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The expenditure, which has already been explained in the sanitary district portion of the waterway, and the $20,000,000 bond issue, which takes care of another portion of it, will not be of much use unless this portion which is covered by the Hull bill is permitted to go on, and that is the reason why we are for that bill.
Now, we have a great many members who already use the waterway; that is, the Mississippi-Warrior waterway as far as Cairo and as far as St. Louis; the International Harvester Co. and the Illinois Steel Co. and other steel companies throughout the State who are advantageously located, but who could ship much more if this waterway was completed.
For instance, the International Harvester Co. now brings in hemp and other products which it uses from Mexico and Manila, up from New Orleans, through the Mississippi River and the Warrior River as far as Cairo. They could bring in more products, such as oil and coal from the Southwest.
Now, you have heard about the detriment that resulted from the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal was an improvement that everybody in Illinois, including the Manufacturers' Association, was for; but it has worked a great hardship on our members, because, on account of the traffic rates, it gives the Atlantic coast industries an advantage in shipping to South America and to the Pacific coast.
I think that is all I care to say, except that we are very strong for it and that we hope that you gentlemen, who seem to be very fairminded men—including your chairman, who has had a great many intricate questions to elucidate here to-day-will favorably report this bill or something very like it.
We simply want you to be fair in the matter; give us fair play.
Illinois has wanted a waterway since as far back as 1643, when Pere Marquette and Louis Joliet, the first white men that came to Illinois, recommended a waterway, which is the same waterway that we now recommend, and it is pretty near time that we were getting it; but we will not get it unless you recommend a bill somewhat similar to this.
The CHAIRMAN. What you are interested in is the waterway! Mr. LIVINGSTON. We are interested in getting the waterway, and all of these involved questions about cubic feet a second and velocity and all of those things we do not know much about. We leave those questions to you gentlemen, who are so well posted on the subject; and we are perfectly content to leave it in your hands, because we know that you will be fair.
Mr. O'CONNOR. Mr. Chairman, in order to clarify a matter that is not clear in my mind that I think should be cleared up, as it is very important: Did the committee instruct the engineers to submit a recommendation for an 8-foot channel instead of a 9-foot channel?
The CHAIRMAN. We will be glad to answer that to-morrow morning. I will have that looked up.
(Thereupon, at 4 o'clock p. m. the committee adjourned until Tuesday, March 18, 1924, at 10.15 o'clock a. m.)
COMMITTEE ON RIVERS AND HARBORS,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
z'uesday, March 18, 1924. The committee met at 10.30 o'clock a. m., Hon. S. Wallace Dempsey (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. We will resume the hearing of H. R. 5475. We will first hear from Mr. Randolph, of Chicago.
STATEMENT OF MR. ISHAM RANDOLPH, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE
CHICAGO ASSOCIATION OF COMMERCE.
Mr. RANDOLPH. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I am going to show you the physical things first.
(Mr. Randolph's statement was illustrated by lantern slides and moving pictures.)
The works of the Sanitary District of Chicago [picture on the screen). The city of Chicago is built at the low summit of the Continental Divide between the watersheds of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi Valley (picture).
Originally the lake was both the source of water supply and the receptacle for the sewage, a condition that could not continue as the city grew. As the zone of shore pollution extended farther and farther from the shore it became necessary to move the water supply intakes farther off from shore, beyond the zone of pollution. This did not prevent the pollution of the water supply, and the city was subject to numerous and recurring epidemics of typhoid fever, a water-borne disease.
In 1885 the sewerage and water supply commission was appointed to consider the problem and report upon a plan for a solution of the problem. This commission was headed by Rudolph Herring, who at that time, until his death in May of last year, was the leading sanitary engineer in the profession. The other two members of the commission were Mr. G. E. Williams and Samuel E. Armstrong.
This commission considered plans for sewage disposition and water supply. Its first plan was a continuation of the plan then in use, disposal of the sewage into the river and thence by diffusion into the lake, and pushing the water intakes farther out and farther into the lake, so as to escape the zone of shore pollution. The second thing was the disposal of sewage on land on the shore side of the city on the Indiana-Illinois State line by the intermittent and filtration process, which was then the highest art of sewage disposal. A third plan was to cut a canal through the Continental Divide and dispose of the sewage in the watersheds of the Illinois River.
