Soaking the Ratepayers on Water Already

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I was just reading Bob Dunning’s most recent column in the Davis Enterprise. He writes about a man named “Glen” who is having trouble absorbing his new city utility bill. We have covered this issue before, but it bears another examination. What the city did with a simple change of methodology is unconscionable.

The Vanguard discussed this issue back in September, but the human cost here is extraordinary. What has happened is that the city has gone to water usage as a means by which to gauge sewer rates. If one proceeds carefully and cautiously, that is probably a decent approximation of sewer usage. Even then there are some problems that develop from such a methodology. For instance, it will over-estimate sewer usage for people with large gardens who use a lot of water to water their plants–water that does not then go into the sewer. The real problem was insufficient city notification to the public as to what was going to happen, how it was going to happen, and what that would mean.

Let me be clear, I understand the city sent out notices to the public on this. Notices do not work. We get too many notices. Notices blend in with everything else the city and everyone else decides to dump into our mailbox.

What would have worked is for a year to have an additional line on a person’s sewer bill which basically read: “your bill under 2008 methodology.” It should then have instructed an individual who thinks that bill is too high to contact the city. That would have gotten people’s attention and it would have avoided this particular problem.

However, the city did not do that and people during one of the worst economic times in memory are having to deal with huge increases to their water bills until such time as they can bring it down. Where is the city’s responsibility here to bridging that gap? Who is stepping up to make sure the public is not getting crippled at a time when the economy is in the tank? The answer is no one.

But in a lot of ways, the situation is worse than that. People who read this blog have a fairly good idea that worse is coming down the pike. But the general public does not know what is in store for them. The city is on the verge of approving two massive new projects involving our water–a new wastewater treatment plant and a new water supply diversion system.

The cost of these two projects unless something dramatically changes is going to be half a billion dollars. And really, I think that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I think the cost is really going to be higher than the current estimates.

People with the change in methodology have gotten just a taste of what is really coming towards them. I have said this before, people wondered how I could support a $120 per year increase for Measure W. Frankly that’s about $10 a month and the money goes for education. When these changes come down you are likely looking at no less than that increase PER MONTH to your water bill and the proceeds go to pay for city and private engineers to construct these two massive public works projects.

If you were worried about your finances with Measure W, that’s nothing and it’s a good investment into the future of our community. This is simply frightening.

What concerns me most is the lack of consideration of alternatives. Every time that a certain councilmember has raised these questions, it seems she is cut off.

Here is what we have been told:

1. The outflow water does not meet current standards.

Assuming that is true, what is the impact of a high selenium content on the environment and is that impact really worth the costs of a new wastewater treatment plant and a new water supply project.

2. The only solution is to find a new water source

Are there possible alternatives? Part of my concern here is that the same people who are advising the city and are experts on water are those who would stand to profit from a new water supply project.

3. If we do not act now on Sacramento River water, we will lose our place in line

This line has continually moved the project forward for the past decade with very little actual decision-making. We have basically created trajectory with no policy. But this is actually the crucial question.

Does the Sacramento River Water reduce the pollutant problem or does it merely shift it? Will the river be a reliable supply of water during drought years? Will we even get river water during the dry season of drought years?

There have been suggestions that they only open the spigot when the river is over a certain level and that the time of year when we are most likely to get water would be during winter months. Is this really the solution to our problems? Or are we kind of deluding ourselves?

We are going to invest a lot of money into this system, is it really going to give us water and is it water that we can afford? In other words, is this really the change that we need or should we not go to the drawing board and figure out possibly if there is another way?

I do not know the answers to these. What I would like to do though is to talk to people who are not financially invested in our decision. I do not think that is really too much to ask.

Do people like “Glen” know this is even under consideration? How would they respond? Are we going to end up pricing people right out of this city with the high utility bills and increasing tax burden, not to mention the cost of housing and everything else.

I hear people complain all the time about the cost of housing and attribute it to lack of growth in the last ten years, which is not necessarily borne out by data, but those same people seem unmoved by the potential 800-pound gorilla sitting in the back of the room. We need leadership and innovation on this issue. I don’t want to hear industry buzzwords about “value engineering” and “cost reduction.” I want to see real tough decision-making and thinking outside of the box that the consultants have already placed us into.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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96 thoughts on “Soaking the Ratepayers on Water Already”

  1. SODAite

    Good post, David. I believe the CC finally agreed to approach the UCD expert Sue has suggested and ask him to advise on the situation. Am I right and when should we hear his opinion? Thanks again.

  2. SODAite

    Good post, David. I believe the CC finally agreed to approach the UCD expert Sue has suggested and ask him to advise on the situation. Am I right and when should we hear his opinion? Thanks again.

  3. SODAite

    Good post, David. I believe the CC finally agreed to approach the UCD expert Sue has suggested and ask him to advise on the situation. Am I right and when should we hear his opinion? Thanks again.

