WSR 98-24-123

PROPOSED RULES

UTILITIES AND TRANSPORTATION

COMMISSION

[Commission Docket No. UW-980082--Filed December 2, 1998, 11:10 a.m.]



Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 98-05-056.

Title of Rule: Revising rules relating to investor owned water companies.

Purpose: To implement the requirements of Executive Order 97-02, requiring agencies to review significant rules for need; effectiveness and efficiency; clarity; intent and statutory authority; cost and fairness. The proposal would repeal the existing rules, reorganize and rewrite the substance of the text for compliance with Executive Order 97-02, and promulgate new sections incorporating the redrafted provisions. In addition, the proposal, adds provisions to set existing policies in rules, adds a provision requiring refunds for poor water quality, updates definitions, and deletes obsolete provisions.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 80.01.040, 80.04.010, and 80.04.160.

Summary: See Explanation of Rule below.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Sondra Walsh, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 664-1286; Implementation and Enforcement: Carole J. Washburn, Secretary, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 664-1174.

Name of Proponent: Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: These rules address how the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission regulates the rates and operations of investor owned water companies. This review is in compliance with Executive Order 97-02 and reviews the chapter for clarity, intent and statutory authority, need, effectiveness and efficiency, coordination, cost and fairness. This proposal would redraft the rules to comply with the executive order, would incorporate and formalize policies, would add requirements for refunds for poor water quality, and would eliminate rules that are obsolete.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: The proposal would repeal existing rules and substitute reorganized and redrafted rules.

The proposed substantive changes to rule text include the following:

(1) Deleting and adding definitions as needed.

(2) Expanding companies' requirements to provide customer notice for tariff filings.

(3) Adding requirements identifying information that companies must supply when making general rate filings.

(4) Adding provisions to codify existing policies or clarify requirements relating to the following topics:

(a) When and how water companies may use funding mechanisms such as facilities charges;

(b) Requirements relating to adopted and initial tariff filings, and

(c) Clarifying when companies are jurisdictional by incorporating policy statement UW-930006 in WAC 480-110-023 Jurisdiction and withdrawing the policy statement. In addition, further clarification is provided by including in WAC 480-110-023 examples on how to calculate average annual revenue per customer to determine whether a water company is jurisdictional, and increasing the revenue threshold from $418.00 to $429.00 pursuant to specific legislative authority in RCW 80.04.010.

(5) Adding a provision that sets out when a water company may be required to refund charges due to water quality, and how to calculate the amount of the refund, and

(6) Separating rules relating to company and customer responsibilities.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The Regulatory Fairness Act requires a small business economic impact statement if there are more than 10% of businesses affected by the rule making. The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission regulates less than 1% of the water company industry affected by this rule making.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. The commission is not an agency to which RCW 34.05.328 applies.

Hearing Location: Commission Hearing Room, Second Floor, Chandler Plaza, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98504, on January 27, 1999, at 9:30 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Pat Valentine by January 21, 1999, TDD (360) 586-8203, or (360) 664-1133.

Submit Written Comments to: Carole J. Washburn, Secretary, P.O. Box 47250, Olympia, WA 98504 or e-mail to records@wutc.wa.gov, fax (360) 586-1150, by December 29, 1998. Please include Docket No. UW-980082 in your communication.

Date of Intended Adoption: January 27, 1999.

December 2, 1998

Terrence Stapleton

for Carole J. Washburn

Secretary

OTS-2665.1

NEW SECTION



WAC 480-110-500  Application of rules. (1) These rules apply to any water company that distributes, sells, or supplies water, and which meets requirements for commission regulation or jurisdiction under RCW 80.04.010 and WAC 480-110-023. This includes investor owned water companies that meet the jurisdictional threshold of serving one hundred or more customers or receive average revenue of four hundred twenty-nine dollars or more per customer per year.

(2) The commission may waive or modify the application of any rule to a water company upon written request, except when such provisions are fixed by statute. The waiver or modification must be approved by the commission in writing. Violations of these rules are subject to the penalty provisions of chapter 80.04 RCW.



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WAC 480-110-510  Saving clause. The commission may impose additional or different requirements on any water company in response to a complaint or on its own motion. These rules do not relieve any water company from any of its duties and obligations under the laws of the state of Washington.



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WAC 480-110-520  Definition of control. (1) For purposes of determining commission jurisdiction over a water company as defined in RCW 80.04.010, "control" means the water system operator or manager has discretion over the property or finances or operations of a water system which is normally exercised by an owner. Factors indicating control include, but are not limited to, whether the operator or manager:

(a) May authorize the purchase or sale of all or part of the water system or its water rights;

(b) May authorize capital additions or improvements to the system;

(c) May accept contributed plant;

(d) May authorize the expenditure or acquisition of funds which encumber any asset of the company;

(e) May authorize the expenditure of funds for nonwater company purposes;

(f) Receives compensation of a type or amount having no reasonable relationship to the work performed or to be performed.

(2) Control shall not include management by a satellite management agency as defined in chapter 70.116 RCW if the satellite management agency is not an owner of the water company.



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WAC 480-110-530  Definitions. (1) Commission - the Washington utilities and transportation commission.

(2) Water company or company - any corporation, company, association, joint stock association, partnership or person, their lessees, trustees or receivers appointed by any court whatever, owning, controlling, operating or managing any water plant within the state of Washington for the purpose of furnishing water service to the public for hire and subject to the jurisdiction of the commission.

(3) Applicant - any person, partnership, firm, corporation, municipality, cooperative organization, governmental agency, etc., that has completed a water company's application for water service.

(4) A "potential customer" is anyone who has been given a letter to provide service for a property but who is not yet receiving any type of service, and who may not have paid any fees to the company.

(5) A "customer" is:

(a) A person who has paid water company fees and/or has an accepted application for service; or

(b) A person whose service connection is installed and is ready to be served; or

(c) A person who is actually receiving water service from the company.

(6) A "jurisdictional customer" is anyone who is actually receiving water service, but does not include persons who pay standby fees to a water system. A standby fee denotes only a potential customer.

(7) Contributions in aid of construction - any money, services or property received by a water company to fund capital investments at no cost to the company with no obligation to repay.

(8) Ready to serve charge - a recurring charge when the water company has the ability to provide water service, has committed to provide water service, and has installed a service connection at the customer's property.

(9) Reconnect charge - the charge specified in the company's tariff for restoring water service that was disconnected for nonpayment or for failure to comply with the company's rules.

(10) Service area - that area that the company has an obligation to serve.

(11) Standby charge - a charge for having transmission and distribution infrastructure installed without the current ability to provide water.

(12) Line extension - the water mains and equipment necessary to extend the company's transmission and distribution infrastructure.

