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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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23667 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Jan 2014 at 2:32 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



125 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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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...
 
2014-01-09 03:16:10 PM  

here to help: 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


stop taking PN's medicine.
 
2014-01-09 03:17:00 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?


It would appear so.
 
2014-01-09 03:18:47 PM  
She got rogered.
 
2014-01-09 03:19:44 PM  

Satan's Bunny Slippers: stop taking PN's medicine.


I think that's just about the finest compliment I've ever received here on the Fark dot coms.

:-)
 
2014-01-09 03:21:33 PM  

show me: 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.


No, just free-range outhouses.
 
2014-01-09 03:22:25 PM  

here to help: Satan's Bunny Slippers: stop taking PN's medicine.

I think that's just about the finest compliment I've ever received here on the Fark dot coms.

:-)


:)  I've always enjoyed your posts.  That one truly reminded me of PN.

^5
 
2014-01-09 03:24:08 PM  
So where did the $3k bill come from?
 
2014-01-09 03:24:19 PM  
We had a leak under our house several years ago.  Our water company gave us a phone call to let us know that our water usage was unusually high for the month.  They will also do an adjustment once a year, as long as you have proof that the leak has been repaired.
 
2014-01-09 03:24:41 PM  

big pig peaches: So where did the $3k bill come from?



the water company.


:)
 
2014-01-09 03:25:36 PM  

Drunken_Polar_Bear: 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.


That's pretty awesome.  I hope you at least offered them a beer or something.
 
2014-01-09 03:26:31 PM  

Watubi: 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


I'd have sued them for fraud.  A million times the amount of the bill because fark them that's why
 
2014-01-09 03:27:09 PM  
I would refuse payment!
 
2014-01-09 03:28:46 PM  
Around here you can apply for a leak-allowance credit towards an excessive bill if you can show that you repaired a leak.  http://www.sfwater.org/index.aspx?page=53
 
2014-01-09 03:31:54 PM  
What's a "water bill"?

/well water
 
2014-01-09 03:32:13 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.


Probably filed it as a vandalism claim.
 
2014-01-09 03:32:14 PM  

Satan's Bunny Slippers: here to help: Satan's Bunny Slippers: stop taking PN's medicine.

I think that's just about the finest compliment I've ever received here on the Fark dot coms.

:-)

:)  I've always enjoyed your posts.  That one truly reminded me of PN.

^5


Well I don't see you around much but I seem to recall enjoying yours as well.

*fistilybumples*
 
2014-01-09 03:34:23 PM  
There was a Law & Order episode about this kind of thing years ago. Apparently a meter reader mistakenly wrote down the wrong numbers and an electronics store had something like a $50,000 water bill. So one of the owners tried to shoot the guy, wound up killing some important official instead, and this led to a huge thing that involved homeland security. All because a meter reader switched two numbers and wouldn't admit his mistake.
 
2014-01-09 03:34:25 PM  
DNRTFA
DNRTFT

Somebody who qualifies to vote and sign contracts and conduct all sorts of business in the adult world either forgot that thay weren't getting water bills, or more likely, thought they were winning free water because they weren't getting billed.

but for whatever reason, the water company finally twigged and calculated a bill that covered the whole amount owed.

let's post and then see how accurate this is...
 
2014-01-09 03:34:32 PM  

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


by being 78 years old and never getting under your house?  not sure what kind of neighborhood you are in but water could easily drain away from the home without you knowing it.

and she cancelled her bill when it became $90 from her previous $30-40.  the $3k was from the time lost between the leak and when the bill was sent.  maybe the $90 was only 4 or 5 days of the leak from the previous month to being a full months worth of that leak on the $3k bill from the cancellation.

and yeah, meter readers dont generally know your previous months bills or expectations but we live in a very tech savvy world where such a thing wouldn't be hard at all to do with apps for all your meter readers in the field.(apartments and condos might be more difficult but not really, imo. how hard would it really be to attach meter numbers to account profiles?)  in the name of good customer service this wouldn't be a difficult thing to tackle.  except that monopolies have no need whatsoever for good customer service.  they only need legal deniability and a city contract.  and extra taxes and fees and rampant inconsistent and incorrect readings that are so subtle the average consumer would never notice anyway.
 
2014-01-09 03:35:12 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


Usually it isn't a problem on an ongoing basis. And it gets adjusted periodically.

In cases of new customers or significant change in usage, it can go pretty badly either way. If she was on that system she would have paid regular bills for several months with no knowledge of the leak and then received a bill several times that amount to adjust to actual.

