WATER-WASTE IN PHILADELPHIA.
Chief Gillette is thinking of installing what may be called water telephones to detect water-waste on the part of the Philadelphia consumer. By placing meters on service-pipes in residences unknown to those in the house, it was discovered that waste was going on even at midnight. In Other cases, a device consisting of a box with a diaphragm and connected with a telephone receiver was lowered into the sewer, and evidence of water running from unoccupied houses was secured. Several hundred property owners were notified as a result of the inspection to have defective fixtures repaired; while the 150 against whom summonses were issued are charged with having failed to heed the warning. The penalty which may be imposed is a fine of $5, The department found one house owned by a church corporation, in which 4,500 gals, of water were wasted daily. The city is pumping per day (or was in 1904) 328,000,000 gals. It is pumping more today. In ten years the daily pumpage has grown onehalf, increasing by 114,000,000 gals. Over half of this is wasted and runs into the sewers, with no good results whatever. Fixtures leak; mains are old and faulty; and electrolysis has doubtless bored a hole in some; but the one big loss is that in thousands and thousands of dwellings, hotels and stores water is running to waste day and night. The result is that about a sixth—seventeen per cent.—of the consumers use two-thirds of the water. These wasteful users pay, as the water bureau has demonstrated, at the rate of $3.84 per 1,000,000 gals. In reality, the careful consumer uses about a third of the water and pays for fivesixths of it. He pays for water, not at $384 per 1,000,000 gals., but at $117.87 per 1,000,000 gals. The waste grows. In 1910 the city will have to pump over 500,000,000 gals., at the present rate of growth. Filtration will break down under this flood and flow.
Columbus, Ohio, may increase its water rates, when the new pumping station is ready for service.