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July 31, 2007


water bills

So what are they gonna do about water bills? Are other people having problem? My neihgbor had a $6,000 water bill, little house, no leaks because a plumber checked. They said there was nothing he could do -- the meter said he had used all that water. How much are other peoples bills?

Car Driver

Does this mean that this system will assist the local cops to extricate themselves from their seats and go to the nearest intersection to stop traffic from blocking the junction of Prospect and Washington, you know officer....the Dunkin' Junction!

Every morning and afternoon this is blocked by people running lights, stopping in the intersection etc. What part of the sign "Do not block intersection" needs to be highlighted for drivers.


I see people running red lights all the time along Somerville Av. No enforcement, basically. Can they get some stupid cameras? It woul dbe good money for the city.


there ya go...three good ideas already!



So you are telling me you want this city to give out MORE tickets than they already do? They have Meter Maids patrolling this city 24-7 in their own personal cars giving out tickets left and right.

I travel along Somerville Ave. on a daily basis and maybe see an occasional car run a red light, but that happens all over the country for God's sake.

The Police Force in this city is in such dire straits that they can just barely keep the the "lid" on serious crime. They do have a traffic wagon but how much can one person see. As for camera's they have been proven to be a waste of money.

Welcome to city life and Massachusetts driving...get used to it.


Car Driver,

See above post.

I think the Police have far more important things to do than to get you home 5 minutes quicker!


Both of these programs are more or less a waste of tax money. Years ago politicians would have made sure all of these services were done correctly because they actually had to see and talk to their constituents. These two programs are just more tax money wasted on creating a faceless burecracy made up of numbers and cocky Harvard amd Tufts Public Policy grads (most likely from the suburbs ot the midwest) trying to solve city problems by F**** them up even more. I love it how the naive politicians buy into this nonsense since they think it makes them look smart. Anyways now that were on it, why don't we make a program called IllegalStat, the first city management program that uses statistics to lie to residents about the problem of illegal immigration.

Another water bill

On the water bills, there is nothing you can do. The people over at the water dept will tell you it's a leaky toilet or some such nonesense and you just have to pay it. I had a bill over $10K (spread over 2 years) and there were no leaks. I fought it and fought it and got nowhere. Unless you want to get a lawyer and sue them - nothing to be done. Just tell them to put the electronic meter on it and you don't want estimates.

I personally think there is a scam going on and they're trying to put liens on people's houses so they can grab them. I wouldn't put it past this gang of criminals.


Another water bill --

OMG -$10K down the drain, literally. Did the City allow you to pay over time?

I'm a renter, and I just recently learned from our landlord that the water bill is approx. $700.00 for all three rental units, per billing cycle, and thata seems like a lot of money. (I'm not sure if he said the billing is done every 2 or 3 months, but you would know that.)

Timely water payments

To the person wondering about time payments, the answer is yes, you can pay it over a time period but the city charges 14% interest per year, so the bill would double about every 6 years if you just left it as a lean on the property. I can't believe with all the lawyers around these days that some group of agrieved water bill consumers hasn't filed a class action suit against the city or the MWRA (Men-Who-Ride-Around) since it is obvious that a typical residence would have a hard time using that much water unless you were filling up your neighbors swimming pools and so on.

My quarterly water bill runs between $400 and $600 for 6 people in the house or about $150 a month. We use about 3500 cubic feet of water plus the sewer charge, which is higher than the water charge but remember that the sewer is based on how much goes through the inlet water meter.


10Ks? Worth a lawsuit. Mine has been kind of high and variable in unexplained ways (and usage has not changed at all: same two people, no garden watering).


It would be good to find out what happens when people are away for the entire quarter and they even shut the water off. See what the water bill is in that case.

Another water bill

It's every 4 months now that they bill. You get 3 bills a year. Since this all went down my bill is ~ $900 a year. Big difference from $5K a year, huh??!! More people live in the house now than before too and there was no leak (according to my plumber). I tried to eplain to them that I would have had to pump the Quabbin Reservoir dry for the amount they charged me.

