In 1873, Mr. John F. Bateman began the present works, and the consumption of water has been as follows: Consumption compares with other cities thus: Liverpool, 20 gallons per inhabitant; Buenos Aires, 21; Edinburgh, 33; Dublin, 22. It is necessary to remark here that in 1892 over 10,000 houses were, without water connection, and that when the connection is made, the consumption of running water per inhabitant will be much, greater than at present. The tower of intake stands 1 mile from the Belgrano shore and is 33 feet over high water. There is a tunnel of 3%1⁄2 miles to the Recoleta, 5 by 4 feet, which can convey 20,000,000 gallons in twenty-four hours. At the Recoleta are 3 basins, which can hold collectively 12,000,000 gallons, and these, as well as the roofed filters, which have an area of 4 acres, are protected by a sea wall, having reservoirs underneath for 10,000,000 gallons. The water runs 4 feet per minute, precipitating much matter. The river Plate holds so much in suspense that it is said to carry down 10,000 tons per hour to the sea. A tunnel feet high 4 conveys the filtered water to the pumps, which are 500 horse power and can throw up 450 gallons at each revolution, or 15,000,000 gallons daily, to a height of 160 feet. The consumption of coal is 23 tons daily. The great tank covers a block of 4 acres between Calles Cordoba, Viamont, and Rio Bamba. It is 81 feet high and holds 13,500,000 gallons. The tank is of iron, in 3 compartments, weighing 14,000 tons, and is supported by 28,000 tons of masonry; total weight when full, 110,000 tons. It cost £400,000. Two pipes, 2 feet diameter, convey the water down. The consumption varies from 300,000 to 800,000 gallons per hour, being greatest at 9 a. m. The number of houses supplied in May, 1892, was 23,000, there being still 11,000 houses unsupplied. It is found necessary to construct 2 acres more of covered filters and to increase the pumping power. The works employ 600 men, whose salaries reach $700,000, currency, per annum. The Bateman contract, in 1873, stipulated 7 per cent commission for waterworks and drainage. The works, after 19 years, are approaching completion. The actual outlay has been under £5,000,000, and a further outlay of £1,000,000 will finish them. The street drains vary in diameter, the largest being 5 feet. The main drains are 14 feet. The principal main drain is 16 miles long, terminating below Quilmes. The pumping station at Bernal is 500 horse power. In March, 1892, there were 6,270 houses with drainage service, leaving 28,000 not yet connected. The connection works are being carried out at a rapid rate, so that soon all the houses will be connected. At present, the quantity of sewage matter conveyed is 35,000 tons daily. There are four gas companies, of which the oldest is the Primitiva, started in 1856. Viceroy Vertiz began to light the streets in 1778 by means of lamps fed with mares' grease. These were made to give place to tallow candles about the close of the eighteenth century. It is recorded that Mr. James Bevans, C. E., grandfather of ex-President Pellegrini, lighted the plaza with gas on the national anniversary, May 25, 1824. The street lighting in recent years shows as follows: The total consumption in 1883 and 1891 compare as follows: The cost of public lighting in 1891 was £36,000, and compares with other cities, per head, as follows: There are 360 miles of gas pipes, supplying 400,000 lights in houses and 7,700 street lamps. Many houses, the principal streets, and Palermo Park are lighted with electric light. There are twenty markets, and the return for 1891 show as follows, for consumption: |