Water Disconnection Moratorium

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DeKalb County Water Disconnection Moratorium FAQs

 

What is the water disconnection moratorium?

No water disconnections will be made as long as:
• The customer formally disputes the bill
• The customer continues to pay the average bill calculated until the dispute is resolved (The average bill is calculated using the prior 12 months or six cycles of usage)
• While your account is under dispute and you pay the average bill amount, your water will not be disconnected. Your account is considered in dispute until you are satisfied or the third-party review is complete and a final decision is made.

 

How long does the moratorium last?

Currently, the moratorium lasts through Dec. 31, 2016.

 

How else is the county helping people with a water bill dispute?

Some new procedures have been put in place to address disputed water bills. The county has:
• Established a new Customer Assurance team and work flow to manage disputed cases
• Empowered the finance director to use discretion in addressing unusually high bills due to billing or meter errors
• Suspended the installation of the new iPerl “smart” meter
• Expanded access to water billing representatives in the community
• Removed timeline restrictions on resolving disputes, but requires the customer to dispute the bill within two years of receipt

 

What does the dispute process look like?

If you notice your bill higher than average or think there is a problem with your water meter:
• Contact Utility Customer Operations to dispute a water bill at 404-371-3000.
• The call will be transferred to a Customer Assurance team member who will manage the dispute.
• Customer Assurance will calculate the average bill and send an email and letter confirming the bill is in dispute and the average bill amount.
• Customer Assurance transfers the dispute to a field technician, who will investigate the water meter. There is no requirement to hire a plumber before a field technician inspects the meter. The cost for a field technician visit has been waived during the moratorium.
• The field technician will complete a checklist with meter information, work performed and pictures if applicable.  The checklist will be returned to Customer Assurance.
• Customer Assurance will contact the customer to adjust the bill as necessary and resolve the dispute. If the issue is not resolved, the dispute will be reviewed by a third party who will make a final decision.
• The customer should disregard any disconnection notices received as long as the dispute process has begun and average bill is paid.

 

I paid for a plumber to detect leaks and none were found. Will the county reimburse me?

DeKalb County will not require a plumber to visit before a field technician is dispatched. If you believe you have incurred costs due to a faulty water meter or incorrect billing, the customer should begin the dispute resolution process,  All disputes are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

 

What if I’m still not satisfied? What are my options?

A third-party dispute process is in development and will be online during the time frame of the moratorium, giving residents another avenue to present their grievances and work toward a final resolution.