General Policies
RULES, REGULATIONS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES OF:
ADAMS COUNTY WATER ASSOCIATION, INC.
P O BOX 70
WASHINGTON, MISSISSIPPI 39190

Adams County Water Association, Inc. Rules, Regulations, Policies and Procedures is designed to outline the principal operating regulations, policies and procedures of the water system. The rules and regulations set forth herein are a part of all contracts for receiving water services from the water system.

These rules and regulations do not cover every conceivable condition or situation that may arise, but only those of recurring situations where standardized policies and procedures have been established. The rules, regulations, policies and procedures set forth may be amended from time to time by a majority vote of the water system's Board of Trustees. A complete version of the general policies is available at the office of Adams County Water Association.

Administration and Enforcement of Rules and Regulations:

The rules and regulations of Adams County Water Association, Inc. shall be administered and enforced by the water system's general manager. All appeals from the general manager's decisions regarding enforcement of these rules and regulations shall be submitted in writing by the customer to the water system. Concerns may be mailed to P.O. Box 70, Washington, MS 39190.

Applicant for water service must:

* Pay Water User Fee.

* Obtain an invoice number from the Civil Defensse Office.

* Furnish Notice of Intent from Adams County Health Department or provide the Association documentation that the waste disposal system has been approved by the proper authority.

* Submit a signed Water Users Agreement. (download form)

Application Requirements - Request for new connection must be made at least three days prior to date of desired service. Connection fees and all applicable fees shall be collected in advance by the water system. The connection fee shall be non-refundable.

Service Area:

The water service area currently consists of land area in Adams, Franklin and Jefferson. The boundaries of these service areas are modified periodically in response to requests for service from new customers, land developers and others.

Availability of Service - Public water services from Adams County Water Association shall be available to all applicants as provided by the water system's 'Service Extension Policy' upon receipt of all applicable fees.

General Rules and Regulations:

Waterworks Point of Delivery - The point of delivery is the point, as designated by the water system, where the meter is to be set. The customer shall maintain all installations beyond the point of delivery.

CAUTION: The water system will be installing check valves on the outlet side of the meter for cross-connection control. This will create a closed system, which will require the customer to make sure there is a proper relief valve on hot water tanks.

The water system recommends that the customer install a cut-off valve on the customer's side of the meter box.

Meters may only be set on property owned by the customer or on property of another owner with his/her permission.

Resale of Water Prohibited - All purchased water service (other than emergencies or standby service) used on the premises of a customer shall be supplied exclusively by the water system, and the customer shall not directly or indirectly sell, sublet, assign, or otherwise dispose of the water service, or any part thereof.

Cross Connections Prohibited - No customer of the water system shall make a physical connection between any waterworks facilities connected to the water system's public water supply and any other water supply. A customer's private well, cistern, or other private water supply shall be physically disconnected from any plumbing facilities to be connected to the water system's water supply before public waterworks services are connected unless the proper backflow device has been installed and approved by the association.

Separation of Waterworks and Sanitary Sewer Facilities - No customer shall install a water service line within ten feet of any sewer service line on his/her premises. Water service lines on a customer's premises shall be at least 25 feet away from any septic tank drain field, pit privy, garbage disposal pit, wastewater lagoon or other major source of contamination.

Complaints Regarding Service - Customers shall notify the water system's business office immediately if waterworks or waste water services are unsatisfactory. All complaints shall clearly define the point of delivery of service and the problems being experienced by the customer.

Complaints shall be addressed as follows:

    1. Member/Customer may express his or her concern to the front office.
    2. If not satisfied, member/customer can express the concern to the office manager.
    3. If not satisfied, member/customer may then express the concern to the general manager.
    4. If no satisfactory conclusion can be reached, the member/customer shall report the concern in writing and hand deliver or mail the complaint to the main office. A written response from the association will be mailed to the member/customer.
    5. If matter is still not resolved, the member/customer may request placement on the agenda at the next scheduled meeting of the Trustees.
    6. Decision of the Board of Trustees shall be final.


Right of Access - The water system's employees shall have the right of access to customer's premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of reading meters; testing, repairing or removing the water system's equipment; testing for infiltration and inflow; and other lawful duties of the water system. The water system shall have the right, but not the obligation, to inspect any customer installation before water or wastewater is introduced or at any later time in regard to extra users, infiltration or inflow into wastewater service lines, cross connections of the water system's public water supply with a private water supply, or any other condition detrimental to the water system's present or future customers.

