RULES AND REGULATIONS
- Service Classification: There shall be no distinction of this category.
II. Service Application:
- Any bona fide occupant of a single family dwelling; or to each residential unit to an auto court, duplex, multiple family dwelling building, condominium, Homeowner Association, or person making application, and signing the necessary documents for a water tap, and becoming a customer, shall become a member of the company and shall receive a Membership Certificate.
A fee of Ten Dollars ($10.00) shall be paid per membership and shall be held in a membership account.
1. Mobile Home Parks (Associations) = One (1) Meter.
a. The Landlord will be responsible for the entire unpaid water bill
2. Apartments, Condominium, or Homeowner Associations
a. Each Unit or Building may have its own meter, although the Landlord, Condominium Association, or Homeowner Association, will be responsible. The Landlord, Condominium Association, or Homeowner Association, is responsible for the bill. They shall be subject to the same rules and regulations as individual owners.
- The Company may reject any application for membership when the applicant is delinquent in payment of bills incurred for service previously supplied at any location.
- Violation of any of the provisions of these rules, bylaws or any other regulation of the company, the company may remove the meter and discontinue service. Where the meter is thereafter reinstalled, the member shall first pay the company a reinstallation charge. If the member voluntarily requests a removal of their meter for a definite or indefinite period, the reinstallation fee plus the monthly minimum water rate multiplied by the number of months the meter has been out of service, or the established tap fee, whichever is lesser must be paid.
- The individual in whose name the membership certificate is prepared shall be responsible for payment of all bills incurred in connection with the service rendered.
- In the event an application is made for a water user’s agreement and the said applicants experience with the water company has been such that the company has reasonable cause to believe there could be non-payment or non-compliance with the rules of the water company, the manager shall have the right to determine a deposit in excess of the usual amount which would adequately protect the water company.
F. In those cases where a tap has been installed and later disconnected for any reason, upon a change in ownership of the land, a fee of Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars ($250.00) will be charged to reinstate water usage. These charges shall not remove the outstanding obligation or obligations of the prior owner or owners to the water company.
- Rural Development Requirements:
A. Floodplain Areas:
The Rural Development will require the exclusion of new service taps within floodplain areas as identified by the Federal Emergency Agency, Flood Insurance Maps.
B. Wetland Areas:
The Rural Development will require the exclusion of new structure service taps within wetland areas as identified by the Department of Interior, Division of Fish and Wildlife Wetland Inventory Maps. Developers working near identified wetland areas will be denied water service unless evidence is provided that the proposed development will not impact the wetlands. Developers requesting water service extensions must coordinate the development with the Unites States Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service and the United States Army Corps of Engineers for wetlands and stream crossing prior to obtaining water service.
C. Stream Crossing and Adjacent Wetlands:
Stream crossings must comply with the “National Permits” contained in 33CRF 330.59 (a) (12) The Corp. of Engineers has confirmed the applicability of the National Permit. Excess material must be removed to upland areas immediately upon completion of construction. At least a top six inches of backfill over the utility line must be top soil removed from the trench granular backfill material must not be used.
IV. Service Fee:
A. The flat minimum monthly rate, as set in the water rate schedule, will be payable irrespective of whether any water is used by the member during any month.
B. The flat minimum monthly rate, as set in the water rate schedule, will be payable irrespective of seasonal use, in which the company may be required to remove the water meter, the company when service is again restored will make a charge for such reinstallation as set out in Section II C hereinafter.
C. The tap fee established by the Highland County Water Company Inc. Board of Directors, shall be made for each new meter installation where a 5/8, ¾, 1, or a 2 inch meter is used regardless of location.
D. Water furnished for a residence or farmstead shall be used on that lot or farmstead only. Each member’s service must be separately metered at a single delivery and metering point. All commercial use, excluding agriculture, shall be metered separately from any residential use, and vice versa.
E. In addition to the collection of regular rates, the company may collect from the member a proportionate share of any privilege, sales, or use tax or impositions, based on gross revenues received by the company.
V. Company’s Responsibility:
A. The company will install, maintain and operate a main distribution pipe line or lines from the source of water supply, the service lines from the main distribution line or lines to the meter of each member of the company at which points, designated as delivery points, meters to be purchased, installed, owned and maintained by the company. The cost of the service line or lines from the main distribution line or lines of the company to the meter shall be paid by the company. The company will install a cut-off valve in each service line from its main distribution line or lines, such cut-off valve to be owned and maintained by the company and to be installed on some portion of the service line owned by the company. Only the company shall have the right to turn the valve on and off.
