Free Meters for Springfield.
The free installation of water meters is the recommendation of Supt. Spaulding, of the Springfield, Ill., waterworks, and the city council of that place is considering it. A complete revision of the ordinance governing the conduct of the water department is likely to be made. The revision of the ordinances is required owing to the numerous regulations which have become obsolete and which are now ignored.
There are many practices in vogue which are required in the conduct of the water department. but which are not sanctioned by the prevailing ordinances. Chief among these is the grading of rates for consumers. Owing to the inadequacy of the ordinances it has grown into a custom to violate them in the ordinary course of business.
The free meter feature may be introduced in the form of a special ordinance of the council Under the present system consumers desiring meters must pay for the meters themselves at a cost of .$12.50. Consumers in the business district are exempted from this regulation, an ordinance having been passed several years ago by which the city is supposed to furnish business establishments a ⅝-in. meter free, though consumers are .compelled to pay the difference should a larger meter be required.
The proposed ordinance contemplates the installation of meters at the city’s expense. At the present time there are only 1,000 consumers on meter in the city, while fully 5,000 use water on flat rates. By the installation of meters free it is thought many more consumers will be secured, while at the same time more care will be exercisd in the use of water.
Chief John Donovan, of Braddock, Pa., has just completed 25 years in the service of that borough.