Local News

So Far, So Good in City Water Inspections at Businesses

Posted March 11, 2008 5:54 p.m. EDT
Updated March 12, 2008 11:47 a.m. EDT

— 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.