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?
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 $15
per apartment per month. What I'm trying to say is that the costs are
all relative, depending on what you need/want.
BTW, I think some local codes require 1" on new residential
construction, so that might be the difference if you house is newer
than you neighbors'.
The charge may also reflect peak water demand (flow.) If everyone has
2" pipes, the water supplier needs bigger pipes too. Olde English houses
have 1/4" water supply lines and tanks in the attic, which is handy for
catastrophes, eg firefighting after a blitz.
Could be related to pressure issues maybe? You neighbors may not have the
full story. Try calling the water company and asking?
Here's another odd one you can come into. Once when renting, I was just
over the city line and had to pay extra as compared to my next door
neighbor. Had to do with x number miles from the city line. As I was right
along the line, it wasnt much but that extra 15$ 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.
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.
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
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?
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.
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