The CIIAIRMAX. One moment. I remember reading in one of the magazines, probably some seven or eight years ago, a long article on Birmingham, the richest city in the world.
Mr. RANDOLPH. If you will excuse me, I can not keep up with the film if I am interrupted. I will be glad to reply to any questions afterwards.
The CHAIRMAN. All right; you may proceed without interruption.
Mr. RANDOLPH. The plan adopted was the plan of cutting through the summit level, and it was adopted on the clearly defensible ground of least first cost--the least cost of maintenance. It provided for the purification of the sewage by dilution, which was then the best method of sewage disposal, and is to-day the best method of sewage disposal.
Pursuant to the report of this commission the Legislature of Illinois passed an act in 1889 creating the Sanitary District of Chicago, a separate municipality imposed upon the municipality of Chicago, for the special. purpose of building and administering this sewage disposal utility.
Work was begun in September of 1892, and work on the main drainage channel was prosecuted continuously for eight years, until water was turned into the channel on January 17, 1900.
The sanitary district act provided that the sewage turned into the canal should be diluted with fresh water taken from the Chicago River in the proportion of 20,000 cubic feet per minute for each 100,000 population, and the dimensions of the canal were specified in the act to take care of a flow of 600,000 cubic feet per minute, which, at the rate of pollution prescribed in the act, provided for dilution for a population of 3,000,000 people.
It was a part of the plan of the projectors of the canal that when this dilution limit had been reached, when the population of Chicago had reached the 3,000,000 mark, it would then be necessary to construct an additional, an auxiliary, supplemental sewage disposal work.
The project was started under the State rights theory, as the New York State Barge Canal was started. There was not any thought that the State had not the right to do this. There was no Federal law covering the subject.
As I said, the sanitary district act was passed in 1889. Not until 1899 did Congress take cognizance of this improvement, and then the rivers and harbors act of that year contained paragraph 10, providing in general terms where it was sought to divert the flow of any navigable river, it would be necessary to secure a permit from the Secretary of War.
Application had been made for a permit under this provision and the permit was granted. The permitting clause permits the reversal of the flow in the Chicago River, and the permit recites in its preamble that it is the purpose of the Secretary of War to submit questions concerning this reversal to the Congress of the United States for final adjudication.
The permit provided the flow through the Chicago River should be not in excess of 300,000 cubic feet per minute, 500 cubic feet per second, or that it should not create a current in excess of a mile and a quarter an hour. This stipulation applied solely to shipping in the Chicago River.
The CHAIRMAN. I thought it was 4,100 cubic feet. Mr. RANDOLPH. The first was 4,100 cubic feet, but it was modified two or three times in the next few years. The reason the limitation was put upon it at that time was that the Chicago River was a narrow, tortuous stream and not capable of carrying any more than that volume. The engineers reported that it could carry that volume safely.
Subsequently the Sanitary District of Chicago spent some $13,000,000 joining the Des Plaines and Chicago Rivers to make it adequate to carry a larger flow.
This is a view of the main channel of the Chicago River, 300 feet wide and 24 feet deep here, and to the mouth of the forks of the river.
At the forks of the river where the North and South Branches come together the flow now flows up stream to the south, and this is a picture in the south fork of the South Branch of the Chicago River [picture].
It now has a least width (uniform) of 200 feet throughout its length, and a depth of 24 feet. The river is now capable of carrying 7,000 second feet without carrying currents destructive to navigation.
The CHARMAN. What do you call a current destructive to navigation?
Mr. RANDOLPH. A mile and a quarter an hour.
In the remodeling of the river it was necessary to remove the old center pier bridges and build these bascule bridges, and there are 14 of these bridges. This is the old bridge [picture). They were taken down to make room for the 200-foot river.
