Rules and Regulations

RULES AND REGULATIONS
Adopted by the Board – July 13, 1983
Date of Last Amendment – March 22, 2016

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. GENERAL

1.1. Definitions
1.2. Description of Organization
1.3. General Information Concerning the Corporation.
1.4. Public Information and Inspection of Records
1.5. Meetings, Workshops and Hearings

2. PROVISION OF SERVICE

2.1. Classes of Service.
2.2. Residential (single unit) Service
2.3. Commercial (single unit) Service
2.4. Multiple Unit Service
2.5. Irrigation Meters
2.6. Temporary Service
2.7. Wholesale Service
2.8. Agreements for Service; General Conditions
2.9. Reservation of Rights

3. FEES AND CHARGES

3.1. Connection Fees
3.2. Meter Test Fee
3.3. Service Charge
3.4. Delinquent Account Charge
3.5. Non-Access Charge
3.6. GREASE TRAP FEE
3.7. Returned Check Charge
3.8. After Hours Charge

4. BILLING AND PAYMENT FOR SERVICE

4.1. Billing Period; Due Date; Evidence of Consumption
4.2. Use of Master Meters
4.3. Description of Monthly Billing Charges.
4.4. Minimum Monthly Charges; Readiness to Serve Charge
4.5. Guaranteed Payment Deposit
4.6. Deferred Connection Plan
4.7. Delinquent Accounts
4.8. Billing Disputes, Mistakes
4.9. Abatement of Water and Wastewater Bills
4.10. Meter Tampering

5. ENGINEERING REQUIREMENTS

5.1. Water or Sewer Extensions or Improvements.

1. GENERAL

This section provides the information about South Walton Utility Company, Inc., (SWUCI) organized in accordance with Chapter 617, Florida Statutes, as a not-for-profit organization. It also contains the rules of procedure of the Corporation pertaining to meetings, workshops, rule making, policy making and conducting of administrative business of the Corporation which affects the substantial interests of its Members and other persons who deal with the Corporation. These Rules and Regulations supplement the Charter and By-Laws of SWUCI. The SWUCI “General Utility Specifications” are considered a part of these Rules and Regulations and are incorporated herein by reference.

1.1. Definitions

When used herein,
1.1.1. “Agreement for Service” means the contractual document which establishes the relationship between the Member and the Corporation under which service to the Member is rendered and payment to the Corporation is made.
1.1.2. “Board” means the Board of Directors of the Corporation.
1.1.3. “Business Day” means 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. daily, Monday through Friday, except on holidays as approved by the Board.
1.1.4. “Collection Line” means a wastewater pipe line for collecting sewage within an area and transmitting to another area.
1.1.5. “Connection Fee” means a charge for the connection of the Member’s premises to the Corporation’s water distribution and/or wastewater collection systems. The connection fees are established by order of the Board and are contained in the Fee Schedule (incorporated herein by reference) as amended from time to time.
1.1.6. “Corporation,” “Company” or “SWUCI” means South Walton Utility Company, Inc.
1.1.7. “Day” means one (1), twenty-four (24) consecutive hour period.
1.1.8. “Deferred Connection Plan” means the Plan under which owners of
existing single-family residences may defer payment of a portion of the Connection Fee(s).
1.1.9. “DEP” means the State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
1.1.10. “Deposit” shall mean Guaranteed Payment Deposit.
1.1.11. “Developer” means an individual, firm or Corporation who submits an application for installation of water and/or wastewater improvements within the Corporation’s service area.
1.1.12. “Distribution Line” means the pipe owned by the Corporation and used for distribution of water to the service lines after receipt from the transmission main.
1.1.13. “DOT” means the State of Florida Department of Transportation.
1.1.14. “Engineering Requirements” mean requirements of the Corporation for water and/or wastewater facilities constructed by Member which are established by the Corporation and contained in Section 5 of these Rules and Regulations.
1.1.15. “Fire Hydrant Assembly” means the pipe, isolating valves, fittings,
hydrants and the tee on the Corporation’s distribution main.
1.1.16. “Fire Hydrant Meter” is a temporary meter placed on a fire hydrant within the Company’s service area.
1.1.17. “Fire Lines” means the pipe, isolating valves, detection check valves and fittings of the Corporation which extend from the water main to the detection check valve and which are used for supplying water exclusively for fire protection purposes.
1.1.18. “Force Main” means the pipe owned by the Corporation used to transmit sewage under pressure.
1.1.19. “Frontage” means the actual width of a property along which the proposed main is to be installed, without regard to the position of any building located on the premises. For corner lots, frontage shall mean the side of the lot that is consistent with the other lots on the same block.
1.1.20. “Grease Trap Fee” shall mean the annual fee charged in accordance with SWU’s Grease Trap Program.
1.1.21. “Lift Station” means a facility for pumping sewage under pressure or raising sewage to a higher elevation.
1.1.22. “Main” means that pipe which is owned or intended to be owned by the Corporation to which service lines may be connected.
1.1.23. “Main Extension” means a pipeline added to an existing main of the Corporation for the purpose of service to one or more Members and is to become the property of the Corporation.
1.1.24. “Manager” means the General Manager of the Corporation.
1.1.25. “Member” means an individual, Corporation, partnership, firm or association receiving service from the Corporation and holding certificate(s) of membership therefor.
1.1.26. “Membership/Administrative Fee” is a fee as set by the Board to be paid by each Member on each account for which service is requested.
1.1.27 “Meter” means a water meter owned by the Corporation used to measure the water used by a member. The Corporation shall select the meter type appropriate for a Member’s premises and the Corporation shall determine the manner in which the meter will be read.
1.1.28. “Month” means the time interval between successive meter reading dates, which is approximately thirty (30) days.
1.1.29. “Off-Site Mains” means those mains located in streets, rights of way or easements within a development and those mains located in streets that are peripheral to a development which are constructed by the development but which are owned and operated by the Corporation.
1.1.30. “Owner” means a person, firm, Corporation, association or other entity having an interest whatsoever, whether legal or equitable, sole or partial, in any premises but does not include a Member renting the premises.
1.1.31. “Plan Review Fee” means the fee charged by SWUCI covering costs of review of the drawings of the developer or property owner. It is collected upon receipt of the drawings for review.
1.1.32. “Plumbing” means all pipes, fittings, and appurtenances on the owner’s side of the water meter or property line.
1.1.33. “Point of Delivery” means the point where the Corporation water meter or wastewater service is connected to Member-owned or -operated facilities and where service to the Member begins.
1.1.34. “Premises” means any and all real property or tangible personal property affixed to real property served by the Corporation or capable of being served by the Corporation as a result of existence of a service connection.
1.1.35. “Prepaid Connection” means a connection fee paid in advance of any construction for a specific number of water and/or wastewater connections on a specific parcel of land.
1.1.36. “Service” means the supplying of potable water to a point of delivery or collection of sewage by the Corporation.
1.1.37. “Service Lateral” means the pipe which connects the collection link to the collection line. Said lateral is maintained by the Corporation.
1.1.38. “Service Lines” means the pipes of the Corporation which extend from the main to the meter or property line, including the Corporation stop on the water main, the curb stop at the meter and the meter box or the wastewater lateral line.
1.1.39. “System Development Fee” means the cost of capital improvements of water and/or wastewater systems necessary to meet the increased demand placed upon Company-furnished facilities. The system development fee is in addition to the connection fee and to any amounts which might be expended by the Member for water main extensions or other improvements required by the Corporation and is not refundable.
1.1.40. “Tampering” means any willful damage, alteration or interference with the water meter under seal or lock or any other system components belonging to the Corporation, except for turning the valve associated with the water meter on or off for the purpose of temporary disconnection of service. Tampering shall include turning said valve on for the purpose of obtaining water service to a premises not subject to an Agreement for Service with its present occupants.
1.1.41. “Transmission Main” means the pipe owned by the Corporation and used to transmit water from its source to the distribution facilities.

