Account Adjustments After Fixing Leaks

Contact Customer Service

400 Jones Ferry Road
Carrboro, NC 27510

Hours:
Monday – Friday
8 AM to 5 PM

(919) 537-4343 or 
CustomerService

Emergencies
(919) 968-4421

Subject to certain limits and conditions, OWASA can issue a credit adjustment to the water and/or sewer account of a customer who has experienced the loss of metered water beyond the customer's normal and reasonable control.

The customer is responsible for promptly discovering and making any necessary repairs to stop the loss of water. Although there is no obligation for OWASA to adjust accounts when the water has been metered properly, we want to encourage customers to make prompt and permanent repairs. We also want to give consideration for the unusual circumstances and repair expenses by adjusting the customer's billing charges.

OWASA's new advanced meter technology will also enable our customer service staff to more quickly detect and notify customers of irregular, high water consumption and low-flow, continuous consumption. We will not charge for this notification service; however, customers will be responsible for making sure OWASA has the most accurate contact information. Without accurate contact information, customers will not be eligible for leak notification or emergency water loss adjustments.

To request an account adjustment after you have fixed the leak, please read the information below and contact us if you have any questions.

To make an adjustment, we will need information:

  • When the leak was discovered;
  • Who made repairs, where and when; and
  • A copy of the plumber's bill, or receipts for materials purchased if you made the repairs.

The amount of the bill adjustment depends in part on whether the water from the leak returned to the sanitary sewer system or leaked elsewhere on your property.

For situations where the lost water did not return to the sewer system, the adjustments are:

For non-irrigation water service, we may adjust charges for water use over the customer's previous 12 months' average billings for water, excluding the month(s) of excessive consumption for which the adjustment is requested, down to our lowest retail rate ($2.63 per 1,000 gallons as of October, 2011). For customers who pay seasonal water rates (such as commercial customers), the adjustment will be based on a comparison to the corresponding month(s) from the immediately preceding year. (Please see additional information below about potential adjustments when an irrigation system leak is fixed.)

For sewer service, we may adjust the customer's account by 100% of the amount exceeding the previous 12 months' average monthly bill, excluding the month(s) of excessive water use for which an adjustment is requested.

Situations where lost water does not return to the sewer system may include:

  • Irrigation leaks,
  • Leaks that occur underground or in walls,
  • Leaks in outdoor spigots, and
  • Faulty water heaters or pressure reducing valves where such appliances and devices are not easily accessible or visible.

For situations where the lost water returned to the sewer system, the adjustments are:

For non-irrigation water service, we may adjust charges for water use over the customer's previous 12 months' average billings for water, excluding the month(s) of excessive consumption for which the adjustment is requested, down to our lowest retail rate ($2.63 per 1,000 gallons). Please see additional information below regarding potential adjustments related to irrigation leaks. For customers who pay seasonal water rates (such as commercial customers), the adjustment will be based on a comparison to the corresponding month(s) from the immediately preceding year.

For sewer service, 50% of the amount exceeding the previous twelve months' average monthly bill, excluding the month(s) of excessive water use for which an adjustment is requested.

Situations where lost water returns to the sewer system may include malfunctioning toilets and leaking indoor faucets.

For Irrigation System Leaks:

For leaks resulting from any portion or component of an irrigation system, we may adjust charges for water use that is in excess of the customer's previous 24-month period's highest billing for water down to our irrigation commodity rate (if that results in a lower water charge). Additionally, the adjustment may include 100% of the amount in excess of the customer's previous 24-month period's highest billing for wastewater. No adjustment shall be made that reduces a customer's bill to an amount less than the customer's previous 24-month period's highest use month.

Please Note:

We limit the adjustment period for leaks in readily visible fixtures to one month's billings.

We do not make adjustments within one year of completion of new construction. (We recommend that you contact the builder.)

Accounts may be adjusted due to leaks only once every three years.

Customers are strongly encouraged to register and complete survey data for the most accurate leak notifications.

Emergency water loss adjustments will cover water lost from when the leak began to when it is repaired, but will not exceed seven days from the date of the first successful notification. 

Customers who choose the manual read option with the new meters will not be eligible for water loss adjustments.

The new water loss adjustment policy, i.e., maximum 7 days from date of notification, will apply. Customers who choose the manual read option with the new meters will not be eligible for water loss adjustments.

One time in any 12-month period, customers who completely refill their pools qualify for an adjustment to their sewer charges.

OWASA may make discretionary determinations as to the applicability of the policy in circumstances involving abnormal water use or loss.