Water Rules and Regulations

WATER RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR

TOWN OF ATKINSON, NC

 

I. ARTICLE I - SERVICE CLASS

 

A. There will be three classes of water service:

1. Residential: to include, but not be limited to, houses, mobile/modular homes, apartments, churches, fire districts, and non-profit organizations.

2. Commercial: to include organization for profit and/or serving the residents of

the Town of Atkinson.

3. Other: to include all other classes of water services.

B. Water service provided to a specific lot will be used on that lot only. Multiple users from a single ¾” meter is prohibited whether it involves the same or different classes of service. WATER WILL BE TERMINATED UPON DISCOVERY OF MULTIPLE USERS FROM A SINGLE ¾” METER.

 

II. ARTICLE II - APPLICATION FOR SERVICE

 

A. Application for Water Service

1. Service will be supplied only to those consumers who have completed the written contract form or application and paid the required fees and/or deposits. If possible, service will be cut-on prior to 5:00 p.m. on the date of application. If not, service will be provided on the next working day. No new or re- activated service will be supplied on the weekends or holidays.

2. The consumer should appear in person to sign the contract or application forms or may send a notarized copy of same directly to the Town. At the same time, all deposits, account activation and/or transfer fees will be required. The consumer will provide adequate identification (driver’s license or other official picture ID), plus proof of right to establish water service on the property as requested. Such proof can be provided by providing a copy of the registered deed with the consumer’s name listed as owner.

C. Re-activation of Water Service

1. The Town may reject any application for service when the applicant is delinquent in payment of bills incurred for service previously supplied at any other location.

2. The Town may reject any application for service not available under the standard rate or which involves excessive service costs. 

3. For violation of any of the provisions of these Rules and Regulation, the Town may refuse or discontinue service. The Town must mail written notice to the address on record for the consumer, with notification of the violation and provide fifteen (15) days for correction of said violation. If applicable fee must be paid prior to service reactivation.

 

III. ARTICLE III - DEPOSITS

 

A. A deposit of $75.00 will be collected from each new customer when they apply for water service within the Town. The deposit will be applied to a final account upon notification from the customer that they are moving or upon cutoff due to non-payment.

 

IV. ARTICLE IV - MISCELLANEOUS

 

A. The initial and/or minimum charge for each water account is established by the current rate schedule, and will be charged for each water account, even when there is no recorded usage of water.

B. For rental property, the property owner will be responsible for the tap on fee as outlined by the current rate schedule.

C. Property owners may elect to remain the responsible party for water accounts where renters or tenants reside. However, the Town will bill the property owner and pursue the property owner for any delinquent accounts. Should property owner have one or more active accounts with the Town, service may be terminated at ALL meters should one account become delinquent.

D. If a property owner elects to have the tenant be the responsible party for water service only during the rental period, and then elects to be responsible during any periods of vacancy, the property owner must agree, in writing, with the Town to such an arrangement. The property owner’s account will immediately be reactivated and the $25.00 transfer fee will be charged upon notification from the tenant that water service is to be terminated. This will only apply to rental property.

E. The Atkinson Board of Alderman serves as the owner of the water system, and has the authority to interpret, adjust, modify, and implement all the rules and procedures contained herein. The Atkinson Board of Alderman is also the final authority for any and all exceptions, waivers or appeals.

 

V. ARTICLE V - TOWN RESPONSIBILITY AND LIABILITY

 

A. The Town will run a service line from the distribution line to the consumer’s property line. The meter will be located at the public right-of-way on which a water main exists.

B. The Town may install a meter at the property line, or at the option of the Town, on the consumer’s property, or on a location mutually agreed upon.

C. When two (2) or more meters are installed on the same premises for different consumers, the meters will be grouped closely, but each will be designated as to which consumer is serviced by which meter.

D. Under no conditions will interconnections with the Town distribution system be permitted.

E. Notwithstanding any language contained in this agreement or any representations made by person, the Town (defined as the Town, Water Board, and their respective board members, officers, employees, and agents) shall not be liable for any damages, claims or causes of action resulting directly from an interruption of service, fluctuation in pressure or any other cause related to the provision of service including installation or maintenance of any components of the Town.

 

VI. ARTICLE VI - ADJUSTMENTS

 

The Town is authorized to make adjustments that are in the best interest of the municipal water system.

 

VII. ARTICLE VII - CONSUMER’S RESPONSIBILITY

 

A. Piping of the consumer’s premises must be conveniently located with respect to the distribution lines and water mains.

B. If the consumer’s piping is so arranged that the District must provide additional meters, each metering will be considered a separate and individual account.

C. A suitable place will be provided by the consumer for placing his meter to ensure unobstructed access for the meter reader or service personnel at all times.