1.2. Description of Organization

1.2.1. South Walton Utility Company, Inc., is a Florida Corporation, not for profit, established under Charter Number 715080, August 9, 1968, as the South Walton Development Utility Company, Inc., and changed to South Walton Utility Company, Inc., on November 2, 1978. Documents supporting these actions are on file in the Office of the Florida Secretary of State and bear his seal and signature.
1.2.2. The Corporation’s purpose, objective and nature of business as established by its Charter, as amended, are “to own, construct, maintain and operate a water system for the supplying of water for domestic, commercial, agricultural and other purposes to its Members and to engage in any activity related thereto, including but not limited to the acquisition of water by appropriation, drilling, pumping, and/or purchase, and the purchase, laying, institution, operation, maintenance and repair of wells, pumping equipment, water mains, pipelines, valves, meters and all other equipment necessary to the construction, maintenance and operation of a water system; and to own, construct, maintain and operate a sewage disposal system for use and benefit of its Members.”
1.2.3. The affairs of the Corporation are directed by a Board of Directors of seven (7) members which governs the policy making and rule making processes.
1.2.4. The General Manager, appointed by the Board, manages the Corporation on a day-to-day basis. The administrative staff and field forces perform the various functions required for the operation of the Corporation under the management of the General Manager.

1.3. General Information Concerning the Corporation

1.3.1. The principal office of the Corporation is located in Miramar Beach, Florida, with mailing address of 369 Miramar Beach Drive, Miramar Beach, Florida 32550. The office telephone number is (850) 837-2988.
1.3.2. Official office hours are from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. daily, Monday through Friday, except on holidays as approved by the Board.
1.3.3. Unless otherwise provided, comments, communications or requests for
information should be made in writing and addressed to the General Manager at the principal office.

1.4. Public Information and Inspection of Records

1.4.1. Forms and instructions used by the Corporation in dealing with Members or the general public are available without cost at the principal office. Copies of other public records may be made at a minimum charge of twenty (20) cents per page or actual cost, whichever is higher.
1.4.2. Copies will be made at the Corporation’s convenience and only during official office hours. All costs are to be paid in advance.

1.5. Meetings, Workshops and Hearings

1.5.1. The annual meeting of the Members of the Corporation shall be held before the first of December of each year at a location to be designated by the Board. The Board may change the time and place of the meeting by giving ten (10) days advance notice to each Member.
1.5.2. Regular Board meetings will be held each month at times and places as designated, or at such other times as deemed necessary by the Board in accordance with Paragraph 1.5.3 below.
1.5.3. Special meetings may be called at any time by Board action and by the President when petitioned by ten (10) percent of Corporation Members.
1.5.4. Workshops may be held at any time and place designated by the President for comprehensive review and study of one or more subjects. No formal action may be taken.
1.5.5. Public hearings may be held at times and places designated by the
President for public review of any major subject and to receive Member comments.
1.5.6. An agenda shall be prepared by the staff in time to insure that copies are received by Board members at least one (1) day before the meeting or workshop.
1.5.7. After the agenda is available, changes may be made for good cause only as determined by the presiding officer.

2. PROVISION OF SERVICE

2.1. Classes of Service

2.1.1. Residential (single unit) – Service to one single family dwelling unit.
2.1.2. Commercial (single unit) – Service to premises used for commercial purposes consisting of one business unit.
2.1.3. Multiple Unit Service – To premises used for commercial, residential or other purposes consisting of two or more units.
2.1.4. Irrigation Meter – A second meter located at a premises connected only to the water system specifically for irrigation purposes.
2.1.5. Temporary Service – Two types of temporary service; fire hydrant meter and cleaning service.
2.1.6. Wholesale Service – To neighboring utility companies who are responsible for distribution to their customers.

2.2. Residential (single unit) Service

2.2.1. To obtain residential service from an existing distribution line with existing service laterals and connections, application should be made at the Corporation office via FAX or email or in person. The applicant must complete an Agreement for Service which constitutes an application for service and an agreement. The Member should insure that its name, the street address, legal description of premises and other required information are correctly entered in the Agreement for Service. The Member must provide photo identification prior to applying for service. Upon payment by applicant of all required fees and charges, the Corporation will execute the Agreement for Service.
2.2.2. If residential property to be served is one where no previous service existed, the Company must be provided with evidence that the lines have been installed and approved by appropriate governmental agencies prior to being placed in use. Upon payment of all appropriate connection fees and other applicable charges, the Company will set the meter to provide service to the residence in question. It is the responsibility of the Member to connect the meter to the residence.
2.2.3. The Corporation may at its discretion provide water service to the Member without the Member having constructed a building on the premises, upon payment of all  appropriate fees and charges, including connection fees and system development fees, if appropriate.
2.2.4. Prior to making application for service, the applicant should determine whether the property to be served is adjacent to the Corporation’s distribution system. In the event that it is not and the owner desires service from the Company, the owner will be required to construct the water and/or wastewater extensions at his expense from the nearest connection point to the premises in accordance with the Corporation’s engineering requirements and standards.

