Thursday, December 2, 2021

New Water System Pumps Installed

 Nearly 100 years ago, improvements continued to be made on Covington's new water supply system, decreasing the city resident's reliance on their own individual artesian wells. Here's an article from December 16, 1922, describing the installation of a new Fairbanks-Morse engine at the St. Tammany Ice and Manufacturing Plant, the engine that would power the pumps to draw the water out of the ground and distribute it throughout the city's expanding system.

The engine weighed 30 tons and presented quite a challenge to move onto its new six foot thick concrete pad.
Text from the above St. Tammany Farmer article:

Work has started on the water-works and sewers of Covington. Mr. Bagley has his men at work. Contracts for building material and hauling have been made and the big Fairbanks-Morse engine is now being put on its foundation at the St. Tammany Ice & Manufacturing Company. 

This engine is put up in a solid mass weighing sixty thousand pounds and had to be moved in its entirety and was a job of no small proportions. It is now lying beside its foundation of solid concrete sunk six feet in the ground and standing two feet above ground. It will be resting on its foundation today.

This is the engine that generates  the power for operating the pumps, that will serve the water supply and that will give us a water supply in case of fire one thousand gallons a minute at a pressure of 150 pounds. It will also furnish the power for the 200,000 gallons of water daily for household purposes.

Manager Farris, Traffic Agent McMahon and Supt. Gould of the N. 0. G. N. were in Covington Thursday and made arrangements that removed all difficulties in the way of using the land originally selected for the power house. 
Next summer visitors to Covington will be greeted with great improvements in the facilities of the town and property holders will sleep with less dread of fire.
 End of article

The St. Tammany Ice and Manufacturing Plant not only provided Covington with ice, which was needed on a regular basis, but it also provided the town with electricity and now, in 1922, with its water supply.  The largest flowing well in the state of Louisiana (at the time) had been drilled and was providing 400 gallons per minute. 

 The new water supply system also meant better water resources for fighting house fires in the town, a feature that prompted even more homeowners to want the waterlines extended and fire hydrants installed as close as possible to their houses.