Welcome to OCWA’s Customer Rules! Please familiarize yourself with the information contained herein. These rules govern the usage of OCWA water and are agreed to by you when you become an OCWA customer.

(Adopted April 14, 1999 – Last Revised November 14, 2019)

Contents of this webpage

I. Definitions
II. Territorial limits
III. Application for service
IV. Installation of services
V. Installation of meters
VI. Extensions of mains
VII. Deposits
VIII. Billing, payment, and adjustments
IX. General rules
X. Classifications, rates and charges (separate webpages)


Section 1.1

As used in these Customer Rules, the words and phrases listed below shall be deemed to have the following meaning:

“Authority” shall mean OCWA or the ONONDAGA COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY.

“Advisory Engineer” shall mean the engineer employed pursuant to the terms of the ONONDAGA COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY Trust Indenture.

“Applicant” shall mean the Customer (as defined below) making the request in writing for any water or water service to be rendered or furnished by the Authority. Only the customer may apply for water service.

“Customer” shall mean the owner of Premises to which water or water service is being requested and the Person responsible for payment of charges for water or other facilities and services furnished by the Authority.

“Customer Rules” shall mean the Customer Rules of the Authority as contained herein and as such Rules are from time to time amended.

“Occupant” shall mean any Person actually in possession or control of any Premises or part thereof.”

“Owner” shall mean the person who has legal title to any Premises.

“Person” shall mean an individual, individuals, family, firm, association, private corporation, public corporation or municipal district.

“Premises” shall mean:

a) A parcel or tract of land whether or not occupied by a structure and shall include the entire front footage thereof abutting on a street where the water or water service is requested or furnished for any part thereof.

b) A building or a combination of buildings owned by a Customer, in one common enclosure and occupied by one or more persons.

c) Each unit of a multiple house, apartment house or building separated by a partition wall and occupied by one or more Persons as a residence or place of business.

d) A building owned by one Customer having a number of apartments, offices or lofts that are rented to tenants.

e) A building two or more stories high under one roof, owned by one Customer having an individual entrance for the ground floor occupants and one for the occupants of the upper floors.

f) A mobile home park owned by one Customer located in one common area.

“Public Street” shall mean any street, avenue, alley, road or right of way that is held for any highway purpose under the jurisdiction of any village, town, city, county, or the State of New York.

“Purchaser” shall mean the person who legally purchases any Premises.

“Service Connection” shall mean the facilities and equipment used to supply water to any Premises and which are installed within the limits of a Public Street between the main and the curb box shutoff of the Premises to be served.

“Sub-metering” shall mean any resale of water by a Customer whether through a separate meter or not.

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Article II. Territorial limits

Section 2.1

These Customer Rules shall apply to all territory served and to be served by the Authority.

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Article III. Application for service

Section 3.1

All applications for the use of water must be made in writing by each proposed Customer on forms provided by the Authority designated “Application for Water Service” or “Application for Fire Protection Service”. On acceptance by the Authority, the application shall constitute a contract between the Authority and the Customer, and shall obligate the Customer to pay to the Authority the rates provided for in Article X, as from time to time amended, and to comply with the Customer Rules.

Section 3.2

Applications will be accepted subject to the existence of a main in a Public Street abutting on the Premises to be served but acceptance shall in no way obligate the Authority to extend its mains to service the Premises except as hereinafter provided.

For water service to be available, an existing main must front the Customer’s Premises. If an existing main is not available, then a main extension under Article VI will be required. The main must be extended to the center of the Customer’s residence such that the service to the residence will be perpendicular to the main. The Authority reserves the right to determine where the main shall be extended to and the location within and without the limits of a public street.

Section 3.3

A separate application must be made for each Premises, as defined in paragraph 1.1 hereunder.

Section 3.4

Application for temporary water service may be accepted and temporary water service will be supplied providing it does not interfere with the use of water by Customers. The quantity of water taken for such purposes shall be determined either by meter or by estimate of the Authority and paid for in accordance with an applicable rate schedule. Customers requiring temporary water service:

a) shall reimburse the Authority for all expenses in connection with providing the necessary temporary service connections; and

b) as security for payment of bills, shall make such deposit as specified by the Authority.

Section 3.5

Whenever any Person shall make application to the State of New York for its approval to take a water supply or any additional water supply from the Authority or from any other source which is supplied by the Authority, the applicant shall file with the Authority, on or before making such application to the State, a true copy of any petition, maps, plans, engineering reports, exhibits and papers filed with the State in support of its application.

