Frequently Asked Questions – Speedwell Phase 1 Water Project
- Why do we have to pay a connection fee and minimum monthly bill?
Wythe County depends upon Federal and State funding in the form of low interest loans and grants to fund water line extension projects. The Federal & State Agency’s require Wythe County to guarantee a high percentage of the people located the service areas of newly constructed water lines to connect to the systems and pay a connection fee and at least a minimum monthly water bill. The only way Wythe County can make such guarantee is to require a mandatory connection.
2. Will I be required to connect to the county water system?
Any building with water service within three hundred and fifty (350) feet from a right of way containing a water main is required to pay a connection fee and minimum monthly bill.
3. Am I being required to connect to the public water system?
The requirement is that you shall pay the connection fee and pay the minimum monthly bill.
4. Do I have to use the water?
Use of the public water is not mandatory. Anyone within the service area is required to pay at least the connection fee and a minimum monthly bill whether they use the water or not.
5. Can I still use my existing well or do I have to abandon it?
Owners may use their existing well. The water supply from the well may not be physically connected to the water supply from the public water.
6. Do I have to have a separate connection for each residence?
Yes, each residence must have a separate connection to the public water supply unless the residences are apartments or manufactured homes within a manufactured home park.
7. How much is the connection fee?
Normal connection fee is one thousand ($1,000.00) dollars but for new water line projects the connection fee is at a discounted rate of three hundred & fifty ($350.00) dollars for a period of ninety days after you are notified to connect. After the ninety (90) days the full one thousand ($1,000) fee will be charged.
8. Do I have to pay the connection fee all at once?
No, the county has a payment plan with a low interest rate. A down payment of fifty ($50.00) dollars is required and a monthly payment of fourteen dollars & twenty-five cents ($14.25) for twenty-three months and a final payment of ten dollars & eighty two cents ($10.82). Total cost with interest is three hundred eighty & eight dollars and fifty seven cents ($388.57).
9. Is there a discounted rate for low income households?
Yes, qualifying low income household’s connection fee will be reduced to one hundred & fifty dollars ($150.00). In order to qualify for the reduced connection fee, you must complete an application at the county offices. The application should include all cash on hand, copies of all bank accounts, assets and the latest tax forms for all members of the household. The household cannot exceed 120% of the poverty level and cannot exceed $1,500.00 of cash on hand. A payment plan is available if needed. A down payment of fifty dollars ($50.00) is required and a monthly payment of seventeen dollars & fifty cents ($17.50) for five (5) months and a final payment of sixteen dollars ($16.00). A total cost with interest is one hundred & fifty three dollars & fifty cents ($153.50).
10. When will I have to pay the connection fee?
Customers are required to pay the connection fee within ninety (90) days of being notified that the public water is available. Connection fees may be paid prior to notification.
11. What happens if I refuse to pay connection fee and monthly bill?
Property owners with buildings requiring water service within the water service area that do not pay the connection fee within ninety (90) days will be billed the full connection fee of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) and a minimum monthly water bill of eleven ($11.00) dollars.
12. How much is the monthly bill?
Water rates are $11.00 for the first 1,000 gallons and $9.00 per 1,000 gallons after. Rates are set each year by the Board of Supervisors to cover actual cost of the system.
13. How much will it cost to run the line from the meter to my house?
The price may vary based upon ground conditions and any underground utilities that they may encountered. Please contact a contractor to receive a quote.
14. May I install my own line?
15. How do I get existing utilities such as power, gas, telephone or cable located?
State law requires all persons excavating to call Miss Utility of Virginia at 811. Virginia 811 is the free one call communications center for excavator, contractors and property owners planning any upcoming excavation. They will notify participating utilities of the upcoming excavation work so they can locate and mark their underground utilities in advance to prevent possible damage to underground utility lines, injury, property damage and service outages. Utilities are marked within 48 hours of calling 811.
16. How deep should my line be buried?
Water lines are required to be at least 24 inches deep, 36 inches is preferred.
17. Where will my meter be installed?
Meters are installed within the public right-of-way at/or near the owner’s property line. A county
representative will work with you to locate this meter installation.
18. How far away from my sewer system does my water line I have to be?
The water service line needs to be at least five feet from sewer distribution lines.
19. What assurance do I have that the rate will not increase?
The Wythe County Board of Supervisors determine the water rates based on the maintenance and capital outlay cost as they develop a budget on an annual basis. Any change requires a public hearing and notice to the public.
20. Where will the main water line be placed?
Water lines will be placed within the public right-of-way, except where the county obtains a signed easement.
21. How close to my house will a fire hydrant be installed?
Fire hydrants are generally installed approximately one thousand feet (1,000) apart. Your property should have a fire hydrant within a maximum of five hundred (500) feet from your property. This may have a positive effect on home owner’s insurance policy premiums.
22. What kind of pipe do I use?
The pipe should be a minimum of 160 psi. The pipe may be plastic, copper or galvanized.
23. What will my water pressure be?
Water pressure will vary by elevation. When pressures exceed 75psi, the county will install pressure reducing valves, at the meter, that will allow pressure adjustment between 45 to 75 psi. Pressures will be adjusted to suit customers.
24. Are expansion tanks required?
In accordance with the statewide building code 607.3, a thermal expansion tank is required on the hot water system within the home. Expansion tanks can be purchased at local hardware stores.
25. Is an aerial view of the meter location and the house available?
An aerial view will be available on the county web site www.wytheco.org.
26. Where is the water coming from?
Water will be furnished from the Town of Wytheville Reed Creek Treatment Plant and the New River Regional Water Authority Plant.
27. How can I know the water quality is trustworthy?
Water quality is tested daily at the source and monthly in the distribution systems to ensure it meets Virginia department of health standards. In addition, annual water quality reports are mailed to customers each July.