After this improvement was completed the Sanitary District petitioned the Secretary of War for a permit to increase the flow. William H. Taft was Secretary of War at that time and he heard this petition, and he denied it on the ground that the Secretary of War had no jurisdiction over the case. The same question is up to the Supreme Court of the United States now, and William H. Taft, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, again has to rule on the question that he passed upon as Secretary of War.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the status of those two cases?
Mr. RANDOLPII. I do not know when they are to be heard, I don't know when they are set. This is the entrance to the main channel of the Chicago Sanitary Ship Canal [picture]. The building on the left is the electric power distribution substation. This channel is 200 feet wide at the bottom and 300 feet wide at the surface. This section of the canal is 300 feet wide [illustrating with another picture). This extends from Robey Street to Summit, a distance of about 8 miles. All the bridges across the main channel are movable bridges equipped with machinery to operate them.
There is no navigation in the main channel now, except some small boats plying between the stone quarries in the vicinity of Lockport, for the reason that the canal does not go anywhere; it ends at Lockport. After our Illinois waterways are completed, the canal will come into its own as a ship canal. It will then be possible to carry barges down to the present head of navigation on the Illinois River.
This portion of the canal, 14 miles long, is cut through solid rock [showing another picture). This is the portion I told you about yesterday. It is 160 feet wide at the bottom and 162 feet wide at the surface, and 24 feet deep. This is the measure of the capacity of the canal. It is designed to flow 10,000 cubic feet per second. It is considered possible to put a flow of 14,000 cubic feet a second through it.
This is the spillway for the flood waters of the Desplaines River. It flows down and joins up below Lockport.
As I have said, it has been developed that the canal with the smooth side walls can be made to take a flow of 14,000 second-feet, throughout; but if we put 14,000 second-feet through the canal, we are apt to draw the head so low at Lockport that it puts our power plant out of business; and the only occasion when it would be put through, any such flow as that, would be occasions of emergency, when we would have to shut the power plant down.
This is the original controlling works (showing picture of a dam]. It is a hydraulic power dam. It can be lowered in five minutes, or a flow of 5,000 cubic feet a minute can be put over it.
This is the terminus of the canal as constructed [another picture).
The CHAIRMAN. Now, before we go on with the next part of your statement I want to put a witness on the stand who is only able to be here this morning.
Mr. RANDOLPEI. Very well, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, Mr. Spratt, if you will be good enough to come forward we will be glad to hear you.
STATEMENT OF MR. THOMAS SPRATT, OF OGDENSBURG, N. Y.
Mr. SPRATT. I have been down at Miami for about four or five weeks and Saturday I received communications from our town stating that the hearing would take place to-day and, I think, to-morrow, and that our people were very much aroused, and they asked me to come at once to find out what was being done and to make protest in behalf of our north country there with reference to the taking of more water from Lake Michigan and placing it and running it into the Mississippi River, and I appear here to-day, particularly with reference to the George Hall Coal & Transportation Co., the Rutland Railroad Co., the New York & Ontario Power Co., and I also appear as a director of the Board of Commerce of the City of Ogdensburg.
I know I have the right to reflect what is the feeling of everybody so far as our part of the country is concerned, and we desire vigorously to protest against the taking out of any more water from Lake Michigan.
I have been here a little while and this picture here is quite interesting. I might say that the people of Chicago, without referring to this matter particularly, have been very industrious. They have a beautiful city there. But I do not see that they have done much with reference to the problem of how to best dispose of sewage, a question that necessarily arises in large cities like Chicago.
There is no doubt that this can be disposed of in the modern way, and it is not necessary to the relief of Chicago that the navigation of the St. Lawrence River should be destroyed. The people in Ogdensburg from time immemorial have been navigators of the waters of the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes. Long before I was a child the white sails between Ogdensburg and Chicago were seen in almost every port. Following the sailing vessels came the steamboats. Our people became interested both as employees and as owners and operated lines of steamers there until the passage of the act with reference to the Panama Canal. At that time the com mission, having power, thought for some reason or other the Rutland Railroad Co., which operated a line of boats in connection with their port to Boston and other points in the East, of prohibiting that road from operating that line of steamers at that time, with the