Chapter 13.04


13.04.010    Definitions.

13.04.020    Deposit for utility services – Required prior to connection.

13.04.030    Deposit for utility services – Amount.

13.04.040    Reserved.

13.04.050    Deposit for utility services – When refunded.

13.04.055    Letter of credit in lieu of utility service deposit – Requirements.

13.04.060    Guaranty of payment in lieu of utility service deposit – Requirements.

13.04.070    Charges to reconnect utilities.

13.04.080    Reserved.

13.04.090    Reserved.

13.04.100    Illegal tapping of utility systems prohibited.

13.04.110    Tampering with utility meters prohibited.

13.04.120    Reserved.

13.04.130    Reserved.

13.04.140    Reserved.

13.04.150    Reserved.

13.04.160    Reserved.

13.04.170    Reserved.

13.04.180    To be rendered monthly – Computation.

13.04.190    Payment – Delinquent notice.

13.04.200    Disconnection of service for nonpayment.

13.04.210    Application for service – General.

13.04.220    Application for service – By past delinquent.

13.04.230    Utility service rate schedule.

13.04.240    Adoption of rules and regulations authorized.

13.04.250    Fees.

13.04.260    Meter failure.

13.04.270    Meter readers.

13.04.280    Shutdowns.

13.04.290    Failure to obey provisions.

13.04.300    Abatement for violations.

13.04.310    Reserved.

13.04.320    Collection procedure.

13.04.010 Definitions.

The definitions in this section shall be used in the interpretation of this chapter unless another meaning for the word is apparent from the context.

“Applicant” means the person making application to the City for utility services.

“City engineer” is the City employee qualified through experience and professional licensure assigned the title of City engineer or a designee of the incumbent City engineer.

“Deposit” means a deposit of money paid in advance by an applicant for utility services.

“Guarantor” means the person executing a guaranty of payment for an applicant applying for utility services.

“Guaranty of payment” means a written promise by the guarantor to pay unpaid charges of an applicant for utility service charges due the City.

“Utility service” means water, electric and sewer service, and any combination of those services. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.020 Deposit for utility services – Required prior to connection.

A deposit shall be required from all applicants applying for utility services from the City except as otherwise prescribed in this chapter, and such deposit shall be collected prior to any service connection being made. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.030 Deposit for utility services – Amount.

The deposit for water service required by HMC 13.04.020 shall be as follows:

A.    For residential service, a deposit shall be collected per account. The amount shall be set by resolution.

B.    For nonresidential services, a deposit in the amount of twice the estimated average monthly bill of persons engaged in comparable activities shall be collected per account, but in no case less than the residential deposit. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.040 Reserved.

(Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.050 Deposit for utility services – When refunded.

Any utility deposit required by HMC 13.04.030 may be refunded to the person making such deposit after one year of satisfactory credit experience. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.055 Letter of credit in lieu of utility service deposit – Requirements.

In lieu of a deposit as required by HMC 13.04.020, a residential or nonresidential applicant may furnish a letter of credit in their name or their business name, from a recent electric or water agency account, demonstrating one year of satisfactory credit experience. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.060 Guaranty of payment in lieu of utility service deposit – Requirements.

In lieu of a deposit as required by HMC 13.04.020, a residential applicant may furnish a guaranty of payment signed by a resident property owner within the city limits of the City of Healdsburg, with an active utility account in good standing and demonstrating one year of satisfactory credit experience, as surety and conditioned to pay all unpaid sums due the City for utility services to be furnished prior to any service connection being made. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.070 Charges to reconnect utilities.

If a consumer’s utility service is disconnected for failure to pay a bill or for a violation of any provisions of this title where disconnection is authorized, the entire outstanding utility account balance, plus a reconnection fee and reestablishment of a deposit, shall be paid before service is restored.

A reconnection fee shall be assessed on the utility account of any customer who reconnects utility service or causes the same to be reconnected after discontinuance for nonpayment of accounts without the permission of the City. The fee shall be set by resolution. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.080 Reserved.

(Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.090 Reserved.

(Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.100 Illegal tapping of utility systems prohibited.1

No person shall unlawfully connect or procure another to connect with any water or sewer main, with any electric wire or any electric apparatus, or any other utility service connection owned or operated by the City without the knowledge and consent of the City.

No person shall improperly make or procure to be made such connection for the purpose of appropriating utility services, and to evade payment therefor. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.110 Tampering with utility meters prohibited.2

No person shall injure or alter or procure to be injured or altered any water meter or electric meter or obstruct the working of the same with the intent to evade payment of utility charges.

No person shall maliciously tamper with or injure any utility meter. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.120 Reserved.

(Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.130 Reserved.

(Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.140 Reserved.

(Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.150 Reserved.

(Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.160 Reserved.

(Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.170 Reserved.

(Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.180 To be rendered monthly – Computation.

The City shall render utility bills monthly which shall include a charge for the utilities consumed and to include any unpaid charges at that time. Opening bills covering new consumers for less than two weeks’ service may, at the discretion of the City, be included in the next regular billing. Closing bills covering service of less than two weeks may be in the regular billing for the previous billing period still to be billed. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.190 Payment – Delinquent notice.

Bills for utility service shall be due and payable 25 days after bill date at the office of the City and are considered past due on the twenty-sixth day. If not paid on or before the twenty-fifth day, a notice may be sent to the consumer setting forth the amount due and the date on which service will be disconnected. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.200 Disconnection of service for nonpayment.

In addition to any other remedies it has, a consumer’s utility service may be disconnected for the nonpayment of a bill for service rendered if the bill is not paid and shall not resume the same until all delinquent charges together with any charges necessitated by resumption of such services and facilities have been fully paid. A consumer’s service may be discontinued at his present location for nonpayment of a bill that was rendered him by the City at a previous location, provided such bill is not paid on or before the due date after presentation or mailing to his new location. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.210 Application for service – Generally.

Any person making application for utility service shall do so by signing an application for service provided by the City. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.220 Application for service – By past delinquent.

When an application for utility service is made by a former consumer who was responsible for and failed to pay all bills for service previously rendered, regardless of location or time when incurred, the City shall refuse to furnish service to such applicant until the outstanding bills are paid. The City may also require, as a guarantee for the payment of future bills, a regular deposit as prescribed in HMC 13.04.030. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.230 Utility service rate schedule.

The City Council shall fix the rates to be charged for utility services by the City, by resolution, and in so doing shall distinguish the different classes of service made available and fix rates appropriate to each class of service. Rates shall be fixed and revised from time to time with the objective that the City’s utility systems shall be operated on a sound economic basis as revenue-producing enterprises. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.240 Adoption of rules and regulations authorized.

The City Council may from time to time by resolution adopt and amend rules and regulations for the purpose of administering and enforcing the provisions of this Title and for the purpose of regulating and operating the municipal utility systems. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.250 Fees.

When any work, testing or inspection does not specifically require an application for permit with a City, county or state agency, the City Council may, by resolution, approve a fee schedule to provide for administration of the inspection program. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.260 Meter failure.

If a meter fails to register due to any cause except the nonuse of the utility the charge for utility use will be made on the basis of the average charge per month covering the period of the preceding months, first ascertaining whether the meter has properly functioned during such period and whether normal conditions prevailed in regard to the use of the utility at the premises supplied. In the preparation of such averaged bills due consideration will be given to fluctuations caused by seasonal changes or any interruption to the service known to have occurred. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.270 Meter readers.

The meter reader shall have the authority to enter any premises for the purpose of reading utility meters and for inspecting, testing, replacing, or removing meters and meter boxes. The meter reader shall seal off all meters so ordered by proper application of the consumer and shall restore such services upon the proper application of a new consumer. All connections and disconnections shall be properly recorded in City records. The meter reader shall make, when required, any other disconnections provided by this title. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.280 Shutdowns.

The utility service of any consumer may be shut off at any time for repairs, alterations or other purposes and the City shall inform such consumers, in advance, of the time such planned shutdown will occur and although notice is not received by the consumer due to his absence, the City will not be responsible nor liable for any consequent damage resulting from such shutdown or interruption.

In the event of an emergency necessitating immediate action, the service of any consumer may be shut off without prior notice and the City will not be liable for any consequent damages resulting from such shutdown. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.290 Failure to obey provisions.

In addition to the enforcement remedies provided in this title, if an owner or consumer fails to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter, the City shall have the right to refuse or discontinue service. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.300 Abatement for violations.

All violations of the provisions of this title or of any regulations adopted pursuant thereto shall be nuisances within the meaning of Chapter 1.12 HMC and shall be abated accordingly. All costs of abatement shall be borne by the user. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.310 Reserved.

(Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)

13.04.320 Collection procedure.

The charges fixed by Chapters 13.08, 13.12, and 13.20 HMC for any premises shall be billed upon the same bill, except for solar electric charges. The charges fixed by Chapters 13.08, 13.12, and 13.20 HMC, except for solar electric charges, shall be due and payable monthly at the same time and the total amount due shall be paid as a unit. (Ord. 1205 § 2, 2020.)


For state law as to taking water from main to avoid payment, see Penal Code § 498. As to obtaining electricity without passage through meter, see Penal Code § 498.


For state law as to tampering with electrical lines and systems, see Penal Code §§ 591, 593 and 593b.