Part of the reason I lack sympathy is she already knew she had a leak and shut the water off on the wrong side of the leak.

If you are shutting the water off because you believe there is a link, yet call the city and get it turned off by the city.

If you don't do that you can always check the meter. They can be stupidly hard to read, but it is generally pretty obvious if there is water flowing through. If it is a smart-meter you can't check, you can generally call the city and ask them.
 
2014-01-09 03:36:40 PM  

letrole: DNRTFA
DNRTFT

Somebody who qualifies to vote and sign contracts and conduct all sorts of business in the adult world either forgot that thay weren't getting water bills, or more likely, thought they were winning free water because they weren't getting billed.

but for whatever reason, the water company finally twigged and calculated a bill that covered the whole amount owed.

let's post and then see how accurate this is...


good job, nostradumbass.
 
2014-01-09 03:38:05 PM  

letrole: DNRTFA
DNRTFT

Somebody who qualifies to vote and sign contracts and conduct all sorts of business in the adult world either forgot that thay weren't getting water bills, or more likely, thought they were winning free water because they weren't getting billed.

but for whatever reason, the water company finally twigged and calculated a bill that covered the whole amount owed.

let's post and then see how accurate this is...

########################


Completely wrong. I've been conditioned and corrupted by links to The Consumerist and Opposing Viewpoints

 
2014-01-09 03:41:01 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?


What, never heard of gound water?

Yuk, yuk yuk

Here all week
Tip somebody

/sorry
 
2014-01-09 03:41:29 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.


Well, it would be quite hard to charge her for any water that leaked out before the meter, so...
=Smidge=
 
2014-01-09 03:41:44 PM  

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

by being 78 years old and never getting under your house?  not sure what kind of neighborhood you are in but water could easily drain away from the home without you knowing it.

and she cancelled her bill when it became $90 from her previous $30-40.  the $3k was from the time lost between the leak and when the bill was sent.  maybe the $90 was only 4 or 5 days of the leak from the previous month to being a full months worth of that leak on the $3k bill from the cancellation.

and yeah, meter readers dont generally know your previous months bills or expectations but we live in a very tech savvy world where such a thing wouldn't be hard at all to do with apps for all your meter readers in the field.(apartments and condos might be more difficult but not really, imo. how hard would it really be to attach meter numbers to account profiles?)  in the name of good customer service this wouldn't be a difficult thing to tackle.  except that monopolies have no need whatsoever for good customer service.  they only need legal deniability and a city contract.  and extra taxes and fees and rampant inconsistent and incorrect readings that are so subtle the average consumer would never notice anyway.


After reading the article I was under the impression that she just shut off the main inflow valve inside the house and the leak was between the meter and there.
 
2014-01-09 03:47:07 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.


Most utilities hire minimum-wage kids to drive around with a receiver that picks up the readings sent out by the new-fangled elex meters. They don't see the readings at all, nor would know what it was tellin' 'em, if'n they could. The system has a kick-out feature for accounts that are over-using. I see my use as a graph compared to last year on my bill (I suffered a plague of leaks over the last 2 years, until I replumbed it all, so EVERYTHING is less than last year). My town calls as soon as they read it out, and sends a letter to the address of record (beach town...many rentals, summer cabins, crash pads).

If this thread gots ya worried, go look at the meter. They all have something that moves when water is used. Go through the house, making sure all the faucets is off (including outside {!}), the toilets aren't running, and the ice-maker ain't. Then, tell everyone to leave the water alone until you get back. Any movement in the meter is a problem.
 
2014-01-09 03:47:57 PM  

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


We had one a few years ago where the cable company had installed new underground wires and clipped the pipe - several thousand dollars and we never noticed a thing until we got the bill. The ground where it happened was soggy, but we never use that part of the yard. Couldn't see anything above ground on a visual inspection.
 
2014-01-09 03:48:30 PM  

Carousel Beast: 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.

Probably filed it as a vandalism claim.


That never occurred to me.  You're probably right.  I never questioned the actual how, as at the time I was no longer married to their son, nor did I own a house, so I didn't bother to spend the brain power to do so.  But they were, and still are nice folks, so I'm glad they didn't have to pony up the whole amount for something that wasn't their fault.