B. Each member shall be entitled to one
(1) service line from the company’s water system unless otherwise approved by the Board of Directors. No new service line or change in an existing service line may be made which will interfere with an existing service line or with delivery of water therein. Each service line shall connect with the company’s water system at the nearest available place to the place of desired use by the member if the company’s water system shall be of sufficient capacity to permit the delivery of water through a service line at that place without interfering with the delivery of water through a prior service line. If the company’s water system shall be inadequate to permit the delivery of water through a service line installed at such place without interfering with the delivery of water through a prior service line the new service line shall be installed at such place as may be designated by the company. Each member will be required to purchase and install at their expense, and to maintain such portion of the service line or lines from the meter of the member to their dwelling; or other place of use on member’s premises at their expense.
C. A tap fee established by the Highland County Water Company Inc., Board of Directors will be charged for each new meter installation and must be deposited with the water company in advance.
VI. Company’s Liability:
A. The company does not assume the responsibility of inspecting the member’s piping or apparatus and will not be responsible therefore.
B. The company reserves the right to refuse service unless the member’s lines or piping are installed in such a manner that will prevent cross connections or backflow. The water company shall have the right to have the premises inspected after reasonable notice, to determine the adequacy of the connection for system backflow protection.
C. The company shall not be liable for damages of any kind whatsoever resulting from water or the use of water on the member’s premises, unless such damage results directly from negligence on the part of the company. The company shall not be responsible for any damage done or resulting from any defects in piping, fixtures, or appliances on the member’s premises. The company shall not be responsible for negligence of a third person or persons, or from forces beyond the control of the company or acts of God, resulting in any interruption of service.
D. If possible under normal conditions, the members will be notified of any anticipated interruptions of service.
VII. Member’s Responsibility:
A. Piping on the premises of the member must be installed so that the connections are conveniently located with respect to company lines and mains. THE WATER COMPANY SHALL HAVE THE FINAL DECISION FOR THE LOCATION OF THE WATER METER!
B. If the company provides additional meters each meter will be considered as a separate account for billing purposes.
C. The member shall provide a place of metering, which is unobstructed and accessible at all times. A backflow valve must be installed in accordance with Ohio E.P.A. Regulations. The company shall have the right to have this installation inspected, after reasonable notification.
D. The member shall furnish and maintain a private cut-off valve on the member’s side of the meter. The company is to provide a valve on the company’s side of such meter.
E. The member’s piping and apparatus shall be installed and maintained by the member at the member’s expense in a safe efficient manner and in accordance with the company rules and regulations and in full compliance with sanitary regulations of the State Board of Health.
F. The member shall guarantee proper protection for the company’s property placed on the member’s premises and shall permit access to it only by authorized representatives of the company.
G. In the event that any loss or damage to the property of the company or any accident or injury to persons or property is caused by or results from the negligence or wrongful act of the member, their agent or employees, the cost of the necessary repairs or replacements shall be paid by the member.
H. The amount of such loss or damage or the cost of repairs shall be added to the member’s bill and if not paid after two months, service may be discontinued by the company.
I. Water furnished by the company shall be for domestic consumption by the member, members of their household, and employees only. The member shall not sell water to any other person off the premises, unless consent has been given by the Water Company.
Water shall not be used for irrigation, fire protection, or other purposes, except that when water is available in sufficient quantity without interfering with the regular domestic consumption, then the water may be used for any other purpose.
Disregard for this rule shall be sufficient cause for refusal or discontinuance of service.
- Any member account which can pose a real or potential hazard to the public water supply, as determined by the water supplier (Highland County Water Company, Inc.), shall have a testable containment backflow device at the entrance of the member system. Regulations on Cross-Connection Control and Backflow, adopted by the Board of Directors November 17, 1997. Revised April 13, 2017, again April 12, 2018.
- The type of Backflow Device that is to be installed, shall be an Ohio EPA approved testable containment device. The “lowest level” device, allowed for containment purposes, by the water company, is a Reduced Pressure Assembly ASSE 1013.
- This device shall be installed and inspected at the customer’s expense. It shall be the customer’s responsibility to have the Backflow Device inspected by a Department of Commerce Certified Backflow Inspector at the time installed and at least every twelve months thereafter. The water company has the right to require a device be inspected more often than twelve months if necessary, due to an elevated hazard level.
