High Knob Utilities, Incorporated (HKUI) is a nonprofit public utility established to provide water to the High Knob community. HKUI is licensed by the Virginia Department of Health.
Where does the High Knob water come from?
The High Knob water system obtains its source water from three springs and seven deep wells. Most of these commercial grade wells and all of the springs are located on approximately 60 acres of protected and dedicated water shed property. Our system uses no surface water (creeks, streams, rivers) at all.
Frequently Asked Questions
How safe is my water?
All water is chlorinated and tested according to VDH requirements. The system has been approved by and is inspected regularly by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). This strict testing regimen is carried out throughout the year, and includes in-home samples.
An annual water quality report is provided to each HKUI customer, usually in the second quarter of the year. Reports are released mid-year for the previous calendar year. Water Reports for previous years are available at the High Knob Office.
Are there any regulations concerning having hot tubs & swimming pools at our home?
Swimming pools and hot tubs are becoming increasingly popular. The following measures will ensure that water from the swimming pool or hot tub will not flow into the HKUI water system. HKUI reminds its customers that the following regulations apply to the use of swimming pools and hot tubs:
• Pools and tubs may be filled at any time; the standard water rates apply (see the Rate Schedule). However, HKUI may restrict or prohibit the filling of swimming pools and hot tubs as a result of water shortages from drought, system failure, or other causes.
• Pools and hot tubs may not be fitted with permanently installed pipes for the purpose of filling. Filling must be done by a temporary connection such as a hose, and the fixture supplying the water must be equipped with an approved backflow prevention device.
Can I turn off my water at the meter while I am traveling for an extended period, or for plumbing work?
Customers are prohibited from operating or tampering with the meter in any way — HKUI takes this matter very seriously. You can request a temporary discontinuation of water service with a water shutoff at the meter. This is highly recommended to prevent damage and loss caused by leaks during the homeowner's absence.
The quarterly water service charge continues to apply during the period of temporary discontinuation of service. A fee of $25.00 covers both the shutoff and restoration of water service. This fee appears on the next water bill.
The water pressure in my house is low — what can HKUI do about it?
Situated on a mountainside, the High Knob water system is almost entirely gravity fed. Changes in elevation will affect the water pressure delivered to each customer. HKUI will provide a minimum pressure of 20 pounds per square inch (PSI) at the meter.
Some homes may be built at a considerable height above the meter connection, and the customer may find that the pressure in the home is noticeably less than that furnished from the mains of the company, due to the difference in elevation. In this case, the customer must install at his own expense a tank and/or booster pump, of a type and installation approved by HKUI and conforming to applicable regulations and codes.
Can I install a well on my property?
Wells are prohibited by covenant on most High Knob lots; check your convenants to determine if you are allowed to have a well. Be sure to check your covenants, and don’t take a neighbor’s word — there are many sets of covenants covering lots in the High Knob Subdivison. If a well is allowed, you must obtain the proper permits from the Virginia Department of Health before drilling.
Covenants are on file at the Warren County Clerk’s office. You must know the block and lot number of your property. You can obtain this information from the Details display of the Warren County GIS tax maps. For example, Block CC, lot 4.
Note: If you install a well and plan to remain connected to the HKUI water system, you must notify HKUI of this situation. Special requirements apply to prevent your well water from entering the HKUI system. Contact HKUI for more information.
I have a leak in the water line between the meter and my house — will HKUI repair the problem?
No. HKUI is responsible for its water system up to and including the meter. Pipes and fixtures on the customer’s side of the meter are the customer’s responsibility. Contact a local plumber to complete the repair.
The pipe between the HKUI meter and my house froze and burst, leaking thousands of gallons of water — am I responsible for paying for the leaked water?
Customers are responsible for payment of all water use registered by the meter. However, in the event of an underground leak on the customer’s property, the customer may apply for an abatement of 50% of the amount of excess in a water bill due to this cause, based on an average of the previous three consecutive quarterly bills, provided the customer promptly and properly repairs such leak when detected. For details, see Leaks, Abatements, and Refunds.
