GROWTH OF METERAGE OF WATER.
ON referring to statistics which appear in another part of this impression, it will be seen that the tendency towards the general meterage of water is decidedly on the increase. The feeling in favor of the compulsory adoption of the system in cities and towns where the water plant is owned by the municipality is growing stronger and stronger every year, while in those cases where the water works are the property of a private company the customers are beginning to see that it is to their advantage to have the water supplied to them through meters, just as they depend upon meters for their gas bills. They know then just exactly how much water they have consumed, and have the additional satisfaction of knowing that they are not paying for the wastefulness of others, who. perhaps, waste rather more water in a week than a more careful, but none the less cleanly family uses in double the time. Yet, where the water is not metered, each pays exactly the same amount. Common sense, therefore shows that the unfairness and the inequality of such a method should of itself be a powerful argument in favor of the meterage of water. To municipalities owning their own water plants the economy of the system ought to be evident. The less water wasted, the greater the saving in pumpage. including the wear and tear of machinery, in fuel, wages, and the like, and, therefore, the greater possibility of making the surplus profits of the water system help towards defraying the less paying branches of the muninipal establishment Strangely enough, however, many large cities, such for instance, as New York (whose water commissioner, after urging the adoption of the system, has gone back upon himself) and Philadelphia, (the chief engineer of whose water department is continually impressing upon obstinate councilmen the feasibility of adopting the plan), do not seem to recognize the truth of these arguments—but, then, politics serves to blind the eyes of those who boss the departments. They claim that the first expense would be too great, forgetting that it is only the first expense which costs, and that within a few years the saving so effected would more than cover the original outlay, and render the water department a most valuable auxiliary in paying the cost of the other department. Of important cities which have adopted meterage and made it pay may be quoted Richmond, Va., Detroit, Mich., Newark, N. J. (where the system will soon be compulsory for every water taker), Dayton, Ohio, Madison, Wis , Lowell, Mass., Columbus, Ohio, Cleveland, Ohio, Springfield, Mass., Trenton, N. J., Kansas City. Mo., Syracuse, N Y., Davenport, Iowa, and others. In St. Paul and Minneapolis. Minn , Boston, New York (including Brooklyn), San Francisco. Cal., Buffalo, N. Y., Erie, Pa , and other large cities the number of meters installed every.year is on the increase, and the feeling in favor of making their use obligatory on all consumers, domestic as well as other, is setting in strongly in the right direction. It is not too much to say that within a very few years meterage and filtration of the water supply will be the rule in the United States,and the reverse, the exception.
The Glens Falls, N. Y., Portland Cement company sustained a total loss of its wooden buildings, which burned like tinder, and were reduced to ashes within one hour, in spite of the efforts of the local fire department and those of Sandy Hill and Fort Edward. The loss was $250,000; covered by insurance.