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Now, where there is all this flooding going on, would you say that that is because of lack of proper engineering in anticipating the load in those areas of the District ?
Mr. KEMP. Partly; yes, sir.
Mr. BATES. Who is responsible for that? Who laid the original trunk lines in those streets? Let us take Sixteenth Street, and then the anticipation—or any street; those streets are all so well laid out.
Mr. KEMP. That is right.
Mr. Bates. That it should not have been altogether difficult a job to anticipate unless the character of the buildings was changed, but for the most part, being residential areas with some business areas intervening, the sewer load and the water load, so far as the main lines are concerned, certainly there is hardly any excuse for underestimating those requirements. Who is responsible for that?
Mr. KEMP. Unfortunately, Mr. Bates, when the city was planned, its utilities were not planned along with the city. Actually we had no real utilities installed other than some storm-water drains prior to 1850. We used springs for water.
Mr. BATES. That is a hundred years back, and this District has grown quite materially in a hundred years.
Mr. KEMP. That is correct; and we had a very thorough study made in 1898 of the requirements. However, in those days they did not have the run-off, and they did not expect the enormous growth, apparently, that we have today, that gives us a huge amount of storm water run-off. For instance, in impervious areas you might have 95 percent of the water run-off. In the en days the sewers were built downtown, large-sized in those days, but they did not contemplate taking in all those outlying built-up areas.
Mr. BATES. Do you know of any city in the whole United States with boundary lines fixed, geographical lay-out determined, highways-on paper, at least—laid out in what we call wagon-wheel shape, centering at the Capitol, that the anticipated growth of the city could not be known by the engineers in those days?
Mr. Kemp. It probably could have been, Mr. Bates.
Mr. Bates. Do you know of any city in America that is more perfectly laid out where it could have been known so far ahead in anticipating all these requirements?
Mr. KEMP. I do not know of any city that actually did.
Mr. Bate. Let me ask you this question: Do you know if many of the larger cities have these so-called flood conditions?
Mr. KEMP. Oh, yes, sir.
Mr. KEMP. I will give you an idea. In the city of Buffalo, N. Y., I spent 10 years. They designed for a 10-year frequency of flooding; I was up there about 2 years ago and you could not walk across any street intersection because the catch basins and sewers could not take the water away.
Mr. BATEs. That is only because the trunk line could not take it from the sewers.
Mr. KEMP. That is right, and maybe the catch basins might not have been active. But here in the city of Washington today we are designing on the basis of a 25-year frequency storm; we are designing today for the future. Unfortunately, it was not done in the past.
Mr. BATEs. You are designing for the future, taking into consider
ation the growth of our outlying areas. What would you say about the capacity in the main trunk-line sewers in the downtown area or the flow-off area? I presume the flow-off area is downtown?
Mr. KEMP. That is right.
Mr. Bates. What is the capacity of all the sewer system and the drain system? Have you separated your sewer system from the drain system?
Mr. KEMP. Unfortunately, we have not. In the newer sections of the city we have separate sewers, separate sanitary and storm water; in the old sections of the city we have combined sewers; and for that reason every time we have a storm it floods out our basements because the basements and toilet fixtures are connected with the sewer; that is one of the problems.
Mr. BATES. Then your problem is separation entirely of the sanitary sewer from the sewer system.
Mr. KEMP. We are not sure, Mr. Bates, that it is an economically feasible thing to separate. I think we should spend $300,000 for a complete study of that, and General Young has included that in his plan.
Mr. Ba'res. The more growth you have and the more impact your trunk-line system has in the downtown area—the flow-off area-the more.flooding you are going to have into your basements and sewers. Mr. KEMP. That is correct, sir.
Mr. BATES. And I think it is a practice of most communities to separate the drain from the sanitary sewers.
Mr. KEMP. That is correct. But it is a question now of economics involved, and that study must be made by us.
Mr. Bates. But whenever you have, let us say, the resurfacing of a street, complete rebuilding of a street, do you separate your sanitary sewers and drains at that point?
Mr. KEMP. No, sir; we do not.
Mr. BATES. That is because you cannot connect them all the way down?
