sessions of the Committee, viz : on the 
afternoons of the 28th of February, and the 1st, 5th, 
6th, 7th and 14th of March, much time was lost in 
discussions between the counsel for the City and 
those for the remonstrants, as to the relevancy of cer- 
tain questions, and the propriety of putting them to the 
witnesses. The professional practice in courts of law 
was, to some extent, though of course very imper- 
fectly, introduced in this hearing; at least, the tech- 
nical rules of such tribunals seemed to be considered 
by the remonstrants' counsel suitable to the occasion. 
One effect of this peculiar mode of conducting an ex- 
amination of this sort before a legislative committee 
was a great loss of time, of which much was also 
spent in adjournments, of a fortnight once, and next 
of a week. The whole of the session, and doubtless 
many months more, might have been passed in this 
examination of witnesses for the remonstrants ; but 
but after repeated and very urgent efforts to obtain a 
hearing on the part of the City, the 15th of March 
was at length assigned for the examination of wit- 
nesses on that side, and the afternoons of the 15th, 
18th, 21st, and 22d March were devoted to the ex- 
amination of witnesses brought forward by the City 
to show the propriety and importance of the applica- 
tion. On the 25th, the Committee again met, and 
after a few moments' attention to the business, the 
Chairman stated that there was no longer sufficient 
time left, in the probable duration of the session of 
of the legislature, to make up their minds upon a re- 
port, and therefore that they should recommend a 
reference of the subject to the next session. A report 
to this effect was accordingly made to the Senate, 
which on the 4th of April was re-committed with in- 



6 SOFT WATER. May, 

structions to report a bill, and on the discussion which 
arose upon the bill they were directed to bring in a 
resolve for the appointment by the Governor of Com- 
missioners to examine the whole subject. This re- 
solve was subsequently reported, and passed both 
houses, and received the Executive sanction on the 
9th of April. It is in the following words. 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

In the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty nine. 

Resolve concerning the introduction of Soft Water 
into Boston. 

Resolved^ That the Governor of the Common- 
wealth with the advice of the Council, is hereby au- 
thorized, on the application of the City of Boston, to 
appoint three Commissioners who shall, at the ex- 
pense of said City, after having given such notice to 
all parties interested as they shall think reasonable, 
ascertain and report to the next General Court, all 
the facts and information which they may deem ma- 
terial, in relation to the several plans proposed by said 
City for the introduction of Soft Water into Boston, 
and the bearing of the same upon the interests of all 
persons and corporations which may be affected 
thereby. 

[Passed Aprils, 1839.] 

It would be difficult to find, on the records of any 
legislature, a more remarkable result of a three 
months' investigation of a subject which, for several 
years, had occupied the attention of an important 
portion of the community. Indeed the whole course 



1839. CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 19. 7 

of the branch of the inquiry affecting the City was, 
in many respects striking and novel. The action of 
the City by its own representative government, and 
by its corporate votes was held of little or no account. 
In the face of votes of the government and of the citi- 
zens at large, individuals who were no otherwise in- 
terested than as they, like others, were taxable in- 
habitants of the City, and who, in common with 
others, had exercised their right of selection among 
the candidates for office both in the state and munici- 
pal government, were permitted to object to the do- 
ings of their own agents, and irrevocable time was 
spent in modes, and on subjects of inquiry which 
might, with safety to the Commonwealth, and with 
justice to all parties interested, have been saved. 
The resolve of the legislature authorizes the Execu- 
tive to appoint Commissioners to do what, so far as 
regards the City interests, has been the object of the 
greatest attention of the citizens, and of the most 
diligent investigation by its various agents, for many 
years ; and so far as regards the interests of other 
towns and corporations, has been the subject of in- 
quiry during the last session of the legislature, by the 
very Committee who were instructed to report the 
resolve. 

It is now for the City Council to determine wheth- 
er they will incur the expense of a new commission 
to do what has already been done by itself, or ought 
to be done by the Legislature. With respect to the 
City, agent after agent has been appointed, at no in- 
considerable cost, to determine what is for its inter- 
est; and with respect to other towns and corpora- 
tions, the Legislature is the constituted protector of 



8 SOFT WATER. May, 

all its citizens from usurpation, and ought, therefore, 
to bear the expense of any measures which it deems 
necessary for their protection. The Committee of 
the City Council have instructed me to express their 
opinion that it is inexpedient for the City to take any 
action on the subject under the resolve of the Legis- 
lature. 

