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Sun-Times Continues Water Meter Exposé

By Chuck Sudo in News on Nov 15, 2010 4:20PM

2010_10_wartermeters.jpg The Sun-Times continues its reports on the city's water billing system today by focusing on businesses that don't have water meters.

Businesses like car washes. Of 18 car washes across the city chosen by the Sun-Times at random, they found only one, Latino's Hand Car Wash at 3117 S. Archer in the McKinley Park neighborhood, did not have a water meter to measure water usage. As a result, the business is billed a flat fee for water and sewage usage, based on the antiquated system for billing in which a property owner is billed a flat fee determined by the width of the lot and building, regardless of use.

Last year, the water and sewage bill for Latino's was $898.32. A nearby competing car wash in Bridgeport that is metered for water usage paid $1,745.44 for 675,000 gallons of water. Latino's is one of 520 commercial water customers that do not have meters. Since the state is lending the city $2 million for water meter installation, maybe Latino's and the other businesses can get one quick. In the meantime, here's a handy map to find a cheap hand car wash on the Southwest Side.