Section 3.6

Acceptance of any application made by any Customer shall depend upon a determination in the sole discretion of the Authority that the conditions of the service requested are:

a) economically feasible and

b) within the capacity of the Authority to render such service without prejudice to the demands imposed upon its system by its other Customers. When applicable, all New York State Department of Health and Department of Environmental Conservation permits must be obtained by the Customer, at the Customer’s expense.

Section 3.7

Whenever application is made for the service of water to a mobile home park, apartment complex or tract development, there shall be furnished to the Authority, a map or plan thereof, showing its location, the estimated number of mobile homes, apartments, homes and other structures to be served, and the arrangement of streets affording access to and within the limits of the said mobile home park, apartment complex or tract development.

Section 3.8

Sub-metering will not be permitted nor will the maintenance of multiple meters on a single service line.

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Article IV. Installation of services

Section 4.1

Upon written application for water or water service, as herein before prescribed, to any property abutting on any Public Street, and upon payment of the applicable charge for the size service to be installed, as prescribed in articles VIII and X, the Authority, at its expense, will install, operate, maintain and, when necessary, replace at its own cost and expense, the service pipe and connection between the main and the curb box shutoff of the Premises served. Where necessary, easements acceptable to the Authority must be furnished at the Applicant’s expense for all water or water service installations. All service lines installed by the Authority shall remain the property of the Authority. Restoration of an abandoned service shall be considered a new service installation.

Section 4.2

Upon written application for municipal fire protection service by an entity authorized by law to contract and pay for public fire protection service, the Authority will, where adequate quantities of water at satisfactory pressures are available, furnish, place and install at its own expense, hydrants and hydrant connections necessary to render adequate fire protection in the area in which such service is formally requested. All hydrants and hydrant connections so installed shall remain the property of the Authority. New York State Health Department approval must be obtained by the Customer.

Section 4.3

Upon written application for private fire protection service to any property abutting on any Public Street, and upon payment of the applicable charge for the due service to be installed as prescribed in Articles VIII and X, the Authority will install, operate, maintain, and, when necessary, replace at its own cost and expense the Service Connection of the Premises to be served. If a hydrant is installed on a private fire protection service line, such hydrant will be located on the Customer’s property, and will be installed and maintained by the Customer and at the Customer’s expense. However, the Authority reserves the right to approve the type of hydrants, valves and/or check valves, piping material, and the manner of installation before service is provided. Private fire protection service shall be provided only upon the following express conditions:

a) The connection is to be used for fire purposes only, and is to have no connection whatsoever with any taps that may be used for other than fire purposes, and because of the danger of pollution, shall have no connection with any other source of supply. (See Section 9.4)

b) The Customer shall not draw any water whatsoever through said connection for any purposes except the extinguishing of fires, or in a periodic test of the fire protection system.

c) The Customer shall notify the Authority as to the time of all tests, so that, if desired, the Authority may have a representative present. (Such notification, however, need not be formal or written, and may be given by telephone to the principal office of the Authority, but not less than 24 hours notice shall be given in advance of any such test).

d) Failure to provide notification of fire protection system testing, or use of a fire protection system for anything other than fire suppression or testing, will be subject to penalty in accordance with OCWA Rate Schedule No. 3.

e) Any authorized representative of the Authority shall have free access to the Premises of the Customer at any reasonable time for the purpose of inspecting said connection.

f) The Customer agrees to pay for services rendered, including water use related to non-emergency situations, according to the rates and charges prescribed in Articles VIII and X. (If at any time, the Customer elects to change the size of connection or number of fire protection devices, the agreement shall be modified accordingly or a new agreement shall be executed).

g) Fire services designed to feed a storage tank will require the installation of a meter, specified by OCWA, to be located at the property line where the fire service line enters the property.

h) Any fire service line 200 feet or longer will require the installation of a meter, specified by OCWA, to be located at the property line where the fire service line enters the property.

i) All fire service connections must include installation of a backflow prevention device designed to meet New York State Health Department guidelines.

