Frequently Asked Questions
How often will I receive a bill?
The Authority will mail you a bill each month for the previous month’s service. However, failure to receive a bill does not relieve the customer’s obligation to pay the bill. If you do not receive a bill, please contact our customer service department at (770) 920-3823 and we will be happy to assist you.
What is the policy for turning water off for nonpayment?
It is the responsibility of every customer to pay their bill in full and on time, however, from time to time customers may find themselves in a financial pinch and be unable to pay their bill. The Authority encourages customers to call us before the bill is past due to make short-term payment arrangements. If the customer does not contact the Authority and does not pay the bill on time, the customer is subject to a possible service interruption or termination of service.
If service is disconnected due to non-payment, the customer will have to pay the entire past due amount to have water restored, and a $50.00 delinquency processing fee will be added to the next billing statement. Once payment has been received, please be aware that it could take up to 24-hours for service to be restored. If there is a history of delinquencies on the account, the customer may be requested to pay an upgraded deposit.
The Authority can terminate water service if payment has not been received by the due date of any bill that includes an unpaid past due balance from previous months. This strict lock-off policy protects responsible customers like you from being burdened with the costs of negligent customers.
Will I be notified if I am being considered for disconnection due to nonpayment?
No. However, the Authority does print a warning message on all past-due bills that indicates that the customer could have service disconnected for past-due charges.
Why do I not have water when I have paid my bill?
This could be for one of several reasons. Occasionally, when a new water line is being installed or an existing water line is being upgraded, the construction will affect adjacent areas with water pressure problems or no water while the work is being performed.
From time to time, service lines and main lines break causing leaks which need emergency repair and involve shutting the water off. When these instances occur, it is the responsibility of the Authority to repair these lines as quickly as possible and the Authority may be unable to notify adjacent customers. The Authority may impact one customer or several customers while making the repair. Please be assured that water service will be restored as quickly as possible.
When the construction division and/or engineering department is aware that construction could affect adjacent streets, efforts will be made to contact the customers with door hangers, letters, etc.
Does the Authority offer a payment plan?
All payments are required to be made by the due date printed on the bill. However, in some cases where the customer has had a leak or is behind on their bills, payment plans can be offered to assist the customer in bringing their account current without having their water disconnected. Extended payment arrangements for past-due amounts owed for water and/or sewer service may be made under the following guidelines:
- Regardless of occupancy, all payment arrangements must be in writing, with written approval of the Executive Director or authorized designee. The payment arrangement shall contain a notice that failure to comply with the payment arrangement may subject the account to water turnoff at the premises. Only one request for extended payment arrangements may be made in a twelve-month calendar period by the same customer and/or same location. No more than two short-term (less than 30 days) payment arrangements may be made in a twelve-month calendar period by the same customer and/or the same location. This short-term arrangement will be so noted on the customer’s account and will only be granted if the customer has honored the previous payment arrangements that have been made.
- Water service may be discontinued without notice and payment in full is due in order to restore water service for failure to keep arrangements made.
What is the policy for returned checks or bank drafts?
Customers who have a check or a draft returned for insufficient funds will be charged a $30.00 NSF Fee. Customers with a history of two or more NSF checks or drafts will be placed on a cash-only basis. Once placed on a cash-only basis, the customer will be required to pay only with cash, cashier’s check, or money order.
The customer will remain as a cash only customer for up to a 12-month period of time following the incident.
What if my account has been sent to a collection agency?
Once an account has been terminated and a final bill generated, if the bill is not paid within 90 days it will then be turned over to a collection agency. Once the account has been turned over to the collection agency, a collection fee not-to-exceed 35% of the total amount due will be added to the balance owed. If a customer applies for new service they must first satisfy the bill sent to the collection agency.
Do disabled or senior citizens get a discount?
Yes. The Authority offers a reduced water/sewer base rate for qualifying seniors or disabled residents. Please check our website for the required forms or contact the Customer Service Department for information on how to apply.
How are my monthly water and sewer charges calculated?
A residential home pays a base rate for water each month. In addition, there is a usage rate charged per thousand gallons of usage. Please check the Rates and Fees chart for more details and the current rates. The average residential household uses about 5,000 gallons per month.
If you are on sewer, there is a sewer base rate each month. You also pay a treatment charge per thousand gallons, charged on just 80% of the water used that month.
FOR THE CURRENT RATE FOR THE ABOVE-MENTIONED FEES, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
Why am I having to pay a fee for stormwater when I have no control over rainfall?
While stormwater utilities and fees for service are not new, and they are a growing trend as local governments work toward meeting the ever-increasing environmental regulations designed to improve the quality of life for us all. The Authority believes that stormwater user fees are the only fair way to fund the federal mandates of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Phase II requirements and the state requirements of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District and the Georgia Erosion and Sedimentation Control Act – which are all designed to protect our precious water resources.
Impervious surface is used as a basis for the fee because the amount of impervious surface (concrete, roof top, etc.) on a property generally correlates to the amount of stormwater runoff generated by a property.
The amount of the fee is based on $4.00 for each equivalent residential unit (ERU), which is based on 2,543 square feet of impervious surface, representing the median residential use in Douglas County. All charges for non-residential properties are based on the actual area of impervious surface divided by 2,543 to determine the number of ERUs, which is then multiplied by the $4.00 base rate.
Do the Authority’s water lines cross my property?
