LOSING $10,000 A YEAR.
The Official Gazette of the City of Sacramento, Cal., of September 25th, is an interesting sheet containing a report of the Commissioner of Public Works on the City Water Department and other data relating to the Government. As to the consumption of water the commissioner says: “The average, daily consumption of water for the year amounted to 14,135,398 plus gallons, as compared with 15,871.197 gallons for 1914. Based upon an estimated population served of 53,000, the above figures represent a per capita consumption of 260 gallons for 1915 and 307.4 gallons for 1914. Again I say, as in my last year’s report, that every person using city water should sec that their plumbing is in good order, but they do not, as is shown by the large per capita consumption. The city should not be using more than an average of 150 gallons per capita, or an average of 8,000,000 per day as the following cities show: New York, 102; St. Louis, Mo., 128; Los Angeles, Cal., 141; Milwaukee, 110; Seattle, Wash., 160; Portland, 141; Columbus, Ohio, 92; Spokane, Wash., 246; Houston, Texas, 86; Oakland, Cal., 78; Harrisburg, Pa., 111; Sacramento, Cal., 366; Canton, Ohio, 124; Stockton, Cal., 126; El Paso, Texas, 69; San Diego. 137; Pasadena, Cal., 120; Woonsocket, R. I., 34; Santa Barbara, Cal., 80. To reduce the per capita consumption to 150 gallons would mean a saving of at least $10,000 per year to the city, and to accomplish this I would recommend that a house to house inspection of all plumbing be made. In order to avoid the heavy drawing of water during irrigating hours, I recommend that the Park Department avoid irrigating during irrigating hours allotted to the residences, also that the street sprinkling be done at night or between the hours of 3:00 a. m. and 7:00 a. m. and 12:00 noon and 4:00 p. m. This would allow the water works to maintain a better pressure in the. residence district during irrigating hours.” It will be noticed that there is not a word said about meters, except that there are none in use. Why the city should lose $10,000 a year because of poor inspection and the people be curtailed in the amount of water used for irrigation is unreasonable. The commissioner must know that meters conserve the supply, compel tight fixtures and reduce the cost of water to the consumer. Why then he does not adopt this simple remedy is best known to himself, and it must appear strange to water works managers that with the remedy at hand to stop waste, Sacramento should be using two-thirds more water than is necessary for all hygienic purposes. The largest cities heretofore only partially metered have come to the conclusion that inspection is an expensive method and that it does not stop waste. It has been demonstrated that meters are the only effectual means to regulate the use of water and there does not seem any excuse why Sacramento does not avail herself of it. After years of procrastination, caused by political interference, the cities of Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Buffalo and San Francisco have at last decided to meter their supplies, which will leave Sacramento the only city that indulges in the reckless spending of $10,000 a year to let water that is pumped at great expense flow into the Sewers with no benefit to anyone.