  4. SODAite

    Good post, David. I believe the CC finally agreed to approach the UCD expert Sue has suggested and ask him to advise on the situation. Am I right and when should we hear his opinion? Thanks again.

  5. Anonymous

    The claim that Davis is being forced to meet deadlines or face penalties needs to be looked at again. Much like Obama will be postponing changes because of budgetary constraints ,the State will be postponing putting pressure on local communities to meet these new waste water treatment standards.

  6. Anonymous

    The claim that Davis is being forced to meet deadlines or face penalties needs to be looked at again. Much like Obama will be postponing changes because of budgetary constraints ,the State will be postponing putting pressure on local communities to meet these new waste water treatment standards.

  7. Anonymous

    The claim that Davis is being forced to meet deadlines or face penalties needs to be looked at again. Much like Obama will be postponing changes because of budgetary constraints ,the State will be postponing putting pressure on local communities to meet these new waste water treatment standards.

  8. Anonymous

    The claim that Davis is being forced to meet deadlines or face penalties needs to be looked at again. Much like Obama will be postponing changes because of budgetary constraints ,the State will be postponing putting pressure on local communities to meet these new waste water treatment standards.

  9. Don Shor

    Dixon:
    “The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board had issued the city three cease-and-desist order for the city’s wastewater treatment plant in 1996, 1997 and 2005 because of insufficient capacity and groundwater pollution, according to a water board press release. The board said the city has never fully complied with those orders and has taken no action to alleviate the problem, caused by excessive salt in the city’s sewage.”
    –San Francisco Business Times, January 2008

  10. Don Shor

    Dixon:
    “The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board had issued the city three cease-and-desist order for the city’s wastewater treatment plant in 1996, 1997 and 2005 because of insufficient capacity and groundwater pollution, according to a water board press release. The board said the city has never fully complied with those orders and has taken no action to alleviate the problem, caused by excessive salt in the city’s sewage.”
    –San Francisco Business Times, January 2008

  11. Don Shor

    Dixon:
    “The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board had issued the city three cease-and-desist order for the city’s wastewater treatment plant in 1996, 1997 and 2005 because of insufficient capacity and groundwater pollution, according to a water board press release. The board said the city has never fully complied with those orders and has taken no action to alleviate the problem, caused by excessive salt in the city’s sewage.”
    –San Francisco Business Times, January 2008

  12. Don Shor

    Dixon:
    “The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board had issued the city three cease-and-desist order for the city’s wastewater treatment plant in 1996, 1997 and 2005 because of insufficient capacity and groundwater pollution, according to a water board press release. The board said the city has never fully complied with those orders and has taken no action to alleviate the problem, caused by excessive salt in the city’s sewage.”
    –San Francisco Business Times, January 2008

  13. mike harrington

    THe CC is being advised to carry out these projects by the very engineers who will mostly likely get the work to do them.

    The river water is all about getting a guaranteed source of new water for new urban development maround Davis as well as the county. (Recent state law changes require that each new large urban development show in the EIR process where the water is coming from.)

    Sue, Lamar, every week both of you should be working to derail this freight train to disaster.

  14. mike harrington

    THe CC is being advised to carry out these projects by the very engineers who will mostly likely get the work to do them.

    The river water is all about getting a guaranteed source of new water for new urban development maround Davis as well as the county. (Recent state law changes require that each new large urban development show in the EIR process where the water is coming from.)

    Sue, Lamar, every week both of you should be working to derail this freight train to disaster.

  15. mike harrington

    THe CC is being advised to carry out these projects by the very engineers who will mostly likely get the work to do them.

    The river water is all about getting a guaranteed source of new water for new urban development maround Davis as well as the county. (Recent state law changes require that each new large urban development show in the EIR process where the water is coming from.)

    Sue, Lamar, every week both of you should be working to derail this freight train to disaster.

  16. mike harrington

    THe CC is being advised to carry out these projects by the very engineers who will mostly likely get the work to do them.

    The river water is all about getting a guaranteed source of new water for new urban development maround Davis as well as the county. (Recent state law changes require that each new large urban development show in the EIR process where the water is coming from.)

    Sue, Lamar, every week both of you should be working to derail this freight train to disaster.

  17. Anonymous

    Why don’t we just pay the fines instead of building a WW plant? Even at $10,000/day we would only pay 3.65 million/year. At 250 million for a WW plant we could pay fines for 68 years and still be ahead.

  18. Anonymous

    Why don’t we just pay the fines instead of building a WW plant? Even at $10,000/day we would only pay 3.65 million/year. At 250 million for a WW plant we could pay fines for 68 years and still be ahead.

  19. Anonymous

    Why don’t we just pay the fines instead of building a WW plant? Even at $10,000/day we would only pay 3.65 million/year. At 250 million for a WW plant we could pay fines for 68 years and still be ahead.

