Skip to Content

Recent taste and odor concerns; Fall hydrant flushing continues; Fluoridation adjustment has been temporarily suspended. More Info

Menu

Terms & Conditions

Attention: The District has new Terms and Conditions that went into effect on January 3, 2022. The new Terms and Conditions can be viewed below or by downloading a copy by clicking here.


Table of Contents 

Section 1: Definitions

Section 2: Establishment of Service

1. Application for Service
2. Availability
3. Service Line
4. Frozen Service Line
5. Access to Premises

Section 3: Credit and Collections
6. Billing
7. Credit and Collection
8. Payment Arrangement
9. Dispute Resolution
10. Assistance Program
11. Disconnection and Reconnection of Service and Fees
12. Collection Fee
13. Return Trip Fee
14. Late Payment Charge
15. Charge for Returned Checks
16. Disconnection of Leased or Rented Property
17. Right to Lien Property
18. Electronic Payment
19. Estimated Bills

Section 4: Customer and Utility Rights and Responsibilities
20. Meter Malfunction, Failure to Read Meter and Unauthorized Use or Fraud Unauthorized Use of Water is Prohibited
21. Tampering with Utility Property
22. Conservation
23. Fluctuation of Pressures by Customer’s Apparatus
24. Thermal Expansion and High Pressure
25. Low Pressure Areas and Limited-Service Contracts
26. Interruption of Water Supply
27. Liability of Utility

Section 5: Meters
28. General Requirements
29. Metered Service
30. Meter Location
31. Meter Valves
32. Meter Pits or Vaults
33. Remote and Automated Meter Reading Equipment
34. Specialty Meters
35. Meter Repair, Replacement, and Relocation
36. Sub-Metering
37. Testing
38. Abatement and Resumption of Service
39. Section 6: Cross Connections
40. Cross Connections
41. Backflow Prevention Devices Testing Requirements

Section 7: General Provisions
42. Utility Jobbing
43. Joint Use of Water Main and Service Pipe Trench
44. Size of Water Distribution Mains
45. Private Mains
46. Winter Construction

Section 8: Fire Protection
47. Fire Hydrants
48. Private Fire Protection
49. Charge to Flow Test Fire Hydrants

The following Terms and Conditions, made by the Kennebec Water District (“Utility”) and filed with the Maine Public Utilities Commission (Commission), constitute a contract between the Customer and the Utility. All customers must abide by these Terms and Conditions to receive water service. 

The Customer agrees to adhere to these Terms and Conditions and to take water only for purposes stated in the application and at the established rates. 

All Utility residential, commercial, industrial, and governmental credit and collection procedures in these Terms and Conditions will conform to and be based upon Chapters 62, 65, 660, and 870 of the Commission’s Rules and Regulations hereinafter referred to by Chapter; and Title 17-A and 35-A of the Maine Revised Statutes (MRS). 

Section 1: Definitions 

The following terms have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning: 

  1. Account Balance — the total amount owed by a Customer that has been properly billed by the Utility. 
  1. After hours —are defined as: 
  • Weekdays:  after 3:00 PM and before 8:30 AM 
  • Weekends:  after 3:00 PM Friday and before 8:30 AM the following Monday 
  • Holidays are observed according to the published State of Maine government holidays. 
  • Holidays are not considered “normal business hours”. Holidays start at 12:01 AM of the observed holiday and end at midnight. 
  1. Amount Overdue — the total amount that has been properly billed to a Customer that has not been paid by the due date of the bill or by a date otherwise agreed upon by the Utility and the Customer. 
  1. Applicant — any person or business that applies for Utility service. 
  1. Basic Service — Utility service where the Commission regulates the rate or charge for the service and the rate or charge for the service is contained in the Utility’s rate schedules.  
  1. Bill — a statement, either in written or electronic form, from the Utility to a Customer that states the amount owed by the Customer for the current billing period, the amount overdue, the account balance, late fees and any other charges lawfully owed by the Customer. Bills shall be issued in accordance with Chapter 660 and these Terms and Conditions. 
  1. Complaint — a dispute between an applicant or Customer and the Utility which the Consumer Assistance and Safety Division has decided to resolve pursuant to Chapter 660. 
  1. Consumer Assistance and Safety Division (CASD) — a division of the Commission assigned with the responsibility of dealing with consumer issues under Chapter 660. 
  1. Corporation — a body created and authorized by law to act and be treated as a single legal entity with an identity distinct from that of its individual members. This definition includes private companies, and municipal and quasi-municipal corporations. 
  1. Customer — any person, business, corporation, government, or governmental division that has applied for or been accepted to receive or is either receiving Utility service or has agreed to be billed for Utility service. This term also includes a person or business that was a Customer of the Utility within the past 30 days and who requests service at the same or a different location. 
  1. Deposit — any payment, however designated, that is held as security for future payment or performance of Basic Service. 
  1. Dispute — a grievance of a Customer or applicant about the Utility’s application of any provision of this Rule.  Disputes include, but are not limited to: 
  1. deposit requirements; 
  1. the accuracy of meter readings or bill amounts; 
  1. the proper person to be charged; 
  1. the terms of a payment arrangement; 
  1. the terms to avoid a pending disconnection; 
  1. the terms to obtain a reconnection; and 
  1. the transfer of an account balance incurred in one Customer’s name into another Customer’s account. 
  1. Due date of bills — Bills are past due no less than twenty-five (25) days after the Bill is mailed or otherwise delivered to the Customer. A Bill is considered “mailed” on the date it is postmarked or otherwise delivered to the Customer. If the due date for payment falls on a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday, or any other day when the Utility’s offices are not open for business, the Utility shall extend the due date to the next business day. 
  1. Fraud — a false representation, by words or conduct, or the concealment of facts which should have been disclosed, which is intended to deceive the Utility and upon which the Utility reasonably relies in taking actions with respect to a Customer. 
  1. Establishment — a location at which water service is sought or is being rendered. 
  1. Kennebec Water District (KWD or “Utility”) – a quasi-municipal organization chartered by the State of Maine Legislature in 1899 to provide water to the communities of Waterville, Winslow, and Fairfield (Vassalboro and Benton were later added). 
  1. Limited-Service Contract — a written agreement, approved by the Commission, under which the Utility agrees to provide, and the Customer agrees to accept a substandard level of service described in the contract. (e.g. normal water pressure below 20 pounds per square inch). 
  1. Maine Public Utilities Commission (Commission) – A state agency responsible for the financial regulatory oversight of utilities in Maine. 
  1. Make-up Bill (aka Manual or Adjusted Bill) — is a bill issued for previously unbilled Utility service. 
  1. Non-basic Utility Service — Utility service that meets any of these conditions: 
  1. The Commission does not regulate the rate or charge for the service; or 
  1. The rate or charge for the service is not contained in the Utility’s rate schedules; or 
  1. The service is for merchandise or equipment that is not required as a condition of receiving Utility service. 
  1. Occupant— any person who resides at an establishment that is provided Utility service. 
  1. Payment Arrangement — an agreement between a Customer or applicant and the Utility that allows the account balance or deposit to be paid in one or more installments. 
  1. Person — an individual, partnership, or voluntary association. 
  1. Physician — any individual authorized by law to practice medicine or osteopathy in Maine. 
  1. Premises — any residential or non-residential building or property. 
  1. Private Line: 
  1. A water line constructed prior to May 7, 1986 across private property to serve one or more Customers and not considered by the Utility to be a water main; 
  1. Except as provided under Chapter 65, a water line constructed after May 7, 1986 across private property to serve a single Customer, a single multi-unit dwelling complex or a single commercial or industrial development upon which no other person has an easement or other right of access for water line purposes. 

