Water, a transparent fluid, destitute of colour, taste, and smell: it was formerly considered as one of the four elements : when perfectly pure, it does not spontaneously undergo any perceptible change; remains liquid in the common temperature of the atmosphere; becomes solid, at 32 degrees of Fahrenheit's thermometer ; and is converted into vapour, at 212° ; but resumes its fluidity, on being reduced to any intermediate degree.
Till the latter end of the 19th century, water was generally believed to be a simple element, which might, by repeated distillation, be converted into earth: it is now, however, demonstrated to be a compound.
Water may be divided into two general classes, namely, saline, and fresh. The former is derived from the different seas which surround the globe: it contains a large portion of common salt, magnesia, etc. - See Sea-water.
Fresh water may, farther, be divided into atmospheric, which includes hail, rain, and snow-water, and also dew; stagnant, such as that of lakes, ponds, and marshes ; and running, which comprehends spring, well, and river-water. To these may be added Mineral Waters, being impregnated with various earthy and metallic ingredients, from which they derive peculiar properties. Explicit directions for analyzing them, have been given in vol. ii. pp. 213-15.
Water is one of the most useful elements in the arts and manufactures, as well as in rural and domestic economy : hence, various machines have been invented, for the purpose of raising and diffusing this salutary fluid : - the following Contrivances deserve particular notice.
The machine, of which the annexed figure will convey an accurate idea, was executed at Oulton, in Cheshire, by Mr. Whitehurst, for the service of a brewhouse, and other offices, belonging to Philip Egerton. Esq. Its design is, to raise water by the momentum, or force which this fluid acquires when confined : it having effectually an-swered the purpose, we have been induced to give a description of its constituent parts, from the 65th vol. of the " Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, " for 1774.
D, the main-pipe, which is 1 1/2 inch in diameter, and nearly 200 yards in length.
E, is a branch-pipe of similar dimensions, for the use of the kitchen-offices. - Mr. Whitehurst observes, that these offices are situated 18 or 20 feet, at the least, beneath the surface of the reservoir, A, and that the cock, F, is about 16 feet below it.
G, represents a valve-box ; and g exhibits the valve.
H, is an air-vessel.
o, o, represent the ends of the main-pipe, which are inserted in the air-vessel, and are bent downwards, to prevent the air from being driven out, when the water is forced into it.
W, denotes the surface of the water.
Mr.Whitehurst remarks that, as water discharged from an aperture beneath a pressure of 16 feet perpendicular height, moves at the rate of 32 feet in one second of time, its velocity from the cock, E, will be in a similar ratio. And, though the aperture of such cock be not nearly equal to the diameter of the pipe, D, yet the pressure of the fluid contained in the pipe will be very considerable : so that if a column of water, 200 yards high, be thus set in motion, and then suddenly stopped by the cock, F, its great force will open the valve, g ; and condense the air in the box, H, as often as the water is drawn from the cock. This condensation was sufficient to force the water into the reservoir, K, and even to burst the vessel, H, within a few months after its first construction; though it was made of sheet-lead, in the proportion of 9 or 10 lbs. to 1 square foot; and was apparently very firm. Hence it may be rationally concluded, that the impetus of the water is far superior to the simple pressure of the column, I, K; and is therefore equal to a greater resistance (if it were required) than a pressure of four or five feet perpendicular height.
This ingenious contrivance is now applied to a variety of ma-U 3 chinery, chinery, by the patriotic Matthew Boulton, Esq. of Soho, near Birmingham; who obtained a patent in December, 1797, for an improved apparatus, and methods of raising water and other fluids. - Mr. B. has substituted valves for cocks, and manufactures the pipes of such materials, as are calculated to prevent accidents from bursting. - I For a more specific account of these improvements, the reader will consult the 9th vol. of the " Repertory of Arts, " etc. where they are illustrated with two en-gravings.