I should do injustice to the eminent services of the 
City Solicitor, did I omit to mention his exemplary 
fidelity to the interests of the City, even on this ex- 
tra official duty. He was present, by request, at the 
numerous meetings of the Committee, and conducted 
the case with ability and judgment, replying with 
success to the legal and constitutional arguments of 
the distinguished counsel engaged by the various re- 
monstrants. 

It may not be uninteresting to add that an arrange- 
ment will very probably be made, by which the min- 
utes of evidence on both sides, of any importance, 
will be preserved in a permanent form. This evi- 
dence, though very far short of what might, on a 
proper occasion, have been presented, showed many 
facts which have an important bearing on the neces- 
sity of an abundant supply of water to the City. 
Without exclusively relying on the testimony given 
before the Committee, it will, perhaps, be considered 
a suitable occasion now to offer some views and ar- 
guments which have not been heretofore distinctly 
presented, to show in what manner benefits, of vari- 
ous kinds, will result to the inhabitants from a copi- 
ous supply of pure water, which may be relied on 
with a good degree of certainty. 

It is not necessary to show that the supply now 



1839. CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 19. 9 

furnished from wells and cisterns is poisonous, or ac- 
tively deleterious, in order to convince reflecting per- 
sons that an abundant quantity of water, of a purer 
quality, would contribute, in many important ways, 
to the health of the community. It would diminish 
the temptation to mix other liquors with it, and 
would consequently aid the cause of temperance, and 
therefore the public health. It would favor the use 
of the bath, and in this way would promote health, 
and the virtue of personal cleanliness, more than will 
readily be conceived by those unaccustomed to this 
simple, yet inestimable luxury. It would facilitate 
what is now one of the favorable distinctions of Bos- 
ton, the cleanliness of the streets, and add new secu- 
rity to the health of the inhabitants, so far as clean 
streets and well washed sewers are to be considered 
as means of promoting it. Pure water must also 
undoubtedly be regarded as a necessary remedy in 
many cases of serious disease. The operation of per- 
manent causes, though it may be slow, is constant ; 
and if the gradations of improvement be impercepti- 
ble at short intervals, the result is not the less im- 
portant in lengthened periods. Habits of cleanliness 
and temperance are of infinite importance to any 
community, both morally and physically, though none 
can say that the single draught of intoxicating liquor 
is deadly, or that the single ablution will prevent 
disease. 

In the City Charter all measures tending to the 
improvement, not merely of "the finances and the 
police, but of the health, security, cleanliness, com- 
fort and ornament of the City," are designated as 
proper objects of the attention of the municipal gov- 



m SOFT WATER. May, 

ernment. It is not therefore unworthy of the subject 
to remark that the convenience, comfort and orna- 
ment of fountains have, in all ages and countries 
been felt and acknowledged, and that some amount 
of expense would be justifiable, in a wealthy com- 
munity, for these objects alone. When combined, 
however, as this project obviously may connect them, 
with advantages to the health, security, cleanliness, 
and as it may be made to appear, to the finances of the 
City, it would seem that nothing further was requisite 
to induce all to promote it with zeal .and effect. Its 
bearing upon the security of the City, in case of fire, 
is too clear to require to be dwelt on, and may also be 
counted as one of the points of the financial advan- 
tage of the scheme. The amount of property cover- 
ed by insurance against fire in this City cannot be 
estimated as less than ^100,000,000 — and the re- 
duction of 1-10 of one per centum on that amount is 
^100,000. Does any one imagine that the security 
derived from reservoirs more elevated than the roofs 
of all but a very few houses, and fire plugs at the dis- 
tance of 100 feet from each other will not diminish 
the cost of insurance much more than that sum ? 
Probably ^150,000 per annum would be a very mod- 
erate allowance for the saving in this particular. 
This is an item which reaches every individual citi- 
zen, both in his person and property; for it makes no 
difference, with regard to the latter, whether he pays 
an office for insuring him, or runs his own risk. It 
is equally an item of charge upon the property. And 
many a life would be saved if a prompt supply of wa- 
ter were always at hand.* 

*During the last ten years eighteen persons have been burnt to death, and 
seven others have died from injuries received at fires. 



