Customer Rights and Responsibilities

Looking for information to help you understand your rights and responsibilities related to water service with El Paso Water? The following provides highlights to help residential customers easily find answers. For more comprehensive information on customer rights and responsibilities, including commercial and business rights and responsibilities, go to the Rules and Regulations.

Water Service Connections Size

The customer shall determine the size of water service connection and the size and number of sewer service connections needed, subject to paying rates and charges provided within regulations. A single family dwelling unit having a gross lot area of 10,000 square feet or less shall not be permitted a water service connection larger than ¾ inches. Each property or developable unit shall have a separate water meter and separate sewer service connection. In no instance shall two properties owned by different individuals or entities and/or properties separated by a street or alley be served by one water meter or by one sewer connection.

Excerpted from No. 1, Section VII-A of Rules and Regulations

Water Meter Location

When a location for the water meter box outside the property line is not practical, the water meter box shall be located on the customer’s premises near the point where the service pipe crosses the property line, and where the meter will be accessible at all times for inspection, testing and reading. The customer shall maintain the surrounding property in a manner that protects the meter from damage and assures that it is clearly visible.

The customer shall immediately report any defect he/she observes in the meter to the utility. Application by the customer for service shall be deemed as permission for the utility to set the meter box on his/her property, if necessary.

Excerpted from No. 1, Section VII-F of Rules and Regulations

Protection of Water Supply

The customer is responsible for preventing contaminants or pollutants originating on the customer’s premises from entering the public water supply as well as the customer’s water system. The customer’s responsibility begins at each water service connection and extends throughout the entire length of the water system within the premises.

The Rules and Regulations provide additional details on backflow prevention assemblies, tests, inspections, repairs and record keeping.

Excerpted from No. 1, Section V of Rules and Regulations

Damage to Customer Equipment

The City of El Paso and/or El Paso Water shall not be responsible for any loss or damage caused by the improper installation, condition or use of the customer’s equipment or by any negligence or wrongful act of the customer or his agents, employees or licensees.

Excerpted from No. 1, Section VII-H of Rules and Regulations

Extension and Connection Charges

Once line extension charges have been paid, the right to the allowable service connection shall be vested in the property, whether used or not. However, should a service connection remain inactive for three years or more, the service connection may, at the option of the utility, be removed. If the property owner requests the removal of a water connection, a $350 fee each plus other applicable charges will be due from the property owners.

Excerpted from No. 1, Section VII-B of Rules and Regulations

Service Line and Customer Furnished Equipment

The customer shall be responsible for the furnishing and installation of the water service line (domestic and irrigation/yard) from the meter into the property, for the furnishing and installation of a fireline, and for the sewer service line from the tap at the main into the property, to include the air gap or approved backflow prevention assembly and related protective enclosures, and for all the equipment for the control and utilization of these service located within the property and for maintaining such lines and equipment in good, serviceable and safe condition. The customer shall not extend water or sewer lines to furnish such service to another property.

Excerpted from No. 1, Section VII-C of Rules and Regulations

Water Pressure and Service Interruptions

The customer agrees to accept such conditions of water pressure or service interruptions that may exist from time to time and to hold the utility, the city of El Paso and the Public Service Board harmless on account of damage caused by low or high pressure, fluctuations of pressure or interruptions or curtailment of service. Where the static water pressure at the meter exceeds 80 pounds per square inch, the customer should, for his own protection and at his own expense, install a pressure regulator, strainer, relief valve, to be set for pressure as desired by the customer.

Excerpted from No. 1, Section VII-D of Rules and Regulations

Pressure regulatorEl Paso’s varied elevations may lead to some homes needing pressure regulators to deal with high water pressure. Some homes in El Paso may have pressure regulators that were installed underground by the home builder. If your home had a pressure regulator installed, it is typical for the pressure regulator to be installed near the water meter. However, this is not always the case.

