These policies and procedures apply to all HKUI customers. The following policies and procedures are derived from the HKUI Operational Tariff, and represent the issues most frequently encountered by our customers. These policies may be modified at any time by the HKUI Board of Directors.
Customers are encouraged to review the tariff for a complete presentation of HKUI regulations, policies, and procedures. Policies derived from the Tariff indicate the Tariff section cited (e.g., [8.b]).
Water bills are issued quarterly, as near as possible to the beginning of January, April, July, and October. [I.2]
Payment for each quarterly bill (including accrued charges) is due at the HKUI office 30 days from the date on the bill. [9.d] After the 30-day payment period, an unpaid account will be mailed a second notice. After 45 days from the date on the bill, customers with an unpaid account will be mailed and/or emailed a final notice requesting payment within seven days. [13.c]
Water service will be discontinued for an account remaining unpaid at the expiration of the final notice period. The minimum quarterly charge will continue to apply to the account after service is discontinued. A reconnection fee, as well as any unpaid or outstanding debts that may be due to HKUI, must be paid before the water service will be resumed. [9.g, 14.0]
NOTE: The restoration of water service that was discontinued because of non-payment of account balance is not considered an emergency, and will be handled only during regular business hours.
Overpayments will be credited to the customer's account. Any positive balance occurring after final settlement of the account will be returned to the customer.
A returned check fee will be applied to the customer’s account for each returned check. [11.a]
The customer can avoid the minimum quarterly charge if he or she contacts HKUI in writing and requests the water meter be completely removed from the customer's connection point. However, if the customer requests water service again, or the property is transferred to a new owner and the new owner requests water service, a meter installation fee equal to 50% of the service connection fee will apply.
When a home is rented, water bills will be sent to the renter only if HKUI receives a completed Request for Alternative Billing form filled out and signed by the homeowner. In all cases, the homeowner remains fully responsible for the payment of these bills. [9.f] For more information, please read our Water Service Policy for Tenants and Agents.
Payment disputes will be referred to the HKUI Administrative Coordinator for resolution (540-635-6131). Upon failure to reach a successful conclusion, either the Administrative Coordinator or the customer may refer the dispute to the HKUI Board of Directors for final resolution. The referred dispute will be placed on the next board meeting agenda.
HKUI may, at its discretion, require of any customer a cash deposit to secure the performance by the customer of the terms and conditions of water service. The amount of deposit is the customer’s estimated liability for one quarter of service. [8.a]
The deposit will be refunded to the customer after one year of satisfactory credit has been established, or with final settlement of the account, whichever comes first. Note that any occurrence of late payment will disrupt establishment of satisfactory credit. [8.b]
Simple interest will be paid on the customer’s deposit, at the prevailing rate established by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. [8.c]
Temporary Discontinuation of Service
Seasonal residents of High Knob, or residents leaving their homes unattended for an extended period of time, may 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 minimum quarterly charge continues to apply during the period of temporary discontinuation of service.
NOTE: Customers are prohibited by law from shutting off or restoring water service at the meter. The meter is the property of HKUI and may be operated only by HKUI employees or authorized representatives. [13.a]
Customers desiring a temporary discontinuation of service should contact the HKUI office at 540-635-6131 to make arrangements. Please provide at least one week notice. When a customer requests a temporary discontinuation of water service, the fee covers both the shutoff and restoration of water service. This fee appears on the next water bill. Contact the HKUI office to arrange for restoration of service, at least two days in advance.
Termination of Service
Customers are requested to notify HKUI at least fifteen days in advance of their desire to terminate water service and close a water service account. The customer is responsible for all charges associated with the account up until the date of termination. A final meter reading will be made on the termination date, and a final bill will be mailed to the customer.
Leaks, Abatements, and Refunds
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. This excess adjustment is based on an average of the previous three consecutive periodic bills, provided the customer promptly and properly repairs such leak upon notification of the leakage.
