Some Suggestions by the Washington Water Department
The Washington, D. C., water department has issued a series of suggestions to consumers as to the conservation of water which are intended to assist in relieving the situation which confronts the department in respect to its water supply. Much unnecessary waste has been indulged in by consumers, it is said, and the consumption has at times approached dangerously near the maximum supply. According to statistics, the safe maximum capacity of the Washington aqueduct is 75,000,000 gallons daily, while the safe dependable capacity is 65,000,000 gallons daily. The average daily consumption for June has been 65,156,120 gallons, and the maximum daily consumption during that period was 71,500,000 gallons as against a minimum daily consumption of 62,200,000 gallons. Seven distinct suggestions are offered by the department as the best methods of conserving water, which are:
- Faucet leaks.—Small drips from kitchen and bathroom faucets, negligible, flow at rate of 100 gallons daily in many instances. Replacement of fiber washer completely stops this waste.
- Faulty faucets left open due to broken handles or other causes frequently flow at the rate of 15,000 gallons daily. The average waste from these is about 10,000 gallons daily each.
- Flush tanks, automatic ball cocks and flush valves in the ordinary hopper flush tank seldom cut off absolutely tight. The waste from these passes through the hopper in the form of a thin film which usually escapes notice. Indications are that thousands of these are in need of attention to stop this waste.
- Flush tanks using an excessive volume of water. Many flush tanks are adjusted so that the maximum quantity is discharged at each operation. A proper minimum quantity for each flush should be. determined and adjustment of the ball cock lever made to secure this regulation permanently; fifty per cent of this water can be saved.
- The practice followed by many persons of letting the water run during the entire time that they are brushing their teeth, thereby using several gallons of water for something that could be done equally as well with a glass full of water.
- The practice of letting the water run throughout the time they are washing their hands, instead of letting a reasonable amount of water run into the basin, and then stopping the flow.
- Attention is also invited to the excessive use of water for lawn sprinkling and washing down sidewalks. The quantity used could be materially decreased, if householders would take a little more interest in the amount that is used by irresponsible persons.
Superintendent Henry P. Bohmann, of the Milwaukee, Wis., water department, has given assurance that water rates will not increase in Milwaukee, as such increase is not necessary with the present profits of the department. Notwithstanding increased operation costs of $80,000 last year, increased revenues were $61,000. the net revenues aggregated a half million dollars. A rate of 6 cents per 1,000 gallons is now charged.