2.3. Commercial (single unit) Service

2.3.1. To obtain commercial service, application should be made in the same manner as for residential service, with the following additional requirements:
2.3.2. In the case of new service, or when commercial service is proposed for a formerly residential account, the owner will be required to present plans and specifications for review by the Corporation prior to the acceptance of any fees or deposits or execution of an Agreement for Service. Said plans and specifications shall be in conformity with the Corporation’s engineering requirements.

2.4. Multiple Unit Service

2.4.1. Application for multiple unit service shall be made in the same manner as for single unit service, with the following additional requirements:
2.4.2. It is the responsibility of the multiple unit developer to provide the Corporation with proof that all necessary permits have been obtained or will be obtained within a reasonable time prior to connection to the Corporation’s system.
2.4.3. The owner may be required by the Corporation to upgrade off-site water and/or wastewater mains to adequately serve the proposed development, and to construct all on-site distribution systems in accordance with the Corporation’s engineering requirements and standards.
2.4.4. Meters to serve the premises shall be sized as recommended by a licensed architect or Registered Professional Engineer and all fees assessed in accordance with the current Fee Schedule.  The meter type shall be selected by the Corporation.
2.4.5. If a master meter is requested, the Agreement for Service should clearly so specify. Upon the recommendation of the General Manager or his designee, a  master meter may be furnished subject to the following restrictions:

2.4.5.1. The Agreement for Service must specify the number of units, residential or commercial, to be served. Additional units shall not be served unless accepted by the Corporation and connection fees paid accordingly.
2.4.5.2. Master meter service for new units shall be subject to the same fees, charges and conditions as are applicable to other classes of service, including system development charges, which shall be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
2.4.5.3. All facilities shall be approved by the Corporation before units are attached to the Corporation’s water and/or wastewater system. Final approval shall be contingent upon the applicant having obtained all necessary state and federal permits and County, State and Federal requirements are satisfied.

2.5. Irrigation Meters

2.5.1. Irrigation meters are not available for new installations. Existing irrigation meters are subject to the following :

2.5.1.1. The Corporation specifically retains the right to remove any and all irrigation meters within its service area or to restrict irrigation water usage at any point in the future should it become evident that the decreasing water supply necessitates such action.

2.6. Temporary Service

2.6.1. Fire Hydrant Meter – Application for a fire hydrant meter shall be made in the same manner as for residential service, with the following differences:

2.6.1.1. There is a non-refundable charge as provided in the Company’s Fee Schedule which must be paid in advance for installation of a fire hydrant meter. The party requesting the meter (hereinafter “Party”) shall make the determination as to the hydrant upon which they wish to have the meter installed.
2.6.1.2. The fire hydrant meter remains the property of the Company and should not be removed or relocated by non-Company individuals. The fire hydrant meter can be relocated by the Company at the request of the Party within a subdivision or project at no additional charge. However, relocation of a fire hydrant meter to a different subdivision or project will result in an additional installation charge.
2.6.1.3. The Party will be billed on a monthly basis in accordance with the Company’s established Fee Schedule for the actual water used through the meter for as long as the meter is installed. The Party does not become a “Member” of the Company via this temporary service.

2.6.2. Cleaning Service does not require application for service as with residential service. The party requesting the cleaning service (hereinafter “Party”) shall submit a signed cleaning form and pay in advance a non-refundable cleaning fee as provided in the Company’s Fee Schedule. The service for that residence will then be activated for a period of seven (7) days, and such service will be automatically disconnected at the end of that seven-day period without further notice or responsibility of Company to Party. The Party does not become a “Member” of the Company via this temporary service.
2.6.3. A system development fee shall not be charged for temporary service.

2.7. Wholesale Service

2.7.1. Wholesale service with utility companies will be governed by Wholesale Water Agreements negotiated with each utility company on a case by case basis.

2.8. Agreements for Service; General Conditions

The Corporation shall enter into an Agreement for Service with each Member which shall define the contractual obligations of the Member and the Corporation. In the event an Agreement for Service has not been entered into between the Corporation and the Member, the use and acceptance of service shall constitute ratification and acceptance of the terms and conditions of service applicable to all Members similarly situated, as described in this section. The following general conditions shall apply to all Agreements for Service:

2.8.1. Assignment or Transfer – The Agreement for Service shall not be
assigned or transferred.
2.8.2. Duration of Agreement – The Agreement for Service shall remain in effect until such time as ownership of the subject property transfers in the case of the property owner or until the Member making the deposit requests that service be discontinued in their name and the account inactivated and final billed in the case of tenants.
2.8.3. Guaranteed Payment Deposit – The Corporation shall require each Member to pay a “Guaranteed Payment Deposit” as provided in Section 4, Paragraph 4.5, prior to the commencement of service for the purpose of securing payment for such service.
2.8.4. Meters – Meters shall be furnished by the Corporation and remain the property of the Corporation. The Corporation shall select the meter type and the manner in which the meter will be read. They shall be placed in a convenient location designated for water utility use on or near the premises or as near as possible to a point selected by the Member. If a meter malfunctions or fails to register, the Member will be charged a service based on the prior three months average consumption as shown by the meter when in good operating order. All meters shall be set by employees of the Corporation and shall not be removed or disturbed, except by an employee of the Corporation. All water that passes through the meter will be charged to the Member unless otherwise provided herein. The Member shall protect the meter from injury or damage and shall be liable for the loss or damage of the meter, normal wear and tear excepted.
2.8.5. Backflow Preventors – Backflow Preventors are required at all connections. .  Backflow Preventers shall be selected and installed in accordance with AWWA Manual M14, Recommended Practice for Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control. The Corporation will provide backflow preventors for all 5/8” water meters. The Member must provide backflow preventors larger than 5/8”.
2.8.6. Connections – The Corporation or its authorized agents shall make all residential connections to its water mains or distribution lines and shall furnish all material therefor from its service lines up to and including the meter. All connections to the Corporation’s sewer laterals and/or force mains shall be made by a licensed plumber retained by the specific property owner, and such connections must be witnessed by a Company representative. Commercial connections to the Company’s water and/or wastewater system shall be made by the contractor for the commercial project, and such connections shall be made in accordance with the Company’s General Utility Specifications and must be witnessed by a Company representative.
2.8.7. Cross Connections – Any physical arrangement or connection of pipes between a system containing potable water supplied by the Corporation and a system containing water or any other substance is prohibited. Should such a connection be determined to exist, service shall be terminated until such time as the connection or arrangement of systems has been reconnected to the Corporation’s satisfaction. In such event, the Member must reapply for service and pay all charges and fees assessed to a new account, except system development charges.