BB. Refund — a cash or cash equivalent reimbursement to a Customer. The application of a credit to a Customer’s account is not a refund. 

CC. Residential Utility Service — Utility service provided to a dwelling. It includes service provided for a nonresidential purpose if a residential dwelling is receiving service through the same meter. 

DD. Seasonal Customer — a Customer which regularly takes service through summer service pipes and water mains. A seasonal Customer will be subject to the rules and charges of seasonal rates in effect. 

EE.  Serious Medical Condition — a medical condition such that a lack of Utility service would pose a serious risk of harm to the individual with the condition. 

FF.  Service Line — a water line connected to the Utility Water Main and the Customer’s establishment consisting of two segments: 

  1. The segment of the Service Line from the Utility Water Main to the edge of the public right-of-way is owned by the Utility and is referred to herein as the Utility Service Line.  This Utility Service Line shall be owned by the Utility and shall extend from the main to the curb stop (shut-off valve). The curb stop shall ordinarily be at the edge of the public right of way unless there is an obstruction preventing the utility from doing so.  (Chapter 65 §1 L) 
  1. The segment of Service Line from the edge of the curb stop (shut-off valve) to the Customer’s Establishment is owned by the Customer and is referred to herein as the Customer’s Service Line.  (Chapter 62 §1 G) 

JJ.  Third Party — a person or entity not employed by or working on behalf of the Utility. For the purposes of this Chapter, neither Commission staff nor contractors working on behalf of the Utility are considered “third parties”. 

KK. Unauthorized Use — interference or diversion of Utility service including, but not limited to: 

  1. tampering with the meter (any act which affects the proper registration of service through a meter); 
  1. bypassing the meter without prior Utility permission (unmetered service that flows through a device connected between the service line and Customer-owned facilities); or 
  1. restoring service without authorization from the Utility.  

LL.   Utility — refers to the Kennebec Water District (KWD) 

MM. Water Utility —a corporation, person, or the lessee, trustee, of a corporation or person, owning, controlling, operating, or managing any water works for compensation within this State. 

NN. Water Main —a water pipe, other than a service pipe or private line which is owned, operated, and maintained by the Utility, and used for the transmission or distribution of water. 

OO. Water Line (or Water Pipe) – a tube of metal, plastic, or other material used to convey water. 

Section 2:  Establishment of Service 

  1. Application for Service. 

The Owner or Occupant of an Establishment may apply for service (Chapter 62). 

If a new service connection or other work on the owner’s Premises is required, the owner must authorize the Utility to enter the Premises to inspect and perform work as necessary. The size and location of the Utility’s portion of the service pipe for a new service and service upgrade shall be determined by the Utility.  (Chapter 62 §2 C) 

Upon receiving an application for service, the Utility may require an inspection of the applicant’s premises to determine compliance with all Terms and Conditions and its Cross Connection Control Policy.  Plumbing or other modification needed to comply with the Utility’s Terms and Conditions and its Cross Connection Control Policy shall be completed within 30 days.  The Utility may grant limited time extensions in unusual circumstances. 

