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Helpful Tips for our Customers 

While we've suspended disconnections to help those who are facing financial hardships, we encourage you to continue to pay your bill as you normally would, if able.  
This will help you avoid a larger balance later.

If you have any difficulty with paying your bill, please contact our Customer Service  Department at  (800) 525-7990 to discuss payment plans or payment arrangements.



Belvedere Plantation  - Facts about Rates and Billing

The current rate for water and wastewater is the same for all customers within the Belvedere community. Every community in Belvedere pays the same amount for water and wastewater including the base rate and the per-gallon charge.

Shown below are the base rates for water and wastewater as well as the per-gallon charges within the current tariff that is approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) and a comparison with the current Pender County Water rates.

Carolina Water Service, Inc. of North Carolina (CWSNC) cannot change the rates approved by the NCUC without going through a thorough review by the NCUC.  When a base rate case is filed, rates are only approved after public hearings, where customers are able to testify about the rates and their service. During these cases, multiple public hearings are held throughout the state. Customers may also submit written comments to the Commission for consideration as well.

An analysis of the costs for CWSNC, per our current tariff rates, vs. Pender County Water is set forth below and compares the costs associated with water. Note that the associated costs are comparable in that the CWSNC and Pender County base rate and per gallon charge vary by only a couple of dollars.

CWSNC base rate and per gallon charge for water

Residential Water

Current Rates

Meter Size

Base Rate

Usage Rate per 1,000 gallons

5/8"

$28.92

$8.27

 

Pender County base rate and per gallon charge for water

Residential Water

Current Rates

Meter Size

Base Rate

Usage Rate per 1,000 gallons

5/8"

$32.50

$6.50

 

Since Pender County does not offer wastewater service in this area, only the CWSNC base rate and per gallon charge for wastewater*[1] is included below:

Residential Sewer

Current Rates

Meter Size

Base Rate

Usage Rate

Flat

$ 73.73

 

Base Charge

$ 58.91

$4.59

 

Do I pay more than anyone else in the Belvedere Community?

No, everyone pays the same rate and base charge regardless of the community or neighborhood in Belvedere.

In 2017, there was discussion of a water filter for the community to address hardness. What happened to the proposed water filtration system?

Hardness, as an attribute of drinking water, is not regulated. However, in 2019, Carolina Water Service, Inc. of North Carolina (CWSNC) presented the Belvedere Homeowners Association an option to install a water softener/filtration system to address the secondary water quality issues directly related to hardness.   CWSNC compiled three competitive bids for a water softening system. The bids received in 2019 for the potential, central water softener/filtration system ranged from $1.5 million to $1.8 million.

Because of the significant cost involved in pursuing this secondary water quality treatment solution, CWSNC presented the project to the Public Staff of the NCUC to review.  The Public Staff informed CWSNC in 2019, that the Public Staff did not believe the project was prudent and suggested that individual home softening systems would be more cost-effective.

The Public Staff did offer an alternative approach that would enable CWSNC to proceed with installing a system-level solution.  Under this approach, CWSNC would install the system-level water softening solution and the costs associated with the installation would be recovered by the Company through a rate surcharge applied solely to the Belvedere community (as opposed to being spread across all of CWSNC’s customers).  

In order to proceed with this alternative approach, each homeowner in the Belvedere community would need to provide written consent to the surcharge, prior to a request to the NCUC to adopt a tariff that so required.   The estimated surcharge at the time for each customer would have been approximately $18.00/month for 7 years, then reduced to approximately $5.00/month for the next 26 years.

The Belvedere Homeowners Association Board declined the option, stating that most homeowners have water softeners and filtration systems and would be opposed to the additional costs that would be directly billed to the Belvedere Plantation community.

Currently, CWSNC Regional Director, Dana Hill, is seeking new bids for the same water softening system to present to the community as an option for addressing water hardness. The surcharge will be estimated for 2021, and the timeframe for the asset depreciation would be similar to the above information. Once all bids are received, the community’s HOA Board will be contacted to see if there is any desire for the installation of the water softener system under these terms.

What projects have occurred in the last several years in the Belvedere Community? The completed projects are listed below with the estimated costs:

  • Wells Number 1 (completed Summer 2019) and Number 2 (completed Fall 2018) had screen replacements and new gravel pack added to reduce sand/sediment being drawn into the system- $75,000 each
  • Two auto-flushers were installed in (Summer 2018) at $4,500 each
  • Replaced ground storage tank due to rust issues (May 2020)- $110,000
  • Several upgrades to SCADA (started in 2017 and completed in late 2020) that exceed $50,000

     

Why does my neighbor have a lower bill than mine?

