POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Our office, located at 621 Stephenson Avenue in Savannah, is open from 9:00AM to 5:00PM, Monday through Friday. Our phone lines automatically go to the answering service after hours and from 1:00PM to 2:00PM for training. The office is closed for most national holidays as well as St. Patrick’s Day and some dates convenient to the winter holidays. All office closures will be posted on the office door a week in advance. During working hours, feel free to contact the office with maintenance, billing, and administrative issues. After hours, no administrative or billing questions can be answered. Payments can be made any time by visiting “My Account” portal, or using our automated phone system.
Our staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to emergencies. Emergencies are major leaks, or any malfunction that causes a home to be without water, roads to be washed out, or threaten life, limb, or property. Restoration of service due to non-payment is not considered an emergency. The Utility Company will assess all leaks, but may elect to fix them during the business day, when daylight and utility location (gas, electricity, etc.) make the repair safer for personnel. The utility company is responsible for the repair and maintenance of water lines in the road, and onto the utility easement(s). This includes all leaks from the main line to the meter box in a customer’s yard. The utility company will therefore respond to leaks and fix leaks in the meter box and on the road-side of the meter box. All leaks between the meter box and the house are on a customer’s private water line and are the responsibility of the customer. We recommend a plumber be obtained to fix leaks on a private line.
|Fee Type||Fee Amount||Description|
|Establishment Fee||$50||Pays to process water service into a new customer’s name and to gather initial meter information|
|Water Tap-in Fee||$1,600 + Cost||Pays to bring water service to a property for the first time (includes $100 refundable inspection deposit)|
|Sewer Tap-in Fee||$1,600 + Cost||Pays to bring sewer service to a property for the first time (includes $100 refundable inspection deposit)|
|Meter Fee||$250||Pays to install a meter and meter hardware if meter not installed at time of the Tap-In|
|Service Fee||$35||Pays for a service call to your address; this includes re-reading a meter that is deemed accurate|
|Late Fee||$15||Late Fee is assessed if bill is not paid by the due date printed on the bill|
|Suspension Fee||$60||Suspension Fee is assessed if bill is not paid by the Suspension Date, approximately 30 days after bill is sent|
|Repair of Vandalism||$100 + Cost + All Past-due amounts||Pays for repair to meter, meter box, or service lateral if damaged by customer (to include intentional damage arising from an effort to defeat any device installed to enforce collections)|
|Returned Check Service Fee (or NSF)||$35||Assessed if the bank returns a check for any reason, to include insufficient funds. Customers subject to late fees and immediate collection (lock-out).|
|Credit Card and Debit Fee||3% of total transaction amount||Pays for the credit card transaction, and updated payment information through a third-party|
|Deposit||$100||Required on any service location that is being rented, and on any account with previous collection activity|
Customers that are moving into a previously-occupied home with previous water service must pay an Account Setup Fee to start water service into the new customer’s name. This fee also pays to obtain an initial read on the meter and unlock the meter valve.
In some cases, customers are moving onto properties that have never had water service, but for which the Tap Fees have already been paid. In these cases, the customer may be required to pay the meter fee. The meter fee pays to install a meter and obtain initial reads. The utility company will install the meter and meter box on the property, but will not plumb your home service line into the meter. Customers paying the meter fee will not have to pay the Account Setup Fee. Please see the form enclosed in the “Applying For Service” portion of this website.
Customers will be required to provide closing documents for the property. Renters must apply for service in person and will be required to provide signed documentation (lease or deed, etc.) for the property, and photo ID to verify that the resident is legally entitled to occupy the residence.
Renters will be required to pay a $100 deposit, in addition to the Account Set-up fee. Service addresses that have had a history of delinquent accounts and changing ownership may require a deposit as well. Deposits are applied to the final balance on the account. Any remaining deposits will be refunded in the form of a check to the account holder.
All customers, in subscribing to water service, agree to and will become subject to the Terms and Conditions of service.
NEW SERVICE LOCATION (TAP-IN)
If customers are building a new home, or have never had water service on a lot before, it may require that a water and/or sewer “tap fee” or “impact fee” be paid. A tap fee covers the material and labor cost of tapping a main line, running a service line, and setting a meter on your property, or the equivalent work for sewer service. The fee also covers the impact the tap has on the water system for additional permitting and operation costs, and helps recoup the cost of the system’s construction and maintenance.
In order to request a tap-in, customers must call the office to request a ‘survey’ for their tap-in. The survey will consist of maintenance personnel determining the distance between the property and an adequate water main, and accounting for the materials and labor required to pay for the tap-in. Some tap-ins may cost more than others based upon the length of pipes, obstacles (boring under roads, etc.) or other extenuating circumstances. After the survey is complete, customers will be notified of the cost of the tap-in. If customers wish to proceed with the tap-in, customers will be required to pay in full and apply for service. Then WUM will notify UPC (Utility Protection) of our intent to dig in the area. After receiving permission to dig, we will install your service as soon as possible thereafter.
Every effort is made to read meters according to 60-day cycle. Sometimes holidays/weekends, weather, and unexpected emergency work requires us to alter our meter reading schedule slightly. In the event that a billing cycle is altered to be more or less than 60 days, we will pro-rate the usage according to a 60-day schedule.
