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(WJHL Tri-Cities)   Woman turns off her water. Gets $3k water bill   (wjhl.com) divider line 125
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23620 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Jan 2014 at 2:32 PM (33 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-09 01:29:30 PM
You're 78 years old, just file chapter 7 and viola, all gone.
 
2014-01-09 01:38:37 PM
I guess it depends on the state and town, but where was the demarc for the water line?  I'm guessing AFTER the meter and the homeowner is responsible, like most places.

Anyway...good luck, lady.
 
2014-01-09 01:45:43 PM
How do you have that much water leak and not know immediately?
 
2014-01-09 02:07:30 PM
Normally one is charged for the amount of water that the city has to process back into drinking water (the stuff that flows down your sewer line). This is why when you're filling a swimming pool you contact the water department so you don't get a giant water bill. So I'm not sure why she would have to pay this bill.
 
2014-01-09 02:09:49 PM

Lando Lincoln: Normally one is charged for the amount of water that the city has to process back into drinking water (the stuff that flows down your sewer line). This is why when you're filling a swimming pool you contact the water department so you don't get a giant water bill. So I'm not sure why she would have to pay this bill.


Where you live must be VERY different than here.  The water company here will not give you free water for your pool (knowing someone in the local VFD is a handy workaround) and until the put in the prison a decade or so ago nobody had sewage at all.
 
2014-01-09 02:22:04 PM

nekom: and until the put in the prison a decade or so ago nobody had sewage at all.


Sounds like a whole lotta constipated people to me.
 
2014-01-09 02:34:09 PM

xanadian: I guess it depends on the state and town, but where was the demarc for the water line?  I'm guessing AFTER the meter and the homeowner is responsible, like most places.

Anyway...good luck, lady.


In delawn.
 
2014-01-09 02:36:44 PM
How do you not notice a leak of that magnitude coming from under your house?
 
2014-01-09 02:37:35 PM
nekom

"You're 78 years old, just file chapter 7 and viola, all gone."

The county will put a lien against the property making it unsellable until the money, including lots of lawyer fees,  is paid.
 
2014-01-09 02:38:30 PM

Lando Lincoln: Normally one is charged for the amount of water that the city has to process back into drinking water (the stuff that flows down your sewer line). This is why when you're filling a swimming pool you contact the water department so you don't get a giant water bill. So I'm not sure why she would have to pay this bill.


Where I live they bill you for delivery and removal.
 
2014-01-09 02:38:32 PM
Meter readers read the meter. That's it. They don't know your average use or care. They don't do some analysis and leave a note on your door.
 
2014-01-09 02:39:01 PM

macross87: How do you not notice a leak of that magnitude coming from under your house?


When you are 78 years old I am sure a lot will slip right past you.
 
2014-01-09 02:41:55 PM

Russ1642: Meter readers read the meter. That's it. They don't know your average use or care. They don't do some analysis and leave a note on your door.


If they even bother to read the meter.  A lot of them just estimate and fark you if they overestimate
 
2014-01-09 02:44:53 PM
I cancelled my TV service two months ago, which should have knocked my cable/internet bill down from $170 to $60.  Instead I got billed for $710, which they just took out of my account (Was enrolled in auto pay, not anymore though).  That was a lovely surprise.  Thank goodness I had the money in that account to cover it.  I doubt they would have offered to pay for any overdraft fees.
 
2014-01-09 02:46:02 PM

Well I use Mac/Linux...: I cancelled my TV service two months ago, which should have knocked my cable/internet bill down from $170 to $60.  Instead I got billed for $710, which they just took out of my account (Was enrolled in auto pay, not anymore though).  That was a lovely surprise.  Thank goodness I had the money in that account to cover it.  I doubt they would have offered to pay for any overdraft fees.


Sue them for 710 million for wire fraud and theft
 
2014-01-09 02:46:12 PM
Can somebody tell me why I should be outraged by this? I want to feel outrageous.
 
