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Reader says People have been complaining about sudden huge water bills for years at council meetings.

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Reader says People have been complaining about sudden huge water bills for years at council meetings.

People have been complaining about sudden huge water bills for years at council meetings. The answer was always that the water dept. was catching up for years of estimates. Well, why are the estimates so far off? Most people haven’t suddenly quadrupled the number of people living in the house. If the “estimate” consisted of charging the same amount as in 2006, whose fault is that?

Anyone hit with a bill like that ought to be allowed to work out a payment system. Many years ago I received a whopping bill from PSE&G after a very cold winter month. I called and learned about their averaging plan, which I have used ever since, paying the same amount every month, then paying a little extra or getting a credit every July, when they recalculate my monthly amount for the following year. Works fine. Meanwhile they readily agreed to a payment plan whereby I paid an agreed-upon amount extra every month until I caught up. For monster catch-up water bills based on 7 years of underpayments (their own fault), the water dept. ought to permit the same.

My recent quarterly water bill (still through my Verizon land line) was for $211.38–which seemed high, but it included the summer watering. Not high compared to yours! My bill says “Actual Read”–just checked. If they try to tell me later that they’re catching up since 2006, I’m not buying it.

Months ago I called the water dept. to try to find out when their contract with Verizon was going to expire. It was impossible to get through. I kept calling different people in the same department. I can’t remember if I left a message–it was too frustrating and I gave up. I would still like to know.

Has anyone figured out whether the new meters are “smart meters,” banned in some states and counties because they emit radiation and even subject to possible hacking for information about the household (not sure what; that no one is home?). I’d rather keep my old meter but I understand that eventually it won’t be readable.

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