(a) High Bill Adjustment (Single-Unit Residential Properties). An owner is responsible for maintaining his/her property’s plumbing system, including identifying and repairing all leaks to that system. An owner is, therefore, responsible for paying all billed water and sewer charges including water passing through the meter as a result of plumbing system leaks. However, if a single-unit residential customer receives a bill with an ADC at least three times the comparable ADC (or current ADC if comparable is unavailable) and the customer is not eligible for any other adjustment set forth in this chapter, WSSC will adjust the one high bill at the customer’s request. Except for CAP customers, as set forth in WSSC 3.45.100, the new adjusted bill will exclude water and sewer use charges attributable to 50 percent of the water use in excess of the property’s comparable ADC, or current ADC if the comparable is unavailable. Eligible customers may receive such an adjustment only once for one billing period in any three-year period.
(b) One-Time High Bill Adjustment (Single-Unit Commercial Properties). A single-unit commercial property may be eligible for a one-time, one-bill reduction due to unexplained reasons and for which no other applicable WSSC policy exists. The high bill must be at least three times higher than the comparable ADC or the current ADC if the comparable is unavailable. At the customer’s request, WSSC will adjust the high bill. The new adjusted bill will exclude water and sewer use charges attributable to 25 percent of the water and sewer use in excess of the comparable ADC, or the current ADC if the comparable is unavailable. Eligible customers may receive such an adjustment only once, for one billing period.
(c) Leaks on Property – Underground Leaks (Residential or Commercial, Single- or Multi-Unit) . If WSSC verifies that (1) a customer has been billed for water lost due to an underground leak and (2) the leak has been repaired by a plumber registered with WSSC, then WSSC will issue an adjusted bill to exclude up to six months of excess water and sewer use charges based on the property’s comparable ADC, or if there is no comparable ADC, the current ADC.
(d) Underground Leaks, Off Property (Residential or Commercial, Single- or Multi-Unit). Most meters are located at the property line. However, in unusual cases, meters are located off the customer’s property. In such cases, if an underground leak occurs on the service line before the property line but after the water has passed through the meter, all bills reflecting excess water lost due to the leak will be adjusted. The adjusted bill(s) will exclude all excess water and sewer use charges based on the comparable ADC, or if there is no comparable ADC, the current ADC.
(e) Delayed Collection Action (Single-Unit Residential and Single-Unit Commercial). A bill rendered to an account in the name of a tenant in a single-unit residential property or single-unit commercial property that is left unpaid after the tenant vacates the property is ultimately the responsibility of the property owner pursuant to the Public Utilities Article, § 25-504(e), Annotated Code of Maryland. However, if WSSC failed to disconnect service to the property for nonpayment of the delinquent balance on the date that the property was eligible for disconnection, all charges that accrued after that date and up to the tenant’s move-out date will be excluded from the bill. The property owner shall be responsible for the unpaid charges up to the date the water should have been turned off.
(f) Charitable Institutions . Pursuant to the Public Utilities Article, § 25-506, Annotated Code of Maryland, WSSC provides charitable institutions with up to 100 gallons of water a day per resident without cost. To qualify for the WSSC charitable credit, the institution must be one which provides residential 24-hour care for indigent persons without regard to ability to pay and without regard to whether the person is a resident of Montgomery or Prince George’s County. From time to time, but not more frequently than once per year, WSSC may require a charitable customer to certify that it continues to meet the criteria required by the Public Utilities Article, § 25-506, Annotated Code of Maryland, and this chapter. Failure to return the certification within the time period specified shall result in discontinuation of the charitable credit until such certification is restored. During the time of no certification, the institution shall be liable for all charges as billed, unless there can be established a basis for restoring the charitable credit during the noncertification period. The charitable credit is determined by calculating an average per-resident ADC by dividing the property’s total water usage by the number of calendar days in the billing period by the total average number of persons residing at the charitable property for that billing period. If the average per-resident ADC is below 100 gallons per day, then the water/sewer charges will be zero. If the per-resident ADC is 100 gallons or above, then the property will be billed based upon the actual ADC, with a credit of 100 gallons per day per resident.
(g) Credits for Customers with Physical or Mental Impairment (Single-Unit Residential). When all adult residents occupying a property are either hearing/visually impaired or otherwise physically or mentally challenged, bills that include excess usage charges arising from a leak that was not apparent to the occupants due to the impairment(s) will be adjusted. Both excess water and sewer charges will be reduced to the level of the comparable period, or if there is no comparable ADC, to the current ADC. To qualify for the adjustment, the customer must provide a repair receipt and a physician’s letter certifying a physical and/or mental impairment for all adult occupants. This adjustment will cover all billing periods affected by the leak.
(h) Fire or Vandalism (Residential or Commercial, Single- or Multi-Unit). A bill resulting from water lost during a fire or as a result of an act of vandalism will be adjusted. The bill and water use must coincide with a period during which the fire or act of vandalism occurred. Additionally, the customer shall not be responsible for payment for damage to any meter during a fire or act of vandalism, or for fees to turn the water off or on due to such act of fire or vandalism. To qualify for an adjustment in either case, the customer shall submit documentation in the form of a timely filed police report or fire department report. The adjusted bill will exclude all excess water and sewer charges based on the comparable ADC, or if there is no comparable, the current ADC.
(i) Public Fountain Use. Bills including charges for water used at public drinking fountains located at parks owned by the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission shall be adjusted each quarter to exclude 5,000 gallons of water and sewer charges for each fountain. The adjusted charges shall not exceed the total water usage for that period. If the adjusted charges would exceed the total water usage for the period, the charges will be based on zero consumption.
(j) Discolored Water or Sod Restoration (Single-/Multi-Unit Residential). A bill shall be adjusted when a customer has experienced a high bill due to having to run the water in the home to clear discoloration, or due to watering of sod replaced or restored by a WSSC contractor. Confirmation of the discolored water or sod restoration shall be provided by maintenance records, or be otherwise verified by WSSC staff. The adjusted bill will exclude both water and sewer charges in excess of the comparable ADC or, if unavailable, the current ADC.
(k) Unpaid Previous Owner Charges (Residential or Commercial, Single- or Multi-Unit). Upon notification that a property has been transferred, WSSC will adjust the bill provided to the new property owner to exclude unpaid charges that were incurred by the previous owner prior to the date that title to the property was transferred. In the case of a foreclosure sale, upon receipt of a certified copy of the court order ratifying the foreclosure sale, WSSC will adjust the bill provided to the foreclosure sale purchaser to exclude unpaid charges incurred prior to the date of the court order.
(l) Gasket Leak on Meter (Residential or Commercial, Single- or Multi-Unit). An account shall be adjusted for all excess water and sewer charges when a gasket leaking on a meter registers on the meter (that is, the leaking gasket is on the “house side” of the meter.) The comparable ADC or, if unavailable, the current ADC will be used as the basis of the adjustment.
(m) Illegal Consumption (Single-Unit Residential). Charges rendered to a property owner that resulted from the illegal water/sewer usage of a tenant who has vacated the property will be removed up to the date the tenant moved out.
(n) Lining Project (Residential or Commercial, Single- or Multi-Unit). Charges resulting from water used during cleaning and lining of a water main, or due to the switching of meters in a dual meter pit will be adjusted based on the comparable ADC or, if unavailable, the current ADC.