That water leak out in the garage last month might have started five minutes after I left for work, five minutes before I got back, or any time in between; there was no way to tell in the absence of a proper time machine without looking at the meter itself, which is a couple of feet underground, and I don’t have the key to open it up anyway. (Plumbers, as a matter of course, do seem to have such things.) The water bill, which came out a couple of days later, did not reflect any of this mess, inasmuch as the city read the meter the week before, so I was definitely sweating the next one.
Normal consumption around here is somewhere between 2000 and 3000 gallons a month, and is billed as one or the other depending on rounding factors: over the preceding year, I had six bills for 2000 gallons and six bills for 3000. The March bill was for 2000. The April bill, which arrived yesterday (one day early, actually), was for, yes, 3000 gallons.
So apparently it wasn’t as horrible as I had allowed myself to think it would be. Still, we’re running about one-quarter normal rainfall this year (after a 60-percent surplus last year), so I hate the idea of wasting the stuff.