House to debate ban on unmetered billing for water, sewer use


Maryland state lawmakers are scheduled to begin debating legislation today that would outlaw unmetered water billing in apartment complexes, giving the state some of the toughest regulations in the nation.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Elizabeth Bobo, a Howard County Democrat, and Del. Mary-Dulany James, a Harford County Democrat, would force landlords and billing companies to charge apartment renters for their exact water and sewer usage by installing meters in each unit.

Landlords and water billing companies acknowledge that unmetered billing is not as accurate as charging each apartment dweller for exact usage but defend the practice, saying it promotes conservation among apartment dwellers.

But others disagree, saying it is questionable whether unmetered billing leads to significant water conservation and contending that it is unfair to residents.

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