Residential Leak Credit
As outlined in the Poway Municipal Code in Section 13.11.020- Conditions and limitations of service, the maintenance and repair of private plumbing systems are the responsibility of the water customer. All customers are required, as a condition of receiving water service, to maintain their service line and other equipment in good repair and free from leakage at the customer’s own expense.
However, in the event of a private water leak for residential customers, the City may offer a leak credit in the form of a billing adjustment to the variable water charges (tiered rate) for up to one billing period during the bill period when the water loss occurred. A bill credit will be posted to the account if certain terms and conditions are met. The leak credit is intended to provide for partial reimbursement to customers who suffer an unexpected and unintended increase in charges due to a water leak and to encourage prompt repair of such leaks.
The credit does not waive the water charges, but reduces the charges owed by 're-rating' the excess use to the in Tier 1 rate. The water use is compared to the three-year consumption history for the property during the same billing period to determine the excess water use that is attributable to the leak. The reason that only a partial water credit is offered is that the City purchases water from the San Diego County Water Authority resulting in real costs associated supplying, treating, and conveying the water to your meter. A credit for the full cost of the water would be transferring these costs associated with your leak to our other customers, which is against the law in California.
What Water Use Qualifies as a Leak?
For the leak credit process, a leak is defined as unintentional water loss that results in exceptional and unusually high water use which is caused by a broken, or otherwise malfunctioning, plumbing pipe or fixture. Unusually high water use is defined as water use that is at least three (3) times the average consumption when compared to the water usage for the same billing period during the last three years.
What Water Use is Considered a Non-Qualifying Leak?
Unintended water use is not eligible for a leak credit and may include: excess water use which is equal to less than three times the average water use compared to historical consumption for the same billing period; excess use due to the resetting of irrigation timers, installation of new irrigation systems, or accidental use of city water on properties with well water; water theft; customer negligence or non-responsiveness to warning signals or factors (high bills, leak notifications, visible water) that should have made the customer aware of the existence of a leak; or if a third party is responsible for the water loss at the property (contractor, vendor, etc.) and can be pursued for reimbursement by the customer.
Am I Eligible To Apply for a Leak Credit?
A customer must have an active account for at least 12 months with the city that is in good financial standing. The leak must be repaired with evidence of the repair provided before a leak credit will be reviewed. Closed accounts, vacant properties and customers with potable well water and city water are not eligible.
A leak credit is available for one bill (two months) once every rolling three-year period for the property. This is to encourage our customers to be good stewards of water by not only repairing leaks quickly and but also maintain their plumbing systems. Leak credits will not be considered if a billing adjustment was provided in the last three-year period.
The application may not be considered if there is a delay in repairs which results in continued water loss. The City reserves the right to deny any request for lack of proper documentation, non-qualifying events, violations of the Poway Municipal Code, or failure to meet any other leak credit requirements.
How Do I Apply for a Leak Credit?
To apply for a leak credit, the customer may contact Customer Services at 858-668-4401 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a leak credit application. The application with supporting documentation which includes a paid repair bill and photos must be returned within 30 days of when the customer was made aware of the leak. This may include when receiving their bill statement, a phone call or door tag notification left by Customer Services.