Varying water and sewer use will impact what customer’s pay.  In addition, several people in Belvedere have a septic system that was grandfathered into the system due to being in existence at the time of the takeover of the entire community by CWSNC. They do not pay the wastewater base rate or per-gallon usage charge. Customers that have both water and wastewater services pay a per-usage/gallon rate.

Is it possible for me to switch over to a septic system from the wastewater system?

No, this is not possible due to the arrangements and contracts that preceded the original agreements for CWSNC to assume possession of the system.

Where does my water originate?
“When a water-bearing rock readily transmits water to wells and springs, it is called an aquifer. Wells can be drilled into the aquifers and water can be pumped out. Precipitation eventually adds water (recharge) into the porous rock of the aquifer. The rate of recharge is not the same for all aquifers, though, and that must be considered when pumping water from a well.”[2]

Your well water comes from a local aquifer and is treated by CWSNC to state and federal requirements, to provide you safe, clean water.

What explains the red rings/stains that the residents say the water leaves on bathtubs and toilets?
Per the American Water Works Association, Serratia Marcescens is a pink residue that appears on bathroom fixtures in the shower, sink, and along the water line in the toilet bowl. It is a naturally occurring airborne bacteria that produces a pinkish film on surfaces that are regularly moist, including toilet bowls, showerheads, sink drains, and tiles.The bacteria survive there because the water sits for a period of time, with the chlorine dissipating as it stands. If you have an activated carbon filter on your water line, you are removing the chlorine and may be supporting the growth of the bacteria.

Why is my water brown or yellow? What is being done to correct the water coloration?
Typically, this is caused by sediment that is in the pipes to your community. As the water system is used, the sediment is disturbed and passes along the system into your home. An auto-flushing hydrant has been purchased for the cul-de-sac as well as increased scheduled line flushing to help address some of the sediment issues.

What may cause issues inside my home if the water at my outside spigot is clear?

If you have an in-home filtration system of water softener, the filters or other medium, such as salt for certain water softeners, must be changed per the recommended manufactures schedule. An old filter may produce a yellow or brown color inside the home.

Why does the water smell so strongly of chlorine?

Chlorine is used as a disinfectant for the water to ensure it is safe to use and drink. Our operations staff is required to monitor the amount of chlorine to ensure that the appropriate amount is being used in the system. Several factors can cause the chlorine smell to seem more noticeable such as which well is currently operating, weather (chlorine dissipates more quickly in warmer temperature), and usage.

What can I do to make my voice heard in the future for any rate cases?

All customers are encouraged to contact the North Carolina Utilities Commission public staff to voice their concerns or make statements regarding their service.

How can I keep up with my usage and bills?

CWSNC offers the My Utility Connect application online and through Apple and Google applications. To sign up for this service, which includes email, text, and phone notifications, sign up at this link. https://connect.myutility.us/connect/.

How will I know if any rate changes occur?

CWSNC will send a letter to each customer as a bill insert if there is a change in the rate. Notification is required by the North Carolina Utilities Commission.

Where can I find more information about CWSNC?
Information, including the current NCUC approved tariff and water quality reports may be found on our website at https://www.myutility.us/CarolinaWaterServiceNC

On our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CarolinaWaterNC

On the Belvedere Community WordPress page designed just for the community by CWSNC to keep you updated at https://carolinawaterservnc.wordpress.com/.

If at any time, a customer has a question concerning the current rates, their bill, or their service, they are encouraged to reach out to our Customer Experience team at the following:

Phone: (800) 525-7990
Fax: (866) 842-8348
Email: customerservice@carolinawaterservicenc.com

Our staff maintains a Facebook page and monitors the inbox in the event you want to ask questions via this method.

 



*Customers with a grandfathered septic system do not pay a wastewater base rate or per gallon charge. This accounts for why some individuals in the community pay lower bills

[2] https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/aquifers-and-groundwater?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects

Current Rate Information for 2020 - What you Need to Know!

Jun 03, 2020

COVID-19.  As a result of COVID-19 and until some point in the future, CWSNC has reconnected all customers disconnected for non-payment, suspended all future disconnects, and has ceased collecting and billing late payment charges. 

While we know that there is no good time for a rate increase, we also understand the impacts of a rate increase during this unprecedented period and are committed to working with our customers during and after the state of emergency. Once the pandemic-related orders are lifted by the Governor's office and the NC Utilities Commission, we will provide payment plans or payment arrangements for customers impacted financially by the COVID-19 virus.  That said, customers may now contact the Company at any time to request a payment arrangement or payment plan.

About CWSNC

On June 28, 2019, Carolina Water Service, Inc. of North Carolina (CWSNC) filed a rate case with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC). Docket number is W-354, Sub 364.

CWSNC is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Company presently serves approximately 34,915 water customers and 21,403 sewer customers in North Carolina and operates approximately 93 water systems and 38 sewer systems in the State.

