Water Disconnection Policy & Resolution 23-04

Water Shut Off Policy for Non-Payment of Residential and Commercial Water Service

Past Due/ Shut off Notice

If you are currently past due or have received a shut off notice for your City of Westmorland Utility bill, we may be able to help. Please contact our Utility Billing department at 760-344-3411 to set up payment plan. If you have been shut off, please call City Hall at the number above.

Financial assistance may be available for your past due Utility bill (Water Portion) through the LIHWAP program. 

The new federal Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) provides financial assistance to low-income Californians to help manage their residential water utility cost. LIHWAP offers a one-time payment program to pay your past due water bill. LIHWAP helps pay overdue bills which accrued during any timeframe, there is no date restriction for when the overdue amount occurred. For assistance contact Campesinos Unidos, INC at (760) 370-5100 or (760) 344- 4500.

Water Shut Policy 

This Water Shut Off Policy for Non-Payment of Residential Water Service shall apply to the City's discontinuation of residential water service for non-payment under the provisions set forth herein. In the event of any conflict between this Policy and any ordinance, policy, or rule of the City, this Policy shall prevail.

  1. Application of Policy; Contact Telephone Number: This Policy shall apply only to residential and commercial water service for non-payment. This Policy does not apply to other City utilities. The City's existing policies and procedures shall continue to apply to commercial and industrial water service accounts. The City can be reached at (760) 344-3411 for assistance concerning the payment of water bills and the potential establishment of the alternatives set forth in this Policy to avoid discontinuation of service.
  1. Discontinuation of Residential Water Service for Non-Payment:

Issuance, Due Date, and Payment of Bills: Bills for water service are sent to each consumer at the beginning of each month. The bill for water service will show the previous and current read dates for the service period being billed in the billing cycle. Payments are due on or before the date set in the water bill (the "Due Date") in which payments are mailed. Payment may be made at the Westmorland City Hall located at 355 S Center Street, Westmorland CA 92281 or on the City's utility payment website at www.cityofwestmorland.net. However, it is the consumer's responsibility to assure that payments are received at the Westmorland City Hall in a timely manner. Bills will be computed as follows:

  1. 1. Flat rate billing and meters will be read at regular intervals and commercial for the preparation of periodic bills and as required for the preparation of opening bills, closing bills, and special bills.
  2. 2. Bills for flat rate and metered service will show the meter reading for the current and previous meter reading period for which the bill is issued, the number of units, date, and days of service for the current meter reading.

Overdue Bills:

The following rules apply to consumers whose bills remain unpaid for more than sixty (60) days following the Due Date:

  1. Urgent Notice: If payment for a bill is not made by the Due Date, a notice of overdue/delinquent payment (the "Urgent Notice") will be mailed to the water service consumer. The consumer has seven (7) business days after receipt of the Urgent-Final Notice to pay the overdue/delinquent amount prior to discontinuation of service date identified in the Urgent-Final Notice. If the consumer's address is not the address of the property to which the service is provide, the Urgent-Final Notice will also be sent to the address of the property served, addressed to "Occupant."
  2. Twenty-four (24) hour notice Door Hanger: Consumer will receive 24-hour door hanger 24 hours prior to being shut off.

The Delinquent Notice must contain the following:

Water service consumer’s name and address, Amount of delinquency, Date by which payment or arrangement for payment must be made in order to avoid discontinuation of service, Description of the minimum payment to apply for an extension of time to pay the amount owing, Description of the procedure by which the consumer can request a deferred, amortized, reduced or alternative payment schedule. The city may alternatively provide notice to the consumer of the impending discontinuation of service by telephone. If that notice is provided by telephone, the City shall offer to provide the consumer with a copy of this Policy and also offer to discuss with the consumer the options for alternative payments.

Unable to Contact Consumer: If the City is not able to contact the consumer by written notice (e.g., a mailed notice is returned as undeliverable) or by telephone if notice is returned, the city will make a good faith effort to visit the residence and leave, or make other arrangements to place in a conspicuous location, a notice of imminent discontinuation of service for non-payment.

Late Charge:

A $10.00 late charge, identified in the Urgent-Final Notice will be assessed on any unpaid balance after the due date, as specified in the City's fees and charges, this fee shall be assessed and added to the outstanding balance on the consumer's account. Turn-Off Deadline:

Payment for water service charges must be received at City Hall Utility Department no later than 5:00 PM on the date specified in the Urgent-Final Notice. Postmarks are not acceptable.

Notification of Returned Check:

Upon receipt of a returned check rendered as payment for water service or other water-related charges identified in the Urgent-Final Notice, the City will deem the account not paid. The City will notify the consumer by sending a NSF written notice of payment due by the end of the sixty (60) day period identified in the Urgent-Final Notice or water service will be discontinued at the consumer’s property. Water service will be discontinued if the amount of the returned check and returned check fee are not paid by the due date specified on the NSF written notice, which due date shall not be sooner than the date specified for payment in the Urgent-Final Notice. All amounts owing must be paid by cash, credit card, debit card, money order, or cashier’s check.

Conditions Prohibiting Discontinuation:

The City shall not discontinue residential water service if all of the following conditions are met: Health Conditions, Financial Inability, Alternative Payment Arrangements, Process for Determination of Conditions Prohibiting Discontinuation of Service. Consumers who fail to meet the conditions identified in above, must pay the delinquent amount, including any late charges and other charges, owing to the City. For more information, please contact the City Hall at (760) 344-3411.

Service Reactivation for Non-Payment Fees:

If service has been discontinued and is to be reconnected, then any reconnection fees during the City's normal operating hours must pay the past due amount or the minimal amount provided by the city. Interest Waive: The City shall not impose any interest charges on delinquent bills.

Alternative Payment Arrangements:

For any consumer who are unable to make payment the city shall offer the consumer one of the following alternative payment arrangements, selected by the City (alternative payment schedule). Alternative Payment Schedule: Any consumer who is unable to pay for water service within the City's normal payment period and meets the requirements, as the City shall confirm, may, if the City has selected this alternative, enter into an alternative payment schedule for the unpaid balance in accordance with the city’s agreement please contact City Hall for more information.

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