(13) Service connection - the pipes, valves, and fittings between the water company's distribution system and the service line for the property.

(14) Water system - all plant, equipment, and other assets used to provide water service for a specific location.

(15) Initial tariff - the tariff filed by a water company when it first becomes subject to the jurisdiction of the commission, or, if the company was formerly subject to commission jurisdiction, but removed from jurisdiction, the tariff it files when it again becomes subject to commission jurisdiction. A tariff filed to add a newly acquired system or company to the tariff shall not be termed an initial tariff for purposes of WAC 480-80-240(2).

(16) Primary contaminants are substances present in drinking water which may adversely affect the health of the consumer by exceeding the permissible maximum contaminant level (MCL) that may be present in the water the purveyor delivers to any consumer. These MCLs are established as water quality "primary standards" and are based on chronic, nonacute, or acute human health effects. Under WAC 246-290-310, all water systems are responsible for complying with standards for water quality established within that section.

(17) Surcharge - a surcharge is a monthly fee for capital plant or expense paid to the water company. The surcharge is in addition to regular monthly service fees and typically has an expiration date or recovery dollar limit.

(18) Facility charge - a facilities charge is a one-time fee that a new customer must pay before the company will connect the customer's property to the water system. The facilities charge is a means by which the company may recover from the new customers causing the need for a portion of budgeted future capital costs required to meet system growth.



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WAC 480-110-540  Jurisdiction. (1) The commission only regulates investor owned water companies:

(a) That own, operate, control, or manage one or more water systems; and

(b) Meet jurisdictional thresholds of one hundred or more customers, or receive average revenue of four hundred twenty-nine dollars per customer per year.



If a water company serves customers and receives average annual revenue per customer commission regulation
99 or less less than $429 No
99 or less $429 or more Yes
100 or more less than $429 Yes
100 or more $429 or more Yes



(c) The commission does not regulate:

(i) Cities, towns, or counties.

(ii) Public utility districts.

(iii) Water districts.

(iv) Local improvement districts.

(v) Homeowner associations, cooperatives and mutual corporations, or similar entities that provide service to only their owners or members.

(vi) Homeowner associations, cooperatives and mutual corporations, or similar entities that provide service to nonmembers unless they serve one hundred or more nonmembers, or charge nonmembers more than four hundred twenty-nine dollars average annual revenue per nonmember.

(vii) Facilities such as mobile home parks, apartment buildings, and office buildings where the facility owner passes through to tenants only the cost the facility owner pays for water the facility receives, plus reasonable third-party costs for reading meters, billing, and collecting. The owner can use a flat rate approach or use submeters to apportion the cost of water to individual tenants.

(2) To determine jurisdiction the commission uses only those customers receiving water. The commission uses only those customers receiving water. The commission does not use customers who do not receive water, such as customers who have paid:

(a) Water availability letter fees.

(b) Standby fees.

(c) System readiness fees.

(d) Ready-to-serve fees.

(3) To calculate the average annual revenue per customer, the commission uses only those moneys that water-receiving customers pay on a monthly basis, other than contributions in aid of construction. For example, that would include money paid for flat rate service or the metered base charge and all usage charges.

(a) The commission does not include money paid by customers who do not receive water, such as:

(i) Water availability letter fees.

(ii) Standby fees.

(iii) System readiness fees.

(iv) Ready-to-serve fees.

(b) The commission does not use contributions in aid of construction in determining jurisdiction. Contributions can be money, plant, or equipment. Payments can be made in a lump sum or financed over time. Examples of contributions in aid of construction include payments for:

(i) Connection to system.

(ii) Meter installation.

(iii) System buy-in.

(iv) Facilities charges.

(v) Assessments for capital plant and equipment.

(4) The following example shows how to calculate the average annual revenue per customer for two hypothetical customers. The data for each customer is provided at the end of the example.

(a) Pick a period of twelve consecutive months.



Example: February 1997 through January 1998.



(b) For each customer that received water service during the twelve-month period, add the amount the customer paid to the water company for items other than contribution in aid of construction items.



Example: Customer A paid $340.
Customer B paid $283.



(c) For each customer that received water service during the twelve-month period, add the number of months the customer received water service.



Example: Customer A received water service for twelve months.
Customer B received water service for nine months.



(d) Total the amount paid by each customer during the twelve-month period.

Example:
Paid to Water Company During the Twelve-Month Period
Customer A $340
Customer B .+ $283

Total Paid During Twelve- Month Period $623



(e) Total the number of months each customer received water service.



Example:
Number of Months Received Water

Service During the

Twelve-Month Period

Customer A 12
Customer B .+ 9

Total Months Received Water Service During the Twelve-Month Period 21

(f) Calculate the "Average Monthly Revenue Per Customer": Divide the "Total Paid During the Twelve-Month Period" by the "Total Months Received Water Service During the Twelve-Month Period."

Example:
Total Paid During the Twelve-Month Period $623
Total Months Received Water Service During the Twelve-Month Period 21

Average Monthly Revenue Per Customer $29.67

(g) Calculate the "Average Annual Revenue Per Customer": Multiply the "Average Monthly Revenue Per Customer" times 12 months.

(A) Average Monthly Revenue Per Customer $29.67
Months in a Year x 12

(B) Average Annual Revenue Per Customer $356.04
data used in the example

to calculate

average annual revenue per customer

Example--

Customer A



Standby Charge
Ready to

Serve Charge



Connection Charge


Facilities Charge
Meter

Base Charge

Meter

Usage Charge

Receive Water Service No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Contribution in Aid of Construction No No Yes Yes No No
Total
Year Month Paid
1997 February $20 $4 $24
1997 March $20 $5 $25
1997 April $20 $2 $22
1997 May $25 $5 $30
1997 June $25 $6 $31
1997 July $25 $12 $37
1997 August $25 $6 $31
1997 September $25 $4 $29
1997 October $25 $4 $29
1997 November $25 $3 $28
1997 December $25 $2 $27
1998 January





$25
$2
$27
$0 $0 $0 $0 $285 $55 $340
Number of months service 12
Not Receiving Water $0
Receiving Water - Contribution in Aid of Construction $0
Receiving Water - Other than Contribution in Aid of Construction $340
Total customer paid during period $340
data used in the example

to calculate

average annual revenue per customer

Example--

Customer B



Standby Charge
Ready to

Serve Charge



Connection Charge


Facilities Charge
Meter

Base Charge

Meter

Usage Charge

Receive Water Service No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Contribution in Aid of Construction No No Yes Yes No No
Total
Year Month Paid
1997 February $7 $7
1997 March $7 $7
1997 April $12 $12
1997 May $300 $4,500 $25 $5 $4,830
1997 June $25 $4 $29
1997 July $25 $3 $28
1997 August $25 $12 $37
1997 September $25 $10 $35
1997 October $25 $15 $40
1997 November $25 $5 $30
1997 December $25 $2 $27
1998 January





$25
$2
$27
$14 $12 $300 $4,500 $225 $58 $5,109
Number of months service 9
Not Receiving Water $26
Receiving Water - Contributions in Aid of Construction $4,800
Receiving Water - Other than Contribution in Aid of Construction $283
Total customer paid during period $5,109

(h) To ensure all customers are treated the same, staff will apply the same rates to all customers on the same system so that no customer receives free or reduced service.

