WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY WATER BILL?
The office mails the blue postcard invoices within three days of the beginning of each month. We know the mail service out here isn't the best, so If you have not received your bill by the end of the first week, call our office to inquire about your current invoice and recent payment history. Better yet, our office can email you your invoices, which helps keep our costs down. Registering online at www.PayClix.com will also allow you to receive your monthly water invoices via email. You can set up notifications of new invoices, a reminder the day before your water bill is due, and schedule auto-pay. You are not required to pay through PayClix, but the registration process will help avoid missing billing information should the postal system not promptly deliver your blue postcard voice.
What happens if I feel I have been over-billed?
If you feel your water use is higher than normal, please contact our office to have staff re-read your water meter for verification. The office will correct the invoice and submit a revised water invoice if the reading was entered incorrectly into the handheld device.
Could you let me know when you'll read my meter?
We attempt to read all meters within three days at the end of each month and read as nearly as possible on the same day of each month. The billing cycle is from the 1st to the end of each month. Call the district office at (760) 247-7330 for information about your next reading day, or better yet, join our mailing list and receive email notifications of important district activities. You can also visit our calendar page for all district-planned events.
Getting To Know Your Water Meter
Where is my water meter located, and how do I read it?
Most water meters are at the front of your property or the property line near the street. The District uses a digital read display and “speedometer” type meter that works like the odometer in your car… except that it records cubic feet of water instead of miles traveled. The black circular "asterisk" is your leak detector. If you are spinning, there is water passing through your water meter.
The number series in the odometer reflects your water consumption in units of 1 cubic foot (=7.48 gallons of water). Read the numbers left to right, but don’t include the last two on the far right. For example, if last month’s reading of 2797.00 units is subtracted from this month’s reading of 4797.34, then 2000 cubic feet for water usage has been logged. This is 2,000 cubic feet of billable usage and will be reflected on your bill.
If you have our newer "BLUE" digital water meters. The numbers displayed reflect your water consumption in units of thousandths of a cubic foot (=0.0748 gallons of water). Read the numbers left to right, but don’t include the last four numbers on the far right. For example, if last month’s reading of 2797.1234 units is subtracted from this month’s reading of 4797.3456, then 2,000 cubic feet for water usage has been logged. This, in turn, is 2,000 cubic feet of billable usage. Click here for the LCD Display file.
The Sonata water meter is provided with a 9-digit volume digital display factory programmed to your specifications. The LCD also has a 4-digit rate of flow indicator.
• Volume units: Cubic Feet.
• Rate of Flow units: US Gallons per Minute (GPM)
• Alarms: Low Battery, Tamper, Leak, Dry Pipe, Burst Pipe, or Measurement Failure (as indicated by the triangle with the exclamation point on the lower right side of the LCD).
• Notifications: The NFC icon on the LCD will be illuminated when connected with an NFC programming cable. Shabbat/Sabbath mode, as indicated by Hebrew letters, is not supported in the North American Market.
• a bi-directional arrow represents Flow Direction: When no flow is used, the two arrows will disappear, leaving a solid black bar as indicated in the image. When flow is being used, one of the two triangles will also darken, creating what appears to be an arrow pointing in the direction in which flow is passing.
• The Network Status icon (only available on the Sonata Allegro LCD) is located in the box to the right of the Rate of Flow and is represented by a seven-segment character. See the table below for an explanation of the symbols that may appear in this box.
• Checksum: When there is no flow through the meter, every 60 seconds, the last four digits of the software checksum will display in the Flow Rate field for two seconds. A checksum is not displayed if the meter is registering flow.
Although AVHCWD has installed the Mastermeter Sonata water meters additional components and software are needed that will allow staff to help our customers monitor their water consumption and plan ways to continue saving water. A computer/phone application called the Water Portal gives our customers access to see when water is being used so they can manage and lower their water bills. Being able to remotely read our customers' water meters will save time and remove the human error portion of collecting each water meter read each month. This will continue to help keep the water district's costs down and reduce potential injuries and vehicle accidents while on our busy roadways.
Water Shut-Offs for Repairs
Water leaks and emergencies
Call the after-hours and weekend emergency numbers at (760) 524-2037 and (760) 524-2038 to report water emergencies such as water main breaks, service line leaks, valve leaks, fire hydrant damage, water pressure problems, and color or odor issues. Our water operator on duty will initiate an investigation into the problem. Non-emergency work will be performed during normal working hours.
The most likely locations for your shut-off valve are:
- Immediately after the water meter, just before the water regulator (every property should have one!)
- The water supply pipe enters your home (typically near the garage on either the inside or outside wall) just below the hose bib where you attach the garden hose.
If your shut-off valve is inside the Meter Box, it will be on the side of the water meter closest to your house. The Angle Stop or Meter Valve is located on the side of the water meter nearest the street.
Water District Valve Customer Supply/Shut-Off Valves Customer hose bib
Customers normally have either a water supply gate or a ball Valve. Every customer’s home should have a water supply shut-off valve to stop water flow during repairs and emergencies. Before an emergency, find this valve and learn how to use it. This will make shutting off the water during an emergency much easier. Everyone in your family should know where the water supply shut-off valve is to protect against water leaks and flooding.
ThE broken water district valve ON THE LEFT is the property of the AVHCWD and should not be used by you to turn off the water.
