Policies & ProceduresRules, Polices and Procedures for Water Services
Policies and Procedures
- TYPE OF SERVICE:
- The rate schedule set forth shall be for a single family dwelling or single home on one lot, or one commercial business or multiple dwelling units.
- Extraordinary circumstances such as subdivisions, multiple dwelling units, extension of mains, and industrial users shall be governed by special contract agreements made by the Board of Directors. Prior to any substantial work being done in furtherance of the proposed project, the Utilities Director shall establish a deposit to be placed by the applicant to cover Hudson Water Work’s anticipated costs of the staff and office supplies, engineer, attorney, or any other extraordinary expenses anticipated prior to the contract being executed. The deposit should fairly reflect what is anticipated for the project, however, for projects of more than 5 residences or the commercial equivalent, the deposit should be a minimum of $5,000, and the applicant shall sign a deposit agreement stating that the applicant understands that if the costs are less than the deposit, then the remaining deposit will be ether refunded, or applied to other expenses, and if the costs are greater than the deposit, the applicant will pay the additional amount the sooner of 30 days or prior to service being rendered.
- APPLICATION OF SERVICE
- Property owners desiring to become members shall make application for service at the office of Hudson Water Works, Inc. either in person, fax or e-mail after providing required documentation and pay at that time any and all charges for said new application.
- A deposit based on the class of service and meter size shall be required of all members before service can be provided (and approved by the Board of Directors and attached to these policies.)
- Each property owner subscribing to the services of Hudson Water Works, Inc. shall pay a service fee set by the Board of Directors. Property owners will be entitled to one membership, regardless of the number of properties owned.
- The minimum (of a base charge) charge as provided by the rate schedule shall be paid for each connection for a period of not less than 12 months per year.
- Failure of a member to pay for water services within ninety (90) days from payable date shall be deemed abandonment of membership and shall give Hudson Water Works the right to cancel that membership and remove the meters. A 1/60th portion of the current capacity fee shall be added to the cost of restoring the service connection for the abandoned membership for each month the meter remains removed. If the property owner is the same owner prior to the service being removed, then any previous unpaid charges occurring prior to meter removal will also be added to the fees to have the service restored. If service is not reinitiated for a period of sixty (60) months, the capacity fee shall be deemed fully abandoned and a new capacity fee at the current rate shall be required prior to initiation of service to that lot and reinstallation of the meter.
- All multiple unit projects shall be master metered. Each member operating structures with multiple units downstream from a master meter, whether residential or commercial shall be required to pay at least one (1) minimum base charge per unit as a part of their monthly bill.
- RESIDENTIAL POLICY:
- Pursuant to the By-Laws only property owners are members of Hudson Water Works and as such, are the only parties authorized to apply for and be responsible for payment of bills and continuing service from Hudson Water Works. The member shall receive bills and notices. Nevertheless, members should be aware of the prohibition against landlords discontinuing utility service to a tenant under the Florida Statutes, which states:
A landlord of any dwelling unit governed by this part shall not
cause, directly or indirectly, the termination or interruption of
any utility service furnished the tenant, including, but not
limited to water, heat, light, electricity, gas, elevator, garbage
collection or refrigeration, whether or not the utility service is
under the control of, or payment is made by the landlord.
83.67 (1) Florida Statutes
- The deposit amount for residential 5/8” meters will be as approved by the Board of Directors and shall be on file at the office of Hudson Water Works (as well as attached to these policies.) Mobile home owners who rent a lot in a mobile home park are not members but shall be required to pay the deposit; however, they shall be entitled to same policy as described in section C below.
- Anclote Villa and Sunset Villa tenants are not members but will be treated as customers for deposit purposes only and shall not have the right to vote or hold office as members but shall be required to comply with these Rules.
- Deposits will be returned to the voting members who have a good credit rating for the past 24 months. A good credit rating means 24
consecutive months of service with no delinquent status or bad checks.