  20. Anonymous

    Why don’t we just pay the fines instead of building a WW plant? Even at $10,000/day we would only pay 3.65 million/year. At 250 million for a WW plant we could pay fines for 68 years and still be ahead.

  21. Elaine Roberts Musser

    Good article DPD, and right on the money (pardon the pun!). But it should be noted it is only the sewer rates that have increased thus far. If we also allow the water project to move forward as scheduled, citizens’ water rates will also go through the roof. There are many who are not going to be able to afford that much of an increase, something I have repeatedly noted to the Davis City Council and the Davis Dept. of Public Works.

    Think about it. Many sewer rates increased by as much as 400%. El Macero is up in arms about the issue, and is stubbornly opposing the massive sewer rate increases. If we institute the water project at the same time as the sewer upgrade, water rate increases are expected to be even greater than the sewer rate increases. Frankly, the prospect of two massive public works projects being started at the same time is frightening to many cash-strapped Davisites.

    As for the wording on your water bill, the only reason it now states the rate is based on water consumption is because I went in front of the City Council and vehemently pointed out the misleading wording on the city utility bill – which gave NO indication the sewer bill would be based on water consumption. Ruth Asmundson agreed with my position and requested Bob Weir somehow put this information on the city services bill.

    I am also concerned that this water project is being pushed forward because 1) Woodland needs us to join them in paying for this joint water project between Davis, Woodland and UCD; 2) the state conveniently pays UCD’s water bill, so they don’t feel the cost burden of a huge rate hike. Someone correct me if I am wrong here.

    It is also troubling to think we would pay big bucks for a water project that did not yield us the necessary water at the very time when we need it the most – in the summer. This issue needs to be thoroughly investigated, as does the issue of pollutants in the Sacramento River.

    However, the bigger issue is just plain cost – can Davis afford such a gargantuan water project on top of the mammoth sewer plant upgrade. If we truly cannot afford both public works projects at the same time, then we should put the water project off if at all possible until we can afford it.

  22. Elaine Roberts Musser

    Good article DPD, and right on the money (pardon the pun!). But it should be noted it is only the sewer rates that have increased thus far. If we also allow the water project to move forward as scheduled, citizens’ water rates will also go through the roof. There are many who are not going to be able to afford that much of an increase, something I have repeatedly noted to the Davis City Council and the Davis Dept. of Public Works.

    Think about it. Many sewer rates increased by as much as 400%. El Macero is up in arms about the issue, and is stubbornly opposing the massive sewer rate increases. If we institute the water project at the same time as the sewer upgrade, water rate increases are expected to be even greater than the sewer rate increases. Frankly, the prospect of two massive public works projects being started at the same time is frightening to many cash-strapped Davisites.

    As for the wording on your water bill, the only reason it now states the rate is based on water consumption is because I went in front of the City Council and vehemently pointed out the misleading wording on the city utility bill – which gave NO indication the sewer bill would be based on water consumption. Ruth Asmundson agreed with my position and requested Bob Weir somehow put this information on the city services bill.

    I am also concerned that this water project is being pushed forward because 1) Woodland needs us to join them in paying for this joint water project between Davis, Woodland and UCD; 2) the state conveniently pays UCD’s water bill, so they don’t feel the cost burden of a huge rate hike. Someone correct me if I am wrong here.

    It is also troubling to think we would pay big bucks for a water project that did not yield us the necessary water at the very time when we need it the most – in the summer. This issue needs to be thoroughly investigated, as does the issue of pollutants in the Sacramento River.

    However, the bigger issue is just plain cost – can Davis afford such a gargantuan water project on top of the mammoth sewer plant upgrade. If we truly cannot afford both public works projects at the same time, then we should put the water project off if at all possible until we can afford it.

  23. Elaine Roberts Musser

    Good article DPD, and right on the money (pardon the pun!). But it should be noted it is only the sewer rates that have increased thus far. If we also allow the water project to move forward as scheduled, citizens’ water rates will also go through the roof. There are many who are not going to be able to afford that much of an increase, something I have repeatedly noted to the Davis City Council and the Davis Dept. of Public Works.

    Think about it. Many sewer rates increased by as much as 400%. El Macero is up in arms about the issue, and is stubbornly opposing the massive sewer rate increases. If we institute the water project at the same time as the sewer upgrade, water rate increases are expected to be even greater than the sewer rate increases. Frankly, the prospect of two massive public works projects being started at the same time is frightening to many cash-strapped Davisites.

    As for the wording on your water bill, the only reason it now states the rate is based on water consumption is because I went in front of the City Council and vehemently pointed out the misleading wording on the city utility bill – which gave NO indication the sewer bill would be based on water consumption. Ruth Asmundson agreed with my position and requested Bob Weir somehow put this information on the city services bill.

