After a large number of Dover residents took to the (un)Official City of Dover, NH Facebook page last week to lament a rise in their respective water bills, the city released a statement Tuesday confirming that water and sewer bills did indeed increase for the affected billing period.

The City of Dover said the third-quarter billing period is July 1 through September 31, but individual billing dates can vary and some residents could effectively have longer billing windows than others. The first meter read can come as soon as early June and the second sometime around mid-September, the city said, adding that residents can see when their meters were read on their bill.

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Regardless, Dover issued water-usage restrictions on August 21, which the city admits could account for almost 30% of the billing cycle if the last meter reading was taken in June. This caused many residents to wonder why their bills were still inflated; the city said rates increased nearly 5% due to the 2021 budget approved by City Council.

The city said bills were delayed this quarter due to a meter-reading equipment issue.

The city speculated in their statement that residents "may have used more outdoor water than usual on gardens and lawns to make up for the lack of rainfall this summer before the water ban was enacted," and added that leaky toilets are the main culprit for higher water and sewage bills.

Still, the city said anyone will questions about their bill can call the water and sewer billing office at 603-516-6028 where staff can review individual bills and accounts.

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