The Meter as a Water Conservator
In another column of this week’s issue of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING under the heading of Meterage, J. L. Temple, commissioner of public works of North Adams, Mass., refers to the fact that under the meter system a great amount of conservation, it is expected, will be effected and the city will be saved many thousands of dollars in the avoidance of extension of the water works. Under the old style of charging for the consumption of water, the consumer, provided he paid the flat rate per year charged by the department, could use and waste as much water as he pleased without any extra expense to himself. The consequence of this, as it inevitably happens under the flat rate system, was that the city’s per capita consumption became very high, and possibilities of heavy expense in water works extensions to meet this great demand loomed up threateningly on the horizon of the water department and the taxpayer. All this will be entirely changed by the introduction of the meter system. The careless individual as soon as his first water bill under the new arrangement arrives will awake to the fact that economy in the use of water and elimination of waste will mean a saving to him in dollars and cents. This will work no hardship on the consumer as with a reasonable consumption of water sufficient for all of his needs, the expense will not exceed, according to the estimate of Commissioner Temple, twelve dollars per annum, and probably will be considerably less. On the other hand, the economy in the use of water will not only affect the receipts of the water department, but will also indirectly benefit the consumers through considerable saving in taxes and assessments owing to the avoidance of extensions in the water supply of the city. What is true of North Adams is also true of all departments which have adopted universal meterage. This invariably results in economy, both in the management of the water department, and also in the case of the consumers.