  1. Availability. 

Pursuant to Chapter 660 of the Commission’s Rules and Regulations, the Utility should provide service to an applicant as soon as possible, but must provide service by the end of the next business day after the request for service is received by the Utility, or a deposit and/or unpaid account balance is paid, provided that facilities exist to provide service during that timeframe. These services are available during regular business hours, and someone must be on the premises if entry by Utility personnel is required. 

  1. Service Line. 

The Utility shall own and maintain the Utility Service Line portion of the service line, up to and including the curb stop (shutoff) valve. The Utility will determine the size and location of its portion of the service line.  (Chapter 62 §2 C) 

Each customer will have a separate service line and curb stop (shutoff) in accordance with the Utility’s construction specifications unless a master meter is installed by the Utility in a location approved by the Utility.  The Customer shall pay for, install, own, and maintain the Customer’s portion of the service pipe. If a public way must be crossed by the Customer’s portion of the service pipe, the crossing must be approved by the Utility.  (Chapter 62 §2 C) 

The Customer will be responsible for obtaining the Utility’s written approval for the installation, prior to initiation of the work, for contracting with the Utility or with contractors for the installation of the service line from the main to the curb stop, and for all internal plumbing including valves and backflow preventers but excluding the meter.  Any service line requested must be financed in full by the customer. All contractor charges will be paid by the Customer directly to the contractor.  The Utility reserves the right to inspect the materials and installation and must be notified before they are buried or enclosed.  

The Utility is responsible for performing the tap into the Utility Water Main.  The Customer is responsible for installation of the service line from the tap to the premises to be served, including the curb stop. At its discretion, the Utility may subcontract out any portion of the installation.  

The Applicant must provide payment to the Utility for the full estimated amount at least two weeks before the Utility executes any work. 

  1. Frozen Service Line. 

Frozen service lines will be addressed in accordance with Chapter 62 §2 C ii. 

When it becomes necessary for Utility personnel to thaw a frozen service pipe, the Utility may require a deposit prior to the work.  When it cannot be determined where the pipe was frozen and when the Utility, at the Customer’s request, undertakes to thaw the same, one-half of the cost thereof shall be paid by the Customer. 

  1. Access to Premises. 

The Utility shall reserve, as a condition of service, the right of reasonable and safe access to all premises which it serves, at reasonable hours, to permit the inspection of plumbing and fixtures, to read or remove meters or ascertain the amount of water used and manner of use, perform other work as necessary, and to enforce these Terms and Conditions.  (Chapter 62 §4A)  

If a new service connection or other work on the owner’s premise is required, the owner must authorize the water company to enter the premises to do the necessary work.  (Chapter 62 §2A) 

The Utility requires the Customer or an authorized adult, 18 years or older, to escort Utility personnel throughout the premises for the entirety of the appointment. 

Section 3:  Credit and Collections 

  1. Billing. 

All billing and payment standards will be governed by Chapter 660. 

Customers are billed monthly or quarterly at the Utility’s discretion. The Utility reserves the right to bill at a different frequency upon notice to the Customer, agreement with the Customer, or outside the normal provision of water. For metered service, the Utility shall have the authority to prorate water bills to reflect the actual portion of the billing period in which the Customer had active service.  All billings for basic service are in arrears unless otherwise noted. 

Public and Private Fire Protection are billed quarterly, in advance.  Customers are responsible for providing a correct billing address. Failure to receive a bill does not relieve the Customer of the obligation of their payment, nor from the consequences of nonpayment. 

The Utility does not accept any written conditions stated on a check or other negotiable instrument unless such conditions are specified in a separate written agreement signed by an authorized Utility representative. 

Customer accounts not paid by the prescribed due date may be subject to interest charges in accordance with Chapter 870 of the Commission’s rule. 

  1. Credit and Collection. 

All credit and collection actions for both residential and nonresidential Customers will be based upon Chapter 660 and Chapter 870. The Utility may demand a deposit from an Applicant or Customer as permitted by Chapter 660. 

  1. Payment Arrangement. 

The Utility shall continue to serve a Customer who cannot pay the Account Balance, provided mutually agreed upon payment arrangements are adhered to in accordance with Chapter 660 §9 A and with these Terms and Conditions. 

  1. Dispute Resolution. 

The Utility resolves disputes in accordance with Chapter 660. 

The Utility shall attempt, in good faith, to resolve a dispute with the Customer.  If a resolution cannot be reached, the Customer may contact the Commission’s Consumer Assistance Division. 

  1. Assistance Program. 

Pursuant to Title 35-A MRS §6111-C and to Chapter 660, the Utility shall provide financial assistance information to Customers who are in imminent threat of disconnection, including but not limited to 211, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Community Action Agencies, and local Town or City Government. (Chapter 660 §E 2) 

  1. Disconnection and Reconnection of Service and Fees. 

The Utility will make a reasonable effort to reconnect service during business hours on the same day that it receives the request to reconnect.  At the latest, reconnection must be made before 5:00 p.m. the following business day once the cause of the disconnection has been remedied.  (Chapter 660 §12 C) 

The Utility will charge a Customer a service disconnection and reconnection fee to restore service at a Customer’s Premises if service was disconnected for any reason allowable under Chapter 660, these Terms and Conditions, or the Customer’s request. 

