By Judi Curry
You can’t live in Ocean Beach/Pt Loma and not notice the continual work being done on the water pipes throughout the entire neighborhood. You can’t live in Ocean Beach/Pt. Loma and expect not to find detours where just yesterday you were able to drive right through.
You can’t live in Ocean Beach/Pt. Loma without noticing sand bags in front of drainage ditches on many of the residential streets of the area. And you can’t live in Ocean Beach/Pt Loma without noticing the huge amount of water cascading down the streets.
So is it a coincidence that many of us received water bills this week that were higher than any previous month? Is it any coincidence that those of us that have taken measures to reduce our water usage are appalled at the amount of our water bills for the months of September-November?
Looking at my own water bill I find that I am charged almost double of what I paid for the same time last year. I called the Public Utilities department and they assured me that I am only being charged for the water that is being used on the property. I was told that the amount of water being lost on the pipe repair is “not at all” the cause of my larger bill. It was suggested that I contact the Residential Water Survey Department – 619-570-1999 – and have someone come out to check for leaks, and to make sure that I am not “overusing” the water.
But in the meantime, a posting by a local resident – Tanya – on “Next Door” asking if anyone else received a higher water bill this month has, so far, received over 28 responses, with 68% of the respondents stating their bill was higher; 25% responding no change; and 7% stating that they are not in the area where the pipes are being worked on.
Is it just a coincidence?
Who knows? But in an article I wrote several years ago when they were changing the pipes on Sunset Cliffs and Narragansett, I asked why the water could not be saved as it came out of the fire hydrants? Why did it have to run down the street. I never received an answer to that question. I don’t think I will receive an answer to this one either.
But in the meantime, the residents of the area are paying more for a commodity we are not using. Let the Public Utilities commission know that you are upset with these prices. It probably won’t do any good, but at least we will let them know we are not going to just let it go on without comment. After all, this isn’t the first year that they have replaced the pipes. (And probably won’t be the last.)