Chapter 15.07


15.07.010    PURPOSE.









15.07.090    LIENS.

15.07.100    DEFERRED PAYMENT.

15.07.110    ADJUSTMENTS.

15.07.120    METER FAILURE.

15.07.130    DISCONNECTION.

15.07.010 PURPOSE.

The provisions in this chapter provide for the establishment of a City billing and receipting system for the reimbursement of the costs of providing utility service.

The City is additionally authorized to provide to other municipal corporations billing and accounting services through interlocal agreement approved by the Mayor and authorized by the City Council.

Utility billing shall be processed and administered by the Department of Financial Services. (Ord. 5376 §6 (in part), 2019: Ord. 5250 §1 (in part), 2014: Ord. 4454 §1 (in part), 1994; Ord. 4309 §2 (in part), 1991)


The City shall create a utility service account upon receipt of an executed utility service agreement or an executed owner/tenant form as applicable.

The account shall be in the name of the owner and may be activated or terminated only upon written notice by the owner and payment for services provided.

Owners of a single water-metered building shall be the bill payer responsible for all charges to the account.

Billing for utility services shall commence for each service at the date of connection of each service to the property or the date of the closing of sale for a property.

Billing for mandated wastewater service, as directed by the Health District local Health Official or the Director regardless of connection, shall commence sixty (60) days following written notice by the Health District local Health Official or the date of connection, whichever shall occur first.

All utility billing forms will be available on the City of Bremerton website. Electronic signatures will be accepted for all utility billing online application submittals.

When it benefits the utility to do so and at the discretion of the Director of Financial Services, or designee, a credit may be authorized for a utility customer not to exceed fifty dollars ($50.00) per year per account. A credit in excess of this amount requires City Council approval by motion or resolution. (Ord. 5376 §6 (in part), 2019: Ord. 5321 §7, 2017: Ord. 5250 §1 (in part), 2014: Ord. 4454 §1 (in part), 1994; Ord. 4309 §2 (in part), 1991)


Whenever the owner of a premises connected to the utility system desires to have the service activated or discontinued for his own or another’s use, he shall notify utility billing in writing on the forms provided.

The City, upon payment of a service fee, will activate or discontinue service or prorate the customer bill for partial billing periods upon the request of the owner.

Reconnection of service will require payment for all outstanding fees and charges to the account.

Where a water service has been inactive, meter pulled, house removed, or the house has been vacant for more than one hundred eighty (180) days and the owner petitions to reactivate the service to the premises, in addition to making application, if the service has been vacant for five (5) years or longer, a flow test will be required to evaluate the service to determine if adequate flow is currently available. The City will perform the flow test at no cost to the owner. A service fee and payment for any unpaid previous charges shall be assessed prior to activation of the service. If inadequate flow is determined, a new service will be required by the City and shall be at the expense of the owner. Where the sewer lateral has been (1) capped and the house removed or (2) the sewer account has been inactive for more than one hundred eighty (180) days, the sewer lateral will be videoed by the City. If the video shows that the sewer is in good condition, then the sewer can be reactivated. If the video indicates that the sewer lateral, in the opinion of the City, is defective, then the new sewer lateral will be required and shall be replaced at the expense of the owner. (Ord. 5376 §6 (in part), 2019: Ord. 5250 §1 (in part), 2014: Ord. 4454 §1 (in part), 1994; Ord. 4309 §2 (in part), 1991)


The City shall regularly bill each utility service account for all fees, rates, and charges for service during the billing period.

Payments received on each service account shall be applied in the following priority to the outstanding account balances: abatement charges, fees, administrative charges, stormwater impact fee, stormwater charges, wastewater charges, and water charges. Receipts shall be credited to the oldest balances first.

A utility bill shall be considered past due thirty (30) days after date of billing.

A utility bill which remains unpaid after the due date shall be classified as a delinquent account and shall be subject to delinquent charges. (Ord. 5376 §6 (in part), 2019: Ord. 5250 §1 (in part), 2014: Ord. 4454 §1 (in part), 1994; Ord. 4309 §2 (in part), 1991)


Billing statements shall be mailed to the address requested by the property owner. Duplicate bills sent to a different address shall be assessed a duplicate billing charge, if applicable, sufficient to recover all costs of processing and mailing.

The property owner shall be responsible for all fees, rates and charges on the utility service account regardless of the use of the duplicate billing procedures or their request to send the statement to their tenant or agent. (Ord. 5376 §6 (in part), 2019: Ord. 5250 §1 (in part), 2014: Ord. 4309 §2 (in part), 1991)


A property owner or designated agent may at his option request in writing, on the form provided by the City, direct automatic transfer of funds from a designated account at a financial institution to the City for payment of utility service. The property owner shall receive a statement of the charges to be paid and the transfer shall be made at the time of the due date of the regular billing of the account. (Ord. 5376 §6 (in part), 2019: Ord. 5250 §1 (in part), 2014: Ord. 4454 §1 (in part), 1994; Ord. 4309 §2 (in part), 1991)


Any property owner may designate an agent to receive billing and provide for account maintenance. To designate an agent, the owner must deliver to the utility billing office a properly executed form provided by the City. The owner shall be responsible for notifying the City of any change in the agent’s status. (Ord. 5376 §6 (in part), 2019: Ord. 5250 §1 (in part), 2014: Ord. 4454 §1 (in part), 1994; Ord. 4309 §2 (in part), 1991)


The City shall have the right at its option to terminate service to the premises for which the account is delinquent, provided service is not to be terminated for those accounts which require utilities for the operation of life-sustaining machines or equipment. Such an exception shall require the submission of written documentation of the requirement signed by a licensed physician, following each notice of delinquency and must be submitted to and approved by the Director.

