Water Waste and Department Deficits

Water Waste and Department Deficits

An annual report made by the superintendent of water works department of a certain city for 1920 showed that that municipality had lost during the year some $50,000 through leakage in mains and pipes, the loss of water in gallons being estimated at from sixty to seventy million. The report remarks that even with this leakage the department will return a substantial surplus to the city’s treasury.

It occurs, however, that while the latter fact no doubt is true, the location and stoppage of these leaks in good season would have saved the city just so much and would have placed the department therefore in a better financial condition to that extent. A water survey would quickly have located these leaks and they could have been repaired within a month instead of the water running to waste for a whole year. This case illustrates the necessity for periodical surveys of the water department looking toward the discovery of breaks in the distribution system causing immense quantities of water to run away into the drains or percolate into the surrounding gound, causing cavingsin of the sidewalks and street surfaces, flooding basements of buildings and otherwise destroying property.

A. water survey by competent experts is not a very expensive operation and its results almost invariably compensate the water department many times over the amount spent in the work. The wasting of water is always a costly thing for a water works and usually can be avoided by such a survey of the department’s distribution system properly conducted. Even if only comparatively few leaks are discovered in this survey, the expense of it is by no means lost, as it is in the nature of insurance and safeguards the department against future loss.

The suggestion by Harold M. Hess, chairman of the fire prevention committee of the St. Louis chamber of commerce, is that fire insurance companies and all others interested in fire prevention use their influence with all calendar manufacturers and jobbers to designate October 9 on all 1922 calendars as Fire Prevention Day. He suggested that fire insurance companies, as large purchasers of calendars, instruct their purchasing agents that on all calendars purchased for the year 1922 October 9 be so designated.

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