Meters Favored at Little Rock.
H. F. Auten, attorney for the Arkansas Water Company, in addressing the City Council of Little Rock, Ark., on the water waste, recently, said: “At the present time there are more than half of the water consumers of Little Rock using meters and this upon their own voluntary application. It is a known fact that the water by meter rates is cheaper than by the flat rate schedule and the consumer who keeps his fixtures in repair pays much less for water by meter than by flat rate. It this were not true the hundreds of consumers now on meters by their own application would have discarded these meters tong ago and gone back to the fiat rate, but the books of the company show that the payments by meter are from 10 to 40 per cent, tess than by fiat rate for the same service. By reason of this extravagant waste of water, the water company is compelled to pump and filter trout 30 to 35 per cent, more water than would be necessary were the terms of the franchise adhered to and this waste prevented. This adds a constant great expense to the water company; which was not contemplated by the franchise and which the franchise by its very terms prohibits. The water company is not asking for any new rights at the hands of the city, but it is simply asking for some remedy or method which will enforce the provisions of the franchise as it stands now.
“The electricity and gas used in the city are sold entirely by meter measurements and about 2,600 of the water consumers of the city are also using meters voluntarily and find them satisfactory. These water consumers on meters have a right to order their meters taken out and return to the Hal rate and if they were not saving money by using meters, they would certainly have done so, but instead of the number of meters decreasing, the company has applications for and is setting from 50 to 75 meters per month for water consumers. It is not the people who habitually permit their meter pipes and fixtures to remain out of repair, or those who habitually permit the water to flow from the faucets into the sewer that are applying for meters, and it is to reach this class of wasteful consumers that the company asks some remedy at the hands of the City Council. In view of the importance of these various matters between the city and the water company, a full hearing at which all interested parties, could he heard will not only solve these questions, but assist the company in giving better service as—it constantly strives to do.”