Monthly or Quarterly Water Bills?
The question as to the advantages of billing water consumers quarterly or monthly is one that has advocates on both sides. In preparing an argument in favor of quarterly billing Mr. Gibson on page 11, has achieved the remarkable result of crowding a vast amount of interesting data into small space. The six tables and other minor information contained in his article will be found of considerable interest and usefulness to other water works superintendents. The striking and unusual comparisons contained in tables 1 and 2 as to the costs of water paralleled with that of many other of the necessities of life are particularly interesting as showing how great a value for its expenditure the public is receiving in its water supply.
True the old stock argument will at once be marshalled, that “water is free.” But it isn’t—or at least that water which has to be pumped, filtered and otherwise purified before it is ready for human consumption isn’t! When we consider the cost of these expenditures water is surely the cheapest of all commodities.
The other information in Mr. Gibson’s article is equally instructive. Tables 5 and 6 are the results of a questionnaire sent out by the Charleston department as to methods of billing, etc., in 21 cities and are full of significant facts, While the other tables 3 and 4 are more local in character, but are, nevertheless, interesting. All of these tables and the article accompanying them will bear careful study by water works superintendents and contain food for thought for many heads of water works who are wrestling with the problem of frequency of billing.
Now let us hear from the advocates of monthly water works billing.