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A WATER SUPPLY FOR THE YARD.

Why Not Draw Our Supply From An Artesian Well?

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

As the university buildings are so largely dependent upon Fresh Pond water for their supply, it seems strange that no plan has as yet been discussed by which a plentiful supply could be obtained independent of the Cambridge Water Works. Recently several factories and private citizens have caused artesian wells to be sunk, and the result has been so favorable that the idea of such a well for the yard naturally suggests itself. We all know the disadvantages of Fresh Pond water for drinking purposes, but the most urgent necessity of a plentiful supply of water is in case of fire. During some of our severe winter snow-storms it would be almost impossible for a fire-engine to traverse the yard in time to save a burning building. Our buildings are so constructed that there is always a powerful up-draft in each entry. Let a fire get under a good headway on the bottom floor and the entry will become a death-trap to those above. There is no escape except by jumping from the windows. Matthews has a fire ladder, but Thayer, the largest and highest building, has no means of escape, except the wooden fire ladders under the chapel, which are not long enough to reach the upper story. A fire, occurring in a building like Thayer during the night, would probably destroy life, thereby injuring Harvard more than the small expenditure necessary to sink a well and construct a reservoir. A large supply tank could be placed immediately under the roof of Thayer, or the tower of the chapel could be utilized to the extent of placing a cylindrical sheet iron tank in it. Such a reservoir would supply enough water for any immediate necessity in case of fire, while during the day the contents could be used for all purposes. The cost of running pipes to the other buildings would not be large. The work of sinking an artesian well can be done either by the job or by the foot. In the first case the sinker makes his estimate and bores until he finds water. The second method would probably be the most economical, as the cost is about two dollars a foot for a six-inch bore, which would supply all needs of the yard. The depth probably would not exceed fifty feet at the most, as there is a well near Church street which strikes water at forty feet. F. A. Kennedy, the cracker baker in Cambridgeport, supplies his extensive establishment with a six inch well of thirty feet in depth. There are three or four other artesian wells in Cambridge, none of which run over sixty feet in depth. As the ground where the university now stands was at one time a marsh, producing an abundance of flag-root, it is highly probable that water could be obtained not far from the surface anywhere within the yard. An investigation of the above plan would certainly be desirable, since all the facts so far ascertained in regard to it indicate its feasibility.

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