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The Madera Tribune

Water bills may bring shock and awe

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webmaster | 06/09/12

Some Maderans will be in for a shock when they start getting billed for the water they actually use starting next month. The August water bills will reflect what they use in July, and because July is a hot month when people don’t hesitate to keep their yards watered, we are likely to see a lot of jaws drop.

I know there will be some moaning in my neighborhood, where some homeowners water the sidewalks and gutters as much if not more than they water their landscaping. There’s usually a small river of runoff flowing in the neighborhood gutters on watering days, and before long that will cost somebody money.

Maybe that somebody will be Mrs. Doud and me. I’m pretty sure our sprinklers aren’t irrigating the pavement all that much, but it’s hard to get them aimed just right. We probably could do a better job.

I know some people, though, who make us look like water misers. Some sidewalks not far from where we live are gully-washers when certain houses’ sprinklers are on. Those folks probably will have heart attacks when those first bill-by-use water statements hit their mailboxes.

Another situation where water goes needlessly down the drain is when a leak occurs in an outdoor pipe. It doesn’t have to be a big leak, because even a small one can cause a lot of water to disappear into the storm sewers. I know. We’ve had one.

And do we really need to sprinkle our yards when it’s raining? I know it isn’t likely to rain much in July, if at all, but there will be times when the rain will give our landscapes enough water without having to sprinkle.

It’s always surprising to me how many yards get a double dose of water in the rain when sprinklers are left on.

Those new water meters will keep track of whether you spend too much time in the shower. I think that’s snoopy.


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