The software used for utility billing generates several reports regarding monthly meter readings and customer usages. These reports include information citing the day and time a meter was read. Estimates are performed as a last resort, and are typically due to problems with broken wires which connect the outside reader to the meter. Customers are notified of the reading failure with a door hanger requesting an appointment be scheduled with service staff to make the repairs as soon as possible. If it becomes necessary to estimate an account, every effort is made to ensure the estimate is fair to the customer. The estimate is based on an evaluation of water used the previous cycle and also for the same month the previous year. Documentation regarding the estimate is recorded on the meter history.
When a consumer vacates a property it is their responsibility to make arrangements for termination of services. In addition, when a consumer purchases a property it is their responsibility to establish an account. As long as one party or the other makes arrangements, there is usually no conflict. Difficulties arise when neither party take measures to transfer ownership – each assuming it was handled by the other. When this occurs, one of two options is available. Either the transfer becomes effective immediately, or as of the last reading date of the meter.
SAWS bills are generated by the 15th of each month. City bills are usually in production from the 15th – 30th each month. Bills are due two weeks following the bill date.
This depends on the location’s billing cycle. If an account was established at the very end of the previous cycle, it is possible a customer could go for a month before receiving their first statement as the previous account holder would be billed for that cycle. Generally speaking, however, the customer would receive a bill within two to three weeks following their account establishment. Customers who acquire an account in the middle of a billing cycle will be pro-rated on their first bill and have a reduction in charges reflecting the number of days in which they received service.
Customers in the SAWS service area are billed based on the size of meter and charges based on the SAWS Joint Powers Board rates.
It depends on the usage. Sometimes a customer may think they have excessive consumption, but the usage is actually normal for them – usually happens in the summer months. If the usage does seem unreasonably high, or the customer would like it checked, our office can schedule an appointment for a crew member to examine the meter, however there is a service charge for this.