How the Industrial User Affects Per Capita Consumption
Use of Water by the Large Consumers of a Municipality May Have a Very Serious Effect Upon the Total, If Not Carefully Watched
IN preparing this short paper Mr. Ackerman explained that it was written primarily with the intention of “drawing the fire” of the superintendents of water works on the subject and of stimulating the discussion on the best method of arriving at industrial use and waste of water. The paper is, therefore, published with this idea in mind and the experiences of superintendents along this line will be gladly received and published by FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING.
The above title would indicate a very comprehensive research, but the reverse is the actual facts in this case, because only enough is intended to be given to induce others who are more capable to discuss the subject from any standpoint that they desire.
The writer took charge of the Water Works in Watertown in June, 1920, and immediately started the installation off meters, and later had a Pitometer survey made. This brought down the consumption from an abnormal one to a reasonably normal rate per capita. It will be noted from the chart that the consumption rate began to climb up. This reaction was to be expected to a certain extent, but as it continued for a longer period than anticipated, an analysis was made of the different classes of use to see if some reason could not be found for the rising rate per capita.
Tabulated Large Business Consumers
This consisted in tabulating the metered consumers for the different classes of use that were not domestic, while the above title is a misnomer inasmuch as it is stated industrial use of water. The analysis of what is covered under the title of industrial, actually includes not only all of the industrial use, such as factories, railroads, etc., but also the large consumption users of business blocks and office buildings.
It is later seen from the charts that the domestic use after dropping from the high rates of 1918 and 1919, has actually remained nearly stationary after the installation of the meters which covers something over fifty per cent, of the total number of services in the city.
It Is Well to Examine Industrial Uses First
The conclusion to be arrived in this case, if a conclusion can be deduced from this small analysis, is that increasing per capita rates should be investigated from a somewhat similar angle, in order to determine whether or not increasing activities in the city does not adequately explain the increasing per capita rate, so that instead of looking immediately for other reasons, it is well to examine the industrial uses first.
In connection with this it might well be discussed that the financial side of the water works might be seriously handicapped by a large rise in industrial use of water which usually is sold at the lowest rate of all and in some cases unfortunately this rate does not represent the actual cost of the water supplied, and consequently a water works might find itself very seriously handicapped, if industrial consumption mounted to a high figure in proportion to that of other uses.
(Excerpts from paper read before the Detroit annual convention of tbe American Water Works Association.)