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"This legislation is practically the same that passed both House and Senate in the last session of Congress and which only failed of final passage by lack of unanimous consent on the conference measure by one senatorial vote.
“While in the strictest sense it cannot be said that there is anything new to be called to the attention of the Congress and its committees, it is unquestionably true that the demands for the clearing up of water supplies has grown by leaps and bounds. The whole flood area and the communities which housed the refugees are only too familiar with the perils of polluted water. Antityphoid serum has a way of impressing itself upon people. Here in Cincinnati we shall remember the days of boiling water and the taste of purifying substances.
The new phase of the hearings can be a widespread support by the people dwelling in the Ohio Valley of legislation to enable them to clear their water supplies. This the Barkley-Vinson bill affords. If we all join forces with those of the Connecticut watershed, and those of the Potomac, now pressing for this same legislation, this forward step can be taken."
Mr. BIERY. Not much has been said at these hearings about other phases of conservation, fishing, and the point of view of the sportsman. I file a brief editorial from the Appleton Post-Crescent, which indicates that 13,000,000 men, women, and children are licensed to hunt and fish within the borders of the United States. The editorial closes with this: "The millions of sportsmen in the United States bear an important responsibility. Sportsmen, themselves, must preach the gospel of conservation. All true sportsmen may be depended upon to do so.”
(The editorial referred to is as follows:)
(From Appleton Post-Crescent, Mar. 4, 1937]
SPORTSMAN NUMBER ONE
Your true sportsman is a conservationist. He is a force to be reckoned with. He is one of the 13,000,000 men, women, and children who are licensed to hunt and fish within the borders of the United States.
He may not have voted for President Roosevelt last November, but he hails the President as no. 1 conservationist of the Nation. The 1937 award of the New York Rod and Gun Editors Association was tendered the President, represented by Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of the Interior, at a dinner in New York City a while ago.
Reviewing his “outstanding contributions to the development and protection of the Nation's outdoor resources," the association considers most important the President's proposal to change the name of the Department of the Interior to the Department of Conservation. Federal responsibility for administration of natural resources now is divided among 14 or more separate bureaus. Mr. Roosevelt hopes to end this duplication of effort and to bring into being a better-coordinated conservation plan.
The President's support of the Civilian Conservation Corps is declared by the association to be of inestimable value in popularizing the broad aims and purposes of conservation.
The Nation's natural resources are a vital economic asset. The United States Bureau of Biological Survey estimates that the Nation's
sportsmen spend at least a billion dollars annually in the pursuit of their hobbies. This immense sum is divided among a wide variety of businesses. Farseeing conservation policies are demanded if this great “business” is to continue to develop.
The millions of sportsmen in the United States bear an important responsibility. Sportsmen, themselves, must preach the gospel of conservation. All true sportsmen may be depended upon to do so.
Mr. Biery. That is just a little side light on who wants this thing done. I would like to offer for the record a letter from Mr. Tom Wallace, editor of the Louisville Times, who is a Kentucky delegate to the Cincinnati conferences. He is a member of the Ohio Valley Compact Commission, representing the State of Kentucky. He is a director of the National Conference on State Parks, former president of the Southern Forestry Congress, and a veteran wildlife and water purification advocate. This letter from Mr. Wallace gives the Vinson bill his hearty endorsement.
(The letter referred to is as follows:)
[Copy of wire)
MARCH 6, 1937. Representative A. WILLIS ROBERTSON, Chairman, House Committee on Wildlife,
House Office Building, Washington, D. C.: I ask your committee's earnest consideration, Monday, of merits of BarkleyVinson bill, reflecting views of a group of informed ardent advocates of abatement of pollution of waters.
It is belief of our group that best approach to the problem, for ultimate solution, is through this bill and that the more abrupt approach of more impatient advocates of the same reform probably cannot at this time gain adequate support and get desired result.
But for engagement made prior to announcement of hearing, I should appear before you Monday.
Tom WALLACE, Kentucky Delegate to Cincinnati Conferences; Editor, Louisivlle Times; Director, National Conference on State Parks; Former President, Southern
Forestry Congress; Veteran Wildlife, Water-purification Advocate. Mr. BIERY. Another quotation I should like to read from is from a letter from Mr. Max Hirsch, who is president of the Public Recreation Committee of Cincinnati. He wanted to have before this committee Mr. L. H. Weir, who is field secretary of the National Playground Association of America. In commenting on the type of testimony he wanted Mr. Weir to give—Mr. Weir could not get here--he says:
"On March 17 there will be a hearing at Washington before the Rivers and Harbors Committee of the House on the Vinson bill, 2711. The people of the Ohio Valley are very much interested in the problem of water-pollution control, and it is felt that this bill will greatly assist in eliminating or reducing pollution in our streams. From the recreational standpoint this bill is particularly important, as the clean rivers mean greater opportunities in the rivers themselves, and wider use of their banks. The establishment of parks and playgrounds on river fronts has been greatly hindered by the objection that it encourages the use of the rivers for swimming, thereby endangering the health of the young people who could not be prevented from going into the water."
