Saturday, March 10, 2007

Bridge Over Troublesome Water

That's what our driveway has become. I received our water bill yesterday, and I just about dropped a load even though I knew it was coming. Actually seeing it printed in black and white was a sobering experience. In our previous billing period we used 6,000 gallons of water for a total bill of $48.48. This billing period, thanks to the flowing river under my driveway, we "used" 105,500 gallons of water for a total of $1004.64. The water company even includes a handy little bar graph on the back of the bill to give you a visual representation of your water usage. Ours was almost literally off the chart.

I called the water company to see how much of that bill we were liable for. I explained the situation to the customer service rep and she asked for my account number in a classic, monotone customer service voice. I gave it to her and she asked me to hold while she located our account. After several seconds of silence, I heard her gasp, "OH MY!!" She apparently found the right account. She was very helpful, but the news was not good. I qualified for a $720 credit that they would apply to our account AFTER our next bill. Basically, they want to see that the problem has been corrected before applying the credit. So we still need to pay the $1000 bill this month, and after that, we won't need to pay a water bill until roughly 2026.

The next question of the day: where did 105,500 gallons of water go? And equally perplexing is the thought of what kind of cavernous expanse lies beneath my driveway. So many questions, very few answers.

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