Should the leakage occur over consecutive billing periods, the three consecutive periodic bills shall be the most recent billing periods prior to the billing period when the leak began. If the customer account has not been established for three billing periods, the abatement amount will be calculated with an estimated usage of 100 gallons per day for any missing billing periods. [12.c]
Application for underground leak abatement must be made in writing to HKUI, 17 Windy Way, Front Royal VA 22630. There is no limit on the number of abatement applications that can be submitted by a customer. [12.d]
Please note that there will be no abatement for leaks caused by improper or damaged service pipes or fixtures belonging to the customer. [12.a]
Customers are advised to arrange for a Temporary Discontinuation of Service when leaving High Knob for an extended period to avoid the possibility of a large water bill caused by a leak.
Upon termination of a water account, the company will return to the customer any fund balance remaining in the account after all outstanding fees are paid. If the customer does not provide a mailing address or otherwise respond in 60 days after account termination, the funds will revert to HKUI. [12.e]
Interruptions in the Water Supply
HKUI may shut off the water in the mains in case of an accident at any time, or for the purpose of making connections, alterations, repairs, changes, or other reasons. We may also restrict the use of water to reserve a sufficient supply for public fire service or other emergencies whenever the public welfare may require it. [17.a]
The company will try to give notice in advance of any work which must be done that will necessitate any interruption of the supply. Customers are responsible for ensuring that all pipes, fittings, fixtures, and other equipment connected with the water supply system are not susceptible to damage if water is shut off without notice. [17.b]
The company will undertake to use reasonable care and diligence in order to prevent and avoid interruptions and fluctuations in the service, but it cannot and does not guarantee that such will not occur. [17.c]
Meters are furnished, installed, and removed by HKUI and remain the property of HKUI. [6.b]
When damage to any meter arises out of, or is caused by, the customer’s negligence or carelessness, the repair or replacement of that meter shall be paid for by the customer. [6.c]
The customer must promptly notify the company of any defects in or damage to the meter or its connections. [6.d]
No person shall turn the water on or off at any street valve, meter, or other connection, or disconnect or remove any meter or other connection, or disconnect or remove any meter or disturb any connection pipe or service line without the consent of HKUI. Penalties provided by law for any such unauthorized action will be strictly enforced. [13.a]
No customer, or anyone acting for the customer, shall create a condition that may cause damage to any meter, connection, service pipe, meter cock, seal, or any other appliance or installation of the company. The presence of such condition shall be ascertained solely by the determination of the company, subject to appeal to the board of directors. The customer shall be responsible for removing any potentially damaging condition designated by the company, subject to supervision and approval of the company.
No customer, or anyone acting for the customer, shall tamper with any meter, connection, service pipe, meter cock, seal, or any other appliance of the company controlling or regulating the customer’s water supply. [13.d.1]
Customers may request a meter test by contacting the HKUI office. There is no charge for an initial meter test; however, if additional tests are requested within a 24 month period, a meter test fee may be applied. [7.b]
A meter reading fee applies for a meter reading request made between billing periods for the purpose of property transfers or rental property turn over. [7.c]
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. [16.d]
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 with applicable regulations and codes. [16.b]
Where the pressure to a customer’s system is greater than desired, it shall be the customer’s responsibility to install the proper regulating device to reduce the pressure to the extent desired. [16.c]
Cross Connections & Backflow
Customers must not connect any pipe or fixtures connected with the mains to pipes or fixtures supplied with water from any other source without installation of an approved backflow prevention device. [15.a]
Customers must not install piping systems to supply tanks, cisterns, or swimming pools. [15.b]
The plumbing on all premises supplied from the company’s water system shall conform to the Commonwealth of Virginia Sanitary Code or Warren County Code, whichever may be applicable. [15.c]
Access by HKUI Personnel
The customer must provide the company’s employees and agents free and reasonable access to the premises, and access to the meter or other appliances of HKUI that control or regulate the customer’s water supply. The service pipe, meters and fixtures on the customer’s premise must be accessible to HKUI for observation or inspection at reasonable hours. [13.d.2]