Application for underground leak abatement must be made in writing to HKUI, 17 Windy Way, Front Royal VA 22630. Please note that there can be no abatement for leaks caused by improper or damaged service pipes or fixtures belonging to the customer (burst pipes in the home, leaking toilets, vandalism, etc.).
Customers are advised to arrange for a Temporary Discontinuation of Service when leaving High Knob for an extended period, avoiding the possibility of a large water bill caused by a leak.
The water mains supplying my house were shut down temporarily but service has been restored. Why am I still not getting any water in my house?
Some homes serviced by HKUI employ pressure tanks or booster pumps to increase the water pressure. When mains pressure to these devices is interrupted, these devices can prevent normal water delivery when pressure is restored. Contact HKUI for further information.
Is High Knob water fluoridated?
No. Aside from a minimal amount of chlorination to meet Virgina Department of Health requirements, no other chemicals or minerals are added to our water. Although the actual cost of the fluoride itself is low, due to our relatively small customer base, the cost of installing the equipment to add the fluoride is prohibitive.
For more information about increasing your fluoride intake, consult with your dentist.
Will I have water if the power goes out on High Knob?
HKUI has equipped all of its key wells, pumps, and water management stations with emergency backup generators, fueled from large capacity underground propane tanks. This insures that our water system will continue to function during a general power outage. Although we have not had to call upon these generators for extended periods, the stored propane is estimated to provide enough fuel for 5-7 days operation. At that point, additional propane deliveries would continue to keep the generators running should a very long outage occur.
If a power outage occurs, customers are urged to practice conservation measures and use a minimum of water – car washing, lawn watering, pool filling, and other non-critical usages should be postponed until the outage ends.
Note that a few High Knob homes are equipped with a pressure tank system to boost water pressure inside the home. These systems would be non-operational during a power outage, and the home owner is responsible for providing a back-up power source to operate the pressure tank system, or to see that the system is bypassed.
Also note that electric water heaters will be non-operational, and many gas-fired water heaters will not operate without electricity to power electric igniters and vent fans.
Why aren't there more fire hydrants?
Fire hydrants were added to the High Knob water system during an extensive system overhaul in the early 2000's, in consultation with the Warren County fire authorities.
At that time, HKUI borrowed state money to re-do our system (nearly $1 million), but the state would not allow any of that money to fund fire suppression – in other words, they would not pay for fire hydrants or for running larger water lines to support them. To provide the basic hydrant system we have today, HKUI purchased and installed our current hydrants with funds from our capital expense budget.
Each fire hydrant is designed to provide 500 gallons per minute flow and still maintain pressure at nearby residences (this flow rate is based on the maximum draw that a tanker would use). Hydrant testing by the fire department in subsequent years qualified the hydrants for the red paint that they currently have.
To provide this rate of flow, each hydrant must be connected to a 6 inch water main. When the water system was engineered in the early 2000’s, the cost of running 6” water mains throughout High Knob was far beyond our budget, so hydrant locations were chosen to serve the most residences from the 6” lines that we do have.
There are 16 fire hydrants located on High Knob.
To download a map showing the hydrant locations, click here.
To see a list of street addresses and GPS coordinates, click here.
The fire authorities state that there is a limit to the distance that a fire hose can be run directly from a hydrant to a fire. Any fires that occur beyond that distance must be served by shuttling tanker trucks from the fire site to the nearest hydrant. The fire department is quite adept at this, and this strategy has been successfully employed a number of times over the years. If we had no fire hydrants, the pumper trucks would actually have to leave High Knob to refill.
Fire authorities state that it takes upwards of 40,000 gallons of water to extinguish a typical house fire, and our system is more than capable of providing this quantity. In addition, our water system is engineered so that water can be transferred from one reservoir to another.
Warren County fire authorities are in possession of a fire hydrant map for High Knob, as well as GPS information for each hydrant. Our staff coordinates with the county fire authorities during and after any major fire event to insure that our existing hydrant system is working as designed and to the satisfaction of our local fire authorities.