- If a member is moving from one house to another house in our service area, they shall maintain the current deposit with the Company until all usage is paid for and they establish a new deposit at the current deposit amount for the new house.
- If a member is moving from one house in our service area to another house and has already received their deposit back (after 2 years of good credit rating at the first residence) they will be required to pay a new deposit.
- If a member has a deposit that has been refunded, then becomes disconnected for non-payment we will require that a new deposit be paid on their account.
- No interest will be paid on residential deposits.
- Hudson Water Works, Inc. will not accept letters of credit from other utilities.
- If any residential account has had two or more returned checks within the last 24 months, the account will be placed on a Cash or Money Order basis only. This will remain in effect for 24 months. After 24 months of good credit history, we will again accept checks on that account.
- (Mobile home parks, where the mobile home is owned by the customer, the customer is required to pay a deposit; however, they are not a member and cannot vote or hold office on the Board of Directors. Only the owner of the mobile home park can vote; but cannot hold office.)
- (The ACH form of payment will be subject to the same rules and regulations as any other form of payment.)
- Hudson Water Works may choose to charge a member a larger deposit than other members if their payment history reflects (2) nonpayment disconnects within any 24 month period.
- COMMERCIAL POLICY:
- Pursuant to the By-Laws only property owners are members of Hudson Water Works, Inc. and as such, are the only parties to be responsible for payment of bills and continuing service from Hudson Water Works, Inc. If a member decides to rent their property to another, it is the responsibility of the member to see that the bill is kept current. If a member desires to have his/her water bill sent directly to the renter, the member must give written permission by signing an Owner’s Permission Form. In the event that a bill becomes past due, a notice will be sent to the member as well as the renter.
- Any connection that is not a residence will be considered a commercial account.
- Any residence that has a sign displayed or advertises as a business will be considered a commercial account.
- Hudson Water Works, Inc. requires all commercial accounts to install and maintain an RPZ (Reduced Pressure Zone) Backflow Preventer as required under Public Law 99.339 and Hudson Water Works, Inc. policy to prevent cross connection.
- All commercial accounts will have a deposit based on meter size.
- When a commercial member with a deposit becomes disconnected for nonpayment, the deposit will be increased to meet with the current (deposit) policy.
- If any commercial account is disconnected twice in a 24 month period due to non-payment, the deposit will be increased to meet the current deposit policy.
- If any commercial account shall have two returned checks within the last 24 months, the account will be placed on a Cash or Money Order basis only. This will remain in effect for 24 months. After 24 months of good credit history we will again accept checks on that account.
Hudson Water Works may choose to charge a member a larger deposit than other members if their payment history reflects (2) nonpayment disconnects within any 24 month period,
- Commercial deposits will be returned only when the property is sold, if all debts to Hudson Water Works, Inc. are paid in full.
- Interest will be paid on commercial deposits after 24 months of good credit history. Interest will be at the rate calculated as the average of the short-term and mid-term IRS Federal applicable tax rates for July of the current year applied to the members’ deposit on July 1st of each year.
- CORPORATION’S RESPONSIBILITY:
- Hudson Water Works, Inc. shall install the meter in the utility easement at the property line of the lot to be served. This installation shall include all fittings, pipe and shut off valve from the distribution line to the meter and a meter box. Meter fittings and service lines shall be installed by the member at the member’s expense.
- Water furnished to a given lot shall be used at that lot only. Violation of this rule shall be cause for Hudson Water Works, Inc. to immediately disconnect members’ service by removal of the meter. Hudson Water Works, Inc. shall charge any additional fines and service charges associated with rule violations and meter removal.
- Except for the members of the current Board of Directors, Hudson Water Works, Inc. shall not, under any conditions, furnish water free of charge to anyone.
- Fees charged for water shall be based on meter size and most current rate schedule approved by the Board of Directors (and attached to these policies.)
- Hudson Water Works, Inc. may make connections to serve other properties not adjacent to its distribution lines under a special agreement, which agreement shall include, at a minimum, the following conditions:
- Consumer to pay all costs of extending the water lines to their property before work can begin on installation of the water lines.
