Customer Regulations

If you are a customer of WSSC Water, this is a quick overview of what regulations you may have to follow and potential permits that may be needed. To learn more, follow links to different areas of the site that go more in-depth.

Refund Hearings 

Refund Hearings provide a way for customers to dispute paid water/sewer bills. The Refund Hearing Board is comprised of at least three managers who hear cases for disputed charges in amounts less than $1,000. WSSC Water’s Corporate Secretary hears claims concerning disputed charges between $1,000 and $25,000. A quorum of at least 4 Commissioners hears cases involving disputed charges greater than $25,000. Customers must file a claim for a refund within three years from the date of the payment for which the refund is requested. Refund Hearings are the final dispute process within WSSC Water. Customers who wish to further dispute their claim have the right to do so through the Circuit Court in their county of residence. Please visit https://wssc.district.codes/Code/3.05 for more information.

Dispute Resolving Board (DRB) Review

The Dispute Resolving Board (DRB) provides a way for customers to dispute unpaid water/sewer bills. Customers must dispute the charges within 60 days of the meter reading date upon which the bill is based. The DRB is comprised of two customer members and one employee. The Board’s decision is final for unpaid water/sewer bills. Customers who wish to further dispute their claim may do so through the Refund Hearing process. Please visit https://wssc.district.codes/Code/3.10 for more information.

Adjustment and Correction of Water and Sewer Bills

WSSC Water offers numerous bill adjustment and correction types to assist customers who experience higher than normal or inaccurate water/sewer charges. Adjustments describe how WSSC Water will “adjust” bills that have been rendered correctly while corrections detail when and how WSSC Water will “correct” bills that were rendered incorrectly. The bill must meet specified criteria to qualify for an adjustment/correction as outlined in the WSSC Water Code or Regulations Chapter 3.20.

Billing and Collecting Water and Sewer Use Charges and Related Fees

Billing

Property owners are considered the primary account holder and are ultimately responsible for paying the water/sewer bill. Generally, accounts are billed monthly or quarterly based on rates and fees established by WSSC Water. WSSC Water accounts are billed upon metered water usage. Sewer usage charges are based on the metered water usage.

The water and sewer bill also include several fixed fees:

  • Account Maintenance Fee ensures that revenue will be received to cover the cost of customer services and meter maintenance.
  • Infrastructure Investment Fee funds a portion of debt service associated with the Commission’s water and sewer pipe reconstruction programs from the approved Capital Improvements Program.
  • The Bay Restoration Fund Fee, as required by state law, is collected on behalf of the State of Maryland.

Collections

WSSC Water bills are due and payable upon receipt. Customers are provided 30 calendar days from the date the bill is generated to remit payment. After a three-day grace period, a five percent late fee is assessed if the bill is not paid. Payment arrangements are available to residential and commercial customers.

Accounts are eligible for shutoff if payment is not received. Please note that as of October 28, 2020, WSSC Water continues to suspend water service turnoffs and waive late fees.

Please see the WSSC Water Code of Regulations, Chapter 3.25 for more information about specific billing and collection procedures.

Customer Assistance Program (CAP)

WSSC Water’s Customer Assistance Program (CAP) assists residential customers experiencing financial hardships by waiving the ready-to-serve charges on their account. Eligible customers must meet certain criteria as established by the Maryland Office of Home Energy Programs. For CAP eligible customers, the account maintenance fee and infrastructure investment fee are waived each quarter, providing customers an average credit of $28 per quarter or $112 annually. In addition, CAP customers are automatically eligible for exemption from the Bay Restoration Fee, which is an average credit of $15 fee per quarter or $60 annually. WSSC Water collects this fund on behalf of the State of Maryland. See Customer Assistance Program for additional program details and eligibility.

Water Fund

The WSSC Water Fund helps customers facing financial challenges and as a result, unable to pay their water and sewer bill. The Water Fund provides eligible customers with an annual maximum award of $500. The program is administered by The Salvation Army and is funded by generous donations from WSSC Water customers, employees and community partners.

Fats, Oils, Grease

Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) can cause blockages in the sewer which may result in overflowing manholes or basement backups. To prevent FOG related sewer overflows and backups, all Food Service Establishments (FSE) which have the potential to discharge fats, oils, and grease (FOG) must apply for a FSE Wastewater Discharge Permit. In addition, FSEs may be subject to annual routine inspections. See Fats, Oils, Grease for more details, and to see if your FSE may need a permit. 

Cross Connection Control

The Safe Drinking Water Act requires the WSSC Water to protect the water distribution system from hazards caused by cross connections of non-potable water systems, making tap water is safe to drink and not contaminated. To comply, the WSSC Water Cross Connection Control Program is authorized to monitor, inspect, investigate and survey all known and potential cross connection to the public water supply system on both public and private property. The Cross Connection Control Program has more details.

Industrial Discharges

The Industrial Discharges Control Program is meant to prevent the introduction of pollutants that will interfere with the operation of the WSSC Water's wastewater treatment plants, improve opportunities to recycle and reclaim municipal and industrial wastewaters and sludges, and protect the health and safety of the general public and WSSC Water workers.

These objectives are met by issuing permits to Significant Industrial Users (SIUs), performing routine monitoring of SIUs, and routinely conducting comprehensive facility inspections. See Industrial Discharges for more details. 

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