I can only shake my head when I hear people talking about their “outrageous” and “skyrocketing” water bills. I guess it depends on how you put things into perspective.
My latest water/sewer bill — which covered July, August and September — was about $130. Or about $1.40 a day for a household of three to bathe daily, use the toilet when necessary, do several loads of laundry each week, soak the parched yard and flowers, wash the dishes, pour several dozen glasses to drink, create ice, help with cooking, allow the grandkids to run through the sprinkler on hot days and make sure waste is deposited somewhere other than in my basement.
On the other hand, my no-frills cable television bill for the same time frame was about $160 and my cell phone cost about $150 — two things most people swear they cannot do without. If I had to decide between taking a shower, watching another rerun of “Law & Order” or fielding a call on the golf course, I’d pick the shower every time.
The city raised its water rates by 25 percent and its sewer rates by 30 percent earlier this year, and those percentages alone make it appear worse than it is. By no means am I advocating for the overall revenue/spending by the city, but for the average water/sewer customer (who uses 15,000 gallons of water every three months, by the way), that hike meant only $72 more a year. That translates into about 20 cents a day. And many pay significantly less.
A friend who is among those who complain regularly about their water bill says he goes through a carton of cigarettes a week. His cost for smokes during that same three-month period: About $430 (in Missouri), or roughly $90 less than I will pay for water for an entire year. Shoot, a case of Bud Light each week for three months from your friendly neighborhood liquor outlet will cost you about $200.
Like I said, it’s all about perspective.