LETTEES TO EDITOR.
A SEWERAGE SYSTEM FOR BRISBANE.
Sir,-I am glad to see that your paper is again urging that the newly elected aldermen should take a firm stand on the sewage question in Brisbane, as by your leading article of the 21st instant you insist that it should be made a test question at the next municipal election.
It is high time that increased activity be shown instead of the citizens remaining so apathetic in the matter, and resting satisfied with such a primitive and disgusting system as at present in vogue. I trust that ere long a proper system of sewerage will be an accom- plished fact, and will do all that lies in my power to make it so. I have given a deal of study to the several systems of sewerage, of which the Shone system stands pre-eminent, and I am confident that if the latter were adopted here the citizens of Brisbane would be well satisfied, and instead of costing us nearly £20,000 per annum we should be saving more than half that amount,and the rate could be made nominal. There is no reason why we could not get the approximate cost of laying down an efficient service. We have abundance of water now the Mount Crosby works are complete, and at an early date the said works will be handed
over to the local authorities. Therefore our next duty will be to find suitable Government land as, close to Brisbane as possible for the outfall, to be made eventually a farming district. The poorer and more porous the soil the better for this purpose, as by disseminating the sewage after proper treatment, the land would be made suitable for all farming pur- poses, and the poor lands would become valuable. Let out to energetic men, they would reap a benefit in a comparatively short time, and thus help considerably in securing the prosperity of the district.
When this question was brought before the council last year a meeting of all the local authorities, in and around Brisbane discussed the matter, and a committee was appointed to meet at times and formulate some scheme, said meetings to be left in the hands of Alderman J. A. Clark who was then mayor. Although, that gentleman was repeatedly asked to call a mealing it was never done. Since then several who would have taken a lively interest in the question have vacated their seats, and under the circumstances a fresh start will have to, be made. Whan it is macla I trust tho matter will bo pushed on until tha 'work is actually bogun.
'After the ensuing municipal election it is my intention to agitato till somothlng definite is dono. Wo aro considerably behind tho ago in this mattar, as towns of loss prestige than ours havo their systems of scweiage, and why this qity, tho ohief town of a largo colony, with 00,000 or 70,000 inhabitants should bo so far behind is diUlcult to tell. It must bo owing to tbo disinclination the Brisbane people havo to move out of -tho old groove. No doubt tho city is most favourably situated for sowago purposes, all tho sturouiiding hills -supplying gravitation, and in the lowor parts tho sewerage oan be offootivoly worked hy Mr. Shono's hydro pneumatic system.
Rangoon, in India, whero Mr. Shono.has triumpliod over all obstados, is a flat marshy ¡own nearly sunounded hy 'water, and con- tains ovor 109,000 inhabitants. Taken as a whola .it would be difficult to find a moio, insanitaiy oity any wilora than it once was. Sinoo the introduction of.Mr. Shono's system, tho mortality has been greatly reduced in sevoral notoriously unhealthy parts of tho oity. Tho wholo cost was, roughly speaking, £113,000, and tho engineer for .that town states that, whon the water servico .is treated by independent pumping tho power now nsod for it will bo availaulo for diainago, and tho machinory .as at present eroded will bo competent to deal willi tho sewage of a popula- tion of 20P.000 pooplo. Thcso facts spoak for thomsolvos, a&a-to, add to my eulogy of tho Shono drainage syátom I may quote tho words of Mr. S.*B. Dpig, M. Inst. CB., sanitary engU ¡Acer and moipborof the Sanitary Uoavd, who
¡inspected tho Rangoon drainngo works, and BpealcB thereon :-" As to tho final result of my inspection I hare no hesitation in saying that I -considor the Shono drainage system, whon combined with efficient houso connections, to bo as near perfection as possible from a sani- tary point of view, and that it is diffioult to con- ceive how a moro simple, lellaula, and sanitary nirangemcnt for tho quick disposal of sowago can bo proposed than tho Shono system."
