Water Authority (SCWA)
The Authority is a publicly owned agency of government, not a private company. Its function, simply stated, is to plan, operate and construct water supply systems in Southeastern Connecticut. The underlying consideration in the creation of the Authority by the legislature, in response to local initiatives, was that the long range public interest is best served by a collective and cooperative approach to the water supply requirements, present and future.
The Authority is a seven member board, appointed by the Representative Advisory Board. The Representative Advisory Board is comprised of two members from each of the 21 towns and boroughs in Southeastern Connecticut. The Representative Advisory Board, in addition to appointing Authority members, annually audits the financial records of the Authority. It also holds public hearings on proposed changes in rates. Within the Representative Advisory Board, there are several standing committees including Finance, Legislative, and Customer Appeals. The Customer Appeals Committee’s purpose is to resolve misunderstandings between the Authority and its customers. Your town’s Representative Advisory Board members are your direct representatives; their names are available from the Authority or through your town offices.
The Authority and its staff intend to convey a positive, cooperative and “can do” attitude in their relationships with customers. Service coverage on nights, weekends and holidays is provided by an answering machine at our business telephone. The answering machine refers the caller to an answering service who telephones or pages SCWA’s duty service person on a radio beeper system.
RULES – WHY?
All utilities have rules setting forth the basis upon which services are provided. Investor-owned utilities promulgate rules in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Public Utility Control. Government utilities, like the Authority or municipal utilities, promulgate rules adopted by their respective governing bodies. Authority rules and rules of municipal systems are similar to the Department of Public Utility Control rules.
Rules insure equity; all customers receive the same treatment in a particular circumstance. They also provide for circumstances beyond the scope of regular service provided to all customers.
SOME WAYS WE CAN BE OF SERVICE TO YOU
We maintain permanent records of curb box locations for services installed after Authority acquisition. We will assist the customer, wherever possible, to locate existing underground service pipes or buried curb boxes.
In the event of a leak in a customer-owned service pipe, we will try to locate the leak, thus reducing the cost of the repair.
We will, upon request, send a serviceman to turn off a curb stop if a customer’s main valve is not holding so that necessary repairs can be made. There is no charge if this is done by appointment convenient to our work schedule; there is a charge if shut-off is on an emergency basis.
We will, if requested, assist you in determining the source of leaks within your plumbing system.
RULES GOVERNING WATER SERVICE
These rules are presented in compliance with the provisions of Special Act 381 of the 1967 Session of the Connecticut Legislature, as amended, and constitute part of the contract between Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority and its customers. These rules are on file and available at the Authority office. The contract between the Authority and its customers exists upon commencement of service. Failure of the customer to obtain or know of these rules does not void said contract.
Authority: Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority
Water Service: The furnishing of water to premises.
Person: An individual, partnership, company, corporation, association, corporate political body, joint ownership, family or any other entity capable of functioning in the context used herein.
Applicant: A person who applies for water service.
Customer: A person to whom or on whose behalf the Authority provides water service.
Only property owners shall be considered customers.
Property Owner: The person in whose name the deed for a property rests.
Tenant: Any non-owner who occupies the premises.
Premises: The property, building or site to which water service is furnished through a
single service connection, a building or combination of buildings owned by one
customer and occupied by one person for a single purpose, such as a residence
or place of business; each unit of a multiple house or apartment building.
Builder: A person who is engaged in construction of a building of any kind for occupancy
by a future water customer.
Contractor: A person who requires water on a temporary basis in connection with construction work of any sort.
Developer: A person owning land containing an approved subdivision.
Extension of Service: The means whereby Authority facilities are made available to any person not
Main Extension: Extension of service to non-abutting premises.
Service Pipe: The branch or lateral pipe extending from the water main to the curb stop
valve at or near the property line including the stop or tap that enters the
main and the curb stop valve and curb box at or near the property line.
Service Pipe: The branch or lateral pipe extending from the curb stop valve into the premises.
Included are the meter setting and valve(s) adjacent to the meter but not the meter that is owned by the Authority.
2. APPLICATION FOR SERVICE
Each prospective owner customer shall apply for water service by means of providing the information
necessary to complete the application. For customer convenience, telephone applications may be
accepted. The application together with these rules and the current schedule of rates and charges shall
constitute the contract between the Authority and the customer. No applications shall be accepted
from any person having a delinquent account.
Tenant Application by Owner: Owner customers who desire tenants to be billed shall properly execute
a SCWA landlord tenant letter. This letter requires signatures of the owner and the tenant. It defines
the responsibility of each. The Authority will not be a party to any contract, lease, or other arrangement
between a property owner and tenant. The owner is the customer and billing of tenants is for customer
3. RATE AND CHARGES
Charges for water service shall be in accordance with the current applicable rate schedule. Each
premise shall be subject to separate billing calculation, such that, for metered service, separate
minimum charges and separate consumption allowances shall apply to each premise, although
combined bills may be rendered where adjacent premises are under single ownership.