- The Backflow Device shall be inspected, tested, and repaired (if necessary) at the members expense, at least once annually. It shall be the responsibility of the member to provide the results to the water company.
- Failure to comply with the Backflow Policy shall constitute grounds for discontinuing water service to the premises until such device or devices have been installed or inspected and a passing test turned into the water company.
- Each member that is required to have a testable device, will be mailed a dated letter, allowing 60 days to have your device tested and a copy of passing test result turned into the water company. If you fail to comply at the end of the 60 days, a second dated letter (certified) will be sent to the member, and a Fifty Dollars ($ 50.00) service fee will be added to the account. The second letter will allow an additional 30 days for compliance.
- If after the total of 90 days the member has not turned in a passing test, the service will be disconnected, and service fees will again be added to the account as referenced in Article XII Section I. At this point service will not be reconnected until the water company has received a passing test result and all fees are paid.
- All dated letters referenced in this section, shall be mailed within 24 hours of the date of the letter.
VIII. Extensions to Mains and Services:
A Transmission Main is defined as: A main 6 inches or larger that primarily transmits water from point (A) to point (B) for the purpose of improving the volume and/or pressure of the Distribution System not in the immediate vicinity of the line being constructed.
A Distribution Main is defined as: A main that its primary purpose is to provide water to adjacent owners along the line.
- The company will construct distribution main extensions to its water lines to points within its area but the company shall not be required to make such installations unless the member pays to the company the entire cost of the installation and has the approval of the Board of Directors.
- All distribution line extensions shall be evidenced by contract signed by the company and the person advancing funds for said extension, but each contract shall be null and void unless approved by the Rural Economic and Community Development Administration (R.D.A.) and other governing bodies.
C. 1. The company will install a service line up to 100 feet in length from existing main for the tap fee.
2. Service lines over 100 feet in length, a tap fee will be charged, and the total installation will be figured on a cost basis.
a. Company installation:
1. Tap into our mains.
2. Road bores if necessary.
3. All pipe required.
4. Valves necessary.
5. Flush hydrants.
6. All meters crocks and setters.
7. All labor involved in installing the tap.
8. All the material and labor to be furnished at Company cost.
b. Customer Responsibility:
1. To obtain all necessary easements.
2. If the customer uses their contractor, they must obtain from the contractor a written one (1) year’s guarantee on his workmanship.
3. The customer agreed to pay in escrow all costs of project.
D. Prior to an extension on a main line to service a potential new customer, an estimate will be prepared. Paperwork and estimated cost, must be deposited with the company in advance, and will be valid for thirty (30) days, unless extended by mutual agreement of both parties.
The Distribution Committee will evaluate each line extension request.
If it is decided that the extension is of little benefit to the company, the person(s) requesting the extension will need to pay the full cost of the line extension.
If the line extension is determined to be beneficial, the cost will be calculated as follows: A current tap fee, plus $ 10.00 membership fee, plus $ 800.00. This cost will be in effect for 60 months (5 years) after the line extension has been installed.
The above procedure does not apply to the development of subdivision. The definition of a subdivision shall be the same as the Highland County Planning Commission definition.
There will be no payback of funds.
IX. Easement Policy:
- When a property owner refuses to grant a water line easement, the cost of obtaining an easement by eminent domain or the amount paid the land owner for the easement, shall be added to the cost of the first application for a tap on the property when the refusal has been made. The cost shall include all legal fees, appraisal fees, court costs, with interest to be computed at the rate of 9% per annum on the gross amount to the lien and may be adjusted annually and all other costs incidental to the obtainment of the easement. An instrument setting forth the obligation that has been created by the refusal of the property owner to grant an easement shall be filed with the Recorder of the County where the real estate is located. Said instrument shall include property owners name, volume and page where the real estate is recorded, a brief description of the real estate, amount of the lien, and date the lien is effective and statement in capital letters that “the lien would only apply at such time as an application for water service is made and would be in excess of the usual and customary fees being charged by the Water Company and the time the application is made. Said lines shall be subject to and added to the computed lien amount.”
X. Access to Premises:
A. Duly authorized agents of the company shall have access, at all reasonable hours, to the premises of the member for the purpose of installing or removing company property, inspecting piping, reading or testing meters or for any purpose in connection with the company’s service and facilities.
B. Each member shall grant or convey, or shall cause to be granted or conveyed to the company a permanent easement and right-of-way across any property owned or controlled by the member wherever said permanent easement and right-of-way necessary for the company water facilities and lines, so as to be able to furnish service to the member.