The Utility will charge a single Combination Fee for each request, when both the disconnection and reconnection are completed within 30 minutes of each other. 

Time of Disconnection or Reconnection As requested by Customer Disconnection Fee Reconnection Fee Combination Fee 
Normal business hours $20.00 $40.00 $50.00 
After hours $80.00 $80.00 $100.00 
Holidays $100.00 $100.00 $150.00 
Seasonal – Meter Size 1” and Smaller $50.00 $50.00 N/A 
Seasonal – Meter Size 1.5” and Larger $80.00 $80.00 N/A 
Time of Reconnection As initiated by the Utility Reconnection Fee 
Normal business hours $50.00 
After hours $100.00 
Holidays $150.00 

Requests to reconnect service where the Utility receives notice that the cause of the disconnection has been remedied by 3:00 PM are considered as received during “normal business hours.” 

  1. Collection Fee. 

If Utility personnel visit the Customer’s premises to disconnect service for non-payment and in lieu of actual disconnection the Customer pays or makes a payment arrangement for the entire past due balance, the Utility shall charge a collection fee of $25.00. 

  1. Return Trip Fee. 

The Utility may charge a Customer or Landlord a $35.00 Return Trip Fee when the Customer or Landlord failed to appear for their scheduled appointment, failed to make plumbing changes as directed by the Utility, or the water meter was inaccessible by Utility staff.  Customers must cancel scheduled appointments with the Utility at least one hour in advance to avoid the Return Trip Fee.   

  1. Late Payment Charge. 

The Utility will impose the maximum late payment charge permitted under Chapter 870 of the Commission’s Rules on all Bills not paid by the due date of the Bill.  (Chapter 660 §8 G) 

  1. Charge for Returned Checks. 

In accordance with Chapter 870, any Customer whose check is returned for nonpayment to the Utility by a bank will be charged the greater of $5.00 per account to which the check is to be applied or the amount that the bank charges the Utility (up to $15.00). If the Customer is charged more than $5.00, the utility will provide the Customer a copy of the bank charge upon request. 

  1. Disconnection of Leased or Rented Property. 

Before disconnecting a leased or rented residential property, the account for which is in the landlord’s name, the Utility shall comply with the notice requirements contained in Chapter 660 and must offer the tenant the right to take responsibility for future payments. 

In addition to the above, before the actual disconnection of service to a single-meter, multi-unit building, the Utility will:  

  1. have a rate schedule approved by the Commission that assesses a reasonable fee of $100 for the collection of an unpaid account balance from the landlord, in addition to an applicable reconnection fee; and  
  1. apply any existing deposit to the current account balance.  

The Utility may charge a Landlord a fee of $50 when posting notices for disconnection of leased or rented property with service to a single-meter, single-unit building. 

At its discretion, the Utility may separately meter or cause to be separately metered, at the landlord’s expense, each dwelling unit within the property. (Chapter 660 §10 I 4) 

  1. Right to Lien Property. 

Under the provisions of Title 35-A M.R.S.A. §6414 and 38 M.R.S.A. §1208, the Utility shall have the right to place liens on real estate served by the Utility to secure payment of rates established by the Utility under the Rules and Regulations of the Maine Public Utilities Commission. 

  1. Electronic Payment. 

The Utility may allow Customers to pay amounts owed the Utility for service using electronic payment systems. 

Electronic payments are “received” by the Utility either: 

  1. at the date and time the transaction is executed by the Customer or; 
  1. the date the Customer chooses for the payment to be applied to the Customer’s account if that choice is available in the Utility’s billing system. 

Any vendor retained by the Utility to process electronic bill payments may charge the Customer a transaction fee provided the Customer is informed of the specific amount of the fee prior to making the payment and that the Utility not recoup any portion of the transaction fee. 

  1. Estimated Bills. 

The Utility may issue a Bill for estimated usage when a physical or remote meter reading is not practical. 

Section 4:  Customer and Utility Rights and Responsibilities 

  1. Meter Malfunction, Failure to Read Meter and Unauthorized Use or Fraud Unauthorized Use of Water is Prohibited. 

Theft of Utility services is unlawful and will be prosecuted pursuant to 17-A MRS §357. 

The use of water is confined to the premises named in the Contract or Application for Service. No Customer shall supply water to another nor use it for any purposes not mentioned in his/her application without prior Utility approval. No person shall obtain water from any hydrant, fountain, or other fixture of the Utility without prior approval of the Utility. No un-metered plumbing connections are allowed before the water meter. No customer or his agent shall bypass any meter, nor restore service without Utility authorization, nor unreasonably interfere with Utility service nor otherwise take action to prevent the proper metering of water consumed by the Customer. No Customer or his agent shall obtain water from any hydrant or other fixture of the Utility without the previous consent of the Utility.  