If the water usage seems higher or lower than what seems is normal, please compare the meter reading on the bill with the reading on the meter. The meter reads like the odometer on a car, with the numbers reading in a cumulative fashion. If after making these comparisons, customers feel there is an error, customers are encouraged to call the office during normal business hours and we will review the current usage. If you cannot verify your meter reading, customers may request that we re-read the meter. If WUM has been to the property multiple times, WUM reserves the right to charge a service fee of $35 if the reading is accurate. This charge covers the fuel, maintenance, and labor of the service visit. If we re-read the meter and determine our initial reading was an error, we will adjust the account to reflect the proper reading.
A reminder, meter-readers will not take collections to pay bills.
We bill bi-monthly. Therefore, customers will receive a bill approximately every 60 days (all due dates and collection dates are as-printed and may vary slightly from 60 days due to the work week). Customers are responsible for paying their bills on time. If a customer does not receive a bill, it is the customer’s responsibility to call our office and request a bill or use the automated phone system to check the balance and/or pay by phone. Water Utility Management mails all mail Return Receipt Requested. If the mail does not return to us, we have to assume it was delivered. Water Utility Management is not responsible for misdirection, undelivered, or lost mail.
E-billing is available. This is a free service. Customers signed up to receive e-bills generally receive the bill within 48 hours of being sent. Customers are encouraged to add our two emails to their contact lists on their email to ensure delivery, customercare@WaterGA.com and billing@WaterGA.com.
By creating an online account, customers can manage whether they receive paper bills, or are billed by email. Customers can pay online using credit cards or debit cards for one-time or recurring payments, but are subject to a 3% service fee. Customers can also sign up for free automated ACH (bank draft) transactions, check balance information, and review account history. We highly recommend these services.
Payment is due by the due date listed on the bill, approximately 20 days from the date the bill is mailed (all due dates and collection dates are as-printed and may vary slightly from 20 days due to the work week). All accounts carrying a balance beyond the due date will be assessed a Late Fee.
The Due Date is listed on each bill. The due date is approximately 20 days from the bill date. Any payment received after the Due Date is considered late, and is subject to the Late Fee.
Approximately 30 days after the bill date, any late account will be put into a suspension status. WUM will provide a notice of a date for suspension. At 5:00 PM on the Suspension Date, the account we be put into Suspension and the Suspension Fee will be charged. All fees and past due amounts must be paid in full in order to reinstate service. A WUM employee will be dispatched to lock-out the water service on any suspended account
Note: All due dates and collection dates are as-printed and may vary slightly from the 20 to 30 days from the bill date due to the work week.
In accordance with the above paragraph, water service may be suspended to an account, and service lines may be locked out due to non-payment. If a customer’s account carries a past due balance past the suspension date the account will be subject to the Suspension Fee –even if a WUM employee has not yet arrived at the location to physically lock out the service line.
To reinstate a suspended account, the customer must pay all arrears on the account, the current balance, and the Suspension Fee. In cases where the customer is a repeat offender, or a renter, the account holder may be required to pay a deposit.
If water service to a location is locked out, water service will be restored within the next business day from receipt of payment. Any customer attempting to force open his/her cut-off valve will be charged a fee for its repair (see vandalism) and is subject to legal action, including prosecution for theft of services.
Any account that remains suspended or owes money for longer than 60 days will be sent to a collection agency. The collection agency will then begin its attempts to collect the debt, and could also file reports with the credit agencies that could negatively impact the consumer’s credit rating.
The meter box, meter, valve, and service line inside the meter box are the property of the Utility Company. Customers should under no circumstances tamper with any equipment inside the meter box. Should you require water to your house to be turned off for any reason, please call the office at any time, and we will help. We strongly recommend that all customers have a plumber install a cut off valve beside your home to allow you to cut-off water flow to your house in case of an emergency.
Any customer who tampers with a meter or valve servicing their house is subject to a penalty charge of $100, in addition to the cost of the parts and labor to fix any damages. These charges cover the cost of the labor and materials required to fix leaks created by this activity or to replace the meters, locks, valves, or the various corporation stops, pipes, and fittings that are broken through such misuse. Many customers attempt to force a valve closed or open without the proper tools. Other customers may try and force open a valve that has been locked due to non-payment, or cut the lock or valve to steal service. If the utility company discovers that a locked-out service connection has been tampered with, the police will be immediately notified and we will proceed to collect payment or prosecute for theft of services.
RETURNED CHECK POLICY
Community wells and well sites are property of the Utility Company. They are private property and we authorize NO TRESPASSING, as signs indicate. Trespassing or tampering with these facilities is a Federal Offence. If you should see anyone in any of the well-sites that is not a service person in an easily-identifiable Water Utility truck, call the police immediately.
Well sites are also DANGEROUS. Do not enter the well site under any circumstance. Our service personnel are highly qualified and go through many hours of technical training. The electrical equipment and chlorine gas inside the well sites can kill an untrained person. Please stay out of the fences that border the well sites for your own safety. Water Utility Management is not liable for accidents that happen to trespassers.
PRIVATE (CUSTOMER) WELLS
Shallow wells are permitted for irrigation and other outdoor purposes like filling swimming pools or washing cars/boats, etc. Shallow wells are regulated by zoning laws, and neighborhood covenants. It is illegal to connect any plumbing from a well or other water source to your home plumbing. Pressure changes can cause your well to contaminate the community water system. Any discovery of cross-connection with an unapproved water source will result in notification of the Georgia EPD, as well as taking legal action. Deep wells are not permitted in proximity to our community water systems and homeowners may not disconnect from a community water system and drill a well. Violators of this policy are subject to prosecution.
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