Pontiac, Mich., will set 150 meters during the ensuing year.
New Richmond, Wis, has ordered 100 5/8-inch and three 1-inch Keystone meters.
In Newark, N. J., meters have effectually stopped in great measure the wasting of water.
Bozeman. Mont., has spent $15,000 on meters and will meter every service.
Muskogee, Okla., has now 1,381 meters set on services. Of these 717 were installed during the past year.
Mount Pulaski, Ill., now has every service metered The meters were bought in large lots by the city and sold at actual cost to the citizens, plumbers installing them at a small cost.
Among the bills favorably reported on by the law committee of councils at Reading. Pa., arc those requiring the supply of water to be controlled by meter whenever there is any unreasonable waste, and requiring the water fire service in all buildings to be controlled by meter.
Superintendent Diven has cautioned those who live on the east side of Albany, N. Y., to be more economical in their use of the city water. Some of them have got into the habit of letting the water run on their lawns from early morning up to midnight. When he says, they are “inclined to be a little wasteful,” he puts the matter somewhat too mildly.
In El Paso, Tex., nearly all the services are metered, and meters will be set till practically all the consumers arc placed on that basis. It is contended evidently by the local press that there should be no exception to the rule. There are still 1,000 and more to be set, with an additional 30 to 50 per month necessary to keep pace with the growth of the city.
The public service commission at Olympia, Wash., has ruled that if water companies install meters of their own will they are not authorized to charge therefor. Up to the present, the question as to whether or not companies can charge for installing meters at the request of their patrons has not been decided, but will be very soon.
Col. Langfitt, engineering officer in charge of the water supply of the District of Columbia, strongly urges tile installation of meters on all service pipes and especially on those in all government buildings. If compulsory meterage is adopted, he claims that a new aqueduct need not he built. The aqueduct will cost, with its accessories, $202,150; the installation of meters, $33,150.
In a suit for payment of a disputed claim against a Newport, R. I., hotel keeper, the court adverted to the great waste of water under the present system and pointed out that cottagers, who came for the summer months only, had to pay for a year’s water supply and they would let it run on the lawns very freely while they were in the city, producing a water famine late in the summer season.
The City Council of Moline, Ill., while not condemning the installation of meters on the servicepipes of consumers, is of the opinion that “they are at best a necessary evil and should be installed only to prevent actual waste and to measure large and uncertain consumers, but not to restrict any legitimate or proper use of water. Accordingly their installations are favored only as their necessity becomes apparent, beginning with the large and extravagant users.”
Los Angeles, Cal., which apparently has a superabundance of private water companies profeeing to do business within its limits, and as it is claimed, not giving the best of service, recommends through its board of public utilities that each householder shall be compelled to deposit with the private water company from which serv -ice is secured, the sum of $5. to apply on the installation of a meter; the money, with 5 per cent, interest, to he returned when service is discontinued. The cost to private water companies of installing a meter is from $9 to $11, and the board wishes to divide the burden.
The water board of Omaha. Nebr., despite many protests on the part of consumers is planning to insist on installing curb meters at a cost of about $6, the meters to cost about $7. Consumers insist that to install tlfbm in cellars would Cost at most $2. I he city’s corporation counsel has ruled that the board is “acting entirely within its right in asking the property owners to contribute. 1 he latter do not seem to see it in the same light. Meters are to be placed at every house. Consumers who have paid flat rates for the next six months will also get meters, tiieir pavments already made being refunded.
In Albany, N. Y., great waste of water results from the use of hopper closets, whose use has greatly increased during the past few years. The Board of Estimate and Control has, therefore, adopted a resolution to tax them $5 per year in addition to the flat rate where there is no meter on the connection with the main, so as to discourage their use. The Water Bureau is trying gradually to introduce the meter system. The Commissioner of Public Works will go further and will recommend that meters be installed throughout Albany to regulate the water waste, so that they new sewer system may not be overtaxed.
The Philadelphia bureau of water leaves it optional with those who desire that meters should be installed on their services, as to what the make and type of their meter shall be. The only conditions are that it shall be approved by the board, to whom application for such meter shall be made on a prescribed form, and that the applicant shall provide the meter at his own cost, the city to bear the cost of installation and ordinary repairs. The bureau states that meters varying in size from ⅝-inch to 2 inches, and complying with the Philadelphia specifications will be acceptable. The minimum annual charge will depend upon the size of the ferrule connecting with the city mains, as follows: One-half inch, $5; five-eighth-inch, $8: three-quarter-inch, $13; 1 inch, $20; 1¼ inch, $31.25; l 1/2-inch, $45; 2-inch, $80; 3-inch, $180; 4-inch, $320; 6-inch, $720. Water rates under the meter schedule will become effective on January 1, next year. For the current year property owners will pay as before the annual flat fixture rate.