(i) May authorize the expenditure or acquisition of funds which encumber any asset of the company.

(j) May authorize the expenditure of funds for nonwater company purposes.

(k) Receives compensation of a type or amount having no reasonable relationship to the work performed or to be performed.

(5) Control shall not include management by a satellite management agency as defined in chapter 70.116 RCW if the satellite management agency is not an owner of the water company.



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WAC 480-110-550  Tariffs. (1) Tariff provisions filed by a water company must conform to the rules of this section and chapter 480-80 WAC Utilities General--Tariffs.

(2) If a tariff conflicts with a commission rule, the rule supersedes the tariff, unless the commission has authorized the deviation from the rules in writing.



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WAC 480-110-560  Accounting and reporting requirements and regulatory fees. (1) Water companies must use the uniform system of accounts (USOA) published by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). The USOA sets out the accounting requirements for class A, B, and C water companies.

Water companies are classified by revenues.



Class Annual Gross Operating Revenue
A $1,000,000 or more
B $200,000 to $999,999
C Less than $200,000



(2) Water companies may use the accounting requirements for a higher class if they choose.

(3) The commission will distribute an annual report form that the water company must complete and file with the commission for the preceding calendar year. The annual report must be filed, and the company's regulatory fee paid, no later than May 1 of each year.

(4) An extension of the time for filing the annual report can be requested in writing prior to May 1. No extension of time for payment of regulatory fees will be granted.



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WAC 480-110-570  Securities, affiliated interest, transfer of property. (1) Prior to issuance a water company must file an application with the commission to:

(a) Issue securities.

(b) Create liens.

Authority per chapter 80.08 RCW and chapter 480-146 WAC.

(2) A water company must file an application with the commission to transfer utility property:

(a) Authority per chapter 80.12 RCW and chapter 480-143 WAC.

(b) The commission must approve any application prior to the transfer.

(3) Contracts with affiliates must be filed with the commission.

(a) Authority per chapter 80.16 RCW and chapter 480-146 WAC.

(b) The commission may open an investigation of the contract anytime after filing.



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WAC 480-110-580  Adopted and initial tariffs. A water company must file revisions to its filed tariff within thirty days of its acquisition of new service area, whether by acquisition of another regulated water company or by acquiring one or more previously unregulated water systems.

(1) Adopted tariffs - when a regulated company acquires another regulated company.

(a) Any regulated water company acquiring a regulated water company must adopt the latter's tariff. An adoption form must be completed and filed with the commission by the acquiring water company within thirty days of the acquisition. The commission will supply an adoption form upon request.

(b) When a regulated utility is acquired via a stock purchase, where commission approval is not required, a tariff adoption is not necessary. The acquired regulated water company retains its status as a separate company. The new owner must file a new tariff with the signature of the new owner on each tariff page.

(2) Incorporate into existing tariff - when a regulated water company acquires a nonregulated company.

(a) When a regulated water company acquires a nonregulated water company or water system, the regulated water company must file a separate tariff page indicating the name of the newly acquired company or system with the rates and charges that were in existence before the acquisition.

(b) No other rates and charges may apply to the customers on the newly acquired system except those specifically shown on the new tariff page unless the company obtains the commission's approval to charge a different rate.

(3) Initial tariffs - when a company becomes jurisdictional.

(a) An initial tariff must be filed in a standard tariff format, that the commission will provide upon request.

(b) The tariff must be accompanied by a cover letter describing the filing as an initial tariff.

(c) Customers must be notified before the commission receives the filing.

(d) The filing must be accompanied by supporting financial data justifying the proposed rates. See chapter 480-09 WAC, minimum filing requirements.



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WAC 480-110-590  Access to premises. Authorized personnel of a water company have the right to enter a customer's property during reasonable hours to perform meter reading, maintenance, testing, installation or removal of the company's property. Customers may ask to see the identification of the water company personnel before allowing entry to the customer's property.



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WAC 480-110-600  Availability of information. (1) A water company must notify its customers of its regular business hours, telephone number, mailing address and a twenty-four hour emergency telephone, pager, voice messaging, fax machine or mobile phone number, at least once a year.

(2) A water company must advise the commission and its customers of any change in address or telephone number(s) at least ten days prior to the effective date.

(3) The water company must develop procedures for prompt response to reported failures or emergencies. A company representative must respond to the customer who reported the service failure or emergency within twenty-four hours of the report.

(4) When a nonemergency customer call is received, each water company must return the customer's call within two business days.

(5) A water company must acknowledge and respond to a customer's written inquiry within a two week period of receiving the letter.

(6) The water company must provide a copy of the commission's "Your Rights and Responsibilities" water brochure to each new applicant for service, and once a year notify its customers of the availability of the brochure and how to obtain a copy.

(7) The water company must make the following information available for review by customers:

(a) A copy of the water rules, chapter 480-110 WAC.

(b) A copy of the company's current rates and regulations (tariff).

(c) Copies of "Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Residential Water Company Customer" brochure published by the commission.



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WAC 480-110-610  Application for service. (1) The water company must obtain applications for service from potential customers in writing, on company supplied forms. The completed form must:

(a) Include the company's name, address and telephone number;

(b) Show the date the person applied for service;

(c) Comply with the water company's filed tariffs;

(d) Clearly state the type of service requested. (Examples: Residential or commercial, flat rated or metered service, a letter to provide service, ready to serve);

(e) Include a property lot description, street number, or other sufficient description of location for service;

(f) Include a complete list and description of all applicable charges. (Examples: Account set up, service connection, facilities charge, line extension);

(g) Include the date by which a customer can expect service;

(h) Include the application expiration date, if any;

(i) Include signatures of the potential customer and a company representative.

(2) After completing the application, the water company must:

(a) Provide the applicant with a copy of the form when completed;

(b) Keep a copy of the completed application in the company's business office for no less than three years after expiration date or denial of service;

(c) Inform the applicant of its intention to provide service or deny service within ten days. If service is denied, the company must tell the applicant the reason service is being denied and advise the applicant of the commission's toll-free number (1-800-562-6150) for appealing the decision.