Water service bills will be rendered quarterly. For meters 1 inch or larger the Authority may, at its
discretion, render monthly bills. Water service bills and connection charges are due when rendered and
are payable on or before the 30th day after billing date. Discounts, if any, will be forfeited after thirty
days. Quarterly bills unpaid more than sixty days are delinquent. Monthly bills unpaid more than thirty
days after billing are delinquent.
Interest on Delinquent Accounts: Interest at the rate of 1.5% per month or portion thereof shall be
applied to each delinquent account from the date upon which it became due.
Liens: Water service charges and connection charges constitute continuing liens upon property served.
Such liens are second only to property tax and like property tax, they are applicable even if not yet
recorded and irrespective of intervening changes in ownership. Liens may be released upon payment of
all outstanding amounts due together with interest thereon and charges incident to filing and releasing
5. SUPPLY OF WATER
The Authority undertakes to use reasonable care and diligence to provide a constant supply of water at
reasonable pressure to customers but reserves the right at any time, without notice, to shut off the
water in its mains for the purpose of making repairs or extension or for other purposes. The Authority
shall whenever possible, notify customers of anticipated interruptions in service, such notification being
made through local newspapers and/or radio stations. It is expressly agreed that the Authority shall not
be liable for a deficiency or failure in the supply of water or the pressure thereof for any cause
whatsoever, or for any damage caused thereby, or for the bursting or breaking of any main or service
pipe or any attachment to the Authority’s property. All customers having installations upon their
premises depending upon pressure in the Authority’s pipes to keep them supplied, are cautioned
against danger or collapse and all damages shall be borne exclusively by the customer. Any device
required by a customer to control pressure or vacuum in his piping shall be installed and maintained at
the customer’s expense. In locations where the elevation of the customers premise exceeds the
elevation range within which the Authority’s system can provide adequate pressure, limited service will
be offered with the Authority assuming no responsibility for adequacy of pressure.
The Authority reserves the right, in periods of drought or emergency or when deemed essential to
protection of public health, safety or welfare, to restrict, curtail or prohibit the use of water for
secondary purposes such as sprinkling, car washing or filling swimming pools, and shall have the right
to fix the hours and periods when water may be used for such purposes.
6. WASTE OF WATER
No person shall permit waste of water by unrepaired leakage, excessive use of garden hose or sprinkler,
or willful discharge of unused water.
7. SERVICE PIPE
The Authority shall maintain the service connection from the main to the curb stop valve. The customer
shall maintain the service pipe from the curb stop valve into the building.
Operation of the curb stop valve shall be exclusively the responsibility of the Authority. No other person
shall open the curb box or operate the curb stop valve.
Any action or neglect by the customer (or his predecessors in title) that has caused the curb box to be
covered, displaced, damaged or filled, is the responsibility of the customer.
The Authority will cooperate with the customer in locating service lines and covered curb boxes. If it is
necessary to excavate where such action would not have been necessary if the curb box had been
maintained, the cost of the excavation and attendant repairs or installation shall be borne by the
Each customer shall provide a shut-off valve inside the building wall. Metered services shall have
adjacent stops on both sides of the meter.
Drain connections shall be included. These valves are owned and maintained by the customer.
A single customer’s service may not supply more than one premise except by special written
approval of the Authority.
In the event of the freezing of the service pipe, the Authority shall determine whether the freeze
is on the Authority’s side or the customer’s side of the service. The Authority may undertake to thaw
any metallic pipe, charging the customer the cost thereof, if on the customer’s side. Nonmetallic pipe
shall be thawed by the owner thereof.
9. GROUND WIRES
The Authority assumes no direct or indirect responsibility or obligation in connection with the
installation of water pipe ground connections or for maintenance of the integrity or continuity of any
ground attachment or connection made to a water pipe system. Where electrical service is grounded
to a water pipe in a customer’s premise, the ground wire shall preferably be connected on the inlet side
of the meter; where this is impracticable, a jumper wire shall be provided across the meter setting,
except where meter installation provides continuous electrical connection. If a plastic meter is
installed as a replacement for a metallic meter, the customer shall promptly notify his electric utility
and the phone company.
Metered service shall be furnished to all customers. Meter size shall be determined by the Authority
based on flow requirements. It shall be the customer’s responsibility to provide the meter setting in
accordance with the Authority specifications. Meter settings shall be accessible, properly protected
from freezing, hot water backup or other damage. Damaged meters shall be repaired at the customer’s
expense. Meters shall not be opened, adjusted, removed or interfered with in any way. A broken meter
seal shall be considered evidence of tampering.
Outdoor underground settings may be required at Authority discretion. Examples of where outdoor
underground settings will ordinarily be required are: (a) for meters larger than two inches; (b) where
indoor setting would be inaccessible or not properly protected.
11. TESTING OF METERS
Upon written request from the customer, Authority shall test customer’s meter for accuracy provided
the meter has not been tested within the previous year. If the meter error is greater than 4% high, the
customer’s bill will be adjusted in proportion to the meter error for a period of time from the date of
meter malfunction if determinable, but in no case for more than two billing periods. Meter error
exceeding 25% low shall result in a proportionate adjustment of prior billings from the date of
malfunction or six months, whichever is less.
