Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/588

This page needs to be proofread.

Nature Supplies Boise with Hot Water

How the city uses boiling artesian water for its swimming pools and its laundries

���Four wells supply Boise with nearly a million gallons of hot water a day

THE city of Boise, Idaho, has a curious hot water supply — a natural artesian flow of 800,000 gallons of water a day with a temperature of 171 degrees Fahren- heit which is only 41 degrees below the boiling point. In addition 450,000 gallons a- day are pumped. School buildings, hotels, boarding houses, laundries and residences to the number of one hundred and thirty-eight are supplied with the hot water, both for heating and domestic use, and during the summer months sixty addi- tional buildings are supplied. The great Boise natatorium, a building 215 by 200 feet and over 100 feet high, with a swim- ming pool 65 by 125 feet and with shower and other baths, uses this natural hot water. The water is believed to have great medicinal and stimulative properties, be- cause it contains a large percentage of soda, potash, lithia, magnesia, iron, etc.

The water comes from four wells 400 feet deep, two of them eighteen inches in diameter and two six inches. The larger wells are equipped with centrifugal pumps located 144 feet below; ground. One of these

��The swimming pool at Boise which receives its natural hot water from inexhaustible springs

raises the entire available supply of water, the other is held in reserve. With no pump- ing, the natural flow is 800,000 gallons daily, which is one of the heaviest artesian flows known, either hot or cold. Only a few wells in the United States have developed over 1,000,000 gallons a day, even with pumps.

The Boise wells are owned by a hot and cold water company, and, while others have driven a number of wells on adjacent land, no additional hot water supply has been developed. The use of this natural hot water for heating purposes extends[^back for a period of twenty-five years, but it is only within the last few years that the available supply has been fully developed for general use.

The maintenance and operation of the hot water part of the system requires a force of four men during a period of eight months and one man for the remaining four months of the year when the wells are operated without pumping. The piping in the natatorium and other buildings where the water is used corresponds to that of the ordinary system of hot-water heating.


�� �