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A. Billing Period. Bills for metered water service shall be rendered according to the registration of the meter at regular intervals and shall be due and payable upon mailing. Bills shall clearly state when they will be considered delinquent; provided, that no bill shall be considered delinquent until at least 15 days after mailing.

B. Reading Meters. Residential meters shall be read as nearly as possible at regular intervals, unless otherwise arranged by the department. There shall be no special vacation rate or reduction made on any water bill because of part-time or restricted use. If a meter is pulled and the account is closed at the customer’s request or if the account has been inactive for more than five years, upon installation of a new meter, all new meter installation fees shall apply.

C. Billing When Meter Unread. On metered service where the meter has not been read, the bill rendered shall be an average bill for the preceding year or applicable portion of year.

D. Billing for Special Periods. Opening and closing bills and bills for water service for periods less than the regular intervals shall be calculated on a pro rata basis.

E. Bills for Special Services. All bills for service charges, material and labor furnished, contributions to extensions and other authorized charges, shall be due and payable immediately upon presentation. If such bills are not paid, the department may refuse to furnish water service, and may shut off and discontinue service already being supplied until all bills are paid, and this without prejudice to its right to collect all amounts theretofore due.

F. Separate Billing for Separate Meters. When one customer is served by more than one meter on separate service lines, the meter minimum for each meter and the surcharge for water supplied may be calculated and billed separately.

G. Responsibility for Joint Use. When more than one consumer, whether a family, business, or other person, receives water through one meter on a single service line, in one building, and it is found impractical by the department to separate the water piping for each consumer, the customer shall be solely responsible and shall pay the total bill for such joint water service.

H. Joint Consumer Responsibility. All service to joint consumers shall be on the basis that if it becomes necessary to enforce these rules and regulations against any or all joint consumers that the department shall have the right to shut off the entire supply to all the joint consumers. Separate meters shall be installed and separate bills rendered to each consumer if the customer separates the piping and installs individual supply pipes from the property line.

I. Separate Billings Required. When two or more houses, buildings or other premises occupied by separate consumers are supplied from a single service connection, the customer shall immediately, upon notice from the department, separate each customer’s lines and connect up individually to meters at the property line, and if separate services are not established within a reasonable time thereafter, the department may shut off the water and refuse further service to all such consumers.

J. Billing Before Lines Are Separated. Until the joint consumer lines are separated, computation of the total bill shall be made by multiplying the quantity in each bracket of the rate schedule by the number of consumers on one meter. The minimum charge shall be the regular minimum charge multiplied by the number of consumers served.

K. Customer Emergency Assistance.

1. Eligibility. Upon satisfactory proof, emergency assistance may be issued to each household for which:

a. A member of the household is billed by the city for water services;

b. The household has been verified by the city or the city’s agent:

i. To have an annual income that, when combined with the annual income of all household members, meets the eligibility standards for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) authorized by the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Public Law 109-58; and

ii. To not receive subsidized housing assistance;

c. The household has received notice from the city that payment or payment arrangements must be made to prevent disconnection;

d. The household is served with city water service at a residential, single-family account.

2. Emergency Credit – Maximum. Upon verification of eligibility, the household may receive an emergency credit of a maximum of $400.00 of the delinquent bill for the service address; provided, that the household may only receive such credit once in a 24-calendar-month period. The household emergency credit maximum may be adjusted not more than once per calendar year by the director to address the impacts of future rate increases.

3. Administrative Rules and Procedures. Pursuant to VMC 14.04.020 and this section, the director of public works jointly with the director of financial and management services shall promulgate administrative rules and procedures not inconsistent with this section to implement the customer emergency assistance program. (Ord. M-4327 § 1, 2021; Ord. M-4022 § 12, 2012; Ord. M-3978 § 1, 2011; Ord. M-3755 § 11, 2006; Ord. M-1167 § 8, 1970; Ord. M-810 § 11, 1966; Ord. M-772 § 2, 1965; Ord. M-604, 1962; Ord. M-144 § 17, 1954)