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Chapter II: Water Service to Consumers

Sec. 2-201: Application for Water Service

  1. Any prospective consumer adjacent to a distributing main, where pressure conditions permit except as provided for in Sec. 2-217: Elevation Agreement may obtain water service; provided, that the Department has a sufficient water supply developed and available for domestic use and fire protection to take on new or additional service without detriment to those already served.
  2. Each prospective consumer may be required to sign an application form for water service.
  3. The consumer shall be responsible for payment of all charges for water service at the designated location. Charges will begin when the water service is established, and will continue until due notification from the consumer, or until discontinued by the Department for failure of the consumer to comply with these Rules and Regulations.
  4. When an application for water service is made by a consumer who was responsible for and failed to pay bills previously rendered by the Department, regardless of location and within the statutory period of limitations, the Department may refuse to furnish water service to such applicant until the outstanding bills are paid.
  5. A consumer taking possession of a property and using water without having made application for the transfer of water service shall be held liable for the water delivered from the date of the last recorded meter reading. If proper application for transfer is not made, and if accumulated bills for water service are not paid upon presentation, the water service may be discontinued five business days after written notice is given to the consumer.
  6. The Department may require a deposit from any consumer or prospective consumer to guarantee payment of bills for service are other obligations to the Department.
    1. The amount of the deposit may be the maximum estimated charge for service for two consecutive billing periods, or as may reasonably be required by the Department in cases involving service for short periods or special occasions, but shall be not less than $10.00.
    2. No interest on these deposits shall be accrued, or paid, to the consumer.
    3. The deposit shall be retained as long as it is necessary to ensure payment of obligations to the Department.
    4. If the deposit has not been returned by the time the consumer discontinues service or pays all outstanding obligations, the deposit shall be returned less all unpaid or outstanding charges.

[Eff 5/10/76; am, renum and comp BWS Res. No. 427, 1976; am BWS Res. No. 472, 1979; am BWS Res. No. 530, 1985; am BWS Res. No. 659, 1996]

Sec. 2-202: Installation of Water Service

  1. Installation. Water service will be installed at the expense of the applicant. The Department will determine the size and location of all water services and the number of houses, buildings or dwelling units to be served by a single service.
  2. Installation Charge. Installation charges shall be based on the cost of installation as established by the Department. Said charges shall be available for inspection at the offices of the Department.
  3. Water System Facilities Charge. In addition to the installation cost, a water system facilities charge shall be levied against all new water service connections to the system or connections requiring additional water supplies from existing water services. A schedule of such charges is included in the Department's Schedule of Rates and Charges for the Furnishing of Water and Water Service. The charge shall be paid by the applicant prior to installation of water service.
    Water system facilities charges will not be levied in developments where the developer has installed at his cost a complete water system including source and transmission and daily storage facilities.
  4. Consumer's Supply Pipe. The consumer shall install and connect at his expense his supply pipe to the shut-off valve or outlet installed by the Department.
  5. Location of Water Service. An applicant for water service to property fronting on private roads, lanes, etc., where there is no public water system, must extend his supply pipe to the nearest public street on which a water main exists. All meters shall be installed in the public sidewalk areas wherever possible.
  6. Alteration to Public Water System. All work and materials in connection with the change in location or elevation of any part of the existing public water system, made necessary by the installation of the new service connection, shall be at the expense of the applicant.

[Eff 5/10/76; am, renum and comp BWS Res. No. 427, 1976; am BWS Res. No. 472, 1979; am BWS Res. No. 528, 1985]

Sec. 2-203: Meter Reading and Rendering of Bills

  1. All water supplied by the Department will be measured by means of suitable meters registering in gallons.
  2. Meters will be read and bills rendered monthly or bimonthly as determined by the Department. Special readings may be made, when necessary, for closing accounts or other reason. If a meter cannot be read, an estimated bill will be rendered, said bill to be calculated whenever possible on prior consumption.
  3. Closing bills for short periods of time from the last meter reading date will ordinarily be determined by the amount of water actually used, as indicated by the meter reading, plus a proration of the service charge. In prorating service charge, the billing period for monthly bills shall be considered to be 30 days, and bimonthly bills to be 60 days. After July 1, 1980, there shall be no proration of service charge.
  4. Readings of Separate Meters Not Combined. For the purpose of computing charges, all meters serving the consumer's premises shall be considered separately, and the readings thereof shall not be combined except in cases where the Department, because of operating necessity, installs two or more meters in parallel to service the same consumer's supply pipe.