- New lines will extend from point of connection to existing distribution line across entire front of the property line.
- Hudson Water Works, Inc. reserves the right to refuse or remove service unless the owner’s lines are installed in such a manner as to prevent cross connection or back flow.
- OWNER RESPONSIBILITY:
- Where meters or meter boxes are placed in the right-of-way and/or easements of the property, a suitable place shall be provided by the owner unobstructed and accessible at all times to the meter reader. The Owner shall be responsible for protecting the meter box and service line from damage by vehicles or digging. Generally, if damage to the facilities requiring its replacement or repair appears unintentional, the Company will not charge for one repair/replacement; however, any subsequent repairs or replacements will be charged to the customer’s account.
- The members’ piping shall be installed and maintained by the member at his/her expense in full compliance with local and State regulations.
- Water furnished by Hudson Water Works, Inc. shall be used for consumption by the member, members of his/her household, and his employees only. The member shall not sell water to any other person or permit any other person to use said water except for bulk water users approved by the Hudson Water Works, Inc. Board by contract. Disregard for this rule shall be sufficient cause for refusal or discontinuance of service. Members shall comply with all applicable rules and regulations of the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD).
- Hudson Water Works, Inc. may turn on or turn off water to the Owner at the Owners’ written request. It is the Owners’ sole obligation and responsibility to ensure that a responsible person is at the building to ensure that water does not flood the building or otherwise get lost by faucets left on or any other cause; or for turn-offs, that no water heater or other appliance is damaged due to loss of water. The Owner shall hold Hudson Water Works, Inc. harmless from this or any other potential damages or losses due to Hudson Water Works’, Inc. actions at the Owners’ request.
- Hudson Water Works, Inc., members shall pay their wastewater service to the utilities authorized to provide such service. In the best interest of the corporation and its members, the Hudson Water Works Board has entered into or will enter into contracts with Pasco County and NiAmerica, Inc., or other utilities which serve Hudson Water Works, Inc., members with wastewater service, so that Hudson Water Works cooperates with those utilities in providing meter readings for appropriate billing purposes, and providing disconnection of water service when members fail to pay the lawful charges of those wastewater utilities.
- ACCESS TO PREMISES:
- Duly authorized agents of Hudson Water Works, Inc. shall have access at all reasonable hours to the premises of the member for the purposes of installing or removing corporation property, inspecting piping, reading and testing meters, or for any other purposes in connection with Hudson Water Works’, Inc. services and facilities.
- Extensions to the system shall be made only when the member shall grant or convey, or shall cause to be granted or conveyed, to the corporation a permanent easement or right-of-way across any property traversed by the lines.
- CHANGE OF OCCUPANCY:
- The outgoing party shall be responsible for all water consumed up to the date of departure or written notification of departure.
- The new occupant (owner) shall apply for water service as soon as possible after the date of the closing on the premises. Failure to do so will result in the water being turned off and locked. When the new owner does sign up, he/she will be responsible for the water bill from the date of closing.
- When purchasing a property with no water meter, the new occupant (owner) shall be responsible for any and all fees necessary to have the water meter installed.
- METER READING – BILLING – COLLECTION:
- Meters will be read, and bills produced and mailed monthly, but Hudson Water Works, Inc. reserves the right to vary the dates or length of period covered.
- Bills for water will be figured in accordance with Hudson Water Works’, Inc. rate schedule and will be based on the amount consumed for the period covered by the meter reading; except where a member orders turn-off less than one month after turn-on, the minimum bill to such member for such period shall be equal to the minimum charge for one full months’ service plus any usage.
- Members subscribing for water pursuant to Paragraph (B) above will commence payment of at least a minimum water bill when water is available.
- Bills shall be paid at the place specified by Hudson Water Works, Inc.
- Bills are payable when produced and due by the due date shown on the bill. A late charge of 20% or $5.00, whichever is greater, shall automatically be added to bills if not paid on or before the fifteenth (15th) of the month.
