[From Manx Quarterly, #9 1910]
INSPECTION BY THE CORPORATION.
Ignorant folk talk of the annual inspection by the Corporation of their Water Works and Reservoirs as if it were merely an excuse for a glorified picnic, in which good eating and drinking played the most important part. People of a more thoughtful and discriminating turn of mind will readily see that without such an; inspection the members of the Council could not make themselves thoroughly conversant with the ins and outs of their water supply, and no one will deny that it is of first rate importance that the rate prayers' representatives should be put into possession of all details of the working of their extensive and valuable undertaking. So there is no need to apologise for the "Corporation picnic."
This year's inspection took place on June 15th, and was taken part in by the following:-The Mayor (Councillor A. H. Marsden, J.P.), Alderman R. Corlett (chairman of the Water Committee), Aldermen A. Caley, J. T. Faragher, and W. Jaaghin; Councillors T. M. L. Quayle. R. Moorre,, it. Moughtin, H.K., R. D. Cowin, J. J. Corlett, W., J. Corlett, D. Gray, J. Craine, A. H. Fayle, W. F. Cowell, and R. J. Kelly. The Town Clerk (Mr A Robertson), the Deputy Town Clerk (Mr R B. Cuthberttson), the Borough Surveyor (Mr F. Cottle, C.E.), the Medical Officer of Health (Dr Marshall), the Water Manager (Mr James Caugherty), the Borough Overseer (Mr T. Cowin), the Legal Adviser (Mr E. C. Kneen), and representative newspapermen attended.
The company left the Town Hall in three vehicles of the type commonly known in the Isle of Man-to which their species is peculiar--as roundabouts, shortly before ten o'clock. The weather was dull and misty, but there was no rain, and the fears that were freely expressed that on the mountains there would be dense fog were, happily, not confirmed by experience, for later in the day, when the West Baldwin reservoir was reached, the highlands were bathed in glorious sunshine.
The party made their first halt at Ballaquayle for the purpose of inspecting the disused reservoir which, on the suggestion of Mr Hill, the water engineer to the Corporation. , it has been decided to adapt for use as a service reservoir. Mr Hill's suggestions were two. In order to utilise as fully as possible the water from West Baldwin, he proposed that the Corporation should lay a second main from that reservoir or put down a service reservoir near the town. The latter course has met with the approval of the Town Council, mainly because it is much more economical but also because it is thought that it will serve the purpose equally as weal as the more expensive method. Alderman Corlett gathered the members of the party about him, to explain fully how the reservoir was to be used. Readers will remember that the reservoir in question adjoins the Playing Fields now being laid out by the Noble's Trustees, and occupies an elevated site. Alderman Corlett said that the proposal was to lay a main from Parkfield into this (Ballaquayle) reservoir, and fill it with water from Kerrowdhoo. The pipe would be taken down Duke's-road to the main. They proposed to make the Ballaquayle reservoir water-tight (which it never had been), and to make certain as to this, they proposed to get tenders from a competent firm and head them responsible for making it wager-tight. At present the reservoir was lined with tiles. These would be removed and proper would such as was sometimes used an roofs, would be laid dawn. Concrete, would be, put an top, and tiles would be, laid on that. The reservoir would hold, roughly; a million gallons. The pipe could run full from Baldwin during the greater part of the day, and it would be used, during the hours of maximum consumption.
Councilor Corlett : Will it give greater pressure to the inhabitants?
Alderman Corlett: In certain districts -in the lower part of the town, it will give greater pressure.
The Town Clerk: This improvement will result in a better pressure for the part,- served by the reservoir.-He added that it would be equal to another main from Baldwin.
Alderman Caley pointed out that it would be filled during the night, when the consumption was not so great.
Mr Caugherty : This will supply all the lower levels.
