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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 11:35 AM
Original message
Should city shut off water if you can't pay?
http://www.suntimes.com/news/brown/1111232,CST-NWS-brow...

It's almost immoral to turn off the tap, says heat wave expert

August 17, 2008

BY MARK BROWN Sun-Times Columnist

When people don't pay their water bills, it stands to reason that the city should be able to shut off their water service, otherwise some customers would never bother paying.

Right?

I certainly never questioned that line of reasoning -- before I met Eric Klinenberg.

Klinenberg is an earnest young sociologist whose well-received book, Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago, dissected the shocking July 1995 weather calamity that left hundreds here dead.

While doing his research, Klinenberg came to believe there is something almost immoral about government shutting off somebody's water, in essence denying them one of the staffs of life.

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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 11:36 AM
Response to Original message
1. Absolutely NOT!
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
2. Va. Beach turned off the water for my elderly mother with back debt less than $100...
and made her get in a cab, be driven across town and pay in person.

For under $80 arrears.

Really.

My brother in Fla. says they'll turn it of for $60 unpaid.
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SmileyRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Well it worked didn't it.
Not saying it was right but turning the water off did prompt Mom to pay the bill. It's effective. That's why the do it.

About once a year they have to turn off the water on a large volume slumlord and our news shows a bunch of poor people, living in filthy conditions, who know have no water - and don't understand why, if they paid their rent on time, how come the water company turned them off. Hitting the news always flushes the scumbag out of whatever rat hole he lives in to talk to the water company instead of ignoring the letters. It usually also gets the media and the health department all over his behind and get the property fixed up a little better too.

Turning off the water is heartless, and in some cases probably downright immoral, but they do it because it works.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Making her get into a cab with a stranger and drive about 15 miles to City Hall was rubbing it in..
She was in her 80s.

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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. The new Christian way MookieWilson. A little shock with that awe!
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Retired AF Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #6
22. I just have to ask
Why did your mom have to take a taxi? Why didnt you get off your ass and help your mom?
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SmileyRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. Some Moms are in other states..........
I once tried to pay my sister's gas and electric bill when they were both bad hurt in a car accident - her family is nearly 1000 miles away. The neighbor lady kept the kids and was picking up the mail and newspaper everyday for the first week until I could get the bus out there. The power company put a past due notice on the front door ON the due date with shut off 2 days later. This was in January and you know frozen pipes and all that. The utility said they would only take cash or cashier's check in payment because they could not take my credit card over the phone nor could I direct wire the funds. So I had to western union the money to the neighbor and she had to get there in person to pay. I spent hours talking to various people, none of whom seemed to have the authority to buy my sister more time due to her situation. What a huge pain in the butt.

Anyways, not picking up Mom, or not going yourself to pay the bill doesn't mean one is lazy in every case........
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #22
38. She didn't tell me and I live 5 hours away. I found the paperwork after she died.
She was determined to be independent. That's why I "didn't get off my ass and help" her.

Fuck you.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-18-08 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #22
69. I reiterate her FUCK YOU, you insensitive know-nothing asshole.
NT!

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SmileyRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #6
25. Personally
I think utility companies are generally souless evil entities. If they gave a flying snot about humanity they would post on every single bill a number to a person assigned to work out payment arrangements with folks who hit temporary hard times like your Mom. They should also put clearly on every single bill how one can get help with utilities through various approved government and charity programs. I would also like to see utilities be set up to add account information like if someone is quite ill or elderly and be required to send someone out there in person - even if it's "the meterman" to find out what's going on before the service is shut down. But utilities seem almost gleeful about kicking people when they are down.

Now, for the folks who just ignore the late notices and get 2/3/4 months behind and don't bother trying to deal with it at all, I have no problem shutting them down to get their attention.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #25
40. Mom was good in covering up her dementia. nt
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demwing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. We know WHY they do it, the question is SHOULD they
Just becuae something works, does not make it moral or ethical, or even socially supportable.

Here's an idea - if you want to lower the number of people who commit multiple felonies, you simply apply the death penalty to every felon - TADA, no more repeat felons, ever.

It would be 100% effective.

And 100% insane.
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madeline_con Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
4. I agree. It's a basic concern to aid foundations in the 3rd world.
Providing safe water, I mean. However, there are many who would take advantage of that belief and never pay. The condemning of properties due to a lack of water to clean with is another problem. But the city would have that power, also. Kind of a catch 22 for the billed.

