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STATEMENT BY HERMAN SCHUSSLER, CHIEF ENGINEER,
SPRING VALLEY WATER COMPANY,
APRIL 24, 1906

The Spring Valley Company has three main pipe lines coming into San Francisco. The first of these, from the Pilarcitos reservoir, is a thirty-inch pipe line, supplying the upper Western Addition. Except for the northerly end, this line is apparently utterly destroyed. We have been over the line and have found that the mountains are literally torn to pieces and the line gone beyond repair. We have, however, a supply of 6,000,000 gallons a day from Lake Merced, which we have started into the Pilarcitos pipes at a point north of the worst damaged section of that line. This goes to the upper Western Addition, and will afford temporary relief. It will also enable us to determine where the worst breaks in the mains are, a thing which could not be told until we had pressure in the mains.

The second of our three main pipe lines is a 44, a 37 and a 30-inch line from the San Andreas reservoir. This line was badly broken by the earthquake, but it has been repaired.

We have now 6,000,000 gallons a day from there and have succeeded in filling the College Hill reservoir to a depth of thirteen feet. This means that we have 10,000,000 gallons stored there, to be used in case of another fire. College Hill reservoir is 250 feet above tide and controls the district west of Valencia and north of Market as far as the burnt district and as far as the Lake Honda, or Western Addition district. That we have enabled to store 10,000,000 gallons in the college Hill reservoir is due to the help which the people have rendered us in being careful with the water. They must continue to be exceedingly careful. That is our plea, our warning.

The third of our main pipe lines is the Crystal Springs line - a 44-inch line. I have Just returned from another inspection of this line and I find that, out of seventeen miles which it covers, about one mile is badly broken. That will take some weeks to repair. The Crystal Springs line supplies the business district east of Valencia, south of market, east of Kearny and the North Beach district as far as the Presidio. In the city there are several high places, hills and ridges, such as Pacific Heights, Russian Hill, Presidio Heights, Clarendon Heights (formerly Ashbury Heights), the cemetery regions and the most westerly and highest parts of the Mission. Before the earthquake these heights were supplied by the Black Point pumping station and the Seventeenth-street pumping station, which drew water from Crystal Springs and pumped it up.

Both pumping stations are intact, but as the Crystal Springs system is badly broken in hundreds, perhaps thousands of places, all of which will take a long time and a great deal of work to repair, we are working to introduce an emergency supply by laying a twenty-four-inch pipe on Valencia street - on top of the street - between Nineteenth and Eighteenth streets. The street on that block sank and was torn frightfully and the pipes sank and were torn with it. When this splice is made on Valencia street, we will try to drive the water down the entire length of Valencia street in our twenty-two-inch main pipe to Market street, along Market to Sansome, along Sansome to Montgomery avenue, along Montgomery avenue to Bay street, and along Bay to the Francisco-street reservoir and the Black Point pumping station.

From there the water can be pumped to Presidio Heights and other high places throughout the district. Were the Valencia-street twenty -two-inch pipe crosses Seventeenth street, water would be driven also through the twenty-inch pipe on Seventeenth street to the Seventeenth-street pumping station, near Noe street, where it would be pumped to Clarendon Heights tanks, at an elevation of 600 feet above tide.

As there is no doubt that the earthquake has broken or cracked the main 22-inch pipe along Market, Sansome and Bay streets and Montgomery avenue, we are bending every effort to get that splice of pipe at Seventeenth and Valencia streets. We need this most of all because we cannot tell where the cracks are in our main line until we get the pressure. We shall shut off the side gates on the main artery, and we request that people report immediately any breaks or cracks which they may discover. The water will be turned on in a day or so if we are not prevented by breaks as yet undiscovered.

As the only way of getting water up to the high places is by the means I have pointed out, we are asking everybody to lend us help, because that is the only way anything can be accomplished. Report leaks and breaks with exact location. We have established an office at Webster and Hermann streets, where these reports may be made.


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