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WAC 480-110-620  Establishment of credit and deposits. (1) Establishment of credit - residential. If an applicant for residential water service can establish satisfactory credit by any one of the following factors, the company must not collect a security deposit:

(a) Prior service with the water company within the prior twelve months and:

(i) At least twelve consecutive months with no more than one delinquency notice; and

(ii) The service was not disconnected for nonpayment.

(b) Prior residential water service with another water company, as demonstrated in (a) of this subsection, for which references may be quickly and easily checked. The water company may request the reference in writing from the previous water company;

(c) Full-time consecutive employment during the prior twelve months with no more than two employers, and the applicant is currently employed or has a regular source of income;

(d) Ownership of a legal interest in the premises being served;

(e) Furnishing a satisfactory guarantor responsible for payment of water service bills in the event of disconnection or default by the customer, in a specified amount, not to exceed the amount of the cash deposit required;

(f) Producing, in person at the water company's business office copies of two major credit cards, or other credit references, which the company can quickly and easily check which demonstrates a satisfactory payment history.

(2) Establishment of credit - nonresidential. An applicant for nonresidential water service may be required to demonstrate that it is a satisfactory credit risk by reasonable means appropriate under the circumstances.

(3) Deposit requirements. A deposit may be required when:

(a) The applicant has failed to establish a satisfactory credit history as outlined in subsections (1) and (2) of this section;

(b) During the prior twelve months, the applicant's service from another water company has been disconnected for failure to pay amounts owing, when due;

(c) There is an unpaid, overdue balance owing for similar service from the water company to which application is being made or from any other water company;

(d) Two or more delinquency notices have been served upon the applicant by any water company during the prior twelve months;

(e) The application is for the initiation or continuation of service to a residence where a prior customer still lives and owes a past due bill to the water company.

(4) Amount of deposit. Required deposits will not exceed:

(a) Two-twelfths of the estimated annual billings for that customer or location for companies billing monthly;

(b) Three-twelfths of estimated annual billings for companies billing bimonthly;

(c) Four-twelfths of estimated annual billings for companies billing trimonthly.

(5) Transfer of deposit. When a customer moves to a new address within the water company's service territory, the deposit will be transferable, less any outstanding past due balance owing from the old address.

(6) Interest on deposits. Interest on deposits collected from applicants or customers will:

(a) Accrue at the rate calculated as a simple average of the effective interest rate for new issues of one year treasury bills, computed from December 1 of each year, continuing through November 30 of the following year. The commission will advise the water company each year of the specific rate by mail.

(b) Earn the calculated interest rate during January 1 through December 31 of the subsequent year.

(c) Be computed from the time of deposit to the time of refund or total application of the deposit and will be compounded annually.

(7) Extended payment arrangement of deposits. When an applicant or customer is required to pay a deposit but is unable to pay the entire deposit in advance of connection or continuation of service, the applicant or customer must be allowed to pay fifty percent of the deposit prior to service, with the remaining balance payable in equal amounts over the next two months.

(8) Cash payments. When payment is made in cash a receipt will be furnished to each applicant or customer for the amount deposited.

(9) Refund of deposits. Deposits plus accrued interest will be refunded under the following circumstances and in the following form:

(a) Satisfactory payment - when a customer has paid for service for 12 consecutive months in a prompt and satisfactory manner as evidenced by the following:

(i) The water company has not initiated disconnection proceedings against the customer.

(ii) No more than two notices of delinquency have been made to the customer by the water company.

(b) Termination of service - upon termination of service, the utility will return to the customer the amount then on deposit plus accrued interest, less any amounts due the utility by the customer for service rendered.

(c) How to refund deposits - any deposit, plus accrued interest, will be refunded to the customer:

(i) In the form of a check issued and mailed to the customer no later than fifteen days following completion of twelve months' satisfactory payment as described above; or

(ii) Applied to the customer's account for service beginning in the 13th month; or

(iii) In accordance with the preference indicated by the customer at the time of deposit or as modified on a later date.

(10) Additional deposit. Nothing in this rule prevents the requirement of a larger deposit or a new deposit when conditions warrant. Should a larger or new deposit be required, the reasons must be specified in writing to the customer. Any requirement for a new or larger deposit will be in conformity with the standards set forth in this rule.



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WAC 480-110-630  Refusal of service. (1) A water company must not refuse or discontinue service to an applicant or customer when there are unpaid bills from a prior customer at the same premises unless the company believes, based on objective evidence, that the applicant is acting on behalf of the prior customer with the intent to avoid payment.

(2) A water company cannot permanently deny service to an applicant or customer because of a prior obligation to the company. A prior obligation is the dollar amount that has been billed to a customer but left unpaid at the time of disconnection of service for nonpayment.

(3) The water company may refuse to connect an applicant for service, or to increase service to a customer, when one or more of the following conditions exist:

(a) The service will adversely affect service being provided to other customers;

(b) The applicant or customer has not complied with state, county, or municipal codes or regulations concerning the approved design of the facilities;

(c) In the company's judgment, the applicant's or customer's installation of piping or equipment is hazardous, or of such design that satisfactory service cannot be provided;

(d) The applicant or customer has not installed on its premises required proper protective devices necessary to protect the company's property or that of its other customers;

(e) The company is unable to secure all necessary rights of way, easements, and permits;

(f) Furnishing the water is contrary to the provisions of the company's water system plans approved under chapter 43.20 or 70.116 RCW; or

(g) The location to be served is located outside of the company's service area.



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WAC 480-110-640  Discontinuance of service. (1) When service may be disconnected.

(a) Customer directed - customers desiring to discontinue service must notify the water company. The company must disconnect the service as requested by the customer. If the customer fails to request disconnection of service the customer will be responsible to continue paying for water service at the company's tariff rate until the company becomes aware the customer vacated the property.

(b) Company directed, with notice requirements - after properly notifying the customer, as explained in subsection (3) of this section, the water company may discontinue service to its customers for:

(i) Unpaid bills;

(ii) Water use for purposes or properties other than that specified in the customer's application for service;

(iii) Willful waste of water through improper or defective piping, equipment, or otherwise;

(iv) Piping or equipment that does not meet the company's standards or fails to comply with other applicable codes and regulations;

(v) Tampering with the company's property;

(vi) Vacating the premises;

(vii) Nonpayment of any proper charges, including deposit, as provided in the company's tariff;

(viii) Refusing to allow access as required in WAC 480-110-091, access to premises;

(ix) Violating rules, service agreements, or effective tariffs;

(x) Use of equipment which detrimentally affects the company's service to its other customers.

(c) Service obtained by fraud, no advance notice required before termination - a water company may terminate service without notice when it discovers a customer has obtained service fraudulently. Examples: Fraud may occur when service is connected without the company's knowledge, when service is obtained by fraudulent means or representations, or when service is used to provide service to other persons who must otherwise obtain their own service.