1839. CITY DOCUMENT.—No. 19. 11 

Not only would the safety of life and property be 
thus increased, but a great saving of expense would be 
made, in consequence of the abundance of water ren- 
dering unnecessary any extension of the Fire Depart- 
ment, and the system of reservoirs. There are now 49 
reservoirs, (to be increased to 51 during the present 
season,) and whenever the City shall double in popu- 
tion, they should also be doubled, to maintain an equal 
security with that which now exists ; and it would be 
highly desirable, certainly, to increase the number, 
even in those parts of the City which are best supplied. 
One hundred additional reservoirs, at a cost of ^'1,000 
each, is but a moderate allowance for this source of 
expense, within the next twenty yeai*s, if the water 
project be not executed. If it be, all this may be 
saved, and in addition, it will be unnecessary to in- 
crease the number of engines, and the force of the 
Fire Department, as would otherwise be inevitable. 
Experience has proved that half a dozen streams of 
water, steadily poured, are enough to master any fire 
which is not aggravated by a strong wind ; — and 
then, no force can prevent it from spreading. When, 
therefore, every engine can play from a fire plug up- 
on the flame, a small number of them, which can be 
easily collected in any part of the City, if they are 
properly distributed, will be able to effect all that is 
necessary in ordinary cases. Without the introduc- 
tion of water, an increase of one half of the present 
department would be deemed, probably, the least 
that would be necessary within twenty years; where- 
as, with it, the present department would be suffi- 
cient, or a very slight increase would make the pro- 
vision for this service ample. An addition of one half 



12 SOFT WATER. May, 

to the present expense of the Department would be 
;^20,000 per annum. 

One of the items of City property which is of no 
slight importance, and has always been regarded with 
especial interest, as a principal means of extinguish- 
ing the City debt, is tiie public land at the southern 
extremity of the peninsula. This is variously esti- 
mated by different persons as worth from a half a 
million to a million of dollars. Probably its true val- 
ue would be very nearly the mean of the two sums 
;$f750,000. It is the opinion of persons who have been 
particularly acquainted with the condition and man- 
agement of those lands, that an abundant supply of 
water to those parts not already furnished with a 
sufficient quantity — seven eighths of the whole, prob- 
ably — would add much to their saleableness, and not 
less than ten per cent, to their price. This would 
add ^75,000 to the City property, and give a ready 
sale to an estate which wants nothing but water to 
make it speedily available. 

In all the foregoing modes of saving which will be 
effected by the introduction of water, every citizen is 
manifestly interested who has any tax to pay. The 
following may, at first, be thought less general in its 
operation ; but a little examination will show that its 
effect will, sooner or later, extend to the great major- 
ity, if not to the whole, of the inhabitants. If the 
City increase to double its present numbers, it is pre- 
sumable that an equal number of wells and cisterns 
must be dug to accommodate the new comers, as 
now exists to supply the present residents. There 
are now about 3,000 wells which, being of all depths 
from 15 to 100 feet, and in a few instances more, 



1839. CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 19. 13 

have cost all sums between ^50 and ^300, generally 
requiring ^3 a foot, including the pump. It will 
scarcely be thought an extravagant estimate to sup- 
pose them to average 40 feet in depth, and ^120 
in cost. The whole, therefore, woidd amount to 
$360,000. 

The cisterns also cost various prices from ^"^O 
up to ^300, according to their size and materiiii. 
Their number has never been ascertained, as was 
that of the wells a few years ago, but it will piobably 
be conceded that there are as many as 2,000 of all 
descriptions, and that the average cost is ^50, mak- 
ing an aggregate of ^^ 100,000, and for both descrip- 
tions of water ^460,000. All this, and probably 
much more, must be repeated for the accommodation 
of the next 80,000 inhabitants of the City, as the 
wells must be dug deeper, particularly on the Neck 
lands. It may be said that the present aqueduct will 
supply that section of the City; but it will scarcely be 
contended that it could supply all the inhabitants who 
might dwell on that extent of territory, or if it could, 
that there would be enough left for its former custo- 
mers. Haifa million of dollars must be spent, then, 
by the proprietors of the real estate, on which 80,000 
new inhabitants of the City must live, which may be 
saved by the introduction of water. Nor is this all. 
The increase in buildings, and in the number of wells, 
in any portion of the City, has a twofold tendency to 
exhaust the supply. In the first place, the water 
which, before the erection of dwellings, and the pav- 
ing of streets and of yards, percolated through the 
soil, and formed springs, and supplied wells, is cut off, 
and the supply must come entirely from a distance, 
as the rains now flow over the surface into the ocean. 



