VISCOSE WATER FILLING THE CITY'S TWO RESERVOIRS PARKERSBURG WV 1943
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As a result of the prolonged dry season in the Parkersburg area, the city water supply dwindled to a critical point. The field of 18 wells, which normally maintains an adequate supply, was unable to meet the heavy drain of the city's many war industries. The city officials called a meeting of the largest users of water and asked that they curtail and cut their consumption to a minimum. This action did not relieve the crisis, so it became necessary to secure water from other sources.
In the past, the city has drawn on the Ohio River to make up such deficiencies, but it is currently contaminated with chemicals from large industries in the Wheeling-Pittsburgh area. This contamination makes the water most unpalatable and undesirable. Faced with such a desperate situation, the city fathers a gain called on industry for aid.
George Downing, Parkersburg Viscose Chief Plant Engineer, volunteered to assist the city of Parkersburg with its problem, since during the winter season water is available, and the surplus could be released to the city. The plant's water source, being the Little Kanawha River, is practically free of pollution as there are no large industries upstream. On December 21, 1943, Parkersburg's Acting Mayor, Golden Underwood, and the State health officers visited the plant and were shown the Filter Plant operations. After running tests of the water they pronounced it O. K. for public, consumption.
A tie up was made, using pipelines already in use in connection with the city system. One of our large pumps was moved to a point near this connection so that the water flow was reversed, going out to the mains rather than coming in from them. The photograph shows the large pump together with the operator, "Skippy" Taylor. Ordinarily, during the warmer seasons of the year the pump would be in service else where, but at the time could be released for this purpose. This tie up with the city system relieved the critical shortage by filling the city's two reservoirs to their capacity of 7,250,000 gallons of excellent water. Mr. Underwood, Acting Mayor, commended the splendid cooperation of the Viscose Corporation officials for their assistance during the emergency.