(i) First offense: The company may disconnect service immediately and without prior notice when it discovers fraud, unless the customer immediately pays:

(A) The tariff rate for service that the company estimates was taken fraudulently; plus

(B) All company costs resulting from the fraudulent use; plus

(C) Any applicable required deposit.

(ii) Second offense: The company may refuse to reconnect service to a customer that has been disconnected for fraud if the company finds evidence of further fraud.

(iii) Commission review: A customer may ask the commission to review any company determination of fraud through an informal or formal complaint. The company will have the burden of proving that fraud occurred. However, this rule does not relieve any person who has committed fraud from civil or criminal responsibility.

(2) Medical Emergencies - when a water company has cause to disconnect or has disconnected a residential service, it must postpone disconnection of service or must reinstate service for a grace period of five business days after receiving either verbal or written notification of the existence of a medical emergency. When service is reinstated, payment of a reconnection charge and/or deposit shall not be required prior to reinstatement of service.

(a) The company may require that the customer, within five business days, submit written certification from a qualified medical professional stating that the disconnection of water service would significantly endanger the physical health of a resident of the household. "Qualified medical professional" means a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physician's assistant authorized to diagnose and treat the medical condition without supervision of a physician. Nothing in this section precludes a company from accepting other forms of certification but the maximum the company can require is written certification. If the company requires written certification, it may require that the certification include some or all of the following information:

(i) Residence location;

(ii) An explanation of how the physical health of the person will be endangered by disconnection of local service;

(iii) A statement of how long the condition is expected to last; and

(iv) The title, signature and telephone number of the person certifying the condition.

(b) A medical emergency does not excuse a customer from paying delinquent and ongoing charges. The company may require that the customer do the following within the five business day grace period: Pay a minimum of twenty-five percent of the delinquent balance and enter into an agreement to pay the remaining delinquent balance within ninety days and to pay subsequent bills when due. Nothing in this section precludes the company from agreeing to an alternate payment plan, but the company may not require the customer to pay more than this subsection prescribes. The company must send a notice to the customer confirming the payment arrangements within two business days.

(c) If within the five-day grace period the customer fails to provide an acceptable payment arrangement, the company may disconnect service without further notice.

(d) If the customer fails to abide by the terms of the payment agreement the company may disconnect service without further notice.

(e) The medical certification shall be valid only for the length of time the health endangerment is certified to exist but no longer than six months without renewal.

(3) Required notice prior to disconnecting service - water companies must notify customers before disconnecting their service except in case of danger to life or property, fraudulent use, impairment of service, or violation of law. In all other cases, the company must not disconnect service until it has met the following requirements:

(a) The company must serve a written disconnection notice on the customer, either by mail, or, at the company's option, by personal delivery of the notice to the customer's address, attached to the primary door. Each disconnection notice must include:

(i) A delinquent date which is no less than eight working days after the date of mailing if mailed from inside the state of Washington or a delinquent date which is no less than eleven days if mailed from outside of the state of Washington; and

(ii) All pertinent information about the reason for the disconnection notice; and how to correct the problem; and

(iii) The company's name, address, and telephone number by which a customer may contact the company to discuss the pending disconnection of service.

(b) In addition to (a) of this subsection, an additional notice must be provided by one of the two options listed below:

(i) Delivered notice - the company must deliver a second notice to the customer and attach it to the customer's primary door. The notice must contain a deadline for compliance that is no less than twenty-four hours after the time of delivery; or

(ii) Mailed notice - the company must mail a second notice, which must include a deadline for compliance that is no less than three working days after the date of mailing if mailed from within the state of Washington or six days if mailed outside the state of Washington.

(c) Disconnection notices must:

(i) Include detail information pertinent to the situation; and

(ii) Include the company's name, address and telephone number by which the customer may contact the company to discuss the pending disconnection of service; and

(iii) Expire after ten working days from the first day that the company may disconnect service, unless other mutually agreed upon arrangements have been made and confirmed in writing by the company. If mutually accepted arrangements are not kept, the company may disconnect service without further notice.

(d) Except in case of danger to life or property, companies must not disconnect service on Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, or on any other day on which the company cannot reestablish service on the same or following day.

(e) A company employee dispatched to disconnect service must accept payment of a delinquent account at the service address if tendered in cash, but is not required to give change for cash tendered in excess of the amount due and owing. The company must credit any excess payment to the customer's account. When disconnection does not take place due to payment made by the customer, the company may assess a fee for the disconnection visit to the service address as provided in the company's tariff. The disconnection notice must describe the disconnection visit charge, the amount, and the circumstances under which the charge will be made.

(f) When service is provided through a master meter, or where the utility has reasonable grounds to believe service is to other than the customer of record, the company must undertake all reasonable efforts to inform occupants of the service address of the impending disconnection. Upon request of one or more service users, where service is to other than the customer of record, a minimum period of five days must be allowed to permit the service users to arrange for continued service.

(g) When service is provided to a hospital, medical clinic with resident patients, or nursing home, notice of pending disconnection must be provided to the director of the Washington state department of health (DOH), and to the customer. Upon request to the company from the DOH director or designee, an additional five business days must be allowed before disconnecting service to allow the department to take whatever steps are necessary to protect the interests of resident patients who are responsibilities of the DOH.

(h) Service may not be disconnected while the customer is pursuing any remedy or appeal provided by these rules, while working with the company's representatives or with the commission. However, any amounts not in dispute must be paid when due and any conditions posing a danger to health, safety, or property must be corrected.

(4) Payments at a payment agency - payment of any past due amounts to a designated payment agency of the water company constitutes payment when the customer informs the company of the payment and the company has verified the payment with the payment agency.

(5) Reconnecting water service after disconnection - the water company must restore disconnected service when:

(a) The causes of disconnection are removed; or

(b) The customer pays all proper charges; or

(c) The customer pays a deposit as provided for in the company tariff in accordance with WAC 480-110-051; and

(d) The company has agreed to bill any tariffed reconnection fee or it has been paid.

In addition, the commission may order reconnection pending resolution of any bona fide dispute between the company and the customer over the propriety of disconnection.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 480-110-650  Service responsibilities. (1) Customer responsibility - customers must notify the water company in writing prior to making a change in equipment or usage that will materially affect the service being provided by the company. The customer must:

(a) Notify the company in time to allow the company the necessary time to install additional facilities or supply, if required; and

(b) Pay an equitable share of the cost of necessary facilities, if any, as provided in the company's tariff or through a contract submitted to the commission for approval.

(2) Water company responsibility - water companies must:

(a) Install and maintain all equipment at appropriate locations necessary to operate the system;

(b) Install additional equipment as required by the commission in connection with performing special investigations; and

(c) Notify all affected customers when changes to the service will require customers to adjust their equipment.