Though the statistics are not yet completely compiled, it is already clear that Topeka, Kan , is saving money and water through the compulsoryinstallation of meters. The operating cost at the pumping plant has certainly been cut down and many leaks in service pipes, which never before were known to exist, have been discovered. Incidentally, however, the amount of revenue derived has been slightly lowered. This is due to the fact that persons now are more careful about wasting water than they were when they were on the flat-rate plan, and incidentally that the meter rate as a general proposition is a cheaper plan for the consumer than the flat rate. The conservation of the water alone is one of the greatest benefits resulting from metering the supply. By its means the waterworks authorities have been able to detect leaks which, but for the meter, would have escaped notice altogether. This, together with the saving in the operating expenses, will probably go far to offset the above referred to loss in revenue.
Mayor W. W. Minick, and the city commissioners will make an effort to test the Wichita, Kan., Water Company’s claimed right to compel its patrons to purchase water meters if the patrons install “water lifts” or fail to observe rules laid down by the company for using water. It is claimed that in the franchise under which the water company does business, flat rates are specified for special kinds of service. Commissioner R. B. Campbell says the water company compels its patrons to buy meters when they install “water lilts” (device for pumping cistern water with city water power) or when they use water to run washing machine or other motors in their houses. He says he believes the company has no right under the franchise to pursue the course complained of and further believes that the “waterlift” and “motors” are used as a subterfuge for installing meters. If legal action is not’taken privately, the mayor says that the commission will probably pass an ordinance “prohibiting the installation of meters without consent of property owners.”
It is proposed that the water waste of the various manufacturing concerns, saloons, livery stables, etc., in Westfield, Mass., should be stopped by meterage. If the consumers persist in wasting the water, meters will be placed on their services; also, a local paper says: “This would naturally cause great objection.’ the same as any other reform or change in public policy, but it is a good business proposition just the same. Under the present conditions, a man pays so much for a closet or a faucet in his home and he can let the water run for hours at a time, or he can allow leaks to go ‘forever’ at the same price as is paid by a more careful consumer. Under a meter system, the water would not be allowed to run on and on, and the leaks would be repaired. What would any business man think of paying a stated price each year for a gas burner or one electric light and have practically no restrictions placed upon its use or its waste? The consumers of the municipal gas and electric light pay a stated price for their metered gas and electricity, and do not question the wisdom of the system from a business standpoint. They may kick on the bills as they have a right to, but the system is all right. With the sale of water a low price could be charged that ought not in any way to be burdensome. Meters would cost a lot of money, but is is confidently believed they would put off for several years the construction of another storage reservoir.”
The progress of meterage in Atlantic City has been rapid, as the situation there demanded. The system is pumping direct from a well supply, so that protection from waste has been made a principal feature of the management. The following table gives the meters in service January 1, 1912, at which time 87.08 per cent, of all services were metered. During the year 496 new meters were set and 189 old ones were reset on services, making 685 set in all.
Shreveport. La., has passed an ordinance to be voted on if necessary, by the citizens, amending the original waterworks ordinance granting a private corporation a franchise to operate a system in the city and providing for the installation of water meters by the waterworks company, whether the consumers desire them or not, the meter rate to be 25 cents per 1,000 gallons—a reduction of 10 cents. Any consumer, also has the right to demand that the company shall install a meter on his service pipe. Fire Chief O’Brien strenuously advocates meterage. He has had a number of trying experiences on account of waste water by many of the consumers. In the winter, he said, many citizens allowed their hydrants to remain open at night to prevent freezing, thereby wantonly and dangerously wasting the water. In summer many persons let their hydrants run to water lawns and streets, and thereby caused great waste. At several fires, he recalled, the water pressure was very weak, due largely, no doubt, to the waste by the citizens. If the meters were used, causing each consumer to pay for the amount of water used, the waste would be very slim compared to what it is at present, and the fire department would be greatly relieved and assisted in case of fires. Many times the waste has been greater than the ordinary citizen dreamed, stated the chief; at times the waste has been so wantonly large that there was practically no pressure for the firemen to fight fires, and it was the situation especially that caused the chief to urge the adoption of the ordinance. He also thinks it fair and just for each consumer to pay for the amount used.