Thanks!  :)
 
2014-01-09 03:49:12 PM  

dywed88: The Flexecutioner: macross87: How do you not notice a leak of that magnitude coming from under your house?

by being 78 years old and never getting under your house?  not sure what kind of neighborhood you are in but water could easily drain away from the home without you knowing it.

and she cancelled her bill when it became $90 from her previous $30-40.  the $3k was from the time lost between the leak and when the bill was sent.  maybe the $90 was only 4 or 5 days of the leak from the previous month to being a full months worth of that leak on the $3k bill from the cancellation.

and yeah, meter readers dont generally know your previous months bills or expectations but we live in a very tech savvy world where such a thing wouldn't be hard at all to do with apps for all your meter readers in the field.(apartments and condos might be more difficult but not really, imo. how hard would it really be to attach meter numbers to account profiles?)  in the name of good customer service this wouldn't be a difficult thing to tackle.  except that monopolies have no need whatsoever for good customer service.  they only need legal deniability and a city contract.  and extra taxes and fees and rampant inconsistent and incorrect readings that are so subtle the average consumer would never notice anyway.

After reading the article I was under the impression that she just shut off the main inflow valve inside the house and the leak was between the meter and there.


yeah, i reread it.  for me "turned off" meant calling the water company to cancel it. but yeah, she probably had somebody turn the valve.  i wish the article had the cause of the leak.  if it was her cause/fault then it sucks for her but if it was from pipe degradation over time or from some natural event to cause a crack the water company should take care of it.
 
2014-01-09 03:52:43 PM  

mainstreet62: What's a "water bill"?

/well water



coworker: 'Ted ,how much is your water/sewer bill ?  Mine went up again.'
me:           'You should ask Sally,  I don't get a bill.  I have free water/ sewer'
coworker: 'Seriously you ***hole, how much is your bill?'
me:           'Seriously, ask sally.   Mine is free.  I  pump water out of the ground.  You know, a well.'
coworker: 'Why won't you tell me how much your bill is??.  You are such an ***. '
me:           'A well is a hole in the ground and there is a pump that pumps water into your house'
me:           'Sewage goes into my septic tank.    I pay nothing to the city or township.'
coworker  ' You expect me to believe that??.   I'm not dumb.  I just want to know your rate.'
coworker  ' I'm going to ask sally... I don't know why you won't tell me what your bill is. D1ck!!'
 
2014-01-09 03:52:52 PM  
This happened to my step-father and mother, who, admittedly, live in a 12,000 square foot museum with a massive yard. One of the pipes for the underground sprinkler system broke and started pumping water out underground. No evidence up top, no wet grass, no marshy areas, just a $12,000 water bill one month. Now, my folks can afford it, but they fought it and successfully had it reduced to about $2500 once everything was said and done. A big part of the reduction (about 50%) came from the elimination of the sewer part of the bill, which is based on water use (X gallons used = X gallons into sewers), and obviously that wasn't the case here. The repairs to the pipe cost another $4500 or so, plus the major dig in the back yard that really wrecked the place. Anyway, they really had no evidence of it happening until the bill came. There was no sound of running water, and in their area, the water meters are underground near the street, so they're not accessible by the homeowners. They had a regular water bill one month, then BAM! $12,000.

A few years later, I had the pipe between the water main and my own house break. I knew instantly that it had happened because we had very low water pressure, so I didn't get a huge water bill because we shut it off right away (well, my bill was $700 instead of $80, which goes to show you how much water can be lost in a VERY short period of time). I did get a huge plumber's bill and a destroyed front yard, but that's a separate story. If I hadn't been home it could have wreaked real havoc.

It can and does happen. A leaky pipe, never mind one gushing at full bore, can spill A LOT of water in a very short period of time. Just a drippy faucet can waste hundreds of gallons of water in a year. It adds up.

/Yeah, yeah, rich people problems
//My step-father's money is not my money
 
2014-01-09 03:54:16 PM  

Well I use Mac/Linux...: Instead I got billed for $710, which they just took out of my account (Was enrolled in auto pay, not anymore though)


This is why you never allow access (pull payment) for direct payments. Ever.

Always push payments. It's free with my bank and 90% of the payments are EFT with no fees, if they have to send a check, it's free.
 
2014-01-09 03:55:44 PM  

The Flexecutioner: dywed88: The Flexecutioner: macross87: How do you not notice a leak of that magnitude coming from under your house?

by being 78 years old and never getting under your house?  not sure what kind of neighborhood you are in but water could easily drain away from the home without you knowing it.

and she cancelled her bill when it became $90 from her previous $30-40.  the $3k was from the time lost between the leak and when the bill was sent.  maybe the $90 was only 4 or 5 days of the leak from the previous month to being a full months worth of that leak on the $3k bill from the cancellation.

and yeah, meter readers dont generally know your previous months bills or expectations but we live in a very tech savvy world where such a thing wouldn't be hard at all to do with apps for all your meter readers in the field.(apartments and condos might be more difficult but not really, imo. how hard would it really be to attach meter numbers to account profiles?)  in the name of good customer service this wouldn't be a difficult thing to tackle.  except that monopolies have no need whatsoever for good customer service.  they only need legal deniability and a city contract.  and extra taxes and fees and rampant inconsistent and incorrect readings that are so subtle the average consumer would never notice anyway.

