INACTIVE ACCOUNTS/METERS/CONNECTION FAQs
WHAT IS AN INACTIVE ACCOUNT/METER/CONNECTION?
An inactive account/meter/connection refers to a water service installation that has been paid for by the customer, installed by Consolidated Water, and is not taking water delivery. There may or may not be a water meter in place, although there is a connection, installed by Consolidated Water, to which the water meter can be quickly connected. Inactive connections, whether a meter is in place or not, are attached to the Consolidated Water system and have immediate access to water delivery service when requested. Many such accounts are located on vacant, undeveloped property. When active accounts receiving water service are shut off or closed, the account will automatically revert to the name of the property owner if another applicant doesn’t establish an account, with no lapse in time. An inactive account in the name of the property owner will be automatically established as accounts are closed, such as in-between tenants for a rental property. Once another applicant, such as a tenant, requests service, the property owner account will be closed. There will always be a billing account associated with every property that has a water service installation.
WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO PAY A CHARGE WHEN I AM NOT RECEIVING SERVICE?
Customers not actively using water delivery still receive entitlement and availability of water service, whenever they are ready for it and that comes at a cost. Many of Consolidated Water’s costs are fixed, meaning that they are incurred whether water is delivered or not. The water system infrastructure requires constant upkeep and maintenance to ensure safe and reliable drinking water upon request. Costs to support such accounts have been ongoing for years in an effort to maintain a readily available service.
WHY IS THIS A CONCERN?
Consolidated Water is a local non-profit government agency that provides water service to approximately 10,600 homes, businesses, and vacant parcels of land in the community of Boone, Howard and Callaway County. This includes 10,000+ homes and businesses using active water service and paying an Availability Fee. There are another 600+ customer accounts with inactive meters and/or connections not using water service that are not being charged a Availability Fee. Consolidated Water owns and operates significant water system infrastructure for the benefit of the community it serves. The water system includes over 650 miles of pipeline, 13 deep wells pumping over 10 million gallons of water a day, and 10 storage facilities that hold a capacity of 5 million gallons. Consolidated Water relies on the Availability Fee to contribute to funding the costs of operating and maintaining the water system infrastructure that requires constant upkeep and maintenance. Consolidated Water believes it is in the best interest of the community it serves to move forward with a more equitable method, requiring all customer accounts that are connected to the water system to contribute equitably towards maintenance costs.
WHICH CUSTOMERS ARE REQUIRED TO PAY THE AVAILABILITY FEE?
Every type of customer accounts are subject to the Availability Fee: Active Accounts receiving water delivery (unlocked) in a current billing period; Transitional Accounts that are temporarily shut off (locked) and not receiving water delivery in a current billing period; Inactive Accounts that have paid for the installation of service lines/meters to the Consolidated Water system and are not taking water service (locked) but having immediate access or water delivery service when desired.
I DON’T NEED MY WATER METER AND DON’T WANT TO PAY AN AVAILABILITY FEE.
Property owners can elect to “Opt Out” to avoid payment of the Availability Fee. Opting out will require them to sign a form stating that they understand that they relinquish all entitlement to water service until they or the successor property owner complies with all the Rules & Regulations and other requirements and pay all fees and charges in effect at the time when water service is requested in the future. Since costs and requirements are continually under review and subject to change, Consolidated Water cannot estimate the costs or requirements to opt in at a future date when service is once again requested. Opting out will eliminate entitlement to water service and the requirement to pay the Availability Fee and the meter/meter pit will be removed from the property. Property owners will not receive any refund from Consolidated Water for opting out and relinquishing all entitlement to water service. Consolidated Water has already performed the work required to install a water service connection and has provided entitlement to and availability of water service since that time, whether the property owner elected to take water delivery or not.
WHAT IS REQUIRED IF I WANT THE WATER METER INSTALLED FOR MY INACTIVE ACCOUNT SO THAT I CAN RECEIVE WATER DELIVERY?
Consolidated Water requires the accountholder to complete the application process. The application process includes identity verification, completion of application paperwork, payment of account turn on fees and guarantee deposit, if required. In addition, payment of any past due charges associated with the inactive account must be paid before water delivery can be initiated.
WHAT IF I DO NOT PAY THE AVAILABILITY FEES FOR MY INACTIVE WATER ACCOUNT?
Consolidated Water reserves the right to use any legal means available for collecting unpaid accounts including filing liens against the property, transferring unpaid balances to other open accounts held in the name of the same owner, requiring payment before new accounts