RESIDENTIAL WATER SERVICE TERMINATION POLICY

I. Background

This policy is adopted to satisfy Westborough Water District's (AGENCY) obligations under California Government Code Section 60370 et seq., California Public Utilities Code Section 10001 et seq. and Health and Safety Code Section 116900 et seq., which govern the termination of certain utility service. Health and Safety Code Section 116900 et seq., the Water Shutoff Protection Act enacted by SB 998, requires urban water suppliers and urban and community water systems, such as the AGENCY, to adopt a written policy regarding the discontinuation of residential service due to non-payment.

This policy will be available and posted on the AGENCY's website in English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean, and any other language that is spoken by at least 10% of the residents in the service area.

II. Payment for Residential Water Service

Every person receiving water service from AGENCY is required to pay for such service within 20 days of mailing of the statement or billing. Except as prohibited by statute, the AGENCY will have the right to discontinue water service for the failure to make complete and timely payment. The AGENCY will not discontinue residential service for nonpayment until the subject account has been delinquent for at least 60 calendar days.

III. Contesting a Charge

If a customer believes he or she was overcharged for residential water service or charged for residential water service not rendered, the customer may contest the amount due by notifying the AGENCY in writing within five (5) calendar days after receiving the statement or billing at 2263 Westborough Boulevard, South San Francisco, CA 94080. The AGENCY will evaluate the information provided by the customer and investigate the matter. The General Manager shall make a decision based upon all the information and shall have the authority to adjust the amount due in a fair and equitable manner, if appropriate.

If the customer disagrees with the decision, the customer may, within 10 calendar days from the General Manager's decision, appeal the decision, in writing, to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will review the record and make a determination at its next regular Board of Directors' meeting. The decision of the Board of Directors will be final.

IV. Notice of Residential Service Termination

The AGENCY will provide customers and/or actual users with notice of a delinquent payment and the impending service termination, as required by law.

V. Averting Residential Service Termination

Customers and/or actual users of the water service may contact an AGENCY representative at (650) 589-1435, to discuss options for averting termination of residential service for nonpayment.

Within thirteen (13) calendar days of receiving a notice of termination or any time prior to receiving such notice, a customer may request that the AGENCY approve an alternative payment option to avert termination, including a deferred or reduced payment plan, an alternative payment schedule, or an agreement to amortize the delinquent amounts. At the time of such request, the customer will provide the AGENCY with documentation evidencing that the bill is beyond the means of the customer to pay in full during the normal period for payment.

Generally, the AGENCY may grant any such request in its sole discretion, but it will grant such a request, and will not terminate residential water service, if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The customer, or a tenant of the customer, submits to the AGENCY a certification of a primary care provider (as defined in Welfare and Institutions Code section 14088(b)(1)(A)) that discontinuation of residential service will be life threatening to, or pose a serious threat to the health and safety of, a resident of the premises where residential service is provided; AND

  2. The customer demonstrates that he or she is financially unable to pay for residential water service within the AGENCY's normal billing cycle by satisfying one of the following:

    a. A member of the customer's household is a current recipient of CalWORKs, CalFresh, general assistance, Medi-Cal Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment Program, or California Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, or

    b. The customer declares that his or her annual household income is less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level; AND

  3. The customer is willing to enter into an amortization agreement, alternative payment schedule, or a plan for deferred or reduced payment, consistent with this Policy.

Upon such a showing or in its sole discretion, as applicable, the AGENCY will offer the customer one or more of the following options:

  1. Amortization of the remaining balance.
  2. An alternative payment schedule.
  3. A partial or full reduction of the unpaid balance.
  4. Temporary deferral of payment.

The AGENCY may choose which payment option the customer undertakes and may set the parameters of that payment option, in the AGENCY's sole discretion. Any selected repayment option should result in full repayment of the outstanding balance within 12 months, but the AGENCY may grant a longer term if it would be necessary to avoid undue hardship based on the customer's particular circumstances.