The following machine, which is constructed on the principle of Hiero's Fountain, forms the subject of a plate in Dr. Darwin's admirable work, entitled " Phylologia;" it is designed to raise water to a great perpendicular height, for the irrigation of land, in such situations as have the advantage of a small fall.
a, b, is the stream of water.
h, c, c, represents the water-fall, supposed to be 10 feet.
f, g, h, i, k, I, are leaden vessels, each holding about 2 quarts.
e, p, e, p, two cocks, each of which passes through two pipes, opening the one and closing the other, q, r, is a water-balance, that moves on its centre s; and by which the two cocks o, and p, are alternately turned.
t, u, and w, x, are two air-pipes of lead, both internally one inch and a quarter in diameter.
y, z; y, z; y, z; are water-pipes, each being one inch in diameter.
The pipe b, c, c, is always full from the stream a, b : the small cisterns g, i, I, and the large one d, are supposed to have been previously rilled with water. The fluid may then may be admitted by turning the cock o, through the pipe c, e, into the large cistern e. This water, Dr. Darwin remarks, will press the air, confined in the cistern e, up the air-pipe w, x, and will force the fluid out of the cisterns g, i, I, into those marked h, k, and C. - At the same time, by opening B, the water and condensed air, which previously existed in the large cistern d, and in the smaller ones marked f, h, k, will be discharged at B. - After a short time, the water-balance, q, r, x, will turn the cocks, and exclude the water, while it opens the opposite ones : the cisterns, f, h, k, are emptied in their turns by the condensed air from the cistern, d, as the water progressively enters the latter from the pipe, b, c.
In the year 1783, an excellent engine was erected at Windsor, by the command of His Majesty, for the purpose of raising water from a deep well, to supply the wants of the Castle. It consist simply of a grooved wheel, 3 feet in. diameter, which is fixed on an axis that revolves horizontally over the well: an endless rope, sufficiently long to reach into the water, is passed over the wheel. Farther, a winch is attached to one end of the axis, by means of which it may be turned ; and, on its opposite extremity, there is another wheel, weighted with lead, that acts as a fly, and serves to increase the velocity. When the wheel is turned, every part of the rope is drawn through the water, and ascends to the top, carrying with it a considerable quantity of that fluid: thus, by the pressure of the rope on the wheel, during its revolution, the water is discharged into a cistern placed for its reception. - This expedient was suggested by a sagacious mariner; and so remarkable is the facility with which the whole may be worked, that, though the well is nearly 200 feet in depth, the machine may be turned by one hand, and sufficient water be raised to fill a pipe ; the diameter of which is equal to that of the rope. In those situations, where it is an object of some importance to raise water to the height of a few feet, by the power of the wind, for the purpose of draining morasses, or of watering lands be a higher level ; we conceive the horizontal wind-mill, with a centrifugal pump, to be a most useful machine: we have therefore annexed a representation of it, similar to that given by Dr. Darwin, in the work above quoted,
The machine here delineated, consists of a windmill-sail, which is placed in an horizontal direction, similar to that of a smoke-jack, and is surrounded by an octagon tower. The diverging rays of such tower, a, b, a, b, if on a small scale, may be made of deals two inches in thickness; but, on a large plan, they should be constructed of brick-work;. These upright pillars are connected by means of oblique boards, represented at A, B, which axe placed horizontally from pillar to pillar, with respect to their length; and at an angle of 45 degrees, with regard to their breadth; so as to form a complete octagon, including the horizontal windmill-sail near the top: - as the wind strikes against any of such boards, from whatever quarter, it is bent upwards, and then acts upon the horizontal wind-sail. Farther, these boards may either be fixed in their respective situations, or be made to turn upon an axis a little beneath their centres of gravity, so as to close themselves on that side of the octagon tower, which is most distant from the wind.
Below the shaft of the wind-sail, a centrifugal pump is fixed, with two arms, as represented at C, D. It consists, simply, of an erect, bored trunk, or of a leaden cylinder, furnished with two opposite arms, having a valve at the bottom; which is so constructed as to prevent the return of the water ; and another valve at the extremity of each arm, for excluding the access of air above the current of the water, while the latter flows out.
C, c, c, c, a circular trough for the reception of the streams from
C and D, to convey them to those situations where the water may be
In December, 1783, a patent was granted to Mr. Joseph Bra-mah, for his invention of a water-cock upon a new construction. His privilege is now expired ; but, as the principle on which he proceeds could be explained only by the aid of an engraving, we refer the read-er to the 1st vol. of the " Repertory of Arts, " etc.