(i) Where equipment must be adjusted to permit use under the changed conditions, the cost of any necessary adjustments must be equitably shared by the company and customer; or

(ii) Exception - when the customer has been advised of the needed change prior to taking service or when the change is required by law, the customer must pay all costs in connection with making changes in the customer's equipment.

(3) Maintenance - each company must maintain its plant and system in a condition that enables it to furnish adequate service and meet its obligation under chapter 246-290 or 246-291 WAC, as applicable.

(4) Quality of water - each water company must meet state board of health requirements under chapter 246-290 or 246-291 WAC, as applicable.

(5) Protection of water supply - each water company must protect its sources of supply, as required under state board of health, WAC 246-290-135 or chapter 246-291 WAC, as applicable.

(6) Operations and maintenance - the water company must comply with state board of health rules regarding operation and maintenance, as required under chapter 246-290 WAC and by good engineering practices.

(7) Test records - water companies must:

(a) Keep a complete record of each test made for quality and service conditions as required under these rules. The records must contain complete information concerning the test, including such items as the commission may require;

(b) Provide the records to the commission staff upon request.

(8) Interruptions of service.

(a) Water companies must make all reasonable efforts to avoid interruptions of service and when interruptions do occur, must reestablish service with a minimum of delay.

(b) When making necessary repairs or changes to its facilities, a water company:

(i) May interrupt service for a period of time as reasonably necessary and in a manner which minimizes the inconvenience to the customers; and

(ii) Must attempt to do the work during working hours regularly maintained by the company.

(c) A water company may interrupt service without incurring any liability.

(9) Notice of interruptions of service - water companies must:

(a) Notify its customers of a scheduled interruption twenty-four hours in advance of the work to be done, if practicable, through newspapers, radio announcements or other means;

(b) Notify police and fire departments affected by the interruption individually;

(c) Keep a record of all interruptions of service affecting a substantial number of customers, including in such record:

(i) The location;

(ii) The date and time;

(iii) The duration; and

(iv) The cause of each interruption, if known;

(d) Provide copies of records to the commission staff, upon request.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 480-110-660  Form of bills. (1) Customer bills must:

(a) Be issued at intervals not to exceed three months and identify if the water company is billing in arrears or advance;

(b) Show a reference to the applicable rate schedule;

(c) Identify and show each separate charge as a line item;

(d) Show the total amount of the bill;

(e) Include enough information that, together with tariff rates (available from the company or the commission on request), the customer can calculate its bill;

(f) Show the date the bill becomes delinquent if not paid;

(g) Include the water company's business address and telephone number and/or emergency telephone number, by which a customer may contact the company;

(h) Include the date the meter was last read, the reading on that date, and the number and kind of units consumed, if a metered customer;

(i) Within jurisdictions where applicable, state the amount of taxes and the percentage rate at which said tax is computed, which represents municipal occupation, business and excise taxes that have been levied by a municipality against the company, but are being passed on to the customer as a part of the charge for water service; and

(j) Clearly identify when a bill has been estimated.

(2) Water companies may prorate bills for customers that have taken service for a fraction of the billing period. If the company does not have its method of prorating bills in its tariff, the company must prorate bills in the following manner:

(a) For flat rate service, the charge must be prorated on the basis of the proportionate part of the period during which service was rendered.

(b) For metered service, service must be billed for the amount metered, except the minimum charges will be the applicable minimum as shown in the company's tariff.

(3) The water company must include its method for estimating bills in its tariff or provide it to the commission in writing. Estimating of bills is allowed for no more than two consecutive billing cycles.

(4) When a company has cause to back bill a customer, the company must allow the customer payment arrangements, if requested, for the same number of months to pay, as it took the company to bill the customer. (Example: If the company is back billing for a one-year period, the company must allow the customer twelve months of equal payments to pay the total amount of the back billing.) These payments will be in addition to current billings.



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WAC 480-110-670  Water company responsibility for complaints and disputes. (1) If a water company receives a complaint or dispute from a customer or an applicant for service it must:

(a) Acknowledge the complaint;

(b) Investigate promptly;

(c) Report the results of the investigation to the complainant;

(d) Take corrective action, if warranted, as soon as appropriate under the circumstances;

(e) Tell the complainant, that the decision may be appealed to a higher level representative at the company, if any;

(f) Tell the complainant if still dissatisfied after speaking with the higher level representative, of the commission's availability for review of the complaint; and

(g) Provide the complainant with the commission's address and toll-free telephone number.

(2) Applicants or customers, or their representatives, may file with the commission:

(a) An informal complaint against the company as set forth in WAC 480-09-150; and/or

(b) A formal complaint against the company as set forth in WAC 480-09-500.

(3) When commission staff refers an informal complaint to the company, the company must:

(a) Investigate and report the results to the commission staff within two working days. The commission staff may grant an extension of time for responding to the complaint, if requested, and warranted; and

(b) Keep the commission staff informed of progress toward the solution and the final result.

(4) Each water company must keep a record of all complaints concerning service or rates for at least one year and, on request, make them readily available for commission review. The record must contain:

(a) Complainant's name and address;

(b) Date and nature of the complaint;

(c) Action taken; and

(d) Final result.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 480-110-680  Water quality refunds. (1) Water companies may be required to refund charges due to water quality only upon commission order in response to a formal proceeding before the commission, when there are violations of the state board of health water quality standards in WAC 246-290-310 (primary contaminants) and if the company does not take follow up steps outlined in WAC 246-290-320.

(2) The amount of the refund will be determined in a formal proceeding before the commission and must not be recoverable through rates.



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WAC 480-110-690  Meter accuracy and water pressure complaints. (1) When the water company receives a meter accuracy or pressure complaint, it must perform a test and share the results with the customer. The test must be at no charge to the customer, except the water company may charge for any additional meter or pressure tests requested by the customer within a twelve-month period as provided in its tariff.

(2) The test must be performed within ten days of the complaint.

(3) The customer has the option to witness the test. Should the customer choose to witness the test, a mutually agreed time will be established.

(4) The meter or pressure test must be taken using industry standard methods and equipment.

(5) If a meter test reveals a meter error in excess of two percent water flow to the detriment of the customer, the company must repair or replace the meter at no cost to the customer. A refund for the over billing must be made for the number of months the meter is in service up to six months of usage.

(6) If the water company and customer cannot resolve a complaint, it may be appealed to the commission for resolution.

(7) The water company must keep a record of meter and pressure tests and have them available for inspection. The record must list the customer's name and address, type of complaint, resolution, and what test method was used.