The Town Clerk: And will do away with Ballacain, in which the water is doubtful. The only doubtful stream in the system is Ballacottier, which serves Ballacain reservoir, and which passes through agricultural land. This will do away with th" necessity of drawing on it. Alderman. Corlett said that the cost of a main from Parkfield to connect that reservoir was £240-that was for a six inch main. The cost of a main from Ballaquayle would be something more than £200, and they were not able to say what the cost of the ashphalting would be until tenders were received. The whole scheme would Post, about £1,000. The cost of the alternative scheme-a second main. from Baldwin-would be £8000.
Captain Moughtin : And way-leave.
After further examination of the empty reservoir the party again took to the traps and dnrovtie byway of Glencrutchery and Hillberry to the Clypse and Kerrowdhoo. The supply at water in these reservoirs gave general satisfaction. .In Clypse there are at present 24 million gallons, and in Kerrowdhoo 52 million gallons of water The watershed for t ere supplies is over 700 acres in extent, and Alderman Corlett said that the Water Committee were paying particular attention to the whole of it. They were constantly inspecting the farmsteads in the neighbourhood. and they had removed any cause for suspicion The trouble that arose last year, he proceeded, arose largely through the Clypse reservoir getting too low. During August they had only about three million gallons in the two reservoirs, and as for Clypse, it was practically empty. In order to avoid that in future, they would use as much as possible from the other sources.
Mr Caugherty : We practically only draw on this for Onchan.
Alderman Corlett : The system of waste detection now being followed is, too; assisting us in keeping these reservoirs full. We are, not drawing nearly as much from these reservoirs. Compared with a corresponding period of last year, the water in these reservoirs was much greater. This year the depth of water was 39 feet 9 inches, as against 32ft. 6in. last year, for the Clypse; and 39ft. 6in., as against 31ft. tin. last year, for the Kerrowdhoo. The committee did not anticipate any difficulty in :regard to the turbidity of the water this year.
The Town Clerk explained, in answer to Councillor Gray; that the slight turbidity noticeable that morning, was due to the flushing of the, previous evening.. They would not adopt Mr Hill's method of flushing until the winter. By this means the, whole system would be thoroughly flushed and not scoured, starting with the dead ends.
Alderman Corlett added that the committee had only had time for one official flushing, and had not had. a fair chance of giving Mr Hill's method a fair trial. He was :satisfied it would be very successful. If they had had time to have had three or four flushings, as suggested by Mr Hill; he drought the pipes would have been thoroughly cleaned. The one flushing they had had turned out very satisfactorily indeed.
The Town Clerk, in reply to a Councillor, who asked was it advisable to run off the water when these was turbidity, said that the committee's intention was to leave things as quiet as possible at present.
Councillor W J. Corlett asked if it wen e not advisable that the Omittee should acquire some of the lands adjoining the reservoir
The Town Clerk said it was a question of price
Councillor W. J. Corlett thought that matter should not be lost sight of.
The drive was then continued, and gradually the mist lifted, revealing the beautiful Baldwin valley making a brave show to keep up the reputation of leafy June. Meanwhile the Councillors and officials discussed every subject under the sun, from the breeding of ginger-bread horses for the Peed-road bus to the floating of a company for the purpose of acquiring Halley's comet for small holdings and garden allotments. None of the numerous schemes proposed by our city Fathers had materialised by the time Injebreck was reached. Shortly after arriving, the company repaired to the caretaker's cottage, and luncheon was served with commendable dispatch by a competent staff from Mr Wilson's (Palace Restaurant), under Mr C. Callister.
The following menu was set before the party, and after the repast there seemed to be a general impression abroad that they had done themselves proud, for alike in cooking and service the luncheon was admirable. The menu was: Salmon. and cucumber ; roast ribs of beef, steak and kidney pie. galantine of chicken; salad pickles; apricot trifle, cherry tart, strawberries acrd cream dessert. tea, coffee, minerals, Vanilla ices served on the lawn
The after-dinner speeches were of -the shortest. The King was toasted, and on the motion of the Mayor and Alderman Faragher, Alderman Corlett, as chairman of the Water Committee, was congratulated on the manner in which the trip had been carried out. Alderman Faragher then -proposed the Mayor's health, and it was received with musical honours, and by cheers for Councillor and Mrs Marsden.