D. The piping and other apparatus utilized by the consumer will be installed and maintained in a safe and efficient manner in accordance with the rules and regulations for the Town and in full compliance with the sanitary regulations of the State Board of Health.

E. The consumer will furnish and maintain a private cut-off and back flow prevention valve on his/her side of the meter, and the Town will provide a cut-off valve on the other side of the meter.

F. In any event that any loss or damage to the property of the Town or any accident or Injury to persons or property is caused by or results from negligence or wrongful act of the consumer, his agents or employees, the cost of the necessary repairs or replacement will be paid by the consumer to the Town , and liability otherwise resulting will be assumed by the consumer. The cost will include parts, labor, and materials along with a service fee of $25.00.

G. The consumer shall guarantee proper protection for the property of the town located on the consumer’s premises and permit access by authorized representatives of the Town.

H. The consumer will provide an American National Standard Institute (ANSI) 1024, American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE) 1024, or an American Water Words Association (AWWA) C506 back flow prevention on all new construction or when major plumbing modifications are required.

 

VIII. ARTICLE VIII - ACCESS TO PREMISES

 

A. Duly authorized agents of the Town will have access at all reasonable hours to the consumer’s premises for the purpose of installing or removing Town property, inspecting piping, reading or testing meters, or for any other purpose in connection with Town service and facilities.

B. Each consumer will grant or convey, or cause to be conveyed, to the Town a perpetual easement and right-of-way across any property owned or controlled by the consumer wherever the same is necessary to accommodate the necessary Town water facilities and lines.

 

IX. ARTICLE IX - CHANGE OF OCCUPANCY

 

A. After the initial five (5) year contract period, a request for discontinuance or transfer of service should be made at least (3) days before the desired effective date.

B. The outgoing party will be responsible for all water consumed up to the time of departure or the time specified for departure, whichever period is longest. The new tenant or owner will be charged an account transfer fee of $25.00 prior to extension of service.

 

X. ARTICLE X - EXTENSIONS TO MAINS AND SERVICES

 

A. The Town may extend water lines to points within the service area if the consumer makes application for services and advances to the Town the entire cost of the installation, except as outlined in Section D below.

B. A written contract will be entered into between the applicant and the Town. Such contracts will be approved by the Town Board of Alderman.

C. All water line extensions will be constructed in accordance with the manual

“Requirements for the Design and Construction of Water System Extensions for the Town of Atkinson”.

D. Water line extensions to undeveloped subdivisions will be subject to the following rules:

a. The subdivision developer will submit plans of the propose3d water system to the Town Clerk for review by the Town Board of Alderman and the State Board of Health.

b. Upon approval of the plans by the Town and State agencies, the developer and/or applicant will enter into a written contract with the Town, The Town may include additional considerations as may be in the best interest of the Town. Such contract will be approved by the Town Board of Alderman.

c. After the contract is approved, the developer will install the water line extension in accordance herewith.

d. Upon completion of the new extension, the developer will convey title to the completed facility, including all right-of-ways, easement, permits, franchises, and authorization to the Town without consideration or remuneration by deed, bill of sale, or other appropriate instruments.

E. Water line extensions to service partially developed subdivisions shall be subject to the following rules, after approval by the Board of Alderman.

a. The subdivision developer will advance payment to the Town for the prorated share of the cost of the water system installation, based on the percentage of lots remaining unsold to be applied toward the cost of the proposed extension.

b. No such extension will be made until a determination of the feasibility of such extension has been approved by the Board of Alderman. In making such determination, the Board will consider the following:

1. Availability of Town funds.

2. Availability of developer funds

3. Number of signed users

4. Availability of water supply

5. Number of potential users

6. Anticipated future growth of the area

7. Approval of funding agencies

c. The Town policy for extending water distribution lines at the expense of the Town will be as follows, after approval by the Board of Alderman:

1. The extension of a water main along a public road will be considered if the cost thereof does not exceed $1000 per user. “User” will mean owner of property with occupied dwelling or with a building under construction with a valid building permit, who has demonstrated, in writing, willingness to receive service and has paid the required fees and/or deposits.

2. Public roads, for the purpose of these regulations, are roads which are maintained by the Department of Transportation.

3. Line extensions outside the Town of Atkinson must comply with the above policies c.1 and c.2) and each property shall also request satellite annexation into the Town.

 

XI. ARTICLE XI. - BILLING AND COLLECTON

 

A. Water meters will be read every month by the contracted meter reader, unless extenuating circumstances, much as a hurricane, snow storm, etc., prohibit the Town from securing the readings. In the event actual readings are unavailable, an average of the previous six (6) months readings will be used for billing purposes. If six (6) months previous readings is not available, the fixed facility fee will be filled, and any actual usage will be billed on the following monthly billing.