Customer's Responsibilities for Water System's Property - All meters, service connections, water and sewer lines and other equipment furnished by the water system shall be and remain the property of the water system. Customers shall provide a space for and exercise proper care to protect the property of the water system on his/her premises if necessary for the provision of service. In the event of loss of or damage to the water system's property arising from negligence of the customer, the customer shall pay the cost for necessary repairs or replacement of said property.

Billing and Payment - The water system's water meters shall be read once a month within 15 days of the billing date. Bills calculated from these meter readings shall be mailed to each customer. Bills not paid by the due date shall be considered delinquent and a late charge of 10 percent of the current charge will be added. Should the final date for payment of the bill fall on a weekend or holiday, the day following the next business day shall be considered the delinquent date.

Checks returned for insufficient funds shall not be considered timely payment of bills. Checks returned for insufficient funds shall results in a $35.00 additional check charge.

Adjustments - When a previously hidden leak on the water system is discovered, either by the customer or by the water system, the water system may elect to share the loss. Adjustments for increased charges resulting from hidden leaks may be made only if necessary repairs are made promptly, and the customer furnishes certain information to the water system. The water system will only make one adjustment within a year.

The water system shall not be liable for damages because of discontinuing service at any time after the delinquent date. The discontinuance of service by the water system or any reason does not release the customer from obligations to the water system for payment of bills. Payment in full shall be required before service may be rendered at any location in the water system's certificated area.

Interruption of Service - The water system endeavors to provide uninterrupted service to its customers. However, interruptions often are inevitable due to accidents, power failures, equipment failure, and related factors. Whenever practical, notice of an impending shut-down of service will be given to customers, but the water system reserves the right to interrupt service at any time in the event of emergencies without notice. The water system shall not be liable for any damages or problems resulting from an interruption of service.

Water for Special Uses - Water for special uses may not be obtained under any circumstances (except fire protection) from fire hydrants or blow-off valves in the water system without a permit from authorized personnel of the water system. All water sold by permit for special uses shall be metered or otherwise estimated in quantity and paid for in accordance with the water system's current schedule of rates and charges.

Relocation of Water Meter - Relocation of water meters for the convenience and benefit of a customer shall be at the expense of the customer. The charge for such relocation shall be in accordance with the water system's current schedule of rates and charges.

Sec. 97-25-3. Meters' Tampering with Electric, Gas or Water Meters
Whoever, intentionally, by any means or device, prevents electric current, water or gas from passing through any meter or meters belonging to any person, firm or corporation engaged in the manufacture, sale or distribution of electricity, water or gas for lighting, power or other purposes, furnished such persons to register current or electricity, water or gas, passing through meters, or intentionally prevents the meter from duly registering the quantity of electricity, water or gas supplied, or in any manner interferes with its proper action or just registration, or, without the consent of such person, firm or corporation, intentionally diverts any electrical current from any wire or cable, or water or gas from any pipe or main of such person, firm or corporation, or otherwise intentionally uses, or causes to be used, without the consent of such person, firm or corporation, any electricity or gas manufactured, or water produced or distributed, by such person, firm or corporation, or any person, firm or corporation who retains possession of, or refuses to deliver any meter or meters, lamp or lamps, or other appliances which may be, or may have been, loaned them by any person, firm or corporation for the purpose of furnishing electricity, water or gas, through the same, with the intent to defraud such person, firm or corporation, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) and not more than two hundred dollars ($200.00), or by imprisonment in the county jail not more than three (3) months, or by both fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court.

The present at any time on or about such meter or meters, wire, cable, pipe or main of any device or unauthorized meter or pipe or wire resulting in the diversion of electric current, water or gas, as above defined, or resulting in the prevention of the proper action or just registration of the meter or meters as above set forth, the same being knowingly or intentionally installed, shall constitute prima facie evidence of knowledge on the part of the person, firm or corporation having custody or control of the room or place where such device or pipe or wire is located, or the existence thereof and the effect thereof, and shall constitute prima facie evidence of the intention on the part of such person, firm or corporation to defraud and shall bring such person, firm or corporation prima facie within the scope, meaning and penalties of this section.