[Eff 5/10/76; am, renum and comp BWS Res. No. 427, 1976; am BWS Res. No. 472, 1979]

Sec. 2-204: Payment of Bills

  1. All bills shall be due and payable upon presentation to the consumer. Payment shall be made at the offices of the Department or, at the Department's option, to duly authorized collectors of the Department.
  2. Any bill which is not paid within 30 days after the date of the bill shall be deemed delinquent. Water service may be discontinued five business days after written notice is given to the consumer.
  3. A service fee for handling a dishonored check may be made in accordance with fees established by the Department.
  4. A late payment charge may be applied to any delinquent balance payable to the Department. The late payment charge shall be assessed at the rate of one percent for each month or fraction thereof against the delinquent balance, beginning 30 days after the date of the bill.
  5. For the purposes of this section, 'delinquent balance' includes any loan, fee, charge, or other liquidated sum which is 30 days past due to the Department, regardless of whether there is an outstanding judgment for that sum, and whether the sum has accrued through contract, subrogation, tort, operation of law, or administrative order.

[Eff 5/10/76; am, renum and comp BWS Res. No. 427, 1976; am BWS Res. No. 659, 1996]

Sec. 2-205: Discontinuation of Water Service

  1. Consumer About to Vacate Premises. Each consumer about to vacate any premises supplied with water by the Department shall give notice of his intention to vacate, specifying the date service should be discontinued; otherwise, the consumer shall be responsible for all water service furnished to such premises until the Department has received a notice of discontinuance. Before buildings are demolished, the Department should be notified so the water service can be closed.
  2. Water service may be discontinued for any of the following reasons:
    1. Nonpayment of Bills. Water service may be discontinued for nonpayment of a bill five business days after written notice is given to the consumer.
    2. Noncompliance with Rules and Regulations. If the consumer fails to comply with any of these Rules and Regulations, the Department will have the right to discontinue service.
    3. Unauthorized Use of Water. The Department may refuse or discontinue water service to any premises or consumer in order to protect itself against fraud, abuse or unauthorized use of water. For unauthorized use of water a surcharge may be assessed as established by the Department.
    4. Wasteful Use of Water. Where negligent or wasteful use of water exists on any premises, the Department may discontinue service if such conditions are not corrected within five business days after giving the consumer written notice of said conditions.
    5. Service Detrimental to Others. The Department, may refuse to furnish water, and may discontinue the service to any premises, where the demands of the consumer will result in inadequate service to others.
  3. Where discontinuation of water service for any of the above reasons is proposed, the Department shall, prior to the proposed shut off, give to the water consumer at least five (5) business days notice. This notice shall specify to the consumer a reason for the proposed shut off as well as inform the consumer of the right to dispute the shut off by making appropriate inquiry to the Department at an address and/or phone number which shall be provided in the notice. The notice shall further inform the consumer that (1) once water has been shut off there will be a service fee charged for reinstatement of water service, and (2) in cases where the landlord pays the water bill, the consumer may transfer service to his or her name.
  4. Procedures for contesting shut off:
    1. If the consumer wishes to dispute a proposed shut off, the consumer must, within five (5) business days from the date of the notice of shut off, request a billing conference of the Customer Service Division. Once a billing conference is requested, it shall be scheduled at the earliest reasonable opportunity for the consumer and in no case more than ten (10) days from the request and the consumer shall be given the option of having the conference over the phone or in person with the Customer Service employee who will conduct the billing conference.
    2. At the billing conference the consumer shall have the right to submit evidence, present and cross examine witnesses, and bring in an interpreter, or representative to aid in presenting his case. The consumer shall have the right to see the Department's records concerning his account, and the consumer has the right to reasonable explanation by the Customer Service employee for any matter concerning the proposed shut off.
      The Customer Service employee conducting the billing conference shall not have previously been involved in the case, shall not be swayed or effected in any manner by other Department personnel, and shall exercise impartial judgment in deciding the merits of the consumer's case.The Customer Service employee conducting the billing conference shall be empowered to correct any errors in the billing, and to take whatever remedial action is necessary including a stay in order to make a just and fair resolution of the matter. The Customer Service employee conducting the conference shall make a final written decision within three (3) working days of the conference.
    3. If the consumer is dissatisfied with the decision by the Customer Service employee conducting the billing conference, the consumer shall have the right within five (5) business days of receipt of the written decision to appeal the matter as follows: first, to the head of the Collection and Credit Section; second, to the Chief of the Customer Service Division whose decision shall be the final agency decision. However, the amount due must be paid into an escrow trust account after the billing conference with the Customer Service employee and will not be postponed pending the appeal with the head of the Collection and Credit Section or with the Chief of the Customer Service Division. In conducting an appeal all upper management personnel shall exercise the same impartial judgment required of the employee conducting the billing conference.
  5. Where the water consumer is a tenant, the delinquent service holder is the tenant's landlord, and a discontinuation of the tenant's water service is proposed, the following special conditions will be observed:
    1. Prior to shut off, notice to the tenant shall be accomplished by delivery of notice of discontinuation of water services described in Section 2-205 (3) to the tenant in person or to the premises being serviced.
    2. At the same time the tenant shall also be notified that (s)he has the right and opportunity to place water service in his/ her own name. If the tenant consumer places water service in his/her own name and the changeover in service can be accomplished without serious mechanical and financial burden, the tenant will not be held responsible for the landlord's unpaid water bills.