It could be "free" after a hike in property taxes. This might be considered by the ruminators.
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demwing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
5. Fundamental necessities should be paid for like schools
Edited on Sun Aug-17-08 12:00 PM by demwing
out of property taxes. And that revenue can be augmented by a metered fee for individuals who use those resources beyond a certain cap. Also, those who use the water for expansive yards, landscaping, and goldf courses, should pay a high premium to help underwrite the normal water reuirements of the rest of their community.
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2KS2KHonda Donating Member (508 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. Food is a fundamental necessity as well, should we get free vittles
up to, say 1500 calories a day?
:-)
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cherokeeprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. There's a scary thought. The Department of Food.
Every time administrations change from right to left and vice versa, our diets would change.

Little Billy would be forced to eat asparagus. Little Suzy would have her calorie ration cut for being over 8% body fat.
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nickinSTL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. that is scary...
especially for those of us with medical conditions requiring dietary restrictions.
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demwing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. Sure, why not, if you're talking healthy food?
and then charge a premium for junk food, fast food, gourmet foods, etc.

I know you were ribbing me, but when we force people into an economic model that requires them to pay for those things that would otherwise be free, or gathered under the efforts of your own labor, then we create a responsibility to ensure that those same people have the econmic means to survive in that model. In other words, living wages, affordable healthcare, etc.

Other wise you are simply creating a society of economic servitude. Slaves for the 21st century.

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2KS2KHonda Donating Member (508 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #16
30. Honestly I wasn't meaning to rib you, I thought you were serious.
But speaking of serious, that kind of proposal is much closer to economic servitude than anything else! There is no real obstacle to anyone who wants to grow or hunt their own food right now (although to be fair it would require a very large hunk of one's time.) But depending on the gov't to provide sustenance (and presumably granting them the right to tell you -what- in addition to how much) would be a one-way trip to absolute totalitarianism. :scared:
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demwing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #30
36. We already depend on the government to provide
Edited on Sun Aug-17-08 02:19 PM by demwing
What % of the population exists solely off of the direct fruits of their real labor? How many people grow and eat their own food? What % of the population owns land sufficient to grow food for their family? What % of the population get their water from a well or a stream? How many people generate their own electricty?

Now how many people depend on some level of government to provide water, fuel, and roads to transport food?

We're already there. We are like frogs, in a slowly boiling pot.
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2KS2KHonda Donating Member (508 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #36
46. I don't know the answers to those questions, perhaps you do but let me reply with another question:
what percentage of the cost of food we buy goes to government? I don't know the answer to that one either but I'm pretty sure it's nowhere near 100% and I wouldn't want to live in a society where it was. :shrug:
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #30
59. Clean water, like health care, is a RIGHT
And should be guaranteed by the government. Fuck your libertarian bullshit.
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2KS2KHonda Donating Member (508 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #59
63. So should food, right? How about rent? I guess I missed that part of the Constitution
where that "right" is spelled out. Can you please tell me where it is?
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demwing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-18-08 12:34 AM
Response to Reply #63
67. Perhaps you should study up on the Constitution
Ninth Amendment
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Our rights are not given to us by the government, of by any piece of paper. Our rights are inalienable, not constitutional.
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #10
41. Lots of kids do, through the Dept of Ag.
Free/Reduced lunch program.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-18-08 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #10
71. Basic fuel to survive? Absolutely.
NT!

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pennylane100 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
7. I think it would depend on the circumstances.
We have to limit such an action to a set of circumstances. People with limited means, unemployed, or have just have fallen behind because of emergencies or illness, should get help with their water bills. However, if more affluent people decide not to pay their bills, it would be OK to cut off service.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
8. It's illegal in lots of places to turn off the heat in the winter...
Edited on Sun Aug-17-08 11:46 AM by BlooInBloo
I would have assumed that water was similar, but that's just an assumption.


EDIT: Subject typo.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
11. No. A lien against the property can be assessed ... as long as a sale isn't FORCED.
IMHO
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #11
29. Many municipalities would have to reassess how they bill
as some have the water utility attach to a person, not an address. I agree that this is how it should be done, and rentals would have to include water as part of the rent, putting it on the homeowner to pay the bill. That way, the lien theory would work very well.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
13. a person is gonna sit in their home and die of thirst instead of going to neighbors
yard and turning on hose and drink? i dont think so

i can go with the heat in winter in a cold place not shutting off

i can not see many just sittin and letting self die when there is water everywhere to stop death.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #13
24. Some people are shut-ins
I know its hard to imagine to someone who is in good health but some people never get out of a wheel chair.

Then there are others who are afraid to leave their own houses. Happens to old people a lot.