The Company’s service territory spans 38 counties in North Carolina, from Corolla in Currituck County to Bear Paw in Cherokee County. CWSNC applied for an adjustment in water and sewer rates and charges for all of its service areas in North Carolina.

 A list of systems and their customer counts is shown on the last pages of this document.

About CWSNC’s Rate Filing

CWSNC’s previous rate case (W-354, Sub 360) was filed on April 27, 2018 and an order was issued approving the consolidated rates in effect since February 21, 2019.

Customers’ rates are based on a thorough cost, operations, and quality of service review by the NCUC Public Staff, NC Attorney General’s office, and other intervenors in the proceeding.  In addition, customers may provide comments and feedback during the public hearings held throughout the Company’s service territory during the course of the rate case process.  The proper level of rates to be charged by the Company to facilitate proper service to its customers are ultimately approved by the NCUC commissioners. 

The cost of service and tariff rate proposals are more fully explained in CWSNC’s rate filing documentation which is made publicly available through the Commission’s website. All parties interested in this matter may obtain information either directly from CWSNC or by addressing the Secretary of the North Carolina Utilities Commission, 430 North Salisbury Street, Dobbs Building, 5th Floor, Raleigh, NC 27603-5918.  Customers may also visit the NCUC website and search Docket “W-354 Sub 364” at https://starw1.ncuc.net/NCUC/page/Dockets/portal.aspx.

The new rates are effective March 31, 2020.

What drove CWSNC to file for a rate increase?

We have the responsibility to upgrade our infrastructure and make necessary improvements to continue to provide quality service.  We also must comply with changing state and federal environmental regulations and maintain a safe working environment for our employees.  It is well-accepted that water and sewer infrastructure across the country is aging and in need of significant investment to maintain proper service and address environmental concerns.  Many of the Company’s systems are reaching the end of their useful life and must be replaced, rehabilitated, or upgraded to avoid system failures.  To that end, CWSNC has invested over $22 million in capital improvements since its last rate case, which were not included in your prior rates.

It is important to note that all investments driving the requested increase have already been incurred by the Company, and are benefitting customers before a change in rates is implemented.

Will the WSIC/SSIC surcharges continue?

As of March 31, 2020 ,the WSIC/SSIC surcharges will reset to $0.  These charges may resume in the future should the Company continue to invest in eligible improvements in its water and sewer infrastructure  and would be subject to review and approval by the Commission.

Why are some rate increases higher or lower than others?

The Company has been working toward levelizing rates for customers across its service areas for the past several rate cases.  This practice is common in the utility industry (gas, electric), and this enables the Company to spread the impact of its costs and improvements across a larger customer base, which results in smaller, incremental increases over time.  Levelized rates ultimately benefit all CWSNC customers and protects small standalone groups of ratepayers from solely bearing the cost of large infrastructure investments. 

CWSNC understands that no one likes rate increases and makes every effort to keep operating expenses to a reasonable minimum while maintaining a system that produces safe and reliable service.  However, a rate increase is needed to finance ongoing operations, capital investments, and allow the Company the opportunity to earn a reasonable return on its investment. 

Prior rates did not reflect rising costs that have resulted from increased investment, inflation and compliance with expanding environmental and regulatory requirements.

 

Corolla Light and Monteray Shores subdivisions (Sewer):  Corolla/Monteray rates have been held flat for the past several rate cases by the Commission, as the remaining Uniform Sewer rates have moved closer to the Corolla/Monteray rates.  In this filing, the costs for the consolidated Uniform Sewer tariff group have now reached levels that allow for Corolla/Monteray’s rates to be consolidated with the rest of the Uniform Sewer group’s rates.

Corolla Light and Monteray Shores rates were approved to be fully consolidated into the CWSNC Uniform Sewer tariff group as of March 31, 2020.  The average customer with 5,448 gallons billed per month will see a decrease of 4.78% on their monthly bill.

CONTINUATION OF EXISTING TAX CREDITS:

What is the “Federal Tax Refund”?

With the passing of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”), the federal tax rate applicable to CWSNC decreased effective 1/1/2018.  As the Company’s rates did not adjust to capture this change until February 2019, the Company refunded excess taxes recovered from customer rates over that time period – January 1, 2018 until February 20, 2019.  This refund ran for one year (until February 2020) and includes interest. 

These funds have been fully returned to customers between February 2019 and February 2020 and the surcredit is no longer applicable.

What is the “Federal Deferred Tax Refund”?

With the passing of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”), the federal tax rate applicable to CWSNC decreased effective 1/1/2018.  The Company is required to reserve funds for expected future tax payments (deferred taxes), which are now lower due to the tax rate decrease.  Therefore, the portion of the reserve that is no longer payable to the federal government is being refunded to customers.  The refund will run for two years and includes interest.