2014-01-09 02:46:43 PM
I think it's the negligence of the water meter reader they saw that it was double what is usually was...give her a courtesy call or leave a note on the door or something.

once a toilet in an unused wing of our house had been running for over a month. the total bill was under $200; we usually paid ~$30. we got a call from the utility company asking us to check for leaks because our bill was so large, before we even got the bill.

but that was just a nice thing to them do; they wouldn't be negligent if they didn't. we would be negligent for ignoring an almost $200 bill. and it sure wasn't the meter reader's fault.
 
2014-01-09 02:46:50 PM
well, this sucks.  but, let's not age discriminate here.
 
2014-01-09 02:47:27 PM

Smeggy Smurf: Russ1642: Meter readers read the meter. That's it. They don't know your average use or care. They don't do some analysis and leave a note on your door.

If they even bother to read the meter.  A lot of them just estimate and fark you if they overestimate


Would have benefitted this lady.
 
2014-01-09 02:48:19 PM
Using my city's water rates (.70 per 1000 for the first 3000 gallons, 1.89 per thousand after that) this lady got billed for 1,589,000 gallons. Can a typical residential line even have that flow out of it in the course of a month?
 
2014-01-09 02:49:12 PM

nekom: Lando Lincoln: Normally one is charged for the amount of water that the city has to process back into drinking water (the stuff that flows down your sewer line). This is why when you're filling a swimming pool you contact the water department so you don't get a giant water bill. So I'm not sure why she would have to pay this bill.

Where you live must be VERY different than here.  The water company here will not give you free water for your pool (knowing someone in the local VFD is a handy workaround) and until the put in the prison a decade or so ago nobody had sewage at all.


Not free water, but water without the added surcharge of sewer.   I was going to fill my pool and the water company said "Take a reading before and after you fill the pool and let us know" so they didn't charge me for 45Kgal of water + 45Kgal of sewer, just 45Kgal of water.

/Never filled the pool.  Drought.
//50 x 24 pool with a 14 ft diving well, never once swam in it.  *sigh*
 
2014-01-09 02:49:37 PM

Russ1642: Meter readers read the meter. That's it. They don't know your average use or care. They don't do some analysis and leave a note on your door.


Actually, a few years back when we had a break on our side of the line, it was the meter-reader who told us. He even shut it off at the meter for us so we could call someone to fix it. Granted, ours was a massive breach which had the meter spinning like a top, so perhaps a bit more noticeable.
 
2014-01-09 02:49:45 PM

BizarreMan: How do you have that much water leak and not know immediately?

 
2014-01-09 02:50:04 PM

nekom: You're 78 years old, just file chapter 7 and

change your name to Viola, all gone.

FTFY
 
2014-01-09 02:51:47 PM
$3,000 at $7/1k gallons = 428,000 gallons.  57,000 cu ft   238 ft cube.

Where did that go in a month?
 
2014-01-09 02:52:15 PM

Lando Lincoln: Normally one is charged for the amount of water that the city has to process back into drinking water (the stuff that flows down your sewer line). This is why when you're filling a swimming pool you contact the water department so you don't get a giant water bill. So I'm not sure why she would have to pay this bill.


Hm.  Well then Joliet is a hella lot different than Peoria.  No free pool water here, they charge you for what comes in and what goes out, every pint of it.

But a few years back my ex in laws (nice people) were on vacay and some vandals turned on the outside tap on their house.  By the time a neighbor noticed it, lots of damage and water wasted. It was a big lot and of course on the back of the house.  The water company did reduce what should have been their $14,000 (yes, 14 thousand) bill to just under $4,000.  And somehow they got their insurance to pay most of that.  Nope, don't know how they did that.
 
2014-01-09 02:53:06 PM
I don't understand the issue. She had a long-running water leak under her house. She ran up a large water bill before she had the leak fixed. She was charged for the water that she used and wasted.

What's the problem? She's responsible for the bill, and her family can go hump a bunk.
 
2014-01-09 02:53:15 PM

BizarreMan: How do you have that much water leak and not know immediately?


If it leaked under my crawlspace I probably wouldn't know. I don't exactly spend a lot of time under there and the drainage on my property is probably good enough that a fairly serious leak could go undetected for quite some time if it were in the right (or wrong) place.

Hell, the seal on my kitchen sink handle went and I didn't notice that it was leaking down the inside of the handle and into the cupboard below the sink for a couple days when the musty smell tipped me off, and I'm in my kitchen every day. Just not under the sink very often.
 