Tho abovomontioned town is only one of the many to which tho Shono Bystom is applied. Only lo3t year tho World's Columbian Exposi- tion at Chicago had it laid down especially for tho expected influx of visitors. It has also boon adopted in Hastings, England ; Llanfair fechen, Wales, and othor places. It is no moro experimental system, for it has boon in vogtio sinco 1880, when Eastbourne, in England, completed its first installation, and sinoo" that tho sarao town has oxtendod, and has cai ried out tour moro installations in tho jcars 1881, 1681,1888, and 1802. The samo coulee could bo adopted in Biisbaue. The city proper might bo taken ter the first installation, and othor divisions could como m afterwards, the advantaga of this Bystom being that after the fust outlay tho cost of addition is meiely nominal. Another advantage is that thero would be no occasion to inteifero with the prcsont drains for storm-water, as tho pipes nooossary for tho sowago aro small and oould bo laid in soetions as occasion warranted.
Tho Shono sysloni is npplicablo whoncvor tho Bowago of a town or distriot roqniroi to bo* lifted, and may bo bilefly described as a system,
of distributed btalions for tho lifting of sewage,-! workod from one central ' station by means of I compressed air, whorcby tho whola drainage | moa is divided into a number of compact
dlstu'cti, each with its separate outfall and dis- ' charging station, tho discharge from all tho.
stations oonvorging into' one common main, leading to the ultimate common outfall. 1
The advantages of such a system are many and obvious, comprising :
1. The interception of the bulk of tho sowago at higher levels, and consequent saving of power as compared with a single pumping station, in whioh -tho whole bulk has to How down to the lowest point merely to be pumped back again, the fall to tho pumping station being so much wasto of power.
2. The obtaining of short, good, and solf cloansing gradients from tho houses to the district outfalls or ojoctor stations, with small
Bower pipes in which there is no room for tho - accumulation of sewage gas.
3. The entire severanco of each district from the main sewer and the rest of the drainago area. Thus in tho ovonttof any epidemic disease ' breaking out in ono district it cannot bo con-' veyed by the sowers into healthy distriots, as is often the case when the wholo aroa is connected by a network of drains, leading to one common
i. The avoidance of doop cuttings and of largo sowers, whereby great economy is effected in first cost.
. S. The ready extonsion of'tho system in'pro portion as the population and occupied area in- crease, thus avoiding the heavy outlay incurred in providing for probable future requirements and relieving tho ratepayers of the present day of the heavy buidon of providing prematurely for the wants of a possible futuro population;
The disadvantage of distributed sowago pumping stations of the ordinary kind would obviously bo in tho multiplication of establish- ment oxpenses by themaintcnanco of a separato staff of superintendents, assistants, and work- men at ¿ach ouch station. To ovcicome this difficulty Mr. Sliono devised his patent sewage ejector, whioh can bo placed under tho street and worked by compressed air. Any number of theso can bo worked from one central air compressing station. The ejector is simply, an iron vessel placed under the roadway, Into whioh tho sewago of the district flows until it is full, whon compressed nir is automatically admitted on top of the sowago, ejecting it in a few seconds into the main outfall sower, tho process repeating itself automatically as long as thoro is sewage to flow. It is tho invention of this apparatus which has rondarod the distri- buted Btation system or sectional drainage prac- tically attainable.
I A fow mora lines aro necessary to show tho mannar in which the monoy roquired for tho adoption of a soworago system may bo obtained, as that is the main obstado to be overcome Tho oounoll roally should have no diffi- culty in obtaining this by tbe follow- ing mothods, namely:-They would first havo to got a bill passed through Parliament, entitled The Enabling Bill; to allow the corporation to issue debentures ; when that Is nn accomplished tact they could thon float a loan at 8 or !U per cent interest, providing sufficient monoy to cover oost of construction, say £800,000, whioh at the rate above alluded to would be £0000 or £10,500 respectively por annum, this interest being just about Quo-half of what is now paid yearly to the sanitary con- tractors for North Brisbano alone.
There is no necessity for mo to onlarge upon tho benefits that would aocruo to all classes and all trades and professions through the starting of Buch a bonoficial schema, but I am sure it would do away with a lot of our unemployed and ereato a stir that would be tho means, of lifting us up out of our present depression. In
conclusion, I trust that my remnrks may bo I suffloiontly plain to enable everyone to judgo |
-I am, sir, &a..
GEORGE WATSON, Jus., Mayor.