The Chicago Sun Times wrote “many of those 313,993 other homeowners without water meters appear to be paying too much for water. And City Hall Knows it.”
I disagree. What the city does know is that 25% of the water pumped out of Lake Michigan, 250,000,000 gallons a day is lost to leaks. Yes that’s 250MILLION with an “M”. Many of those leaks are in homes without water meters. As a plumbing contractor in the City of Chicago it is a challenge sometimes convincing a homeowner to fix a leaky faucet or toilet. If they don’t have a water meter it is cheaper to leave it alone. On the other hand we have had clients that have a water meter, with just one leaking toilet cause their water bill to escalate to over $500.00, now that’s motivation.
It is likely that Mr. DiFoggio has such a low water bill because he is a plumbing contractor. It stands to reason he won’t have any leaking toilets or faucets. It also makes a huge difference that this particular property that the Sun Times has used as an example, although being a very large home has been hardly lived in over the last year.
The city of Chicago would be wise to install water meters but unlike the opinion of the Sun Times the benefit will be the cities. The vast majority of people on estimated bills are paying less than they will when they get a water meter. Now please don’t take this the wrong way. I believe we should all have the meters. First and foremost it will incentivize people to take responsibility for the proper maintenance of their plumbing and save a lot of wasted water. Second it will just be fairer; people will pay for what they use.
Lake Michigan is a gift. It is a natural resource that we take for granted. Our lake is being depleted and our underground aquifers are also being depleted. If we don’t all do something soon we will be in a similar situation as California and Nevada. This is a real threat that we could see in our lifetime. I hope and pray the city fast forwards the installation of water meters and that the nearly 8 million people that use Lake Michigan water in the city and suburbs wake up to this reality and begin conserving in their own homes.
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