Typically, the Authority water lines are located in the road right-of-way up to the meter that serves your home or business. The water line from the meter into your home or business belongs to you. It is important to maintain the water lines on your side of the meter properly, just as you would any part of your house. Leaks can occur, resulting in costly water bills. The water meter is used to measure how much water you and your family use. It is read each month to ensure that you are billed accurately. To ensure that your meter is read accurately, avoid planting shrubs, bushes, or any vegetation that may restrict meter reading access to your meter.
How do I know if I have a leak?
If you’ve had an unusually high bill without a corresponding increase in water consumption or have noticed water standing in your yard, you could have a problem. Leaks can be hard to detect, because they are often underground or under the foundation of your house. Try this: Read your water meter before you go to bed at night being careful not to use any water or flush any toilets after the read is taken. Take another reading the next morning before any water is used. If the second reading is higher, you may have a leak or faulty faucet or toilet. Because customers are responsible for their service lines from the meter to the house, you should contact a plumber as soon as possible. The sooner you fix the leak, the sooner the meter stops registering the extra flow of water, which helps prevent the bill from being higher.
Who do I need to call if I see water running down the road?
Please contact our maintenance department at (770) 949-7617. The Authority’s maintenance department operates seven days a week to better service our customers. Sometimes, however, we must call for 72-hour underground utility locates before we can repair leaks that are deemed not to be an emergency.
We also have an emergency number that can be contacted for emergency repairs when customers are without water due to a mainline break. Our emergency number is (770) 942-6633.
What do I need to do to establish service?
To establish your water and sewer service, you can call us or come by our offices at 8763 Hospital Drive (bring your driver’s license, daytime phone number).
We require 24 hours’ notice for new service and cannot establish service on weekends. You will need to turn off all faucets in your home or need to be present when service is connected to avoid potential water damage. Please be advised that the Authority is not responsible for damage caused by the initiation of service requested by a customer. If you don’t apply for service in person, we ask that you send in the form from our website packet along with your deposit a few days before service is to begin.
Residential customers will also be required to make a $50.00 deposit for water service and a $75.00 deposit for sewer service, if the location is served with sewer. If you are unsure if your location is on sewer, please contact our customer service department at (770) 920-3823 to assist you. These deposits are required to protect the majority of WSA customers who pay their bill in full each month. Without deposits, the money owed by customers who leave the system without paying would have to be paid by you through increased water/sewer rates. The deposit remains on the account until the account is terminated.
Commercial customers would need to contact our Customer Service Department to verify deposit amount.
What do I need to do to terminate my service?
When you need to discontinue service, contact the Customer Service Department at (770) 920-3823 at least 24 hours, or one business day, before disconnection date. Be sure to give the Authority a forwarding address so we can mail any refund to you.
Where does my water come from?
The Authority provides water and sanitary sewer service to more than 42,000 customers and more than 100,000 residents. Your water, some of the purest in the state, is drawn from Dog River. Our Dog River Reservoir has storage capacity of almost two billion gallons of water.
WSA’s service has been recognized as award-winning, including citations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for best wastewater treatment plant in the nation and best overall water system operation in seven Southeastern states. Our water and wastewater treatment plants and laboratories also have been named best in the state by the Georgia Association of Water Professionals. We have also received the award for the best-tasting water in the state several times over the past few years.
Can Authority customers fish in the Dog River Reservoir?
Yes. Douglas County residents, property owners and their guests are invited to visit the 300-acre Dog River Reservoir located on Georgia Highway 166.
The area, which supplies most of Douglas County’s water, has great side benefits: a large fishing pier, a pavilion that may be reserved for group outings, a boat launching area and scenic views of native plants and wildlife. Hours are typically 7:30 a.m. to between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m, although the Authority retains the right to close the reservoir or limit public access when deemed necessary. The Authority manages the complex with water quality as a priority. That’s why officials preserved forested areas, which naturally filter water, and built gravel roadbeds, which absorb motor oil and other urban runoff to keep it out of your water supply.
Boat rentals are available for half-day and full-day excursions. Black Crappie, Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Sunfish, and Large-mouth Bass are among the fish you will find in the Reservoir. We encourage fishermen to practice catch and release, and ask all visitors to please observe our regulations, which protect your drinking water at its source. If you would like additional information about the reservoir or to purchase a season pass to the reservoir, please contact our Customer Service Department at (770) 920-3823.
Do I really have to get my septic tank pumped?
Septic tanks should be properly maintained to ensure proper performance. Unfortunately, many septic systems are ignored and not pumped until the carryover of solids plugs the septic system’s leach field or backs up into household plumbing. Proper maintenance can prolong the life of the septic tank, protect area streams from contamination, and preserve the value of the property. In order to ensure a clean, safe drinking water supply for you and your family, the Authority modified its Rules and Regulations in 1991 to require, among other things, proper maintenance of septic tank systems as a condition of receiving water service for homes and businesses in the Dog River Drainage Basin.
If you are unsure if your home or business is located within the Dog River Drainage Basin, please contact our Customer Service Department at (770) 920-3823 and we will be happy to assist you or send you additional information about this regulation.
Is sanitation service available?
Sanitation service (or trash pick-up) for residents located within the city limits of the City of Douglasville and the City of Villa Rica is provided by the resident’s respective City. The Authority provides billing services only for sanitation for the residents located within the city limits of Douglasville and the city limits of Villa Rica. Please call 770-920-3005 for information about the City of Douglasville’s sanitation service. For information about the City of Villa Rica’s sanitation service, please call 678-785-1000.
Those residents who live outside these two cities must contract with a sanitation provider for trash pickup.