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Our last water bill, which includes two months' worth of water and sewage, was just over $400, a 33% increase over our previous highest bill. I can understand that since our town has installed upgraded sewage lines as well as water upgrades and they're paying for it through higher rates instead of floating bond issues. But that extra $100 was mainly for watering the #$%&^@ lawn during the two hot months, with the result that the lawn looks only marginally patchier than it did in June. Let it turn brown as nature intended, I say. DW says something else.

But I was assuaged today when DW reported on a conversation with our new across-the-street neighbors who moved in a little over two months ago. Their water bill for the same period as ours was $1,400. According to the city, that did not include past owners' unpaid usage. Nor was there a leak as the meter doesn't move when everything is shut off. They don't have a pool to fill and they're sure they did nothing more extravagant than a little power washing. When we do power washing we get a little blip in our bill but nothing to get excited about. They've got four people bathing and washing clothes and dishes to our two, but still. Inquiries are afoot.

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