Equitable Rates for Metered Services
Where there is reason to believe that great water waste is occurring, it becomes necessary to provide meters as a check and then the establishment of equitable rates is a matter demanding careful study. The New England Water Works Association form of rate furnishes a basis for rate fixing that has been of much value to the officials in many cities and towns, recognizing as it does, the principle of a sliding scale. The schedule provides three rates to users of water in quantities up to 1,000,000 cubic feet per quarter. A straight rate per 100 cubic feet per quarter is made to those who use more than 1,000,000 feet. A service charge for the privilege of connection with the water mains, not inclusive of the water used, is also provided and is added to the charge for water as determined by the meter. In estimating the amount to be charged as “Service,” the following items are taken into consideration: The approximate cost of meter reading and clerical work appertaining thereto, ordinarily covered by perhaps one dollar a year; the approximate loss from water passing through the meter without registering, which may be computed as about two dollars a year, for a five-eights inch meter, with proportionate charge for larger meters according to capacity; a reasonable interest on the financial investment represented in the purchase of the meters, also allowance for depreciation in service pipes and meters, these items being computed at ten per cent, as a just estimate. With this schedule as a working basis, the municipal officials concerned may easily arrange an equitable meter scale.