|Leak Adjustment Policy
|Customers wishing to request a leak adjustment should read How do I dispute the charges on my water bill? for further details.|
|What happens once I have disputed the charges on my water bill?|
The Customer Service agent who receives a bill complaint via phone, fax, e-mail or in-person will mark the bill in dispute as under investigation. You should continue to pay an amount similar to your typical monthly bill.
We will send you a letter, indicating we have received your complaint and we will be reviewing your account. You will also receive an update every 30 days until the complaint is resolved.
Our Bill Adjustment Department will review your account information within the billing system to determine what caused the high bill.
The Bill Adjustment Department will:
The Meter Reading Department will:
- Look at your account’s meter readings to determine if your meter is functioning properly.
- Review the S&WB work order system for any repairs that may have been done in the area that could have affected the customer’s billing.
- Review the account history to confirm the consumption is within the normal high/low range of your monthly water usage for the past 12 months at that location. Every customers’ water usage varies each month, and every bill includes a different number of days of usage. If the disputed water usage falls within this range, no adjustment will be made, and the full amount will be due.
- If the reading falls outside of this range, a service order will be issued to the Meter Reading Department for an inspector to examine the meter and inside fixtures to determine if there is a leak on the property.
If the investigation has not completed by the time the following month’s bill is mailed, the subsequent bill will inform you in the Important Information section that the previous bill’s charges are under investigation. The amount due on this bill will only reflect the charges for that billing period, and will not require payment of the prior bill’s charges that are under investigation. This new bill and all following bills should be paid in full.
- Call you to schedule an appointment with our Inspector. You may choose to be present or not. If you are not present for the inspection, we will only be able to examine the meter and outside fixtures.
- Record their findings in the billing system. The Bill Adjustment Department will retrieve the completed investigation information.
During the investigation period, if a following month’s bill also has charges you believe are incorrect, you should contact the Sewerage and Water Board to request that the charges from the subsequent bill be included in the investigation. You will once again be asked to pay an amount similar to your typical bill.
After the investigation is complete, you will receive a letter which notifies you that we found one of the following:
If you are not satisfied with the results of the investigation, you may request a hearing before our Administrative Hearing Officer. You may request a hearing by calling Customer Service at 52-WATER, writing to us at Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, Bill Adjustments Department, 625 Saint Joseph Street, New Orleans, LA 70165, or you may complete the online form.
- A leak on your property - You are responsible to have the leak repaired. You must notify us in writing with proof of the repairs. Proof consists of a statement of work by a licensed plumber or a signed letter from you stating the extent of the repairs completed with copies of any receipts for supplies. After we receive a meter reading that indicates your water usage has returned to normal, we will adjust 50% of the excess sewer fees and 50% of the excess water fees for leaks that occurred above ground, such as leaking fixtures. We will adjust 100% of the excess sewer fees and 50% of the excess water fees for leaks that occurred in underground pipes. Normal usage is considered the average of the two most recent actual meter reads before the leak occurred. Excess sewer and water usage is considered water and sewer used above that of your normal usage.
- A leak that was the responsibility of the S&WB - We will remove 100% of the excess sewer fees and 100% of the excess sewer fees from your bill.
- An unexplained high bill – When there is no clear cause of the high bill, and the following month’s usage returns to normal, we will make a once per year adjustment of your water consumption to match your account’s last actual meter reading that is similar to your account’s normal water usage. If your water usage on your following bills continues to be high, you will be notified that you should check your house plumbing for leaks. No adjustment will be made in this case.
For questions regarding your investigation or your hearing, you may Contact the Customer Service Department.