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About Our Minimum Bill

Regarding Our Minimum Bill:

There are many costs associated with providing water and sewer service to your residence whether you choose to use them or not. It costs to provide water and sewer service even if the customer chooses not to use the service for any period of time whether three months, one week, a weekend, or even overnight. These costs include the capital expenditures for such items as the distribution system and the meter itself. Even if you do not use the system, the water department has the expense of a meter sitting in the ground. The water department also has the expense of reading your meter monthly, billing, postage for the bill, etc. It costs the water department the same to read a meter with no usage as it does to read a meter with a million gallons of usage. It costs the water department the same to produce and mail a bill whether the bill is for $26.14 or $10,000.00. You were charged a minimum bill. The minimum bill covers these varied costs.

The capital costs in particular are annualized costs that are billed in monthly units for the convenience of our customers. It would be theoretically possible to bill these costs one time per year. However, such billing procedures would be a hardship on our customers and therefore these costs are spread over monthly installments.

You received the benefit of water service being provided to your residence. The volume to which you use that service is an individual decision.

Now, for the solution. There is an option if you are going to be away from your residence for an extended period of time. You could call the water department and have your water service disconnected. Your meter will be read, a final bill calculated and your deposit will be applied to your final bill. If the deposit exceeds the balance on your account, then a refund check will be mailed to you for the difference. If the balance exceeds your deposit then you will be billed for the difference. The positive side of this solution is that you would not have to pay the minimum bill while you are gone.

Of course there are negatives to such a solution. You will have to reestablish service when you return by placing another deposit. You might return earlier than planned to a house without water. Any guests, such as children or other relatives, that you might allow to visit your home while you are away, would not have water. Lawn and garden needs, care of pets if you had any, etc. could not be performed without water.

There is an alternative to the minimum monthly bill. You must decide what option best fits your needs. The Fayetteville Water and Sewer Division will be glad to serve you either way.