Future apartment residents may have to pay their own water bills.
The City Council this week directed the city attorney to prepare an ordinance that would require the installation of individual water meters for each unit in new apartment buildings.
Apartment buildings are now monitored through one meter, and the owner, not the tenants, are billed for the water. Some landlords have complained that tenants who waste water cannot be identified. The proposal would make individual tenants liable for costs, as well as legally responsible under a new city ordinance prohibiting water waste.
Some council members question the costs involved in installing the additional water lines, water heaters and gas and electric lines required for individual metering. Councilman Ken Genser also asked that city staff try to determine the additional amount of natural gas and electricity individual lines would involve.
The draft ordinance and staff reports are expected in about a month.