TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Flat Rate Water, was: Verizon Complaints About EVDO

Flat Rate Water, was: Verizon Complaints About EVDO

Danny Burstein (
Mon, 12 Sep 2005 20:00:04 UTC

In <> John L. Shelton
<> writes:

[ snip ]

> The moral issue is: whether an "unlimited" service sold to an
> individual can be shared with others. Past history suggests "no." We
> don't share our unlimited local phone lines with the neighborhood, nor
> our cable TV. We don't rent one trash pickup in the nbhd and tell
> everyone to bring their trash on over to one house for pickup. We
> don't jam everyone possible into a car at the drive-in theatre in an
> effort to avoid paying for extra cars. In places with unmetered water
> (like NYC), we don't extend hoses to our neighbors so they don't have
> to pay for a basic water hookup.

Minor correction and update:

NYC _used_ to have a kind-of flat rate service [a]
for residential water users. You paid a fee based
on your frontage (size of your property) _and_
the number of faucets per the plans on file
with the building department.

[a] kind of like the kind-of flat
rates for phone service, I guess...

Beginning about two decades ago all new residential hookups were
metered, and bit by bit all the older ones have been switched over as

As a bit of a side trivia, NYC customers actually pay roughly _twice_
the metered rate since there's a corresponding sewer fee. There's a
small group of homeowners who have their own septic tanks and are
exempt from that -- if they know to apply ...

Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key
[to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Do you mean to tell me septic tanks are
allowed in New York City? Here in Independence, KS, _everyone_ has to
be hooked to the sewer, with no exceptions. Outside the city limits
(that area which is known as 'rural Independence') is a different
matter. Most of them are _not_ hooked to the sewer, but they are
hooked to the water, and many of them complain about the cost of
'rural water' which is much more expensive than 'city water'. I cannot
believe there are places and communities so backward that septic tanks
are allowed, except by default in small rural areas. But NYC? Not even
in Chicago do you see that any longer.

The water meter-reader comes around once per month to read ours (they
have to lift a cover off of the hole in the ground where the water
meter is located; usually it is typically in the front yard (most are
actually in the parkway; the grassy area between the sidewalk and the
street). Based on that reading, the bills are sent out by the Water
Department. But the trick comes in the factors they use to calculate
the bill. Our bills are about three times the water amount. The water
consumption is only a small part of the bill; most of the bill comes
from the sewer, and the sanitation workers. Garbage collectors come
around twice each week (Monday and Thursday in my case; other
neighborhoods are Tuesday/Friday or Wednesday/Saturday). They empty
the garbage cans and are supposed to sweep the alleys and sidewalks.
My monthly bill for water/sewer/sanitation is about $35 per month. And
once or twice a year I get a mailing telling me how the Filtration
Plant calculates what the water charges will be, and the chemicals
used to clean the water, etc, and how much the charge will be for
'rural' (out of city limits) users.

They say because I am a senior citizen and a 'hardship case' I get
the water at a cheaper rate; but the sewer and sanitation parts of
the bill are constant. If I were not a senior and/or hardship case
my bill would be about $38 or $39 per month. But septic tanks ...
my God! My grandparents, when they lived in Coffeyville in the
1950's had one of those, but only because the area they were in
had been 'rural' until it was annexed by Coffeyville sometime in
the 1940's. I remember once grandpa Townson's septic tank got
plugged up somehow; they had to dig up the yard and clean it out.
A septic tank? ... ugh ... PAT]

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