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Added Feb 20 2018

Hey Everyone, we purchased our Single Family home a little less then a year ago & we do not have a water meter installed. Our current water bill is just under $500 (6 months) for 2 people. What is everyone's experience with this? Is it beneficial to get the meter installed?

  • Absolutely! I am a single person, and my water bill is about $5.00 a month. With sewer and garbage, it comes to $29.00 for two months, or about $90 for six months. It is a huge difference. So instead of $1000 a year, I'll be paying about $180.00 a year.

    If you get a meter one thing to make absolutely sure of is that you have no dripping faucets or the toilet isn't "running." The way to know is that the little red dial on the meter should be completely stopped if all the faucets are off. If it's moving, even a little, it means something is dripping or using water. That can add up big time if not corrected.

  • I have a water meter and for two people, with sewer & garbage, it’s about $55 every two months!

  • ward greenleaf Smokey and the Bandit, Hooper, Cannonball Run...

    My single family home (4br 3ba) is about $70 every other month

  • Ours varies around $60-$90 for 2 months.

  • What’s best way to check water bill charges? Where do they install the water meter? Anyone have picture they could post?

  • I have a large SF with two people and ours is around $80 every two months. As per above, check for drips and leaks, that seems very high!

  • Definitely get a meter! Same as above 2 people living in a 3-bedroom 2-bathroom house. And my bill is proximately $50 quarterly. My meter is located under the front porch I believe

  • We switched to a meter after being non-meter for years. Our single family home with three adults is about 110 every two months. That's water, sewer and garbage. So we are paying less than you and we have one more adult living here. We have a large whirlpool tub that gets used a lot. If we didn't have that I bet ours would be down in the $90 every two months range.

  • Marcy Derfler We live on Ridgeway near Montrose

    When I moved in, we didn’t have a meter. It was just me, and my daughter who was 6 years old at the time. (15 years ago!) It was hard to even get her to bathe! Anyway, our bills were as high as yours, so I called the water dept. The lady had the nerve to suggest it was my house plants and yard plants being watered! I asked for a meter right away. Now it’s about $79 every three months. Wow

  • Christine Nusret Resident of Richmond St. 22 years

    I’m confused, between our property taxes, now the water and garbage bill. I thought our property taxes covered the water and sewers. It’s a double whammy! Also, I have a huge garden, my neighbor regrets having hers installed, she is paranoid about watering her lawn and flowers. She said it adds up real quick. It is insane! For me 1 person,$500. It’s a bit extreme! I have 2 garbage cans. Never even use up one.

  • Get the meter!! The charge is based on the size of your lot and something else but is essentially calculating it like there were individual units based on size of lot or something similar. Anyway, when we had ours installed it was quick and painless and we had a HUGE credit (like $500 which was our first bill) that lasted the two of us several months.

  • OParker Native Chicagoan

    I've experienced considerable savings after getting a meter for 2 adults single family home.
    The combined sewer /water rate as I recall is about $7.75/1000 gals.which has doubled over the past 10 yrs. Homes without meters are charged based on factors of lot/house size and number of fixtures.

  • Christine, for 1-4 unit residential buildings, your water bill includes a garbage collection fee of $9.50 per month PER UNIT and is not based on how many garbage carts you have. If someone steals all of your garbage cans you still pay the $9.50 per month. $114.00 per year to have folks come out in the snow, rain, cold, hot and pick up all the filth, rot and stink of our human (and pet) existence in a predictable and efficient weekly manner is a very good deal IMHO. It also includes a separate collection service for recycling in the blue cans.

    Believe it or not our City instituted this new tax/charge/fee/cost change in a very efficient manner. Instead of creating a 492 person pensioned and benefited work force to rip open garbage collection payment envelopes and enter the data into the computer they included garbage collection on your water bill. Also, protesting your garbage collection fee/tax by not paying it would mean that your water service gets shut off.

    You will be billed every 2 months if you switch to a meter, instead of twice a year which is your current payment schedule being non-metered. I think the city said that non-metered accounts will continue to increase at a higher rate than metered accounts so you could be seeing 10% annual increases on non-metered service. Anyway, paying just for what you use every 2 months can also help with household budgeting.

    Even watering grass, plants, etc. you should be about half of what you pay for non-metered service.

    The meter is small and in installed in your basement off of the main service line. If your pipes are in a finished basement there could be some minor demolition you will have to perform so the crew can access the water service and perform your installation. If you don't have a main water shut-off valve for some reason this is the time to get one installed, also!

    Your water bill ALSO includes the cost of your sewer service.

  • I have a 2flat and my non-metered water bill went up $300 two years in a row and the last bill I paid non-metered was $1900!!! I now have a meter and my bills ran $844 total for 2017. My only regret is that I did not get a meter years ago!!!!!

  • Wow! Well sounds like the meter is the way to go. Sounds like I’m paying 50% more for not having the meter. Thank you everyone for you input!

  • Chicago is rumored to eventually have everyone on meters.
    (My mistake was getting a tankless water heater...my gas bill is outrageous and I've had ti checked 3 times..)

  • I deconverted a two flat to single family a while back. That's when my meter was installed, and I wasn't thrilled about it. It didn't take long to see that while I didn't benefit from having one installed, my bill didn't go up either.

    pretty much stayed the same

  • Iain McFarlin Neighborhood bar manager

    Kittyhop, I thought tankless was supposed to help with the gas bill towards water heating??

