Water bill 'too expensive' to flush toilet Watch

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#21
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#21
(Original post by mojojojo101)
As someone who has recently been in danger of loosing pretty much everything I had, who is now doing okay(ish) this story is not about a water bill... it is about the mindset of being poor
My thesis is that such people (and I have been there myself) have to make hard choices. There are pretty well always things that can be readily given up - gambling, smoking, alcohol, expensive recreation, for instance. Cars and phones, I agree, can be problematical.

However, there are agencies that can advise. And it isn't exactly rocket science to protect yourself by reading the meter every week or month.
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(Original post by shadowdweller)
If you're presenting it as fact then you need to support it, yes.

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I'm presenting it as an opinion, which is what the OP asked for. Are you presenting the cost of water as being a significant hard fact cause of debt that outweighs the factors I mentioned? or are you opining? I have seen no evidence about it.
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mojojojo101
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(Original post by Good bloke)
My thesis is that such people (and I have been there myself) have to make hard choices. There are pretty well always things that can be readily given up - gambling, smoking, alcohol, expensive recreation, for instance. Cars and phones, I agree, can be problematical.

However, there are agencies that can advise. And it isn't exactly rocket science to protect yourself by reading the meter every week or month.
Choosing between expensive recreation and bills for example is an easy decision. It becomes harder when it's a decison like which of 2 or 3 things should I prioritise over others.

For example I regularly made the choice not to pay council tax because I couldn't afford that bill and all others and I knew that the council are slower to realise I haven't paid and are more amenable to reorganizing a payment method. That's fine, until something else goes wrong, like the car breaking down and suddenly your struggling just to make up the shortfall.

It's easy to judge people's decisions from the outside because the burden of stress isn't relevant. People in stressful situations make bad decisions. Being poor is stressful. Holding poor people to a standard far above others is both unreasonable and unhelpful.
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mphysical
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#24
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#24
(Original post by shadowdweller)
That is true, but in our current state how else do you suggest people acquire water
Save dirty dishwater / washing water for flushing the toilet
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Joinedup
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(Original post by mojojojo101)
Choosing between expensive recreation and bills for example is an easy decision. It becomes harder when it's a decison like which of 2 or 3 things should I prioritise over others.

For example I regularly made the choice not to pay council tax because I couldn't afford that bill and all others and I knew that the council are slower to realise I haven't paid and are more amenable to reorganizing a payment method. That's fine, until something else goes wrong, like the car breaking down and suddenly your struggling just to make up the shortfall.

It's easy to judge people's decisions from the outside because the burden of stress isn't relevant. People in stressful situations make bad decisions. Being poor is stressful. Holding poor people to a standard far above others is both unreasonable and unhelpful.
Hmmm for the benefit of any onlookers deciding which bill to skip... don't leave that council tax too long... the water company won't send you to jail but the council can.
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moonkatt
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(Original post by shadowdweller)
That's not what's going on in this specific instance, but it doesn't negate the problem the article outlines; among the poorest families water bills are now the most common arrears, witch up to 3 million people struggling with the costs.

Yes in this particular case it was due to a leak, granted, but it's still a significant issue in a wider sense, at least in my view.
Part of this is because, if you are struggling financially it’s not as bad as other debts. Council tax debts are recovered aggressively through deductions from earnings orders, rent arrears lead to eviction, whereas, if a residential property is occupied, the water board are not allowed to disconnect the water supply and it can take s long time for them to go through the courts to recover what’s owed.
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(Original post by Joinedup)
Hmmm for the benefit of any onlookers deciding which bill to skip... don't leave that council tax too long... the water company won't send you to jail but the council can.
And therein lies the fallacy of the OP's question. The cost of the water doesn't cause the debt. The water bill is the one most commonly chosen not to be paid simply because the water cannot be disconnected without a court order and there is no risk of gaol. A bad bill not to pay is the one you can (though rarely) be gaoled for not paying - council tax.

If you fail to pay other bills the supply ceases or the bailiffs arrive in double quick time.
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LostAccount
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I find budgetary problems to be a bit laughable, because no person in this country with a pair of brain cells can fall into debt for basic needs if they don't waste their money. It's simply impossible.

Be it working on the minimum wage or receiving benefits, it's not possible. Adjust your lifestyle, sure. But if a Sky subscription supersedes your needs for water, not sure why it's being pushed onto society as a dilemma.

I would be very open to being convinced otherwise with a clear example of such an individual/household, who is not able to afford basic needs, despite saving on non-necessities and without making stupid prior decisions like taking out a payday loan.
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shadowdweller
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#29
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(Original post by Good bloke)
I'm presenting it as an opinion, which is what the OP asked for. Are you presenting the cost of water as being a significant hard fact cause of debt that outweighs the factors I mentioned? or are you opining? I have seen no evidence about it.
I actually never proposed it as a cause of debt - I outlined that people are struggling to pay it, which is fact. That doesn't, however, mean it is the cause of their debt.

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DrMikeHuntHertz
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#30
Why have kids if you can't afford to give them water?
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L i b
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(Original post by Good bloke)
Yup. Buried halfway down the article is:

Last year, her boiler had been leaking into a wall cavity - and the amount of water lost gave her a water bill of £700.
She says her water supplier, Yorkshire Water, showed "goodwill", in writing off £500 of the debt, but she still had to find £200.
How much bloody water has to leak before you run up a bill like that? You'd have thought her house would've collapsed first.

I can't say I've ever had metered water, but I'd have assumed the unit price can hardly be expensive.
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(Original post by L i b)
How much bloody water has to leak before you run up a bill like that? You'd have thought her house would've collapsed first.