XI. Change of Occupancy:
A. Notice must be given in person or in writing to the company to discontinue service or to change occupancy.
B. If a property is sold the outgoing party shall be responsible for all water consumed up to the company final reading.
C. A charge of Fifty Dollars ($50.00) will be made for each meter turn-on other than change of occupancy. The charge can be changed by the Board of Directors at any time based on the cost of this service.
D. Water meters for rental property shall be left in the property owners’ name. In all circumstances the owner of the property shall be primarily responsible for all water bills. This applies to all properties within the service area of Highland County Water Company, Inc.
E. Land Contracts will be handled as a rental property as referenced in Article XI, Item D as of this date of amendment November 18, 2019.
XII. Meter Reading - Billing – Collection
A. Meters will be read and bills rendered monthly, but the company reserves the right to vary the dates or length or period covered, temporarily or permanently if necessary or desirable.
B. Bills for water will be figured in accordance with the company’s published rate schedule and will be based on the amount consumed for the period covered by the meter readings.
C. Charge for service commences when meter is installed and connection made whether used or not.
D. Readings from different meters will not be combined for billing, irrespective of the fact that said meters may be for the same or different premises.
E. Bills are due when rendered and delinquent after (10) days; service may be discontinued by the company.
F. If payment is not made within thirty (30) days after the due date, service will be discontinued.
G. Failure to receive a bill or notices shall not prevent such bill from becoming delinquent nor relieve the member from payment.
H. Water sold to an individual through an approved loading station to be hauled in tanker will be charged through the current rate chart.
I. Disconnect and Reconnect Charge
a. $50.00 (Fifty Dollars) to disconnect meter.
b. $50.00 (Fifty Dollars) to reconnect meter.
J. Landlords and Tenants.
A. Landowner will be responsible for the water bill.
B. Includes any on lease, under land contract, or tenant.
XIII. Suspension of Service:
A. Service discontinued for non-payment of bills will be restored only after bill is paid in full, and a service charge of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) paid for each meter reconnected. This can be changed by the Board of Directors based on the cost of the service.
B. The company reserves the right to discontinue its service without notice for the following additional reasons:
1. To prevent fraud or abuse.
2. Consumer’s willful disregard of the Company’s rules.
3. Emergency repairs.
4. Insufficiency of supply due to circumstance beyond the Company’s control.
5. Legal process.
6. Director of public authorities.
7. Strike, riot, fire, flood, accident or any unavoidable cause.
C. The company may in addition to prosecution by law, permanently refuse service to any member who tampers with a meter or other measuring device.
XIV. Complaints – Adjustment:
A. If the member believes their bill to be in error, they may present their claim, to the Board of Directors in writing before the bill becomes delinquent. Such claim, if made after the bill has become delinquent, shall not be effective in preventing discontinuance of service, as heretofore provided.
B. The member may pay such bill under a protest and said payment shall not prejudice their claim.
C. Meters will be tested at the request of the member, when the water user believes the meter does not accurately reveal the correct water usage, it is agreed:
(a) That the water meter will be removed and tested to determine the accuracy of the reading.
(b) In the event the test would show that the meter is making an inaccurate reading that exceed a five percent margin of error the Water Company will replace the meter at no cost to the water user. Any paid service fee will be reimbursed to the member.
(c) In the event the test would show that the meter is accurate with five per cent margin of error the water user will pay to the Water Company the sum of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) within ten (10) days after the report is made available to the water user. The purpose of the charge for accuracy reading is to cover the expense that the Water Company will have in the test. The company reserves the right to collect this fee in advance of such testing,
D. If you do not provide the meter reading on three separate occasions there will be a Fifty Dollar ($50.00) charge for the company to send someone to read your meter to correct your account.
E. If the seal of the meter is broken by other than the company’s representative, or if the meter fails to register correctly or is stopped for any cause, the member shall pay an estimated amount based on the record of their previous bills and/or from other proper data.
F. After the companies normal working hours there will be a service charge (to be determined by management) for after-hours work performed by company technicians. Exception, a company service problem.
XV. Abridgment of Modification of Rules:
A. No promise, agreement or representation of any employee of the company shall be binding upon the company except as it shall have been agreed upon in writing, signed and accepted by an acknowledged officer of the company.
B. No modification of rates or any of the rules and regulations shall be made by any agent of the company.
C. The word “company” used herein applies to the Highland County Water Company, Inc. The word “member” used herein applies to the members of said company.