Upon violation by the Customer of any condition (a) through (i) of this Section, the Authority may disconnect the service pipe or shut off the supply of water. Water through said private fire service connections is to be supplied subject to the rights of public corporations or municipal districts to use water in the street mains through hydrants for fire purposes. The right is also reserved by the Authority to shut off the supply at any time, without notice, in case of accident or to make tests, alterations, extensions, connections or repairs. The Authority makes no guaranty as to pressure of the water in said pipes or the main supplying the same, and shall not, under any circumstances, be held liable for loss or damage from a deficiency or failure in the supply of water, whether caused by shutting off of water in case of accident or for tests, alterations, extensions, connections or repairs, or for any other cause whatsoever.

Section 4.4

The Authority, at its expense, will maintain, and, when necessary, replace any Service Connections to the Premises served. Service Connections shall not be trespassed upon or interfered with in any respect. The curb stop valve may not be used by the Customer for turning on or shutting off the water supply. It is to be operated exclusively by an employee of the Authority.

Section 4.5

The Customer shall, at its’ own expense, install:

a) Service pipe in accordance with the specifications set forth in Section 4.6, from the location of the curb box to the meter.

b) Two shut-off valves; the first valve shall be located inside the building wall no further than 12 inches (12”) from said wall; the second valve located adjacent to and on the outlet side of the meter, to permit control of the water supply, within the premises, by the Customer. The valves shall be of a make and type approved by the Authority. A check valve and/or (pressure reducing valve) is to be installed by the Customer if deemed necessary by the Authority (See section 9.4).

c) The Customer shall place a temporary stake at the end of the service pipe nearest the location of the proposed curb box, and such stake shall extend from the end of the service pipe to a point approximately two feet (2’) above the surface of the ground.

d) The meter at a location so as to be readily accessible for proper reading and changing.

The following additional rules shall also apply to service installations:

a) When the meter is to be installed by OCWA, the plumber installing the piping shall provide sufficient flexibility to allow for proper protection and clearance as required by the Authority.

b) Where the meter is located in a meter pit, the meter pit shall also be maintained by the Customer including de‑watering where necessary.

c) All such facilities will be maintained and when necessary replaced at the sole expense of the Customer.

d) For the installation and/or maintenance thereof, the Customer shall comply with all applicable State and Municipal rules and regulations, and as work shall be performed in a manner satisfactory to the Authority.

e) The minimum size, material, depth of cover, and method of construction shall be the same as hereinafter specified for a service pipe as provided in Section 4.6. If any defects in workmanship or materials are found, or if the Customer’s service pipe has not been installed in accordance with the specifications herein, or in accordance with the Authority’s requirements, water or water service will not be turned on, or will be discontinued if such defects are not remedied.

f) No Service Connection will be installed by the Authority until the service pipe from the meter to the street has been installed in a manner satisfactory to the Authority.

g) Upon receipt of an application for a new service or for the reinstatement of an existing service, the Authority will assume that the piping and fixtures which the service will supply are in proper order to receive same, and the Authority will not be liable in any event for any accident, break or leakage arising or in any way related to the supply of water or failure to supply the same through such a service.

h) Where a water service is requested within an existing housing-tract or new development, the Customer (Builder and or Developer) will be required to direct OCWA as to the desired location of the service line to the curb and the curb box shutoff, preferably on or near the center line of the lot, with the required 10-foot offset from any sewer lateral installation. Should no direction be provided, OCWA will install the water service to the curb and the curb box shutoff as close to the center of the lot as possible, with proper offsets as required. After installation the cost of any service line and curb box shutoff relocation will be the sole responsibility of the aforementioned Customer.

Section 4.6

All Customer service pipes shall have a minimum ground cover of four and one-half (4’ 6”) feet. No service pipe shall be less in size than three-quarters inch (3/4″) inside diameter. U.S. Government Specifications Type K soft tempered copper tubing shall be used in all services up to and including services of two inches (2″) from curb box to meter. All services larger than two inches (2″) in diameter shall be cement lined ductile iron pipe, of quality equal to American Water Works Association standard specifications, and of weight suitable for service under a pressure of 150 pounds per square inch (150 psi). All connections of service pipes to a main with a ground cover of less than five feet (5’) shall be made on the side of the main so that such service pipes shall in no case have less covering than the main. The Authority reserves the right in all cases to designate the size and type of Service Connection to be used.

Section 4.7

The Authority shall not be required to install any Service connections between November 15th and April 15th, except by special arrangement, in which case the Customer shall pay for the excess cost over normal costs.

