Latino’s Hand Car Wash in Chicago pays the city a flat fee for its water and does not have a meter to measure the actual amount of water used at the facility, according to a report by the Chicago Sun-Times. The carwash is one of 520 commercial water users in the city that operates without a water meter.
A city ordinance requires businesses to have water meters, but Latino’s and other commercial users have been allowed to operate without them, creating disproportionate payments among carwashes and other businesses.
Those without meters are charged flat fees based largely on the widths of their buildings and property, not by how much water they use, the Sun-Times reported.
As a result, Latino's paid $898.32 for water and sewer service last year compared to the $1,745.44 paid by Lookin' Good Hand Car Wash, a nearby competitor that operates with a water meter, the article said. Lookin' Good used 675,000 gallons. Another competitor, Forest Glen Auto Spa, paid $2,129 for 755,000 gallons.
Latino’s has operated for 25 years without a water meter, the newspaper said.