METERS IN NEW YORK CITY.

METERS IN NEW YORK CITY.

The reason why more meters are not used in the distribution service of New York City is well known, yet no effort has been made by the Water Department heads to remove the causes. We have frequently pointed out that the principal reason is the exorbitant cost of setting charged by the plumbers, another is the political influence used by objectors to their installation. A recent case is quoted to us of cost of setting a ⅝-inch meter as being $20. This should not be. The cost price of a ⅝-inch meter is $8.40, allowing $3 for setting makes a fair average charge of $11.40. The plumber’s price of $20 will thus be seen to be too high, even in a city of such extravagance as New York. If the consumer were to be protected against the plumber, meterage would rapidly increase, as the conditions in New York are especially favorable for their use. As there is a strong sentiment in favor of using meters, consumers ought to receive encouragement from water department to that end instead of making the price of setting almost prohibitory for the poorer classes of the people. A check ought to be placed on plumbers to keep the price of setting down to a reasonable rate, and until this is done the work of installing will be held back, not only to the detriment of the consumer, but to the now over-burdened taxpayer as well. If efficiency is to be practised in the Water Department of New York, the question of supervision on meter setting charges should be adopted at once so that the consumers would have no red tape process to go through to obtain a meter, and that the cost of installation to them would be reduced to the lowest price. A bill was recently introduced in the Legislature giving the Water Commissioner broader powers with respect to the fixing of charges and the enforcement of rules and regulations concerning use of the city water, including the installation of meters. That the bill failed to pass seems unfortunate as the Commissioner would use his discretionary power to see more meters were used by consumers, as the cost would be less to them than the present flat rate.

METERS IN NEW YORK CITY.

METERS IN NEW YORK CITY.

Chief Engineer Birdsall, of the New York aqueduct commission never fails to recommend the use of water meters in all buildings of this city, where there are now Letween 30,000 and 35,000 in use—probabl y more than anywhere else in the United States. Mr. Birdsall thinks it would be perfectly practicable to have a meter attached to the supply pipe of every apartment; but the public works department could not order such to be the case. It would be for the owner and the tenants to agree upon how to assess each family’s share, when the one meter was installed by the public works department

Another public works official in this city would have the meter in every case attached as nearly as possible at the point where the water pipe enters a building. The farther away it is (he argues) the more apt people will be to carry a pipe round where the meter is,in which case water would be used without being accounted for.since it follows the line of least resistance, and a meter checks the flow somewhat. As a rule, a meter is attached to the service pipe and measures the quantity of water entering a building. Meters of the largest size,however, are sometimes employed by water companies in determining the quantities disposed of to their customers.

The use of five varieties of water meters has been authorized by the city authorities, the first of which was agreed upon about thirty years ago. Under the consolidation act the mayor of New York, the comptroler, and the chief engineer of the Croton aqueduct are constituted a commission to determine what meters may be used. The smallest water allowed ty the board of public works is that for a half-inch pipe, and the cheapest style of meter costs $10. The city, however sells meters to licensed plumbers only and before these are sold they must have been tested by the manufacturers and sealed by the city. The official sealing is done to a number at a time in the pipe yard of the department, a margin of two per cent, being allowed the owner. The meters are made with a place for the seal, which is applied over a screw, and the interior mechanism cannot be disturbed unless the seal is broken. The dials are protected by a glass cover and are read four times a year by insoectors of the public works department, of whom there are twelve, without cost to the owners, under a system recently introduced by Water Register Johnson. Most water meters have a small metal door at the top. directly over the glass covering of the dials, of which there are six or seven— the last only in meters of the largest size—each with a single pointer, registering from one cubic foot to 1,000,600—the last, when there art seven dials. The inspectors read more than 2,800 meters in a week.