CROTON WATER WASTED IN STREET SPRINKLING.
At the end of the summer the department of water supply stopped till further notice the flushing of the streets by the street cleaning depart ment, on the ground of the scarcity of water, and reduced the employes of Dr. Bensel to such straits that, in order to wash out the garbage carts, they were obliged to steal water from the fire hydrants. They did not, however, pro bibit the contractors for sprinkling the pavements of such of their customers as submitted to their exorbitant rates from taking water from tbe city hydrants, in return for which they paid the city a comparatively trifling sum, while they themselves made immense profits. The water supply of these men is not metered, as it ought to be, nor is any check put upon its use. The popular opinion is that it should be metered— something that would not be very difficult to do. if the water department saw fit to undertake the task. Dr. Bensel, the present head of the streetcleaning department (the only one who has ever approached the high standard set by the late Col. Waring) has had-infinite trouble ever since his appointment to obtain from the water department the water necessary for flushing certain streets preparatory to sweeping them. It was grudgingly furnished, even when flushing machines of a new type, which tended to the noii-waste of water, were employed. At last even that meagre supply was cut off (Dr. Bensel being out of touch with the water department and not of the stripe that makes money out of his work), and now only the private contractors—with a pull—can use the hydrants for street-sprinkling purposes at their own sweet will. Their service is not crippled, while that of the street-cleaning bureau—a public department maintained for and by the taxpayers’ bene fit—is handicapped. As Dr. Bensel puts it: “It must be obvious to everyone that the sprinkling of the streets is part of the legitimate work of [the street cleaning] department, and should not be farmed out to a private firm, with the privilege of charging what it likes for an inadequate service. An adequate street-sprinkling service could be given the householders of Manhattan [and every borough, Brooklyn included, where, however, the rate is nine times less than in Manhattan] for at least a tenth of the rates now charged by Hildebrandt and Byers. * * * This private street-sprinkling is a hindrance rather than an assistance to us in giving Manhattan clean and sanitary streets.”