While we might never know how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop (wait, did someone figure that out?) we can reasonably guess how much water a single woman uses in a month. And just to start things off, if the EPA says the average family of four uses around 12,000 gallons per month, what is the likelihood that an 84-year-old woman used 55,000 just by herself in that same time span? Highly unlikely, city of Sacramento! We call shenanigans.
The woman’s son called up the city when the bill arrived, saying she’d used 19,000 gallons over two days in July for a whopping month-long total of 55,000 gallons. The city basically shrugged and told the family that the woman’s meter was working just fine, reports CBS Sacramento.
She would’ve had to flush the toilet 11,000 times, refill her pool at least twice, take 1,571 10-minute showers in that month, or run about 45 baths a day (if she filled the tub with 40 gallons each time).
“I think there needs to be a reversal of some charges,” her son told the news station of the $175 bill.
“We can only tell the customer what water goes through their meter. We can’t tell them what happens to it once it’s gone onto their property,” said a communications specialist for the city’s Department of Utilities who added that they are quite confident the meter is working fine.
Instead of wiping away the bill, the city has offered to set up a “Water Wise House Call,” a free service where a specialist comes by to check your home for leaks and suggests ways to cut down on usage.
The woman’s son isn’t so convinced.
“How could that much water somewhere just disappear on the property and nobody notices it? There’s no flooding, you don’t hear any water running,” he said, adding, “This isn’t just about ‘Give us money back.’ They need to make the system right.”
Interesting to note, however, that the woman had bills with 36,000 gallons in both June and August. Her son says it couldn’t be chalked up to perhaps her pool leaking and refilling, as it doesn’t have an automatic filler.
Call Kurtis: How Could My 84-Year-Old Mother Use That Much Water? [CBS Sacramento]