Don
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yewberry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
14. It can be very hard on kids.
I worked in a public school, and when families have their water turned off, kids have to come to school dirty. I've had kids who smelled so strongly that we had to find them other clothes or have a family service provider find them access to showering facilities.

Not fair for that to happen to kids.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
17. Here's a compromise: if you don't pay your bill (for a LONG TIME)
Edited on Sun Aug-17-08 12:29 PM by kestrel91316
they get to cut you back, not off. There could be a flow restricter that cuts your water pressure down substantially so you get enough to survive, but are not totally without. That way you wouldn't be able to waste hundreds of gallons watering a big lawn (if you were that sort) but you could get by.

I DO think that a total shutoff is immoral, but you only need a little for drinking, cooking, and bathing. The rest is luxury.

On edit: Another thing that could be done is, let the first X gallons per billing cycle be free, and then a tiered pricing structure so that the MORE you use, the more you pay per gallon, which would reward conservation. This may exist to some degree, but nobody gets FREE water service anywhere. I think this fits best with public water utilities rather than private sector, obviously.
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2KS2KHonda Donating Member (508 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #17
32. Our water district works a bit like your last scenario...there's a minimum charge
I think it's something like $15 for the first 1000 gallons or thereabouts...then we pay progressively higher rates as we use more. We average about 3000 a month (that seems like a lot but we rarely ever water - except occasionally for the small garden)...the bill comes to around
$40 to $50. We -could- get by for the minimum but it would require watching very close on toilet usage, etc.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
18. Sure. Money trumps everything
If you can't pay for water then you have no business getting it. Why should people who want a handout get something for free when the rest of us have to pay. Go get a job people! Jeez, you'd think we were a socialist country instead of a respectable bottom line dollar loving capitalist one! And if you're too old to get a job, then have the decency of dying so you can stop being a burden on the rest of us. Nation of Whiners!

:sarcasm:
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bean fidhleir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #18
57. Brava! Very well said.
What's frightening is the number of people who can't think beyond the current conventions. To them "whatever is, is right".

Me, I think we should have a "charge card" that could be used for all basic necessities of a dignified life: water, food, clothing, shelter, edu, health, communication, and transport. A card that could be added to, in much the same way the electric grid can buy excess electricity from someone who has a windmill or solar cells. So someone who's a good gardener could "sell" her excess to the local grocery, teachers could offer courses, people who enjoy sewing could make clothing, etc.

I definitely think we're going to need to move in that direction *soon* if we want to stay in business as a species. Treating the world as an ATM machine for the few is killing us.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #57
58. that's the best suggestion yet
Everyone gets benefits from it and everyone puts something into the pot. What a concept!

You bartering socialist you! :thumbsup:
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ProdigalJunkMail Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 12:39 PM
Response to Original message
19. only if...
the debtor will not shut off their cell phones...cable/satellite...hi-speed internet...trips to the salon...nights out at the club... you get the drift... if you cannot pay for basics...heat/cool/water/food/basic shelter...it should be covered...but only when non-necessities are eliminated.

sP
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
20. THIS? Is why I think billionaires, and any system that allows them, are evil. EVIL. That they can
ALLOW such distress and hardship while being obscenely wealthy IS EVIL.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
23. There should be an emergency parachute for anyone who HONESTLY
can't pay their bill, similar to the safety net for heat in the winter, but I think it should be OK to shut off the water for non-payment the same as you lose any other service if yu fail to pay for it.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
27. We need an emergency fund for this. n/t
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
28. The question should be "should water be paid for from general taxation and free at point of use"?
Edited on Sun Aug-17-08 01:17 PM by Donald Ian Rankin
Or, at least, should it be paid for for the poorest by the state?

If the answer to that question is "yes", then the other becomes irrelevant.

If the answer is "no", then yes, water should probably be cut off if someone doesn't pay - saying "you should pay for this, but we'll give it to you even if you don't" is silly, but I would say that the answer to my question is probably "yes".
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SmileyRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #28
33. Only if it's rationed.
because I don't want MY "general taxation" to go up because of the guy down the street's automatic sprinkler system while I run myself ragged bailing the tub water for my tomatoes.
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Ikonoklast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 01:27 PM
Response to Original message
31. I had a battle with the city of Cleveland water department
First off, that department is notorious for being staffed with political appointees that don't even show up for work, but still get a paycheck. They take indifference to a level previously unknown by mortal man.

It started when my then wife and I moved into one of six townhouses, a brand-new unit. We were the first to take occupancy from the builder. Everything was fine until our first water bill, which was stupendous, considering there were only two people using water at my residence.

