Old Missoula

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About the Sewers - 1891

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Description of Their Extent and Manner of Building.

Work will Begin November 15. The Pipe for the Purpose will be Manufactured Here.

Work on the sewers, according to the terms of the contract, will commence on or before Nov. 15, and will be completed within six months. The total excavation to be made will amount to 37, 060 linear feet with an average depth of fourteen feet. The pipe used will be the vitrified glazed pipe and will be manufactured in Missoula. The number of men employed on the work will be about 100, exclusive of those engaged in the manufacture of pipe, if one line of pipe is worked on at a time, but this number may be greatly increased by working on more than one line at once. Either of these methods may be adopted by the contractors as the specifications provide that work must begin at the outfall of the main sewer continuing to its head and all lateral sewers must begin at their connection with the main sewer and continue to completion to their heads. As there is a man hole at each junction of the main and lateral sewers work on all of them may be commenced and carried on at once.

As the pipe for the sewers is to be manufactured here the only money of the sewer fund which will not be spent here will be the very small amount spent for fire clay and that will not be spent very far away as all the fire clay needed can be found in Montana. The pipes will be a mixture of fire and common brick clay, the latter coming from the brick yards of Riddall & Watts, the contractors, situated just east of the city. The cost of the pipe plant would be about $12,000 were it not for the fact that the contractors have already in their brick making plant a great part of the needed machinery. As it is, the extra machinery needed will cost about $4,000. This will include a specially constructed kiln for the burning of the pipe. The sewers drain west from the eastern ends of all the east and west streets into the main sewer which runs down Owen street and empties into the river at a point about midway between the Garden City Bottling Works and the bridge of the Missoula and Bitter Root railroad. The largest pipe is fifteen inches and the smallest eight. The flush tanks used, of which there will be seven, are the Rhoades-Williams patent.

Mr. Riddell says that where the ditch is too deep to permit of throwing the dirt from the bottom to the surface of the ground in one throw so as to make the use of platforms and rehandling of the dirt necessary, a sewer machine will be used which will greatly expedite the work. It is a contrivance whereby the dirt is thrown by the shoveler from the bottom of the ditch onto an endless inclined belt carrier or elevator and carried to the rear where it falls into the ditch after the pipe has been laid. Where this machine has been used it is estimated to have made a saving of 40 per cent. It can not of course be used in blasting ground but there is probably very little of that kind of ground in the work.

The above article appeared in the Missoula Gazette, October 28, 1891.