METERAGE AT NEWARK.
Specially written for FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING.
The saving accomplished by the installation of water meters at Newark, N. J., is most marked. When the new gravity system was introduced in 1892, the citizens, imagining that the amount of water furnished to the city was illimitable, and that, therefore, they could insist not only without stint, but as freely as they chose and without any regard to waste, accommodated their use of water to their own ideas, which were based on the notion that water, if not actually as free as air, was, at all events, theirs to utilise as they chose. Accordingly, by 1898 the average daily consumption per tap was 840 gallons. It was clear that of the number of gallons thus consumed an immense amount was wasted, and, since there was no other way of stopping that waste, a system of meterage was determined upon. Between 1899 and 1900, 4,000 meters were installed on wasteful consumers to such good purpose that in 1900 the average daily consumption per tap was reduced to 700 gallons—an allowance whose liberality, or rather prodigality far exceeded all the needs of the population. The result has been practically to extend for five years the period for which the present watershed development will be adequate. A slight reduction in revenue followed, and continued for two years, but the average yearly increase in water rent income became normal after that time. T he voluntary introduction of meters by consumers to obtain the advantage of the absence of a minimum rate has been more apparent in the effect on the revenue than the meters introduced by the department. Some form of minimum rate should now be adopted to equalise the charge for water to small metered consumers with those under the assessed rate, so that the cost of distributing water may be divided more equitably to all water takers. At the present time the average daily consumption is 26,610,961 gallons— an average of 716 gallons for each of the 37,180 taps. Those who are taught and who have found by experience that from fifty to sixty gallons daily per capita is an ample allowance will doubtless gasp and stare at that afforded to Newarkers. It must not be forgotten, however, that there are many large factories in Newark whose consumption of water is very great. In 1903 the actual and prospective revenue was $800,557.04 for the year; in 1902 the figures stood $781,476.53—making art increase in normal revenue in 1903 of $19,080.51. During that year the extensions to the street mains amounted to 34,717 lineal feet, or 6.3037-5280 miles of twenty-inch to four-inch pipe. Of the higher diameter 189 feet were laid. Of twelve-inch were laid 231 feet; of ten-inch, 840; of eight-inch. 643; of six-inch, 32,273; of four-inch, 541 In Belleville township were laid 1,100 lineal feet The total length of main laid in the city and its suburbs is 282.4850-5280 miles. One hundred and twenty-one hydrants were set. forty-six being additional and seventy-five substituted for old hydrants—making a total of 2,321 set in the city. The number of meters in use on January 1, 1904, was 15,019. Of those there were set in 1903 1,745 of the Lambert-Bee, Nash, Trident. Crown, Her.sev, Gem and Worthington types On the new Cedar Grove reservoir the city has already spent a large sum of money—$1,500,000 on account of construction, from which it can receive no benefit till the whole work is finished, and on which interest must lie paid. The contractors have been very liberally treated bv the city and more allowance made for their delays’than they were entitled to. The contract for building the reservoir was awarded to Messrs. Stewart & Abbott Their bid was $581,217.24, the work to be completed on December 1, 1902. The outlet tunnel will cost $93,000; the sixty-inch steel pipe, $585,000; gatehouses, $17,000. The total cost will be $1,650,000 instead of the $1,500,000 as at first estimated. The total storage capacity will be about 700,000,000 gallons. The ground forms a natural basin and the building of three dams, or dykes, gives the above capacity. The complete undertaking includes the great storage reservoir, a supply pipe from the watershed conduits at Great Notch to the reservoir, an outlet tunnel 3,000 feet through the solid rock under First Mountain seven feet in diameter, with a carrying capacity sufficient for a greatly increased draf’ in the future, and lined with concrete, to be operated under a head of about fifty feet, and seven miles of sixty-foot street distribution line, with branches at convenient points for future connections and a Venturi meter placed at the reservoir end of the line. The whole supervision of the work on the new supply, as well as of the high-pressure system proposed for the further fire protection of the city is reposed in Chief Engineer and Superintendent M. R. Sherrerd.