The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, April 02, 1979, Image 1

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    arch nets $18,000...
Battalion Reporter
The Corps of Cadets, aided by six Dallas
lowboy Cheerleaders, raised a record
for the March of Dimes with its
lual March to the Brazos Saturday.
This year’s march was the Corps’ third
r the March of Dimes. Each Corps
mber collected pledges for each mile of
mile march.
This year’s march took a new twist,
however, as six Dallas Cowboy Cheer
leaders aided the muddy cadets with their
jontests held at the river.
The Corps held competition between
jutfits in tug-of-war, stretcher race and
sack race. Two cheerleaders were assigned
o officiate each event, said Stephen
jreenwade, coordinator of the march.
The cheerleaders met the Corps at the
river, where they “tromped through the
mud and stood out there and officiated in
the events, screamed and hollered and
signed autographs,” said Steve Manley,
the public relations coordinator for the
The cheerleaders braved mud, photo
graphers and enthusiastic cadets at their
appearance at the river.
“They were willing to help — nothing
was too much trouble for them,” Manley
The cheerleaders’ decision to attend the
event probably helped the Corps make
more money for the March of Dimes,
Manley said, by generating enthusiasm for
the march.
“It just sort of spiced things up,” said
David Jackson, who raised the most
money in pledges.
Jackson, commanding officer of Squad
ron 12, received pledges of $479 for the
March of Dimes.
Since the Corps received about $6,500
more in pledges for the March of Dimes
than it did last year, the cheerleaders’ trip
was a “pretty good investment for the
March of Dimes,” Manley said. Although
the cheerleaders’ services were com
plimentary, the March of Dimes paid for
the cheerleaders’ transportation.
Manley said all of the cheerleaders told
him that they were impressed with the
Corps’ March to the Brazos.
“They really seemed to enjoy it a whole
lot,” Greenwade said.
... and drizzle wets 17
WC 1
Battalion Staff
Rain and a quick pace prevented a
up of students who ran a relay from
Bston from joining Texas A&M Uni-
rsity’s Corps of Cadets in the annual
m|etition and games at the Brazos River
i Hgiweekend.
The 17 cadets from Moody College ran
wo five-mile legs apiece in covering the
173 miles. They left the gangway of the
e the «ip s, ' Texas Clipper, the Texas Maritime
. ^^Rmy’s ship, at 6 a. m. Friday. They
, theiiJirttQ river at 5:05 a.m. Saturday,
is 0 J But the early morning arrival made
ters, the group miss the festivities,
en in;; “When we got thei > we were so pooped
ERAtl® ah j ust went oi v separate ways and
to 0,T crashed,” said Larry Chilton, one of the
limners. He said Sunday night he thought
tnam lii|H
:h for Tei^
he was the only member of the group who
went back later in the day.
“We just all went up to the dorms and
took showers and got cleaned up, ” said Ed
Bishop, one of the organizers of the run.
Bishop was disappointed to learn that
he’d missed the six members of the Dallas
Cowboys Cheerleaders.
“We figured with all that rain, they
didn’t even come out,” he said Sunday.
“Well, I guess we really missed it, then.”
Like the Corps, the runners had col
lected pledges for the March of Dimes,
but Bishop said he didn’t know yet how
much money they’d raised.
Bishop said the group carried “a wooden
baton, actually a piece of a broomstick. We
figured we better carry something, since it
was a relay.”
Only a couple of the Moody group had
run in competition before. Bishop said.
“I’ve run a marathon, and I ran cross
country in high school, and so on.”
He said most of the runners only started
training a month ago.
“We were kind of hesitant to talk about
it because we were afraid it would fall
No one was exhausted by the running,
Chilton said. “For the ones who’ve been
training, it wasn’t very tough. Just two
five-mile legs separated by several hours
wasn’t like running a marathon.”
But those in the cars got good and
bored, Bishop said. In the daytime, the
cars drove ahead of the runner, but at
night one drove behind him to light his
“That was better than having to run in
the dark, though.”
Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Connie Dolan of
ficiates as Unit M-2 struggles in a tug-of-war con
test during Saturday’s March to the Brazos ac
tivities. Battalion photo by Lee Roy Leschper Jr.
nr 1
Vol. 72 No. 125
8 Pages
Monday, April 2, 1979
College Station, Texas
News Dept. 845-2611
Business Dept. 845-2611
ays all
United Press International
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Nuclear engi
neers early today launched a new effort to
convert hydrogen gas back to water at the
crippled Three Mile Island nuclear power
plant. Success in the venture would help
cool the atomic reactor and allow it to be
shut down.
The new attempt began just hours after
President Carter — himself a trained nu
clear engineer — and Gov. Dick
Thornburgh donned bright yellow protec
tive boots, personally inspected the plant
on the Susquehanna River island and re
ported the situation “stable.”
Engineers hooked up hydrogen “re
combiners” to the vents of the contain
ment building, where the nuclear core is
housed, to start today’s operation.
The recombiners are designed to con
vert some of the hydrogen gas buildup in
the containment building back into water
by heating it with oxygen — a process
similar to the way steam from a teapot is
converted back into water vapor.
Once that is achieved, the engineers
hope to use the reconverted water to help
in the cooling process.
Success in the Conversion attempt also
would reduce the possibility of a second
hydrogen gas explosion. Officials believe
such an explosion damaged the facility last
Wednesday, less than 10 hours after the
nation’s worst nuclear accident began.
Authorities said the maneuver posed no
new danger and Thornburgh — as if to
stress the belief — ordered state em
ployees to report for work as usual today in
the state Capitol complex, 10 miles from
the plant site.
Carter — who 27 years ago was part of a
Navy team that helped avert a nuclear dis
aster in an experimental reactor at Chalk
River in Canada — made a 26-minute on
site inspection of the mist-shrouded Three
Mile Island plant Sunday.
Later, he went to nearby Middletown,
Pa., and told residents Thornburgh may
have “to take further steps” to protect the
population. He appealed to residents in
the affected area to remain calm.
Civil Defense officials put six counties
— or some 636,000 people — in central
Pennsylvania on “advanced alert” Sunday
for possible evacuation of the population in
an area ranging up to 20 miles from the
nuclear facility.
Thousands of residents already had fled
the area. There has been no official evacu
ation order, but Thornburgh suggested
that pregnant women and pre-school chil
dren stay at least five miles away from the
The main task now faced by the engi
neers is to cool the reactor core so they can
shut it down cold. Unless the fuel core can
be cooled, the danger of a melt-down of
the core — the worst possible nuclear
catastrophe — could arise.
Harold Denton, the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission’s operation chief at the plant
site, said the level of hydrogen in the con
tainment building was increasing. But he
said if the increase in hydrogen was due to
a decrease in the size of the bubble, “that’s
what we hoped to achieve.”
Joseph Hendrie, chairman of the NRC,
has said it might be “prudent” to evacuate
the entire population up to 20 miles away
from the nuclear plant if the bubble which
is complicating the cooling system cannot
be eliminated by normal means and other,
more risky methods must be attempted.
But Denton said Sunday the fuel was
still cooling slowly and he believed the
bubble was decreasing in size.
“Time is on our side in an event like
this,” Denton said.
\igua: Water ihe ways it gets to your home?
y Battalion Staff
rips are the things that go “ploot” in the night,
ey sneak out of your faucet, leap into the sink with a loud
“ploot,” and disappear down the drain, leaving wet plootprints
RYou probably think they follow a vague path of pipes leading
top chrome-plated spigot, but you’re wrong.
■There is more to water than a drip from a faucet. A vast
amount of water is pumped from the ground, chemically
treated and stored for use.
■Bryan used 211 million gallons of water in January, said
Michael Collins, an assistant at Bryan’s main pumping station.
Tiice that amount is used each month during the summer.
llBryan’s water originates in well fields some three to four
miles out on Highway 6, past its junction with Highway 21.
