an 850 charge

nagomi

Senior Member
Korean
" On a recent bill, there's an 850 charge for sewer fees. Every household gets charged for sewage. And on another line - $22.50 in charges, a water assistance donation. That's to raise money for a fund meant to help customers pay their water bills. Newberry's total has built up over years of unpaid bills. Still, it's a fund that should be helping him. Instead, he's being charged for it."

What's an 850 charge?

source: Why Many In The Great Lakes Region Can't Afford Basic Drinking Water
 
  • Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    As the whole text is about money/charges, it would be logical to assume it was an $850 fee/cost/charge.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    It is difficult to say if the speaker said/meant "eight-fifty" ($8.50) or "eight hundred and fifty" ($850 - which seems somewhat expensive) but the whole section is about "charges" bgy a water company.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    In this case it's $8.50, which we would ordinarily pronounce "eight fifty" given that the context makes clear that it's a price.

    The note at the end of the article is relevant:

    NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.​
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Are you sure that's what it said?
    NEWBERRY: And then they was charging me for sewage and all that, and the water wasn't even on.
    MILLER: On a recent bill, there's an 850 charge for sewer fees. Every household gets charged for sewage. And on another line - $22.50 in charges, a water assistance donation.

    It is a verbatim transcript.
     

    AnythingGoes

    Senior Member
    English - USA (Midwest/Appalachia)
    In the quoted sentence, sewage is short for "sewage treatment services". Sewerage may exist in American English but it's rarely used, except perhaps in civil engineering.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    $8.50 seemed too small and $850 seemed too large (unless of course it's a total cumulative bill) so I looked it up.

    Here's a PDF of a sample Detroit water bill.
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.detroitmi.gov/Portals/0/docs/DWSD/bill-2016/Residential%20Bill%20-%20New%202016%20Sample.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwjf9LqYz7HgAhVjRN8KHUNsBL4QFjAAegQIBxAB&usg=AOvVaw0Tz2wb8iMElRYA4DhspRqN

    The sewer charge is $26 but there are an additional $26 in "fees" charged, with the total being $52. There is no charge for "water assistance donation" shown. It's hard to see where the "850" is coming from.

    Also, in the heading, they call them "sewer charges" but in the itemized lines they say "sewerage".
     
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