V- 



14 SOFT WATER. May, 

Then the frequent tapping of the same spring at last 
dries it up, and the well must be deepened, either to 
find a new spring, or to prevent a neighbor from 
drawing off the water. Thus one well after another 
is deepened, and the lowering of one renders that of 
another, or of many others, necessary ; and this opera- 
tion is very likely to extend over the whole City, and 
to be repeated from year to year. It has already 
happened very frequently, and mutual vexation and 
loss have been caused in many neighborhoods by the 
failure of this necessary of life. No man can safely 
say, therefore, that he is supplied, and sees no occa- 
sion for paying a tax to save his neighbor the expense 
he has incurred in digging a well. While the words 
are in his mouth his neighbor may be drying his well 
by the digging of another, which would have been 
rendered unnecessary by the introduction of an abun- 
dant supply from sources which might be relied on. 
Then comes the necessity of deepening, an operation 
very much more costly than the original construction 
of the well. If one third part of the existing wells 
should require deepening in the next twenty years, it 
will probably cost nearly, or quite as much as the 
original construction of the whole, or another ^360, 
000, and if we may form any judgment of what will 
happen by the experience of the last few years, a 
much larger proportion of ancient wells must be 
deepened. It will not pass the bounds of probability, 
then, to suppose that a sum equal to the original cost 
must be spent in deepening existing wells, if a sup- 
ply be not brought from the vicinity. 

There are various other ways in which money and 
labor, costing money, would be saved by the opera- 
tion; but as they are scarcely susceptible of estimate, 



1839. CITY DOCUMENT.—No. 19. 15 

they are hardly a proper basis for calculation. Some 
of them, however, well deserve to be mentioned, at 
least that every one may ju.'ge for himself of their 
weight. One is the saving of fuel which, it is well 
known, is made by using soft and pure water for culi- 
nary purposes, instead of the saline fluid common in 
Boston. An economy of even a small per centage 
on the whole amount of fuel consumed in a year, by 
six or seven thousand daily fires, must be no incon- 
siderable item. Another is the saving of labor which, 
it is manifest, would be the result of exchanging the 
slow and toilsome process of pumping from 5,000 
wells and cisterns, or from 10,000 of them, as may be 
the case in twenty years, for the rapid gush of water 
under strong pressure, wherever it may be wanted. 
If this labor were all specifically paid for by every 
family, every day, it would be found no trifling ex- 
pense. Is it any smaller expense because it is in- 
cluded in the price of wages, and cannot easily be 
estimated by itself? 

What has been stated in figures may, perhaps, suf- 
fice to show the economy of the operation. The fol- 
lowing are the items. 
Cost of new wells and cisterns, ^460,000 
Deepening of old wells, 360,000 L. i ; - 

One hundred reservoirs, 100,000 

Increased value of City lands, 75,000 



$'995,000 

Interest on amount at 6 per cent., $59,700 00 

Saving of Insurance, 150,000 00 

" in Fire Department, 20,000 00 



Making an annual saving of $229,700 GO 



16 SOFT WATER. Maj, 

If the project, therefore, should cost four millions 
and a half, there woiiid ^till be a saving, if the City 
should be able to borrow the money at five per cent. 
All this, be it observed, is on the supposition that no 
rent is derived from the water, a result there is no 
reason to apprehend. On the contrary, there is 
much probability that the income from the water 
rents might pay the interest on the loan, and at no 
distant period, discharge the debt created for the pur- 
pose ; so that all the immense benefits arising in so 
many ways to the health, the morals^ the comfort, 
the security of the inhabitants, and the cleanliness 
and ornament of the City, may be obtained in a way 
which would never be felt as a burden by any one, 
and by the temporary payment of a tax which would 
be submitted to with the utmost cheerfulness by the 
public, who would feel the relief from the heavier 
burdens which have been enumerated, and the new 
and very great convenience of the supply. When it 
is considered that the whole may perhaps be com- 
pleted for the sum of one million of dollars, the inter- 
est of which would be but ^30,000, it would seem 
that inducements enough were offered to begin and 
complete the enterprize. 