2.8.8. Duty to Provide Access:

2.8.8.1. It is the duty of the Member to provide access to the premises served during reasonable times to duly authorized agents of the Corporation for purpose of installing, maintaining and inspecting or removing the Corporation’s property, reading meters and other purposes incident to performance or termination of the Corporation’s contract with the Member.
2.8.8.2. The Corporation shall charge a “Non-access Charge” for each billing period during which it is unable to obtain access to the premises for the purpose described above.

2.8.9. Tampering:

2.8.9.1. Tampering with the Corporation’s meters, water mains or other system components is prohibited.
2.8.9.2. The Member shall have the duty of reporting any such tampering to the Corporation and shall be responsible for tampering caused by its agents, assigns or other persons using the premises with the Member’s consent.
2.8.9.3. Tampering will be presumed to have been caused by the Member that receives a benefit therefrom.
2.8.9.4. Any tampering that results in a substantial reduction in the cost of service will be presumed to have been known to the Member if not reported to the Corporation within one (1) billing period after the reduction in the cost of service becomes evident. In such event, it will be presumed that the tampering was willfully allowed to persist by the Member.
2.8.9.5. The Corporation shall confiscate any materials which are connected without prior written authorization to the Corporation’s systems for use as evidence in further legal proceedings.

2.8.10. Use of Service; Ratification of Agreement for Service -When service is rendered under an Agreement for Service entered into between the Corporation and an agent of the Member, the use of such service by the Member shall constitute ratification of the Agreement for Service by the Member.
2.8.11. Indebtedness – An Agreement for Service shall not be entered into with a person or entity which is in any way indebted to the Corporation until such debt and all fees have been satisfied.
2.8.12. Common Service – When property is jointly or commonly held or where property is managed for the common benefit of property owners, application and execution of the Agreement for Service may only be made by a duly authorized representative of the entity managing, operating or owning the property.
2.8.13. Change of Occupancy – When change of occupancy of any premises occurs, notice thereof shall be given by the outgoing Member to the Corporation offices not less than two (2) days prior to the date of change. The outgoing Member shall be held responsible for all water service rendered to the premises until disconnection of service. Transfers of deposits, if requested, must be made in writing to the Corporation office.

2.8.14. Temporary Shut-Off of Water Service:

2.8.14.1. The Corporation shall temporarily disconnect service to any Member upon written request or oral request by coming into the office or by telephone after providing the correct account number and shall restore such service upon written or oral request. A service charge must be paid prior to restoration of service. An overtime service charge will be rendered for all disconnections and reconnections which are requested to occur on holidays and weekends or between 4:00 P.M. and 8:00 A.M. on business days.
2.8.14.2. Temporary disconnection of service at the request of the Member shall not affect the Agreement for Service. Said Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.

2.8.15. Limitations on Use of Service:

2.8.15.1. Service shall be used by the Member for the purposes specified in the Agreement for Service. The Member shall not sell or otherwise dispose of service to any other person without the express written consent of the Corporation.
2.8.15.2. The Member, its agents or assigns shall not install a meter for the purpose of re-metering water service without the express written consent of the Corporation.
2.8.15.3. The Member shall not extend water or sewer lines across a street, alley or other highway or property line in order to furnish service to adjacent premises through a single water meter or sewer line, even if such adjacent premises are owned by the Member.
2.8.15.4. In the event of any such unauthorized re-metering, sale or disposition of service, the service shall be disconnected until such unauthorized re-metering, sale or disposition has been discontinued and full payment has been made of all costs incurred by the Corporation in the investigation and inspection of the Member’s premises and of all other applicable charges.

2.8.16. Member’s Duty for Payment:

2.8.16.1. The Member that enters into the Agreement for Service shall be responsible for all water and sewer service provided to the premises until such time as the service is discontinued and all fees and charges incurred in connection with the rendition of service have been paid. Failure to pay amounts due the Corporation within the time designated for payment shall result in the disconnection of service until all amounts due the Corporation have been paid.
2.8.16.2. Any check received from a Member as payment on his account which is returned unpaid by that Member’s bank, shall result in the imposition of a service charge for such unpaid check. The Company will not process the check a second time. Additionally, if the amount of the check and the service charge is not paid in full in cash on the date returned unpaid, interruption of service will result. (See Section 3, Paragraph 3.7.)
2.8.16.3. The connection fee is not refundable, and the paid connections remain with the premises; authorized connections are not interchangeable between properties or Members except as provided in Section 3, Paragraph 3.1.
2.8.16.4. The Corporation reserves the right to discontinue service to premises which have been expanded or added to for which System Development Fees and/or Connection Fees have not been paid.
2.8.16.5. Service provided between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. during business days shall be at the “regular service” rate. Service provided at the Member’s request between the hours of 4:00 P.M. and 8:00 A.M., or on weekends and holidays, shall be at the “Emergency Service” rate.

