Frequently Asked Questions
Water is a commodity we all need. At East Pasadena Water Company our goal is to meet or exceed all water quality standards set by both Federal and State agencies, enhance customer awareness of water issues and be available to serve our customers daily. Below is a compilation of the questions most frequently asked by our customers.
Q: What kinds of plants are in the front of your office?
A: We have planted the front of our office in drought-resistant landscaping.
Q: What is my Service Charge?
A: This is considered a "ready to serve" charge, and is comprised of our company's fixed costs as determined by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). It appears on each bill you receive and does not change from billing cycle to billing cycle.
Q: Why am I charged a PUC fee?
A: The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regulates our rates. This government agency collects 1.23% of a combination of the water and service charge as their fee. The PUC fee is calculated by adding the Service Charge to the Water Charge and multiplying 1.23% of that sum. This money is sent to the CPUC quarterly.
Q: What is a CCF:
A: A CCF is a measurement of liquid, it represents 100 cubic feet. You may also see it written as HCF. Each cubic foot of water equals 7.48 gallons, therefore one CCF is 748 gallons. Our water charge is $2.968 per CCF which calculates at $2.968 for each 748 gallons of water used.
Q: What do I own and what is owned by EPWC?
A: The customer owns all water pipes and fixtures from the water meter to their home. Any pipes or equipment from the meter to the water main is the responsibility of EPWC, including the meter box and cover.
Q: Can I pay my bill by credit card?
A: No, we do not accept credit or debit cards.
Q: Can I make a payment by phone?
A: No, we do not accept phone payments.
Q: Can I pay the Field Representative to keep my water on?
A: As a safety measure, we strictly prohibit our field personnel from accepting payments of any type. Please contact the office to make payment arrangements.
Q: When is my bill due?
A: The due date is printed on your bill and is typically 30 days from the date your account was billed. As a reminder, any accounts not paid by the due date will be charged a late fee. The late fee is 10% of the water fee and service charge.
Q: Where is my water shutoff valve?
A: Your main water shutoff valve controls all the water coming into your house. Everyone in your home should know where the valve is, and how to turn it off. In case of an emergency such as a burst pipe, shutting off the water quickly could prevent costly damage from flooding.
Often the shutoff valve is found near the water meter, inside the water meter box. You may also find one attached to the outside of your home on the same side as the meter. If the meter is at the curb it would typically be near your front porch, if the meter is in the back yard, it would be on that side of the house.
If you cannot locate your shutoff valve, please call our office to schedule an appointment and a field representative will show you where it is located. You may want to periodically turn the valve to make sure it isn't stuck.
Q: How much will it cost to fill my swimming pool with water?
A: An average 8-foot-deep 16' x 32' swimming pool holds approximately 21,000 gallons of water which is 28 ccf. The cost for the water to fill that pool would be $83.11 at our current rate.
Q: How do I check for leaks?
A: If you suspect a water leak, your water meter is an ideal leak detector. To test for leaks, turn off all the faucets and other water outlets and keep watch on the "tattletale" (see photo). If the triangle continues to rotate, you probably have a leak and may need to call a plumber. Regardless of the rate of water loss, search for the cause. It could be as simple as a steady drip from a faucet that needs a new washer. Toilet leaks are by far the biggest cause of higher-than-normal bills.
Q: Why didn't someone from EPWC tell me the water service was going to be interrupted?
A: We make every effort to avoid inconveniencing our customers with unscheduled water shutoffs. But sometimes these circumstances are out of our control. We don't know when a water main might begin leaking. On the rare occasions when we must interrupt your water service to improve or maintain the system, we will notify you in person or by a door notice of the planned hours for the interruption.
Q: What should I do to dispute a bill?
A: If you question the amount of your bill, you should ask for an explanation in person or by telephone from the customer service representative. A representative will review your situation and take necessary action. If you are not satisfied with the explanation from EPWC and wish to register a complaint (prior to receiving a shut-off notice) or request an investigation, you must deposit the amount of your bill with:
California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)
State Office Building
505 Van Ness Avenue, Room 2003
San Francisco, CA 94102
Make your check or remittance payable to the "California Public Utilities Commission" and attach a copy of the bill in question along with a statement explaining the basis for your dispute. The CPUC will review the basis of the billed amount and disburse the deposit in accordance with its findings.
The CPUC will not accept deposits when the dispute appears to be over matters that do not directly relate to the accuracy of the bill. Such matters include the utility's service quality, rate levels, pending rate application and fuel sources or power.
Q: How can I check my water usage?
A: To determine your average daily use, you can read your meter on a daily or weekly basis. Simply record your meter reading at the beginning of a measurement period and again at the end of that period. The difference between these two meter readings will be the water used during the period. When recording, disregard the numbers shaded in black as this is 10ths and we record in whole numbers only. (See the attached photo). Please note that your water reading is in hundred cubic feet and can easily be converted to gallons by multiplying each unit used by 748 (gallons).