Water Services, Rates, Fees and Related Rules

Effective – November 1, 2013

WATER SERVICE CLASSIFICATIONS

Active Service – A connection fee and applicable System Development Charge (SDC) is paid, water is being provided, billed monthly.

Inactive Service – A connection fee and applicable SDC has been paid, but no meter is installed. When changed to Active Service, a $50 meter set fee and any outstanding account debts must be paid before a meter is set, water provided and monthly billing started.

Permanent Disconnect – Nonpayment for one and one half (1-1/2) years (or if the property owner has requested the meter be removed), will result in water service shut-off by the SWLCWPUD. This is deemed a Permanent Disconnect. Billing is stopped and SWLCWPUD owned physical components might be removed. To change to an Active Service status, a new Water Application must be completed, a reconnection fee and any applicable SDC owed on the account are paid in full.

SETTING WATER SERVICE RATES, FEES AND SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT CHARGES 

Base rates, water use rates, fees and System Development Charges are reviewed yearly by the SWLCWPUD Board of Directors. If an increase in rates or fees or System Development Charges is deemed necessary they will published for public comment. Adopted new rates, fees and charges will be effective July 1.

ESTABLISHING WATER SERVICE 

To obtain Active Service a property owner must complete, sign and submit a Water Application to the SWLCWPUD.  The Water Application is available at the SWLCWPUD office or may be mailed upon request. The following information is required with the Water Application.

Address (physical) where the water service will be located

Map and Tax Lot Number

Billing Address, Phone Number and Email address of the property owner

Signed SWLCWPUD Water Application

A mailed Water Application for Active Service not received within thirty (30) days of the SWLCWPUD mailing date will result in a Last Notice letter with another new Water Application. If Water Application is not received within the next thirty days, a dated Door Hanger will be placed at the property (or mailed if applicable). See Door Hanger Fee. The Door Hanger advises water service will be shut-off in five (5) days if the Water Application is not received before the specified shut-off date. Subsequent water service will be made available upon ONLY upon receipt of the completed Water Application and full payment of the Door Hanger fee and any past due account debt.

If a new meter is required, it must be placed within a current dedicated right-of-way or an existing SWLCWPUD easement. If not practical, the property owner must file a new-recorded easement with Lincoln County and a true copy must be furnished to the SWLCWPUD before a meter set will be made. New water services are installed as the work schedule permits, but usually within two (2) weeks of any applicable fees and charges having been paid.

PAYING FOR WATER SERVICE 

The SWLCWPUD is divided into five (5) meter reading routes. Contact the SWLCWPUD office to determine your route reading and billing date. Bills are mailed by Thursday of the week the meter is read and indicate the date that payment is due.  Payment may be made by mail or at the SWLCWPUD office. Payments placed in the SWLCWPUD Payments drop slot after hours on Friday are entered on Monday morning and are considered paid as of the preceding Friday. After the Saturday mail and drop slot payments are processed, any applicable Late Payment fee is posted to the account. If a meter fails between readings, the charges for that period will be based on the average of the previous twelve (12) months. A questionable billed water usage amount should be reported immediately to the SWLCWPUD so the issue may be investigated. If a meter fails in any billing period, the charge for that month will be calculated on the average of the previous 12 months and the meter repaired or replaced.

PROPERTY OWNER RESPONSIBILITIES 

The SWLCWPUD will not bill anyone other than the property owner without receipt of written approval from the property owner, who remains responsible for the payment of any water service debts unpaid by the due date or damage to SWLCWPUD property serving the property. If not the person billed, the property owner will be sent a bill copy if the account is placed into a 14-Day Shut-Off Notice status. Unpaid debt belonging to a property is transferred to a new owner if the property is sold with unpaid debt. Upon request, the SWLCWPUD will advise of any unpaid debt. It is the responsibility of the property owner to notify the SWLCWPUD of any change in address affecting billing or Water Application contact information. The SWLCWPUD is not liable for water service shut-off due to billing payments not being received because of inaccurate addresses or contact information. Returned mail and/or incorrect contact information attempts are kept on file in the SWLCWPUD office.

