Water Rates and Operating Cost

Water Rates and Operating Cost

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AS illustrating the proportion of rates and the general financial outlook of the water works, the replies, continued from the August 17 issue, which FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING received to a questionnaire recently sent out, amounting to some 160 in all, are very interesting. The questions asked were as follows, the replies being numbered accordingly: 1. Present water rates. 2. When and what was last rate increase? 3. Is further increase contemplated? If so, how much and when effective? 4. Percentage of increase in operating and maintenance costs since 1914. 5. With what surplus or deficit did you end 1920?

Question No. 1, as will be seen, was answered in nearly every instance with complete details. To question No. 2 the replies varied, in some cases the rates not having been raised for from ten to twenty years, in others as recently as 1920 and this year. Question No. 3, in the great majority of cases, was answered in the negative. To question No. 4 the replies varied, ranging from 10 to 100 per cent, and over, but all practically agreed that there had been some increase. The replies to question No. 5 were particularly significant. In seventeen cases the water works reported deficits amounting to a total of $248,400. As against this, ninety-nine of those replying reported a surplus totaling $4,261,643. Of the remainder about fifty did not reply to this question.


Auburn—F. E. Bisbee, superintendent of water department—1. Yearly Rate—Private dwelling-house, one family, $6; each additional family, $5; water closet, self-closing, $2; water closet, two or more families in same dwelling, each, $1; bath tub, $2; hand hose, per year, payable May 1st, (hours for lawn sprinkling: 4 to 8 A. M., 5 to 10 P. M.), $3; private stables, one horse or cow, $2; each additional horse or cow, $1; fountains as defined in Rules and Regulations, 8 hours each day, $6. Store—Sink, $6; water closet, $2; tumbler

washer, $5. Offices—Set bowl, $3; water closet, $3; sanitary cuspidor, $5. Halls and club rooms—Sink, $6; water closet, $4; shower bath, $5; urinal, $5. 5. Net income $15,732.06.

Sanford—Frederic L. Andrews, superintendent of water company—1. $8 allowing 20,000; $12 30,000 gallons; $15 40,000 gallons and 25c. per 1,000 in excess. 2. In 1911 and do not think of increasing. 5. Surplus $67,000.


Hagerstown—Albert Heard, superintendent of water department—1. Minimum rates 6 and 10. Meter rates sliding scale, maximum 30, minimum 8. 2. Increase of 2c. per 1,000 gallons, April 1, 1920. 4. 60 per cent. 5. Profit $1,698.75.


Amsbary—Edward F. Waltz, superintendent of water department—1. $7 per faucet; bathroom 3 pieces $10. Meter, 183/4c. to 37 1/2c per 100 cu. ft. Twenty per cent, discount if paid within 30 days.

Arlington—George E. Ahem, superintendent of water de- partment—-1. $15 per year, minimum. 2. Present rate has prevailed for many years.

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Water Works and Operating Cost

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Beverly—James W. Blackmer, commission of public works—1. Meter: 20c. per 1,000 gallons fixture rates; cottage house with hose, approximately $15. Practically all else metered. 2. Discount on meter bills changed from 25 per cent, to 10 per cent, in February, 1920. No other changes for many years.

Brockton—Horace Kingman, superintendent of water department—1. Metered rates, for the first 18.000 cubic feet of water per quarter or any part thereof, the domestic rates of 19 cents per 100 cu. ft. For water in excess of 18,000 cu. ft. and under 27,000 cubic feet per quarter, the intermediate rate of 15 cents per 100 cu. ft. For water in excess of 27,000 cu. ft. per quarter, the manufacturing rate of 10 cents per 100 cu. ft. Meters will be supplied by the water commissioners and set at the expense of the city, and for each service supplied there shall be a charge for service and meter per quarter, to be known as meter rent, as follows: Size 5/8-inch. 55c.; 3/4, 70c.; 1, 80c.; l 1/4, 90c.; $1.40. $1.40; 2, $1.75; 3, $3.50; 4, $5; 6 $12.50. Non-enumerated purposes, for use of water in alt cases not herein enumerated, the rates shall be fixed by the water commissioners as near as may be in accordance with the rates hereby established; which rates so determined, shall be binding upon all parties as fully as if herein designated. 2. January 9, 1919. About 10 per cent. 4. $49.39.