In the event of the discovery of such unauthorized use of water, the Customer shall be immediately disconnected, pursuant to Chapter 660. In addition, the Utility shall be entitled to bill and recover from the Customer or responsible person the cost of the estimated amount of water consumed, based on the Utility’s approved rates plus interest at an annual rate of 5%. Where the unauthorized use of water has occurred, the Utility may also assess the Customer or responsible person a fee of $78 per hour, with a minimum of one hour, for each service visit to the Customer’s premises necessary to investigate and address the unauthorized use of water, including removing the meter bypass, taking measures to prevent further diversion of water, and verifying that corrective measures have been taken and maintained. For service visits that occur during other than normal business hours, the fee will be $100 per hour with a minimum one hour charge. In no case shall the total of such hourly fees exceed $100.00. In addition, pursuant to Title 35-A MRSA §2706 as amended or replaced, the Customer or person responsible for the unauthorized use may be liable in a civil action to the Utility for all other reasonable costs to the Utility, including attorney’s fees, costs of undertaking and completing the investigation resulting in the determination of liability, and for a civil penalty not to exceed twenty five hundred dollars ($2,500.00), due and payable to the Utility for each violation.       

The Utility may supply water to a contractor for building or construction purposes, provided such contractor has made satisfactory arrangements with the Utility to pay for the water used and may require a reasonable payment for the cost of installing a metering device. 

  1. Tampering with Utility Property. 

Tampering with Utility property is prohibited by law. No Utility-owned valve, valve sealing mechanism, meter, shut off, hydrant or standpipe shall be opened or closed or otherwise operated, modified, or removed by any persons not authorized by the Utility or its agents.  Painting of meters and meter reading equipment constitutes damage.  All tampering offenses will be prosecuted under the guidelines of 35-A MRS Ch. 27, Sub-Sections 2706 – 2708. 

  1. Conservation. 

The Utility takes all reasonable steps to prevent the unnecessary waste of water. If a leak is located on a Customer’s service line, the Utility will notify the Customer that the leak must be repaired within the time frame specified by the Utility. If a Customer fails to repair a leak on their service pipe within the time frame specified, service shall be discontinued pursuant to Chapter 660. 

When necessary to conserve the water supply, the Utility may restrict or prohibit the use of hoses, sprinklers, or other irrigation systems.  Under these conditions, the Utility will decide what constitutes waste and improper usage to protect the health and safety of the water system. 

  1. Fluctuation of Pressures by Customer’s Apparatus. 

No Customer shall install or use a water consumption apparatus which will affect the Utility’s pressure or operating conditions so as to interfere with the service of another Customer. Where a Customer has or proposes to install an apparatus that requires water in sudden and / or material quantities, impairing the pressure to the detriment, damage or disadvantage of other Customers, the Utility reserves the right to require such Customer to install devices or apparatus which will confine such fluctuation of demand or reduction of pressure within reasonable limits determined by the Utility.  (Chapter 62 §4 C) 

If the Customer, after receiving written notice from the Utility, fails to present an acceptable remedial plan within a time limit set by the Utility, service will be discontinued pursuant to Chapter 660. 

  1. Thermal Expansion and High Pressure. 

The Utility strongly urges Customers to install thermal / pressure expansion tanks as a means to prevent damage to plumbing lines and fixtures caused by water hammer and / or over-pressurization. (Chapter 62 §4 D and Maine Internal Plumbing Code 608.3 – 608.4.) 

Water service supplied to any Customer not providing such protective devices will be solely at the risk of the Customer, and the Utility will not be held liable for damage resulting from the lack of, failure of, or improper installation of such protective devices. 

If a Customer believes the distribution system pressure is more than an apparatus can endure, it shall be the responsibility of the Customer to install a suitable pressure reducing device. 

  1. Low Pressure Areas and Limited-Service Contracts. 

Distribution system water pressures are typically between 25 pounds per square inch (PSI) and 150 PSI. 

Low pressure areas have substantially uniform system pressure at the connection of the water service to the main where pressure may be expected to fall below 20 PSI under normal operating conditions. (Chapter 62 §2 I) 

The Utility will not extend its mains or render service to new Customers in low pressure areas unless a limited-service contract is executed between the Customer and the Utility and approved by the Commission. 

If a Customer wants to enter into a limited-service contract, then service will be provided unless the Commission orders otherwise. 

The Limited-Service Contract must be approved by the Commission prior to rendering service. (Chapter 62 §2 I) 

  1. Interruption of Water Supply. 

Water service may be interrupted when it is necessary to repair or maintain the utility delivery system (planned or unplanned); to eliminate an imminent threat to life, health, safety, or substantial property damage; or for reasons of local, state, or national emergency. 

Chapter 660 provides details regarding reasonable notice of affected customers.  (660 §14 A, B, C) 

  1. Liability of Utility. 

The Utility shall in no event be liable for any damage or inconvenience caused by reason of any break, leak, or defect in the Customer’s service pipe or fixtures per the Maine Tort Claims Act, as set forth in Title 14, Chapter 741 of the Maine Revised Statutes. 

If for the purposes of making repairs, extensions, or connections, or for any other reason beyond the control of the Utility, it becomes necessary to shut off water in the mains, the Utility will not be responsible for any damages occasioned by such shut-off. The Utility will not be responsible for damage caused by turbid water which may be occasioned by cleaning pipes, reservoirs or standpipes, or the opening or closing of any valves or hydrants, or any other cause when the same is not due to lack of reasonable care on the part of the Utility. 

The Utility will not be responsible for meeting water quality standards that exceed Primary Drinking Water Standards set by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Notwithstanding these Standards, the Utility makes no representations or warranties about the quality of the water and will not be liable thereby for any damages caused by unsatisfactory water quality. 

