zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
Mark Smith ([personal profile] zorkian) wrote2012-02-17 12:06 pm

water bills.

For the past ~7 months we've been living in this house, our monthly water bill was in the ~$100-$150 range. I always thought it was kind of high, but never really put much effort into it. Anyway, a month ago, we had an incident where something under the house kind of exploded and there was lots of water in the back yard and the foundation was kind of flooded, etc.

Anyway, the landlord sent someone out to look at it. So they did some stuff and the water went away. Yay!

This month, my water bill is $25. I dug out the numbers and looked at the graph and sure enough, the CCF used went from about 40 per month down to 4. That's... odd. I wondered if that made sense, so I looked up what a CCF is. I assumed it was a "cubic foot" and in that case, ~40 c.f. of water per month makes sense.

Nope, actually, a CCF is a hundred cubic feet of water. The conversion is 1 CCF = ~750 gallons. When we were using 40 CCF a month, we were using 30,000 gallons of water per month. That's a lot.

I think that whatever happened under the house was actually happening all along, for months and months. It just took until now before it finally bubbled up to the surface and brought itself to our attention.

This kind of blows my mind.
alierak: (Default)

[personal profile] alierak 2012-02-17 08:41 pm (UTC)(link)
Wow! I think leaving a faucet on 24x7 would've only cost you twice as much... Some water companies will reimburse part of your water bill if you explain that you found and fixed a leak.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2012-02-17 11:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Yikes. That is certainly something, all right.
nd_mom: (Default)

[personal profile] nd_mom 2012-02-18 05:13 am (UTC)(link)
Seriously wouldn't the water company have questioned a single story home using that much water! Will your landlord reimburse you?
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)

[personal profile] synecdochic 2012-02-18 09:35 am (UTC)(link)
If a place is a rental or recently changed owners, they will often assume that any leap in usage is just a change in the pattern of usage!

Meanwhile, funny story: when we took over ownership of this house (and took over the utilities), they sent someone to read the meter and tried to bill us $300 for the past quarter. (Our water bills are quarterly.) Mind you, the house was empty for nearly that entire quarterly usage period. We, being new homeowners who'd only lived in apartments where heat/water was included in the rent, wouldn't have questioned that amount at all, except something dimly in the back of our brains went "wait a minute, that bill only covers two weeks of time that we were living in the house. Maybe that's not right."

Turned out that yeah, they'd misread the meter (transposed two digits), which I totally have sympathy for because hey, I do that all the time. Except the city's systems are so old and hard to deal with that it takes them six to eight weeks to issue an amended bill, and the due date was before then.

So we just paid the $300 water bill, it went on our account as a credit, and we aren't going to have to pay a water bill for the next year and a half or so :P
sarah: (Default)

[personal profile] sarah 2012-02-25 01:58 am (UTC)(link)
Actually, it was more screwed up than that: we received an estimated bill last February for the quarterly minimum of $15. Then nothing. At all. Until I called in the summer and requested a bill. That's when they came out and took the faulty reading.

Since then? Nothing. No bills again.

In light of this week's articles in the Baltimore Sun about systemic overcharging of >90% of city water customers, though, I suspect the Water division's rather busy with phone calls.
asciident: (Default)

[personal profile] asciident 2012-02-18 07:25 am (UTC)(link)
Holy shit man, no one at the water company thought a single family residence using 30,000 gallons of water per month was, I dunno, ODD?

Or maybe they don't monitor those sorts of things.
ashcomp: (Default)

[personal profile] ashcomp 2012-02-18 03:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Nah, as long as the money was coming in. I mean, it's not like he lives in a state where water is scarce, or anything, right?
aposiopetic: (Default)

[personal profile] aposiopetic 2012-02-18 10:36 pm (UTC)(link)
The whole thing gets an extra twist of wacky when you learn that our house is in fact owned by the water district.