B. Meter readings that are determined to be in excess of a Consumer’s normal usage will be re-read by Town personnel. Prior to receiving billing for high usage, the Town will attempt to contact the Consumer.

C. Bills for water will be figured in accordance with the published rate schedule currently in effect, and will be based on the amount consumed for the period covered by the meter reading, except where a Consumer requests termination of service less than one month after previous reading. In such cases, the bill will be at least the minimum fixed facility fee.

D. Change for services commences when the meter is installed.

E. Readings from different meters will not be combined for billing, irrespective of the fact said metes may be for the same or different premises, or for the same or different Consumers, or for the same or different services.

F. All bills are due upon receipt. Any bill not paid by the 15th day of the month following billings will result in service being discontinued.

1. The cut-off list will be reviewed to be certain each account meets criteria.

2. Any Consumer may be granted an extension of up to ten (10) days without penalty, if the Billing Clerk is contacted at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the termination of water service for non-payment.

3. Extension may be granted twice per calendar year, unless extenuating circumstances are considered to be a viable reason for an additional extension. Extension will only be authorized by the Billing Clerk or Mayor.

4. There will be NO extension of water service grated to ANY Consumer on the same day termination for non-payment is to be performed.

5. The Billing Clerk may make special or other payment arrangements for the Consumer if such an agreement is in the best interest of the Town.

6. It shall be contrary to this policy for any employee or agent of the Town to contact any Consumer with the intent to manipulate this policy to avoid termination of water service due to non-payment of the account.

G. Failure of a Consumer to receive a bill does not constitute a defense to a delinquent charge.

 

XII. ARTICLE XII - SUSPENSION OF SERVICE

 

A. As soon as the work order is processed to terminate an account for non-payment, the account balance is due in full in order to avoid having the meter cut-off. Should the meter be cut-off the account balance plus a $25.00 reconnect fee will be due to have service restored. Service will only be restored during regular working hours. If reconnect is requested after 4:00 p.m., an additional $25.00 after hours fee will apply and must be paid prior to service being restored.

B. The town reserves the right to discontinue services, without notice, for any of the following reasons:

1. To prevent fraud or abuse

2. Consumer willful disregard of the Town rules and regulations

3. Discovery of multiple users on a single meter service

4. Emergency repairs

5. Insufficient supply of water due to circumstances beyond the control of the Town

6. Legal purposes

7. Direction of public authorities

8. Strike, riot, fire, flood, accident, or other unavoidable cause

C. The Town may, in addition to exercising any and all other remedies provided by law, permanently refuse service to any person, firm or corporation who has violated these rules and regulations, or has violated the provisions of Subchapter VI, Criminal Trespass, Article 22, Section 14-151.1 of the General Statutes of North Carolina.

D. Each water service account will be treated as a separate entity for purposes of termination for non-payment, regardless of the name in which the account is registered. However, if the Consumer moves and does not pay the final bill for a location, the service will be terminated at any new or existing locations for which this Consumer is responsible. (NOTE: For Consumers with one or more accounts, all water service may be terminated should any account become delinquent.)

E. Water service accounts are subject to immediate termination if a check accepted as payment in returned unpaid by the Consumer’s bank. A returned check fee, as authorized by N.C.G.S. 25-3.512 will be added to the water service account and a letter mailed notifying the Consumer of this action, allowing ten (10) calendar days for repayment with cash or certified funds. After three (3) returned checks, the Town will accept only certified checks, money orders, or cash for payment of the water account.

F. Water service can be terminated or discontinued by either Consumer or the Town. Once service is terminated, the water meter will be locked and service will only be restored when an application is completed and the proper fees and/or deposits are paid.

 

XIII. ARTICLE XIII - COMPLAINTS AND ADJUSTMENTS

 

A. If the Consumer believes the water service billing to be in error, the claim must be presented, in person, prior to the bill becoming delinquent. The claim, if made after the billing becomes delinquent, will not be effective in preventing termination of service. The consumer may pay such bill under protest and said payment will not prejudice the claim.

B. The Town will make special meter feedings at the request of the Consumer for a service fee of $25.00, unless such reading discloses the meter has been read incorrectly, in which case, there will be no charge.

C. Meter will be tested at the written request of the Consumer. The consumer shall remit payment for the actual cost of the testing service should such test indicate the meter is reading correctly.

 

XIV. ARTICLE XIV - ABRIDGEMENT OR MODIFICATIONS OF RULES

 

A. No promise, agreement or representation of any employee or agent of the Town will be binding upon the Town unless duly authorized by the Mayor or Board of Alderman, who is the proper officer for the Town.

B. No modification of rates or any of the rules and regulations may be made by any agent of the Town.