- Failure to receive bills or notices shall not prevent such bill from becoming past due nor relieve the customer from payment of the bill and late charge.
- These and other Policies and Procedures with the current Board of Directors’ approved fees, charges and rates listed below are available at the Company website at https://hudsonwaterworks.org/.
- Current charges for Additional Services
- Hudson Water Works’ Residential Rate Schedule
- Hudson Water Works Meter Installation and Deposits
- Irrigation Installation
- Capacity Fees
- Reinstallation Fees (Meters that have been removed)
- Any other charges at cost
- Payment installments due to high water usage as a result of a leak will be reviewed on an individual basis. Only members who have a good credit rating for the past 24 months will be considered for payment installments. A good credit rating means 24 consecutive months of service with no delinquent status or bad checks. Payment installments will be the total balance divided by the number of installments (maximum of three (3)). Each month the current charge and the installment amount must be paid by the fifteenth (15th) of the month. If member misses a payment, then all late charges will be placed on the account and the member will be required to pay all balances in full to avoid disconnection of service.
- SUSPENSION & TERMINATION OF SERVICE:
- Disconnection shall occur if the bill(s) and late charge(s) are not paid in full within forty-five (45) days of the payable date.
- As of the Disconnection date a Nonpayment Fee as set by the Board of Directors will be added to the balance and must be paid in full. (Fees Schedule attached to these policies)
- In order to be reconnected a member must pay during lobby business hours (7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) of Hudson Water Works, Inc. The member must pay all outstanding bills, Late Fees and the Nonpayment Fee. To restore service the same day, payment must be made before noon. After noon, the service will be restored the next business day. No specific time can be given for the turn on. The member is solely responsible to make sure that all fixtures are off prior to requesting turn on to prevent flooding in the home and water loss.
- When the meter has been removed for nonpayment, the security deposit will be applied toward settlement of the account. Any balance will be credited, and any excess refunded to the member, but if the security deposit is not sufficient to cover the bill, Hudson Water Works, Inc. may transfer the outstanding balance to any other account they may have and/or send it to collections.
- When service has been disconnected more than once in a twenty-four (24) month period, the member shall be charged a new deposit at a rate of double the current deposit established by the Board of Directors. (Fee schedule attached to these Policies)
- When a master meter must be disconnected for nonpayment, all customers must be notified inside of property prior to disconnection. A fee will be charged for this service as set by the Board of Directors. (Fee schedule attached – nonpayment fee)
- Upon meter removal for nonpayment of any charges, i.e. monthly base charge, tampering, meter removal charge, service will not be restored until any and all charges are paid in full, if the property did not change ownership.
- When a meter has been removed for nonpayment of the base charge for 3 months or removed for tampering or any other reason as provided in the Policies and Procedures / By-Laws, a charge for a service call to remove the meter, the cost of the meter, an administrative cost and a charge to reinstall the meter will be assessed by Hudson Water Works, Inc. The fees collected are the fees set by The Board of Directors. (and are attached to these Policies)
- When a meter has been removed again for nonpayment of the base charge for 3 months or removed for tampering or any other reason as provided in the Policies and Procedures/By-Laws and the same owner is in possession of the property, a charge for a service call to remove the meter, the cost of the meter, an administrative cost, a charge to reinstall the meter, and a deposit for double the normal amount will be assessed by Hudson Water Works, Inc. The fees collected are the fees set by the Board of Directors.
(C) Hudson Water Works, Inc. reserves the right to discontinue its service without notice for the following additional reasons:
- Fraud or abuse.
- Violation by a member or member’s family or tenants, or a commercial member’s agents, employees, tenants or family members of these Policies and Procedures or any applicable Federal, State or Local laws which violation raises safety concerns, endangers public health or could create irreparable harm or unsecured loss to Hudson Water Works, Inc. or its members or property.
- Insufficiency of water supply due to circumstances beyond Hudson Water Works’, Inc. control.
- Legal processes.
- Direction of public authorities.
- Emergency repairs.