2014-01-09 02:54:11 PM

xanadian: I guess it depends on the state and town, but where was the demarc for the water line? I'm guessing AFTER the meter and the homeowner is responsible, like most places.


Yes and no.  I got the water company to accept responsibility for a leak after the demarc line once.  The thing is, they caused it.  They replaced our water meter and the guy didn't tighten the nut on our side quite tight enough.  It wasn't leaking *THEN* but it leaked soon thereafter.  Since it was their guy who left the nut loose they accepted it was their oops.

This is certainly her problem, though.  To leak $3k worth it must have been a pretty bad leak.
 
2014-01-09 02:54:38 PM

Smeggy Smurf: Russ1642: Meter readers read the meter. That's it. They don't know your average use or care. They don't do some analysis and leave a note on your door.

If they even bother to read the meter.  A lot of them just estimate and fark you if they overestimate


If even that.  I turned off every circuit breaker and shut off the main water line to a house I wasn't going to be living in for a few months.  I got utility bills for "estimated usage" based on past years and was told it didn't matter what my actual usage was, I still had to pay
 
2014-01-09 02:55:00 PM

umrdyldo: $3,000 at $7/1k gallons = 428,000 gallons.  57,000 cu ft   238 ft cube.

Where did that go in a month?


Holy crap, where do you live that water is $7 per 1000? I live in the middle of a desert and I pay 0.70/1000 for the first 3 and $1.89 after that.

That said, I found an answer to my own question upthread. A typical residential line would need 46 days at full flow to dump that much water based on our rates. (3/4 inch, 20-100 psi).
 
2014-01-09 02:55:06 PM

umrdyldo: $3,000 at $7/1k gallons = 428,000 gallons.  57,000 cu ft   238 ft cube.

Where did that go in a month?


Into the giant sinkhole that's probably forming under her house.
 
2014-01-09 02:56:14 PM

buzzcut73: Using my city's water rates (.70 per 1000 for the first 3000 gallons, 1.89 per thousand after that) this lady got billed for 1,589,000 gallons. Can a typical residential line even have that flow out of it in the course of a month?


Not really.

if she had a 1" line (which is HUGE for domestic purposes) she could have flowed about 25 gallons per minute through the meter.

Typical domestic service is more like 5/8" with a 10 gpm rating or so.
 
2014-01-09 02:57:52 PM

NutWrench: umrdyldo: $3,000 at $7/1k gallons = 428,000 gallons.  57,000 cu ft   238 ft cube.

Where did that go in a month?

Into the giant sinkhole that's probably forming under her house.


I must be a horrible human, because I really did think "next FARK headline is going to be '78 year old takes last ride, straight down' ", or something, with a pic of a house in a sinkhole.
 
2014-01-09 02:59:12 PM

the801: but that was just a nice thing to them do; they wouldn't be negligent if they didn't.


It is simple to do a query against your billing database for accounts that have tripled their previous months' usage.  You can kick out a letter or automated call to rectify it.

In this case, the damage was done in one cycle, so it wouldn't have helped.  But I'd be shocked if every water company doesn't do this, and I'd call any company that doesn't negligent.
 
2014-01-09 02:59:42 PM

buzzcut73: umrdyldo: $3,000 at $7/1k gallons = 428,000 gallons.  57,000 cu ft   238 ft cube.

Where did that go in a month?

Holy crap, where do you live that water is $7 per 1000? I live in the middle of a desert and I pay 0.70/1000 for the first 3 and $1.89 after that.

That said, I found an answer to my own question upthread. A typical residential line would need 46 days at full flow to dump that much water based on our rates. (3/4 inch, 20-100 psi).


Well, for many places, the rate goes up as you get to different usage thresholds.  So the lower tiers might pay $1/1k, but when we are talking half a million gallons it can be from 5-7 dollars per 1k
 
2014-01-09 03:00:14 PM
One old geezer just wants to bomb those Persians.

blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com
 
2014-01-09 03:01:05 PM

Russ1642: Meter readers read the meter. That's it. They don't know your average use or care. They don't do some analysis and leave a note on your door.