After luncheon, the company went over the " estate," on which the cottage stands. An apparently hardy fig tree, growing in the open air, and well-laden with young fruit, attracted considerable attention. A large party, under charge of Councillor Fayle, set out in the boat (which, by the way, looked rather uncomfortable under the load) for the purpose of examining the bottom of the reservoir. To this end Mr Foyle was armed with a fluke-sticking glass. Needless to say, the expedition was unsuccessful. The great depth of water and the nature of the bottom doomed any such experiment to failure, quite apart from the fact that there is not much transparency in fresh water in bulk under such conditions as at Baldwin.
Mr Caugherty conducted the party next to a bulk meter, which has just been fitted to a main a fever hundred yards below the reservoir. The meter is one from a design by the late Lord Kelvin, the celebrated engineer; and at the suggestion of Mr Hill two have been fixed at Ballacain, one at Kerrowdhoo, and one at Baldwin. The meter is a most ingenious piece of mechanism, and by means of a :'evolving chart the quantity of water passing through the main may be detected. Some calculations are necessary before this can be ascertained at present, but when the work is completed the uninitiated will be able, to road from. a dial the number of gallons per hour and the pressure of water in the main. When completed, a house will be built about the meter The object of these contrivances is to enable the committee to detect the waste, and already a considerable saving in the amount of water running to waste through leakages has been effected Mr Hill recommended that these meters be put in when the reservoir was built, but the matter was held over at that time. It is worthy of note that the expert sent by Mr Hill to report on the Douglas water supply had to set to work without these maters to guide him in his calculations. He arrived at his figures by a most elaborate calculation. based or. pressure, and they tallied. almost exactly with the figures registered on the meter Some 1,300,000 gallons were passing through the Baldwin bulk meter in 24 hours at the time of the inspection, and during the hours of the greatest consumption, the water passed through at. the rate of 49,000 gallons an hour. During the night, it was found that 35;000 gallons. the greater part of which was in all probability wasted, passed through the meter. With this information m their possession, the committee will be able, by means of waste detection meters in the different districts, to trace the leakages. Taken on the basis of population, Douglas ought to consume one million to a million and a quarter gallons a day. Rather more than two million gallons were passing into the town mains prior to this search for leakage, so that there was about, roughly speaking, 10 per cent. of waste. The committee have succeeded in reducing that waste by a quarter of a million since this system of bulk and detection meters has been adopted. Much more remains to be done. Of course, the less water wasted, the less will be the turbidity of the water, because theme will be less "scouring" of the pipes.
It was announced by the Town Clerk, who, by the way, engineered the expedition in perfect fashion, that the conveyances would go round the Injebreck mount by road and wait for the party on the highroad above the hotel. It was a pretty hot climb up the mountain side, under a warm sun and in a still atmosphere, and several of the Councillors had their coats off before they reached the road. While waiting for Councillors Craine and R.. J. Kelly to finish an argument that apparently required a considerable, amount of gesticulation on the latter's part, and certainly retarded their progress up. the hillside, Councillor Fayle entertained the company to an exhibition of his prowess at fence-jumping. The drive back to Douglas by the mountain road commenced at five o'clock, and ohe magnificent scenery that unfolded itself on every hand was much admired by all and sundry. When the Bungalow came into view, to the surprise of everybody a halt was called. When it was found that the stoppage was brought about by Councillor Quayle, who wished to draw attention to the motor char-a banc on its way from the Bungalow to Tholt-e-Will, and which, he thought, would make an admirable substitute for the Peel-road 'bus, some indignation was expressed, and the Mayor said that the Councillor was out of order. This, let us hasten to relate, had the desired effect, for Mr Quayle subsided and was not heard from again for the rest of the journey. The remainder of the journey was not marked by any further incident, and Douglas was reached at about six o'clock, after an enjoyable, interesting, and profitable outing.