Setting Meters in Muskegon, Mich.
During the brief period, since April 1, that the Muskegon, Mich., water department has been conducting its educational campaign to induce consumers on the flat rate to set meters 83 services, formerly flat rate, have been metered. Water Superintendent Potter states that at an early date a department employee will be furnished a list of 2,000 water users in Muskegon who pay more than $6 a year water tax and will be told to canvas these and sell them meters. Eventually every service in Muskegon will be metered, it is expected. “We haven’t any difficulty whatever in selling a meter where the property owner has a basement,” Mr. Potter said. “The owner sees at once, as soon as we put the case to him, that a meter will save him money. We put a meter in a basement for $7. That meter belongs to the property owner from that time forward, and the city agreed to keep it in perpetual repair except for such damage as may result from frozen pipes or other carelessness on the part of the owner. If every user of water on the flat rate would only talk to a metered water user, and find out the saving to be made, we would not be able to put meters in as fast as they are ordered. All we want is that the public inquires from metered water users how much money a meter saves each year. There is a tremendous waste of water under the flat rats system. Muskegon uses more water per capita than almost any other city in the country. If we are to continue letting people sprinkle their lawns when they please and as they please, we will have to increase our pumping plant with another 6,000,000 gallon pump in a year or two, at our present rate of growth. We have practically 5,000 water users, and new ones are added every day or two. When consumers have no basement, it costs to set a meter box outside and the additional $7 for the meter makes a heavier expense. The water department, however, allows a year’s time to pay the amount. Everything possible is being done to encourage the use of meters.