The refund has been recalculated as of March 31, 2020 to be 0.953% of the base and volumetric charges on each customer’s monthly bill.

What is changing with my water and sewer rates?

The table below shows a comparison of average water and sewer bills at old and new rates for a 5/8” residential customer.

Entity

Avg. Billed Gallons

Present Monthly Bill

New Monthly Bill

Amount Change

% Change

Uniform Water

3,607

$ 53.07

$ 58.75

$ 5.68

11%

Uniform Sewer

3,569

$ 59.23

$ 75.29

$ 16.06

27%

BF/FH/TC Water

4,129

$ 32.22

$ 34.64

$ 2.42

8%

BF/FH/TC Sewer

N/A - Flat Rate

$ 50.46

$ 53.91

$ 3.45

7%


A comparison of the new authorized rates for Uniform Water is below.

Residential Water


Old Rates

New Rates


Meter Size

Base Rate

Usage Rate

Base Rate

Usage Rate


Unmetered

$ 53.58


$ 58.54



5/8"

$ 27.53

$ 7.08

$ 28.92

$8.27


3/4"

$ 27.53

$ 7.08

$ 28.92

$8.27


1"

$ 68.83

$ 7.08

$ 72.30

$8.27


1.5"

$ 137.65

$ 7.08

$ 144.60

$8.27


2"

$ 220.24

$ 7.08

$ 231.36

$8.27

Commercial Water






5/8"

$ 27.53

$ 7.08

$ 28.92

$8.27


3/4"

$ 27.53

$ 7.08

$ 28.92

$8.27


1"

$ 68.83

$ 7.08

$ 72.30

$8.27


1.5"

$ 137.65

$ 7.08

$ 144.60

$8.27


2"

$ 220.24

$ 7.08

$ 231.36

$8.27


3"

$ 412.95

$ 7.08

$ 433.80

$8.27


4"

$ 688.25

$ 7.08

$ 723.00

$8.27


6"

$ 1,376.50

$ 7.08

$ 1,446.00

$8.27

Availability


$12.35


$13.60



A comparison of the new authorized rates for Uniform Sewer is below.

Residential Sewer


Old Rates

New Rates


Meter Size

Base Rate

Usage Rate

Base Rate

Usage Rate


Flat

$ 57.82


$ 73.73



Base Charge

$ 46.31

$ 3.62

$ 58.91

$4.59

Commercial Sewer






Flat

$ 57.82

$ 73.73


5/8" - 3/4"

$ 46.31

$ 3.62

$ 58.91

$4.59


1"

$ 115.78

$ 3.62

$ 147.28

$4.59


1.5"

$ 231.55

$ 3.62

$ 294.55

$4.59


2"

$ 370.48

$ 3.62

$ 471.28

$4.59


3"

$ 694.65

$ 3.62

$ 883.65

$4.59


4"

$ 1,157.75

$ 3.62

$ 1,472.75

$4.59


6"

$ 2,315.50

$ 3.62

$ 2,945.50

$4.59


A comparison of the new authorized rates for BF/FH/TC Water is below.

Residential Water


Old Rates

New Rates


Meter Size

Base Rate

Usage Rate

Base Rate

Usage Rate


5/8" - 3/4"

$ 16.74

$ 3.75

$ 17.30

$ 4.20


1"

$ 41.85

$ 3.75

$ 43.25

$ 4.20


1.5"

$ 83.70

$ 3.75

$ 86.50

$ 4.20


2"

$ 133.92

$ 3.75

$ 138.40

$ 4.20

Commercial Water






5/8" - 3/4"

$ 16.74

$ 3.75

$ 17.30

$ 4.20


1"

$ 41.85

$ 3.75

$ 43.25

$ 4.20


1.5"

$ 83.70

$ 3.75

$ 86.50

$ 4.20


2"

$ 133.92

$ 3.75

$ 138.40

$ 4.20

Availability








$3.28


$3.55



A comparison of the new authorized rates for BF/FH/TC Sewer is below.

Residential Sewer


Old Rates

New Rates


Meter Size

Base Rate

Usage Rate

Base Rate

Usage Rate


Flat

$ 50.46


$ 53.91



Bulk Sewer

$ 50.46


$ 53.91



Apartments

$ 50.46


$ 53.91


Commercial Sewer






5/8"

$ 44.58

$ 1.43

$ 44.62

$ 2.25


1"

$ 111.45

$ 1.43

$ 111.55

$ 2.25


1.5"

$ 222.90

$ 1.43

$ 223.10

$ 2.25


2"

$ 356.64

$ 1.43

$ 356.96

$ 2.25

Availability








$2.65


$2.85

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me at deb.clark@corixgroup.com if you have any further questions.

Deborah S. Clark
Communications and Community Relations Manager