Section 5: Meters 

  1. General Requirements. 

The Customer may receive water through a meter upon Application to the Utility. The size and type of the meter will, in all cases, be determined by the Utility. All water sold by the Utility shall be on the basis of meter measurements or as otherwise provided for in its rate schedules. The Utility may install meters whenever and wherever deemed expedient. 

The Utility shall have discretion to require either a master meter configuration or individual metering of separate units of a multi-unit structure or complex depending on Utility needs. 

  1. Metered Service. 

All Utility Customers are required to have water meters which will be read by the Utility. The cost of the initial meter, appurtenances, and installation shall be borne by the Customer. 

The Customer is required to provide a warm, dry, and accessible location for the meter. 

All meter installations shall be in accordance with the Utility’s requirements, standards, and specifications. 

The Customer shall be responsible for all plumbing modification needed to provide an approved location for the installation of a meter, including but not limited to modifications due to renovations, downsizing, or upsizing the service or meter. 

Unless otherwise approved by the Utility, each metered account shall have its own separate shutoff. 

  1. Meter Location.  

Single-Family Residential: 

Except as set forth below, each individual residence must have its own meter. Sub-service from a metered line is not permitted. Metered water lines may not be extended to serve another residence or place of business. 

Meters may not be located above the first or ground floor level under any circumstances. No water meters may be installed in a crawl space under a residence. 

The water meter shall be located in the basement or mechanical / utility room if one is available. 

The water meter shall be placed where the water service line comes through the basement wall or basement floor. Where no basement is provided, the meter shall be placed where the service line comes through the floor of the mechanical / utility room. 

All water meters installed within buildings shall be within 48 inches from where the water service first penetrates the floor or wall of the structure. The water meter shall be set at a height not less than 24 inches and not more than 48 inches above the floor surface and shall be no less than 3 inches from the wall for accessibility. 

Apartments, Duplexes, Condominiums and Commercial Buildings: 

The Utility requires all new multi-tenant buildings to be master-metered, however the Utility may permit individual meters at the owner’s request, provided there are separate exterior valves located within the public right-of-way for each meter. Customers may request a variance for situations not described above. 

The water meter shall be placed where the water service line comes through the basement wall or basement floor. Where no basement is provided, the meter shall be placed where the service line comes through the floor of the mechanical / utility room. All water meters installed within buildings shall be within 48 inches from where the water service first penetrates the floor or wall of the structure. The water meter shall be set at a height not less than 24 inches and not more than 48 inches above the floor surface and shall be no less than 3 inches from the wall for accessibility.  Meters shall be located in a warm, dry, and easily accessible location.  Meters may not be located above the first or ground floor level under any circumstances. No water meters may be installed in a crawl space under any building. 

Mobile Homes and Skirted Structures: 

Water meters for all new or replacement mobile homes placed on a concrete, paved or gravel slab shall be located inside the home in a warm, dry and accessible location. The meter may not be installed under the home. Mobile homes placed on full basement foundations are considered Single Family Residential as described above. 

The safety of Utility employees is paramount. If a water meter is located under the mobile home, the Utility requires the Customer to relocate the meter, at their expense, to a Utility approved location. Failure of the Customer to provide safe access to the water meter as described above will result in the initiation of disconnection proceedings pursuant to Chapter 660. 

Mobile Home Communities: 

In mobile home communities where the water distribution system is not owned and maintained by the Utility the water service shall be metered at the point of entry of the water service line onto the property with a single master meter. 

The master meter shall be placed inside a structure meeting the Utility’s current specifications. The meter structure (pit or above ground building) shall be owned, installed, and maintained by the Customer in good repair at the Customer’s expense. 

All Private Lines shall be installed, owned, and maintained by and at the expense of the Customer(s) served by the Private Line.  Each mobile home shall have its own separate curb stop (shut-off valve).  The Utility shall not assume any responsibility or liability for maintenance, repairs, or replacements of Private Lines or for water pressure or supply problems resulting from Private Lines. 

For mobile home communities currently operating with one service and individually metered mobile homes, a representative of the park is required to operate private valves at the Utility’s request. 

  1. Meter Valves. 

Every establishment must be equipped with two operable full-part-valves, without stop-and-waste, located inside the building.  One valve near the service entrance and the other just downstream of the water meter, easily accessible, and protected from freezing.  (Chapter 62 §4) 

All valve configurations shall be arranged as specified by the Utility based on the required meter size. The Customer shall own and maintain these valves in good operable condition. 

  1. Meter Pits or Vaults. 

The use of meter pits or vaults is discouraged due to accessibility and safety issues. The use of meter pits or vaults will be considered on a case-by-case basis and requires prior written Utility approval. (Chapter 62 §3 E) 

Meter pits or vaults must be installed and operated in accordance with the Utility’s current specifications. The ownership, installation, and maintenance of all meter pits and vaults shall be and remain the responsibility of the Customer. 

The meter pit or vault must be located on the Customer’s property as close to the property line as possible. The meter pit or vault must be installed in such a manner to keep the meter and backflow prevention device warm, dry, and accessible at all times. 

All piping, valves, and backflow prevention devices within the meter pit or vault must be installed per Utility specifications. 

  1. Remote and Automated Meter Reading Equipment. 

Remote and automated meter reading equipment shall be installed by the Utility or Utility-authorized personnel.  (Chapter 62 §3 D) 

The Utility shall install meter reading devices for meters owned by the Utility. The most beneficial location of this device, for efficient and safe meter reading purposes, will be determined by the Utility.  

