Meterage in Philadelphia

Meterage in Philadelphia

The city of Philadelphia, Pa., now has approximately 70,000 meters in service and an ordinance introduced in Councils would require that all attachments made to the water mains after May 31, 1918, shall be provided with meters. Carleton E. Davis is chief of the Water Bureau and the meters in service have practically all been installed in the past five years. There are some 370,000 service pipes in Philadelphia, the metered services including substantially all manufacturing establishments, mills, clubs, hotels, saloons, commercial and business houses, apartment houses, etc.

Much interest has been manifested in the effect meters have had upon the per capita consumption of water of the city. To determine the measure of this at this time could not be expected because of the fact that war time activities have resulted in a largely increased demand for water, and further because of the fact that recent cold weather upset all previous calculations, but it was stated recently that soon beneficial effects of meters will be apparent in a decreasing per capita consumption.

In December. 1916, a new meter ordinance was passed in the city. This ordinance provided “that in each case of a metered water connection the amount of the charges for the entire year shall not be less, except for charitable institutions, public and private schools, than the minimum meter rates herewith fixed herefor. Said minimum rates shall include without additional charge the quantities of water likewise herewith fixed.” Such minimum meter rates and such quantities of water allowed therefor shall be as follows:

The ordinance also provided that “all water in excess in any year of the quantity hereinabove fixed for any metered connection shall be charged for at the rate of 40 cents per 1,000 cubic feet, and further, that for purposes not specified in the foregoing rates, for peculiar and extraordinary uses or purposes, for appliances other than those above named, the rates and conditions for the use of water shall be by special permit as directed and issued by the chief of the Bureau of Water.”

Another section, Section 2, provided “that the director of the Department of Public Works is hereby empowered and authorized to furnish and install meters in all premises where an undue or wasteful use of water is permitted, and to transfer from appliance rating to meter rating all said premises.”

A decision has been made by the Indiana Public Service Commission in the New Albany, Ind., water rate case. The Commission refused the petition of the water works to increase its regular rates now prevailing: it refused the petition of the city of New Albany to lower the rates; it allows the water works to add to its bills temporarily, probably during the war, a surcharge or temporary charge of five per cent.; it relieves the water works from its promise to furnish free water to the churches, charities and cemeteries of the city.

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