I can't say I've ever had metered water, but I'd have assumed the unit price can hardly be expensive.
Well there are some strange aspects to that particular story but if you own the house, you're responsible for leaks from the underground pipe below your property - and underground leaks won't be obvious. that's going to cost £100s to fix.



The meter itself could be down an underground hole outside with a lid on it which isn't going to trivial to check - especially for elderly and disabled customers.

(Original post by LostAccount)
I find budgetary problems to be a bit laughable, because no person in this country with a pair of brain cells can fall into debt for basic needs if they don't waste their money. It's simply impossible.

Be it working on the minimum wage or receiving benefits, it's not possible. Adjust your lifestyle, sure. But if a Sky subscription supersedes your needs for water, not sure why it's being pushed onto society as a dilemma.

I would be very open to being convinced otherwise with a clear example of such an individual/household, who is not able to afford basic needs, despite saving on non-necessities and without making stupid prior decisions like taking out a payday loan.
Well the usual story is that someone who was getting by ends up in trouble because of an unexpected urgent expense like a large plumbing bill, having their car vandalised by a drunk or accidentally breaking their ankle while on a zero hours contract.
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(Original post by Joinedup)
The meter itself could be down an underground hole outside with a lid on it which isn't going to trivial to check - especially for elderly and disabled customers.
It is trivial. The only likely difficulty is kneeling on the floor. The whole process of reading the meter takes about a minute, arthritic rising included.
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(Original post by L i b)
How much bloody water has to leak before you run up a bill like that? You'd have thought her house would've collapsed first.

I can't say I've ever had metered water, but I'd have assumed the unit price can hardly be expensive.
Hehe We have a discussion on metered water.

The marginal cost is likely to be around £2 a tonne (1000 litres), so £700 represents about 350 tonnes (two to three times the expected annual usage, depending on household size). I have used (in a two-person household) about 105 tonnes this year, evenly used but with an extra three tonnes in May and four in July for the garden.

This kind of leak would be picked up very quickly by regularly reading the meter. I spotted a leaking hose connector by this means when it had only lost a couple of tonnes over the month between readings. Usage is quite consistent over the year, with a bit extra for garden watering in the summer, so differences are quite easy to spot.

My garden tap can deliver no more than eight litres a minute (we have low pressure as we are on a hill so it is often much less) so 700 tonnes is equivalent to having a tap turned on full-blast for a couple of months, or more likely trickling away for a year or two.

For a small household metered water is normally much cheaper than paying according to the rateable value, especially in a larger property.
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StriderHort
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I don't think this thread is going to recover from having it's main examnple debunked immediately :rolleyes:
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Joinedup
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(Original post by Good bloke)
It is trivial. The only likely difficulty is kneeling on the floor. The whole process of reading the meter takes about a minute, arthritic rising included.
Does seem like something that a lot of disabled people would have a lot of difficulty with TBH.



one of the most popular adaptions is the lever type taps for people who can't operate normal taps with their hands... and in order to read a water meter they need to operate an even more fiddly screwdriver to get the top off... and that's just step one.
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(Original post by Joinedup)
Does seem like something that a lot of disabled people would have a lot of difficulty with TBH.
Anyone that can hold a screwdriver, kneel and get up again can easily do it. Wheelchair users would have enormous difficulty, I agree. But such a person is likely to have a carer or regular visitor who could do the job once a month. As I said, it takes about one minute.
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Dandaman1
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(Original post by Good bloke)
Anyone that can hold a screwdriver, kneel and get up again can easily do it. Wheelchair users would have enormous difficulty, I agree. But such a person is likely to have a carer or regular visitor who could do the job once a month. As I said, it takes about one minute.
People are trying too hard to find excuses for not being capable of checking a water meter and budgeting for a monthly water bill. They just gotta be victims of injustice somehow!

Even when I was stone broke for about a year (eating oatmeal for most meals) my water bill was probably the smallest of the lot and the one I worried about the least. I could always pay it.

People need to learn to use toilet hippos and to collect rainwater for emergencies. If it's yellow, let it mellow. Recycle grey water. Skip a shower every now and then. Don't leave taps running. Hell, even get it from a river or a brook in an emergency, if you can (not to drink). And most importantly, check your damn meter.
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Tootles
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#39
(Original post by shadowdweller)
I'm not sure that's entirely a feasible purchase for someone who can't afford to comfortably pay their water bills as is.
You can get a 200L water butt for £20 from Wickes. If you're desperate enough that you're struggling for water to flush the toilet or wash, you can pawn or sell something - or borrow from a friend or family member - so you can buy something like that.

https://www.wickes.co.uk/Wickes-Blac...-200L/p/194674
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Tootles
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(Original post by Dandaman1)
People are trying too hard to find excuses for not being capable of checking a water meter and budgeting for a monthly water bill. They just gotta be victims of injustice somehow!

Even when I was stone broke for about a year (eating oatmeal for most meals) my water bill was probably the smallest of the lot and the one I worried about the least. I could always pay it.

People need to learn to use toilet hippos and to collect rainwater for emergencies. If it's yellow, let it mellow. Recycle grey water. Skip a shower every now and then. Don't leave taps running. Hell, even get it from a river or a brook in an emergency, if you can (not to drink). And most importantly, check your damn meter.
Can't subscribe to this. If I had to worry that much about flushing the toilet, I'd piss in the garden - urine is good for soil. I suppose you didn't wash your hands either, did you? Though again, baby wipes would do after a garden-slash, if it's that bad.
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