(a) Any consumer may apply for and be granted a hearing as to any amount appearing on his or her water bill which he or she feels to be unusually large. Upon receipt by the City of a request for an adjustment, wherein it appears that an inspection of the plumbing system at the consumer’s property is appropriate, the Department of Building and Safety Inspections or the Department of Water Supply may inspect the property prior to the City considering whether or not to grant an adjustment. If it appears from the inspection that the plumbing system is defective, in need of replacement or repair, the appropriate notices shall be given to the consumer and the property owner who shall thereafter correct all deficiencies noted before any billing adjustment is made.
(b) The City Administrator or such other person as the City Administrator may designate shall act as referee at the time of the hearing and shall render a decision as to the validity of the billing of the disputed amount based on evidence presented by the consumer and the results of the investigation conducted by the Department of Water Supply or Building and Safety Inspections Division.
(c) The referee may approve an adjustment in the consumer’s water bill providing it is shown to his or her satisfaction from investigation by the Department of Water Supply or Building and Safety Inspections Division that a leak occurred due to the nonnegligence of the consumer, in plumbing of the consumer which resulted in an unusually large bill without the knowledge of the consumer, and where the consumer took immediate steps to repair the plumbing defect causing this leak. The basis of this adjustment shall be 50% of the excess to be absorbed by the customer, 50% by the City.
(Ord. 291, passed 4-10-1939; Ord. 2817, passed 12-7-1981; Ord. 3003, passed 7-28-1986)