|February 18, 2000||Volume 7, Number 11|
Where Does The Water Go?
By Patrick Hayes
A university is more than students, academics and research. There is also a physical side to it. With the creation a new campus there came a need to deal with the long-term and short-term infrastructure needs. One of these was sewage disposal but, like many of the early construction projects this is not a simple tale.
On 25 October 1910 a contract for the sewerage system was let to McManus and Son. Work was to begin at once. Two systems, storm and sanitary, were to be constructed at a cost of $25,000. J. Darlington Whitmore consulting, municipal, sanitary engineer, city engineer for the City of Moose Jaw was to draw up the specification for the project. By all accounts the work carried out by McManus was very satisfactory. Darlington's work on the other hand had major flaws, the most troubling being the fact that storm sewer was above and not below the University's utility tunnels.
On 18 November President Murray wrote the University architects Brown and Vallance:
To-day Mr. Greig reports that T. Darlington Whitmore's plans and specifications carry the storm sewer from two to three feet over the bottom of the tunnels. It is needless to say that this is a very serious difficulty. In fact the storm sewers are about the level of the Agricultural Building and of the Power House. If water ran up hill the matter might be looked upon with complacency, or if there were no sediment in the water we might be prepared to let the sewer take a dip. Mr. Greig is trying to find a way out of the difficulty. I think, however, the whole transaction does not reflect credit upon the engineer. To what extent the University may be involved in charges for extras, I can not say. Fortunately, Mr. McManus has been prevented by a law suit which has taken him to Battleford from laying all the pipe.
It may be possible to go back and take up several hundred of feet and reduce the level of the storm sewers and lower the grade.
The "fortunate law suit" was in fact three and they directly affected the University. Subcontractors were attempting, through the courts, to garnishee funds for McManus's alleged failure on three separate occasions to pay an account or honour a promissory note. In any case, the University continued to pay McManus directly until he completed his work. Good help was hard to find.
An angry Murray wrote to Whitemore stating "that the Governors were in no mood to pay for such mistakes". Whitmore replied saying, "I accept the responsibility for the error, and will arrange with Mr. McManus, bearing myself whatever expenses are incurred in lowing the storm sewer." The storm sewer problem was solved but additional costs arose.
In the spring of 1913 a bill for another $8160 was submitted for new sewerage connections to the barns and houses on campus. In March, 1913, an exasperated Murray again wrote to Brown and Vallance, "The entire sewerage system has been a great disappointment. It is probably well that Mr. Whitmore is separated from his work by several thousand miles of water. It would take nearly the whole Atalntic Ocean to obliterate all trace of his mistakes." Whitmore had moved back to England.
For further information, visit the web site or contact email@example.com
Next issue of