Few persons will deny that the estimates of econ- 
omy above stated are much below the probable truth. 
But if they be not entirely irrational, the aggregate 
must surely, on any estimate, justify the City gov- 
ernment in an expenditure which will produce so 
many benefits, and for which there are so many 
modes of compensation. It is sometimes urged 
against the undertaking that it is impossible to rely 
on estimates, and that if that of the Water Com mis- 



1839. CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 19. 17 

sioners in their late report be dou])]ed, it would still 
fall short of the actual cost. Certainly it cannot be 
denied that estimates are often erroneous; but would 
it be rational, therefore, entirely to disregard them, 
and begin important enterprizes without them, — or 
forever sit still, because we cannot tell precisely what 
it will cost to move? All human undertakings ought 
to be made with reference to a well calculated proba- 
bility; and allowing that the opponents of the scheme 
are so much more sagacious than the Commissioners, 
it is possible that it might be found wise to expend 
even three millions for the object. But if its friends 
are correct, the estimate errs by being somewhat 
higher than is at present necessary. 

There are but two objections, besides that of the 
expense, which have been much dwelt on in argu- 
ment. One is that the woi:k could be more economi- 
cally done by a private corporation ; and if the profit 
is to be so great as is anticipated, there can be no 
difficulty in finding capital to embark in the specula- 
tion. 

It may appear, from some of the considerations 
above stated, that it might be extremely advanta- 
geous and important to the City to introduce water, 
on account of the many public uses to which it may 
be put, without its being desirable as a private enter- 
prize. But supposing it to be as much so to one sort 
of corporation as the other, does it follow that the 
municipal government should surrender, to such an 
extent as would be inevitable, its control over the 
streets, the water rents, and the solidity and capacity 
of the works ? And all this for what purpose ? To 
save an inconsiderable amount on a work of the ut- 



18 SOFT WATER. May, 

most importance to the whole community, and in 
which, therefore, those who represent the whole 
community, would seem its most proper agents. 

The other objection is that the time has not arriv- 
ed ; — that the City should grow both in numbers and 
in wealth, before so heavy a debt is added to its al- 
ready heavy burdens. According to this argument, 
which implies entire disbelief in all which goes to 
show the economy of the plan, the City should wait 
till suffering and evil actually arrive, before attempting 
to provide a remedy. The present impurity of the 
water in the City is not enough. We must wait till 
it becomes an intolerable nuisance, or till it obviously 
produces disease and death. It is not enough that 
many instances are known to have already occurred, 
in which both the rich and the poor have been com- 
pelled to pay three or four times as much, for a small 
quantity of hard water, as the City would require in 
rent for an abundance, of the purest quality, were the 
cost of the works as high as has ever been imagined 
by the opponents of the plan. It is not enough that 
wells should be dug, as they now are in this City, on 
speculation, and the cost, though heavy, should be 
paid in a year or two by those whose necessities com- 
pel them to purchase rights of the thrifty proprietors. 
It is not enough that in the more crowded parts of 
the City, the most violent contests should frequently 
occur, to obtain enough of a hard, brackish fluid, not 
for purposes of luxury, nor even of cleanliness, for it 
is incapable of answering either, but merely to sus- 
tain life in those filthy, wretched abodes of squalid 
poverty, which might at once be rendered compara- 
tively neat and wholesome by an abundant supply of 
what has never yet been seen there, pure water. 



1839. CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 19. 19 

If we wait for the debt to be paid before we begin 
to introduce water, it will indeed be an indefinite 
postponement of the entcrprize. But if there be 
any truth in what has now been urged, we should 
begin the work immediately, that we may be reliev- 
ed from some of our present burdens, and therefore 
better able to pay off the debt. We should begin 
immediately, that we may attract residents, and in- 
duce them to remain with us, by the purity and abun- 
dance of our supply of water, among the many ad- 
vantages of our City. We should begin immediate- 
ly, that we may prevent the anticipated evils of an 
inadequate supply, as well as the present evils of im- 
pure water. Whatever may be the inducements of 
business or pleasure to a residence in the City, they 
will assuredly be more than counterbalanced by a 
scarcity of a necessary of life. A wise government 
forsees evil, and provides a timely remedy. A pru- 
dent government spends money for purposes that will 
add to its resources. 

But however desirous the Committee may be to 
see a beginning of the important work of supplying 
the City with soft water, they do not think it expe- 
dient for the City to act under the resolve of April 9, 
thinking it better to pursue the usual course of apply- 
ing directly to the Legislature at the earliest oppor- 
tunity. They therefore recommend the passage of 
the following resolve. 

For the Committee, 

SAM'L A. ELIOT. 



20 SOFT WATER. May. 

Resolved, That it is inexpedient for the City to 
apply to the Executive of the CommonvA^calth for the 
appointment of Commissioners, under the resolve of 
the legislature of the ninth of April last, to examine 
the subject of the Introduction of Soft Water into 
Boston. 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 



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