City of Galena

Excessive Water Use Adjustment Form

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Policy & Applicability
Water information
Authorization and Review


The City of Galena owns and operates a water treatment and distribution system.  The City is  responsible for the maintenance of the system, including the water mains that supply water to the individual  service pipes to each building.  Each property owner is responsible for the installation, maintenance and repair  of the water service pipe from the main to their building and all plumbing inside and outside of their building.     

This policy is intended to address water pipe breaks, leaks, and other unpredictable events that occur  inside or outside of a building and that cause an excessive use of water by the property owner or tenant in the  case of rental property.  As further defined hereafter, this policy addresses only those leaks and other uses of  water that are excessive in nature and beyond the control of the customer.  When such a leak or other use of  water occurs, and proper documentation of the event is provided to the City by the customer, a once in a  lifetime per customer adjustment or credit shall be applied to the account.  The adjustment or credit shall  equal 50% of the water charges caused by the event and exceeding the monthly average (based on the  previous 12 months) of water use.  An additional adjustment or credit shall be applied equal to 100% of the  sewer charges exceeding the monthly average (based on the previous 12 months) and resulting from the event.  All penalties resulting from the event shall also be credited.  If there is less than 12 months of customer history, an average of 2,000 gallons per person per month shall be used to calculate the “monthly average use” for residential customers.  A 12‐month average of three similar businesses shall be used in the case of business customers with less than 12 months use history. 


Excessive water use is defined as total monthly use that is more than 500% of the average monthly use for the previous 12‐month period.  For example, if a resident used 3,000 gallons per month for the past 12 months, excessive use would be more than 15,000 gallons in one month.  Excessive use may result from cracked or broken water pipes inside of the building, a leaking toilet, a leaking water softener, a leaking hot water heater, a leaking outdoor faucet, a faulty humidifier or furnace, or accidental use such as an outdoor hose accidentally left on overnight. 

High water use resulting from planned or routine activities of the property owner or tenant, such as filling a swimming pool or watering a lawn are not covered by this policy and are not eligible for any reimbursement. 

In the experience of the City, water meters have not been found to measure water use inaccurately high.  However, if a customer suspects the water meter may be faulty, the customer has the option of having the water meter professionally tested.  If the customer requests testing of the meter, a City representative shall disconnect the meter and mail the meter to a third party firm designated by the City for testing services.   A new meter shall be installed by the City.  If the meter is determined to be accurate, the customer shall be responsible for the testing fee, but may apply for the once in a lifetime credit as applicable. If the meter is found to be faulty, the excessive use shall be credited to his or her account and all related penalties removed.  In any case, the replacement meter shall remain in place during and after testing. 

Application Process: 

A customer that has experienced excessive water use may apply for a one time credit by filing an application in  accordance with this policy. 

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