I would like to include a telegram sent by Harry Walter Hutchins, president of the Southwestern Ohio Sportsmen Club, to Hon. A. Willis Robertson, chairman of the Wildlife Committee of the House, which reads as follows:
"Southwestern Ohio Sportsman Club vigorously supports Vinson stream-purification bill as most practical approach to this problem. We should make a definite start in this business and the Vinson bill is big step in right direction. Please file this telegram in hearing record.”
We had hoped to have Mr. F. E. Sheehan, the city manager of Portsmouth, Ohio, to appear before your committee. I wish to file Mr. Sheehan's letter regarding his inability to be here and his desire to be represented with documentary evidence. (The letter referred to, marked "L"', is as follows:)
City of PORTSMOUTH, STATE OF Ohio,
March 15, 1937.
Cincinnati, Ohio. DEAR MR. BIERY: I regret very much my inability to be present at hearings on the Barkley-Vinson bill.
I will endeavor to have someone locally attend in my place if there is the slightest possibility. Yours very sincerely,
F. E. SHEEHAN,
Appointed by Governor Martin L. Davey. Before leaving Cincinnati such documentary evidence was given me in prepared brief by Mr. Alfred
LeFeber, consulting sanitary engineer for the city of Portsmouth. This brief also covers Ashland, Ky.; and Hamilton County, Ohio. I think the brief is too elaborate for complete inclusion in the record, but I would suggest that the typewritten portion of the brief be incorporated in the record, which relates to Portsmouth and Ashland; also the page that relates to Hamilton County. The other charts and material in the brief are available for the use of the committee, and of course you will incorporate any of the charts that may be helpful. (The matter referred to, marked “M”, is as follows:)
March 16, 1937. COMMITTEE ON RIVERS AND HARBORS,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.
(Attention Hon. J. J. Mansfield, chairman.) GENTLEMEN: The following data pertaining to sections of the Ohio River and certain tributary streams is submitted for your study in considering the Vinson bill, K. R. 2711. The tables and charts are largely self-explanatory, but a statement of amplification accompanies.
As a consulting sanitary engineer serving many communities in the Ohio Valley, I find that the problem of supplying a potable water supply to those cities drawing upon the Ohio River and its tributaries is becoming increasingly difficult year by year. There are times in the course of an operating year when local situations are really serious, and in my opinion, unless some forward-looking legislation such as the bill before you is passed looking toward a correction of the situation, serious inroads upon the continued safety of public health will occur.
Speaking entirely from a standpoint of design, construction, and operation of water-supply works, I cannot urge too strongly the adoption of this legislation. In my opinion, the bill as designed is practical, and over a period of years will afford the relief so urgently necessary for Ohio River Valley communities. Respectfully submitted.
ALFRED L. FEBER, Consulting Sanitary Engineer.
STATEMENT OF ALFRED LEFEBER, CONSULTING SANITARY ENGINEER,
REPRESENTING COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF HAMILTON COUNTY, OHIO (INCLUDING CITY OF CINCINNATI), AND THE CITIES OF PORTSMOUTH, OHIO, AND ASHLAND, Ky.
The city of Ashland, Ky., lies along the Ohio River immediately below the mouth of the Big Sandy River. The waterworks of this city while located above the sewers of Ashland is immediately above a dam in the Ohio River. The industrial and domestic pollution contributed by adjacent municipalities above Ashland and particularly the pollution contributed by the Big Sandy River, is deposited along the Kentucky shore in the vicinity of the Ashland waterworks intake. The proximity of the waterworks intake to the lock at the dam presents an unusual situation in that the passage of each steamer through the lock causes the precipitated material to be placed in suspension and is taken directly into the purification plant. The burden thus placed upon this works is many times that considered a safe load for such a plant to safely cope with.
Exhibit 1 is a table showing the monthly averages over a period of years of the pollution index.
Exhibit 2 is a graphical representation of the B. coli index at Ashland. At a glance it will be observed that at times the monthly average is 13 times greater than that which is considered a maximum allowable load. Superimposed upon this chart are the records of the cities of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Louisville, Ky., for similar periods.