The builder had satisfied any previous utility bills at closing, and the lender verified this. So, I called the city about my bill, and the response was, "Pay it or we shut off the water. Period."

Not willing to pay a water bill of over $600.00 for a quarter, I went downtown to the City of Cleveland Water Dept. and, after waiting three hours, got the nice lady to tell me that if I didn't pay up right then, the water would be shut off tomorrow.

I told her to go for it.

Sure enough, they came out the very next day. Seems that the city had installed one main water meter in front of my address on a central feed that split into six auxiliary lines to each residence, instead of six separate meters after the main feed was split.

It is the cities' responsibility to install and meter the water correctly. They failed to do so.

They shut the water off at the main.

Now, five other families that had never been billed for water since moving in got their water shut off.

THEY WERE NOT HAPPY.

The next day, Cleveland Water came out and retro-fitted the lines with meters. But they still wanted ME to pay the outstanding bill, for my neighbors' water use.

I told them to see me in court.

They lost. Judge ruled summarily on the evidence at hand.
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Naturyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
34. No. The necessities of life should NEVER be denied
For any reason.

Food, water, shelter, basic clothing, and basic medicine need to be entitlements to which no American citizen can lose access. After all, even incarcerated criminals are entitled to all of these things. Why not someone who simply can't make ends meet?
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
35. That Was An Incredible Tragedy
It wasn't just water, but electricity, too. Hundreds, mostly elderly, were found dead in their homes as the temps soared to 106. It caught the city by surprise and supposedly steps have been taken to prevent them from occuring again.

There is a law on the books that prevents a utility from abruptly shutting off services in extreme cold weather and I suspect there is a provision for extreme heat as well.

The catch 22...the more a water or power company spends on collecting past dues and going to court, along with the lost revenues, it justifies them to raise rates that will affect many others. There's no one-size fits all answer here.

There definitely should be some kind of safeguard program for the elderly and disabled...those on fixed incomes to assure they always get service...as a taxpayer I'd gladly pay more to make sure those who can't aren't literally frozen out (and this could be major problem across the country this winter as gas prices are sure to double...if not go higher for millions).
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ben_meyers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. Almost 800 people died and the President and FEMA didn't react
for almost a week. Klinenberg's book is a must read for anyone thinking that the government is going to bail them out.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-18-08 12:58 AM
Response to Reply #37
72. And let's not forget: CLINTON was president then. He was as callous as b*s* after Katrina.
NT!

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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
39. When I was a kid, water was the only utility that wasn't allowed to do shut offs for nonpayment.
We couldn't get oil for the furnace, the gas company shut off if any part of the bill was more than 45 days in arrears, and the electric company shut off after 90 days of no payment. The water was a public district and that may have made the difference. We had many spells with no stove or hot water, ran out of heating oil at least once a winter and never had the thermostat higher than 55, and one time lived by candlelight for a week or so. We always had water.

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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
42. Our water is owned by a speculator. They'd turn it off without a
second thought.
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TheFriendlyAnarchist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
43. Hmm. . .
Maybe ration it if they can't pay? Like enough drinking water per person plus enough for 1 shower every 2 days per person?

I don't know, I never thought about it. Like article said, I would have said if they can't pay, turn it off. Interesting topic.
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The Inquisitive Donating Member (480 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
44. No, the first acre-foot or so should be free for residential consumption
afterwards however further additional units of water should cost an a continually increasing amount in order to reflect the scarce nature of the resource.

A lot of our water problems in this country are caused by messed up pricing structures... or a complete lack of
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #44
48. That sounds like a workable idea. Give the basic amount needed
for free and charge for consumption beyond that. We know that the rich use more water than the poor for their multiple bathrooms, large lawns and yards, and swimming pools.
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
45. No, it should never be turned off
I do like the tiered service idea, the more you use the more you pay.

And x gallons permonth free for general washing/cleaning, and cooking. Beyond that you can pay through the nose if you can afford it. The issue isn't water use, it's the misuse. We need to conserve water. Period

I find it appallingly sad that the old and the sick have their utilities cut off. Here, if you require medical equipment, your electricity cannot be shut off for non payment. They have to work with you. Municipal water should be handled the same way.