Texas A&M University extracts water from wells near the old
Bryan air base (Research and Extension Center) on Highway
21. College Station, which currently buys its water from the
Upiversity, is going to drill wells on Sandy Point Road (FM
1687) about halfway between Texas A&M’s and Bryan’s wells.
BAH of the wells range from 600 to more than 2,500 feet deep.
The shallower wells, in the Sparta Sand Strata, were sunk first
and do not supply as much water as ones that go 2,500 feet or
deeper to the Simsboro Sand or Wilcox-Carrizo layer. Orville
, Housden, water production superintendent at the main pump-
> ing station in Bryan, said the deep wells produce around 2,100
i gallons per minute, compared to 400 gallons per minute for the
the shallower ones.
RTh ere is a hitchiv however. The deep well water is hot —
116-120 degrees Fahrenheit. Bryan once used cooling towers
to lower the temperature, but stopped because of the expense.
Running the towers’ fans helped bloat Bryan’s $275,000 elec-
tricity bill, Housden said.
The cooler water — from the shallow wells — also has a
problem: sulphur. Aerating the water at the well fields lets the
sulphur react in the air and escape. One of Bryan’s two aerators
is under repair, but the other still sprays water in the air like a
fountain in a large screened wooden birdcage. Above the clean
smell of wetness lurks the odor of rotten eggs.
If you were water destined for Bryan, you would probably
come from a deep well, though nine of Bryan’s 16 wells are shal
low. You would be drawn out by an electric pump.
The pumps look functional. They are massive, clean, and
painted battleship gray. They hum monotonously, and produce
around 95 horsepower each, as much as many small economy
cars. And they squat in plain sheds beside the cows out in
green pastures.
It is spartan inside the pump houses. There is usually a
locker which holds oil and a few other things, and a small
galvanized garbage bucket feeding oil to the pump’s bearings
through plastic tubes.
From the pump, you, as hot water, would run through the
cooling towers and mix with freshly-aerated cold water in one
of two ground-level reservoirs at the well site. One, a concrete
Depression-era public works project, holds 2 million gallons.
The second, a steel structure, holds around 5 million gallons,
says Ennis Owens, a certified water operator.
Owens, 63, and Raymond Leach are the first men who work
with the water. Early each morning Owens makes the rounds
of the pumps in a white pickup, and checks lubrication and does
routine maintenance. Both men chlorinate the water, perform
other maintenance where needed, and operate the pumps ac
cording to instructions from the main water production station.
Leach and Owens wtere certified and trained by the Texas
Department of Health Resources.
The next step water takes after leaving the well field reser
voirs is chlorination. That greenish gas is liquefied when it
arrives at the well field in one-ton cylinders. A machine heats
and vaporizes the corrosive element so it can be fed through
another machine into the water.
Leach said the chlorine is put into the water at a ratio of 6-8
parts per million (ppm) but dissipates to 3 ppm by the time the
water reaches Bryan. About 355-495 pounds of chlorine are
used each day, Leach said.
Because of chlorine’s toxicity and corrosiveness, Leach said
the chlorine handling equipment is supposed to be completely
dismantled and cleaned each year.
In case of leaks, the man on duty has a gas mask. But Owens
said that if a big leak occurred, “I’d just start running. ”
After the water is chlorinated, it is sent through one of four
100-200 horsepower pumps that can move 8,000-10,000 gallons
a minute. It arrives at the main water production center on
East 18th where it is fluorinated and stored. Bryan currently
has 1 million gallons of elevated storage and is building a new
2-million gallon water tower.
Texas A&M has 2 million gallons of elevated storage. College
Station has 1 million gallons of elevated storage.
Elevated storage is important because it keeps pressure con
stant even during power blackouts. The State Board of Insur
ance requires a town have a 10-hour supply of water in elevated
storage and a 24-hour supply of ground storage. Ike Williams,
an inspector, said 10 hours times population times 130 gallons
equals the amount of water a town needs in elevated storage.