Provided further, that if any person, firm or corporation engaged in the selling or delivering any electric current, water or gas, to a consumer shall knowingly cause to be installed any meter or meters intentionally adjusted or regulated so as to cause such meter or meters to register a greater amount of such electric current, water or gas, than actually passes through the same, shall be prima facie evidence of the knowledge of such person, firm or corporation engaged in selling or delivering such electric current, water or gas, of the existence thereof and shall bring such person, firm or corporation within the scope and meaning of this section, and subject to the operation of this section. Provided further, any employee, stockholder, or member of the board of directors who, with intent to defraud a customer, falsifies, or acquiesces in the falsifying, of any record which results in billing in excess of the amount lawfully due and owing, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) or sentenced to serve not more than six (6) months in jail, or both.

Provided further, this section shall not relieve any person, firm or corporation from any other liabilities now imposed by law.

Policy on Main Line Relocation:

1. All construction cost, attorney fees, engineering fees, etc. must be paid by the landowner or responsible party.

2. The relocation must be approved by the Association. The Association reserves the right to reject any project that it does not deem to be in the best interest of the Association.

3. An administrative fee of 15% of the total cost of relocation will be charged by the Association.

4. An inspector from the Association must be on job site during the construction.

5. Finished work must be approved by the Association.

6. All relocations are subject to the provisions in the 'NOTICE TO DEVELOPERS-CONSTRUCTION PROCEDURES FOR SUBDIVISION WATER MAIN EXTENSIONS.'

Service Extension & Subdivision Policy:

Public waterworks services are available to all applicants of the Association's certificated areas under the terms and conditions of Adams County Water Association, Inc.'s service extension policy. In general terms, it is the Association's policy that all new customers pay the full cost (both direct and indirect costs) of the required service extension. A reasonable impact fee may be required to compensate the Association for maintaining excess capacity in its water system which is available to serve new customers. This policy shall be interpreted by the Association or modified toward that end without prior notice.

Types of Service Extension - The Association's service extension policy covers two basic types of service extensions, as follows:

1. Service readily available from existing facilities

2. Service not readily available from existing facilities

Upon receipt of an application for service and/or membership, the Association will determine if service is or is not readily available from existing facilities. If service is readily available from existing facilities, the applicant's meter will be installed not more than 20 feet from the main line, or on the property line, whichever comes first. Excess capacity in existing facilities shall be available to new members on a "first come-first serve" basis.

Upon receipt of an application for large water service and/or membership, the Association will determine if service is or is not readily available from existing facilities. The applicant will be responsible for all engineering expense and all construction costs to provide the requested service.

Contributions In Aid of Construction - If service is not readily available from existing facilities and improvements and/or extensions must be made to the system before service can be provided, the Association's engineer shall prepare a feasibility study and cost estimate for the required improvements. The applicant for service shall be advised that a contribution-in-aid of construction in the amount of the engineer's preliminary cost estimate will be required before the letter of intent to serve can be sent to the State Department of Health for approval and the estimated sum must be paid by the developer prior to the analysis. If the actual construction cost is less that the estimate, the balance will be refunded to the developer at completion of construction. The engineer's cost estimate shall include the direct cost of building new facilities and the indirect costs (such as engineering, design, testing and inspection; land acquisition; legal and administrative expenses; contingencies; and similar items) required to undertake construction projects.

The engineer's preliminary cost estimate shall be based upon his best judgment regarding the improvements that will be required and the best information available regarding current construction costs. However, neither the engineer nor the Association guarantee or warrant that the proposed improvements required to provide adequate service to the applicant will be acceptable to the Mississippi State Department of Health or Department of Environmental Quality or that they can be constructed for the amount of the engineer's estimate.

When the applicant for service makes a cash deposit with Adams County Water Association in the amount of the engineer's estimated contribution-in-aid-of-construction, the Association will direct the engineer to prepare detailed hydraulic analyses and construction plans and specifications for review and approval by state regulatory agencies. Upon approval of the plans, specifications, and hydraulic studies by said regulatory agencies, the Association will secure proposals from public utility contractors (or its own maintenance personnel) for the proposed work. The contract for the work will be awarded by the Association based on the lowest and/or best bid within the engineer's cost estimate.

If no acceptable contractor can be found that will perform the work for the amount of the engineer's estimate, the applicant for service will be advised that an additional cash-contribution-in-aid-of-construction will be required before notice to proceed with the work can be issued to the contractor submitting the lowest and/or best proposal. If, at this point, the applicant wishes to withdraw his application, a refund of the initial deposit will be made, with the exception of any expenses incurred.