After reading the article I was under the impression that she just shut off the main inflow valve inside the house and the leak was between the meter and there.

yeah, i reread it.  for me "turned off" meant calling the water company to cancel it. but yeah, she probably had somebody turn the valve.  i wish the article had the cause of the leak.  if it was her cause/fault then it sucks for her but if it was from pipe degradation over time or from some natural event to cause a crack the water company should take care of it.


There is a point in the line, usually either where it splits from the main line, enters your property, or at the meter.

Anything after that you are responsible for. Regular, maintenance diasaster, etc. That pipe would have been put in by the builder (not the city) and has nothing to do with the city. Unless the city did something to cause the leak (someone noted above that the city screwed up replacing the meter).
 
2014-01-09 03:57:28 PM  

soporific: There was a Law & Order episode about this kind of thing years ago. Apparently a meter reader mistakenly wrote down the wrong numbers and an electronics store had something like a $50,000 water bill. So one of the owners tried to shoot the guy, wound up killing some important official instead, and this led to a huge thing that involved homeland security. All because a meter reader switched two numbers and wouldn't admit his mistake.


Homeland security was involved because the proprietor of the store was selling "game consoles" (probably PS2s given the age of the episode) to a toy store in Algeria when there was this hysteria that a PS2 could launch missiles or crack computer codes.  The investigation in the episode was mostly centered around the murder with the family putting up a necessity defense with that douchebag Dennis Miller look-alike lawyer.

/Law and Order expert
//Fark SVU
 
2014-01-09 03:58:00 PM  
That's why I buy all my water by the acre-foot. Pennies on the dollar, folks, pennies on the dollar.
 
2014-01-09 04:13:03 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.


I live in the country and we all have wells.
Nevertheless, pool owners will pay to have water hauled to fill their pools. I asked a friend about that, because I have a lot of friends with pools, and he said, if they live were I live, and are on town water, it's cheaper to have it hauled. And you can tell them to park the truck in the sun and let it heat up for a day, too.
 
2014-01-09 04:13:20 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.


Here in AZ it's two separate charges. A "per thousand gallon" rate and a sewer rate. Our town actually recommended pumping it into the street (after getting chemical levels as low as possible) and letting it get reclaimed in that system instead - different processing as gray water than as black.
 
2014-01-09 04:17:54 PM  

The Flexecutioner: dywed88: The Flexecutioner: macross87: How do you not notice a leak of that magnitude coming from under your house?

yeah, i reread it.  for me "turned off" meant calling the water company to cancel it. but yeah, she probably had somebody turn the valve.  i wish the article had the cause of the leak.  if it was her cause/fault then it sucks for her but if it was from pipe degradation over time or from some natural event to cause a crack the water company should take care of it.


There is usually two, separate valves to shut off water to your house:

1) The valve under the edge of the house that shuts off the plumbing in the structure. This usually doesn't turn off the outside stuff, so be careful, AND

2)The valve at the meter, which stops the water from flowing onto your properrty. It is a 90° turn (inline is on, across is off).

#2 is prolly the valve you should remember. It is just a solid bar on the top that you can turn with a Cresent wrench, a spanner, or a t-bar thingy made for it (which is also fits natural gas valves: wink, wink)
 
2014-01-09 04:21:04 PM  

buzzcut73: 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.


You pay $0.70 per thousand gallons? I just checked my last bill (two bedroom apartment in Maryland/suburban DC), and last cycle we used 2400 gallons at $8/1000. That's a single rate for water plus sewer.
 
2014-01-09 04:24:02 PM  

show me: 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.


Out door out houses .
 
2014-01-09 04:25:01 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 at local rates.  They top out at $4.58/1000 gallons.
 
2014-01-09 04:26:31 PM  

lohphat: Well I use Mac/Linux...: Instead I got billed for $710, which they just took out of my account (Was enrolled in auto pay, not anymore though)

This is why you never allow access (pull payment) for direct payments. Ever.

