Introduction to Your Water Authority

Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Customer:

The purpose of this Customer Service Handbook is to provide you, our customer, with a guide to commonly asked questions and needed services, as well as to provide basic information that you will need to fulfill your responsibilities. Most of this information is general in nature and if you have specific questions or service concerns, we suggest that you contact our Customer Service Department.

All of Ambridge Water Authority’s employees are here to serve you. Specific questions or problems should be directed to the Customer Service Department Our telephone numbers are listed on the contact us page.

Highlights of Your Rights and Responsibilities:

  • Your right to an accurate water billing
  • Your right to fair deposit policies
  • Your right to question or disagree with the Water Authority
  • Your responsibility to pay your bill
  • Your right to receive water service if your responsibilities are fulfilled

The Ambridge Water Authority reserves the right to alter, suspend, revise or revoke this Customer Service Handbook at any time without notice.

Conditions of Service:

General – Ambridge Water Authority will furnish water and service only in accordance with the currently prevailing and as hereinafter revised Rates, Rules, and Regulations of the Authority. Rates, Rules and Regulations are made part of every application entered between the property owner and the Authority. The Rules and Regulations governing water service are applicable alike to all districts of the Authority.

The Authority reserves the right, so often as it may deem necessary, to alter, amend and/or repeal the Rates and/or the Rules and Regulations or any part; and in whole or in part to substitute new Rates, Rules and Regulations, which altered, amended and/or new Rates, Rules and Regulations shall forthwith, without notice, become and thereafter be a part of every such application for water service in effect at the time of such alteration, amendment and/or adoption.

Customer Notice:

Please be advised that a current copy of the Rules and Regulations are available at the Business Office during regular operating hours.

The Rules and Regulations in its entirety are available at a cost of $5.00.

Customers may request photocopies of up to two sections at no charge.

General Information:

Business Office and Operations Office

The Business Office is located at 600 11th Street in the Ambridge Borough Municipal Complex. Hours are from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm daily, excepting holidays and weekends. The Operations Office is located at 1800 Merchant Street. Hours are 7:30 to 3:30 daily, excepting holidays and weekends.

Emergency Service

After regular business hours and during weekends and holidays, emergency service is available. If an emergency exists, call (724) 266-3360 for assistance.

Service Territory

Ambridge Water Authority provides water service to the following municipalities:

  • Ambridge – direct customers of AWA
  • Baden – bulk water sales to Baden Municipal Authority
  • Bell Acres – some addresses are direct customers of AWA and the remainder through bulk water sales to Edgeworth Municipal Authority
  • Economy – direct customers of AWA
  • Edgeworth – bulk water sales to EMA
  • Harmony – direct customers of AWA
  • Leet Twp – bulk water sales to EMA
  • Leetsdale – bulk water sales to EMA
  • New Sewickley – bulk water sales to New Sewickley Municipal Authority

The Water Treatment Plant is located in Ambridge Borough. The source of supply is a surface water reservoir. A well field at the edge of the Ohio River exists but is not used. The plant is capable of treating and pumping 6.5 million gallons of water a day. Most of the communities served are residential in nature.

The Authority owns and maintains 12 water storage facilities with a storage capacity of 8.7 million gallons. Traditional filtration is used in the treatment process and the water quality meets all local, state and federal regulatory standards.

Application for Service – Opening an Account:

All property owners requesting water service must complete an application for water service for each account requested. Photo ID is required with the application. The application is a request and is subject to approval by AWA and payment of any required deposits or fees or past-due balances. The application is a binding contract between the owner and AWA. AWA does not permit tenants to open accounts.

Reading the Water Meter for a New Account:

Before water service is granted to a new owner, a representative of AWA must read the actual inside water meter or obtain a rf reading. It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide access to the water meter. Water service will be terminated for failure to provide access to obtain meter readings.

Deposit Requirements:

Deposits may be required as a condition of service in certain circumstances, such as temporary construction accounts or post bankruptcy accounts.

