Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Down The Drain

We awoke to find that we had no water this morning. I checked for breaks in our lines, only to find none. We called Metro Water, who told us that there was a break in a main. While we had a difficult time washing up with our stowed bottle water, the dog enjoyed the luxury of our surplus distilled while we waited on the tap.

When subcontractors arrived a little while later, they told us that the external temporary lines (which look like oversized garden hoses) leading to our hook-up had frozen. (Recall that water mains around the North End are being replaced). The also asked if we had received a letter explaining that the water was not being metered during construction and that we should leave our tap water running all night on cold nights to keep the hoses from freezing. We told them we had not done so. They gave us the letter explaining this and saying that Metro Water would only be charging us an average of our bills over the last 12 months since there was not going to be a meter to read for a while. I called Metro Water. They confirmed that customers off the meter would be charged a "base" charge for both water and sewer while the water lines were off meter.

Apparently, we will not be having to worry about higher water/sewer bills until the construction is finished, but if every house in the North End turns on their faucets for hours during nights of sub-zero temperatures in order to keep their temporary lines from freezing, then there is bound to be a considerable amount of viable water down the drains, and a real waste of Metro’s resources.

I cannot help but wonder whether Metro takes that waste into account whenever they put these temporary lines in during the winters. I cannot but believe that there has got to be a better way to keep the lines from freezing beyond running taps all night. But we need water, so if the temperature dips below zero again, we will have our spigots open.

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