Earnings of Municipal Water Works
The city of Elmira, N. Y., has owned the water works for five years and the recent annual report by Harry M. Beardsley, General Manager, shows that the plant has in that time earned a profit of $252,177 and the value has been increased $137,000 by additions and improvements. Thirteen miles of new mains have been laid and 1,355 new services installed. A reduction in rates was effected by the simple expedient of changing the regulations regarding minimum charges. The old minimum rate was $3 per quarter for 1,000 cubic feet but it was found that many householders were using only 500 to 600 cubic feet, so that they were actually paying nearly 60 cents a hundred instead of the maximum, 30 cents per hundred. The minimum was therefore reduced to $1.50 per quarter for 500 feet, and as over 40% of the comsumers use only 500 feet or less, the resultant saving amounted to $16,480.73 the first year. There are now 10,386 meters in use, the system being almost 100 per cent metered. In the second year of municipal ownership, the two pumping units at the station were replaced by new ones, the change resulting in greater efficiency as well as economy in operation. At the filter plant, the entire strainer system has been renewed and the liquid chlorine treatment adopted for sterilization. These and many other improvements were made from the earnings of the water works plant. The management of the works makes use of every modern device for increasing effectiveness, while at the same time decreasing expense, as is shown by the employment of the Pitometer Company last fall to make a survey of the entire city. It is estimated that the saving in water formerly wasted will pay for the cost of the survey in less than a year, after which the saving will be made evident in the reduced quantity of water pumped and the consequent saving in operating expenses.