Another patent was obtained, in January, 1791, by Mr. Joseph Brooks, for his invention of a buoyant machine, calculated to raise water from a lower to a high-er level, without the aid either of fire or of wind, and without taking any water from the uppermost level : - the curious reader will find a particular description of this contrivance, in the 7th vol. of the work above quoted.
In the year 1801, the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, etc. adjudged their silver medal to Mr. H. Sarjeant, of Whitehaven, Cumberland, for a Machine for raising Water, of which we have given an engraving.
This engine was erected at Irton-Hall, which is situated on an ascent of 60 or 6l feet perpendicular height : at the foot of this eleva-tion, about 140 yards distant from the offices, there runs a small stream of water ; and, in order to procure a constant supply of that necessary fluid, the object was to raise such stream to the house, for culinary and domestic uses. With this view, a dam was formed at a short distance above the current, so as to cause a fall of about four feet: the water was then conducted through a wooden trough, into which a piece of leaden pipe, two inches in diameter, was inserted, and part of which is delineated at A.
The stream of this pipe is directed in such a manner as to run into the bucket B, when the latter is elevated ; but, as soon as it begins to descend, the stream passes over it, and flows progressively to supply the wooden trough or well, at the foot of which stands the forcing-pump C, being three inches in diameter.
D, is an iron cylinder, attached to the pump-rod, which passes through it : such cylinder is filled with lead, and weighs about 240lbs. This power works the pump, and forces the water to ascend to the house, through a pipe, one inch in diameter, and which is 420 feet in length.
At E, is fixed a cord, which, when the bucket approaches to within four or rive inches of its lowest projection, extends, and opens a valve in the bottom of the :1, through which the water is discharged.
The machine, here described, had at the time of Mr. Sarjeant's communication to the Society above mentioned, been six months in use, and fully answered the purpose for which it was designed. - The artisans employed were a plumber, blacksmith, and carpenter : the whole expence, exclusive of the pump and pipes, did not exceed 5l.
The latest contrivance, within our knowledge, for facilitating the motion of machinery, is the undershot water-wheel, invented by the late Mr. Besant, of Bromp-ton ; on whose widow, the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, etc. in 1801, conferred a reward of ten guineas : and, as it promises to be of great service in many situations, we have given a representation of it, in Plate II, for the Supplement.
Description of the late Mr. BE-sant's Undershot Water-wheel.
Fig. 1, a. - A, represents the body of the water-wheel, which is hollow, in the form of a drum, and is so constructed, as to resist the admission of water.
B, is the axis on which the wheel turns.
C, The float-boards, placed on the periphery of the wheel, each of which is firmly fixed to its rim, and to the body or the drum, in an oblique direction.D, is the reservoir, that contains the water.
E, the pen-stock, for regulating the quantity of water, which runs to the wheel.
F, represents the current, that has passed such wheel.
Fig. 1, b, is a front view of the water-wheel, exhibiting the oblique direction, in which the float-boards C, are placed on the face of the wheel.
In the common water-wheels. more than half the quantity of that fluid passes from the gate through the wheel, without affording it any assistance : the action of the floats is resisted by the incumbent atmosphere, at the moment when these leave the surface of the tail-zcater; and, as a similar proportion of water with that which passed between the floats at the head, necessarily flows between them at the tail, the motion of the. wheel is greatly impeded. On the contrary, by Mr. BEsant's contrivance, no water can pass, ex-cepting that which a6ts with all its force on the extremity of the wheel: and, as the floats emerge from the water, in an oblique direction, the weight of the atmosphere is thus prevented from taking any effect.
Although his new wheel is considerably heavier than those constructed on the old plan, yet it revolves more easily on its axis ; the water having a tendency to float it. Lastly, repeated experiments have proved Mr. Besant's wheel to be so decidedly superior, that, when working in deep tail-water, it will carry weights in the proportion of three to one ; on which account it will be particularly serviceable to tide-mills.
