These two arms were also developed so that water might be pumped back, into either Wright
's or Spot Pond
during the months of excessive flow, for storage there until the dry season.
A pumping station, built in 1895, between the branches of the brook, in connection with a steel standpipe erected the same year on a hill on the same property, gave the city a high service system with a pressure at the water office of 90 pounds per square inch.
Every house in the city was thus given an adequate pressure as well as supply, after a new main had been laid to the square and the high lands, and some of the small mains had been replaced with larger cast-iron pipe.
There has been much criticism in recent years about the use of cement-lined pipe.
At first it was wise to use it on account of its cheapness.
The cost of cast iron at that time—$6 to $70 per ton—being prohibitive for a town like Medford
The old pipes were replaced at just the right time, the price of cast-iron pipe having fallen to the lowest figures ever known, $17.50 to $22 per ton.
With a threatened water famine averted, plenty of water available for many years to come, and with a great improvement in the finances of the department, the city felt easier, and the water commissioners were confident they could meet the situation, even with an increased debt, without increasing the water rates.
Ever since the selectmen, in their report for 1887, had almost insisted that the water rates be increased, they, as well as the commissioners of the sinking funds and all of our mayors, except the present one, have urged the water board to increase the rates.
That the rates were not
increased, as well as for the wise direction of the other finances of the department, credit should be given to three chairmen of the water board.
No words are too strong to express the appreciation due Messrs. Gleason
for their efficient championship of the interests of both the city and the water-rate payers.