Local News

So Far, So Good in City Water Inspections at Businesses

Posted March 11, 2008
Updated March 12, 2008

— Even with this week’s good news on the water front – Falls Lake inching back toward its historical normal level – Raleigh officials are still making sure businesses aren't being wasteful.

Inspectors went out Tuesday to see.

Inspector Tim Beasley was spending much of his time in bathrooms.

“That's what we like to see,” Beasley said as he checked whether one company had done what all businesses were asked to do more than two months ago, install low-flow devices like shower heads and faucets to save water.

“If you feel underneath the faucet, you'll feel like a little filter,” Beasley explained to an observer. “That's the diffuser.”

At the City Council's request, inspection teams are fanning out this week, hitting hotels, fitness clubs, office buildings and apartments.

“So far, what we've seen is pretty good,” Beasley reported.

One of those waiting to hear what Beasley and his colleagues find is Mayor Charles Meeker.

“Naturally, I'm hoping we have a high level of compliance,” the mayor said of the voluntary conservation plan. “If we don't, we'll need to take further steps.”

Meeker said that means he'll ask the City Council to make it mandatory for all apartments and businesses to install low-flow devices.

Support is not unanimous.

“I don't think that's realistic,” said Randy Warren, a property manager and a member of the Triangle Apartment Association, a landlord advocacy group.

The association is all for installing the devices if it is voluntary and they can do it at their own pace, Warren said.

“It would be quite expensive in going through every unit at the same time. It’d be a burden on the owner and the residents as well, ‘cause the residents would end up paying in the long run,” Warren said.

City leaders hope mandatory isn’t necessary, and the first round of inspections suggest it may not be.

“All of them seem to be on the ball,” Beasley said of the owners he had inspected.


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  • Nobody but Carolina Mar 12, 2008

    I can't remember how often the monitoring is, maybe weekly at most (?), but single family homes are being monitored for possible leaks. If one is detected, the homeowner is notified and has 24 hours to fix and show proof or water service is shut off till it is fixed.

    I would also imagine that multiple dwelling complexes that are metered by dwelling aren't be looked at the same way as ones that are metered for the entire complex. Of course, I'm assuming that.

  • EasilyAmused Mar 12, 2008

    My experience (and that of the people I have spoken with) is that these devices are a waste. Most people I know with low flow toilets flush multiple times. They also take longer showers since it simulates less water pressure and takes longer to fully rinse off.

  • momof2 Mar 12, 2008

    cont... and have to maintain high occupancies to keep the cost per unit down. What about condominiums? They are not submetered and are owner-occupied dwellings. Will they be required to add low flow devices?

  • momof2 Mar 12, 2008

    Steam Train--I am not griping--just stating my opinion as you have done also. I am also bringing to the attention of many the financial impact that these "voluntary" mandates have on the apartment industry. And they are passed on to the renter so you can't say there is no incentive. Renters are intelligent and know that as property expenses go up, so do their rents. Many apartment communities do have sub-metered water so the residents do pay for their own usage. I don't see anything mentioned about waiving sub-metered communities from this voluntary mandate. We can also monitor the usage of each individual unit to see if usage is high or determine if there is a water leak ie leaky faucet, running toilet. Does the City of Raleigh monitor single family home usage for undetected leaks? Are they going to require owners that use "too much" water to install low flow devices?? And where there is no submetering, apartment owners do care because they foot the bill cont...

  • Nobody but Carolina Mar 12, 2008

    Excellent points, SteamTrain.

  • SteamTrain Mar 12, 2008

    All I see here is a bunch of incessant griping!

    1. Hotel guests and most apartment dwellers aren't directly metered for water, so most have no compunction to save. Any non-invasive way that can limit their water use is acceptable.
    2. Hotel guests and apartment dwellers have no incentive for "upgrading" their fixtures, so any encouragement that the city can give to have the owners do the upgrades is helpful to community.
    3. Granted, apt owners need time for the upgrades. There are sometimes access issues with established residents, but hotel/motel owners have access at least every few days.

  • aintbackingdwn Mar 12, 2008

    Yep - the Mayor will soon have a 50 cent tax on any patrons that ask for water while dinning. Heil meeker...Heil Meeker...
    I would be curious to examine Mr. Meekers water bill and the purity of his waist emmissions - from his home sewer - no grease now.

  • TheAdmiral Mar 12, 2008

    Soviet and German music circa 1940's playing in the background...

    Faucets - Var are de faucets?

    You vill be villified and fined until such time you produce de faucets! If ju do not produce de faucets ve shall take more effective acktion!

  • whatelseisnew Mar 12, 2008

    Yep this Mayor is out of control. First you ask people to voluntarily install low flow devices. I have no problem with that, certainly it is good public policy to ask people to take reasonable steps to conserve water usage. Ah, but next the rub. YOU VILL BE INSPECTED!!! Not a mandatory inspection, but!!! if you do not submit you will be declared GUILTY. Then as a form of intimidation "Please substitute BLACKMAIL" your name will be put on a public list. Isn't lovely when Government uses strong arm tactics? I wish every Business Owner had told these Raleigh Brown shirts to take a hike when they showed up to examine their papers, ah I mean faucets. Let's see a public list, hhhmmm I seem to recall something about a yellow star.

  • momof2 Mar 12, 2008

    I am always amazed at the way our mayor "goes after" (for lack of a better term) the apartment rental industry. Is it his philosphy that people who rent are second rate citizens behind single family home owners? Isn't it discrimanatory to force landlords to install such devices and not single family homeowners? Renters-be aware-these mandates come back to you! You will be the ones paying for the upgrades. Multi family communities now get billed for trash pick up. They use to get it included with their taxes the same as single family homeowners. Renters-you now pay for a service that others get free. When will this disciminatory practice end? Seems "predatory". Please remember this when election time comes. These are the type of things that cause rental rates to go up!