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Section 19, Subdivision (d), Interstate Quarantine Regulation, provides that drinking water shall be handled in such a manner as not to impair its sanitary quality or safety and already surveys have been made by State and Federal health authorities tending towards the attainment of betterment in methods of handling now being followed, their recommendations being directed towards the cleanliness of drinking water coolers, containers used in carrying water from source to coolers, and directing that ice shall not come in contact with water. This latter provision, it will be noted, is not in accordance with an already existing provision that properly handled ice shall not necessarily be kept separated
from water until July 1, 1922, and in .accordance with recently received information contained in Circular No. 2131, Medical and Surgical Section, American Railway Association, and dated March 7, 1921, an enforced separation of ice and water has been postponed until July 1, 1924.
Instructions are also given that containers shall be cleaned once each week and that storage tanks shall be flushed and drained once a month ; hose used in filling containers shall have a protected metal nozzle kept clean by flushing and washing.
Circlar No. 2140 of the American Railway Association contains, among other matters, a letter written by Assistant Surgeon General McLaughlin, “that if permission to use water is given a community by the State having jurisdiction the use of such water by a carrier should be permitted.” This brings up the question of temporary provisional certification, which is for water not fully approved by reason of a by-pass in the water system, connection with impure water supply for emergency use, unsatisfactory operation or similar reasons, the intent and purpose of such certification being to give opportunity for advised and needed repairs or improvements. This matter was taken up with the United States Public Health Service and it was stated that a ruling covering provisional certification would be contained in the revised edition Interstate Quarantine Regulations, which, however, was omitted.
The action of the Government Health Service in giving closer supervision to the sanitary conditions of the railroads by surveys and reports, is significant of the movement now gaining headway, and a positive knowledge of laws and regulations promulgated for the governance of railway sanitation is of interest. As examples of activity of recent origin, there might well be mentioned a survey of Chicago coach yards with report and recommendation by a Government Sanitary Engineer. Your Committee have perused this report and find it contains a survey of existing conditions with recommendations as to remedial measures.
Representatives of the Government Health Service are obtaining samples of drinking water from trains. The results of this methodical examination of the waters are yet to be seen.
The appointment of a Joint Committee from the Medical and Surgical Section, also the Mechanical Section, of the American Railway Association and from the Water Service Committee of the American Railway Engineering Association, is looked upon as a valuable forward step in the splendid efforts which the railroads are putting forth to give the public their best, in service, in equipment and in courtesy, and the resultant action is looked forward to by all. Consideration will also be given by this Joint Committee to the establishment of laboratories for the analysis of water samples and other laboratory work of an essential and necessary kind and while some of the railroads have such laboratories already established and of great service to their respective roads, it is possible that a general movement in this direction will serve to emphasize the efforts put forth in the past to co-operate with and assist the United States Public Health Service and their Interstate Health Officers as well as the State Health authorities in all the States traversed by railroads.
EFFECT OF LOCAL DEPOSITS ON POLLUTION OF SUR
FACE AND SHALLOW WELL WATER SUPPLIES
R. L. HOLMES, Chairman;
P. M. La Bach,
Typical Instances Effect Upon Surface Supply
(a) Coal Mines—The effect of waste and drainage from coal mines upon surface supplies is apparent and unfortunately too common to necessitate a detailed description. The possibility of such pollution must always be considered when establishing a permanent water station in the vicinity of coal fields.
(b) Coal STORAGE—The effect of drainage from coal storage pollution is similar to that from coal mine drainage and when storing this commodity precautions should be taken to prevent contamination of water supply.
The accompanying sketch map Exhibit “A” illustrates how surface water may become contaminated by storing coal upon the watershed of a reservoir. Analysis E shows the effect of seepage (seventeen days later) upon the water in the lower pond. No inflow was permitted through spillway connecting the ponds, a new outlet having been provided on and around the eastern side of lower pond.
(c) CINDERS—The passage of water through cinder deposits releases sulphuric acid or its equivalent to a much greater extent than drainage from coal storage. Instances have been cited where water has been grossly contaminated in a reservoir by drainage from a cinder embankment and also at a point where it was necessary to haul water and same was allowed to flow to a creek through a cinder fill as it was being unloaded.
(d) Oil WELL WASTE—In the drilling of oil wells water heavily impregnated with salt is usually encountered. In the operation of these wells large amounts of this water is wasted into streams and natural water courses making these supplies utterly unfit for boiler purposes.
The following analyses show mineral content prior to and after controlling the oil well waste and the installation of the sanitary sewer system in the City of Ranger, Texas, population at that time about 25,000.
2.04 1.69 0.12 3.55 0.80 1.36 0.97 6.10
16.63 (e) SEWAGE AND INDUSTRIAL WASTE—Two marked examples of this form of pollution occur in the Calumet River near Chicago and the Schuylkill River near Philadelphia. Where it is necessary for railroads to use water from such supplies, considerable trouble is experienced at certain periods of each year. Where the pollution cannot be diverted the only alternative lies in restricting the contamination to flood stages where the dilution will greatly minimize the trouble.
(f) MUD AND CULTIVATION—The information secured by your SubCommittee is so meager that it is hardly possible to make a concrete statement of facts. However, we have some reports, especially those from the Central Western section of the United States that reservoirs of small capacity (50 to 150 acre feet) have been abandoned after 15 to 18 years of service, caused by silting which reduced the capacity to where they would not have a sufficient supply to carry through a drouth period.
The life of a reservoir depends largely upon the slope and character of soil of catchment area and the extent of cultivation thereon.
Effect On Wells-Storage Coal and Cinder Deposits.
(a) STORAGE Coal-A typical example of this form of pollution occurred at a terminal of a Middle Western railroad. The water supply was secured from two gravel wall wells, 44 feet in depth.
The water was first a carbonate water of 14 grains temporary hardness.
About 40,000 tons of coal was stored within a radius of one half mile and three months later considerable flue and boiler trouble started.
Examination of the water showed a decrease of seven grains in temporary hardness and an increase to twenty-eight in permanent hardness. Test of drainage water in pools around coal piles showed high sulphate content.
After every rain since storing coal at this location began, there has been an increase in sulphate hardness of the well water, sometimes as much as sixty grains. Relief has been secured by going to a river supply threefourth miles away.
(b) CINDER DEPOSITS—The most interesting report that we are able to obtain in this connection will be found on pages 1215 and 1216, May 16, 1919, issue of Railway Age, by William M. Barr.
This article illustrates the importance that should be attached to local ground conditions when developing new water supplies, even when the water comes from considerable depth.
It should be the duty of every one connected with the Water Department to match closely and protect against all chances of pollution.
ANALYSES GRAINS ** US GALLON
A 6 C
2.92 560 297
43.75 2158 0.58
12 93 SOONUM
5.78 5.78 240 IRON SUL COL. IRON 1679.46 66113 SUL MURIC ACID
807 70 1422 8 46 FERRIC SULPMATE
17 79 TOTAL 2432. 1676.57 60.66
8.57 1169 9.15
205 421 8.52 5.21
POLLUTION OF WATER
CAUSED BY THE STORAGE OF COAL
104 194 24.02