    I am also concerned that this water project is being pushed forward because 1) Woodland needs us to join them in paying for this joint water project between Davis, Woodland and UCD; 2) the state conveniently pays UCD’s water bill, so they don’t feel the cost burden of a huge rate hike. Someone correct me if I am wrong here.

    It is also troubling to think we would pay big bucks for a water project that did not yield us the necessary water at the very time when we need it the most – in the summer. This issue needs to be thoroughly investigated, as does the issue of pollutants in the Sacramento River.

    However, the bigger issue is just plain cost – can Davis afford such a gargantuan water project on top of the mammoth sewer plant upgrade. If we truly cannot afford both public works projects at the same time, then we should put the water project off if at all possible until we can afford it.

  24. Elaine Roberts Musser

    Good article DPD, and right on the money (pardon the pun!). But it should be noted it is only the sewer rates that have increased thus far. If we also allow the water project to move forward as scheduled, citizens’ water rates will also go through the roof. There are many who are not going to be able to afford that much of an increase, something I have repeatedly noted to the Davis City Council and the Davis Dept. of Public Works.

    Think about it. Many sewer rates increased by as much as 400%. El Macero is up in arms about the issue, and is stubbornly opposing the massive sewer rate increases. If we institute the water project at the same time as the sewer upgrade, water rate increases are expected to be even greater than the sewer rate increases. Frankly, the prospect of two massive public works projects being started at the same time is frightening to many cash-strapped Davisites.

    As for the wording on your water bill, the only reason it now states the rate is based on water consumption is because I went in front of the City Council and vehemently pointed out the misleading wording on the city utility bill – which gave NO indication the sewer bill would be based on water consumption. Ruth Asmundson agreed with my position and requested Bob Weir somehow put this information on the city services bill.

    I am also concerned that this water project is being pushed forward because 1) Woodland needs us to join them in paying for this joint water project between Davis, Woodland and UCD; 2) the state conveniently pays UCD’s water bill, so they don’t feel the cost burden of a huge rate hike. Someone correct me if I am wrong here.

    It is also troubling to think we would pay big bucks for a water project that did not yield us the necessary water at the very time when we need it the most – in the summer. This issue needs to be thoroughly investigated, as does the issue of pollutants in the Sacramento River.

    However, the bigger issue is just plain cost – can Davis afford such a gargantuan water project on top of the mammoth sewer plant upgrade. If we truly cannot afford both public works projects at the same time, then we should put the water project off if at all possible until we can afford it.

  25. Robin W

    Great point mad by Anonymous 12:19.

    It is appalling that the city would consider moving forward on either the water project or the sewer project without getting answers to all of the questions DPD poses from experts without a financial stake in the coutcome.

    And it is absurd that to move forward in this economic climate. Are all of our council members independently wealthy? Or are they just planning to move out of Davis before the charges for these projects show up on our utility bills?

  26. Robin W

    Great point mad by Anonymous 12:19.

    It is appalling that the city would consider moving forward on either the water project or the sewer project without getting answers to all of the questions DPD poses from experts without a financial stake in the coutcome.

    And it is absurd that to move forward in this economic climate. Are all of our council members independently wealthy? Or are they just planning to move out of Davis before the charges for these projects show up on our utility bills?

  27. Robin W

    Great point mad by Anonymous 12:19.

    It is appalling that the city would consider moving forward on either the water project or the sewer project without getting answers to all of the questions DPD poses from experts without a financial stake in the coutcome.

    And it is absurd that to move forward in this economic climate. Are all of our council members independently wealthy? Or are they just planning to move out of Davis before the charges for these projects show up on our utility bills?

  28. Robin W

    Great point mad by Anonymous 12:19.

    It is appalling that the city would consider moving forward on either the water project or the sewer project without getting answers to all of the questions DPD poses from experts without a financial stake in the coutcome.

    And it is absurd that to move forward in this economic climate. Are all of our council members independently wealthy? Or are they just planning to move out of Davis before the charges for these projects show up on our utility bills?

  29. Anonymous

    Greenwald was right – there are alternatives to industrial sized water and sewer systems. ‘Distributed’ wastewater treatment is definitely worth at least investigating. Further, I see no reason developers shouldn’t be required to build ‘low-to-no-impact’ waste+water systems into their projects. Literally take the load off the existing City infrastructure.

  30. Anonymous

    Greenwald was right – there are alternatives to industrial sized water and sewer systems. ‘Distributed’ wastewater treatment is definitely worth at least investigating. Further, I see no reason developers shouldn’t be required to build ‘low-to-no-impact’ waste+water systems into their projects. Literally take the load off the existing City infrastructure.

  31. Anonymous

    Greenwald was right – there are alternatives to industrial sized water and sewer systems. ‘Distributed’ wastewater treatment is definitely worth at least investigating. Further, I see no reason developers shouldn’t be required to build ‘low-to-no-impact’ waste+water systems into their projects. Literally take the load off the existing City infrastructure.