Danvers—Henry Newhall, superintendent of water department—1. Faucet $5.50, water closet $4, bath $3, hose $3. 2. Increase in flat rates, July 1, 1920. 4. 33 per cent. This is hardly fair as reconstruction is charged to maintenance. Our increase in fuel was over $11,000. 5. $1,400 as surplus.

Fitchburg—A. W. F. Brown, superintendent of water department—1. Metered water. The charge for metered water for all purposes, used at any one manufacturing plant, business block, tenement block or house, shall be at 18 cents per 100 cubic feet for the first 5,000 cubic feet or less per quarter; for the next 50,000 cubic feet or less per quarter, to be at 7 cents per 100 cubic feet, and all in excess of 55,000 cubic feet per quarter to be at 4 cents per 100 cubic feet. 4. 100 per cent. 5. $2,000 surplus.

Framingham—H. V. Macksey. superintendent of water department—1. The rate for all metered water per 100 cubic feet, for the period covered by the bill, shall be as follows: For an average of 60 cu. ft. or less, per day, 25c.; 60 to 150 cu. ft., 20c.; 150 to 300, 16 2/3c.; 300 to 600, 14 2/7c.; 600 to 1,100, 12 1/2c.; 1,100 to 2.200 10c.; 2,200 or over 9c. Minimum charges. On all dwelling houses a minimum annual charge of $6 payable semi-annually in advance, shall be made for each family. 4. 124 per cent. 5. $7,554.12 surplus.

New Bedford—R. C. P. Coggeshall, superintendent of water department—1. 10c. per 1.000 gallons, manufacturing; 15c. per 1 000 gal., domestic and commercial. 2. No change in domestic meter rates since 1877; flat rates discontinued in 1909; present manufacturing rate adopted, 1905. 4. 33

per cent. 5. $50,173.88 deficit on acount of special estension costing $150,000.

Natick—P. H. Mosher, superintendent of water department—1. Domestic. 25c. per 100 cu. ft.; manufacturing, 15c. per 100 cu. ft. 2. July, 1920, from 25c. per 1,000 gallons, from 15c. per 1,000 gallons. 4. 154 per cent. 5. Surplus, $2 242.

Peabody—Frank Emerson, superintendent of water department—1. 15c. per 100 cu. ft. to all consumers. 2. Ian nary 1, 1920. factory or business rates, were increased from 12c. to 15c. per 100 cu. ft. 4. 121 per cent, increase. 5. None.

Springfield—A. E. Martin, superintendent of water department—1. Meter rates. For the first 5,000 cubic feet or less per quarter at 22 cents per 100 cubic feet, For all excess over the first 5,000 cubic feet per quarter, at 5 cents per 100 cubic feet. 2. Never been increased. 3. Not now. Readjustment of rates contemplated for more equitable distribution as to classes of consumers. 4. 55 per cent, (without depreciation charge), 75 per cent, including adequate charge for depreciation. 5. Surplus (book account), $153,000, used for construction and sinking fund, etc.

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Water Works and Operating Cost

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Taunton—Ucorge A. King, superintendent cf water department— 1. Meter rates, 25c., 9c. per 1,000 gallons. Hat rates, first faucet $5, closet $5, hose $5 and bath $3. 2. No increase in past 30 years. 4. 76 per cent.