Failure to receive a billing statement does not relieve the utility account from receiving charges or penalties.

When an account becomes delinquent, the City shall provide written notice to the owner or agent notifying that the account is delinquent.

The written notice shall contain the following information: date of termination which shall be no sooner than ten (10) days from notice; a statement of the reason for the proposed termination of service; a statement of what may be done to avoid termination; a statement that the property owner may file a written appeal with the City, and the rights of the property owner to dispute the proposed termination.

The City shall visit the service address ten (10) days following the written notification and physically place a final notice of termination on the door of the residence. The notice shall contain the following information: the reason for termination of service; the time in which service will be discontinued which shall not be sooner than forty-eight (48) hours from final notice; a statement of what may be done to avoid termination; a statement that the property owner may file a written appeal disputing the proposed termination.

Prior to the shut-off during the forty-eight (48) hour notice the tenant can request to continue service by paying the current charges on the account.

If payment is not received within forty-eight (48) hours following final notice, the service to the premises shall be terminated. (Ord. 5376 §6 (in part), 2019: Ord. 5250 §1 (in part), 2014: Ord. 4454 §1 (in part), 1994; Ord. 4309 §2 (in part), 1991)


A tampering fee shall be assessed to the account of any person that turns on a water service without authorization after it has been shut off by the City. Further incidents of tampering will cause the account to be assessed at twice the tampering fee for each additional occurrence.

After any person has tampered in three (3) consecutive occurrences, the City shall disable the water service in such a manner that there is a physical disconnection of the water service from the city water main. The account shall be charged a disabling fee for the cost to disconnect the service line. The fee shall include the total cost of labor, material, equipment and any administrative or overhead charges. (Ord. 5376 §6 (in part), 2019)

15.07.090 LIENS.

Any and all charges provided for in this chapter shall constitute a lien against the property served when the charges become delinquent and unpaid. Enforcement and collection of the lien shall include, but not be limited to, the right to discontinue service and deny service thereafter to any and all owners and/or occupants or tenants at the premises until the lien has been satisfied.

In the case where the owner of the premises moves to another location within the service area or applies for service at a new location, service may be denied at such location until the lien at the first location has been satisfied.

The City shall file a lien against the property served at the office of the County Auditor for Kitsap County when a utility account becomes delinquent and unpaid. Such lien shall include the delinquent charges, a charge for the cost of preparing and filing said lien.

Failure to receive a bill does not relieve an owner or user of the responsibility for payment of charges and penalties on the account. (Ord. 5376 §6 (in part), 2019: Ord. 5250 §1 (in part), 2014: Ord. 4454 §1 (in part), 1994; Ord. 4309 §2 (in part), 1991)


A deferred payment arrangement may be extended to customers for the payment of delinquent accounts where the customer can demonstrate a temporary inability to make full payment. Customers who have failed to comply with previous payment arrangements, have a history of payment problems or fail to stay current in utility bills may be denied deferred payment arrangements or have arrangements terminated. (Ord. 5376 §6 (in part), 2019: Ord. 5250 §1 (in part), 2014: Ord. 4309 §2 (in part), 1991)

15.07.110 ADJUSTMENTS.

In the event of excessive registration of the water meters caused by broken or leaking water service lines upon the premises of any customer, without knowledge or fault of the customer, an adjustment may be requested upon written application within a thirty (30) day period of receipt of the billing in question. All repairs must be completed satisfactorily and with documentation of satisfactory repair. For all repairs completed within sixty (60) days after notification of the leak, reduction in charges are limited to one-half of the excess water billing and the entire excess sewer billing as determined by the City to be associated with the billing period in question. If the customer fails to make repairs within the sixty (60) days after the notification of the leak, the City will not make any adjustments to the customer’s account for any of the excessive water or sewer usage.

If a customer disputes an adjustment, an appeal may be filed as set forth herein. (Ord. 5376 §6 (in part), 2019: Ord. 5250 §1 (in part), 2014: Ord. 4454 §1 (in part), 1994; Ord. 4309 §2 (in part), 1991)

15.07.120 METER FAILURE.

In the event of a meter failing to register properly, the user shall be charged an estimate of the consumption from whatever may be considered the most reliable data or method available to the City. The adjustment may be for a period up to three (3) years. (Ord. 5376 §6 (in part), 2019: Ord. 5250 §1 (in part), 2014: Ord. 4454 §1 (in part), 1994; Ord. 4309 §2 (in part), 1991)


No person or owner of any premises connected to the City’s water supply system shall disconnect the water on said premises, unless they shall first file a written request and pay all arrearages current on water usage for said premises. (Ord. 5376 §6 (in part), 2019: Ord. 5250 §1 (in part), 2014: Ord. 4309 §2 (in part), 1991)