The Association shall maintain a separate account of each project requiring a contribution-in-aid-of-construction. All payments for work performed on the project shall be drawn from this account. When all work is completed, any funds remaining in the account shall be refunded to the applicant.

Service Extension Rules - General rules and regulations governing the extension of waterworks in Adams County Water Association's certificated service areas are summarized as follows:

1. All waterworks facilities upstream from a member's meter (including the meter and service installation) shall be the property of Adams County Water Association. The Association shall bear the full burden of operating and maintaining these public facilities.

2. Public facilities to be owned, operated and maintained by the Association shall be designed by the Association's engineer of record. The engineer shall maintain "as-built" plans of existing facilities; records of hydraulic loading on existing facilities, including an up to date hydraulic model of the waterworks system showing all vacant lots the Association is obligated to serve; short range and long range plans for future improvements; and related technical data necessary to operate, maintain, expand and improve the system in an orderly and efficient manner.

3. The design of public improvement projects shall be in accordance with requirement of, and be reviewed and approved by the Mississippi State Department of Health, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Bureau of Pollution Control, as appropriate.

4. Public improvement projects with a construction cost above $100,000 shall be placed for public bid and built by a licensed public utility contractor. Contractors shall be required to post a payment bond and a performance bond in the amount of 100 percent of the project cost. The performance bond shall include a one year warranty against defects in materials and/or workmanship.

5. Public improvement projects with a construction cost between $50,000 and $100,000 will require at least two bids from public utility contractors. These bids will be obtained by the Association. The contractor awarded the bid must post a performance bond in the amount of 100 percent of the project cost.

6. The Association reserves the right to contract any project under $50,000 in house or through its own contract maintenance personnel as long as the cost does not exceed the amount of the engineer's estimated cost.

7. The Association shall obtain competitive bids or negotiated prices from qualified contractors for the installation of water distribution facilities for the development. The Association reserves the right to award contracts based on the lowest and/or best bid received within the engineer's estimate.

8. The Association's engineer of record will inspect and test construction in progress of all public improvement projects. When construction is completed in substantial conformity to the plans, specifications and contract documents, the engineer will recommend approval of the work to the Association and advise the state regulatory agencies of project completion.

9. The Association will have the right to inspect the installation of the facilities at any time during construction and must be advised of the date and time when the addition is to be tested.

10. The Association may share the expense of a line extension provided the cost of construction will be recovered in 10 years. A line extension application must be completed in order to see if project qualifies.

11. The Association will consider projects at its expense even though they may not be economically feasible. You may call the office for additional information.

Engineer of Record

All changes or modifications to subdivision water works extension contracts shall be issued in the form of a written change order. Any change order must be approved by the general manager.

1. It is the responsibility of the engineer of record to be cognizant of all the Association's policies and procedures.

2. After the Association receives the written application, a pre-design conference will be scheduled. The pre-design conference will be attended by the representatives of the developer or prospective customer, the Association's engineer and the manager of the Association. The immediate and future uses of the facilities to be installed will be considered and a determination will be made as to whether or not to proceed with the design of the proposed extension.

3. The plans must show all lots and a 60-foot roadway.

4. Before sending plans to MSDH, the engineer must obtain a letter of intent to serve from the Association, to be sent with the plans.

5. After a pre-construction conference, a contractor must install lines according to the specifications of the Association.

6. Only Adams County Water personnel will be authorized to operate the valves on the Association's system. It will be the responsibility of the contractor to notify the Association when the water needs to be turned off or on.

7. The Association's office must be notified not fewer than two (2) working days prior to the time connection is to be made to the main.

8. Each lot must have a stub-out with meter box.

9. Before meters are installed, the engineer of record must certify that the distribution system and its appurtenances have been furnished and installed in accordance with the approved plans and specifications, and that the system has passed the required bacteriological and hydrostatic tests. The bacteriological test must be taken by the county environmentalist or the Association's operator.

10. Contractor must maintain lines for one year, after which time the Association assumes ownership.

11. The Association must be furnished with a set of as-built plans.

All requests for main line extensions must be submitted to the Association's manager with a Line Extension Application Form provided by the Association's office. The application and petition will then be presented for consideration.