Leak Appeal Processes
- First, ensure that all of your inside and outside water systems are turned off such as faucets, irrigation systems, hose bibbs, etc.; and,
- Second, check your outside water meter to examine if any of the dials are moving. If a dial is moving, then there is a leak on your side of the meter; or,
- Third, call a plumber to investigate and repair any and all noted leaks.
Leak Appeal Types
If you have experienced a leak, there are 2 appeals that you may qualify for depending on leak location, consumption lost, and Drought status. Certain leaks may be applicable to both appeal processes.
- Leak Appeal – Applies any time of the year on leaks that occur due to pipe failures (does not apply to irrigation, faucets, hoses, mechanical equipment, pools or appliances).
- Drought Surcharge Appeal – Applies during the initiation of Drought Stages and may be applied to any extreme leak found at a customer’s service address.
To learn more about the appeals and whether you qualify, please see below.
City Code Chapter 13; Section 13.03.014 allows FORU customers to request a water loss appeal adjustment when a water leak occurred resulting from a pipe failure. Pipe failure does not include any landscape irrigation or component of said, valves, faucets, hoses and any mechanical equipment malfunction, such as water softeners, washing machines or other similar equipment. Upon discovery/notification of a water leak, to be eligible for consideration of a water loss adjustment, the pipe failure causing excess consumption due to a water leak shall be repaired within 30 days of discovery/notification. If excessive water consumption is determined and proven to be the result of pipe failure, the requestor is entitled to an allowance from the current tiered water volume charge.
To file a Leak Appeal and/or Drought Surcharge Adjustment request submit the following to City Hall by mail, email, or in person within 30 days of discovering the leak:
- A completed Leak Appeal / Drought Surcharge Adjustment Request Form.
- A copy of a paid invoice from an appropriate repair service or receipt(s) for parts and/or supplies when self-repaired.
- Photo(s) of the location of the leak and/or repairs when possible.
Notification of the outcome will be mailed to you. Please allow us at least six (6) weeks to process your leak appeal.
Drought Surcharge Appeal Procedure, if applicable
Effective August 1, 2023, a petition to remove Drought Surcharges from one monthly statement may be considered for customers that experience an extreme leak* when a drought stage is initiated (City Code Chapter 13; Section 13.03.12). A Drought Surcharge Appeal may be considered for any leak found on the customer’s property so long as it meets the appropriate criteria.
*Extreme Leaks are defined as a leak that causes a utility customer’s monthly consumption to exceed their two-year average for that same month by double. If two years of water consumption is unavailable, water consumption must be more than three times the amount used from the previous month. See extreme leak examples below.
Upon discovery of an extreme leak by the customer, the cause shall be repaired within 30 days of discovery to be eligible for consideration of a Drought Surcharge Appeal. If the City notices excess consumption, the customer shall be notified of a suspected water leak by phone, email, door hanger, personal contact, or water cutoff. To be eligible for consideration of a Drought Surcharge Appeal, the cause of excess consumption shall be repaired within 30 days of the notification. If excessive water consumption qualifies for the appeal, the requestor is entitled to the removal of drought surcharges for the consumption lost from the leak.
To file a Drought Surcharge Appeal request, customers must mail, email or drop off at City Hall, the following information:
- A completed Leak Adjustment Request Form stating when and where the pipe failure was detected, and how the pipe failure was repaired.
- A copy of a paid receipt/invoice for repairs of service and/or parts.
Customers are responsible for all water that passes through the meter even when excessive water consumption is determined and proven to be a result of a water leak.
Until the findings of the Drought Surcharge Appeal are determined (up to six (6) weeks), the customer shall be required to pay, on a timely basis, the total amount due for all utility services.
A leak occurred in May 2023 which caused the total monthly consumption to be 75,000 gallons. The utility customer has 2 years of water consumption history and used the following amount in the past May Months:
May 2022 – 15,000 gallons
May 2021 – 13,000 gallons
15,000 + 13,000 / 2 = 14,000 gallons (Customer’s 2-year average for the month of May)
Since 75,000 gallons exceeds the 2-year average by double, this leak would qualify as an extreme leak.
A leak occurred in April 2023 which caused the total monthly consumption to be 50,000 gallons. The utility customer has only been a customer for 9 months; therefore, they do not have 2 years of water consumption history. In the month before the leak, the water consumption was:
March 2023 – 12,000 gallons
12,000 x 3 = 36,000 gallons (3x the Customer’s previous months consumption)
Since 50,000 gallons exceeds 3x the Customer’s previous month’s consumption, this leak would qualify as an extreme leak.