[Eff 5/10/76; am, renum and comp BWS Res. No. 427, 1976; am and renum BWS Res. No. 462, 1978; am BWS Res. No. 659, 1996]

Sec. 2-206: Restoration of Water Service

If water service is turned off because of failure to pay a bill, or for violation of any of these Rules and Regulations, all outstanding accounts against the consumer must be paid before service is restored. For the restoration of service, a charge based on the cost of turning on the water service must be paid by the applicant. Said charge shall be as established by the Department.

[Eff 5/10/76; am, renum and comp BWS Res. No. 427, 1976]

Sec. 2-207: Nonregistering Meters

If a meter fails to register due to any cause except nonuse of water, an average bill may be rendered. Such average bill will be subject to equitable adjustment, taking into account all factors before, during, and after the period of said bill.

[Eff 5/10/76; am, renum and comp BWS Res. No. 427, 1976]

Sec. 2-208: Meter Tests and Adjustment of Bills

  1. Meter Tests. Any consumer, who for any reason questions the accuracy of the meter serving his premises, may request a test of the meter. The consumer, if he so requests, will be notified as to the time of the test and may witness same.
  2. Adjustment of Bills for Meter Inaccuracy. If, as the result of test, the meter is found to register more than two percent fast under conditions of normal operation, the Department will refund to the consumer the overcharge based on past consumption, for a period not exceeding six months, unless it can be proved that the error was due to some cause, the date of which can be fixed. In such latter event, the overcharge shall be computed back to, but not beyond, such date.
  3. Underground Leak Adjustments. The Department may grant adjustments for excessive bills resulting from leakage in underground piping. This adjustment will be one-half of the excess consumption over a normal bill and will be granted only when repairs are made within two weeks after the consumer has been notified of the underground leak. For good cause shown to the Department, an extension of time to make repairs may be granted.
  4. Control and Maintenance. The consumer has sole control of the water delivered through the meter and will be responsible for maintenance and repairs to pipes and fixtures on the consumer's side of the meter.