  • Me, too...after endless research on my part, I got 'taken' by the 'knowledgable ' installers who sold me a much too big unit (so says the nasty gas people I called in twice to explain the charges) ...and the solution (?) was to replace it...so I live with it. Takes a long time to get hot water up to 2nd unit...expensive to begin with and the gas people all said that people are removing them...
    My across the street neighbor loved her unit....

  • yeah, what's up with that? a tankless should have saved you. something isn't right with that.

  • oh, sorry, I didn't see your latest post...too bad yours wasn't sized properly.

  • d3 NoHo

    Is anyone familiar with the install -- can they shut off the water at the box under front parkway and replace the valve with meter and new valve that connects to the lead service pipe ? Is this standard as part of the install or should I have cash on hand ?

  • d3 NoHo

    It's best to have tankless near fixtures ... Imo whole house tankless are overrated

  • Christine Nusret Resident of Richmond St. 22 years

    Hello humboltwriter, thanks for the detailed breakdown on the water bill. However, I am fully aware of what is involved in the garbage pickup. I’m outside waiting with cold water to pass out on hot summer days. That’s why I rarely post anything! Always a busy body know it all!

  • @d3: I had a meter installed about a year and a half ago. It was really a breeze.

    I have an unfinished basement, and my inside water main shut off valve was readily accessible, as were the pipes coming in.

    Two guys arrived and 1) shut off the water outside in the parkway, 2) cut the pipe inside and installed the meter, 3) drilled a small hole for a wire through the brick to the outside wall for the wire for the transmitter, 4) put a transmitter on the outside wall of my gangway that transmits the reading,

    They were done in less than an hour. They took a minute and showed me how the new shut off works (it's a lever instead of a round spigot,) and I checked the reading was near zero,. In my case the red dial was moving, and I quickly discovered my toilet was "running" so I shut that off until I could get a new flap valve for that.

    When they were done all I did was sign a paper that they competed the work. I didn't have to pay anybody anything.

  • Iain McFarlin Neighborhood bar manager

    My experience was close to Beeb’s except mine was put into the parkway as the pipes were not readily accessible. The meter and shutoffs are all in the parkway and there was minimal damage done from it. Didn’t take much time at all and I just signed a paper still with no cost to me.

  • LarryB Dog owner / wine sipper

    I have a 3 flat. The bill is usually about 180. The meter is in the parkway with a shut off. I have 2 shut offs in the basement also.

  • Ed in Bucktown Fifth Generation Lifelong Chicagoan

    Larry, can you request the install in the parkway rather than the building interior? I've not made the change because of all the finish rework that would be needed. I had no idea that this was a possibility.

  • Iain McFarlin Neighborhood bar manager

    Ed, you can! It is part of the online app process. Then they come out and scope the job out and give you an install date which you don't need to really be around for at all. Super Easy

  • Ed in Bucktown Fifth Generation Lifelong Chicagoan

    Um, it's Chicago, so there's a catch, right? Is the tree in my parkway suddenly at risk? Is there an extra charge? Perhaps I have to kiss the rings of my Alderman and his burly henchmen?

    Why would anybody choose the inside-meter option?

  • Iain McFarlin Neighborhood bar manager

    Because it is faster than digging. But if you have finished walls, etc they won't make you take them down to install it. Depends where your tree is I guess and where your water main is. I would assume they wouldn't put a tree right by the main because of the roots though. It's all done through Meter Save which gets gov't money. So it's always free no matter what.

  • I don't think it matters where the meter goes they don't get out of their car anymore they just drive down the street and it reads the meters. Mine is inside in my basement. I had mine put in about 3 years ago I think. And they've never asked to enter my house to read it. And I followed it it's pretty accurate every 3 months

  • LarryB Dog owner / wine sipper

    ED, the meter has always been in the parkway. We have been here in Avondale since 1985. Best call water dept. good luck

  • Just piling on ... yes, definitely get a meter ... My 2-flat rate for metered water, sewer, and trash is about $75 every 2 months ... If I were SF it would be a little less b/c I pay a higher rate for multiple units for trash. One human per unit plus 2 dogs ;)

  • Victor Delivery driver working nights. Watching..

    Something is definitely wrong. I administer a Condo building in Elmwood Park (which buys water from Chicago). For eight appartments with a family ea. we pay $800 every other month. That includes the boiler, common areas, laundry, etc.

  • Evelyn JeffPk Homeowner

    I moved in my house four years ago. I have two full baths, dishwasher and W&D. I live on a corner lot so when I water in the summer, it's a lot to water. A homeowner friend and my plumber told me as a single person living here, I must get the water meter. It's one of the first things I did when I moved here. The total bill comes to about $25 every two months. Your estimated bill could be based upon a user BLOCKS away not just two doors down. A water meter is a must.

  • We always had a meter in our family owned and occupied 3-flat, but I was the only one living there for the last 20 years.

    My bill was about $10 every 2 months. The meter broke, I never called it in. When the city finally figured it out, they replaced it, and my bill zoomed to $120. I called to complain, and was told that I had to have a plumber certify that there were no leaks.

    (They broke up the sidewalk right in front of my gate, I was told it would take a couple of weeks to get it repaired. A neighbor's wife worked for the city, and it was repaired the next day.)

    A few month's later, I had moved out, so there was no usage. I asked them to turn the water off, the city wouldn't do it. I found someone to do it for me and sold the building.

    Moved to a condo, water and garbage collection is included in the HOA fee ($225 a month).

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Posted to Avondale

This was posted to Avondale

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