If you cannot locate your shut-off valve, you may call the district office during normal working hours and request assistance to locate your valve. You may call the emergency lines free/no charge to have your water turned off for emergencies. (760) 524-2037 and (760) 524-2038.
If you have taken the above steps to detect and correct the water leak and your consumption continues to increase, please call the District office at (760) 247-7330.
WHAT IS AN INACTIVE ACCOUNT/METER/CONNECTION?
An inactive account/meter/connection refers to a water service installation that has been paid for by the customer and is not taking water delivery. There may or may not be a water meter in place, although a connection is installed to which the water meter can be quickly connected. Inactive connections, whether or not a meter is in place, are attached to the AVHCWD water system and have immediate access to water delivery service when requested. Many such accounts are located on vacant, undeveloped property.
When active accounts are receiving water, then services are shut off or closed, the account will automatically revert to the property owner's name if another applicant doesn’t establish an account, with no lapse in time. An inactive account in the property owner's name will be automatically established as accounts are closed, such as in-between tenants for a rental property. Once another applicant, such as a tenant, requests service, the property owner's account will be closed. A billing account will always be associated with every property with a water service installation.
WHY SHOULD I PAY A CHARGE WHEN I AM NOT RECEIVING SERVICE?
Customers not taking water delivery still receive entitlement and availability of water service whenever they are ready, which comes at a cost. Many of the Apple Valley Heights County Water District’s costs are fixed, meaning that they are incurred regardless of how water is delivered. The water system infrastructure requires constant upkeep and maintenance to ensure safe and reliable drinking water upon request. Costs to support such accounts to maintain readily available services have been ongoing for years.
WHY IS THIS A CONCERN?
AVHCWD is a local non-profit government agency that provides water service to approximately 308 homes and vacant parcels of land in the community. The 308 homes are taking water as an active water service and paying a Basic Monthly Fee. Another 8 customer accounts with inactive meters and/or connections not taking water service are not charged a Basic Monthly Fee.
AVHCWD owns and operates significant water system infrastructure to benefit the community it serves. The water system includes over 12 miles of pipeline, 2 wells, 4 water storage tanks, 2 booster pumps, 316 service connections, 308 water meters, and over 60 fire hydrants. AVHCWD relies on the Basic Monthly Fee to fund the costs of operating and maintaining the water system infrastructure, which requires constant upkeep and maintenance.
AVHCWD believes it is in the community's best interest to move forward with a more equitable method, requiring all customer accounts connected to the water system to contribute equitably towards maintenance costs. Approximately 3% of the AVHCWD’s accounts are inactive and not taking water delivery. Therefore, because those inactive accounts have not been paying the Basic Monthly Fee, the other 97% of customers are paying all the costs to maintain and operate the water system, a significant benefit to those inactive customers.
WHICH CUSTOMERS ARE REQUIRED TO PAY THE BASIC MONTHLY FEE?
All types of customer accounts are subject to the Basic Monthly Fee:
- Active Accounts receiving water delivery (unlocked) in a current billing period;
- Transitional Accounts that are temporarily shut off (locked) and not receiving water delivery in a current billing period;
- Inactive Accounts that have paid for the installation of service lines/meters to the Water System and are not taking water service (locked) but have immediate access or water delivery service when desired.
THE WATER DISTRICT PROMISED THAT I WOULD NEVER HAVE TO PAY FOR MY INACTIVE METER
Rules and regulations are continually under review and subject to change, meaning that policies regarding payment of fees can and do change. Property owners purchasing water meters have been advised that they are required to observe all AVHCWD regulations. That requirement was included in the forms they signed when entitlement to water service was purchased.
Some customers have referred to the District's promise that they would never be charged for their inactive meters. AVHCWD records indicate that inactive meter accounts have been charged various amounts on and off throughout AVHCWD's history, including as far back as 1958. If a customer has documentation to the contrary, they should provide it for review
I DON’T NEED MY WATER METER AND DON’T WANT TO PAY A BASIC MONTHLY FEE
Property owners can elect to “Opt Out” to avoid payment of the Basic Monthly Fee. Opting out will require them to sign a form stating that they understand that they relinquish all entitlement to water service until they or the successor property owner complies with all the Rules & Regulations and other requirements and pay all associated fees and charges in effect at the time when water service is requested in the future. Since costs and requirements are continually under review and subject to change, AVHCWD cannot estimate the costs or requirements to opt in at a future date when service is once again requested.
WHAT IS REQUIRED IF I WANT THE WATER METER INSTALLED FOR MY INACTIVE ACCOUNT SO I CAN RECEIVE WATER DELIVERY?
Suppose the property associated with the inactive account is already developed, indicated by the County Assessor’s Use Code designation, and has a County-assigned property address. In that case, AVHCWD requires the account holder to complete the application process. The application process includes identity verification, application paperwork completion, account payment, turn-on fees, and guarantee deposit if required. In addition, payment of any past-due charges associated with the inactive account must be paid before water delivery can be initiated. To have a water meter installed on a vacant parcel of land, a county-assigned property address, county permit, or proof of application for the same will be required.
WHAT IF I DO NOT PAY THE BASIC MONTHLY FEES FOR MY INACTIVE WATER ACCOUNT?
AVHCWD reserves the right to use any legal means available for collecting unpaid accounts, including filing liens against the property, transferring unpaid balances to other open accounts held in the name of the same owner, and requiring payment before new accounts are established