  32. Anonymous

    Greenwald was right – there are alternatives to industrial sized water and sewer systems. ‘Distributed’ wastewater treatment is definitely worth at least investigating. Further, I see no reason developers shouldn’t be required to build ‘low-to-no-impact’ waste+water systems into their projects. Literally take the load off the existing City infrastructure.

  33. Don Shor

    Of the 47.5% of customers who received sewer rate increases of 11% or more based on the new methodology, I wonder how many are actually active gardeners, and how many are just folks who leave their sprinkler timers on.

    Landscape irrigation should be proportional to actual water use by plants. Technically-inclined people can monitor ET rates at ipm.ucdavis.edu and adjust their timers. Or you can consult with nursery and landscape professionals. You can usually cut your sprinkler use in half by late October, and shut your sprinklers off entirely once we’ve had a couple of inches of rain.

    At this point any landscape watering would be for new plantings, raised beds and containers. This is normally watering by hand, and would be a tiny fraction of normal seasonal usage.
    If you aren’t gardening at all, and your usage is high, you probably have a leak somewhere. Check your sprinkler manifold.

    The new system is actually reasonable in concept, but there are folks who may have exceptional circumstances that could be dealt with on a case by case basis.

  34. Don Shor

    Of the 47.5% of customers who received sewer rate increases of 11% or more based on the new methodology, I wonder how many are actually active gardeners, and how many are just folks who leave their sprinkler timers on.

    Landscape irrigation should be proportional to actual water use by plants. Technically-inclined people can monitor ET rates at ipm.ucdavis.edu and adjust their timers. Or you can consult with nursery and landscape professionals. You can usually cut your sprinkler use in half by late October, and shut your sprinklers off entirely once we’ve had a couple of inches of rain.

    At this point any landscape watering would be for new plantings, raised beds and containers. This is normally watering by hand, and would be a tiny fraction of normal seasonal usage.
    If you aren’t gardening at all, and your usage is high, you probably have a leak somewhere. Check your sprinkler manifold.

    The new system is actually reasonable in concept, but there are folks who may have exceptional circumstances that could be dealt with on a case by case basis.

  35. Don Shor

    Of the 47.5% of customers who received sewer rate increases of 11% or more based on the new methodology, I wonder how many are actually active gardeners, and how many are just folks who leave their sprinkler timers on.

    Landscape irrigation should be proportional to actual water use by plants. Technically-inclined people can monitor ET rates at ipm.ucdavis.edu and adjust their timers. Or you can consult with nursery and landscape professionals. You can usually cut your sprinkler use in half by late October, and shut your sprinklers off entirely once we’ve had a couple of inches of rain.

    At this point any landscape watering would be for new plantings, raised beds and containers. This is normally watering by hand, and would be a tiny fraction of normal seasonal usage.
    If you aren’t gardening at all, and your usage is high, you probably have a leak somewhere. Check your sprinkler manifold.

    The new system is actually reasonable in concept, but there are folks who may have exceptional circumstances that could be dealt with on a case by case basis.

  36. Don Shor

    Of the 47.5% of customers who received sewer rate increases of 11% or more based on the new methodology, I wonder how many are actually active gardeners, and how many are just folks who leave their sprinkler timers on.

    Landscape irrigation should be proportional to actual water use by plants. Technically-inclined people can monitor ET rates at ipm.ucdavis.edu and adjust their timers. Or you can consult with nursery and landscape professionals. You can usually cut your sprinkler use in half by late October, and shut your sprinklers off entirely once we’ve had a couple of inches of rain.

    At this point any landscape watering would be for new plantings, raised beds and containers. This is normally watering by hand, and would be a tiny fraction of normal seasonal usage.
    If you aren’t gardening at all, and your usage is high, you probably have a leak somewhere. Check your sprinkler manifold.

    The new system is actually reasonable in concept, but there are folks who may have exceptional circumstances that could be dealt with on a case by case basis.

  37. David M. Greenwald

    Don:

    I agree with your take there, my chief complaint was the implementation of the new methodology, even though I think there is some possible shortcomings with the methodology. Had they worked this out in advance, those could have been dealt with prior to the sticker shock of seeing the new bill.

  38. David M. Greenwald

    Don:

    I agree with your take there, my chief complaint was the implementation of the new methodology, even though I think there is some possible shortcomings with the methodology. Had they worked this out in advance, those could have been dealt with prior to the sticker shock of seeing the new bill.

  39. David M. Greenwald

    Don:

    I agree with your take there, my chief complaint was the implementation of the new methodology, even though I think there is some possible shortcomings with the methodology. Had they worked this out in advance, those could have been dealt with prior to the sticker shock of seeing the new bill.

  40. David M. Greenwald

    Don:

    I agree with your take there, my chief complaint was the implementation of the new methodology, even though I think there is some possible shortcomings with the methodology. Had they worked this out in advance, those could have been dealt with prior to the sticker shock of seeing the new bill.

