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13,632 14,073 Dwelling houses
• $119,891.18 2,845 | 3,031 Stores, shops, offices, cellars, &c. 16,006.93 283 299 | Hotels, restaurants, and saloons
6,459.57 480 518 Stables
6,515.38 7 Railroads ·
6,527.20 3 Ferry Companies
1,006 53 21 Steamboats .
3,055.81 932 811 Hose
609.93 Other purposes
To the above must be added one railroad, where the amount due is not as yet precisely adjusted, and a sugar refinery, in which a question has been raised by the proprietors as to the accuracy of the water meter, in consequence of the very large quantity of water which it indicates to have been used.
The total number of water takers entered for the present year is 19,193, being an increase of 1,023 over the last year.
The water has been shut off in 2,325 cases, and it has been let on in 2,741 cases. Repairs have been made in the service pipes, streets, &c., in 446 instances.
For the purpose of discovering the places where the water was suffered to run to waste unnecessarily, two persons were appointed early in the year as Inspectors, whose duty it was to visit the different parts of the city in the night time, and to report to the Water Registrar's Office the cases where any inordinate waste
could be detected, and notice was thereupon given to the parties that their supply would at once be cut off. In most cases this was not done, the parties agreeing to prevent the occurrence in future, and paying the amount prescribed in the ordinance. The Inspectors performed this duty solely for about two months, and were afterwards employed to some extent for the same duties, but more generally in other business of that office during the year. The number of cases of waste reported was 731, the amount paid on account of the same was $1462, being more than the compensation paid to the Inspectors for all their services during the year. In many of the cases the waste detected was apparently reckless and entirely useless; in others it was caused for the purpose of preventing freezing in the pipes, but the quantity wasted was exorbitant, and altogether beyond what was necessary for the purpose required.
It is believed that the measures thus adopted were the means of preventing much waste in certain places. It is obvious, however, that the Inspectors could only detect it in cases where it could be actually seen, as, for instance, from hydrants; or where the discharge was so large that it could be heard in the adjoining streets. The quantity used at the time in the City very clearly proves, however, that there must have been as profuse wastefulness prevailing in other places, not exposed to the inspection of the City officers, and which at one time produced so great a loss of head as to threaten somewhat serious consequences. During the month of January the daily average was 10,800,000 gallons ; on the 25th of that month it was 11,000,000, on the 26th 13,100,001, and on the 28th and 29th upwards of 14,000,000. The reservoirs at South Boston and on Beacon Hill were entirely drained, and there
was only 3% feet of water left in that at East Boston, and there was a failure of supply in many houses on Mount Vernon, Fort Hill, and the higher parts of Broadway. Had a fire occurred at the time, it would have been difficult to foresee the extent of the damage which might have been caused.
It was stated in the last annual report that the Board had been directed by an order of the City Coun. cil to revise the tariff of Water Rates, and to report the same at an early day to the City Council. The Board accordingly submitted a new tariff to the City Council, in which they proposed to increase the revenue derived from the Water Rates so that it might approximate more nearly to the annual interest payable on the water loan. They therefore suggested the addition of one dollar to the water rate on each dwelling-house, a specific rate on various kinds of water fixtures, when used in any other places than dwelling-houses,-an increased rate on stables, and also for water when drawn in large quantities for manufacturers and other like purposes. They also proposed, for the purpose of preventing and discontinuing the use of certain descriptions of water closets, where a large and inordinate quantity of water is wasted, to charge them, wherever used, with a very high water rate.
The tariff thus submitted was not adopted by the City Council, except the additional charge of one dollar to dwelling-houses. Instead of it, the only other alteration made in the existing tariff was a rate of five dollars upon each dwelling-house where a water closet or bathing tub is used. It makes no distinction, there- . fore, between the different kinds of those fixtures, and only charges for them when used in dwelling-houses, allowing the use of one in various other places without charge. The alteration will produce a considerable
increase in the income, but we would respectfully suggest whether it does not hold out an inducement for the construction of the most wasteful kind of fixtures, as they are the cheapest, and impose an onerous tax on dwelling houses, already assessed not according to the quantity of water used in them, but to their valuation by the assessors.
RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITURES.
By the Account of Receipts and Expenditures hereto annexed, the same appear to have been as follows, viz.:
The whole Amount drawn from the City Treasury was
From which deducting the Amount
paid for unsettled claims for land
and water rights - - - - $14,713.52 Extension of the Works - - - 31,519.35
Amount of Current Expenses - -
charged in sundry accounts, and excepting water
The Water Board have at last the pleasure of being able to state that the only outstanding claims for damages, occasioned by the original construction of the Water Works, have been finally settled by the adjustment which has been effected during the past year of those made by the mill owners on Concord River, and by the Middlesex Canal Corporation, for being deprived of the water of Lake Cochituate. These claims were originally ten in number, and the aggregate amount of damages sued for was nearly half a million of dollars.
Two of them were tried, in one the jury could not agree in a verdict; and in the other, where the damage laid was $150,000, they awarded $500. A proposition was then made for the discharge of all the claims, and they were finally settled and discontinued by the payment of the sum of $6,678.90, on the part of the City.
Taking into consideration the large amount claimed by the several parties, the uncertainty as to what would be the views which different juries might entertain of the law and evidence in the various suits, and the expense and trouble which would necessarily attend the trial and defence of them, it is very confidently believed that the arrangement which has been made is eminently advantageous to the City. And, in addition, it may be also stated that the City has now the power of disposing of the Compensating Reservoirs in Hopkinton and Marlborough, and Boon and Ramshorn ponds, near the latter, which were originally purchased and improved at an expense of upwards of $72,000, for the purpose of supplying Concord River with water during the dry season, and thereby lessening the damages which it was feared might be occasioned by depriving it of the water of the Lake. It will be the endeavor of the Board to effect a sale of the above property as soon as a purchaser at any reasonable price can be found.
The Water Board confidently trust that the present state and future prospects of the Water Works, as far as they are dependent on the subjects already referred to in this Report, must be the source of satisfaction to all who feel in any way interested in their success. The supply of water in the Lake is ascertained, more especially by our experience during the drought of the past season, to be far greater than was originally calculated; as is also the capacity of the aqueduct; various imperfections which existed in parts of the works from