Always push payments. It's free with my bank and 90% of the payments are EFT with no fees, if they have to send a check, it's free.


Agreed, automatic payments are the easiest way to get burned by overdrafts.

I pay my utility bills online using EFT, after receiving the email notifications from the utility companies. There is no way I'm going to allow them to take money from my account without going through me first.
 
2014-01-09 04:32:32 PM  
This just sucks and could be fixed if the utility company would graciously waive it....but Im thinking they would flay the old woman alive (to save on the cost of killing her) and auctioning off her pelt to underwrite what she owes.....Its the PRINCIPLE of the matter
i1184.photobucket.com
 
2014-01-09 04:32:58 PM  
With all that leaking water, you know what her crotch tastes like?
Depends.
 
2014-01-09 04:42:28 PM  

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


She probably has some assets. You can't just file bankruptcy and expect to hold on to your savings.
 
2014-01-09 04:49:38 PM  

The Southern Logic Company: soporific: There was a Law & Order episode about this kind of thing years ago. Apparently a meter reader mistakenly wrote down the wrong numbers and an electronics store had something like a $50,000 water bill. So one of the owners tried to shoot the guy, wound up killing some important official instead, and this led to a huge thing that involved homeland security. All because a meter reader switched two numbers and wouldn't admit his mistake.

Homeland security was involved because the proprietor of the store was selling "game consoles" (probably PS2s given the age of the episode) to a toy store in Algeria when there was this hysteria that a PS2 could launch missiles or crack computer codes.  The investigation in the episode was mostly centered around the murder with the family putting up a necessity defense with that douchebag Dennis Miller look-alike lawyer.

/Law and Order expert
//Fark SVU


DUN DUN!!
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0629206/
 
2014-01-09 04:50:41 PM  

JerkStore: This happened to my step-father and mother, who, admittedly, live in a 12,000 square foot museum with a massive yard. One of the pipes for the underground sprinkler system broke and started pumping water out underground. No evidence up top, no wet grass, no marshy areas, just a $12,000 water bill one month. Now, my folks can afford it, but they fought it and successfully had it reduced to about $2500 once everything was said and done. A big part of the reduction (about 50%) came from the elimination of the sewer part of the bill, which is based on water use (X gallons used = X gallons into sewers), and obviously that wasn't the case here. The repairs to the pipe cost another $4500 or so, plus the major dig in the back yard that really wrecked the place. Anyway, they really had no evidence of it happening until the bill came. There was no sound of running water, and in their area, the water meters are underground near the street, so they're not accessible by the homeowners. They had a regular water bill one month, then BAM! $12,000.

A few years later, I had the pipe between the water main and my own house break. I knew instantly that it had happened because we had very low water pressure, so I didn't get a huge water bill because we shut it off right away (well, my bill was $700 instead of $80, which goes to show you how much water can be lost in a VERY short period of time). I did get a huge plumber's bill and a destroyed front yard, but that's a separate story. If I hadn't been home it could have wreaked real havoc.

It can and does happen. A leaky pipe, never mind one gushing at full bore, can spill A LOT of water in a very short period of time. Just a drippy faucet can waste hundreds of gallons of water in a year. It adds up.

/Yeah, yeah, rich people problems
//My step-father's money is not my money


You know, if you weren't humble bragging and negging yourself at the same time it would be a better story. You could either cut the haw haw we're rich biatch vibe and mention only the size of the bills, or you could give it a droopy dog tone like at the end throughout for a kind of comedic spin. And you're telling a story. "That's another story." is an ending, not a segueway. Observe:

This happened to my step-father and mother, who, admittedly, live in a larger house. One of the pipes for the underground sprinkler system broke and started pumping water out underground. No evidence up top, no wet grass, no marshy areas, just a $12,000 water bill one month. They fought it and successfully had it reduced to about $2500 once everything was said and done. A big part of the reduction (about 50%) came from the elimination of the sewer part of the bill, which is based on water use (X gallons used = X gallons into sewers), and obviously that wasn't the case here. The repairs to the pipe cost another $4500 or so, plus the major dig in the back yard that really wrecked the place. Anyway, they really had no evidence of it happening until the bill came. There was no sound of running water, and in their area, the water meters are underground near the street, so they're not accessible by the homeowners. They had a regular water bill one month, then BAM! $12,000.

A few years later, I had the pipe between the water main and my own house break. I knew instantly that it had happened because we had very low water pressure, so I didn't get a huge water bill because we shut it off right away (well, my bill was $700 instead of $80, which goes to show you how much water can be lost in a VERY short period of time). I got a huge plumber's bill and a destroyed front yard, but if I hadn't been home it could have wreaked real havoc.

