Mike Eng User Experience Designer 401-234-4611
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Usability Observation #12

Jun 08, 2010

Submetering from a Fire Hydrant

An interesting find. I stumbled upon a fire hydrant on the street with a meter and a hose hooked up to it. Contractors were using it in their construction process on a new building which apparently didn’t have its utilities hooked up yet. I assumed this is how they were billed for the public water they used – on the good old honor system.

Hydrant in Context

Here’s the hydrant in context. It begs the question: If one were to hook up the meter in reverse, would it run the number down? Or would it be fruitless and possibly lead to karmic disaster, as Ferris Beuller experienced?