Adjustments to Service
Vacations & Vacancies
Utility customers planning long vacations can save money while they are gone by requesting one of these 2 options:
Water and sewer customers who are going to be away for an extended period of time may request a temporary off. A temporary off disconnects the water service, which also stops the sewer service. Billing is halted until the customer writes or calls the Finance Office to have the service turned back on. There is no charge for a temporary off as long as the customer gives the Finance Office at least 1 working day's notice for both the disconnect and reconnect and service remains off for at least 30 days.
Vacancy Credit for Sewer, Jail Services, & Transportation Fees
Water and sewer customers, who want to leave the water on during an extended vacancy, may apply for a vacancy credit. To be eligible for vacancy credit a residence must be vacant for 30 consecutive days. Only the sewer volume charge, jail services fee, and transportation fee, if applicable, is adjusted. Applications for vacancy credit may be filed in advance for anticipated absences of up to 120 days. Vacancy credit for rentals or houses for sale must be filed monthly and in the month after the vacancy has occurred.
Sewer-only customers, where water cannot be disconnected to cancel billing, may also apply for a vacancy credit in the same manner as water and sewer customers.
Leaks & Leak Adjustments
If you have experienced a leak in your water pipes resulting in a significant change in your water bill and/or your sewer rate you may apply for a leak adjustment (PDF) and a sewer rate adjustment (PDF). Print and fill out the forms completely. Attach all relevant information to the form. Please read the forms carefully to insure that you meet the requirements for the adjustment. Adjustments take anywhere from 6-8 weeks to make and you are responsible for all charges until the adjustment has been made to your account. The following is a detailed outline of the policy of the City of Grants Pass regarding leaks and adjustments:
General Leak Adjustment Guidelines
The City of Grants Pass Utility Billing Department has a policy of issuing partial credits for leaks that are repaired in a timely manner. The city expects leaks to be repaired within 20 days of discovery or notification by the Public Works Department in order to be eligible for adjustment.
Adjustments for the total billing period(s) will be a maximum credit of 50% of the water charge estimated to be due to the leak(s). The water / sewer adjustment for the total billing period(s) affected must be a minimum of $10 and will not exceed $500 for residential customers and $1,000 for commercial customers.
All customers must submit receipts for repairs along with a formal written request for adjustment. Customers are only eligible for 1 adjustment in an 18-month period. If the customer is unable to make repairs within the aforementioned timeline the customer must submit written documentation as to why the repairs cannot be made. Adjustment will be at the discretion of the Customer Service Supervisor.
Residential Customers Adjustment Due to Leak
Residential customers who have experienced a leak are eligible for a leak adjustment for the water determined to be over what would be considered normal water usage. Leak credits are based upon historic water usage for the same period in previous years or on consumption estimated to be due to the leak if there is no previous history for the period(s) affected. If the water usage has affected the sewer charges the customer may apply for a sewer bill adjustment. Sewer bill adjustment guidelines are detailed in the section labeled "Sewer Bill Adjustments."
Commercial Customers Adjustment Due to Leak
Commercial customers who have experienced a leak are eligible for a leak adjustment for the water determined to be over what would be considered normal water usage. Leak credits are based upon historic water usage for the same period in previous years or on consumption estimated to be due to the leak if there is no previous history for the period(s) affected. Additionally commercial customers may apply for a sewer volume charge adjustment as sewer rates for commercial customers are tied to water usage. See section below labeled sewer bill adjustment commercial.
Sewer Bill Adjustment Residential
Sewer rates are based on average winter water consumption and are recalculated each April. The new rate will be used for billings from April of the current year through March of the following year. Before applying a new rate, the Finance office edits all accounts in an attempt to eliminate any one or two months which are significantly higher than the remaining winter months. However, if use is high for 3 or more of the 5 winter months, either due to a water leak or to more persons occupying the home, you must request a sewer rate review in order for the Finance office to consider an adjustment. If higher water use is due to a leak, the leak is repaired and water use decreases as a result of repairs, the sewer rate can be reviewed and may be eligible for adjustment immediately. Customers who wish to apply for a sewer rate adjustment based upon a leak must submit documentation of a water leak representing at least a 20% increase from the normal usage for the customer along with the repair documentation.
Increased occupancy can also affect water consumption. If more persons occupied the home during all or part of this past winter, and the household has since returned to the usual size, it may be possible to reduce the sewer rate before the next April. Residential customers that have experienced a reduction in occupancy are eligible to apply for a sewer rate adjustment. In order to qualify for a reduction the occupancy decrease must occur in a single family residence between February 1 and June 1 resulting in a 20% or greater reduction in water consumption compared to the 2 previous months’ consumption.
Sewer Bill Adjustment Commercial
Commercial customers pay sewer volume rates directly proportional to their water usage. In the event of a water leak that caused an increase in the volume charge commercial customers may apply for a sewer adjustment. The amount of adjustment will be based upon where the leak occurred. If the leak occurred inside the property and wastewater was processed then only 1/2 of the sewer volume charge overage will be credited. If the leak occurred outside, the entirety of the overage may be credited for sewer volume charges. The general guidelines listed above for repair and maximum adjustment apply to sewer bill adjustments as a part of the overall adjustment for a leak.