It can and does happen. A leaky pipe, never mind one gushing at full bore, can spill A LOT of water in a very short period of time. Just a drippy faucet can waste hundreds of gallons of water in a year. It adds up. Also don't flush m-80s, but that's a separate story. . . .


 
2014-01-09 04:51:09 PM  

Loreweaver: lohphat: Well I use Mac/Linux...: Instead I got billed for $710, which they just took out of my account (Was enrolled in auto pay, not anymore though)

This is why you never allow access (pull payment) for direct payments. Ever.

Always push payments. It's free with my bank and 90% of the payments are EFT with no fees, if they have to send a check, it's free.

Agreed, automatic payments are the easiest way to get burned by overdrafts.

I pay my utility bills online using EFT, after receiving the email notifications from the utility companies. There is no way I'm going to allow them to take money from my account without going through me first.


I think you're both advocating the same thing. I get my bill, then go to the bank's website, enter amount and check the box for the utility company. I don't ever go to the utility's site and let them withdraw from my account.

As far as my water rates go, I guess I'm getting a deal compared to some people. That, BTW, is water only. Sewer is a separate line item that is billed at $2.40 per thousand, but they base it on your average winter use. That has its ups and downs though, because if you haven't been in your particular house for a winter yet, they use a neighborhood average until they redo the average (Jan and Feb) for your address. So right now, I'm paying for 6k/month sewer use on 3k gallons of water use.

That will be fixed next month, but I've been stuck with it since August.
 
2014-01-09 05:15:06 PM  

soporific: There was a Law & Order episode about this kind of thing years ago. Apparently a meter reader mistakenly wrote down the wrong numbers and an electronics store had something like a $50,000 water bill. So one of the owners tried to shoot the guy, wound up killing some important official instead, and this led to a huge thing that involved homeland security. All because a meter reader switched two numbers and wouldn't admit his mistake.


I banged Sam Waterson's niece back in HS.  Erin was pretty hot, had this cute Boston accent.

/cool story bro
 
2014-01-09 05:22:51 PM  

The Flexecutioner: and yeah, meter readers dont generally know your previous months bills or expectations but we live in a very tech savvy world where such a thing wouldn't be hard at all to do with apps for all your meter readers in the field.(apartments and condos might be more difficult but not really, imo. how hard would it really be to attach meter numbers to account profiles?) in the name of good customer service this wouldn't be a difficult thing to tackle. except that monopolies have no need whatsoever for good customer service. they only need legal deniability and a city contract. and extra taxes and fees and rampant inconsistent and incorrect readings that are so subtle the average consumer would never notice anyway.


Lots of meter reading is done wirelessly anyway. My condo had a wireless adapter tacked on to the meter. The nice box that held the meter and the water shutoff valve now has the transciever/antenna sticking up out of the top of the box and the lid doesn't sit on the box anymore.

There is no human intervention in reading these meters. You just drive around in a truck or walk around the neighborhood with an antenna and read the meters. The data gets dumped into the accounting system.
 
2014-01-09 05:24:49 PM  
DarthBart:  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.

In Wisconsin, or at least the various cities I've lived in, they take your water usage for January to March, and you pay the sewer rate for the entire year based on that.  The theory is that during the dead of winter you're not washing your car, watering the lawn, or filling any pools.
 
2014-01-09 05:41:15 PM  

Misch: The Flexecutioner: and yeah, meter readers dont generally know your previous months bills or expectations but we live in a very tech savvy world where such a thing wouldn't be hard at all to do with apps for all your meter readers in the field.(apartments and condos might be more difficult but not really, imo. how hard would it really be to attach meter numbers to account profiles?) in the name of good customer service this wouldn't be a difficult thing to tackle. except that monopolies have no need whatsoever for good customer service. they only need legal deniability and a city contract. and extra taxes and fees and rampant inconsistent and incorrect readings that are so subtle the average consumer would never notice anyway.

Lots of meter reading is done wirelessly anyway. My condo had a wireless adapter tacked on to the meter. The nice box that held the meter and the water shutoff valve now has the transciever/antenna sticking up out of the top of the box and the lid doesn't sit on the box anymore.

There is no human intervention in reading these meters. You just drive around in a truck or walk around the neighborhood with an antenna and read the meters. The data gets dumped into the accounting system.


i'll just presume this isn't standard everywhere.  maybe a bigger city thing?  Rogersville, TN has a pop of 5k or so.  Im not sure if they are so up to date but maybe they are.
 