NOTE: The SWLCWPUD owns and maintains the meter and meter shut-off valve. At a property owner’s request, the SWLCWPUD will shut off the water meter (and lock off if requested) free of charge. The SWLCWPUD must be called to turn water service back on. This is not considered a Permanent Disconnect. Minimum monthly billing will continue. There is the minimum monthly billing charge every month, whether or not there is water use.

CONNECTION AND RECONNECTION FEES 

Connection and reconnection fees are as follows:

¾ Inch water service                              $850

1 inch water service                                 $900

1-1/2 inch or larger water service            $Cost to be determined by SWLCWPUD

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT CHARGES – updated to be effective August 1, 2019

A SDC applies to all new connections and Permanent Disconnect reconnections on Tax Lots where a SDC has not been previously paid. A customer paying the SDC in full is not subject to the monthly-billed Bond Surcharge. A SDC paid on a Tax Lot is not assessed a second time. The SDC charges are:

METER SIZE          INSIDE DISTRICT                 OUTSIDE DISTRICT

5/8 or 3/4 inch              $2,856                                        $4,284

1 inch                            $4,000                                       $6,000

1-1/2 inch                      $4,930                                       $7,395

2 inch                            $8,275                                     $12,415

3 inch                            $31,355                                   $47,050

6 inch                            $60,500                                   $90,750

CREDIT CARD FEE

If a credit or debit card is used to pay a customer’s bill, a $2 convenience fee will be assessed for payments up to $300. There is a convenience fee scale depending upon payment amount.

RETURNED CHECK FEE 

A check returned to the SWLCWPUD for Not Sufficient Funds (NSF) will be billed a $25 Returned Check Fee. The check will be re deposited once. If the check is returned again to the SWLCWPUD for NSF, a Door Hanger will be placed on the property that day. The Door Hanger will state that water service will be shut-off at noon the following morning unless the overdue balance, including the Door Hanger and Returned Check Fees, are paid in full and in CASH.  Returned checks from accounts about to be shut-off because of an unpaid past due balance will result in a next day service shut-off if not paid in CASH by noon the next day.  A check returned to the SWLCWPUD written against a closed account will result in an automatic next day water service shut-off. To restore water service, payment of all overdue charges, including all applicable fees, must be paid in FULL and in CASH.  Returned checks from accounts about to be shut off  for non-payment (has a past-due balance) will result in a door hanger and a next-day shut off  if the account is not paid in full in cash by noon the day after the door hanger.

LATE PAYMENT FEE 

An account with a prior unpaid and overdue balance of $15.01 or more will have a Late Payment Fee of $3 posted to the account. If the prior balance is caused by a Change of Owner fee, a Late Payment Fee is not charged. If water service is in a shut-off status, a Late Payment Fee will not be charged. When an account has a prior unpaid and overdue balance, a “PAST DUE” stamp will be placed on the mailed bill. The bill will show the overdue balance, the Late Payment fee, and the current monthly payment amount due. If the account is not billed to the property owner, the property owner will be mailed a copy of the bill.

DOOR HANGER FEE 

Any overdue balance not paid within fourteen (14) days of the mailing date of the bill will result in a Door Hanger being placed at the water service site unless vacant or a lot without a dwelling unit. In the latter case, the Door Hanger will be mailed to the billing address on the date the Door Hanger was to be placed. Door Hangers are placed on Thursday. A $5 Door Hanger Fee will be applied to the account. The Door Hanger shows the overdue balance, the Door Hanger Fee, the total amount due and the date by which, minimally, the past amount past due and fees are to be paid in FULL. The SWLCWD will shut-off water service five (5) days after the Door Hanger is placed unless previous arrangements are made with the SWLCWD. The Door Hanger will note the applicable Water Turn-On Fee if the SWLCWPUD has to turn the water off for non-payment.