[Eff 5/10/76; am, renum and comp BWS Res. No. 427, 1976; am and renum BWS Res. No. 477, 1980]

Sec. 2-209: Conservation Measures and Interruption of Water Supply

  1. The Department will exercise reasonable diligence to deliver water to the consumer and avoid shortages or interruptions in service, but will not be liable for any interruption, shortage, insufficiency of supply, or any loss or damage occasioned thereby.
  2. Whenever, in the Department's opinion, special conservation measures are advisable in order to forestall water shortages the Department may restrict the use of water by any means or method of control.
  3. The Department reserves the right at any and all times to shut off water from the mains without notice for the purpose of making repairs, extensions, alterations, or other reason. Consumers dependent upon a continuous supply of water shall provide emergency water storage and any check valves or other devices necessary for the protection of plumbing or fixtures against failure of pressure or supply of water in the Department's mains. Repairs or improvements will be pursued as rapidly as practicable and, insofar as practicable, at such times as will cause the least inconvenience to the consumer.
  4. The Department will not be liable or responsible for any damage toperson or property caused by spigots, faucets, valves and other equipment that may be open when water is turned on at the meter, either when turned on originally or when turned on after a temporary shutdown.
  5. The Department shall restrict the serving of drinking water to any customer unless expressly requested at any restaurant, hotel, cafe, cafeteria, or other place where food is sold, served or offered for sale. These restrictions shall not apply to catered groups of 25 people or more. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in the imposition of a fifty dollars ($50.00) special assessment for each violation, or in the discontinuation of water service and/or penalties as authorized in Section 2-205, 2b, and Section 5-501 of these Rules and Regulations.

[Eff 5/10/76; am, renum and comp BWS Res. No. 427, 1976; am BWS Res. No. 597, 1991]

Sec. 2-210: Pressure Conditions

When the pressure of the Department's supply is higher than that for which individual fixtures are designed, the consumer shall protect such fixtures by installing and maintaining pressure reducing and relief valves. The Department will not be liable for damage due to pressure conditions caused by or arising out of the failure or defective condition of such pressure regulators and relief valves or for damage that may occur through the installation, maintenance, or use of such equipment.

[Eff 5/10/76; am, renum and comp BWS Res. No. 427, 1976]

Sec. 2-211: Damage to Department's Property

  1. Any damage to water mains, service connections, valves, fire hydrants, or other property of the Department shall be paid for by the person, persons or legal entity responsible for the damage.
  2. The consumer shall be liable for any damage to a meter or other equipment or property of the Department caused by the consumer or his tenants, agents, employees, contractors, licensees or permittees, and the Department shall be promptly reimbursed by the consumer for any such damage upon presentation of a bill therefor. In the event settlement for such damage is not promptly made, the Department reserves the right to discontinue water service to such premises.
  3. When a meter is found to have been damaged by hot water or steam emanating from the premises served, the consumer shall pay all costs required to repair the meter.
  4. No obstruction shall be placed on or around any water meter, fire hydrant, or valve so as to render it inaccessible.

[Eff 5/10/76; am, renum and comp BWS Res. No. 427, 1976]

Sec. 2-212: Ingress To and Egress From Consumer's Premises

Any officer or employee of the Department shall have the right of ingress to and egress from the consumer's premises at all reasonable hours, and at any hour during an emergency, for any purpose reasonably connected with the furnishing of water or other Departmental service and the exercise of any and all rights secured to the Department by law or these Rules and Regulations. In case any such officer or employee is refused admittance to any premises, or, being admitted, shall be hindered or prevented from carrying out his duties, the Department may cause the water service to be turned off at said premises five business days after written notice is given the consumer.