2.8.17. Duty to Protect Corporation’s Property:

2.8.17.1. The Member shall be under a duty to exercise due care to protect the Corporation’s property which is located on the Member’s premises.
2.8.17.2. The Member shall not allow anyone to have access to the Corporation’s property except the Corporation’s agents or persons otherwise authorized by law.
2.8.17.3. When service lines, meters, mains or other equipment are damaged by contractors, construction companies, governmental agencies or others, such damage shall be repaired by the Corporation and the cost thereof charged to the persons causing the damage.
2.8.17.4. In the event of any loss or damage to Corporation property arising from the negligence or intentional misuse by the Member, its agents, invitees or assigns, the cost of replacing such loss or repairing such damage shall be charged to the Member and shall be subject to payment in accordance with these rules.

2.8.18. Member’s Installation; Duty to Maintain:

2.8.18.1. The Member’s installation shall extend to the Corporation’s meter and curb stop (valve), which is ordinarily located on the front property line at one side of the Member’s property or to the point where the sewer line crosses the property line.
2.8.18.2. No changes or increases in the Member’s installation which will materially affect the proper operation of the pipes, mains or stations of the Corporation shall be made without the prior written consent of the Corporation. The Member shall be liable for any damage resulting from a violation of this subparagraph.
2.8.18.3. The Member shall not utilize any appliance or device which may adversely affect water and/or sewer service. The Corporation reserves the right to withhold or to discontinue service whenever any such apparatus or device is being used.
2.8.18.4. The Member’s water and sewer pipes, apparatus and equipment shall be maintained in sound operating condition in accordance with standard practice, the rules of the Corporation and all other Governmental regulations applicable thereto.

2.8.19. Duty to Convey Property Rights:

2.8.19.1. It shall be the duty of the Member, its agents or assigns to convey to the Corporation without charge all easements, permits or other property rights necessary for rendering and maintaining water and sewer service.
2.8.19.2. The Corporation reserves the right to refuse to provide or to discontinue water or  sewer service to any Member in violation of this subparagraph.

2.8.20. Outstanding Debt – The Corporation reserves the right to take appropriate measures for securing payment of such debt pursuant to Section 2, Paragraphs 2.8.16 and 2.8.21.
2.8.21. Lien Upon Property – The amounts billed for water or sewer service provided to owners by the Corporation shall constitute a lien upon the real property and appurtenances thereto constituting the premises served. Said lien shall attach to and run with the property described herein. The owner further agrees that said lien shall attach immediately upon default in the duty to pay for services provided.

2.8.22. Inspection of Member Installation:

2.8.22.1. All installations for water or sewer service or changes therein should be inspected upon completion by the Corporation or other competent authority to ensure that piping, equipment and other devices have been installed in accordance with accepted practices and in compliance with local rules and building codes.
2.8.22.2. Where inspection is required by governmental rules or ordinances, the corporation shall discontinue service if the inspecting authority notifies the Corporation that the installation has not been inspected or approved.
2.8.22.3. The Corporation reserves the right to inspect the Member’s installation prior to rendering service and from time to time thereafter, but assumes no responsibility whatsoever for any defects which are not detected by any such inspection.
2.8.22.4. Inspections will be carried out in accordance with the “General Utility Specifications” of South Walton Utility Company, Inc.

2.8.23. Limitation of Liability:

2.8.23.1. The Corporation shall at all times use reasonable diligence to provide continuous service, but shall not be liable to the Member for any damages or loss caused by failure or interruption of service or collection of sewage.
2.8.23.2. The Corporation assumes no liability whatsoever for damage or injury resulting from the transmission of water on the Member’s side of the point of delivery. In the event of any lawsuit against the Corporation for any such damage or injury, it shall be the duty of the Member to intervene as a party defendant, defend against such suit and save and hold the Corporation harmless from any judgment for monetary damages which might result therefrom.

2.8.24. Compliance With Rules and Orders – The Member shall be under a duty at all times to comply with the rules and orders of the Corporation as they exist at the time of execution of the Agreement for Service or as may subsequently be enacted. Noncompliance with any such rule or order shall be a breach of the terms of the Agreement for Service.

2.9. Reservation of Rights
The Corporation reserves the right to change its rates for service and other fees and charges or otherwise vary the terms and conditions of the Agreement for Service as may be required to reflect changing costs or otherwise facilitate the successful operation of the Corporation.

3. FEES AND CHARGES

General rates, charges and fees are established by order of the Board and are contained in the Company’s Fee Schedule. Copies of the current Fee Schedule may be inspected at the principal office of the Corporation, are available at the Corporation’s website, and are available free of charge upon request.

3.1. Connection Fees

For any and all new connections to the Company’s water and/or wastewater systems, the Member shall pay water and/or wastewater connection fees in accordance with the current Fee Schedule. Such connection fee(s) is not refundable and shall be paid prior to any meter(s) being set or connections being made to the systems. On all new construction and commercial development, these fees must be paid in full in advance. Some residential structures may qualify for deferred connection fees (See Section 4.6). These connections are not interchangeable between properties or members except as provided below:

3.1.1. Prepaid Connection is a connection fee paid in advance of any construction for a specific number of water and/or wastewater connections on a specific parcel of land. When the prepaid connections are purchased, the property owner must complete an Agreement for Service for such connections. These connections are not interchangeable between properties or members except as follows:

3.1.1.1. All back-due minimum bills accrued on such prepaid connections, if any, must be paid in full prior to use of the prepaid connections; or the outstanding balance can be traded for prepaid connections using the current connection fees as the exchange rate.
3.1.1.2. The present owner of the property in question must establish ownership of the prepaid connections and provide a hold-harmless agreement to the Corporation.
3.1.1.3. The owner must establish an inability to use the prepaid connections on the property for which they were originally purchased.
3.1.1.4. The prepaid connections are then transferred via a three-way agreement between the current owner, the proposed owner and the Corporation.
3.1.1.5. The proposed owner must sign an Agreement for Service for the prepaid connections.
3.1.1.6. The proposed owner must use all of the prepaid connections within five (5) years from the date of transfer or the owner forfeits such prepaid connections with no further responsibility on the part of the Corporation.

3.2. Meter Test Fee

Upon written or verbal request by coming into the Corporation’s office or providing a correct account number via telephone, the Corporation shall test a Member’s water meter to determine its accuracy. The Member shall be charged a “Meter Test Fee,” except for those instances when the meter is found to overestimate the amount consumed by more than two (2) percent.