I would agree on a lawsuit, but you have to prove you did NOT use the water. I had them test the meter and they said it was fine, so - according to them - it was a leak. I went back and back and forth with them to get a resolution, but they just squirm/avoid and I finally said "F it!" and gave up.

I absorbed the hit, but every chance I get I'll call that damn 311 # and get my 10K back somehow. Oh yeah... and we've been in Somerville for generations, so it ain't like they screw over newcomers. They'll screw anyone over.


Timely - thank you for that information. 14%, what a rip-off.

Another water bill - Damn, that so stinks!

Democracy - that is a good idea.

Timely water payments

I can't believe that they came out, looked at the meter, said it was fine and STILL didn't accept the assumption that it was a bogus bill. Maybe they should adapt a new system where when someone gets one of these ridiculous bills they put it into like a suspense account status, check things out, then AVERAGE the bill out based on the next 5 or 10 bills. I know it sounds silly, but would it be any worse than saying a $10K bill is legit when it clearly isn't? Especially for someone like yourself who's been here for so long. Like I say, all it will take is a good judgement for the plantiffs and maybe some punitive damages in the 7 figures and the city will get its act together and smarten up.

Now that you mention it, I am getting my water bills once every 4 months. Therte's one that's due in a week or so that is for useage since March or April and its about $600 or $150 a month. That's for 6 people. That's more than the electric bill. Maybe the MWRA can pay for the next fireworks display!


Let's reason this through. If it WAS a leak and you did not fix it, the bill should still be 10K. How else can that be explained?

water bills

Thats right. If it was a leak, and it wasnt fixed, the bill should be high. But what happened is that the high bill is always for some time in the past, when its 'water under the bridge' and the homeowner cant prove that they didnt use it.

I think its a scam too. $150.00 month would be reasonable. But $three thousands every month? Where does all that money go, when you start adding it to all the other peoples bills? people in other states pay $30.00 every month for the same amount of water. Who is getting rich in Somerville?


Perhaps anybody who has had bills such as this one (assuming it's true, which is a BIG IF) should get together, for a group.

UP, Up, and Away

Let's face it, there have been several times in the recent past when the Water Department has admitted to billing 'problems'. It's like a cockroach, for every one you see, there are hundreds that you don't. And let's look at the long list of 'professionals' that have staffed and supervised the Water Department in recent years. 'Nuff said?? I know someone who's very anal about bills. When a water bill came that seemed a tad high, they checked the meter and found the reading on the meter did not match the reading on the bill. I wish I had the time.......

water bills

And another problem is that Tufts university doesnt get charged for the water it uses. Think about the showers, the grass watering, dining halls washing dishes.


Isn't the main Tufts address in Medford?

Ron Newman

The administration building is on Holland St in Somerville, and about half of their other buildings are in Somerville. Why would they not be charged for water by each city?


Why would are they not being charged for water use? Just another way we get 'taken to the shower' every day the illustrious Tufts University.

Ron Newman

I don't understand. How do you know that Tufts is not charged for water?


... As usual, disinformation, at best.

Water water everywhere...

Think about it for a second. If your water bill was that much higher than it all of a sudden drops to a more normal amount and the plumber said there were no leaks or anything, wouldn't the water department notice at least a steady trickle in the existing meter? I mean lets face it if the water was being used that much over a normal house there would be some obvious sign or evidence. We're talking like 70,000 cubic feet for a $3,000 bill I would think. The whole thing is ridiculous. There needs to be some sort of dispute resolution board or appeals board or something, just like with tax abatements. just saying Oh well, it looks like you used that much when you really didn't and then charging through the nose for it is grand larceny. I would challenge everyone who has ever gotten a huge bill like that which is way out of whack to reality to call their alderman or the mayor's office and register their complaint. If enough people call the alderman about it, trust me, their going to do something. You don;t complain, they just assume your happy with it.

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