  41. mike harrington

    A big part of the problem for the waste water comes from the salt used in many home water softener systems. I am not aware of any city government policy or program targeting how to reduce the salt from the softeners.

  42. mike harrington

    A big part of the problem for the waste water comes from the salt used in many home water softener systems. I am not aware of any city government policy or program targeting how to reduce the salt from the softeners.

  43. mike harrington

    A big part of the problem for the waste water comes from the salt used in many home water softener systems. I am not aware of any city government policy or program targeting how to reduce the salt from the softeners.

  44. mike harrington

    A big part of the problem for the waste water comes from the salt used in many home water softener systems. I am not aware of any city government policy or program targeting how to reduce the salt from the softeners.

  45. Anonymous

    What does this mean for homeowners who have swimming pools? Swimming pools obviously lead to increased water consumption, but the water from the swimming pool is not going down the sewer, instead it is evaporating. This is just one of the numerous flaws of basing sewer rates on household water consumption. I hope a lawsuit is filed against these criminals, AKA the City Council

  46. Anonymous

    What does this mean for homeowners who have swimming pools? Swimming pools obviously lead to increased water consumption, but the water from the swimming pool is not going down the sewer, instead it is evaporating. This is just one of the numerous flaws of basing sewer rates on household water consumption. I hope a lawsuit is filed against these criminals, AKA the City Council

  47. Anonymous

    What does this mean for homeowners who have swimming pools? Swimming pools obviously lead to increased water consumption, but the water from the swimming pool is not going down the sewer, instead it is evaporating. This is just one of the numerous flaws of basing sewer rates on household water consumption. I hope a lawsuit is filed against these criminals, AKA the City Council

  48. Anonymous

    What does this mean for homeowners who have swimming pools? Swimming pools obviously lead to increased water consumption, but the water from the swimming pool is not going down the sewer, instead it is evaporating. This is just one of the numerous flaws of basing sewer rates on household water consumption. I hope a lawsuit is filed against these criminals, AKA the City Council

  49. Anonymous

    but the water from the swimming pool is not going down the sewer, instead it is evaporating.

    How much evaporation do you think happens in the winter time? Humidity is high, the temperatures lower.

    I would agree that evaporation would be a big factor in the summer, but they’re not using summer months for that calculation.

  50. Anonymous

    but the water from the swimming pool is not going down the sewer, instead it is evaporating.

    How much evaporation do you think happens in the winter time? Humidity is high, the temperatures lower.

    I would agree that evaporation would be a big factor in the summer, but they’re not using summer months for that calculation.

  51. Anonymous

    but the water from the swimming pool is not going down the sewer, instead it is evaporating.

    How much evaporation do you think happens in the winter time? Humidity is high, the temperatures lower.

    I would agree that evaporation would be a big factor in the summer, but they’re not using summer months for that calculation.

  52. Anonymous

    but the water from the swimming pool is not going down the sewer, instead it is evaporating.

    How much evaporation do you think happens in the winter time? Humidity is high, the temperatures lower.

    I would agree that evaporation would be a big factor in the summer, but they’re not using summer months for that calculation.

  53. Anonymous

    “What about lawns? We haven’t had any rain for a couple of weeks. I feel I should turn the sprinklers back on. What do you think? I have turned the sprinklers off during this time in the past and ended up with a brown lawn the next growing season.”

    Humidity is still high at night, so as to cause condensation/dew. Some watering can take place this way.

  54. Anonymous

    “What about lawns? We haven’t had any rain for a couple of weeks. I feel I should turn the sprinklers back on. What do you think? I have turned the sprinklers off during this time in the past and ended up with a brown lawn the next growing season.”

    Humidity is still high at night, so as to cause condensation/dew. Some watering can take place this way.

  55. Anonymous

    “What about lawns? We haven’t had any rain for a couple of weeks. I feel I should turn the sprinklers back on. What do you think? I have turned the sprinklers off during this time in the past and ended up with a brown lawn the next growing season.”

    Humidity is still high at night, so as to cause condensation/dew. Some watering can take place this way.

  56. Anonymous

    “What about lawns? We haven’t had any rain for a couple of weeks. I feel I should turn the sprinklers back on. What do you think? I have turned the sprinklers off during this time in the past and ended up with a brown lawn the next growing season.”

    Humidity is still high at night, so as to cause condensation/dew. Some watering can take place this way.

  57. Anonymous

    Perhaps people should re-think the need for individual swimming pools, high water use gardens, and checking for leaks in their system. I think the new water rate methodology is great. You use more, you pay more.

  58. Anonymous

    Perhaps people should re-think the need for individual swimming pools, high water use gardens, and checking for leaks in their system. I think the new water rate methodology is great. You use more, you pay more.

