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Publication Abstract

Municipal Water Supplies of Illinois Bartow, Edward, 1908  Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL,  ISWS B-5    Full Text Available

For more than ten years the State Water Survey has been making analyses of the various waters used by the people of the State. The fortieth work has been carried on in accordance with an Act of the Fortieth General Assembly entitled;

“An Act to establish a chemical survey of the waters of the State of Illinois. SECTION. 1. Be it enactd by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly: That the trustees of the University of Illinois are hereby authorized and directed to establish a chemical and biological survey of the waters of the State in connection with said university. § 2. It shall be the duty of the university to collect facts and data concerning the water supplies of the State; to collect samples of waters from wells, streams and other sources of supply, to subject these samples to such chemical and biological examination and analysis as shall serve to demonstrate their sanitary condition, and to determine standards of purity of drinking waters for the various sections of the State, to publish the results of these investigations in a series of reports to be issued annually, or oftener, to the end that the condition of the potable waters of the State may be better known, and that the welfare of the people of the various communities of the State may thereby be conserved.”

This report contains data concerning the source of the water supplies and the quality of the water of cities which according to the census of 1900 had more than 1,000 inhabitants. The data concerning the supplies was obtained by correspondence with water works officials or city officers. Three series of letters were sent out and a direct- report, more or less complete, has been received from all but fourteen of the cities having more than 1,000 inhabitants.

In a few instances data have been taken from previous works which treat of the municipal water supplies of Illinois. In nearly every case we have confirmed the data thus taken. The works consulted are:

“Manual of American Water Works,” 1897, by M. N. Baker.
“Hand-book of Water Works and Fire Department Statistics,” 1903-4.
“State Board of Health Report,” 1901, Sanitary Investigations of Illinois river and tributaries.
“Water Resources of Illinois,” by Frank Leverett, Seventeenth annual report of the U. S. G. S. 1895-6, part 2.
“Illinois Glacial Lobe,” Monograph XXXVIII U. S. G. S., 1899, by Frank Leverett.

There are also included analytical data which have been obtained by the survey since its foundation in 1897 to the end of 1906. In these analyses problems such as the following have been studied:
1. Tests of the purity of water deliverd by water works plants.
2. Comparative tests of the waters from several possible sources for cities intending to put in a new supply, or to extend an old one.
3. Tests of the efficiency of filters by analyses of water before and after filtration.
4. The determination of the suspended matter and the soluble mineral content of streams of the State, in order to obtain data from which can be calculated the size and expense of filter plants or water sofenting plants.
5. The determination of the mineral content of well water supplies, to obtain data concerning the character of the soluble mineral content that where necessary the proper treatment for such waters may be learned.

This bulletin should serve communities of the State in various ways. It should, for example, give the cities having good supplies confidence in their water. It should enable a city having an unsatisfactory supply to compare its supply with those that are satisfactory and determine how the unsatisfactory water can be improved. Municipalities having no general water supply should receive an incentive to obtain such a supply as is already maintained by cities in their own class.

The analytical work reported was done under the direction of the late Professor A. W. Palmer till his death in February, 1904. From that time until September, 1905, when the present director took charge, Professor S. W. Parr was acting director. Analytical work has been done by W. G. Bain, P. Barker, A. D. Emmett, A. R. Johnston, D. Klein, J. M. Lindgren, A. L. Marsh, C. V. Millar, C. R. Rose and R. W. Stark.

The analyses of composite samples from streams were made by W. D. Collins. Mabel Bush, Opal Lockwood and L. I. Birdsall, have assisted in compiling the results. We fear that errors will be found in our report and hope that anyone who discovers such will inform us. We hope that it may be possible in the near future to issue a revised edition that will contain statistics compiled by our own field men and to analyze and report on the character of the water from those towns from which no samples have been sent to us.



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