WATER SHUT-OFF FEE 

Any overdue payment not paid before the scheduled SWLCWPUD water shut-off date will result in a water service shut-off on the next Tuesday at 10 AM. A $40 Water Turn-On Fee will be added to the account at the time of water shut-off. To restore water service the FULL current balance of the bill, including the Water Turn-On Fee, must be paid in FULL and in CASH. The SWLCWD will consider an extension of time for payment if the person billed contacts the SWLCWPUD office and mutually agreed upon arrangements are made before 9:30 AM on the scheduled water shut-off day.

Once the water meter has been shut-off by the SWLCWPUD, only an employee of the SWLCWD shall remove the lock. If the lock or any other part of the meter or other SWLCWPUD property is removed or damaged by other than a SWLCWPUD employee, it will be considered Theft of Services, a prosecutable crime. In such a case, the meter will be physically removed. The meter will not be replaced until the total bill has been paid, including an additional Meter Set Fee of $50 plus the cost of any necessary repair parts and labor. Even though water service is shut-off by the SWLCWPUD, the minimum Base Rate charge will continue to accrue each month.

CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP NOTIFICATION AND FEE 

A new property owner must notify the SWLCWPUD of a change in property ownership if water service is being provided. A new Water Application must be completed, signed and returned within thirty (30) days. A $15 Change of Owner fee is included on the first monthly bill. The water service account at any property stays with the property. If there is prior unpaid debt owing at the next read date it is the new owner’s responsibility to pay for all prior and current charges. Recovery of owed prior amounts is not the responsibility of the SWLCWPUD. If there is a credit left on the account, that credit will be credited to the new property owner.

DAMAGE TO SWLCWD PROPERTY

A property owner is liable for any costs incurred due to damage of SWLCWPUD property as it directly relates to the served property. An example is if the water service is locked off for non-payment and the lock or angle stop is cut to reestablish water service. Should such damage occur, a separate bill will be sent to the billing address that includes parts and labor. The amount of the bill is due and payable upon receipt. If the billed party is not the property owner, a copy of the bill will be sent to the property owner. If not paid within fifteen (15) days water service will be shut off and applicable fees applied to the account.

 LEAK NOTIFICATIONS

The SWLCWPUD is not responsible for a leak on the customer side of a meter. If there appears to be unusual water usage at a meter reading an attempt will be made to contact the resident at the premise. If not successful, a no-charge Door Hanger will be left, advising of a possible leak. The SWLCWPUD office, upon the meter reader’s return, will attempt to contact the resident by phone. If unsuccessful and the property is not owner occupied, the SWLCWPUD will contact the property owner by telephone of a possible leak. If unsuccessful and no there is no message service, a letter will be mailed to the property owner. The property owner (or billed resident) may request the SWLCWPUD to turn water service off at the meter to prevent further loss. If there is evidence of a major leak, the SWLCWPUD may unilaterally turn the water off at the meter and will attempt to contact the resident and/or property owner and advise of any water loss costs. For a major leak the SWLCWPUD office may be contacted and arrangements made for additional time to pay the bill.

TAX LOTS WITH MULTIPLE DWELLINGS OR LIVING UNITS

Property owners have three (3) options for water service; all require approval by the SWLCWPUD Field Superintendent.

  1. Separate meters can be set for each dwelling or living unit. In this case, each meter is billed as a separate account.
  2. One meter can serve all dwellings or living units. This will result in a single bill that will include the applicable Base Rate for each dwelling or unit.
  3. A combination of 1. and 2. above.

WATER QUALITY OR WATER LINE ISSUES

Issues with water quality or water lines are to be made to the SWLCWD. The issue will be given immediate attention by SWLCWPUD staff.

INSTALLATION OF NEW SWLCWD PRIMARY WATER LINES

Only the SWLCWPUD or its contractors may modify, repair or install primary SWLCWPUD water lines. With written SWLCWPUD approval, a property owner may install or arrange for the installation of new primary water lines to SWLCWPUD specifications and open to SWLCWPUD inspection and approval prior to cover. Exceptions must be approved by the SWLCWPUD Field Superintendent. The property owner is responsible for costs incurred by the SWLCWPUD for it’s inspection and these costs must be paid before water service will be turned on. These costs can be estimated and provided to the property owner prior to the beginning of any work but are subject to change depending upon conditions encountered.