THE SETTING AND CARE OF WATER METERS.
An efficient meter service is largely determined by the methods adopted in the manner of setting them. The slipshod practice of allowing them to be set anywhere in a building is altogether too prevalent, so prevalent, indeed, that if any one will take the trouble to examine the general plan of setting them in quite a number of cities, it will be found that a lack of care in the selection of location has been the rule. Meters are frequently set in places difficult of access, in dark and dingy corners, in open cellars where they are liable to be frozen, owing to the low temperature, in pits under passagewaysin any “old place,” in fact. The result is an indifferent, costly, and discouraging example of water meter administration. If. therefore, the city of New York is ever to start right in the matter of an efficient and satisfactory water meter service, it must be on the lines of assuming the responsibility of purchasing and setting the meters as its own property. The success of a water meter is largely due to recognising the fact that it is a piece of machinery made under constructive principles just as a watch or a steam pumping engine is constructed, and it is entitled to the same proper care and supervision as either in order to insure its success. There is no excuse for the present condition of affairs which prevails in so many cities. It is no credit to those officials in charge that from forty to fifty per cent, of the meters in service are out of order, as is indicated by inspectors’ reports of their condition, which proves that such a state of affairs is largely due to careless management in setting, and neglect to remove and clean the interior of a meter occasionally. An inspector of water meters should be more than the mere reader of an index. He should be qualified. skilled, and competent to do manv little things that are constantly needed in and about a water meter. If all were of this stamp, there would be saved time and the annoyance of moving a meter to the repair shop when no such actual need exists for doing so. Meters should he examined at least twice a year in order to insure their satisfactory working, and, under all considerations, the vital point, the point essential to a successful meter administration, is the forceful and essential feature of setting and locating a water meter in such position that it may be recognised as a piece of machinery entitled to respectful consideration as the property of the municipality or eornoration. determining by its mechanism the figure of consumption of water. There are quite a number of theories as to meters; but few of them have any force unless reduced to practical results based upon experience, which, after all, is’the best guide to attain the most satisfactory determinates.