Remote Reading Equipment repair and replacement necessitated by ordinary wear will be paid for by the Utility. 

Repair or replacement of remote and automated meter reading equipment damaged within the control of the Customer will be charged to the Customer. 

Remote and automated meter reading equipment shall be billed at actual cost of replacement.  

The Utility may charge a fee of $30 per device to relocate remote and automated meter reading equipment. 

  1. Specialty Meters. 

The Utility may install, in a customer’s or landlord’s facility, meters capable of providing system information to the Utility including but not limited to pressure, temperature, and other water quality data. 

The Utility may install, in a customer’s or landlord’s facility, meters capable of remotely opening, closing, and restricting flow in locations deemed necessary by the Utility.   

  1. Meter Repair, Replacement, and Relocation. 

Meter repair and replacement necessitated by ordinary wear will be paid for by the Utility. 

Meters, once set, may be changed in location at the request and expense of the Customer at the fees described in the table below. The meter relocation will be done only by personnel authorized by the Utility.  (Chapter 62 §3 C) 

Meter repair and replacement caused by freezing, attempts to thaw, hot water, or by other cause within the control of the Customer will be charged to the Customer, including the cost of removing and replacing the damaged meter. 

If a meter is damaged due to freezing conditions, the backflow prevention device shall be replaced (for non-testable devices) or tested by a certified tester (for testable devices) at the Customer’s expense. 

The Customer will be charged for the repair, replacement, or relocation of damaged meters in accordance with these Terms and Conditions based on the meter size and the time of repair as shown in the table below.  Costs are per meter, and do not include the cost of the meter. 

Time of Service As requested by Customer Meter Size 5/8” to 1”  Meter Size 1 ½” and larger 
Normal business hours $60.00 $120.00 
After hours $120.00 $240.00 
Holidays $180.00 $360.00 
  1. Sub-Metering. 

If additional meters are desired by the Customer for showing subdivision of the supply, the Customer shall furnish, install, read, and maintain such meters at the Customer’s expense. All auxiliary meters must be installed downstream of the Utility’s meter and the customer’s backflow prevention device. 

  1. Testing. 

Docket number 2018-0029 approved by the Commission on April 2, 2018 allows the District to deviate from Chapter 62 meter testing frequency for certain meters. Mechanical meters sized from 5/8” up to and including 2” are tested or replaced at 12-year intervals. 5/8”, ¾” and 1” electromagnetic meters are tested or replaced at 20-year intervals. 

All other meters are periodically tested or replaced in accordance with Chapter 62 §3 G. 

Tests made at the request of a Customer shall be made in the presence of the Customer or their representative if possible, and a written report of the test will be furnished to the Customer. 

All tests will be at the sole expense of the Utility, unless the Customer requests tests more frequently than once in eighteen (18) months, in which case the Utility will require the Customer to make a minimum charge in the amount of $60.00. After testing, a bill showing actual costs will be mailed to the Customer. If a meter tested at the request of a Customer does not conform to Chapter 62, the Customer’s deposit will be either refunded or credited to the Customer’s account.  If the meter conforms to Chapter 62 the Customer will be required to pay the entire cost of said testing and any deposit made will be adjusted accordingly. The meter may be continued in use at the same location at the discretion of the Utility. 

  1. Abatement and Resumption of Service. 

If an establishment is to be vacated for a period of 30 days or more and if the Customer notifies the Utility in writing in advance of the vacancy and requests the Utility to shut off service, the Utility shall abate water charges for the period the premises are vacated. If two or more Customers are supplied by a single service, the Utility shall use appropriate procedures to isolate the inactive service. The Utility shall charge a service fee for each resumption of service in accordance with the provision on reconnection charges in these Terms and Conditions.  Customers are responsible for all water flow through the meter. 

Section 6: Cross Connections 

  1. Cross Connections. 

Cross connections between the Utility’s system and any other are prohibited unless deemed necessary and approved by the Utility and protected by an approved backflow-prevention method in compliance with rules of the State of Maine Internal Plumbing Code and the Utility’s Cross Connection Control Program. The Utility prohibits any connection that will cause back flow between the Utility’s system and any plumbing fixtures, device or appliance, or between any waste outlet or pipe having direct connection to waste drains. If the Owner of such a connection fails to break or properly protect the connection within a time limit specified by the Utility or Department, the Utility will discontinue service pursuant to Commission rules.  (Chapter 62 §4) 

All requirements of the Utility’s cross connection control policy must be met before water service will be supplied to new accounts. 

  1. Backflow Prevention Devices Testing Requirements. 

Customers with testable backflow prevention devices are responsible for the completion of device testing according to the Utility schedule, available at the Utility office. The Customer must select a certified contractor, as required in the Maine Internal Plumbing Code, to comply with this requirement.  The Customer is responsible for paying for all testing and repair costs directly to the contractor. Upon completion of the testing process, the Customer, or agent of the customer, must submit a completed backflow prevention device certification form (the form must meet the reporting requirements of the Utility) for each device tested, within 30 days. If a Customer does not comply with the testing requirement or does not make repairs necessary to maintain full functionality of the device, the water service will be considered a dangerous condition and disconnected pursuant to Chapter 660 of the Commission’s Rules and Regulations.  

Backflow Prevention Devices must be in compliance with the Utility’s Cross Connection Control Policy. 