Worcester—George W. Batcnelder, commissioner and registrar cf water department—1. Dwelling houses occupied by one family, for six persons or less, per annum, $6; dwelling houses occupied by one family not exceeding ten persons, $8; dwelling houses occupied by more than one family where but one faucet is used by all the families, for each family, $3; boarding houses having a number exceeding ten persons in all, inclusive of the family, will be charged in addition to family rates, for each person, 75; stores and offices, each, $4; manufacturers, machine or other work shops for each individual using water in sinks, provided no charge be made less than four dollars, 50c.; eating houses, fish and other markets, provision shops, refreshment or oyster saloons or for purposes not included in any other classification, from $5 to $50; sinks and basins. All sinks, more than two, in general use, each, $1;_ and all wash basins, more than two, in general use, each 50c.; water closets in dwellings or tenements, not including boarding houses, where only a single water closet is used, $4; each additional water closet, $2; water closets used in common by several families, according to the number of families and persons using, from $6 to $15; water closets in boarding houses for one water closet, from $5 to $10; for each additional closet, $3; water closets in stores, offices, and eating houses, from $3 to $10; baths in dwelling or tenements, for a single bath tub, $5; each additional tub, $2; in boarding houses, one bath tub, from $4 to $10; each additional tub, $3; persons counted. In ascertaining the number of persons as a basis for assessments provided for in this and the preceding sections, children and servants shall be counted. Stables where one horse is kept. $3; where two horses are kept, $5; for each additional horse $1.50: neat cattle, each, $1. Hose. Hand hose in general use for washing sidewalks and store fronts, $4; for use of hose for sprinkling gardens, lawns or streets, 5 000 square feet or less, $5. Meter rates per thousand gallons. Less than 5,000 gallons a day, 20c.; more than 5,000, 15c.; more than 15 000, 10c.; more than 10 000, through one meter, 10c.; hospitals, 12c.; manufacturing purposes only, 10c.; city departments, 10c. Minimum rate $2 each six months. 3. Possibly, depends entirely upon business conditions. 5. Surplus, 1920, $19,938.69.


Benton Harbor—M. L. Jones, superintendent of water departm’nt—1. 17c. first 10.000 gals.; 16c. next 10,000; 15c. next 20.000; 14c. next 20000; 13c. next 20,000: 12c. next 20 000; 11c. all above 10,000. 2. Tuly, 1920. 3. Yes. Not decided. 4. 107 per cent. 5. $1,960 deficit.

Battle Creek—W. W. Brigden. superintendent of water department—1. 4 to 13c. per 1,000 gals., according to amount used. 2. None. Made a large reduction 30 years ago, and another on large users 10 years ago. 3. Yes. I want a 30 per cent, increase and should have it, as we are furnishing even the smallest consumer with water at less than cost on a business basis. 4. 214 per cent., but we have a larger water works than in 1914. 5. $5 800 surplus but had $6,300 the year before.

Detroit—George H. Fenkell. superintendent of water department—1. Assessed and meter rates from July 1. 1919. Assessed rates. For family, household purposes, each family, $9; horses, each, $2; cows each, $1.50; boarding houses, in addition to family rate, each boarder or roomer, $1; estimated quantities of water, each 1,000 gals. 15c.; automobiles, each, $1.50; bath tub, for families, each, $1.60; bath tub for public, each, $4; automatic water closets, for family, first closet, $2; each additional, 80c.; rod water closets, not less than $8; urinals, not less than $2; wash hand basins, for family, each, 80c other purposes each person, 20c.; hose bibb or connection’ premises 30 ft. front or less, $1.80; hose bibb or connection, premises 30 ft. to 60 feet, $2; hose bibb or connection, premises 60 ft. to 100 ft., $2.40; fountains, $10 to $20, street sprinklers, each wagon, $50; business place, 2 employees or less, $5; 3 to 10 employees, $10; more than 10 employees, $20; loco-

motive steam cranes, $25. Water rates for building and construction purposes. Brick, 5c. per M.; plaster, 7c. per 100 sq. yds.; concrete, $1 per 100 cu. yds.; concrete 6 inches thick or less, 26c. per 100 sq. yds.; tile, 5c. per 100 sq. ft.; each perch stone, lc. One story frame, no basement, 50c., complete basement, 75c.; two story frame, 75c., $1; one story brick, 75c., $1. two story brick, $1. $1.25; two family frame, $1, $1.50; two family brick, $1.50, $2. Where there is a waste of water an increase of rates will be made. Meter rates. First 1,000 cu. ft. per quarter, $1 minimum charge; next 3 000 50c. per 1,000 cu. ft.; all additional, 35c. per 1,000 cu. ft. 2. July 1. 1919.

