What Constitutes “Business Consumption.”
In the ease of Johnson Kahn Company against the water department of New York city, the Supreme Court rules that water used in operating a cafe, billiard room, bar, barber shop and garage in connection with apartment houses, is used for “business consumption,” within New York City waterworks regulations, permitting a commissioner to require installation of meters. An owner of an apartment house, operating a cafe, etc., for the use of his tenants, in which meters are ordered by the water commissioner, cannot claim the right to frontage water rates as to consumption outside the cafe, etc., where the plant is not arranged for the separate service. The New York City ordinance fixing frontage water rates being limited to buildings at least five stories high, an owner of an apartment building exceeding that height is not entitled to such rate. A municipal water meter rate, as against a flat rate, is not per se unreasonable. Inhabitants’ right to water service supplied by the city is limited to the right to receive water at rea_____liable rates without discrimination. Equity wil not all in bringing about inequitable results, and he who seeks equity must do equity. Under the rule that equitable relief does not lie when there is an adequate remedy by mandamus or otherwise, suit does not lie to enjoin discontinuance of water service to a particular consumer oil a flat rate, under order by a municipal commissioner for installation of a meter; the consumer having a remedy by mandamus to compel supply of water, or by defense to an action for rents, if a meter is installed. Greater New’ York charter giving the commissioner of water supply control of the collection of water rates, enforcement of regulations concerning the use of water, etc., empower him to make reasonable regulations to secure the collection of revenues and proper use of the mains and appliances for distributing water and to prevent undue waste thereof. Regulations for municipal water service to individuals, prohibiting use of hose, rams, syphons, etc., except when the premises arc metered, requiring consumers to keep pipes in repair and to prevent vaste, etc., are reasonable. Injunction does not lie to control execise of a lawful official discretion, in the absence of abuse.