Phoenix Office
Arizona Corporation Commission
1200 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(602) 542-4251
(800) 222-7000

Utilities Division
Steven M. Olea - Director



Tucson Office
Arizona Corporation Commission
400 W. Congress, Ste. 218
Tucson, AZ 85701
(520) 628-6550
(800) 535-0148


 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the Arizona Corporation Commission offices located?
The Arizona Corporation Commission has two offices, the main office in Phoenix and a satellite office in Tucson. Both locations are staffed with consumer service professionals who can help you with answers to questions about regulated water and sewer companies. We have put together a list of common questions and provided answers below.
Phoenix Office1200 West Washington Street, Phoenix, Az 85007
(602) 542-4251
1-800-222-7000 (toll free)
Tucson Office400 West Congress Street, Tucson, Az 85701
(520) 628-6550
1-800-535-0148 (toll free)
What companies does the Arizona Corporation Commission regulate?
The Arizona Corporation Commission is the regulatory authority with jurisdiction over private water and sewer companies as well as investor-owned utilities. Municipal water and sewer systems ("City of") are regulated by the city or town council and do not fall under our jurisdiction. Similarly, water improvement districts are governed by the county in which they operate.
How does a water or sewer company get to serve a particular area?
Companies that wish to provide water or sewer service are granted something called a Certificate of Convenience & Necessity (CC&N), which allows them to serve customers within a geographic area specified by a legal description of the property.
In considering an application for a CC&N, the Commission will determine if the applicant is fit and proper to provide service within a specified area and if that service is necessary and in the public interest. Once a CC&N is granted, the utility falls under the Commission's jurisdiction and must abide by the rules and laws by which a public utility operates. (See Arizona Administrative Code R14-2-402 and R14-2-602 for more about CC&N applications)
Why are there so many water and sewer companies?
Many of the small water companies, particularly in rural parts of Arizona came into existence when a property owner decided to subdivide land for sale to others. In order to sell the property, a developer must often provide a water or sewer service to make the property more appealing to a buyer.
Because there are certain fixed costs of running a water system, (for example: billing costs, maintenance, payroll, electricity and water quality testing) there is a move toward consolidation. This helps spread these expenses over a larger number of customers - particularly the rising costs of water testing and treatment - and consolidation can sometimes mean lower rates for consumers. Of course, much of this depends on the age of the systems, the costs of linking two or more companies together and other considerations. Consolidation or expansion of existing systems is generally preferred where practical.
How can I find out what water or sewer company serves a particular area?
You must have a legal description or address that indicates the township, range and section of the particular area before this question can be answered. Once you have the legal description, you can call the Commission's Consumer Services Section and we can help you learn more about the companies serving that particular area.
Click here for a Complete List of All Regulated Water Companies.
Click here for a Complete List of All Regulated Sewer Companies.
How can I establish service with a water or sewer company?
Rules established by the Commission and embodied in the Arizona Administrative Code (see R-14-2-403 and R14-2-603) outline the procedures necessary for you to establish, reestablish or have service reconnected by a water or sewer company. These rules also outline how you can obtain temporary service and defines information for new applicants, deposit requirements and the grounds for refusal of service by the water or sewer company.
How long do I have to wait before I can get water or sewer service?
Rules R14-2-405A and R14-2-605A state that a water or sewer company has up to five business or service days to provide water or sewer service you. The time frame is calculated from the application date or the date the application was accepted by the water or sewer company. Prior to hookup, service lines and meters must be in place and deposits must be paid in full.
What is the minimal information that a water or sewer company needs to show on my bill?
Your water and sewer bills should include the following information:

1. Customer's name
2. Service Account number
3. Utility telephone number
4. Date of meter reading at the start of the billing period (water only)
5. Previous month's meter reading (water only)
6. Billed usage
7. Amount due and due date
8. Past due amount (if applicable)
9. Adjustment factor (if applicable)
10. Other approved tariff charges