Section 4.8

If the water main is on the distant side of a divided highway or where the pavement is over forty feet (40’) in width, it shall not be considered as available for direct service and service will be provided pursuant to Article VI.

Section 4.9

Where rock or boulders are encountered making it necessary for the Authority to drill, blast or jackhammer, the actual cost will be paid by the Customer but not to exceed three times the standard connection fee listed in Article X.

Section 4.10

A service connection shall be required for each metered service line, where the total quantity of water delivered and furnished thereto is to be billed to a single Customer of the Authority.

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Article V. Installation of meters

Section 5.1

An individual meter shall be required for each Premise and for each water Service Connection.

Section 5.2

The meter and outside reading receptacle will be furnished and connected by the Authority, or under the supervision of the Authority. The Authority reserves the right in all cases to designate the size, type and make of the meter and receptacle to be used. Where the Authority does not own the service, there will be a charge for the meter and the installation by the Authority. The meter and receptacle remain the property of the Authority.

Section 5.3

The Customer shall provide at Customer’s expense, an accessible and protected location for the meter, said location being subject to the approval of the Authority at the time of the service pipe installation. The meter may be located inside a building when, in the opinion of the Authority, an inside setting will provide adequate accessibility, as well as protection against freezing and other damage to the meter when the service pipe from the street line to place of use does not exceed one-hundred-fifty feet (150’) in length. A setting within a building shall be located just inside the cellar wall at a point which will control the entire supply, exclusive of fire lines, to the premise. Crawl space meter settings must be approved by the Authority; the height of the crawl space must be at least four feet (4’), with the meter setting located close to or at the entrance to the crawl space. When no suitable place inside the building is available, or the service pipe exceeds 150 feet (150’) in length, the Authority may require that the meter be set near the curb box shutoff with suitable valves in a pit at least 5 feet deep, with a suitable cover. Pit and cover shall be owned, installed and maintained by the Customer; pit design, construction and location shall be approved by the Authority. Service provided with meters larger than 2 inches shall be provided with a sealed by-pass valve. Meters installed in all of the above applications must be set in a horizontal position.

Section 5.4

All meters, meter connections and encoders shall remain the property of the Authority, and shall not be interfered with in any respect. All meters will be maintained by and at the expense of the Authority, with respect to ordinary wear and tear. The Customer will be responsible for damage due to freezing, hot water or other causes. In the event of such damage the Authority will repair or replace the meter, at its sole discretion, at the expense of the customer.

The Customer is responsible for maintaining the plumbing and valves on both sides of the meter so that the meter may be removed or replaced conveniently. If a leak should develop subsequent to the installation, removal or replacement of the meter due to poor condition of the plumbing, the Customer shall be responsible for any necessary repairs. The Authority shall not be liable for damage incurred to any Premises caused by fire, freezing or other damage to the meter. The Customer must be present for all meter related services performed by the Authority. Any exception to this requirement must be approved by the Authority.

Section 5.5

The Authority reserves the right to remove and test a meter at any time and to substitute another meter in its place. Should the customer question the accuracy of a meter, the meter will be tested by the Authority upon Customer request. The fee for testing such meters is set forth in Article X. If the meter tested is found to have an error in registration to the prejudice of the Customer in excess of two percent (2%) (at rates of flow established as parameters for the complaint test procedure) will result in a corresponding adjustment to the customers account. Prior water bills may be adjusted for over‑registration in accordance with the provisions of Section 8.1 and 5.6.

In the event that a Customer/Owner fails to provide the Authority access to a meter for the purpose of inspection, assessment, testing or replacement, the Authority reserves the right to shut off water service to said Customer/Owner until such time as access is granted.

Section 5.6

In accordance with Section 5-1.31 of the N.Y. State Sanitary Code, the Authority requires the Customer to install (at the Customer’s expense) a protective device, or devices, to prevent back-flow of water from the Customer’s system, downstream of the meter, to the meter, service lateral or water main of the Authority. (See Section 9.4.)

