A Successful Public Utility
The municipal water department of New Brunswick, N. J., makes a highly satisfactory showing for the past year, according to the report presented by Commissioner Frank A. Connelly. The two principal factors of expense in the department are coal and pipe. During 1918 the department paid $8.50 per ton, an increase of $4.28 per ton in three years. Labor, too, has increased, the men receiving over double what was the former wage. Capable laborers are now receiving forty to forty-five cents an hour, instead of the twenty-cent wage of pre-war years. The department has about twenty laborers now, and all are receiving this wage.
In the three and one-half years under commission rule, more improvements have been made to the water works than in any like period in the history of the city, and yet the revenue derived has been larger than at any other time. Among the improvements made to the water works has been the erection of a modern filtration plant, the erection of a dam at Weston’s Mills, the enlarging of the boiler room and the installation of a boiler at the pumping station, the purchase of reserve pumps and the installation of a new set of pumps at the pumping station; also a stand pipe.
Notwithstanding the 100 per cent, increase in the running of the department since 1915, $30,000 was turned over to the city treasurer on December 31, as the net profit of the department for 1918. The one additional expense of the department is the operation of the filter plant. The cost of operating this plant per annum is approximately $40,000. The two big items of expense are for chemicals and electrical energy at the filter. It costs the city $18,000 per year for electrical energy to operate the filter and the same amount for chemicals used in the treatment of the water. Seven men are employed at the plant, and the pay-roll amounts to approximately $7,800.