After some time, the pressure regulator may require maintenance or stop working. If you feel you have high water pressure, over 80 psi, you should look into getting it serviced or purchasing a new one. A licensed plumber will be able to help you with this.

If left unattended, you could risk damage to household appliances and/or experience unnecessary water leaks.

Sewage Backup and Other Sewer Service Conditions

The customer shall agree to accept the elevation and location of all sewers as laid by the utility and will, where necessary, install and operate on his/her own premises and at his/her own expense, all necessary sewage lifting equipment or backup protective devices. Customers having drain or fixture outlets into the house connections that are at an elevation that is lower than the top of the nearest downstream sanitary sewer manhole shall protect their premises from possible backup of sewage by the installation of backflow or other devices to prevent sewage backing up and flowing out of such outlets. Such customers agree to accept responsibility for any damages caused by a sewage backup where the customer has failed to install devices to prevent such a sewage backing up and agrees to hold the City of El Paso, the utility and/or the Public Service Board harmless for any damage caused by such a sewage backup.

In areas where the vacuum sewer lines are installed, service valve boxes are required for service. As a condition of service, the service boxes may be located on the customer’s premises in an area determined by the utility to be accessible at all times for inspection, testing and maintenance. One service box may serve two or more properties. The service box may be set on the property line between adjoining served properties or on any of the served properties. The customer shall maintain the surrounding property in a manger that protects the service box from damage and assures that it is clearly visible. The customer shall immediately report any defect or damage he/she observes in the service box to the Utility.

Excerpted from No. 1, Section VII-E of Rules and Regulations

Restricted Water and Sewer System Designs

Pressurized Water Systems or Hydro-pneumatic Water Systems are not allowed. Private water systems are not allowed. Grinder Pump or Low Pressure Sewer Systems are not allowed. Private Sewer Collection Systems are not allowed.

Excerpted from No. 1, Section VIII-H and I of Rules and Regulations

Discontinuance of Service

The utility shall have the right, with notice to the customer, to discontinue the water and/or sewer service and to apply any of the customer’s water service guarantee or deposit to amounts owed the utility for non-payment of service charges; for the excessive waste of water, for failure to comply with the mandatory water conservation ordinance for the City of El Paso; for violation of any provision of the Rules and Regulations; for the violation of any of the city’s Plumbing Code; for the piping of service along or across streets, alleys or to the property of others without the prior written consent of the utility; for using a service without applying for and signing the proper service contract; for supplying service to properties other than on which the appropriate frontage charge has been paid.... And more. Please see complete listing in Section IX of the Rules and Regulations.

Excerpted from No. 1, Section IX of Rules and Regulations

Right of Appeal

The customer may appeal in writing any ruling or action of the utility or its agents to the Public Service Board. Any customer who does NOT appeal such a ruling or action in accordance with these procedures within 60 days of the date of issuance of the ruling or action shall waive any right to contest such action or ruling.

Excerpted from No. 1, Section IV of Rules and Regulations

Customer Disclosure

EPWater will not disclose personal information in a customer’s account record, or any information relating to the volume or units of utility usage unless a customer provides the required written authorization.

The form may be submitted to EPWater if a customer desires for their customer account Information to be disclosed to another person or organization. EPWater requires the customer to provide written authorization to EPWater prior to the utility sharing customer account Information.

Click to download Disclosure Form (english) (spanish). This form may be signed, scanned and sent by email to [email protected]. Or you may sign and send in the form by mail to: El Paso Water, P.O. Box 511, El Paso, TX 79961-0511.

Please keep in mind that state law provides exceptions for disclosure if Information is requested by certain entities and purposes where EPWater is required to disclose customer account information.

You may rescind your request for disclosure by providing EPWater written request to withhold your information beginning on the date EPWater receives your request.

Click to download Non-Disclosure Form (english) (spanish). This form may be signed, scanned and sent by email to [email protected]. Or you may sign and send in the form by mail to: El Paso Water, P.O. Box 511, El Paso, TX 79961-0511.

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