Prosperous Water Department at Los Angeles.
The year 1908 was the most prosperous the Los Angeles, Cal., water department has ever known. It closed with a credit balance of $91,530.27. The total receipts of the department for the year amounted to $1,045,841.94, a large part of which was spent in extending the mains and improving the service. Between 400 and 500 extra employes were employed by the department last spring to lay mains in company with the regular staff. During the year just closed 215,053 ft. of different size water pipes were laid—making over forty miles. In addition to paying money for salaries and improvements, the department has met the interest and sinking funds on all the issues of water bonds for the purchase of the plant now owned by the city and, in addition, has paid $126,750 interest on Owens river bonds. This payment is clear gain, so far as general taxation is concerned. The department furnishes water free for street-sprinkling, sewer-flushing, care of the parks, fire department and other departments, and for this receives no credit or compensation.
The financial depression had such an effect on building that there were only 3,312 water services installed in 1908, as against 3,991 in 1907. The year 1907 was a banner year for service installations, but the indications are that 1909 will surpass it. During the year the minimum meter rate was lowered to correspon more with the flat rate, and this made a difference of about $30,000 in the total receipts of the department. But. notwithstanding this falling off, the total receipts for the year were $11,881.18 greater than in 1907.