(8) The water company must provide, at the commission's request, a description of the test procedures and equipment used to perform meter and pressure complaint tests.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 480-110-700  Meters. (1) Water company rights and responsibilities:

(a) The water company must:

(i) Bear the cost of the meter and meter installation.

(ii) Install water meters that are in working order and accurately measure water flow.

(iii) Record meter serial numbers and identify by location.

(iv) Repair or replace a malfunctioning meter unless a customer causes the malfunction.

(b) The water company may:

(i) Install meters and charge the tariff meter rate after thirty days notice to affected customers.

(ii) Install any apparatus to detect fraud or waste without notifying the customer.

(2) Water customer rights and responsibilities:

(a) A customer may request a standard residential meter as defined in the company's tariff be installed provided metered rates are in effect.

(b) When a customer requests a meter installation, the water company may charge in advance for the meter cost and meter installation, provided the rule is named in the company's tariff. The company will reimburse the customer, by bill credit, at least ten percent of the meter and installation charge each month until fully paid.

(c) The water company has thirty days from the date of request to install the meter.

(d) If the water company fails to install the meter within the time limit, the customer will be charged only the meter base charge until the meter is installed.

(e) If a customer tampers with a meter, the customer will pay for any repair or replacement.

(f) If the customer requests assistance in reading a meter, the water company will provide information on how to read the meter.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 480-110-710  Water company customer notice requirements. (1) Draft customer notices must be submitted to the commission for review at least one week prior to the company's planned printing date for distribution.

(2) At a minimum, the water company must notify:

(a) Anyone who may be affected by the water company's proposal including customers and potential customers; and

(b) The public affairs section of the commission.

(3) Notice to customers must be provided thirty days prior to the requested effective date when a water company proposes:

(a) A change in rates;

(b) A change in services and/or conditions;

(c) A change in ownership or control of the operating company;

(d) A change in ownership by way of sale or transfer of assets (see chapter 480-143 WAC for content of notice);

(e) To institute a charge for a service that was formerly free;

(f) To eliminate or grandfather any service.

(4) Content of notice for rate change - the notice to customers must contain, at a minimum, the following:



important notice



(a) Date



(b) (Insert water company name) has filed for approval from the Washington utilities and transportation commission to increase rates (insert total annual revenue and the total percentage increase). If approved, the rates will be effective on (insert effective date).



(c) (Clearly explain the reason for the proposal - be as specific as possible.)



Current Rates/Services Proposed Rates Percentage of Increase
$ $ %





(d) If you have questions about the proposed filing and how it will affect you, please call (insert company name & office phone number). If you have questions about the ratemaking process, you may contact the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission at the following address: WUTC, 1300 S. Evergreen Park Drive S.W., P.O. Box 47250, Olympia, WA 98504-7250; 1-800-562-6150 (toll free).



(e) If you would like to comment on this proposal, it is important for you to do so now. Comments must be submitted in writing or presented at the commission's open meeting to be considered as part of the formal record. The commission encourages your written comments, either supporting or opposing, regarding this proposal. All open meetings are held in Olympia, WA. If you would like to be added to the commission's mailing list to be notified of the open meeting date, please call the toll-free number listed above and leave your name and complete mailing address.



Sincerely,

Company Name/Representative



(5) Notice after commission action is permitted only when:

(a) The commission approves an increase in federal, state, county or city-imposed taxes, fees or surcharges, and when credits are issued.

(b) At a minimum, companies must include the effective date, a clear description of changes to rates or services resulting from the commission's decision, and a company contact number where customers may seek additional information.

(c) This type of notice may be accomplished by a bill message, bill insert, printed in a company newsletter or mailed separately to customers.

(d) The commission may require other notification to the public as it determines necessary.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 480-110-720  Line extension contracts. (1) Each water company must file, as a part of its tariff, a line extension rule that states the conditions required by the company before it will extend its transmission and distribution infrastructure to provide water service to an applicant.

(2) Companies entering into any line extension contract must:

(a) File the contract with the commission not less than thirty days before the proposed effective date of the contract.

(b) Conform the proposed contract to the applicable provisions of WAC 480-80-335.

(3) Line extension contracts will include the documentation necessary to show that the proposed charges are fair, just, reasonable, and sufficient.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 480-110-730  Service connections and service lines. A service connection is the pipes, valves, and fittings between the water company's distribution system and the service line for the property. A meter or valve will be installed at the service connection location.

(1) A service connection must not be longer than the width of the road from the distribution system and the point of connection. A service connection longer than the width of the road will be treated as a distribution extension.

(2) Service connections may be installed when the system is originally built or at a later date, after the system is operational. The service connection will be owned and maintained by the water company.

(3) The company may install the service connection at the property line, property corner, or at a location on the property mutually agreed upon. The water company may also install the meter, if applicable, at the service connection location or at a different mutually agreed location.

(4) There are four types of service connections. A water company may collect a service connection charge for (a) and (b) of this subsection if named in its tariff. The service connection charge for (a) and (b) of this subsection may be based on the average installation cost of the two.

(a) Retrofit: Where the water main is buried and in service. The water company must tap the main and install all pipes, valves, and fittings to connect to the customer service line.

(b) New construction: A connection installed by the water company at its own expense during construction of the water system. The applicant will pay the service connection charge when connected.

(c) Meter drop in: The service connection has been previously installed during system construction and is set up for meters.

(d) Flat rate customers: A valve is already installed and the water company need only open the valve to supply water.

(5) A service connection charge will not be charged if the water company did not incur any cost to install the connection (e.g., the service connection will be a contribution in aid of construction).

(a) A charge for a new service connection may be made when the service connection has been previously removed for good cause and must be reinstalled to provide water service.

(6) The customer service line is the line from the customer's point of usage that connects to the water company's distribution system.

(7) The customer's service line should be installed to provide easy access to the water company's distribution system. If there is doubt as to where the proper location should be, the water company should be consulted and a location agreed upon.

(a) The water company may request that the trench be left open and pipe exposed in order to inspect the connection for potential problems. The water company must do the inspection within two business days after notification that the trench is open.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 480-110-740  Water company funding mechanisms. (1) Many small water companies have insufficient funds to respond to emergencies, replace or upgrade failing infrastructure, or add plant(s) to provide for growth. Frequently, they cannot obtain financing through traditional capital markets. The purpose of the surcharge and facilities charge is to provide the water company with a source of capital, provided by customers, to fund capital needs. This rule controls how the company handles and spends the money.

(2) Types of surcharges. There are three types of surcharges.

(a) Future capital plant. This type of surcharge is authorized by RCW 80.28.022, allows the company to collect money from current customers to pay for future capital projects in accordance with the company's approved comprehensive water system plan.