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Article VI. Extension of mains

Section 6.1

Upon application for water or water service, or fire protection service, in areas not serviced by an Authority-owned main or where existing flows are deemed inadequate, the Authority will extend its mains, or install necessary mains in accordance with the terms of a main extension contract, or under an advance benefit plan as follows:

a) Each main extension contract shall be in such form as provided for in Section 9.8, and shall provide that the Applicant shall pay a main extension charge which shall equal the current cost per lineal foot of distribution main times the number of feet of main necessary to service the Applicant’s Premises plus $150.00. Such current cost per lineal foot of installed distribution main shall be annually determined by the Authority and placed on file in the Authority office. No provisions for rock excavation, pavement cuts or water conditions are included in the current cost, and provisions regarding such costs will be added where applicable.

b) Under an advance benefit plan, the Authority will extend a main where the Authority deems such extension to be economically feasible and each Customer pays an Advance Benefit payment. Such feasibility will be determined in the sole discretion of the Authority and will be subject to approval by the Authority’s Advisory Engineer. No extension will be made under an advance benefit plan unless such extension

1) is requested by more than one property owner,

2) is determined to be needed by OCWA, and

3) is determined to be in the best economic interest of the Authority. There shall be an Advance Benefit charge to each Customer whenever service is received, the amount of which shall be determined annually by the Authority and placed on file in the Authority office. In instances where an advance benefit plan is not otherwise deemed to be economically feasible, the Authority may enter into an agreement whereby the State, or a municipality, or district or agency thereof, agrees to pay the Authority additional revenue in the form of increased hydrant rentals or other charges.

Such main extension charges and advance benefit plan payments shall be in addition to all other applicable charges under the Customer Rules including but not limited to charges for Service Connections and meter installations.

Section 6.2

The Authority reserves the right to determine and specify the diameter and type of pipe required to provide the service requested, and its location within or without the limits of a Public Street. The Authority further reserves the right to install a main larger in diameter than the main required to render the service requested.

Section 6.3

Title to all main extensions shall be vested in the Authority. The Authority shall have the right to further extend any main installed, pursuant to the terms of the main extension contract, to other Public Streets or Premises without repayment or refund to any Customer. The Authority reserves the right to consider extensions made at the Applicant’s expense and without written agreements as service lines. Upon such lines the Authority may set a meter, in accordance with its rules, at the beginning of the extension to measure all water used, and title to the line beyond the meter in such case will be vested in the Customer, who will be responsible for maintenance and replacement when necessary.

Section 6.4

The Authority, at its expense, will maintain and, when in the sole opinion of the Authority it is deemed necessary, replace all Authority owned mains located within Public Streets and used to supply water to its Customers.

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Article VII. Deposits

Section 7.1

As security for payment of periodic billing for water service and metered use, the Authority may, at any time, require a service deposit. Deposits will be equal to two (2) times the estimated average bill for the service in question, but in no case less than $100.00. Deposits can be required at the discretion of the Authority and are payable upon demand. When service is discontinued the deposit will be applied to the Customer account before the final bill is rendered. In the event there is a balance due, a final bill will be mailed to the Customer. In the event there is a credit balance, a refund without accumulated interest will be mailed to the forwarding address provided by the Customer.

Section 7.2

The Authority shall charge a service activation fee as set forth in Article X.

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Article VIII. Billing, payment and adjustments

Section 8.1

All bills are payable in accordance with the terms of the applicable service classifications. Meters will be read quarterly or monthly, and Customers will be billed quarterly or monthly at the Authority’s discretion. The quantity recorded by the meter shall be considered the amount of water passing through the meter, which amount shall be conclusive to both the Customer and the Authority, except when the meter has been found to be registering inaccurately, or has ceased to register. In such cases, the quantity may be determined by the average registration of the meter in a corresponding past period, when in order, or by the average registration of the new meter. The Authority, at its discretion, will determine whichever method is representative of the conditions existing during the period in question.

Section 8.2

Except as otherwise provided in Article X, all bills are due and payable when rendered. Payment options include cash, check, money order, credit/debit card and recurring bank drafts. The maximum credit balance allowed on any account shall be the estimated annual water charges for the property. If customer payment is made by check or electronic fund transfer, and the bank has refused the payment, a fee, as listed in Article X, will be added to the next bill for service. All unpaid bills shall bear a ten percent (10%) service charge beginning the thirty-first day following the date of billing. If a bill is unpaid for thirty-one days, the Authority or its agent(s) has the option to discontinue water service to the Customer. Water service will be shut off to any user for non-payment of water bills and charges after said bills and charges are delinquent for a period of sixty (60) days. Service generally will be re-established within 24 hours when such unpaid charges, together with the appropriate charge for restoration of service as provided in Section 9.2 and Article X, are fully paid.

