Meterage and Daily Average Consumption
In our meterage column in this week’s issue there are several items which strongly emphasize the advantages accruing from the general use of meters in measuring the domestic water supply. The remarkable unanimity of the testimony which these items give as to the decrease in daily average consumption following the introduction of meters proves beyond a doubt that their use is one of the best methods for the conservation of water. For instance, Newark, Ohio, had in 1918 a daily average consumption per capita of 123 gallons while in the year following with the completion of meterage the consumption had dropped to 66 gallons. In Parkersburg, W. Va., in 1916 the average daily consumption was 169 gallons per capita. In 1917 with about half of the services metered the consumption had dropped to 147 gallons and last year up to October 1, with an increased number of meters, the figure had decreased to 124 gallons per capita daily. The experience of Jamestown, N. Y., was very similar. In 1903, pumpage for the year was 1,099,373,965, with 4,912 taps and 432 meters. In 1911, with 7,000 services, about half metered, the pumpage amounted to 1,233,967,003 gallons, while in 1919 with 9,103 services and 8,926 meters, the total pumpage was only 1,084,353,600. At present the daily average per capita consumption in that city is 62 gallons. Somerville, Mass., in 1907, with about 29 per cent. of services metered, had a daily per capita consumption of 90 gallons, while in 1919, with a little over 76 per cent metered, the daily average consumption was 69 gallons and this with an increase in population of from 72,000 to more than 91,000.
The foregoing figures constitute a very strong argument for the introduction of universal meterage and show conclusively that the saving in water consumption and pumpage would in a very short time much more than offset the expense incident to the introduction of meters on all of the services, both domestic and commercial. It is only natural when the necessity is brought home to the consumers for paying for every gallon of water that is used that they will exercise much more care and eliminate all of the waste that, with no check upon the consumption, they would perhaps unconsciously or at least carelessly allow to continue. Thus universal meterage is one of the greatest conservers of the water supply.