(b) Current capital plant. This type of surcharge is used to pay for current plant improvements required by WDOH order or letter to adequately serve current customers. This surcharge is generally tied to the repayment of a loan used for the needed capital plant when no other source of funding was available to the company.

(c) Current expense. This type of surcharge may be used to pay for current operating expenses that are independent of other expenses and may need occasional reevaluation without impacting other expenses or requiring a general rate case. Examples of this type of surcharge may be for the expense of safe drinking water act testing, extraordinary expenses, or temporary taxes.

(3) A water company may impose a facilities charge by tariff or contract when the water company has an approved comprehensive water system plan identifying the plant to add capacity to an existing system, and the Washington department of health (WDOH) requires the additional plant to increase the number of authorized connections on that system.

(4) A surcharge may finance up to one hundred percent of the plant or expense. A facilities charge must not finance one hundred percent of the plant. The commission will establish the kind of surcharge or facilities charge to maintain or develop an appropriate ratio of rate base to total plant in service.

(5) When seeking approval of a surcharge or facilities charge the company must file:

(a) A cover letter explaining the request;

(b) A tariff page or signed contract, stating the amount and who will pay; and

(c) Detail supporting justification for the proposal.

(6) Oversight: Accounting, approval of spending, and reporting requirements for a surcharge or a facility charge:

(a) Money collected from a capital surcharge or a facilities charge is a contribution in aid of construction.

(b) Surcharge funds and facility charge funds collected pursuant to this rule, and interest earned upon such funds must be held in a separate account by the company for the benefit of customers. Such funds do not become the property of company owners and may not (except as authorized in (c) of this subsection), be disbursed, alienated, attached, or otherwise encumbered by the company or its owners. In the event of a sale or transfer of the company, the trust obligations established in this rule regarding any unspent facilities charge funds must be transferred to the new owner of the company.

(c) Funds may be used from the account only to the extent and for the purposes approved by the commission by order. The commission must approve payments from the fund, and may do so by letter from the secretary. The company must file requests for each disbursement, including details, in writing. Requests for capital surcharges or facilities charge funds must refer to the appropriate sections of the company's approved comprehensive water system plan, or include a copy of the WDOH order or letter requiring plant improvements to serve current customers.

(d) The water company must report for each surcharge and facilities charge information to the commission quarterly:

(i) Beginning balance;

(ii) Amounts received for facilities charge funds, listed by customer;

(iii) Amounts spent for capital surcharges and facilities charges listed by project, by plant account; and

(iv) Ending balance.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 480-110-750  Political information and political education activities. (1) Political information and political education activities include, but are not limited to:

(a) Encouraging support or opposition to legislation, candidates for an office, or current public office holders.

(b) Soliciting support for political action committees.

(c) Gathering data for political mailing lists.

(d) Soliciting political contributions or recruiting political volunteers.

(2) The commission will not allow expenses for political information or political education activities for ratemaking purposes.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 480-110-760  Reports of accidents. Each water company must notify the commission within seventy-two hours after every accident resulting in death or serious injury to any person occurring in its plant or through contact with its facilities. At a minimum, the report must include the name of the injured person, time and place of the accident, and an explanation of the accident. The water company may notify the commission by phone, but must provide a written report within five business days.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 480-110-770  Retention and preservation of records and reports. (1) The water company must retain all records and reports for three years unless otherwise specified in subsection (2) of this section. No records will be destroyed prior to the expiration of the time specified in subsection (2) of this section.

(2) The Regulations to Govern the Preservation of Records of Electric, Gas and Water Companies, published by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners is prescribed as the requirement for the state of Washington. This document is available at the commission branch of the Washington state library. The commission secretary will provide a copy of the document on request, subject to any charge, or it may be ordered directly from the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 480-110-780  Maps. Each water company shall maintain a current map of each of its water systems showing the current service area. The company must provide the current maps to the commission for review within five days of a request. The maps must contain enough detail to answer questions related to rates and charges and obligations to serve.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 480-110-790  Minimum filing requirements--General rate case. A general rate increase filing for a water company must include at least the following information:

(1) The proposed tariff.

(2) A detailed general ledger or expanded checkbook available for the test year.

(3) Supporting work papers for the test period. The supporting work papers must include:

(a) A calculation of the revenue impact of proposed rates;

(b) Balance sheet and income statement;

(c) Detailed depreciation schedule listing all used and useful assets held by the company during the test year, including the date of purchase, the cost of purchase, the depreciable life, the salvage value, depreciation expense, and accumulated depreciation expense at the end of the test year;

(d) Results of operations, including restating adjustments, proforma adjustments with effect of proposed rates;

(e) Work papers explaining both restating and proforma adjustments;

(f) Usage statistics verifying test year revenues and proposed revenues; and

(g) Public water system identification number and the water facility inventory number for each system that the new rates will affect.

(4) Final notice mailed to customers.



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REPEALER



The following sections of the Washington Administrative Code are repealed:



WAC 480-110-011 Application of rules.

WAC 480-110-016 Saving clause.

WAC 480-110-018 Definition of control.

WAC 480-110-021 Glossary.

WAC 480-110-023 Average customer revenue jurisdictional threshold.

WAC 480-110-026 Tariffs.

WAC 480-110-028 Fire flow requirements.

WAC 480-110-031 Accounting.

WAC 480-110-032 Accounting--Political information and political education activities.

WAC 480-110-036 Finance--Securities, affiliated interests, transfer of property.

WAC 480-110-041 Availability of information.

WAC 480-110-046 Application for service.

WAC 480-110-051 Deposits.

WAC 480-110-056 Refusal of service.

WAC 480-110-061 Contract for service.

WAC 480-110-066 Distribution extensions--Service installations--Service connections.

WAC 480-110-071 Discontinuance of service.

WAC 480-110-076 Service responsibilities.

WAC 480-110-081 Service connections.

WAC 480-110-086 Meter location.

WAC 480-110-091 Access to premises.

WAC 480-110-096 Complaints and disputes.

WAC 480-110-101 Form of bills.

WAC 480-110-111 Refund for inaccurate metering.

WAC 480-110-116 Responsibility for delinquent accounts.

WAC 480-110-121 Meter charges and installation.

WAC 480-110-126 Meter readings.

WAC 480-110-131 Identification of meters.

WAC 480-110-136 Initial accuracy of meters.

WAC 480-110-141 Accuracy of meters.

WAC 480-110-146 Dispute as to accuracy of meters.

WAC 480-110-151 Complaint meter test.

WAC 480-110-156 Statement of test procedures.

WAC 480-110-161 Frequency of periodic tests.

WAC 480-110-166 Meter history records.

WAC 480-110-171 Reports of accidents.

WAC 480-110-176 Filing of records and reports and the preservation of records.

Legislature Code Reviser 

Register

Washington State Code Reviser's Office