Termination / Alternation of Service

Utility Termination / Alteration of Service Notice Procedures

I. Notice Service Requirements

Written notice of proposed termination or alteration of service must be delivered by the City prior to the date proposed for termination or alteration. Notices may be mailed with first class postage prepaid to assure delivery within that time, or by personal service. Notices shall be dated and record of any notice sent shall be retained by the city in the business file relating to the service address referred to in the notice.

Notice Information Requirements
Notices shall clearly and conspicuously advise any recipient of the following information:
A. Prior to termination or alteration of services, the customer has the right to an informal hearing or conference before the Hearing Officer at which he/she may contest the reasons for the proposed termination or alteration. To schedule such a hearing or conference, the customer or his/her representative must contact the Utility Department within 72 hours of receipt of this notice either:
  • In writing, stating the reason for objection to the termination or alteration to the hearing officer c/o Athens City Utility Department at the Municipal Building
  • In person at the Utilities Billing Office at the First Floor, Municipal Building
B. Hearings cannot be scheduled over the telephone.

C. The hearing or conference, when properly requested, will be held before the Hearing Officer on the third Tuesday of the month in which the customer has requested a hearing. The hearing will be held in the 3rd Floor Council Chambers, Athens, Ohio commencing at 9:00 am.

D. If a hearing is requested, the customer is advised of the following:
  • The customer has the right to appear at the hearing with or without legal representation. The hearing will be conducted informally without requiring adherence to the rules of evidence.
  • The customer has the right to present evidence and make oral argument to the hearing officer.
  • The customer has the right to a new meter reading if the reading is in dispute.
  • The customer has the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses at the hearing.
  • The customer has the right to examine, at least three (3) days prior to the scheduled hearing, a list of all witnesses that will testify on behalf of the City of Athens and all documents, records and similar materials directly related to the dispute.
  • The customer should bring with him/her to the hearing all information that is of importance to his/her account. All of the foregoing rights are afforded to the customer only if the customer makes a timely request for a hearing or conference before the Hearing Officer.

III. Notice to Noncustomer Service Address

In the event any service address affected by termination or alteration of service is not the billing address, notice of termination or alteration of service must be delivered to each service address so affected, in addition to delivery to the billing address.

In such circumstances, notices may be mailed with first class postage prepaid to assure delivery, or notice can be accomplished by the timely, personal delivery of such notice to each service address. However, in the case of personal delivery, the city employee delivering notice shall record his/her own identity and the date and time of such delivery notice.

No termination or alteration of service shall occur except after compliance with the provisions of these rules.

Service Denied to Delinquent Users
No water shall be supplied to any applicant who is delinquent in the payment of water, sewer, or garbage bills, or who is indebted to the water department for material, supplies or work done, or in any other manner, until such indebtedness has been paid, whether the indebtedness was incurred at the premises for which service is supplied or at any other place within or without the city; and the water department reserves to itself the right to shut off the water from the premises of such applicant so delinquent upon 48 hours notice. A delinquent water bill is a water bill remaining unpaid for thirty (30) days after the billing date.

Wasted Water Charges
All water that passes through a meter shall be charged for whether used, wasted, or lost, and the mayor or service safety director may grant relief to the requirement when a water line breaks between the meter and the serviced building, with a verifiable break, the water and sewer charges shall be assessed for that month based upon the average monthly usage of the previous six months.

Voluntary Termination of Service

I. Termination Request Requirements

Requests for voluntary termination or alteration of utility service shall be made at the City Utility Billing Department; shall be made in writing and shall be approved by the customer contractually obligated to pay charges incurred at the service address; this can only be requested if no one is living at the address at time of termination, if it is not vacant, a voluntary disconnect, an orange tag, is hung giving a five day notice of disconnect.

III. Termination at Noncustomer Address

If the city's records reveal that the service address differs from the billing address for that account, no voluntary termination or alteration will be processed until: (1) a termination or alteration request from is signed pursuant to Section I, or (2) by the delivery of a red tag notice, personally delivered or conspicuously posted at the service address, five (5) days prior to the termination. In the case of personal delivery, the city employee delivering notice shall record his/her own identity, the date, and time of such delivery of notice.

Leaks Credit Procedure

If the meter reader detects an unusual high consumption, a yellow tag is hung in a conspicuous location to notify the customer of a possible leak. If the leak is determined to be underground in the service line between the street and the building foundation, a total water and sewer credit is applied to the account. The bill for the period that the leak is detected is calculated using the previous six month average.

If the leak is in the crawl space, only a sewer credit is given. If the leak is in a basement or on a plumbing fixture, no credits are given.