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JR.: WE HAVE YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 17. THE BILL IS FOR BOTTLED DRINKING WATER. THERE IS ORDINARILY NO AUTHORITY TO PURCHASE BOTTLED DRINKING WATER. A JUSTIFICATION FOR THE PURCHASE WAS REQUESTED FROM THE PROCURING OFFICE. THE REASONS FOR THE PROCUREMENT ARE SET FORTH IN A MEMORANDUM DATED OCTOBER 6. IN WHICH IT IS STATED: "THE WATER DELIVERED TO THE PUMPHOUSE CONTAINS AN EXCESSIVE AMOUNT OF SEDIMENT. THE REASON FOR THIS IS BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF OUR USE. "THE HIGH-PRESSURE PUMP IS OF A POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT TYPE WITH A CAPACITY OF 300 G.P.M. IT IS CONTROLLED FROM THE UNDERGROUND WITH A PUSH- BUTTON ELECTRICAL LINKAGE. THIS IS DONE FREQUENTLY IN THE HYDRAULIC MINING RESEARCH PROJECT.

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B-147622, DEC. 7, 1961

TO MR. J. E. FOWLER, JR.:

WE HAVE YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 17, 1961, AND ENCLOSURES, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST A DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A BILL IN THE AMOUNT OF $57.90 RENDERED BY THE GLEN SUMMIT SPRINGS WATER CO., INC., FORTY FORT, PENNSYLVANIA. THE BILL IS FOR BOTTLED DRINKING WATER, CUPS, AND COOLER RENTAL PROCURED FOR THE BUREAU OF MINES HYDRAULIC MINING PUMPHOUSE AT SUGAR NOTCH, PENNSYLVANIA.

YOU STATE THAT IN VIEW OF THE MANY DECISIONS OF OUR OFFICE HOLDING THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS IN SOME LEGISLATIVE ACT, THERE IS ORDINARILY NO AUTHORITY TO PURCHASE BOTTLED DRINKING WATER, A JUSTIFICATION FOR THE PURCHASE WAS REQUESTED FROM THE PROCURING OFFICE. THE REASONS FOR THE PROCUREMENT ARE SET FORTH IN A MEMORANDUM DATED OCTOBER 6, 1961, FROM MR. C. S. KUEBLER, RESEARCH DIRECTOR, ANTHRACITE RESEARCH CENTER, TO MR. JOSEPH A. CORGAN, CHIEF, DIVISION OF ANTHRACITE, BUREAU OF MINES, IN WHICH IT IS STATED:

"THE WATER DELIVERED TO THE PUMPHOUSE CONTAINS AN EXCESSIVE AMOUNT OF SEDIMENT, PART OF WHICH SETTLES OUT AFTER A PERIOD AND THE REMAINDER STAYS IN SUSPENSION INDEFINITELY. THE WATER IN A DRINKING GLASS HAS A DARK CHOCOLATE COLOR, A MUDDY TASTE, AND A FISHY ODOR, MAKING IT IMPOTABLE. THE REASON FOR THIS IS BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF OUR USE, AND THE PHYSICAL LOCATION OF OUR 6-INCH SUPPLY LINE IN RELATION TO THE WATER COMPANY'S MAIN PIPELINE AND ITS CLOSENESS TO THE RESERVOIR.

"THE HIGH-PRESSURE PUMP IS OF A POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT TYPE WITH A CAPACITY OF 300 G.P.M. IT IS CONTROLLED FROM THE UNDERGROUND WITH A PUSH- BUTTON ELECTRICAL LINKAGE, THAT IN AN INTERVAL OF ONE FIFTH OF A SECOND TURNS THE WATER ON OR OFF. THIS IS DONE FREQUENTLY IN THE HYDRAULIC MINING RESEARCH PROJECT, AND RESULTS IN AN ALMOST INSTANTANEOUS CHANGE IN VELOCITY OF THE WATER FLOW IN THE SUPPLY PIPELINE FROM 0 TO MAXIMUM FLOW VELOCITY. THE EFFECT OF THIS TYPE OF OPERATION IS TO DISLODGE ANY SEDIMENT IN OUR 6-INCH SUPPLY LINE, WATER COMPANY'S MAIN LINE, AND IN THE RESERVOIR.

"OUR PUMPHOUSE IS LOCATED ABOUT 900 FEET FROM THE COMPANY'S MAIN PIPELINE, AND IS SERVICED WITH A 6-INCH PIPELINE. IT TAPS INTO THE MAIN PIPELINE BETWEEN 100 AND 200 FEET BELOW THE RESERVOIR, AND WE ARE THE FIRST CONSUMER FROM THE RESERVOIR. WE ARE ALSO THE LARGEST CONSUMER ON THE LINE AND BECAUSE OF OUR UNUSUAL DEMAND OF 300 G.P.M. WITH INSTANTANEOUS START AND STOP FLOW CHARACTERISTICS. THE EFFECT IS TO PULL SEDIMENT FROM THE COMPANY'S MAIN SUPPLY LINE AND BOTTOM OF RESERVOIR * *

THE PURCHASE OF DRINKING WATER IS ORDINARILY A PERSONAL MATTER AND MAY BE REGARDED AS A CHARGE AGAINST APPROPRIATED MONEYS ONLY UPON THE SHOWING OF NECESSITY FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THE GOVERNMENT. HOWEVER, IT HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED AS A DUTY UPON THE GOVERNMENT TO SUPPLY DRINKING WATER WHERE NONE IS AVAILABLE IN THE OFFICES OR OTHER PUBLIC QUARTERS OR WHERE THAT FURNISHED IS UNWHOLESOME OR NOT POTABLE. NO EVIDENCE HAS BEEN FURNISHED IN THE INSTANT CASE THAT THE WATER SUPPLY WAS BACTERIOLOGICALLY UNSAFE FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION, BUT IN VIEW OF THE REPORTED CONDITION OF THE WATER WHICH MADE IT NOT POTABLE CAUSED BY THE HIGH-PRESSURE PUMPING OPERATIONS ESSENTIAL TO THE HYDRAULIC MINING RESEARCH PROJECT, THE PURCHASE OF THE DRINKING WATER MAY BE VIEWED AS A NECESSITY FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THE GOVERNMENT.

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