  1. Safeguarding Direct Pressure Devices and Automatic Feed Valves 

Pursuant to Chapter 620 of the Commission’s Rules and Regulations, all Customers having direct pressure water devices, including but not limited to hot water tanks or secondary systems supplied by automatic feed valves, must install and maintain in operating conditions appropriate vacuum, temperature and pressure relief valves or cut-outs in the water system and/or secondary system to prevent damage to the water device or secondary system or their appurtenances should it become necessary to shut off the water main or service or should a pressure failure occur for any other reason. Water service supplied to any Customer not providing such protective devices will be strictly at the risk of the Customer, and the Utility will not be liable for damages resulting from the lack of, or failure of, such protective devices. 

Section 7:  General Provisions 

  1. Utility Jobbing. 

Jobbing is the provision of unregulated Utility services, such as construction services and construction inspection. 

If the Utility agrees to do work outside the scope of regulated Utility service for a Customer at the Customer’s expense, the Utility may require an advance payment equal to the Utility’s estimated cost of the work.  At the completion of the work, any excess over the actual bill for services will be returned, and any amount due in excess of the advance payment will be payable.  Work performed in support of unregulated utility service outside of regular business hours will be charged at overtime rates. (Chapter 62 §2 B) 

  1. Joint Use of Water Main and Service Pipe Trench. 

Water mains, services, hydrant branches etc. will not be placed in the same trench with sewer facilities. State of Maine Rules Relating to Drinking Water require a horizontal separation of ten (10) feet between water system infrastructure and all sewer facilities. Where extenuating, unusual, or special circumstances are encountered, a lesser separation may be allowed with mutual agreement of all parties involved, provided that the installation shall be in compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations. 

The Utility further regulates the horizontal separation between all water mains, services, hydrant branches etc. and all other underground Utility facilities per its Standard Specifications. 

  1. Size of Water Distribution Mains. 

The Utility provides water for domestic use and fire protection. The Utility requires all distribution mains to be adequately sized in accordance with Chapter 65. 

  1. Private Mains. 

All Private Lines shall be installed, owned, and maintained by and at the expense of the Customer(s) served by the Private Line. The Utility shall not assume any responsibility or liability for maintenance, repairs, or replacements of Private Lines or for water pressure or supply problems resulting from Private Lines. Except as provided in Chapter 65 of the Commission’s Rules and Regulations, any Customer whose service is provided over Private Lines accepts service subject to the conditions or limitations of any agreement with the owner(s) of the property over which the Private Line extends, and the Utility shall have no obligation to extend a water main at the Utility’s expense to serve such Customers. 

  1. Winter Construction. 

Except in the case of an emergency, no new service or extension of mains will be installed for the convenience of a Customer during winter conditions which increases the cost of the work for the Utility, unless the Customer assumes all extra expense over ordinary construction costs. 

Section 8:  Fire Protection 

  1. Fire Hydrants. 

Fire hydrants, both public and private, may not be used for any purpose other than fire extinguishment, training purposes by authorized fire department personnel, or for such other purposes as may be agreed to in writing by the Utility and a municipality or owner of a private hydrant. The Utility requires notification, no less than 48 hours, prior to authorization of any testing or training. Anyone authorized to perform hydrant training or testing, shall report to the Utility an estimated volume of water used. 

In no case shall fire hydrants be opened by any person other than an agent of the Utility or a duly authorized representative of the municipality or owner.   

  1. Private Fire Protection. 

If fire protection service is available, it will be installed at the Customer’s expense within the bounds of the public way or right of way. The Customer is responsible for having the fire service sized by a licensed sprinkler system designer. Fees will be based on the size of the tap at the Utility’s water main. 

The fire service line, after acceptance by the Utility, will be owned and maintained in the public way or right of way by the Utility. 

The Utility does not guarantee the quantity of water or pressure available through a fire protection service. The owner of the service shall determine, from time to time, the adequacy of supply through the fire service by conducting tests of his private system. A minimum 48-hour notice must be given to the Utility in advance of flow testing work so a representative of the Utility can be present to observe the test, if so desired. The owner shall report to the Utility, an estimated volume of water used. 

The Utility reserves the right to determine the main and point from which said connection shall be made. Determination of required quantity and available supply shall be the sole responsibility of the customer. Only one service shall be allowed to any building or premises unless, in the opinion of the Utility, more than one service is necessary, in which case there shall be separate connections with the distribution main. 

Customers wishing to cancel fire service protection must notify the Utility in advance and in writing and must have permission in writing from the Fire Chief, Insurance Provider, Building Owner, and provide a copy of the written permission to the Utility. Physical shut-off of the fire service and/or private hydrant(s) will not be made by the Utility until the prescribed notice has been made. 

All new private fire connections shall require an operable valve, and a Utility approved backflow prevention device respectively, at the service entrance in accordance with the Utility’s Cross Connection Control Policy. 

  1. Charge to Flow Test Fire Hydrants. 

The Utility will provide any fire flow data on file for not cost.  If an entity needs a test at a specific location or a more recent test, a $200.00 testing fee shall be prepaid to the Utility before any work is scheduled.  Under all circumstances, whether a public or private hydrant, the Utility reserves the right to have a representative observe or conduct the flow test. THE UTILITY will not perform or allow any fire hydrant flow tests from November 1 through April 15.