[Eff 5/10/76; am, renum and comp BWS Res. No. 427, 1976]

Sec. 2-213: Cross-Connection Control and Backflow Prevention

  1. Prohibition of Certain Connections and Installations. In order to provide proper sanitary protection to the Department's water supply, and to comply with the applicable statutes, rules and regulations of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and of the State Department of Health, as presently adopted and from time to time amended, no cross-connections with other water supplies, or other physical connections, shall exist, or be installed, located, maintained or operated, which could permit backflow of contaminated water from the consumer's premises into the Department's water supply system, except as provided below:
    1. Cross-Connections with Other Water Supplies. Existing water supplies which are in active use and cross-connected to the Department's system will be allowed only under the following conditions:

      (1) Where such water supplies are regularly analyzed by the Department, or other agencies satisfactory to the Department, meet the requirements of the State's Safe Drinking Water Regulations and have no cross-connections which could permit backflow of contaminated water into those water supplies.

      (2) Where such water supplies do not meet the requirements of (1) above, are not normally under pressure, and are maintained solely for fire fighting purposes, and, where adequate protection against backflow to the Department's water system is provided by mechanical means, or other methods or devices, satisfactory to the Department.
    2. Other Physical Connections. Other physical connections may be permitted if, in the judgment of the Department, adequate protection can be provided the water supply of the Department against backflow by the installation of mechanical, or other methods or devices, approved by the Department, and installed, maintained and operated by the consumer in a manner satisfactory to the Department at all times; provided, however, that the Department may require the consumer to eliminate or rearrange designated plumbing or piping connections or fixtures, or to install a backflow device at the meter or other location, subject to the approval of the Department, whenever (1) the consumer is engaged in the handling of dangerous or corrosive liquids or industrial or process waters, highly contaminated water or sewage, or is engaged in the medical or dental treatment of persons who might have diseases transmittable by water; or, whenever (2) in the judgment of the Department there exists a danger of backflow into the Department's mains because of the possibility of unauthorized connections being created through noncompliance or inadvertence by reason of the complexity of the system or systems; or, because of failure by the consumer to provide adequately qualified personnel and supervision for maintenance and extension of the consumer's piping system or systems; or, for any other reason or cause deemed sufficient in the Department's discretion.
  2. Separate Pressure System. The Department will require the installation of mechanical, or other methods or devices, on the consumer's side of the meter to prevent backflow whenever the consumer maintains a separate pressure system or a separate storage facility; or, in any way increases the pressures of the water within his premises above the pressure furnished by the Department; or, has such equipment or arrangement of piping, storage or industrial methods or processes as might under certain conditions raise the pressure of the water within his premises above the pressure of the water in the mains of the Department. Plans for all such installations must be approved by the Department.
  3. Location of Protective Devices. Any device installed for the prevention of backflow as may be required under these Rules and Regulations, shall unless the Department approves otherwise in writing, be located above ground, and in such location as to be safe from flooding or submergence in water or other liquids, properly protected from external damage, freely accessible, and with adequate working room for testing and repairing.
    All such devices shall be tested at least once annually, and as often as required by the Department in those instances where successive tests indicate repeated failure. Repairs, replacement of parts, etc., shall be made whenever deemed necessary by the Department at the expense of the consumer. Making annual tests shall be the responsibility of the consumer, and shall be performed only by the consumer or such other qualified person or persons as may be acceptable to the Department. Records of all tests shall be made on forms prescribed by the Department, and a copy of each such record shall be promptly furnished to the Department. Failure of the consumer to make the proper tests and submission of records may, at the discretion of the Department, result in the Department's making the tests, needed repairs, and replacements, and charging the costs thereof to the consumer.
  4. Conformance with Laws and Ordinances. The several conditions relative to installation and maintenance of cross-connections and other physical connections referred to in this Section shall be subject to the changing requirements of State and Federal health and environmental statutes, rules, regulations or other authority, and of the City and County of Honolulu Building Code.
  5. Discontinuance of Water Service for Noncompliance. Failure on the part of the consumer to comply with the Department's requirements relative to cross-connections and backflow prevention will be sufficient reason for discontinuing water service until such time as the Department is satisfied the requirements have been met.

