On Sun, 21 Jan 2007 00:15:41 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"
OK. I've never gotten a water bill from the water company. It seems
we would have to pay someone to read each house's meter, so we just
let them read the main meter and divide by 109, the number of houses.
So I get a bill from the HOA management company, with no details at
all, just a dollar amount.
And 109 people are OK with that? Only way I'd accept that policy is if I
was one of the user abusers and let the other homeowners subsidize me. Get
a copy of the real bill, read your own meter and see if you are getting
Most people are like sheep. And it's more than 109, because people
sell and new people buy, and I've only heard one person ask and no one
complain. These were starter homes for the first set of buyers, and
I'm told Americans on average move every 5 years, so in 27 years it
must be close to 400** **I lowered this because I think they only get every five years by
counting college and grad students and the low-ranks of the army who
might move every year.
It requires a 5-sided socket to open the box for my meter. Although
maybe vice grips would do it. The bill is low anyhow. I'll have to
look for a new bill but I vaguely remember years ago it was 20 dollars
every three months.
I agree, it certainly makes no sense to measure in
gallons. In fact, acre-feet is used for large
amounts of water.
OTOH, it makes no sense to call the units "units."
It would be much simpler to use CCF (for 100
cubic feet) as the unit, as apparently do many
Hundred weight and tons as well as bushels are
simply long used standards for sales, but they
currently often make no sense. Why would you
measure potatoes in sacks instead of hundred
weight and why would you use bushels instead of
tons for corn? There is an obvious reason for
doing so but it has little meaning to the ordinary
Not for me. I know how much a gallon is and I can relate to using any
quantity. Using x units of water makes no intuitive sense to me.
A "ton" has a uniform definition.
In order for it to make sense to me I would have to determine what the
"unit" might mean.
Would you buy a car if it was advertised to get "50 miles per unit"?
Since I am in the US the standard commercial definition of a ton is
2,000 lbs. A 1000 kg mass is spelled "tonne" to distinguish it from
others. The "ton" that is derived from Imperial measurement is noted as
a "long ton" to distinguish it from others.
So how hard is it, exactly, to just state an actual commonly used volume
such as gallons instead of inventing a unit of measure called "unit"
that requires someone to inquire what it might mean?
It just plain silly to reinvent stuff like that especially in the case
of water there is a really common volume measurement that is recognized
by everyone. What if you walked into a bakery and donuts were priced
$5/unit? or you were interested in a new car and found that the fuel
economy was 25 miles/unit?
Go back in history to that dim time when primitive computer systems
used tape storage, magnetic core memory and single registers of
limited capacity. Processing bills for say, a thousand residential
customers took hours rather than seconds as it would today.
Every reduction in the number of bits manipulated by a computer meant
that less expensive hardware could be used, and resulted in signifcant,
measurable reductions in expensive and limited processing time.
At the same time, the units used in engineering to calculate
resevoir and tank capacity, volume flow in pipes and tubes, etc.
all used cubic feet or other units more directly related to cubic
feet rather than gallons. So in fact, the historical measure in
a given area may well have been cubic feet from the beginning
of metered water supply in that area, rather than gallons. In such an
area, changing to gallons would be the arbitrary decision.
When the game is over, the pawn and the king are returned to the same box.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - firstname.lastname@example.org
On Sat, 20 Jan 2007 15:17:32 -0600, email@example.com ()
It was always "thousands of gallons" in the DC area, dating back as
far as I can remember (long before computers).
I suspect they went to Cu/Ft "units" as a way to trick people who were
used to 1000 gallons as the billing unit. This allowed them to make
you think you were still getting 1000 gallons for "x" dollars but it
is only 748
I don't think it would be the nerd who is responsible. Decisions like
that are often made by the creative ambiguity manager of the marketing
department. And it even extends to stuff like life insurance. You may
have heard that sleezy TV commercial "you can buy life insurance for
Our water is measured in cubic metres and I suspect that's true for
most of the world (i.e., outside of the United States). There are
1,000 litres per cubic metre.
I received my water bill earlier this week. Here's the breakdown:
Days in billing period: 102 days
Total consumption: 14 cubic metres
Daily consumption: 137 litres/day (36.4 US gallons)
Total charges came to $55.23 and consisted of the following:
Basic meter charge: $34.98
Environmental Protection: $10.46
Wastewater Management: $4.60
We are a two-person household and our home is equipped with low-flush
toilets, low-flow showerheads, and a water-efficient front load washer
and dishwasher (BOSCH). We're not overly cautious in our water use
(e.g., during this billing period I power washed our home, back patio
and driveway), but neither do we believe in wasting it.
On Sat, 20 Jan 2007 09:12:52 -0600, "Steve Barker"
Oh ye of little faith (And a narrow outlook).
There are many units of volume used world wide.
The most common, universal and easy to use metrically around much of
the world, is litres.
US neighbour Canada officially uses litres but still 'thinks' in
gallons, but that's Imperial gallons (which are about) 20% larger than
In North America we use so much water that even domestically measuring
in gallons is cumbersome.
So units such as those mentioned (One unit = 748 gallons etc.) are the
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