St. Louis Has Low Water Rates
A comparison of water rates in St. Louis, Mo., with those of some other cities supplying water under similar conditions was made in Commissioner Wall’s last annual report of the Water Department. Two tables, one showing the rates in force in
St. Louis and the other comparing the St. Louis rates with those of other cities, appear herewith. In the report Commissioner Walls says as follows. “A comparison of the water rates of St. Louis with those of other cities supplying water under similar conditions shows that in most cases our schedule of charges is lower. It must be remembered that it is neccs-
sary to pump the water from the river into settling basins, clarify and filter it, and pump it a second time into the mains, which operations all cost money, so that cities that pump directly from lakes or impounding reservoirs to their consumers can supply water at a lower cost than can be done in St. Louis. The accompanying table shows the comparative rates in a number of large cities, compiled from the latest available data. An inspection of this
table shows that the rates in Council Bluffs, Grand Rapids, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Louisville, Minneapolis, Columbus, Kansas City, Mo,; Kansas City, Kan., and Cincinnati are in most items equal to or greater than the charges made in St. Louis. All of the above named cities pump the water twice and use some method of purification or filtration, thus making it in some respects a fair comparison of rates. In almost every case local conditions exit, which explain differences in the items of the schedule. The general conditions in Cincinnati and Louisville approach more nearly to those prevailing in St. Louis, and in both these cities the fiat and meter rates average higher than here. Attention is especially called to the fiat charge per front foot for lawn sprinkling, wdiich in the twelve cities above named, Cincinnati excepted, is very much greater than in St. Louis. In only four of the twelve cities is the manufacturers’ rate as low, while the general meter rate in St. Louis has a higher maximum (20 cents per 1,000 gallons), yet with our sliding scale, the average paid per 1,000 gallons is no more than that charged in the majority of these cities. An acquaintance with the facts effectually disposes of the prevalent notion that St. Louis water rates are greater than they should be.