3.3. Service Charge

The Corporation shall charge a “Service Charge” in those instances in which the water service is temporarily disconnected at a premises, either at the request of the Member or as a result of account delinquency. Such charge must be paid prior to reconnection of service.

3.4. Delinquent Account Charge

The Corporation shall charge a “Delinquent Account Charge” for a bill which is not paid on or before the due date, or by 8:00 a.m. as of the first business day following the due date if placed in the Corporation’s drop box or paid on-line.

3.5. Non-Access Charge

A “Non-Access Charge” for each billing period during which it is unable to obtain access to the premises for the purpose of reading the water meter is collectible by the Corporation.

3.6. Grease Trap Fee

The Corporation shall charge a “Grease Trap Fee” to accounts with a commercial grease trap.

3.7. Returned Check Charge

The Corporation shall assess a “Returned Check Charge” for each check received from a Member which is returned unpaid by such Member’s bank. Additionally, said account will be assessed a “Delinquent Account Charge” if the return of such check results in the account becoming delinquent.

3.8. After Hours Charge

The Corporation shall charge an “After Hours Charge” for service provided between the hours of 4:00 P.M. and 8:00 A.M. during business days or on weekends and holidays as approved by the Board.

4. BILLING AND PAYMENT FOR SERVICE

4.1. Billing Period; Due Date; Evidence of Consumption

4.1.1. Meters shall be read in a manner selected by the Corporation and members billed on a monthly basis.
4.1.2. Payments are due upon rendition of the bills. Non-receipt of a bill by the Member shall not release the Member from the duty to make reasonable inquiry as to the amount of the bill and make prompt payment thereof.
4.1.3. The amount billed shall be based upon the amount of water passing through the water meter, which shall constitute prima facie evidence of the quantity of water delivered to the Member.

4.2. Use of Master Meters

4.2.1. Where more than one premises is being served by the Corporation or more than one class of service is provided to a single premises, the General Manager or his designee may approve the use of a “master meter” for those premises under special circumstances.
4.2.2. A Member of the Corporation may not re-bill for service provided through a master meter to other Members at a rate higher than the rate charged by the Corporation.

4.3. Description of Monthly Billing Charges

4.3.1. The monthly billing charges of the Corporation are established by order of the Board and consist of Base or Minimum Water and Wastewater Rates and a Usage Fee, if any, which are described as follows:

4.3.1.1. Base or Minimum Water and Wastewater Rates – The base or minimum water and wastewater rates are based on meter size and number of units and are intended to cover all system maintenance and provision of service, whether or not there is actual usage.
4.3.1.2. Usage Fees – These are based on actual consumption and are intended to cover the cost of treatment of water and wastewater and operation of the systems.

4.3.2. In the event the Corporation is unable to determine the amount consumed due to lack of access to the water meter, the Corporation may estimate such amount based upon the average of the prior twelve (12) month consumption.

4.4. Minimum Monthly Charges; Readiness to Serve Charge

The minimum monthly charges shall be billed for periods of service that are less than one month.

4.5. Guaranteed Payment Deposit

4.5.1. Each Member shall be required to place a deposit with the Corporation, a “Guaranteed Payment Deposit” for water and for wastewater service, the amount of which shall be established by order of the Board.
4.5.2. The guaranteed payment deposit shall be for the purpose of providing security for payment of amounts due the Corporation, and shall be refunded to the Member upon termination of service and payment by the Member of all amounts due. If refund of such deposit is not successfully attained within six (6) months from the date of termination of service, such deposit will be transferred to the State of Florida in accordance with the State’s Unclaimed Property Laws.
4.5.3. The guaranteed payment deposit will be refunded to a Member after 24 months of “good payment history”. “Good payment history” is defined as zero late payments in 24 months.
4.5.4. Guaranteed payment deposits may be waived if the Member account is guaranteed, i.e. Irrevocable Bank Letter of Credit, Security Bond.
4.5.5. Guaranteed payment deposits may be waived for governmental agencies.
4.5.6. For existing accounts, increase deposits to current amounts upon the account being disconnected for late payment.

4.6. Deferred Connection Plan

4.6.1. Under the Company’s Deferred Connection Plan, owners of residential units may qualify for deferment of their water and/or sewer connection fees if such unit existed prior to the time that the water and/or wastewater services were made available to that unit. Commercial property is not eligible under this Plan.
4.6.2. If the premises qualify for the Deferred Connection Plan, the owners must pay up front twenty-five (25) percent of the total connection fee due before the connection is made.
4.6.3. The owner(s) must then sign a Promissory Note in favor of the Company for the balance of the connection fee, payable over the next thirty-six (36) months at an interest rate as determined by the Board with installments to be billed on the monthly service statement for the residence in question.
4.6.4. At the time of signing the Promissory Note, the owner(s) must provide the Company with satisfactory proof of ownership of the subject property, and the Promissory Note must be signed by all recorded owners.

4.7. Delinquent Accounts

4.7.1. An account shall be considered delinquent if payment is not received by the Corporation on or before the due date, paid online on or before the due date, or placed in the Company’s drop box before 8:00 a.m. of the first business day after the due date. If the due date falls on a weekend or legal holiday, it shall be extended to the next business day. In the event partial payment of a bill is made, that portion of the bill not paid as indicated above shall be considered delinquent.
4.7.2. Service is subject to discontinuance if the total delinquent amount that is past due, including the delinquent account charge, is not received by the Corporation on or before the due date of the bill showing the past-due amount (second month’s bill).
4.7.3. As far as is possible, the Corporation shall provide the Member with reasonable and adequate notice of its intention to terminate service, which shall also inform the Member of the provisions of Section 4, Paragraph 4.8. At the time of termination of service, the Corporation shall give the Member notice of such termination by placing a door hanger at the premises. In the case of a multiple unit complex or a commercial account, the Corporation shall contact the owner or manager to request payment of the water and sewer bill and inform the Member of the date when service will be terminated if payment is not made.
4.7.4. For service to be restored, the Member must request restoration of service and pay all amounts due, including the applicable service charge.
4.7.5. Notwithstanding any other provision of these rules, when water service is subject to disconnection or has been disconnected due to account delinquency or meter tampering, the Corporation may restore such service prior to payment of all amounts due, provided the Member has entered into a payment agreement which is acceptable to the Corporation, at its discretion. Failure to abide by the terms of any such agreement may result in immediate disconnection of water service, at the Corporation’s discretion.