The extensive utility of water, for irrigating land ; imparting motion to machinery; and for cold or tepid bathing, etc. is too well known to require farther explanation : we shall, therefore, confine our attention to an account of its properties when taken internally ; and conclude with stating the most approved methods of preserving this salutary fluid, during long voyages ; and of recovering its purity, when it has casually become corrupted or putrid.
As a constant beverage with meals, water is certainly preferable to any other liquid: nor has any case been recorded, in which the daily use of this harmless fluid has been productive of detrimental effects. Its relative salubrity, however, depends on the peculiar properties which it possesses; on the various animal, vegetable, or mineral particles, with which it may be impregnated, and the places whence it is procured. Thus, the water from Springs, being conveyed and filtred through different layers of stone, sand, etc. before it arrives at the surface of the earth, is much purer than most other waters. The transparency of that obtained from wells, varies according to the strata of earth through which it rises ; but the most wholesome fluid is derived from sandy soils, where it has undergone a perfect filtration. The water of lakes and ponds, in general, has similar properties with that of rivers (see vol. iii. p. 498); but, being less agitated, it acquires a greater degree of impurity, and is consequently unfit for culinary purposes; though, on account of its softness, it may be advantageously employed in washing linen. - Rain-water collected in the vicinity of towns, of marshes, or of mines, especially during the summer, is likewise impure: it ought, therefore, to be used solely for cleaning houses, or linen, and' watering gardens. The fluid, obtained by dissolving snow, is somewhat purer; and hail-water-has still fewer extraneous particles, in consequence of its congealing in the air; so that it cannot, during its descent, combine with noxious ingredients.
As the health of mankind materially depends on the wholesome-ness of the water which is introduced into the human body, by food and drink, different expedients have been devised, for preserving it in a state of purity, especially on long voyages. Hence, it has been recommended to add a small quantity of lime to every cask of water. Dr. ButLer (in his Essay quoted p. 44 of the present volume), advises 4 oz. of fine, clear pearl-ash to be dissolved in 100 gallons of fresh water, and the cask to be closed in the usual manner. The proportion of the pearl-ash may be increased or diminished, according to circumstances. As an instance of its efficacy, Dr. B. relates, that he put 1 oz. of such alkali into a cask containing 25 gallons of Thames-water, and suffered it to stand for upwards of a year and a half, opening it once in 4 months ; when he found it perfectly sweet. He adds, that he afterwards used some of this preserved fluid for boiling Pease and Burgoo; that it made the former as soft, and answered the. different culinary purposes as well, as water newly drawn from rivers.
In the first volume of the "Rapport General des Travaux de la Societe' Philomatique de Paris, " we meet with a Memoir by M. Vau-quelin, on several means of preserving water, on long voyages. - With this view, the inside of the casks was washed with lime-water, which changed into a calcareous carbonate, and thus effectually prevented putrefaction. The same desirable object may be attained, by adding a small portion of vitriolic acid and of alkali, to every cask ; which will preserve the water in a pure and salubrious state, for at least 12 months. Charcoal has also proved to be eminently adapted to such purpose : the most advantageous mode of employing this substance, is that of charring the inner surface of the staves, previously to constructing the casks.
The. latest method of preserving fresh water in a sweet state, at a great distance from land, is that communicated to the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, etc. in 1800, by Samuel Bentham, Esq. and for which he was presented with their gold medal. It consists simply in stowing water in wooden cases or tanks, lined with metallic plates, known under the name of tinned copper-sheets; the joinings of such cases being carefully soldered, so that the water cannot find the least access to the wood. These tanks may be manufactured of any shape adapted to the hold of the ship, and thus contain any quantity of water ; so that considerable stowage-room may be saved on board of vessels, which is at present occupied by the casks. - In justice to Mr. Bentham we add, that two tanks of water thus preserved, were submitted to the examination of the Society; and, though they had been three years and a half at sea, the fluid was perfectly sweet, wholesome, and fit for any culinary purpose.
On the other hand, if water has become putrid, it may be divested of its pernicious properties, by the process recommended, vol. i. p. 37 ; by boiling, or by distillation ; and by filtering it through the machines delineated and described in the article Filtration; or through Mr. Collier's patent vessels for purifying oil and other liquids; a specification of which is given in the 10th vol. of the " Repertory of Arts, " etc. and illustrated with a Plate.