Mr. KEMP. That is correct.
General Young. Mr. Chairman, might I interpolate one remark? You were speaking of the question of why it could not have been foreseen in the old days that this growth would occur, and that the mains should be built bigger. There was one element which I think the best possible engineer or city planner of the 1890's, or even the 1900's, could not have anticipated, and that was the development of the automobile and the consequent expansion of our cities into thinly built suburban areas. I do not believe that anyone in the 1890's could have been expected to realize what the automobile would do to decentralize the housing of a great city. In the absence of such an anticipation, it would hardly have been justified to build the mains of the old city, south of Florida Avenue, on the assumption that they would some day take the drainage of a paved area extending all the way to the boundary of the District. By the time that the automobile came in and the expansion had occurred, those old mains were in, and the task now, as Mr. Kemp says, of separating them is a tremendously expensive one that we want to study.
Mr. BATES. How many outlets have you in the downtown area and where do they go into the river?
Mr. KEMP. We have no outlets directly on our sanitary sewers. Our outlets are on the combined and interceptor sewers so that when they get surcharged they go out into the streams. Mr. Johnson, who is Superintendent of the Sewer Division and Deputy Director of Sanitary Engineering, will answer that question. How many outlets, Mr. Johnson, do we actually have into the streams now?
(Statement later received for the record by Sewer Division, District of Columbia.)
Sewer Division, operating and maintenance, including sewage treatment plant and
public convenience stations
From the fiscal year 1936 through the fiscal year 1944, the total number of employees and the total cost of operating and maintaining the Sewer Division, including the sewage treatment plant and public-convenience stations, remained practically constant. The appropriation varied between $611,030 and $646,150, while the total number of employees fluctuated between 296 in 1937 and 266 in 1944. Cost of wage increases and the longer workweek during this period were absorbed by savings in personnel services.
The amount of sewage handled rose from 40.6 billion gallons in 1937 to 54.7 billion gallons in 1944. None of the sewage was treated in 1937, while 52.6 billion gallons were treated in 1944.
The increased cost of operating during 1945 and 1946 was due to increased wages and the increased cost of materials and supplies, together with the increased amount of sewage handled. The increase in the amount of sewage was a direct result of the increased population of the District of Columbia. In 1937 the population was 622,000 and in 1946, 910,000. The sewage handled increased from 40.6 billion gallons per year in 1937 to 62.6 billion gallons per year in 1946. 54.8 billion gallons were treated in 1946.
STATEMENT OF ELLWOOD JOHNSON, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF
SANITARY ENGINEERING FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. Johnson. That question has to be answered in a roundabout way, Mr. Bates.
The sewers of the District of Columbia are laid out in three different systems, as Mr. Kemp said. Years ago there were sewers which were installed in the valleys of the old city. The Sewer Division itselfthe Sewer Department, as it was called in those days—was not created until almost exactly a hundred years after the original plan of the city was laid out.
In the eighties, or after the organic act, consulting engineers were engaged to lay out a system of sewers for the District of Columbia. They laid out a system consisting of interceptors which would take the dry-weather flow from the sewers before emptying into the creeks, and take it eventually to a pumping plant at the foot of New Jersey Avenue. Those interceptors were built in such a way that they intercepted the dry-weather flow from the lateral sewers, including the large trunk sewers.
During times of storm the large trunk sewers of the combined system empty into the streams, either Rock Creek, the Potomac River, or the Anacostia River.
Today we have three systems of sewers-the combined system sewers which take in all of the oldest city area and some areas outside of Florida Avenue, which used to be the old city boundary.
Then we have the separate system of sewers which takes sanitary or domestic sewerage. Then we have the storm-water sewers which take storm water only.
The sanitary sewage and the dry-weather flow from the combined system sewers all go to the interceptors. Of course, in the separate system sewers there is no storm-water flow.
Now, when the system was laid out, years ago, there were many of the trunk sewers that emptied into the creeks or rivers, as I said, and today we have—I cannot give you the exact number of outlets—we have perhaps 10 large outlets into the river in which the dry-weather fiow is intercepted and flows to the sewerage treatment plant.