Every customer shall provide properly identified employees of the Authority access to the
customer’s premise at any reasonable time to read, inspect, repair, replace or service meters
and to inspect the piping system of the customer.
13. CROSS CONNECTIONS
For public health reasons, no pipe, fixture or hose connected with the mains of the Authority may be
connected with pipes or fixtures into which water or other liquids may enter from any other source. In
particular, piping systems shall not be connected to private wells or non-potable water supplies and
hoses shall not be immersed into any body of non-potable water or liquid, including swimming pools.
Circulating hot water systems shall not be filled with any liquid or substance other than water.
14. SWIMMING POOLS
Swimming pools that require large quantities of water may be required to be separately metered. Prior
approval shall be obtained before filling a swimming pool in order that excessive pressure
reduction may be prevented. A telephone contact with Authority during normal working hours is an
acceptable means of obtaining approval.
15. EXTENSIONS OF SERVICE
New service is available to any premise abutting existing water mains upon payment of applicable fees
and upon installation of service pipe and meter setting in accordance with Authority specifications.
Extension of water mains shall be undertaken in accordance with the provision of individual water main
extension agreements entered into in accordance with the provisions of applicable Authority
16. STANDARDS OF CONSTRUCTION
Construction of all distribution system components and of the customer’s facilities from the main to and
including the meter setting shall be in accordance with the Authority’s standard specifications.
17. DISCONTINUANCE OF SERVICE
A customer selling his property or desiring to discontinue service shall notify the Authority not less than
two working days in advance. Service may be discontinued to any customer whose bill is delinquent
(unpaid sixty days following billing). Service may be discontinued by the Authority for violation of any
part of these rules. Termination of service for nonpayment or other violation of these rules shall be in
accordance with the requirements of state statutes. A charge will be made for restoration of service
(see Rates and Charges).
18. SERVICE CHARGES
The following services are provided at no charge to the customer:
Shut-off of curb valve during working hours by appointment.
Customer service call during working hours by appointment.
Customer service call after working hours resulting from a fault in Authority owned facilities.
Meter Accuracy Test if meter is off more than 4%.
See the Service Charge Schedule for costs of the following services:
Emergency shut-off of curb valve during working hours.
Emergency shut-off of curb valve nights, weekends, holidays.
Emergency service call during working hours.
Emergency service call nights, weekends, holidays.
Written request to terminate/restore service by the operation of curb valve.
New Account charge (to establish a new customer account).
Service Verification Letter (Realtors).
Meter Accuracy Test if meter is off less than 4%.
Emergency: a situation requiring immediate response and involving transportation of Authority
employees from their assigned work areas; or on nights, weekends and holidays, from their residence, to the customer’s premises solely for and because of the requirement of that customer and not due to or resulting from a fault in Authority-owned facilities.
19. EMERGENCY WATER SUPPLY AND CONSERVATION
The Authority shall monitor the capacity of each of its water supply systems. As conditions may warrant, the Authority will require staff to report on the current demand/usage and the supply and delivery capacity of any or all SCWA divisions.
If it is determined that the demand exceeds the capacity of a system or that the continuation or weather and hydrological conditions indicate that probability of such condition or for other reasons including but not limited to equipment failure, loss of supply, etc., the Authority may declare a water supply emergency.
Notice of the declaration shall be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the affected area not less than three days before the beginning of water use restrictions. This notice shall declare the general nature of the deficiency and of the restrictions to be imposed. Notices of increases in water use restrictions classification and notice of the ending of the water supply emergency shall be published in a similar manner. These notices also can be promulgated by such other means as the Authority deems necessary.
Restrictions: Specific water use restrictions shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Authority’s Water Conservation Plan, Part III, severity of water use restrictions in accordance with the Water Conservation Plan as follows:
Precautionary Voluntary compliance; reminders
Serious Mandatory compliance; warnings; shut off for repeaters
Severe Mandatory compliance with Sanctions
Critical All of the above plus other necessary actions
Each of these water use restriction classifications triggers successively more stringent measures per Part III of the Water Conservation Plan.
Sanctions: Violations of water use restrictions as observed and witnessed by Authority staff, municipal officials, police officers, firemen, local elected and appointed officials and citizens shall be documented and presented for Authority action.
When the Authority determines that violation has occurred, it will levy a Water Emergency Violation Fee of $99.00 per violation. Coincident with notification and billing, a 15 day notice of termination for violation of these rules shall be sent, all in accordance with DPUC Rules and Regulations Governing Termination of Service. Payment of the violation fee shall vacate the termination action. If service is terminated, all fees and charges plus the appropriate turn on charge will be collected before service is restored.
For continuing or repeated violations, each day’s continuance or repetition shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct violation. The 15 day notice of pending termination shall be vacated with termination effected forthwith.
Health Concerns: Any person who considers that the restrictions imposed adversely affect their health and sanitation, may make an application for exemption from the Director of Health of that person’s town.
Authorization: Special Act 381 (1967) establishes the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority. Provisions provide that the Authority may establish rules and regulations and set fees and charges relative to the provisions of water service. SCWA Rules for Water Service and Rates and Charges duly adopted by the Authority are therefore in accordance with this statute.