Scheduling a Service Call – Contacting Customer Service:

AWA requires a nummum of twenty-four (24) hours to provide water service at an existing property that is connected to the water system. It is advised that all customers call Customer Service at (724) 266-4847 to discuss opening the water account, the required application, and any other service concerns. This will prevent any delays or interruptions in water service.

Closing Your Water Account:

It is the owner’s responsibility to make any and all arrangements to close their account. Access to read the actual meter is required to close an account. Water service is turned off at the time of a final reading unless a new customer has applied for service. It is advisable that arrangements be made at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance.

How is Your Water Bill Calculated?

AWA has a responsibility to mail a water bill to you every three months, on a quarterly basis. This bill is generally based on an actual meter reading, a remote reading, or an estimated reading. Rate Schedules are available upon request. Meters are read in Ambridge during month 1, Harmony during month 2, Economy/Bell Acres in month 3, bills are sent, and the cycle starts over.

The Water Meter and Meter Readings:

All residential water meters and related remote reading devices are furnished and installed by AWA. Water meters are the property of the Authority and are read on a quarterly basis, on approximately the same date cycle. All AWA employees, as well as Meter Readers and Service Technicians have identification, which any customer may ask to see.

Customers are prohibited from tampering with or removing the water meter or any equipment belonging to AWA. Customers have the responsibility to provide access to the water meter, to keep the meter free from obstructions, and to prevent damage to the equipment.

Estimated Water Bills:

It is possible that you may receive an estimated water bill if the Meter Reader is unable to gain access due to extreme weather conditions, emergency, or circumstances that may prevent AWA from reading the meter. You may obtain a corrected bill by arranging for a service call. If you receive more than two consecutive estimated bills, AWA will require that you provide access for repair or installation of equipment including a remote reading device.

Supplying Your Water Meter Readings:

If the meter reader was unable to gain access, a card may be left. The card requests that the owner make arrangements for a reading to be taken and/or the meter replaced with a radio frequency model. It is important to note that continued estimated readings may result in a high bill.

Actual Water Meter Readings:

If your water meter is inaccessible to AWA, you have the responsibility to make arrangements to provide access to obtain the required actual meter reading.

Remote readings should be supplemented by an actual meter reading occasionally. This is why the Meter Reader may request admittance or leave a card. Failure to respond may result in a high bill.

If you have reason to believe that your remote is jammed or is not functioning properly, you should call Customer Service to arrange for a service call. The device will be checked and replaced or repaired at no cost to you.

Remote readings are not acceptable for opening or closing accounts.

How to Check Your Water Meter for Accuracy:

If you believe your water bill may be incorrect, you can check in the following manner

  1. Determine the type of reading that was used for billing. Call Customer Service to ask for the reading type (estimate or actual).
  2. Read your meter and compare to the “reading current” number. Keep in mind that the reading you obtain should be higher as water has been used since the Meter Reader obtained the reading for billing.
  3. Compare your water usage to previous bills. Water consumption tends to increase in late summer and around holidays.
  4. Check all plumbing, especially toilets, for possible leaks. Food coloring dispensed into the toilet tank that appears in the bowl (without flushing) is an indication of a toilet leak.
  5. Check your meter reading last thing before bed and first thing in the morning and compare the numbers. A change could indicate a leak.

Paying Your Bill Responsibly:

Each water bill has a due date printed on the statement. Your account should be paid in full by that due date. If the bill is not paid timely, penalty/interest will be applied. If not paid by the Delinquent Notice due date, water service will be terminated and an additional fee will be charged.

Payment must be made in the Business Office by means of cash/debit/credit card/money order. Checks are not accepted after the delinquent notice due date. Restoration of service will occur 24 hours after full payment is received at the Business Office. An adult must be present when water is turned back on to guard against possible water damage.

Where to Pay Your Water Bill:

Water payment may be mailed in the envelope provided or you may personally take the payment to the Business Office. An outside receptacle is also provided at the front door where payments may be deposited.