Escanaba—L. D. Goddard, manager of water department — 1. Rates for service are fixed by the common council at the first meeting in June of each year. Daily average consumption of 1,060 gallons per service per day or less throughout the quarter for which bill is being rendered, 35c. per 1,000 gallons. For each 1,060 gallons in excess of this quantity 20c. per 1,000 gallons. Ten per cent, discount for cash payment within ten days from date of bill. No bill rendered for less than $1.75 per quarter. No monthly bill to be rendered for less than $1.05 per month. 2. July 1, 1920. 4. 1914 operating records not available. 5. $7,361.71.

Grand Rapids—G. J. Wagner, director of water department— 1. 7c. 100 cu. ft.; minimum rate $2 per quarter. 2 January 1, 1921, from 5c. to 7c. per 100 cu. ft. 5. $3,206.65 deficit.

Hancock—W. J. Rentenbach, chief engineer of water department—1. 50c. per month for sink, 25c. for toilet, 25c. for bath tub, 25c. for lawn, with 10 per cent, discount if paid promptly. 2. 1908. 3. Yes. Board now working on new rate. 4. 50 per cent. 5. $17,000.

Holland—Roy B. Champion, superintendent of water department—1. Meter rates—10c. per 100 cu. ft. for the first 100 C00 cu. ft. used semi-annually; 8c. per 100 cu. ft. for next 100 000 cu. ft.; 6c. per 100 cu. ft. for next 100,003 cu. ft.; 4c. per 100 cu. ft. for all over 300 000 cu. ft. Minimum charge —44-in. meter, $3 semi-annually; 44. $4; 1, $7; 1 1/2,$ $10; 2. $17; 3, $35; 4, $50; 6, $70. Prompt payment discount, 10 per cent. 2. July, 1914. From 6c. to 10c. per 100 cu. ft. 4. 68.27 per cent. 5. Net income, $5,656.41

Jackson—Horace Bowen, superintendent of water department—1. $1 per 1 000 cu. ft. for first 5.000 ft. and 75c. for each additional 1 000 cu. ft. per month through one meter; minimum charge $2. 2. This was made in June 1920 and rate was raised 25c. per 100 cu. ft. 5. Approximately $10 000 surplus.

Marquette—William J. Johnston, superintendent of water department—1. First 7.000 cu. ft. at 10c.; 2nd 7,000 cu. ft., 7c.; 3rd 7,060 cu. ft., 5c.; all over 21,000 cu. ft., 3c. In addition to above there is a service charge varying from $1.35 per quarter for a 44-in. meter to $60 per quarter for an 8-in. meter. 2. February 1 1920, service charge added to water rate. No change has been made in water rate since 1910. 4. 109 per cent., 1920. This high figure caused by shortage of electric power compelling use of steam pumps, 5. $12 211.26.

Muskegon—F. F. Brown, superintendent of water department—3. Depends on cost of operation; sufficient to take care of operating, replacements, annual bond premiums, etc. 4. No records kept until September, 1920.


Hibbing—Charles Foster, superintendent—1. 15, 12 and 10 cents per 1,000 gallons. 2. 1919. 3. No.

Minneapolis—J. A. Jensen, superintendent of water department—1. 8c. per 1 000.gallons. 2. 1897.

Rochester—M. G. Holmes, superintendent of water department—1. 30c. per 100 ft., minimum charge $1.75. 90 days. Over 3 000 ft. 10c. per 100. 2. January 1, 1920. 3. No. A reduction will be considered January, 1922. 4. 100 per cent. 5. Net surplus, $15,000.

St. Paul—John W. Kelsey, superintendent of water department—1. 6c. per 100 cu. ft.; minimum rate, 30c. month. 2. Rate lowered in 1912 has not been changed. 4. 39.8 per cent. 5. Surplus, $84,954.57.


Greenville—E. M. Foster, superintendent of water department—1. $1.50 to $12 per quarter. 2. July 1. 1920. 3. Yes. About 10 per cent. Not positive about this. 5. About $6,500 surplus, no allowance for reservoir.

Jackson—J. H. Fewcll. superintendent 1. 20c. per 100 cu. ft., scaled down to 10c. per 100 gals.; flat, 25c. per mo. to 57c. per outlet. 2. Large consumers advance Jan. 1, from 8c. per 1,0C0 gals, to 10c. No advance for domestic consumers. 3. No. 4. 40 per cent. 5. Surplus, $3 000.

(To be Continued)

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