- Strike, riot, fire, flood or other disaster, accident or any unavoidable cause.
(D) Hudson Water Works, Inc. may permanently refuse service to any customer who tampers with a meter, shut off valve, meter box or any other apparatus belonging to Hudson Water Works, Inc. and charge a Tampering Fee set by the Board of Directors, in addition to any actual cost of replacing any damaged apparatus to Hudson Water Works, Inc. If tampered with a second time, the meter shall be removed. If there are any devices placed in the meter box other than property of Hudson Water Works, Inc., the meter will be removed, and fines applied. In addition to these remedies, Hudson Water Works, Inc. may take any action authorized by law, including without limitation, injunctions, civil suit, and seeking imposition criminal charges. (The Tampering Fee Schedule is attached to these Policies)
- NON-PAYMENT AND RETURNED CHECK POLICY:
(A) If any account is turned off twice in a 24 month period due to non-payment, the deposit will be doubled the current deposit required. If we receive prompt payment for the next 24 months, the deposit will be refunded.
(B) If any account should have two returned checks within the last 24 months the account will be placed on a Cash or Money Order basis only. This will remain in effect for 24 months. After 24 months of good credit history, we will again accept checks on that account.
- COMPLAINTS – ADJUSTMENTS:
(A) If a member believes his bill to be in error, he shall present his claim in writing at the office of Hudson Water Works, Inc. before the bill becomes past due. Such claim, if made after the bill has become past due, shall not be effective in preventing discontinuance of service as heretofore provided. The member may pay such bill under protest and said payment shall not prejudice his claim. (If owner refuses to pay by due date any and all charges will apply. Change attached to Policies)
(B) Hudson Water Works, Inc. will re-read the meter at the request of the member for a fee set by the Board of Directors. This fee must be paid in advance of the re-read. If the reading discloses that the meter was over-read, a refund of this fee will be made. (Fee schedule attached to these policies)
(C) Meters will be in-field tested at the request of the member for a charge set by the Board of Directors. (Fee schedule attached to these policies)
(D) Meters will be tested by an approved outside source at the request of member upon payment to Hudson Water Works, Inc. of the actual cost of conducting the test plus shipping and handling of the meter plus the cost of a service call; provided however, that if the meter is found to over-register beyond three percent (3%) of the correct volume, said payment from the member shall be refunded. (Fee schedule attached to these policies)
(E) If the meter fails to register correctly or is stopped for any cause, the member shall pay an amount estimated from the records of his previous twenty-four (24) months of bills, if available, and/or from other proper data.
- POWER OF ATTORNEY
Although only property owners may be members, the company recognizes that there are unusual circumstances where the owner is incapable of representing themselves with regard to their service from the company, or temporary use of an agent for absentee sale of a home is necessary. In those instances where the company has sufficient information to believe the circumstances described below exist, it may allow another natural person to represent that owner through the use of a power of attorney (POA) by use of a form approved by the company. This rule shall not be used to substitute renters for landlord/owners as the company members or to otherwise avoid the owner-member requirement. The Board retains the right to approve, reject or withdraw approval of any POA if it has reason to believe a POA will be used, or is being used, contrary to the intent of the bylaws and this rule. Unless temporarily approved by the Utilities Director, subject to Board ratification at the next meeting, the allowable uses are solely:
- An incapacitated owner who is also a resident of the home receiving the water.
- Real estate or other agents solely for use of water during the sale of an unoccupied building, representing an absentee owner not reasonably available to initiate service themselves/itself.
- LEGAL COSTS RECOVERED / INTEREST
(A) In the event that Hudson Water Works, Inc. retains counsel to enforce any portion of these rules, Hudson Water Works, Inc. shall be entitled to reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs up to and through administrative or civil trials and hearings and all appeals.
(B) In the event that Hudson Water Works, Inc. is required to seek recovery by legal means of any charge or fee provided by these rules, Hudson Water Works, Inc. shall be entitled to interest at the highest legal rate on any such fees or charges recovered.