# Water and sewer bills dependent on water supply pipe diameter

• posted on December 14, 2007, 12:41 pm
I moved into a new house in northern Indiana and a recent water/sewer bill was over \$100 for only two persons living in the house and not using excessive amounts of water.
After a check with my neighbors, it appears the city charges WAY more per cubic foot of water if you have a 1-inch diameter supply pipe coming into your house (and is where the city metering device is installed) than if a 5/8-inch diameter pipe is supplying the water.
So if two houses both use the same volume of water in a month, if one has a 1-inch supply pipe it is billed almost twice as much as a house with a 5/8-inch supply pipe.
Is it just me, or does seem completely ridiculous to be billed so differently for the same volume of water?
Bud H
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• posted on December 14, 2007, 12:55 pm
yes, it's rediculous. have them change you to a 5/8 meter. done.
s

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• posted on December 14, 2007, 8:09 pm
on 12/14/2007 7:55 AM S. Barker said the following:

In many locations, this would be 'YOU' install and pay for a different connection.

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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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• posted on December 14, 2007, 1:11 pm

It is likely that they are NOT charging you more for the water (in fact, it might actually be less) but they are charging you more for the meter. That's common.
Around here, I think a 2" line has a meter charge of about \$250 per month and a 1" has a charge of about \$25 per month. We're building apartments so we went with a 2" meter so the cost per apartment is \$15 per apartment per month. What I'm trying to say is that the costs are all relative, depending on what you need/want.
BTW, I think some local codes require 1" on new residential construction, so that might be the difference if you house is newer than you neighbors'.
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• posted on December 14, 2007, 1:20 pm

The charge may also reflect peak water demand (flow.) If everyone has 2" pipes, the water supplier needs bigger pipes too. Olde English houses have 1/4" water supply lines and tanks in the attic, which is handy for catastrophes, eg firefighting after a blitz.
Nick
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• posted on December 14, 2007, 3:06 pm

My father's house in suburban London was equipped thus. Traditional in red brick architecture, no one called it "olde" when brand new in 1938.
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Don Phillipson
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• posted on December 14, 2007, 4:49 pm
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Gee, I'm building 8-plex apartments and we're running a 4" into them. Now THAT's water !!!
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• posted on December 14, 2007, 10:23 pm
"Bud H" wrote

Could be related to pressure issues maybe? You neighbors may not have the full story. Try calling the water company and asking?
Here's another odd one you can come into. Once when renting, I was just over the city line and had to pay extra as compared to my next door neighbor. Had to do with x number miles from the city line. As I was right along the line, it wasnt much but that extra 15\$ a month puzzled us both til I called. I was careful on how I asked as I was a duplex and didnt want them to charge my neighbor too. I was right, had i mentioned that, they too would have been assessed the extra. Wierd but legal there.
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• posted on December 14, 2007, 7:32 pm
wrote:

Our water is purchased from the city. They add other charges to the water bill including trash collection and sewer. The sewer is double the price of the water, which means that if you use \$100 worth of water to water your garden/lawn you will pay \$200 in sewer charges! It saves a lot to plant draught-resistant grasses and plants. I agree with asking your water billing department. Obvious, but also ask how you can reduce your water bill.
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• posted on December 14, 2007, 8:11 pm
on 12/14/2007 2:32 PM Phisherman said the following:

Ah, the benefits of having a well and septic system.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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• posted on December 14, 2007, 9:38 pm

In Seattle, the sewer bill is based on the low 3 months water usage, so they are not calculating in summer watering.
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• posted on December 14, 2007, 10:34 pm

This is a pretty common scheme in the US. It's a back door way into progressive water rates, i.e. you can afford to pay more, so we're going to bill you more.
In most communities, the water itself is free. The costs that have to be recovered are the distribution and replacement costs and those are generally fixed (unrelated to the amount of water used).
Larger (ie more expensive) houses and businesses tend to have larger supply lines, so they get hit with higher costs.
-- "Tell me what I should do, Annie." "Stay. Here. Forever." - Life On Mars
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• posted on December 15, 2007, 4:04 am

Not only am I getting charged extra for the 1-inch supply pipe, but because I am 100 yards over the city line, I have to pay 20% more......good grief.....
Bud H
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• posted on December 14, 2007, 10:24 pm

My local utility (Phoenix AZ area) charges the same rate for the water, regardless of meter size. Although you do pay a usage penalty, your 2nd 10000 gallons of water costs more than the first 10000. The difference in the meter size comes into the base charge. With a 5/8 or 3/4 meter, you pay \$13 flat fee plus your usage charge - 1 inch meter costs \$20 plus usage - 2 inch meter costs \$65 plus usage.
Can't imagine why the usage rate would change with the meter size, that doesn't make sense.
You sure you don't have a leak somewhere? Have you compared the gallons used with your neighbors?
Jerry
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• posted on December 15, 2007, 12:36 am
Bud H wrote:

Offer that you will pay his ENTIRE water bill, if your neighbor will let you tap into his supply line. Or offer to give him \$50/month. Then have your water service disconnected.
You both come out ahead; only the avaricious city loses.