GENERAL INFORMATION

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE CONSUMPTION FOR WATER?
We advise our customers that the average usage is approximately 5-7 units per person/per billing cycle. Keep in mind that this number is just an approximation, and everyone’s actual usage will vary!

HOW OFTEN WILL I RECEIVE A BILL?
Water is billed on a bi-monthly schedule, and includes a minimum bill of 6 units for residential accounts. Please see our schedule of rates that are in effect for your area. Customers are given twenty days to pay their bills. Any bills not paid by the due date will be assessed a 3% fee bi-monthly on all outstanding balances.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T PAY MY BILL?
Any bill not paid by the due date becomes delinquent, the occupants and the owner will be notified of our intent to interrupt water service if the delinquent bill remains unpaid. A $10 fee is charged to the account when the noitice is mailed. Once water service is interrupted, payment in full plus a $75.00 reconnect fee is required to reinstate service. Payment must be made by cash, certified check, money order, or debit/credit card. No personal checks are accepted on accounts that are shut off for non-payment.

WILL MY BILL BE BASED ON ACTUAL METER READINGS?
We try to obtain actual readings from each account every 2 months. If we are unable to get a reading, we will estimate the bill based on prior usage. After 1 estimate, a message will print on your bill advising you to call the office to schedule a reading. We will also replace or repair the meter while we are there. It is up to the owner to ensure that we have access to our meter in order to obtain accurate readings.

NO WATER WAS USED - WHY DID I RECEIVE A BILL?
A minimum bill is assessed for every billing cycle that a meter is in the property. The only way to stop being billed is to request removal of the meter; there is a fee to remove the meter (see our current rates and fees page).

HOW CAN I CHECK FOR A TOILET LEAK?
If you suspect that you may have a toilet leak, you can contact our office and we will provide you with tablets that will detect the leak. Also, if you have a Sensus Remote meter, to detect a leak you can check the black triangle on the meter’s face. If no water is being used in the house and the triangle is moving, there is a leak. When you have a leak, you will need to either repair the problem yourself or contact a plumber.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE WATER METER FREEZES?
It is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure that our water meter is protected from freezing or damage. The owners of a property are assessed the cost of a new meter plus a reset fee for frozen or lost meters (see our current rates and fees page).

HOW DO I SET UP AN ACCOUNT?
Beginning June 1, 2009 only the owners of property in the EWB service area will be allowed to have accounts open in their name. The owner’s name and address will be verified through the Chemung County Clerk’s Office for each service location.

MY TENANT ALREADY HAS AN ACCOUNT IN HIS NAME, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
For a service location that has a tenant listed as the account holder: when the tenant moves out, the account will be converted to the property owner’s name and will remain in the owner’s name until the property is sold. For a service location that has a long-term tenant: the account will be converted to the owner’s name when the tenant moves out or by May of 2012, whichever occurs first.

CAN I CHOOSE WHERE THE WATER BILL IS SENT?
Owners of rental properties will have an initial option to have the water bills mailed to the service location address. The responsibility for timely payment of charges will remain with the property owner.

WHEN WILL A FINAL BILL BE GENERATED?
A Final bill will occur only at the time of property transfer.

WHAT IF I NEED A SPECIAL READ?
Only the property owner can request a special read and will be charged a twenty dollar ($20) service fee. A special read is any reading that is outside the normal reading schedule set for a specific service location. The owner always has the option to personally read the meter at any time.

WHY AM I RESPONSIBLE FOR A BILL INCURRED BY MY TENANTS?
The EWB operates under the charter of the City of Elmira which dictates that any unpaid bills are a lien against the property, not the occupant. The property owner is ultimately responsible for any unpaid water charges. Property owners can contact our office to check on their property water accounts if they have any questions.

HOW CAN I GET AN ACCOUNTING OF WATER USED WHEN A TENANT MOVES OUT?
When a tenant is moving out the property owner has the option to personally read the meter and calculate the amount of water used from the last bill. Or upon the property owner’s request, a special read can be done by the EWB for a service fee of $20; however, a final bill will not be generated.

WHAT AM I RESPONSIBLE FOR?
The customer is responsible for anything from the curb to the meter, the shut-off valve at the meter, and all internal plumbing after the meter. The EWB only maintains the main to curb and the water meter. Please be advised that the EWB does not do any type of plumbing work. Upon request, we have a list of curb to cellar contractors available