  59. Anonymous

    Perhaps people should re-think the need for individual swimming pools, high water use gardens, and checking for leaks in their system. I think the new water rate methodology is great. You use more, you pay more.

  60. Anonymous

    Perhaps people should re-think the need for individual swimming pools, high water use gardens, and checking for leaks in their system. I think the new water rate methodology is great. You use more, you pay more.

  61. Anonymous

    Perhaps people should re-think the need for individual swimming pools, high water use gardens, and checking for leaks in their system. I think the new water rate methodology is great. You use more, you pay more.

    I suppose you mean people who bought homes with pools or had them built in the backyards of their homes should just fill them in with dirt?

  62. Anonymous

    Perhaps people should re-think the need for individual swimming pools, high water use gardens, and checking for leaks in their system. I think the new water rate methodology is great. You use more, you pay more.

    I suppose you mean people who bought homes with pools or had them built in the backyards of their homes should just fill them in with dirt?

  63. Anonymous

    Perhaps people should re-think the need for individual swimming pools, high water use gardens, and checking for leaks in their system. I think the new water rate methodology is great. You use more, you pay more.

    I suppose you mean people who bought homes with pools or had them built in the backyards of their homes should just fill them in with dirt?

  64. Anonymous

    Perhaps people should re-think the need for individual swimming pools, high water use gardens, and checking for leaks in their system. I think the new water rate methodology is great. You use more, you pay more.

    I suppose you mean people who bought homes with pools or had them built in the backyards of their homes should just fill them in with dirt?

  65. Don Shor

    “Don,

    What about lawns? We haven’t had any rain for a couple of weeks. I feel I should turn the sprinklers back on. What do you think? I have turned the sprinklers off during this time in the past and ended up with a brown lawn the next growing season.

    Thanks,

    mark”

    ET rates are about 1/2″ a week right now, about 25% of summer water usage. When we don’t have rain in November or December, you can turn your system on every 1 – 2 weeks, let it run through one full cycle, and then turn it off again.

  66. Don Shor

    “Don,

    What about lawns? We haven’t had any rain for a couple of weeks. I feel I should turn the sprinklers back on. What do you think? I have turned the sprinklers off during this time in the past and ended up with a brown lawn the next growing season.

    Thanks,

    mark”

    ET rates are about 1/2″ a week right now, about 25% of summer water usage. When we don’t have rain in November or December, you can turn your system on every 1 – 2 weeks, let it run through one full cycle, and then turn it off again.

  67. Don Shor

    “Don,

    What about lawns? We haven’t had any rain for a couple of weeks. I feel I should turn the sprinklers back on. What do you think? I have turned the sprinklers off during this time in the past and ended up with a brown lawn the next growing season.

    Thanks,

    mark”

    ET rates are about 1/2″ a week right now, about 25% of summer water usage. When we don’t have rain in November or December, you can turn your system on every 1 – 2 weeks, let it run through one full cycle, and then turn it off again.

  68. Don Shor

    “Don,

    What about lawns? We haven’t had any rain for a couple of weeks. I feel I should turn the sprinklers back on. What do you think? I have turned the sprinklers off during this time in the past and ended up with a brown lawn the next growing season.

    Thanks,

    mark”

    ET rates are about 1/2″ a week right now, about 25% of summer water usage. When we don’t have rain in November or December, you can turn your system on every 1 – 2 weeks, let it run through one full cycle, and then turn it off again.

  69. Don Shor

    If you take out a lawn and put in a swimming pool, you can hypothetically use less water once the pool is filled. The ET rate of grass is higher than the evaporation loss from the pool. There is a bunch of non-pool areas around the pool that is concrete or rock, thus unirrigated. That, plus the inherent inefficiency of most sprinkler systems, leads to a greater use of water per square foot for grass by as much as 50%.

    But when they compare actual water use in homes with pools to those without, all other things being equal, homeowners who have pools tend to use more water than those who don’t. On average, twice as much as homes without swimming pools. So it isn’t the pool that wastes water, it’s the pool owner.

    Xeriscape landscapes, of course, can use much less water than either lawns or pools. And most people overwater their landscapes, especially if they use automatic sprinklers.

  70. Don Shor

    If you take out a lawn and put in a swimming pool, you can hypothetically use less water once the pool is filled. The ET rate of grass is higher than the evaporation loss from the pool. There is a bunch of non-pool areas around the pool that is concrete or rock, thus unirrigated. That, plus the inherent inefficiency of most sprinkler systems, leads to a greater use of water per square foot for grass by as much as 50%.

    But when they compare actual water use in homes with pools to those without, all other things being equal, homeowners who have pools tend to use more water than those who don’t. On average, twice as much as homes without swimming pools. So it isn’t the pool that wastes water, it’s the pool owner.

    Xeriscape landscapes, of course, can use much less water than either lawns or pools. And most people overwater their landscapes, especially if they use automatic sprinklers.

