> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Do you mean to tell me septic tanks are
> allowed in New York City?
There are some in isolated old parts of Philadelphia. For example, in
the outer edges of the city there once were free standing villages
with very old houses (before development surrounded them). Those old
houses and streets are not connected to the sewer system.
It wouldn't surprise me if similar old places even in New York City
(particularly in Staten Island but also in outlying parts of the Bronx
and Queens) would be likewise.
> hooked to the water, and many of them complain about the cost of
> 'rural water' which is much more expensive than 'city water'. I cannot
> believe there are places and communities so backward that septic tanks
> are allowed, except by default in small rural areas. But NYC? Not even
> in Chicago do you see that any longer.
Our suburban water and sewer rates are FAR higher than what Philadel-
phia charges its people. I don't know why. In the city water and
sewer is provided by the water department of the city government and
it is supposed to run at a break even point without subsidy or profit.
Suburban water is provided by private companies that make a good deal
of money, sewage is shared by several municipalities and also costs a
In the outer suburbs, there are quite a few older houses that use
wells and septic tanks and are extremely expensive none the less.
In our area sewer bills are based on water consumption and sewage
costs more than water. Both bills have a high minimum charges --
single people living alone rarely use more than that minimum and
probably would pay less on a more usage based rate schedule.
This issue can get surprisingly complicated. I think my own area is
being grossly overcharged -- if the "big evil city" with all its urban
problems can charge so much less the suburban facilities shouldn't be
that much more.
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Usually, the places which have the
water, i.e. Chicago and Lake Michigan, charge less for their own
people to use it, while blackmailing the folks with no immediate
access to the water (such as the north and western suburbs of Chicago).
As an example, Oak Park, Illinois and Harwood Heights, Illinois have
to buy their water from City of Chicago _or_ get permission from City
of Chicago to extend water pipes from the lake all the way through
town out to themselves. That would involve not only much excavation
of streets but a lot of politics as well. If those suburbs even tried
to get instant access to Lake Michigan, I am sure they would regret
it by the time in several years it got out of court. So, they figure
its simply cheaper in the long run to purchase the community's water
from City of Chicago. Although city does discount the price a little
for the bulk purchase, they do not discount it _that much_ and since
politics means so much, the suburbs have to add their own 'markup'
to the price they charge to resell the water to their citizens.
But, speaking of politics, some of the little suburban towns have
something Chicago wants as well: Consider Ohare Airport for example:
The original Mayor Daley (King Daley I) long ago decided it just would
not do to have Ohare 'belong to' or be geographically situated in Park
Ridge or that other little town along Mannheim Road where Ohare
physically sits, called Rosemont, IL. It had to be part of Chicago, by
God, that's how Daley the First in his greed phrased it. But in order
to annex the airport into the city itself, state law got in the way.
State law requires that in order for one place to annex another place,
the two places have to touch at least a little somewhere. For instance
Chicago _could_ legally annex Oak Park since they have border lines in
common, just as the city many years ago annexed Austin, Illinois on
the west side, and Pullman, Illinois on the south side. In the case of
Ohare Airport however, none of it _touches_ or has a border in common
with Chicago. It touches Rosemont, Schiller Park, and Park Ridge, but
So King Daley I had a solution for that also: we will take a tiny
little five foot wide length of land on the north side of Irving Park
Road (where Chicago touches Schiller Park) and stretch that all the
way west then through the Forest Preserve (don't worry about those
commissioners, they are my puppets also) and we will keep on
extending that little strip of land through Rosemont until it reaches
the eastern edge of Ohare, where then we 'balloon it out' to take in
all of Ohare. So by that gerrymandering Chicago is able to annex
Orchard Field (which they would begin calling 'Ohare' Field; FYI that
is why the FAA designation for Ohare is 'ORD', from the Orchard Field
days). Corrupted mayor and officials of Schiller Park and Rosemont
all line up with hands out; what's in it for us if we give away our
little towns to you, oh King Daley? How about if we give you _free
water_ from now on, the King replied. You won't have to continue to
pay outrageous prices to buy water from Chicago, and you won't have
to engage in a lengthy and expensive lawsuit to excavate _our streets_
in order to get water out to _your little rinky dink town was Daley's
proposition. And it was, as 'they' say, sold to the highest bidder.
That is why over a two or three block stretch of what logically is
Rosemont/Schiller Park in that area (as per the design of the street
lamps and street marker signs) instead you see _true_ Chicago street
lamps and street signs. Just for those few blocks way out west. And
where there was one other little nasty, two separate streets in
town with the same name (Michigan Avenue to be precise), they took
the less well known one in Schiller Park and for that two block
stretch (where it intersects with Irving) changed the name to some-
thing else, which escapes me at this minute. And just because
Rosemont and Schiller Park get their water for free from City of
Chicago does not mean they in turn pass along that largesse to
their own citizens for free. You didn't think that, did you? But
that is how 'Chicago-Ohare International Airport' got that name
instead of 'Rosemont-Orchard Field Airport'. Everyone else in
the western/southern suburbs of Chicago pay dearly for their water.
Going north, however, the Evanston Water Works does a wee bit
better for the suburbs west of it; they still pay through the nose
also, but not as much or as badly as the towns dependent on the
City of Chicago. (Except of course for Schiller Park and Rosemont.)