Friday, February 18, 2011

Water bills on the rise

From NBC:

DEP Commissioner Cas Holloway says some residents are seeing inflated water bills, not because of the new electronic meters, but because of costs associated with last summer’s record high temperatures.

“This is one of the hottest summers ever, so we know that people used more water,” Holloway said. “People use more water when it’s hot. It took more water to water people’s lawns.”

Indeed, the DEP provided detailed water records showing Martin’s water usage last summer spiked significantly in the early morning hours when his sprinkler system was on.

The City also cited water consumption data showing, aside from last summer, New Yorkers haven’t been using more water since the wireless meter installation began.

“Bills are not going up because wireless meters are being installed,” Holloway said.

Still, there is a stubborn perception the radio transmitters might somehow be more prone to errors. After a wireless transmitter was installed in Kay MacDermott’s basement, the retired assistant district attorney noticed the City began billing her for sewer use – even though her home is connected to a private septic tank.

Over the last four years, city water rates have jumped by more than 50 percent and the DEP is forecasting another significant increase in water prices this year. Officials suggested residents who are complaining about the new meters might be erroneously blaming the new technology, when the real culprit behind inflated bills is higher water rates.


Anonymous said...

Hate those new water meters. They should not have had the right to make us install them. Anything that works on a battery can go batty. Pretty soon we won't be able to afford water. Scary thought.

Just Sayin'... said...

I'm SO old!

How old ARE you?

I'm old enough to remember that our water was paid for through taxes!!!

Anonymous said...

I've written about this in the past in this blog but apparently I need to write about again.

A BRAND NEW MANUALLY READ water meter was installed by the DEP in the summer of 2008 at my address. There were two people living here at that time and for the next 18 months.

Since March of 2010, there has only been one person living at the same address.

A BRAND NEW ELECTRONICALLY READ meter was installed by the DEP in April of 2010. Since that time, my water usage, according to this BRAND NEW ELECTRONICALLY READ meter, has doubled despite only one person living at the same address.

Yes, that's right. As soon as the DEP began taking readings from the electronic meter with only one person living here, the supposed water usage DOUBLED from when two people were living here and the meter was read manually on a meter that had been installed in April 2008.

Please note - I'm NOT saying dollar amounts doubled, I'm saying amounts. Actual volumes. Actual units of water.

DOUBLE the amount of water usage with HALF the number people?

A hot summer CANNOT explain this away. The logical conclusion is that the problem lies with the new electronically read meters and is NOT a climate-related issue.

Clearly there is a problem either with the new technology or with the new electronically read meters themselves, which are assembled in Mexico, according to the label. Is there adequate quality control at the factory? Did the DEP think it was saving a bundle by installing cheaply made electronic meters? Who knows?

I've complained to the DEP and even THEY admit that the usage sounds high for one person but said they won't do anything.

This is a hot topic (no pun intended). An investigation into this matter would be VERY helpful - not to mention potentially interesting.