B-b-b-but ...  I'm not responsible.
 
2014-01-09 03:02:14 PM

buzzcut73: Using my city's water rates (.70 per 1000 for the first 3000 gallons, 1.89 per thousand after that) this lady got billed for 1,589,000 gallons. Can a typical residential line even have that flow out of it in the course of a month?


You're assuming that everyone has those rates.

My previous water company had water rates from $5.28 - $7.90/Kgal for water + $9.50/Kgal (up to 6Kgal of water usage).  So yeah, if you have a water leak, bend the fark over.
 
2014-01-09 03:03:56 PM

Satan's Bunny Slippers: Lando Lincoln: Normally one is charged for the amount of water that the city has to process back into drinking water (the stuff that flows down your sewer line). This is why when you're filling a swimming pool you contact the water department so you don't get a giant water bill. So I'm not sure why she would have to pay this bill.

Hm.  Well then Joliet is a hella lot different than Peoria.  No free pool water here, they charge you for what comes in and what goes out, every pint of it.

But a few years back my ex in laws (nice people) were on vacay and some vandals turned on the outside tap on their house.  By the time a neighbor noticed it, lots of damage and water wasted. It was a big lot and of course on the back of the house.  The water company did reduce what should have been their $14,000 (yes, 14 thousand) bill to just under $4,000.  And somehow they got their insurance to pay most of that.   Nope, don't know how they did that.


Because they were well to do, and white?
 
2014-01-09 03:05:48 PM
special20:

Because they were well to do, and white?

No, why do you ask?
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2014-01-09 03:06:23 PM

BitwiseShift: One old geezer just wants to bomb those Persians.

[blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com image 299x308]


bomb bomb bomb, bomb the water company.
 
2014-01-09 03:07:11 PM

macross87: How do you not notice a leak of that magnitude coming from under your house?


Don't own a house, do ya? a small, one drip-a-second, leak can drain a small pond of water in a month of neglect. If you soil drains well, there will only be a small in the surface. If the leak is under the the house, where most plumbing is, when ya gonna find it?

I once had a leak in an upstairs bathroom, behind the tub. It was a small drip that ran down inside the wall clear to the basement, where it manifested itself behind the furnance in a small puddle that was evaporated by the nearby appliance. Incidious, water is.

If the utility district doesn't give ya a heads-up, you could be payin' large bills for decades. especially if'n it was leakin' when you moved in, you'd think your family was just water-hogs
 
2014-01-09 03:08:04 PM
Around here, he local fire department will fill your pool out of the fire main for free with the caveat that if there is a fire on your block and they need the water, they can pump your pool and you have to keep the pool topped off on your own afterwards.  Works pretty nice since if there IS a fire, they just hook up to the mains anyway and never pump the pool.
 
2014-01-09 03:08:46 PM
Rule here is you, and solely you are responsible for any leaks starting from the sidewalk to your house... Anything beyond the sidewalk is the state/county problem.
 
2014-01-09 03:10:03 PM

Usurper4: Can somebody tell me why I should be outraged by this? I want to feel outrageous.


Try fabulous.
 
2014-01-09 03:10:28 PM
She should work it off in trade. There must be one or two GILF-aficionados at the water authority
 
2014-01-09 03:10:48 PM

nekom: You're 78 years old, just file chapter 7 and viola, all gone.


www.voilabistrot.com
=/=
math.fau.edu
 
2014-01-09 03:15:01 PM
Yeah, well that'll happen when you try to refuse the monopoly that are "essential services" or try to do anything other than be lubricant for cold hard cash flowing directly into the hands of those who need it least. Yet we'll all make fun of that Mick Dodge hippie fellow for wandering around the wilderness barefoot because despite his self reliance and personal happiness he doesn't play the game. Therefore he makes supply side jebus cry and for that he must be punished. I mean seriously... what a FREAK! I bet he doesn't even like football or jerking off to foreigners get "liberated" into a fine mist.

/dnrtfa
 
2014-01-09 03:15:37 PM

Wellon Dowd: She should work it off in trade. There must be one or two GILF-aficionados at the water authority


They're plumbers, even the downspouts aren't safe...
 
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