Portsmouth Times and Naval Gazette - Saturday 09 April 1859
SPECIAL MEETING OF THE PROPRIETORS OF THE NEW WATERWORKS.
A special meeting of the new Waterworks Company, was held on Monday, at the Athenaeum, Bishop-street. Major Vallancey in the chair.
The Chairman, in opening the proceedings, stated that the meeting was convened for the purpose of obtaining the assent of the shareholders to the exercise of the borrowing powers conferred upon the company by their Act of Parliament. He said that the Directors had determined upon taking the water from Brockhampton for the future, and he trusted it would be to the advantage of the shareholders and inhabitants at large.
Mr. Hollingsworth asked for some information from the Chairman, as to the works in progress, and the prospect of obtaining a sufficient supply of water from the Farrington Marshes for the expected increased demand.
Mr E. Galt said that after the important question put by Mr. Hollingsworth, it was only fair to the shareholders that a statement of the proceedings of the Directors since the last meeting should be laid before them. It was the intention of the Directors to call a meeting for that purpose, but as the present seemed most opportune time, he might be permitted to give them a short summary of their proceedings since that period. The present quantity of water supplied to the town was notoriously insufficient. The Directors, on the score of economy, had instructed the Engineer to test the waterbearing properties of the Farlington marshes, and to make careful experiments, for the purpose of developing the springs in that neighbourhood. To this end the marshes had been probed in many places; trial holes and wells had been sunk, and the ground in tapped various places, but their efforts had been unsuccessful, the increase of water gained was altogether inadequate to the wants of a large and increasing population like Portsmouth. The Directors then took advantage of the reserved powers of their Act, and looked to the Brockhampton Springs as their natural supply, and he could sincerely congratulate the Shareholders on the fact, for they had entirely given up the intention of taking Farlington water, and had determined that the whole supply should for the future be obtained from Brockhampton. The stream ran bright and fresh there; it had been carefully guaged, and exhibited a flow of three millions of gallons per day, compared with 500,000, the greatest quantity yielded at Farlington. An analysis of the Brockhampton water, made by Professor Taylor, showed that it was much purer than the Farlington water, and that a much less quantity of carbonate of lime was held in suspension. Many inhabitants of Havant had been consulted regarding the volume of water that flowed from the marshes, and they all asserted that no dimunition of the stream had been observed. Keeping these facts in view, the Directors had determined after mature consideration, and upon the recommendation of their Engineers to remove the head quarters of their works to the neighbourhood of the abundant springs at Havant. The estimate amounted to £95,000 being an increased expenditure of £12,000, for which additional capital, they would be enabled to erect two 80-Horse Power Engines, and keep one always as a reserve, and to construct a shallow reservoir at the fountain head holding a million gallons of water. The engine would work at a head or pressure of 180 feet, pumping by direct action, to the top of the highest buildings in Portsmouth. The Directors saw in this plan a saving of what might, in a few years, have been considered an unnecessary outlay, namely, the construction of a conduit, to bring the water from Brockhampton to Farlington, a distance of 4000 yards, at an expense of £6,000 or £7,000, and which, whether made of iron or brickwork, would never have been converted into use, being too weak to bear the pumping power of the engines. The proposed reservoir on Portsdown Hill would not now be constructed, and there also an outlay of £4000 would be saved. It appeared to him at first sight it seemed wise to embrace the advantages of the elevation of Portsdown Hill, and to keep a reserve of water available to be turned into the town at any time by its own gravity, but experience showed that the plan they had determined upon was the best, as almost all the waterworks in London supplied the houses, factories, and large breweries by direct pumping action. The existing reservoir on Portsdown Hill would still be retained, and made useful, as after the engines had done their daily work, this reservoir would be filled for the night supply to the town. Another advantage was that the towns of Havant and Emsworth could be supplied at an inconsiderable outlay, and they could afford to offer Gosport, if required, 500 gallons per day, without affecting them; in fact, the stream was so copious that much water would even now run to waste. The Directors intended to purchase a small mill belonging to Mr. Snooke and to compensate Mr. Foster for the loss of a quantity of water to his mill, but the engineers believed they could still give sufficient water to these mills during the day, and collect it in their proposed low level reservoir during the night. On the whole he must warmly congratulate the shareholders on the proposed alterations; the inhabitants would for the future, receive their supply of pure water, as it sprang fresh from the ground, and would no longer be compelled to drink the surface water drained into their reservoir through the low marshes of Farlington.
Mr. Rake inquired what sum had been allowed in the estimate for incidental expenses.
The Chairman replied £6000.
Mr. Emery asked why the directors asked for the full amount of £20,000 when £10,000 would be sufficient to commence with.
Mr. E. Galt replied that the money market was very low at the present time, and it would be advantageous therefore to secure the whole sum at once, it was thought to be much to the interest of the shareholders to borrow the full sum in the place of issuing shares to that amount, because, if as he hoped, that the company next year, paid 6 per cent. on their whole capital and could borrow now £20,000 at 4 or 4½ per cent, it was clearly entering into a very beneficial arrangement for the shareholders, as it was a clear gain of 1½ or 2 per cent. on that amount.
Mr. Hollingsworth then moved, Mr. Emery seconded, and it was unanimously resolved:
"That the Directors be authorised to borrow either on mortgage or bond such sum or sums of money as they may now shall from time to time hereafter consider necessary for the purposes of the Company not exceeding in the whole the sum prescribed by the Act incorporating the Company, viz., £20,000."