How can I find out the company's approved rates and charges?
Commission rules require the company to make available, upon your request, a concise summary of the rate schedule for your particular type of service. They must provide this within 60 days of your request. The summary should reflect a monthly minimum or customer charge. This summary must reflect a monthly minimum or customer charge, the specific amount of usage included in the minimum charge and any rate adjustment factor(s) and the e method of calculation. (See R14-2-404 and R14-2-604)
You may also wish to request, in writing, a concise statement of your actual consumption for each billing period during the prior 12 months.
Can the water company charge me for moving their water meter?
Water meters or service lines can me moved at your request but charges may apply. For example, if you are putting an addition on your home and your meter and/or service line needs to be moved, the company has a right to charge a fee for doing so. (See R14-2-405B)
Can the utility move or relocate my meter or service line without a specific request from me?
The company may have compelling reasons to move a service line, such as ease of access, public health or deterioration of lines. The company generally pays the majority of the costs but you may be responsible for some costs associated with moving the lines on your side of the meter.
Must I grant an easement to the water or sewer company?
Your refusal to provide an adequate easement or right-of-way satisfactory to the water or sewer company sufficient to ensure proper service can result in refusal of service by the utility. (See R14-2-405C and R14-2-605D)
Does a water or sewer company have a responsibility to notify me of a temporary service interruption or an outage?
Yes. Rules state that each water or sewer company shall make reasonable efforts to establish water or sewer service with the shortest possible time frame when service interruptions occur. With planned interruptions of 4 hours or more, the company should attempt to inform all affected customers at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled service interruption. (See R14-2-407D and R14-2-607D)
What is the minimum water pressure that a water company must provide?
Regulated water companies are required to maintain a minimum standard delivery pressure of 20 pounds per square inch gauge (PSIG) at the customer's water meter or point of delivery. A variety of factors can influence water pressure on your side of the meter. Water pressure drops as it is forced up hill, for example, If your meter is at the bottom of a hill and it's delivering 20 PSIG, you may get substantially lower pressure at the spigot. Booster pumps can help overcome the natural forces of gravity and physics. Other factors such as the size and configuration of pipes within your home can affect pressure.
How do water meters measure the amount of water I use?
Water meters are the devices used by companies to measure how much water you have used. Every 25-35 days (corresponding to the appropriate billing period), a meter reader will come to your home and read your meter. The previous month's reading is then subtracted from the current reading and the difference is the amount of water you consumed for that billing period.
For the most part, water meters are relatively simple devices and if properly maintained by the company, can have a long, accurate lifetime. From the company's main line, water enters the meter and flows through a screen that filters out debris in the water. From there, the water flows upward, spinning an impeller - a rotor with small blades - which is calibrated to record the amount of water flowing through, based on the number of rotations. Then the water flows out of the meter, through your service line and then to your home.
The Commission mandates that meters show an accuracy rate of plus or minus 3 percent - or between 97% and 103%. If you feel your meter is not working accurately, there are a variety of things you may do to check its accuracy.
My bill seems high. What can I do to see if I have a leak in my home?
Make sure no water is being used at home. Go to the meter and see if the small, black triangle is turning. This triangle is called an indicator. If it is turning, water is flowing past the meter. If everything in your house is off and the indicator is turning, you have a leak and you may need to call a plumber.
How can I find out if my meter is accurate?
You can perform a simple meter check yourself. Turn all of your water off, including your automatic sprinkler system or ice maker. Simply take a reading from your meter. Then fill 5 gallon bucket with water. Shut the spigot off and re-read your meter. An accurate meter should reflect a 5 gallon difference.
I have checked for leaks and tested my meter as directed above. It appears to be reading incorrectly. What should I do?
You should contact your water company and request that they pull your meter and test it. Your meter will be replaced with another one. The company will have the original meter tested.
Many companies have a meter testing fee, which will be assessed if the meter is found to be in the acceptable range. Be sure to inquire about this before the test is scheduled. The charges help cover the company's costs of removing, replacing and transporting a meter that was working properly. Most water companies send their meters to the Commission to do an unbiased, third-party test. After the test, both you and the company will be notified via letter of the results. Please note, due to the costs involved in pulling a meter and installing a new one, the company will not return to re-install the original meter.
How long do I have to pay my bills?
Water utility bills are due and payable when rendered. Any payment not received within 15 days from the date the bill was rendered shall be considered delinquent. (See R14-2-409C.1) Each utility shall be required to give at least 10 days advance written notice prior to the termination date. (See R14-2-410E.1)
Sewer utility bills are due and payable no later than 10 days from the date the bill is rendered. Any payment not received within this time frame shall be considered past due. (See R14-2-608C.1) Each utility shall be required to give at least 5 days' advance written notice prior to termination date. (See R14-2-609E.1)
Can the company refuse to provide service because there are outstanding charges from a previous bill?
Yes. The company has the right to refuse service if a balance is due on a previous account.
Can the water company refuse service because of an outstanding balance from a previous customer (for example, you are a new homeowner or a new tenant but the utility company shows a balance due from the previous tenant)?
If you shared utility service with someone who is no longer there, you are still considered responsible for the charges. As long a you can prove that you were not living at that address, the company has to provide service. A deposit is usually required. (See R14-2-410)
Am I responsible for charges if the company billed me in error, i.e. they didn't charge me for all the water I used and now they are back billing me?
Yes, the Commission rules recognize that billing problems sometimes occur. For this reason, utilities have up to three months to bill for legitimate services received but not properly billed. (See Rule R14-2-409E)
Can I file a complaint against a water or sewer company?
Yes, click here to learn about the complaint process.
We were notified that our water or sewer company wants to change their rates. How can I have input on this?
You can always call the Arizona Corporation Commission and speak with a representative of our Consumer Services Section to find out more information about the water or sewer company's proposed rate increase. Your comments become part of the data that the Commissioners review prior to making their decision. Our staff can also assist you or your community with procedures for filing petitions, arranging for a public comment session or providing information on becoming an official party to the case (called "intervention").
Click here for a Public Utilities Comments Form
Click here for an Intervention Guideline Form

 

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