Village of Walnut Creek – Policy for Water & Sewer

Policy for Water and Sewer Customers-revised-8-14-18

The following information has been adopted by the Village Council as the policies regarding Water & Sewer, effective 8-14-18.   The changes are effective 8-14-18.

Establishing Water and/or Sewer Service 

Utility service can be established by completing the application form (copy attached) and returning it to the Village staff. The assigned meter will be read and a billing cycle established.

There is a $100 deposit required before water service can be established and a $150 deposit if the property has both water & sewer.

Delay in Establishing Residence

In the event a resident delays relocation to the Village after initiation of utility service, all normal billing continues just as if the resident resides within the Village. The resident may request suspension of utility service at any time under these circumstances and the Village staff will read the meter, turn off service and invoice the resident for services provided. A re-connection fee of $100 will then be charged whenever the service is re-requested.

Rates 

The Village Council sets the rates for both water and sewage annually as allowed by the Village Ordinance. Currently, the rates are:

Residential:

  1. Water: The Village will follow Wayne Water District’s water rates, with the
    minimum quarterly being 6,000 gallons, as opposed to WWD allocating 2,000
    gallons monthly with their fee schedule. The minimum quarterly fee is the
    same as the WWD monthly fee times three months in a quarter.
  1. Sewer: $1.50 per 100 gallons of water used with a minimum rate of $150 per quarter.

Commercial:

  1. Water: The Village will follow Wayne Water District’s water rates, with the
    minimum quarterly being 6,000 gallons, as opposed to WWD allocating 2,000
    gallons monthly with their fee schedule. The minimum quarterly fee is the
    same as the WWD monthly fee times three months in a quarter.
  1. Sewer: $2,000 per quarter flat rate for commercial sewage customers

Normal Billing

The normal quarterly billing cycle is accomplished in this manner:

  1. The meters are read during the first week of the next quarter.
  2. Invoices are sent out during that same week.
  3. The payment due date is the 1st of the following month, normally about three weeks after the meter is read. If the payment is not yet received, a second notice is mailed out announcing a late fee has been imposed in the amount of $25.00. If the subsequent next quarter bill is paid beyond the due date, the late fee will be $50.00.
  1. When service has been suspended due to non-payment, full payment of all monies outstanding and a $100 reconnect fee must be paid before service is restored.

Unusually High Water Meter Reading

The Village recognizes that from quarter to quarter residents may see a large swing in the usage of water as documented by water meter readings. This swing in consumption may be due to a number of reasons. In the event of questions, residents will be shown previous quarterly consumption information to help provide information with regard to water usage over time.

In the event a resident feels the current quarterly water meeting reading is incorrect, the following procedure will be followed:

  1. The residence will be evaluated to ensure compliance to existing Village ordinances which require no automatic irrigation is being performed from a municipal water sources. Residents will be asked to prove water sources and/or well permits to ensure compliance to existing ordinances.
  1. In the very rare event of an unusually high meter reading due to a water leak, the resident may apply in writing for a waiver of a portion of the invoiced amount. The Village staff will research the past two years of data as well as specific quarter consumption numbers and come up with an average usage. There is no guarantee of any amount of a bill will be waived, as each case will be reviewed based on the circumstances. Residents should be under the assumption all water that has gone through the water meter and through the sewer will be billed at applicable rates.
  2. A waiver may be requested and will only be granted one time to each resident/property owner. This request requires written documentation describing the problem, along with proof that a repair have been completed. Proof is a detailed, itemized bill from a professional service listing the repairs which were completed. Once a waiver of any kind has been granted, residents should not expect to receive additional credits to their water bill(s).
  1. Upon receipt of a waiver, the Water & Sewer Commissioner will review the request and will render a decision. In the event the decision is not acceptable to the resident, he/she must make a formal request to the Village Council within 30 days of the Water & Sewer Commissioners decision. This will require the resident to appear at the monthly council meeting and review the matter and present a request for reconsideration. 
  2. Any request to test a meter for inaccurate reading(s) does not absolve the requirement to pay what is due. If credits are justified and documented, they will be applied to your account. In the event the meter is found to be in proper working condition, if a bill is paid after the due date, regardless of when the meter is tested, the resident is responsible for the late fee.
  3. Any request for a meter test will be performed based on availability of the Village staff. Please note it may take weeks for tests to be completed. While waiting for test results to come back, the resident is still responsible for all amounts due to the Village, and any unpaid amount due past the due date will be charged a late fee.

Termination or Suspension of Service 

In the event a resident elects to terminate service due to relocation, foreclosure or eviction, the following procedures apply:

  1. The resident may call the Village staff and request the service be suspended or terminated.
  1. The staff will read the meter and determine the amount of the invoice if any.
  1. An appropriate invoice will be mailed to the former resident for payment. If the invoice amount is less than the deposit on file, a refund will be granted.
  1. Delinquent or non-payment of just debts may be referred to the North Carolina Debt Set-off program for resolution through the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

Since these policies do not encompass every possible situation, anything not specifically addressed here may be appealed to the Water & Sewer Commissioner and subsequently to the Village Council for final resolution.

Sewer Camera Services

As a part of maintaining fully functional sewer pipes, the Village has in its possession a camera capable of inspecting sewer lines. As a service to our residents, the Village maintenance personnel would like to offer a camera inspection service subject to the following guidelines:

  1. The availability of the camera is on a first-come first served basis.
  2. The camera may be taken out or service or made unavailable by the Village at any time. Even if a date has been scheduled to use the camera, this does not guarantee any resident the availability of the camera.
  1. The Village will not “loan” the camera to anyone. Village personnel will operate the camera and it will remain in the possession of Village Employees at all times.
  2. If a resident wishes to have their sewer line inspected with the camera, a request should be made at least one business day ahead of time, and during normal Village business hours. Requests made on weekends, holidays or after normal business hours will be serviced only if Village resources are available. There is no guarantee for service outside of normal business hours.
  1. The following is the service the Village will provide for a inspecting a sewer line for a residence. This would also include the ability to camera a sewer line up to the point where it connects to a septic tank or property-owner system.
    1. The Village will charge $100 for the first one hour of service and will bill in 30 minute increments (rounded up) at the rate of $100 an hour.
    2. The property owner is responsible for locating their external sewer clean out/inspection point. If Village resources are required to help locate this, this time will be included in the first hour of billing.
    3. Village personnel will operate the camera and inspect from the clean-out to the connection where the residence sewer line connects to the Village sewer main. Village personnel will identify the best they can the area where there is a problem and/or blockage. Where applicable, the Village may be able to run the camera from the clean-out back towards the residence to attempt to identify a blockage, but the Village is very limited in our ability to inspect internal plumbing. PLEASE NOTE: NO REPAIR SERVICES WILL BE PERFORMED BY VILLAGE PERSONNEL.
  1. The Village makes no warranties, either expressed or implied, as to the cause, source or recommendation(s) required to resolve any problem identified. Due to varied conditions and circumstances the Village cannot guarantee they will be able to camera every sewer line. Village personnel will make every attempt to camera a line, but the property owner must realize the Village is not a plumbing company and is limited in the actions we can take. The service the Village is performing is solely to be used by property owners in the identification of a blockage, broken pipe, or the analysis of the pipe and/or connections.
  1. Payment for all camera services is required by the property owner within 30 days of the date of service. Any amounts unpaid after 30 days will (1) be applied to the next water and sewer bill; and (2) prevent additional camera services from being performed for the property owner, regardless of the property address being inspected. There will be no exceptions.
  2. Any concerns with this procedure are to be addressed to the Village Administrator.