[Eff 5/10/76; am, renum and comp BWS Res. No. 427, 1976; am BWS Res. No. 472, 1979]

Sec. 2-214: Fire Service

  1. Fire service will be furnished as a public service only where adequate provision is made to prevent diversion of water through such service for other purposes. The fire connection shall be paid for by the consumer. After the water is turned on, the Department assumes no liability for loss or damage of any kind whatsoever that may occur to the premises served, as a consequence of fluctuation in pressure or any other cause.
  2. No charge will be made for water used through such service for fire protection purposes, but any water lost through leakage or used in violation of the conditions contained herein shall be paid for by the consumer at the regular schedule of water rates and charges. The Department may disconnect and remove the said service if water is used for other than fire protection purposes or if leaks are not corrected. Whenever such disconnection is in effect, the Department shall not be in any way liable for loss or damage sustained due to the disconnection of service.
    A ten-day written notice of the Department's proposed disconnection with reasons therefore will be given to the consumer before disconnection is effected by the Department.
  3. Service charges will be in accordance with rates established by the Department.
  4. All fire services will be metered by a detector meter of a type approved by the Department. All services shall become the property of the Department after installation.

[Eff 5/10/76; am, renum and comp BWS Res. No. 427, 1976; am BWS Res. No. 472, 1979]

Sec. 2-215: Fire Hydrants

  1. Use of Fire Hydrant. Any use of a fire hydrant, or tampering therewith, or the taking of water therefrom for purposes other than fire protection by persons other than authorized employees of the Fire Department or the Department is prohibited, except upon prior application to the Department.
  2. Damage to Hydrant or Property. Any damage to fire hydrants, and the consequent resulting loss or damage to property, or any injury to persons arising from or out of the damage to fire hydrants shall be paid for by the person or legal entity responsible for the damage.
  3. Change in Hydrant Location. The Department will, if it approves the request for a change in location of a hydrant, change such location, provided, the cost of all labor, material, equipment and all other charges are paid by the person requesting such change.
  4. Maintenance of Private Hydrants. The consumer shall, at his own expense, test periodically and maintain in good and safe working condition all private hydrants under his control and not under the jurisdiction of the Department.

[Eff 5/10/76; am, renum and comp BWS Res. No. 427, 1976]

Sec. 2-216: Resale of Water

Unless specifically agreed upon, the consumer shall not resell any water received by him from the Department.

[Eff 5/10/76; am, renum and comp BWS Res. No. 427, 1976]

Sec. 2-217: Elevation Agreement

  1. Where pressure conditions permit, two or more residential units may be constructed on an existing lot which is located above the service limit. The meter serving the lot shall be located within the service limit of the system. The water system within the lot, if required, shall provide for fire protection in accordance with the requirements of the Fire Department.
  2. Where pressure conditions within the distributing main adjacent to the lots above the service limit is less than 40 psi, the existing vacant lots may be serviced provided only one single-family home is constructed on the lot. For existing lots that are located along the water main between a reservoir and the service limit, a maximum of two (2) single-family homes will be allowed.
  3. Where pressure conditions permit, subdivisions served by a private water system will be permitted above the service limit. The master meter serving the private water system shall be located within the service limit of the system. As a condition of providing water service to subdivisions above the service limit with private water systems, the Department will require the formation of an Association, which shall be organized and managed so that it substantially conforms with the requirements of Section 514A-83.6 Hawaii Revised Statutes. The Association shall name the Department as an additional insured in its general liability insurance policy and shall be financially responsible for the operation and maintenance of the private water system.
  4. Where the floor elevation of a unit is less than 70 feet below the spillway elevation of the reservoir, a receiving tank with air gap, in accordance with the Department's requirements, and a pump shall be installed. The consumer shall permit the Department to inspect the installation for compliance with departmental requirements.
  5. The prospective consumers or associations shall enter into an agreement with the Department agreeing to accept such water service as the system is able to provide and to hold the Department harmless for all claims due to any inadequacy of water supply.
    The Department will record the agreement at the Bureau of Conveyances.

[Eff 9/5/1979; BWS Res. No. 472, 1979; am and renum BWS Res. No. 530, 1985; am BWS Res. No. 591, 1991; am and renum BWS Res. No. 610, 1992]

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