In October, 1790, a patent was granted to Mrs. JoHANNa Hempel, for her invention of a composition; which, on being formed into vessels, is said to possess the advantage of filtering water or other liquids, in a cheaper, more easy, and expeditious manner, than could be effected by 3ny other preparation. The proportions of the materials, employed for this purpose, vary according to the size of the basons, or jars to be manufactured. Thus, for vessels intended to contain a quantity of water not exceeding one gallon, four parts of tobacco-pipe clay must be incorporated with nine parts of coarse sea, river, drift, or pit-sand, and worked on a potter's-wheel into any form, as fancy or convenience may direct. But, as the composition thus prepared, is ant apt to crack in the fire, if it be wrought into basons, etc. of a larger capacity, the patentee recommends such vessels to be manufactured of equal parts of the clay and sand above mentioned. She farther states other proportions of clay, loam, etc. which may be employed according to the size of the bason or other vessel; and for a specification of which, the reader will consult the 2d vol. of the " Repertory of Arts" etc.
To conclude this important subject, we shall state a few other simple methods of restoring putrid water to its original purity.
Dr. Lind directs a small cask, open at both ends, to be placed within a larger vessel, the head of which has been taken out: clean sand and gravel are then to be put into both vessels, so that the level of the sand in the inner cask be higher than the bed in the intermediate space between the two barrels ; sufficient room being left for pouring in the water. A cock should now be placed in the external cask, above the gravel or sand ; and somewhat lower than the surface of the materials in the interior vessel. The water is poured in, at the top of the cask last mentioned ; it sinks through the mass of sand; and, after passing through the bed in the intervening space, it ascends, so that it may be drawn off perfectly sweet and clear : - when the surface of the gravel becomes loaded with impurities, it should be removed, and fresh sand be substituted.
According to the experiments of M. Lowitz, 1 1 /2 oz. of pulverized charcoal, and 24 drops of the sulphuric or vitriolic acid, are sufficient to purify 3 1/2 pints of putrid or corrupted water, without co municating to it any perceptible; acidity: he directs the oil of vitriol to be first mixed with the water; after which the charcoal must be added; but, if the sulphuric acid be omitted, it will be requisite to employ a triple portion, or 4 1/2 oz. of charcoal. - When spring-water has acquired an unpleasant, hepatic flavour, it maybe greatly improved by filtring it through a bag half tilled with powdered charcoal. This substance may again be dried, and pulverized, when it will answer the same purpose a second time ; and, if it lose its purifying effect, by repeated use, such property may be recovered, by making it red-hot in a close vessel. - Prof. HufelaND recommends carbon to be reduced to line powder; a spoonful of which must be mixed with a pint of stagnant, corrupted, or bad water : the whole should be well stirred, then suffered to stand for a few minutes, and afterwards passed slowly through filtering paper. He remarks, that the same powder will serve repeatedly ; and, after drying it, he advises travellers to keep it closely corked in a bottle; because the influence of the air would render it useless. - Lastly, if either of the expedients already described, cannot be conveniently adopted, the putrid tendency of water may be corrected, by mixing vinegar, or acid of lemons, with the corrupted fluid ; and, in case any quantity of the latter should have been accidentally swallowed, its injurious effects may be obviated, by immediately taking small, but repeated, draughts of vinegar.
Water. - In this article we have presented the reader with various accounts and delineations of machines, invented with the view of raising water : the following Cut represents one of the most simple contrivances generally adopted in the county of Middlesex.
It consists of a strong post, firmly set in the ground, at a small distance from the well, and which is about 8 feet above the surface of the earth, as represented at a. - With the top of this post is connected a baulk, b, that turns on an iron pin ; - c is a pole, linked to the smaller end of each baulk, and on which the pail d is suspended, that swings when empty over the well e.
In order to raise water by the apparatus here described, a person lays hold of the pole, which is pulled down till the bucket descend into the well for tilling it ; when it is again easily lifted upwards by a small force at c, being assisted by the weight delineated at f.