Payment Arrangements:

In the event of extenuating circumstances, a payment schedule may be offered. Contact Customer Service for more information.

Notice of Water Termination Delinquency:

If a customer has not paid their account or fulfilled payment arrangements, AWA will terminate service at any time after the due date shown on the RED Delinquent Notice.

After service is terminated, the full amount due, including a “shutoff fee” must be paid with cash, debit or credit card. Only after this is paid will service be restored. A responsible adult must be present in the building when service is restored in order to confirm that no inside valves were left open.

Owners of rental properties may request notification of tenants when a delinquency occurs on water accounts. Owners must make this request in writing, providing the name of the tenant and the address to be used.

Dispute Resolution Process:

If a question exists about the accuracy of your bill, you as a customer are entitled to the following:

  1. An inspection of the water meter and related equipment. There is no charge for the service call, however it must be scheduled during regular working hours.
  2. An informal meeting with the management staff. The owner may be accompanied by representation.
  3. Written confirmation from AWA of the investigation and findings, if requested.
  4. An owner may further appeal to the Board of Directors at the regular monthly meeting.

Stealing Water:

Any time water is obtained without proper billing and payment, the law considers this to be “theft of services”. Only an AWA employee may turn water service on or off. Water usage will be estimated in cases where theft of services has occurred and the amount due billed to the property owner.

Meter Testing:

Customers may question the accuracy of the water meter measuring consumption at their property and have the right to request a meter test. Removing the meter will be scheduled in advance and at the convenience of the customer and AWA. The testing will be conducted at an independent testing facility. A fee is charged for testing.

If a meter is tested and found to have an error in registration in excess of 4% (that means the meter registers at least 5% more/less water than actually passed through), then the disputed bill will be adjusted up or down. The test fee will be waived if the bill is adjusted down.

When Can Your Water Service be Terminated?

Ambridge Water Authority can terminate your water service for any of the following reasons:

  • Non-payment of your water bill or fees for related special services
  • Tampering with the water meter or other equipment
  • Stealing water
  • Refusal to provide access to AWA for meter reading, inspection, replacement, or repair
  • Violation of the Rules and Regulations governing water service
  • Misrepresentation or fraud on an application for service
  • When there is a water leak causing damage or excessive water loss
  • Upon legal request from a sewage authority for this service due to non-payment of a sewage bill

General Information Concerning Water Service and Programs:

Connection to AWA’s Public Water Suoply

Ambridge Water Authority provides water service to four municipalities in Beaver and Allegheny Counties and also sells bulk water to three other water authorities. Costs and availability of water vary from municipality to municipality, and street to street. If considering a connection to the public water supply, please contact our Business Office for specific information.

Cross Connection Control Program

As mandated by the PA Department of Environmental Protection, the Safe Drinking Water Act and other regulatory agencies, AWA has an active cross connection control program. Essentially, this is an AWA monitored program to prevent the public water supply from being contaminated. If you require specific information concerning this program or how it may affect your water service, contact the Operations Office at (724) 266-6784.

Public Fire Hydrants

Public fire hydrants are installed solely for the purpose of fire protection. Hydrants are billed to the municipality in which they are installed. Public fire hydrants are not to be used for filling tankers, swimming pools, for construction needs, or any other unauthorized use. A fine can be imposed for unauthorized use.

Spring and Fall Flushing Programs

Once or twice a year, depending on location, AWA flushes the public fire hydrants throughout the entire service territory. The purpose of this is two-fold: flushing of the distribution mains and inspecting the fire hydrants. Schedules of this necessary maintenance are advertised in the Beaver County Times. This program can disrupt water service and water quality. More specific information is available by calling the Operations Office at (724) 266-6784.

Customer Service

Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm excepting holidays.

Regular operating hours of the service technicians are from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, depending somewhat upon the services scheduled.

Emergency service is available after normal operating hours by calling (724) 266-3360.