  71. Don Shor

    If you take out a lawn and put in a swimming pool, you can hypothetically use less water once the pool is filled. The ET rate of grass is higher than the evaporation loss from the pool. There is a bunch of non-pool areas around the pool that is concrete or rock, thus unirrigated. That, plus the inherent inefficiency of most sprinkler systems, leads to a greater use of water per square foot for grass by as much as 50%.

    But when they compare actual water use in homes with pools to those without, all other things being equal, homeowners who have pools tend to use more water than those who don’t. On average, twice as much as homes without swimming pools. So it isn’t the pool that wastes water, it’s the pool owner.

    Xeriscape landscapes, of course, can use much less water than either lawns or pools. And most people overwater their landscapes, especially if they use automatic sprinklers.

  72. Don Shor

    If you take out a lawn and put in a swimming pool, you can hypothetically use less water once the pool is filled. The ET rate of grass is higher than the evaporation loss from the pool. There is a bunch of non-pool areas around the pool that is concrete or rock, thus unirrigated. That, plus the inherent inefficiency of most sprinkler systems, leads to a greater use of water per square foot for grass by as much as 50%.

    But when they compare actual water use in homes with pools to those without, all other things being equal, homeowners who have pools tend to use more water than those who don’t. On average, twice as much as homes without swimming pools. So it isn’t the pool that wastes water, it’s the pool owner.

    Xeriscape landscapes, of course, can use much less water than either lawns or pools. And most people overwater their landscapes, especially if they use automatic sprinklers.

  73. Forget a water project

    “Of the 47.5% of customers who received sewer rate increases of 11% or more based on the new methodology, I wonder how many are actually active gardeners, and how many are just folks who leave their sprinkler timers on.”

    I am not a gardener, take all the precautions you suggested, always do full loads of wash and full loads in the dishwasher. And my bill went up by 250%. I have two adult children still living w me, and I’ve told them to take shorter showers. I can’t think what else to do. What I want to know is the money collected by Public Works what they needed to pay the loan? Or did they end up overcollection with their new methodology. I know I will not support a water project on top of the sewer plant upgrade. I can’t afford it, and neither will a lot of other people be able to afford it. If I was paying about $210 for my city services bill once every two months, and it increased to $450 this year alone, can you imagine how high it will be next year, or the year after that? Now add to that a similar or higher increase in water usage! Egads!

  74. Forget a water project

    “Of the 47.5% of customers who received sewer rate increases of 11% or more based on the new methodology, I wonder how many are actually active gardeners, and how many are just folks who leave their sprinkler timers on.”

    I am not a gardener, take all the precautions you suggested, always do full loads of wash and full loads in the dishwasher. And my bill went up by 250%. I have two adult children still living w me, and I’ve told them to take shorter showers. I can’t think what else to do. What I want to know is the money collected by Public Works what they needed to pay the loan? Or did they end up overcollection with their new methodology. I know I will not support a water project on top of the sewer plant upgrade. I can’t afford it, and neither will a lot of other people be able to afford it. If I was paying about $210 for my city services bill once every two months, and it increased to $450 this year alone, can you imagine how high it will be next year, or the year after that? Now add to that a similar or higher increase in water usage! Egads!

  75. Forget a water project

    “Of the 47.5% of customers who received sewer rate increases of 11% or more based on the new methodology, I wonder how many are actually active gardeners, and how many are just folks who leave their sprinkler timers on.”

    I am not a gardener, take all the precautions you suggested, always do full loads of wash and full loads in the dishwasher. And my bill went up by 250%. I have two adult children still living w me, and I’ve told them to take shorter showers. I can’t think what else to do. What I want to know is the money collected by Public Works what they needed to pay the loan? Or did they end up overcollection with their new methodology. I know I will not support a water project on top of the sewer plant upgrade. I can’t afford it, and neither will a lot of other people be able to afford it. If I was paying about $210 for my city services bill once every two months, and it increased to $450 this year alone, can you imagine how high it will be next year, or the year after that? Now add to that a similar or higher increase in water usage! Egads!

  76. Forget a water project

    “Of the 47.5% of customers who received sewer rate increases of 11% or more based on the new methodology, I wonder how many are actually active gardeners, and how many are just folks who leave their sprinkler timers on.”

    I am not a gardener, take all the precautions you suggested, always do full loads of wash and full loads in the dishwasher. And my bill went up by 250%. I have two adult children still living w me, and I’ve told them to take shorter showers. I can’t think what else to do. What I want to know is the money collected by Public Works what they needed to pay the loan? Or did they end up overcollection with their new methodology. I know I will not support a water project on top of the sewer plant upgrade. I can’t afford it, and neither will a lot of other people be able to afford it. If I was paying about $210 for my city services bill once every two months, and it increased to $450 this year alone, can you imagine how high it will be next year, or the year after that? Now add to that a similar or higher increase in water usage! Egads!

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