During times of storm the combined flow goes into the rivers. Does that answer your question, sir? Mr. BATEs. Yes; you have a sewage system plant here? Mr. KEMP. Yes; a treatment plant. Mr. Bates. Does your drain water run into there also ?
Mr. KEMP. No, sir. In times of storm that is discharged directly into the streams.
Mr. BATEs. That is through the reliefs ?
Mr. Johnson. Mr. Bates, these interceptors all go down to the sewerage pumping station at the foot of New Jersey Avenue on the Anacostia River. The dry-weather flow is there lifted by pumps and goes in a siphon under the Anacostia River, and then flows by gravity to the sewerage treatment plant at the extreme southern end of the District.
Mr. BATES, What percent, do you think, of the sewerage actually goes through the sewerage treatment plant?
Mr. Johnson. I can answer that question in this way: We pumped at the sewerage pumping station last year, 62,000,000,000 gallons; in 1947 the estimated pumpage is 60,000,000,000 gallons. Of this, at least 54,000,0000,000 will be treated at the sewerage treatment plant.
Mr. BATEs. What is the water consumption in the District? You say 60,000,000,000 gallons? Mr. JOHNSON. Do you happen to know that, Mr. Kemp! Mr. KEMP. It is something less than that-54,000,000,000.
Mr. JOHNSON. Part of that 60 is storm water, because in small storms we treat some of the flow instead of putting it into the Anacostia.
Mr. Bares. Of course, you have a separate plant altogether, separate surface drain system, so it goes into the sanitary sewer.
Mr. KEMP. That is right, Mr. Bates. During
Mr. BATEs. You carry overload during a storm period, both domestic storm water and drain water sewers into the rivers.
Mr. KEMP. During dry weather all of our sanitary sewage is treated.
Mr. BATES. Are there any other statements that you wish to make on that? Did you have something more for the committee!
Mr. KEMP. I expected Mr. Johnson to give the appropriation details. He is the Deputy Director of Sanitary Engineering. Mr. Xanten is the Superintendent of the Refuse Division.
Mr. Bares. Now, this tabulation of costs here I want that to be part of this record.
Mr. KEMP. You are getting that at this point because it is very important evidence-and Mr. David Auld, Superintendent of the Water Division. These gentlemen will be pleased to give a more detailed discussion of anything I have offered.
Mr. BATES. Mr. Auld spoke here the other day.
Mr. KEMP. Construction material costs. This is just cost of materials—not installed, just the cost. Ten-inch terra cotta pipe was 29 cents a foot in 1937, and is 49 cents today, or an increase of 69 percent.
Twelve-inch pipe, terra cotta pipe, increased from 36 cents in 1937 to 70 cents in 1917, an increase of 79 percent.
Fifteen-inch terra cotta pipe increased from 65 cents in 1937 to $1.20 in 1947, an increase of 81 percent.
Twenty-four-inch terra cotta pipe increased from $1.63 in 1937 to $3.11 in 1947, a 90-percent increase.
Now, brick-red brick-increased from $12 in 1937 to $27.41 in 1947, an increase of 128 percent.
Mr. BATES. What kind of red brick was that?
Mr. KEMP. Ordinary wire-cut brick burnt in the kiln; that is done at penal institutions, most of it. However, there is some brick we bought. Here is an amazing thing: Our bracing lumber, the price in 1937 was $34 a thousand, today it is $81 a thousand, an increase of 138 percent.
I just want to give you this information. I did not read you all the figures, but I will give you all the figures if you so desire.
Mr. BATES. I think you ought to at this time, and then in tabulated form so they can be readily understood at this point in the record.
(The document referred to is as follows:)
10-inch terra cotta pipe
per linear foot..
do do. do cach do.
69. 125 79 $15 84. 1.34 $1.334 81. 216
1. 20 1.769 2. 42 3. 117 11. 75 6.75
123. 9 145 454
Vitrified 2 by 12 bracing lumber. 3 hy 12 bracing lumber. 6 by 6 bracing lumber
61.579 138, 235 91. 549 77. 469