4.8. Billing Disputes, Mistakes

4.8.1. In the event of a billing dispute, the Member shall contact the Corporation office and request an investigation of the account. The account number, description of premises served, nature of the dispute or alleged mistake and date of contact shall be recorded by the Corporation.
4.8.2. The Corporation will investigate the billing and respond by mail within ten (10) business days. If the response is not satisfactory to the Member, the Member may within five (5) business days from the date of mailing, request further review by the General Manager or his designee, who shall respond to the Member by mail within five (5) business days. The determination of the General Manager or his designee shall constitute final Corporation action.
4.8.3. The Corporation shall not disconnect service or impose any charges pursuant to Section 4, Paragraph 4.7, for nonpayment of the disputed amount while the dispute is under review pursuant to this Section, provided that such review has been commenced prior to the account becoming delinquent. In the event the dispute is resolved against the Member, the Member shall have five (5) business days to pay the disputed amount, and shall thereafter be subject to disconnection of service and other charges pursuant to Section 4, Paragraph 4.7.

4.9. Abatement of Water and Wastewater Bills

4.9.1. The Corporation may abate a portion of a bill for water and/or wastewater service where an undetected water leak occurs subject to the following conditions:

4.9.1.1. The water leak must be out of sight and/or undetectable to the average person.
4.9.1.2. The water leak must not be caused by the actions of the Member, his agent, or any other person, such as digging or any other form of negligence. The water leak must not be detectable by the Member or his agents.
4.9.1.3. The water leak must be personally observed by a Corporation employee or satisfactory evidence of repairs, e.g. plumber’s receipt, must be presented to the Corporation. In all cases the water leak must be repaired to the satisfaction of the Corporation.
4.9.1.4. The Member must request in writing that the Corporation abate the charges and include the above information.

4.9.2. The Corporation may abate a portion of a bill for water and/or wastewater service where an unexplained water usage occurs subject to the following conditions:

4.9.2.1. Abatement under this section shall only be granted to a Member one (1) time.
4.9.2.2. The Member must request in writing that the Corporation abate the charges and acknowledge that no further abatements under this section will be requested nor granted.
4.9.2.3. The Members water usage must have returned to normal before abatement will be considered under this section.

4.9.3. After reviewing all the evidence and facts in the case, the Corporation may abate the water and sewer charges. The period of abatement shall not exceed one (1) month per calendar year except in cases where the water leak extends from one billing cycle to the next, and the Member promptly repairs the leak, the Corporation may abate both months bills.
4.9.4. If abatement is granted, the Member will be required to pay a water bill based upon the number of gallons billed using the base water rate with no inverted block rates included. The Member will also be required to pay a wastewater bill, if applicable, based upon the number of gallons billed, with the maximum charge capped in accordance with the current fee schedule and based upon the Member’s meter size.
4.9.5. If abatement is granted for an irrigation meter, the Member will be required to pay an amount equal to twice the average monthly water fee based upon active account months during the previous twelve (12) month period.
4.9.6. Abatements to a Member will only be granted once every calendar year.
4.9.7. If the Corporation determines that the Member’s service line is in need of replacement, it shall so notify the Member, who shall be under duty to make all necessary repairs as soon as possible. The Member shall not be eligible for any further abatements until the service line has been repaired.
4.9.8. When the Corporation determines that unusually high water consumption is occurring at a premises, it shall make a reasonable attempt to notify the Member of such increased consumption as soon as practicable, and shall inform the Member of its abatement procedure at the time of such notification. If a meter is spinning and the premises appears to be unoccupied, the Company shall turn the water off at the owner’s valve and leave a door hanger. Under no circumstances shall failure to provide such notice constitute a basis for imputing liability to the Corporation for any such increased water consumption.

4.10. Meter Tampering

4.10.1. It is the policy of the Corporation to prosecute persons in violation of Section 812.14, Florida Statutes, to the fullest extent of the law, which shall include both civil and criminal prosecution.
4.10.2. When tampering is discovered, the Corporation shall adhere to the following procedures:
4.10.2.1. Law enforcement authorities shall be notified so that a law enforcement officer may accompany an employee of the Corporation to the premises for the removal of any devices used and to prepare for possible criminal or civil prosecution. Pictures shall be taken and any unauthorized devices removed.
4.10.2.2. When tampering has occurred which reverses or bypasses the water meter, or prevents a water meter from being read, the Corporation shall sever service from the main water line to prevent a possible recurrence. Prior to disconnection of service, the Corporation shall inform whatever person may be present at the premises at the time of such
disconnection of its intended action and the reason therefor. If no one is present, the Corporation shall place a door hanger at the premises which shall inform the Member of the action taken and the hearing provisions of this rule.
4.10.2.3. In all other instances of meter tampering, the Corporation shall place a door hanger at the premises, which shall notify the occupants of its intention to terminate water service and inform the Member of the hearing provisions of this rule. The Member shall have two (2) business days to contact the Corporation to request a hearing pursuant to Section 4, Paragraph 4.8 of this Rule. Failure to
request a hearing shall result in termination of water service. If a hearing is requested, the Member shall have five days from the conclusion of the hearing process to pay any amounts found to be due the Corporation or suffer disconnection of water service.
4.10.2.4. In cases of meter bypass or reversal, or where the meter seal, curb stop or lock has been broken, the account of the Member shall be back-billed for the cost of the damaged equipment plus an estimated amount of water consumed and not paid for. This estimate shall be based upon:
4.10.2.4.1.1. One hundred (100) percent of the average water consumption during the previous six (6) active account months prior to the time such meter tampering is estimated to have occurred; or in the event the Member does not have a history of six (6) active months, one hundred (100) percent of the average water consumption for a Member served by the Corporation with a similar class of service during the
most recent one (1) year period for which such figures are available.
4.10.2.4.1.2. In the event a swimming pool is located on the premises, it will be presumed by the Corporation that said pool was filled with water diverted from the meter, and such amount shall be added to any other charges due. This presumption may be overcome by evidence of prior billed consumption of water necessary to fill the swimming pool during one billing period.