Inside the East 18th Street pump station, Housden and Col
lins use a large panel to monitor pump activity and water use.
It not only has meters, but uses scrolls that turn slowly,
marking consumption as the month goes by.
The panel is part of what water operator Leach said is a trend
toward increasing automation.
Eventually the large pumps out in the fields will be operated
by the production center, he said. One of the two chlorination
machines was also built for automation, but has not been set up
for automated operation yet, he added.
Water goes from the center to people’s homes. Even then, it
is periodically checked by the State Board of Health Resources,
which maintains a field office in Bryan.
Checks include bacteria count and a chemical analysis.
That is the path a drip takes to a Bryan home.
Bryan Utilities charges a customer at least $2.40 per month.
Then it charges 63 cents per 1,000 gallons for first 10,000 gal
lons. The price goes down from there.
The path is somewhat different for Aggies’ water, but the
method is the same.
R. Clark Diebel, Texas A&M Controller, said that the Texas
A&M water supply system makes money selling to the school
and by supplying College Station with water.
College Station bought water from Bryan until a year ago,
but is now paying Texas A&M 43 cents a gallon. A
cording to an earlier Battalion article, it costs the school around
38 cents a gallon to produce the water.
Bennie Luedke, water and sewer superinendent for College
Station, said specifications are now being drawn up and a few
test holes are being dug for the city’s future system.
“I’m not sure when the wells will be brought on line,” he
The sad thing is that, as a drop of water, you probably won’t
help quench someone’s thirst. If Dr. Jack Runkles, of the Texas
Water Resources Institute at Texas A&M is correct, your con
tribution may be more prosaic than that.
You’ll probably be flushed down a toilet, which begins
another complicated trip of an entirely different nature.
Auction sells dinner,
chicks (poultry type)
Battalion Reporter
If you feel that your life is not complete
without a football autographed by the
Texas Aggie football team, tune in to
Channel 15 and watch The Great
^IUmU-TV Auction.
BPSjft'he autographed football, sold for $225,
Vjjim many other items are being auctioned
Ra^Hprovide money for the operation of
A^HmU-TV, Texas A&M University’s pub-
.pflBPlhroadcasting station.
V ■he auction began Sunday and will con-
tihue today and Tuesday starting at 8 p. m.
aip ending when all the merchandise for
that night is sold.
|\s of 9:30 p.m. Sunday, $1,500 had
n raised.
We’re really excited,” said Rod Zent,
station manager. “Some people have bid
°ver the retail price, while others have
Sotten real bargains.”
Kent estimates that $10,000 to $15,000
RU be raised in the three nights.
■‘We have about $10,000 worth of art for
nday night.”
unday night’s auction master John
^ftnry Faulk, a star of “Hee Haw, ” was
I too pleased.
It looks like it’s going great. I’m really
°f :
proud of the Brazos Valley citizens.,”
Faulk said he enjoyed doing this for
KAMU-TV even though “the Navasota
River almost came up and flooded me” on
his drive here from Madisonville Sunday
Master of ceremonies for tonight will be
Dr. Diane Strommer, associate dean of
the College of Liberal Arts. Dr. Roger
Feldman, associate professor of Veterinary
Pathology, will host Tuesday night.
If you desire something — 100 baby
chicks (poultry, not women) for instance, a
$50 retail value, or five hours of house
cleaning by a service, or dinner with Pres
ident Jarvis Miller and his wife — tune to
the auction.
First, pick out the item and remember
which one of the six boards lists it. Call the
station at 696-2211 and make a bid for the
item by its number. High bidders will be
announced on the air and called to confirm
the bid. The items may be picked up in
Studio B of the station after this confirma
In the “pick-up and pay” area is the
Country Store, which has an assortment of
lower priced items on sale that may be
bought without bidding.
Engineers begin try
to cool reactor core
Volunteers take bids at KAMU-TVs auction, which started Sunday night.
Battalion photo by Kay ,ce
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