Section 8.3

a) Owner/Tenant Responsibility – The Owner of a property is responsible for the payment of the bills. The Authority, as a courtesy to the owner and/or tenant, may send bills to the occupant under the terms and conditions of the Authority’s Tenant Letter Agreement, thereby making both the Owner and the Tenant/Occupant jointly responsible for full payment.

b) Notification – The Owner/Customer/Purchaser shall notify the Authority of any change in a property’s occupancy or ownership. The Authority reserves the right to refuse to establish a new account for a new Customer, or adjust any bill of an existing Customer, unless the Authority is notified of such change of ownership or occupancy at least three (3) business days in advance of such change.

c) Third Party Notification – If circumstances make it difficult for the Customer to keep track of his/her OCWA account, a third party may be designated to receive copies of billings, delinquency notices and service termination notices. With the exception of an owner/occupant situation, the third party is not responsible for bill payment.

Section 8.4

The Authority reserves the right to contract with an outside collection agency for the collection of delinquent account balances, previously uncollectible by the Authority.

Section 8.5

Unless prohibited by law or regulation, Customers may discontinue water service by giving the Authority telephone or written notice not less than three (3) days prior to the requested date of discontinuance of service. Upon discontinuance of service, the Authority will promptly render and mail the final bill. Written notice is mandatory for the discontinuance of service to private fire protection and public fire protection accounts.

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Article IX. General rules

Section 9.1

The Authority may discontinue and/or refuse water service for any of the following reasons:

a) A Customer has obtained water service without proper authorization, has diverted the water service for unauthorized use, or acquired water from an unmetered water service line.

b) A condition determined by the Authority to be illegal,unsafe or hazardous (i.e. a leaking service or an illegal cross-connection).

c) Tampering with any service connection, service pipe, seal, meter or any appurtenance owned by the Authority.

d) Non‑payment of bills, thirty-one days or more past due, for water or services rendered by the Authority.

e) Failure by a Customer to comply with the terms of any deferred payment agreement on a delinquent water account.

f) Refusal of reasonable access to the property for the purpose of reading, repairing, testing or removing meters and meter reading systems or inspecting water piping and other fixtures during normal working hours.

g) Use of water for purposes other than as represented in Customer’s application or through branch connections before the meter.

h) Waste of water through improper or imperfect facilities or by any other means, including, but not limited to, Customer failure to fix their leaking pipes.

i) Cross-connection as described in Section 9.4.

j) Violation of the Customer Rules.

k) Failure or refusal of the Customer to reimburse the Authority for repairs, or loss of Authority property, when such repairs are necessitated or loss is occasioned by the intentional or negligent acts of the Customer or his agents.

l) Service may be terminated without notice when appropriate, as determined at the sole discretion of OCWA.

m) Where two or more premises have been supplied with water (prior to OCWA acquisition) through one service pipe under the control of one curb stop, such service shall continue; however, if any of the parties so supplied shall violate any of the Rules and Regulations provided for herein, the Authority reserves the right to apply the foregoing shut-off regulations to the joint service line, excepting that such action shall not be taken until the innocent customer who is not in violation of the Authority’s Rules and Regulations has been given reasonable opportunity to attach the service pipe leading to his premises to a separately controlled service connection.

n) Any customer may discontinue water service by giving the Authority written notice not less than three (3) days prior to the discontinuance and all liability for charges for service rendered after the discontinuance of service as herein provided for shall cease.

Section 9.2

Water service that has been terminated for any reason set forth in Section 9.1 or at the request of the Customer, may be restored upon the payment of the appropriate fee as set forth in Article X. This policy also applies to seasonal Customers.

In the event that OCWA is required to do more than remove a meter and/or close the curb stop as the result of a Customers action, the Customer will be charged for the actual costs incurred by the Authority.

Section 9.3

No Person, except as specifically authorized by the Authority, shall take water from any public fire hydrant for any use whatsoever, other than for fire purposes. The use of public fire hydrants for water hauling, washing streets, flushing sewers, etc., is not permitted except upon specific authorization from the Authority, and for such uses all users will be billed at meter rates set forth in Rate Schedule 1C. If water is used from public fire hydrants without specific authorization by the Authority, the user will pay, in addition to meter rates set forth in the rate schedule, a charge representing any other costs incurred by the Authority, as well as face possible prosecution for theft of service.