5. ENGINEERING REQUIREMENTS

Section 5 provides information regarding the engineering requirements of the Corporation and procedures for obtaining a commitment for a potable water supply and/or wastewater service to new facilities.

5.1. Water or Sewer Extensions or Improvements

5.1.1. The developer shall be advised during an initial coordination meeting with the Corporation as to whether service is available and whether water and/or wastewater extensions or improvements shall be required.
5.1.2. Extensions or Improvements shall be required when:

5.1.2.1. There is no existing service to a development or existing water and wastewater systems are not of adequate size to provide service for that development.
5.1.2.2. There is no existing service in the street fronting the premises for which service is requested.
5.1.2.3. An existing water or wastewater main is not of adequate size to serve both sides of the street.
5.1.2.4. On-site water and wastewater systems must be constructed for the project to serve development proposed by the developer.

5.1.3. A developer may be required to extend a water and/or wastewater main across the entire frontage of the property which is being connected to an existing main.
5.1.4. The developer shall install at his cost all water and wastewater improvements internal to his project. These costs shall be in addition to the connection fees, system development charges and other charges described herein. The developer shall agree to convey to the Corporation all water and wastewater improvements internal to his project that the Corporation may reasonably require to serve the project, other projects and/or anticipated future development. The developer shall furnish, at no charge to the Corporation, all necessary easements and/or rights of way for these improvements.
5.1.5. The developer shall submit two (2) sets of construction plans and specifications and permit applications to the Corporation for review. An engineer, registered in the State of Florida, shall have signed and sealed these documents. The plans and specifications shall be in conformance with the appropriate sections of the “General Utility Specifications” of the Corporation as well as appropriate regulations of the DEP.
5.1.6. For all improvements involving the right-of-way of a state highway, the developer shall submit to the Corporation a permit application to DOT and all required documents required by the DOT.
5.1.7. The developer shall submit one (1) paper copy and a “pdf” file of the plat of recorded subdivisions.
5.1.8. The developer shall submit two (2) copies of an approved preliminary plat or preliminary plan showing the location of proposed water and/or wastewater improvements within rights of way of utility easements.
5.1.9. For multi-unit or commercial developments, the developer shall submit one (1) complete set of drawings which shall include site plans, building layouts and plumbing plans as well as the two (2) sets of site plans and specifications in Subparagraph 5.1.5, above.
5.1.10. Upon receipt of plan review fee, the General Manager/Engineer will review the plans and specifications and mark them “Approved”, “Revise and Resubmit”, “Approved as Noted”, or “Approved as Corrected”, and return one (1) set to the developer. If plans and specifications are marked either “Approved” or “Approved as Noted or Corrected”, the General Manager will sign the permit application and return it to the developer or his engineer. If plans and specifications are marked “Revise and Resubmit”, the developer shall make the necessary revisions and resubmit two (2) sets of plans for approval.
5.1.11. The developer shall agree to install water and/or wastewater systems, both on and off his property, in accordance with approved plans and specifications and to allow representatives of the Corporation access to his property to inspect distribution and collection lines thereon.
5.1.12. The developer shall agree to allow representatives of the Corporation access to his property to witness pressure, infiltration and bacteriological tests on distribution and collection lines.
5.1.13. The developer shall furnish the Corporation results of pressure and bacteriological tests, DEP clearance, “As-Built” plans on both on-site and off-site water and/or wastewater systems certified by a professional engineer that the water and/or wastewater systems were installed in accordance with approved plans and specifications, an Autocad computer disk of the systems, and a “pdf” file of the AsBuilt
drawings.
5.1.14. Service will be initiated upon receipt of the documentation in Paragraph 5.1.13, satisfactory inspection of installed facilities by a representative of the Corporation and payment of all connection fees and other charges.
5.1.15. The Corporation may at its discretion agree to accept water and/or wastewater extensions/improvements subject to the conditions described in this Section. No water or wastewater main facility shall be accepted by the Corporation for operation and maintenance unless the application demonstrates that:

5.1.15.1. The facility is located in a public “right-of-way” or easement with a minimum width of fifteen (15) feet.5.1.15.2. The facility has not been installed under any building or appurtenance thereto.
5.1.15.3. There exists clear access to all easement areas with adequate legal rights in the owner or developer to assure that such access shall be maintained.
5.1.15.4. All necessary easements have been conveyed to the Corporation by a separate legal instrument in recordable form.
5.1.15.5. All construction has been performed under the observance of the Corporation.
5.1.15.6. The water main extension has been constructed and tested in accordance with the engineering requirements of the Corporation, including satisfactory bacteriological results from a DEP certified laboratory.
5.1.15.7. All materials and labor meet the current specifications of the Corporation.
5.1.15.8. All necessary permits have been received from the Corporation, County, DEP, DOT or other agency.

5.1.16. All water and/or wastewater main extensions or other facilities to be accepted for operation and maintenance by the Corporation and appurtenant easements must be conveyed by adequate legal instrument. Prior to conveyance, the developer shall provide the Corporation with:

5.1.16.1. One (1) set of “As-Built” construction plans indicating the specific location, depths and other dimensions of all water main facilities and appurtenances as actually constructed and installed. Certification by a Professional Engineer registered in Florida is required. An Autocad computer disk of the systems and a “pdf” file are required.

5.1.17. System Design; General Criteria

5.1.17.1. Water and/or wastewater main extensions shall be designed so as to provide adequate flow and/or pressure to all service points along the distribution system.
5.1.17.2. Water mains shall be of adequate size and pressure for fire protection purposes even though sufficient water supply for those purposes may not exist at the time of construction. Generally, the minimum acceptable size for a water main extension shall be six (6) inches for residential developments and eight (8) inches for commercial and public buildings, except that four (4) inch mains may be acceptable where fire protection is not a consideration as determined by the General Manager.
5.1.17.3. Wastewater main extensions shall be at least eight (8) inches in diameter and shall be the size required by the Corporation.
5.1.17.4. Service lines and meters connecting to the water main extension shall be sized in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Standard Plumbing Code, current edition and as recommended by a licensed architect or Registered Professional Engineer.
5.1.17.5. Appropriate provisions of FAC Chapter 62 as well as the Corporation’s “General Utility Specifications” shall be followed.