2014-01-09 05:55:28 PM  
If I had to bet, I'd be willing to bet that the water company isn't coming anywhere close to reading the meter once a month.

She had a small leak and when they finally got around to reading her meter and noticing the discrepancy between her historical average use and the actual meter reading, there had been plenty of time for the difference to be huge..
 
2014-01-09 06:21:54 PM  
$3000 is a princely sum for water in Persia.
 
2014-01-09 07:04:16 PM  

BullBearMS: If I had to bet, I'd be willing to bet that the water company isn't coming anywhere close to reading the meter once a month.

She had a small leak and when they finally got around to reading her meter and noticing the discrepancy between her historical average use and the actual meter reading, there had been plenty of time for the difference to be huge..


That would make sense, except for the fact that she already had an unusually high (2-3 times greater than normal) water bill the month before which caused her to shut it off. If they did not read the meter you should only get significantly abnormal bills in the months where the meter is read.

Now, there was likely a delay between the reading and billing for that month. If the loss was as a result of that I could support her, and I can support receiving some assistance her for the leak between the meter reading date and the date of receiving the $4k bill because they really should inform her of such high usage immediately after reading the meter.

However I interpret the article as she received the prior bill and truned off the main line inside the house, but the leak was between the meter and valve she closed in the house, so informing her of the prvious month's slightly increased bill earlier wouldn't have matterred.

Now we can get into negotiation of a settlement (commonly done for huge utility, phone, etc bills), but we don't have nearly enough information to say much on that topic.
 
2014-01-09 07:08:48 PM  
Sometimes it's nice to be reminded of the positives of living in an apartment. I don't pay for water, heat, garbage removal, lawn upkeep, or outside lighting.

My fiancee and I will will probably get a house when we make things official and legal, but for now I'm enjoying not having to deal with all the little extra expenses.
 
2014-01-09 07:10:40 PM  
late to the party, but my water line is dripping just before the meter and I haven't called the water company because farm them, that's why. OK, I just forgot to call them, it's a property we're building on and we shut down the utilities when we're away. I'll call first thing tomorrow. Unless I forget./not 78
 
2014-01-09 07:22:01 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.


I don't have a meter so I'm guessing anywhere in my yard.
 
2014-01-09 08:09:09 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?


Think you got that cube size wrong. Closer to 37 feet on a side.
 
2014-01-09 08:14:41 PM  

dywed88: However I interpret the article as she received the prior bill and truned off the main line inside the house, but the leak was between the meter and valve she closed in the house, so informing her of the prvious month's slightly increased bill earlier wouldn't have matterred.


Yeah, I think this is what happened.  It would be pretty hard to have a big leak without it being very obvious unless it was underground.
 
2014-01-09 09:20:20 PM  

skozlaw: 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.


Just had a similar problem. Seal from the drain to the p-trap had a small dripping leak. Literally had never been under the sink since i moved in..noticed a smelll and couldn't pin point it until i cleaned literally everything and realized it smelled most after using the sink. was soaking into the wood of the cabinet. no idea how long it was leaking for
 
2014-01-09 09:26:01 PM  

Drunken_Polar_Bear: 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.


Do they run off the beginning bit of water first? Because the stuff that comes out of a main first is nastyyyyy
 
2014-01-09 09:32:06 PM  

detroitdoesntsuckthatbad: soporific: There was a Law & Order episode about this kind of thing years ago. Apparently a meter reader mistakenly wrote down the wrong numbers and an electronics store had something like a $50,000 water bill. So one of the owners tried to shoot the guy, wound up killing some important official instead, and this led to a huge thing that involved homeland security. All because a meter reader switched two numbers and wouldn't admit his mistake.

I banged Sam Waterson's niece back in HS.  Erin was pretty hot, had this cute Boston accent.

/cool story bro


...that actually is a pretty cool story bro

/fistbump
 
2014-01-09 10:02:40 PM  
For a while last year we were being notified we were using over 4k gallons/day. Even though we live in a desert, where is it going/  hAd aplumber come out, dug up the lines by the meter, and found nothing. Hooked a flow meterh  hooked up for a couple days, found nothing odd. Called shenanigans on the utility. what the utility was claiming was more water usage than the 3 days it took to fill my pool, a 32 foot one.
 
