The Increased Use of Meters

The Increased Use of Meters

To the Editor:

I have been much interested while reading your paper in noting the increase of meters throughout the United States during the past few years, but I am sorry to see that they are not increasing in use as rapidly as one would naturally expect, and that the boards controlmg the water supply arc not as thoroughly awake to the conditions and the savings resulting from the use of meters, as to absolutely insist upon their use. A study of the conditions existing in many localities has shown a decrease in the amount of water pumped equal to about one-half, resulting cn tirely from the use of the meters. Not only this, but the use of the meters enables the water company in many eases to localize leaks and faults in the pipe line, which are fre quently otherwise unobtainable. The installation of recording Venturing meters in some of the main branches would also assist materially in locating these leaks. This, however, is not the entire gain through the use of the meters. During low water periods or those times when the water supply is low, it serves as a cheek upon waste, and also serves to give an absolute record as to what parties are continuing the use of water when otherwise no cheek would be obtainable, and will enable the water board to recognize upon which party they should call to prevent the excessive use of water. There are, however, other things than excessive use of water which the water boards should be careful to look intoAmong these is the operating economy of the pumping plant. Many localities are supplied with water, which, while fairly good for drinking purposes and not too bad for washing and other domestic purposes, is altogether too bad for use in boilers, yet these same localities have no hesitation in using this water for boiler purposes and not infrequently operate their plants non-condensing when there is very excellent opportunity, through the use of surface condensers using the water pumped for the supply as cooling water, to operate with extreme economy. The use of the surface condensers will also enable the plant to be operated with water which is practically pure, as the water from the condenser can be returned to the boiler and used over and over again, with only the addition of sufficient new water to make up for the steam and other leaks about the plant. It is to he noted that a great deal of water which is perfectly adapt -able for drinking or domestic purposes in general. is exceedingly hard upon boilers, form, ing scale which is difficult to determine, and which vastly increases the amount of coal required for supplying steam. I have before me records taken from a plant where the water was exceedingly bad. About two months’ use of the water in the boilers resutled in a deposit of scale which reduced the steaming capacity of the boiler to such an extent that the evaporation was but 5 1/2 pounds of water per pound of scale. Cleaning the boiler resulted in the evaporation being raised to 10 1/2 per pound of coal, and the installation of a surface condenser and a feed water purifier enabled them to keep this latter condition of affairs for months at a time. It also enabled them to reduce the amount of steam required for operating the pumps by a very considerable figure, and the operation of the plant as a whole so far as coal was concerned, was reduced very nearly one-half, besides cutting out all of the expense of cleaning the boilers and removing a constant source of danger,—that of blistering the boilers from the excessive accumulation of scale. I believe that these two items, —the use of meters and proper and careful attention to the details of operation in the pumping plant,—are of extreme importance to all communitties supplying water.

Yours very truly,


Boston, Nov. 27, 1911.

Alderman Clough, of Manchester, N. H., insists that the city should build a fire-proof building for the lire alarm telegraph service. He is also in favor of a motor fire apparatus and a modern control fire station.

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