Exhibit 3 shows the chemical cost of treating the water at Ashland, Ky., while
Exhibit 41 is a graphical representation of this same cost.
Exhibit 5 shows the physical and chemical variations of the Ohio River at Ashland from 1935 to 1936 inclusive. It will be observed that the annual average conditions from 1927 to 1936, inclusive, is acid. This means that the city of Ashland is placed to an additional expense to neutralize the acid in the river in order to provide a palatable drinking water. This acid has a destructive effect upon metal equipment in the purification plant. In fact, the effect of acid corrosion has been quite noticeable in the past 5 years.
After the flood waters had subsided in 1936, the industrial waste problem of the city of Ashland in connection with Ohio River raw water, appeared in aggravated form. A sample of water from the Big Sandy River was taken and analyzed. The physical examination of this sample is hereinafter recounted. As the waterworks of the city of Ashland is only a short distance below the mouth of the Big Sandy, the influence of the Big Sandy upon waterworks' problems is very great. Due to the high stage of the Ohio up to the present time, the principal problem at Ashland is that incident to high water, viz, organic pollution and turbidity. In all probability similar conditions will recur this year after the Ohio has returned to pool stage.
The 1-gallon sample separated or stratified into free oil, sludge, and clear liquid with some emulsion. A sediment on the bottom was that typical or similar to Ohio River waters, a finely divided clay. The free oil is similar to crude oil and is very viscous. The sludge is very thick and viscous in appearance although its specific gravity is 1 Exhibit not printed.
low. It is similar to old grease from automobile differentials or transmissions and appears to be mixed with graphite. The sludge and free oil emulsifies very easily.
The sample transferred from the sampling bottle to a graduate to a storage jar showed definite emulsion formation and considerable free oil in spite of the great care taken to mechanically separate the various strata for volumetric measurement. The oil is very tenacious and adheres easily to vessels. Some small craft in the river are coated with oil as is vegetation along the banks. Of the sample collected, approximately 82 percent is clear liquid containing some emulsion, while 18 percent is sludge and free oil. On the basis of previous experience we find that 1 part per million of oil emulsion of all types present in water is sufficient to cause complaints from taste.
A simple calculation indicates that to reduce one gallon of this sample to the equivalent 1 part per million so that taste is still noticeable, approximately 200,000 gallons of unpolluted river water will be required. It is estimated that approximately 300,000 or more gallons of river water per gallon of this type of waste will be necessary for effective dispersion and unless effective diffusion is accomplished, tastes and treatment difficulties will persist at the Ashland waterworks plant. While there is undoubtedly sufficient water to accomplish this in the Big Sandy and Ohio Rivers, effective diffusion is not accomplished by the stream.
Observation indicates that during periods of normal or low flow tributary streams to the Ohio River make a right-angle turn at the point of confluence and follow the shore line downstream into the Ohio for several miles before the Ohio River again assumes a normal appearance. The Ashland waterworks intake is less than 100 feet from the shore line on the Kentucky shore and about 2 miles below the mouth of the Big Sandy so that the waterworks intake is directly in the path of the undiffused waste coming from the Big Sandy River.
At Portsmouth, Ohio, the conditions are vastly different from those at Ashland. While the pollution index becomes very high at times the average is far below that of Ashland. The river at this point is only acid intermittently so that operating costs here are only a fraction of what they are at Ashland, Ky. These two cities are approximately 30 miles apart.
Exhibit 1.-B. Coli index, raw Ohio River water at Ashland, Ky., waterworks
intake, from January 1921 to December 1936
(Average per 100 cubic centimeters]
72 113 345 530 625 602 532 430 450
1, 230 3, 140 4, 200 5, 200 210
16, 200 960 7, 540
11, 700 9, 150 9, 200 240 860 11,000 15,400 16,000 14,500 295 1,060 12, 000 25, 60028, 800 400
16, 700 1, 200
14,000 32, 100 42, 800 440
18,300 1, 900 65,000 47,500 53, 500 580
50, 700 6, 600 30, 900 39, 800 3,500 1, 140 5, 300 | 17, 200
42,000 52, 000 500
23,000 4, 200 18, 700 25, 650 35,000 1,300
17,000 3,400 9, 40026, 700 24,000 1, 500
14, 750 2,000
8,550 15, 800 32, 200 17,550 7,325 | 29, 860 201, 900 295, 230 317, 280 232, 400 600
2, 488 16,825 24, 602 26, 440 1,500
19, 366 6,600
65,000 47, 500 53, 500 210
50, 700 860
3, 140 4, 200 5, 200 9, 200
Total.. Average. Maximum. Minimum.
347 625 72