2014-01-09 10:03:19 PM  

sn68f: late to the party, but my water line is dripping just before the meter and I haven't called the water company because farm them, that's why. OK, I just forgot to call them, it's a property we're building on and we shut down the utilities when we're away. I'll call first thing tomorrow. Unless I forget./not 78


And do you know what happens when they losing water that goes unbilled for, they raise your rates and you still pay for it.  We've had people move out of our house, and we quit watering the lawn all the time during the summer to no avail.  The bill keeps going up, why, because the city's pipes are falling apart and water it disappearing before it reaches a meter.  Someone still has to pay for it.  Just be glad the water company isn't allowed to profit.
 
2014-01-09 10:22:29 PM  

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


I had a leak that spewed 25,000 gallons of water over the span of three days and I only noticed it because I happened to be outside, near it, in the wee quiet hours. I could barely hear it and it didn't much alter my water pressure inside.

The soil above the leak, under my front porch, had a damp spot the size of a saucer and that was it. And that's red georgia soil, not known for its drainage.

If I had a pipe burst on a certain side of my house I might not notice until the next bill because it would drain off into a creek.
 
2014-01-09 10:25:47 PM  

dywed88: BullBearMS: If I had to bet, I'd be willing to bet that the water company isn't coming anywhere close to reading the meter once a month.

She had a small leak and when they finally got around to reading her meter and noticing the discrepancy between her historical average use and the actual meter reading, there had been plenty of time for the difference to be huge..

That would make sense, except for the fact that she already had an unusually high (2-3 times greater than normal) water bill the month before which caused her to shut it off. If they did not read the meter you should only get significantly abnormal bills in the months where the meter is read.


They noticed the huge discrepancy between the estimated usage and the meter reading a month before but only put a small portion of that amount on last months bill.

That way they hope you don't notice what a bad job they are doing of reading meters. Especially if your bill includes a charge for reading your meter, which they aren't bothering to do.

.
 
2014-01-09 11:37:22 PM  
Hey, if you live in TN and are so high falutin that you need yer terlet water imported frum Persia, you dezerve to pay $3000 for it.

/read the farking article. Worst written piece of sh*t ever.
 
2014-01-10 12:27:32 AM  

taliesinwi: DarthBart:  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.

In Wisconsin, or at least the various cities I've lived in, they take your water usage for January to March, and you pay the sewer rate for the entire year based on that.  The theory is that during the dead of winter you're not washing your car, watering the lawn, or filling any pools.


My dad had a weird set up in his house in Wisconsin.  He had a well but had city sewer.  The well had a meter on it and they'd bill him for for sewer based on the water the well meter measured.

And the wellhead & pressure tank were in the basement, which was completely foreign to me not living in an environment where it gets that bloody cold.
 
2014-01-10 12:56:47 AM  
That happened to a coworker. There was a leak under their house and they didn't know until they got a $1200 + water bill. I know it was a mess for them to get the pipe repaired. I think their homeowner's insurance may have covered most of the damage. It still wasn't cheap.
 
2014-01-10 01:01:33 AM  

Ex-Texan: For a while last year we were being notified we were using over 4k gallons/day. Even though we live in a desert, where is it going/  hAd aplumber come out, dug up the lines by the meter, and found nothing.


Dumb question, but was the meter showing the usage?   Some time back I had a leak in the sprinkler system that was dumping a lot of water, but before I called anyone I read the meter, then went back out an hour later and read it again to verify the problem before doing anything.  Unfortunately in my case there actually was a leak, and then the landlord decided to be a dick about getting it fixed.
 
2014-01-10 01:05:50 AM  

lack of warmth: Just be glad the water company isn't allowed to profit.


Ahahahahahhahahahahaa.

Wait, you're serious? Let me laugh harder.

AHAHHAHAHAHHAHA

We've privatized that too!
 
2014-01-10 02:54:08 AM  

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.


Some do.  A couple years ago, I got a call from the water company because my meter read had gone from its average of 2 units per billing period to 35 units.  "We have you listed as an out-of-town owner and the usage is far higher than normal so we think there may be a water leak."  I had a friend go shut off the water and found the water leak when I came back.

/CSB
 
2014-01-10 08:05:00 AM  
I haven't read the thread at all, so sorry if this has been mentioned.

You know those really strong rare earth magnets?

They are strong enough to stop the meter from ticking over if you place one on them ( Well, they are strong enough on my water meter, YMMV)
 
2014-01-10 12:41:00 PM  
I'm glad that I live in a place where water is virtually too cheap to meter. All of the single-family residences around here pay a flat tax that comes out to about $30-$50 a month, depending on number of rooms and bathrooms. That includes a sewer charge.
 
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