Lake Whatcom Water Sewer District

Billing

Policies

Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District is a non-profit municipal corporation. The District’s five-member Board of Commissioners are elected officials who set the rates and establish the District’s policies in accordance with Washington State Law. Commissioners are required to live within the District’s boundaries and in the area which they represent. Rates and charges are designed to provide for the prudent financial management of the District and are based on the cost of service.

RCWs Associated With Water and Sewer Districts

Revised Code of Washington Title 57 Chapters 57.02 through 57.90 contains the laws that govern water and sewer districts within Washington State.  To view the laws, click here and scroll down the list of chapters to “Title 57 Water-Sewer Districts.”

Late Charges

Bills are due on the 20th of the month following the date of the bill. A late charge of 10% of the total past due usage balance is applied to the account. Once applied, late charges cannot be removed from a customer account unless approved by the District’s General Manager. Additional fees may apply for any payment return items, such as NSF checks.

Account Delinquency

For accounts where water and sewer service charges are not paid within sixty days of the billing date, the District may interrupt water service and padlock the meter until the bill is paid in full in addition to the charges associated with the water service interruption.

Water service suspension/restoration:

Liens

All unpaid water and sewer charges, when delinquent for sixty days or more, shall be a lien against the property being served. In the event the customer fails to bring the account current within six months, the account will be referred to the District’s legal counsel to begin formal foreclosure proceedings against the property.

Water Leaks

With approval from the Board of Commissioners, the District will adjust high water bills resulting from in-ground service line breaks between the water meter and the entry point of service into the building. To request a billing adjustment, the customer must complete an “Application for Water Bill Leak Adjustment Credit” form and provide evidence that the leak is now repaired. Evidence includes a paid invoice or a receipt for repair parts. If there are no invoices or receipts available, a written assertion that the leak is now repaired is acceptable.

Water leak adjustments are limited to one adjustment per account per year. The leak adjustment applies to one billing cycle only. When a leak occurs, the overage may appear on more than one consecutive billing cycle. The District will adjust the higher usage billing cycle to ensure that the customer receives the highest possible adjustment. The credit applied will be approximately one-half of the overage incurred during the billing cycle of the leak.  There is no cap to limit the customer’s costs. Late charges on the leak amount will be waived if the customer adheres to a prearranged payment schedule as negotiated between the customer and the Accounts Receivable department.

Download a copy of our Application for Water Bill Leak Adjustment Credit form here: Leak Adjustment Form

Temporary Suspension of Water and Sewer Service Billing

At the property owner’s request, water and sewer service billing may be temporarily suspended and service discontinued. To request a discontinuance of water and sewer service for an extended period of time, the customer must complete a “Billing Suspension Request” form and pay any outstanding account balance in full along with the billing suspension fee. Once the completed form and fees have been received by the District, the service will be locked and the billing will be suspended.

To resume water and sewer service, the customer must contact the District office and request that the meter be unlocked; a 24 hour notice is required. Services will be unlocked during normal business hours only, Monday through Thursday.

Download a copy of our Billing Suspension Request form here: Web Site Billing Suspension Request Form and Information

Water and Sewer Service Suspension to Uninhabitable Premises

The Board of Commissioners has authorized the suspension of water and sewer services without charging a fee if a house has been demolished or become uninhabitable due to a fire, flood or other such disaster. Under these circumstances, the water and sewer billing will be suspended and the meter either locked or removed. The property owner is required to request a suspension of service in writing and pay any balance owing on the account prior to the billing suspension. Payment of a permit fee may be required in order to resume water and sewer service to the property. For more information regarding this option, contact the District’s Engineering Department.

Sewer Service Billing Suspension by Sewer Only Customers

A sewer only customer is a sewer customer who is not connected to any of the District’s water distribution systems. This policy provides sewer only customers with a means to suspend billing while ensuring the District that the service is not being used. Prior to billing suspension, the customer must obtain a permit from the District to install a two-way clean-out and pay all of the applicable fees and charges. The District will then install a plug in the two-way clean-out to prevent flow in the service line. Billing suspension begins when the plug has been installed and inspected. It is the customer’s responsibility to notify the District in writing at least two business days prior to the desired date for return to service. For more information regarding this option, contact the District’s Engineering Department.