Any water drawn from the OCWA water distribution system for firefighting or fire training purposes shall be considered non-potable and is prohibited from any subsequent public or private use. Such water may not be discarded in any public or private cistern, well, swimming pool or other vessel due to the associated health risks. Any violation of this rule may result in the imposition of costs and fees, as well as potential prosecution for theft of service.

Section 9.4

In accord With Section 5-1.31 of the N.Y. State Sanitary code, the Customer is required to protect the Authority’s system by containing potential contamination within the Customer’s premises in the following manner:

a) By providing an acceptable air gap, reduced pressure zone device, double check valve assembly or equivalent protective device acceptable to the Authority and the State Health Department consistent with the degree of hazard posed by any service connection;

b) By submitting plans for the installation of protective devices to the Authority and the State Health Department for approval; and

c) By assuring that all protective devices be tested at least annually by a State certified backflow prevention device tester. Records of such tests shall be made available to and maintained by the Authority.

The Customer is not allowed to establish a separate source of water on his or her premises without written permission of the Authority and the prior written consent of the State or County Health Department, as applicable. Piping on the Customer’s premises which is connected with any other source of water supply shall not be connected or cross-connected with any piping connected to the Authority system. No piping connected to the Authority system shall be connected or cross-connected in any way to any piping, tank, vat, cistern or other apparatus which contains liquids, chemicals or any other matter which may flow back into the Authority system.

If a Customer intentionally or unintentionally negatively impacts the water system through pressure surge, vacuum, injecting or causing compounds or materials to enter the water system, the Authority may levy a fine of up to $1,000.00 per day, along with reimbursement for expenses/damages. In addition, criminal charges may be pursued via referral of the matter to the applicable District Attorney’s office.

Section 9.5

OCWA reserves the right, at any time, without notice, to shut off water in its mains for the purpose of making tests, repairs or extensions, or for other purposes. It is expressly agreed that the Authority shall not be liable for any loss or damages resulting from a deficiency, or failure in the supply of water, or the water pressure for any cause including, but not limited to, the bursting or breaking of any main or service pipe.

Section 9.6

Applicants for service or main extensions shall deliver without cost to the Authority, permanent easements or rights‑of-way, deemed necessary by OCWA, for the installation and maintenance of the mains, service lines and service connections. The Authority will not commence any construction until Applicants have either (1) obtained satisfactory easements or rights-of-way, or (2) agreed to pay such costs as may be incurred if the Authority obtains such, easements or rights‑of-way at Applicant’s request.

Section 9.7

The Authority will not begin installation of any main extensions, service lines, and or service connections when circumstances, beyond the control of the Authority, prohibit such construction. Said circumstances include but shall not be limited to delays in delivery of materials, weather conditions, strikes, acts of God, absence of permits and approvals from the State of New York Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Health, applicable County Health Department, and/or Village, Town, County, or State Highway/Transportation Department.

Section 9.8

All applications, contracts, agreements and any other forms required in connection with Customer Rules shall be in the form and shall contain such general conditions, provisions and terms as the Authority, in its sole discretion, shall approve. Copies of such forms shall be filed at the office of the Authority, located at 200 Northern Concourse, Syracuse (Mattydale), New York.

Section 9.9

In periods of drought or emergency, or when deemed essential to the protection of the public health, safety and welfare, OCWA reserves the right to restrict, curtail or prohibit the use of water. Such restrictions may include, but are not limited to, sprinkling, car washing, or filling swimming pools. OCWA shall also have the right to fix the hours when water may or may not be used for specified purposes.

Section 9.10

Water service to a building fire service line shall not be discontinued pursuant to Section 9.1, except in the case of illegal, unsafe or hazardous situations as determined by OCWA, until sixty (60) days after the code enforcement officer for the local municipality in which the building is located, as well as the applicable county fire control office, have been notified of the intent to terminate.

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Article X. Classifications, rates & charges

Separately bound as Rate Schedules.


I, the undersigned, as Secretary of the Onondaga County Water Authority, do hereby certify that the annexed and foregoing is a true and correct copy of the Amended Customer Rules of said Authority duly adopted at a meeting of said Authority held on the 14th day of November, 2019 at which a quorum was present, and having been duly entered in the official minutes of said meeting.

I further certify that all members of said Onondaga County Water Authority had due notice of said meeting and that due notice was given to the public and news media as required by law.

                                                                                       Michael J. Luber, Secretary