I have a well and my water is free and of good quality, although I do pay for the electricity to run the pump and the water heater. I'm looking into replacing my old water heater with a solar one. We'll see.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
47. Seems to me that water should be free to everyone. The city should find
other ways of paying for the cost of delivering water to it's citizens, maybe an extra property tax on the rich who use far more water on their lawns, in their swimming pools and multiple bathrooms that ordinary people use. Even the Romans didn't charge for the water they delivered to citizens via their aqueduct system. They knew lack of clean water would lead to plague. It seems those people who can't pay their water bills are the poor, people who rent or live in trailer parks, not the average home owner.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #47
61. Then people would not value it at all. We need to encourage conservation. nt
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #61
62. It can be rationed you know. You don't have to deny people water because
you think they will waste it. Where have I heard this argument before? "If you give them free stuff they will use too much." It sounds like every whine I have heard from every conservative since Ronald Reagan waged war on welfare queens.
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
49. A real social safety net would supply the essentials for free...
...or provide relief for those who can't pay. Period.
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galledgoblin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
50. absolutely not
the phone and cable can go. electricity, if it's not needed for medical equipment, can be cut. but water?! you have to be kidding, of course you cannot cut it off.

it's not like it costs Chicago or any cities of the moist parts of the nation all that much, anyway! for residents, it ought to be included within the regular taxes, and just have inspectors come out to places that register as using an excessive amount.
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ProdigalJunkMail Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #50
51. um...all that infrastructure to DELIVER it sure does cost
a bundle...and its maintenance ain't cheap either...but as a gov't project it should be free...to a point of minimum use...

sP
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galledgoblin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #51
52. yeah, I understand that
but the cost of maintaining that infrastructure is still much lower in moist states than it is in arid ones which have to pump from longer distances.

the cost in cities should just be absorbed by the regular property tax, the same way other city services are.
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ProdigalJunkMail Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #52
53. maybe...but maintenance IS expensive
regardless of distance to water source...ATL has a HUGE water source running right through the middle of it (close anyway) in the 'Hooch. yet, our water dept is constantly maintaining the pipes...the pumps...the cleaning facilities...you get the point. i DO believe it should be, as a true necessity, an item paid for through taxes, to a point...

sP
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galledgoblin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #53
54. the Southeast is more moist than the Southwest, but it's still not as moist
as the Great Lakes and generally Northern states, which includes Chicago, IL from the opening example. there's no question, there are substantial costs, but they're easily manageable.
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ProdigalJunkMail Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #54
55. ATL is currently undergoing a $3.9BILLION
overhaul of the water system here...there are less than 500,000 that live in the city limits...this is THEIR water system, not the metro area...that is nearly $8000/person ... the average water bill is about $500 year...

sP
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Earth_First Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
56. Our water service was shut off over a $51 bill...
When we closed on the house, we failed (by some ignorant oversight on our part) to switch the water service over in our names.

Turns out that forces of nature blew away the disconnect notice on our door, and low and behold, we came home one day to no water service.

Here's the kicker: to have it turned back on: it's a $25 surcharge.
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2KS2KHonda Donating Member (508 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #56
64. Out here, if you miss 3 months payment they pull the meter and it is $800 to get it put back.
No shit.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
60. Its too bad there is no way to restrict use per day -- say 10 gallons/person.

Like with phone lines where you can always dial 911.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
65. Yes. But....
The pricing for water should be such that the first 1000 gallons or so should cost virtually nothing.

The price should then escalate quickly to encourage conservation.

Water is the commons. Those who don't contribute to its wellbeing (by paying for its continued availability) should be cut off from the resource.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-17-08 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
66. A living ration of water should be free. After that you pay for usage.
If you use a lot, you pay through the nose.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-18-08 12:52 AM
Response to Original message
68. Almost immoral? It's HOMICIDE.
Water is, and should be, a basic human right. We literally cannot survive without it.

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Cerridwen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-18-08 12:54 AM
Response to Original message
70. But, of course.
A person's "life, liberty and happiness" are only guaranteed in the US Constitution if they can pay for it. We all know that people are only allowed the health and well-being for which they can afford to pay. It's a "natural law" or something. If a few people die here and there, hey, it's just Darwinism at work, right? Seriously, if they wanted to live well they'd have learned to make money and keep money and wouldn't be so lazy, or get sick, or be "stupid," or whatever, right?

Life's not fair; it's the law of the jungle out there. Government has no business "promot(ing) the common welfare" of "We, the People" and is only in place to insure that the free market and capitalism are successful, as defined by free-marketeers and capitalists. Anything else is just namby-pamby pandering to the "tired, poor, huddled masses" and has nothing to do with US ideals.

I mean seriously, "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?"

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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-08 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
73. thanks for this link - awful thing to be without water
kick
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