Water Leak Credit Program
The City of Tulsa provides a Courtesy Credit Program for qualifying water leak events. Not all events qualify, and the credit will not cover all your additional billed amount. The credit can take a few months to evaluate and appear on your account, so you will want to make other arrangements to get the bill paid.
To help understand the process, please review the following terms:
Meter Can – This is the underground structure that houses the water meter. This is often referred to as the Vault for a larger size meter. The City of Tulsa maintains the service line from the water main to the meter and the can that houses the meter.
Private line – This is the portion of the water distribution system that delivers water from the City of Tulsa meter to the customer.
Usage baseline – This is the baseline is the normal usage for a customer calculated as the higher of either the sewer cap (winter quarter average) or the average of the 2 preceding months before an event. The City of Tulsa may also consider seasonal fluctuations and use the previous year(s) usage during comparable periods. The City of Tulsa will use their discretion to determine the usage baseline for the courtesy credit.
Courtesy Leak Credit Qualifications
The events defined below may qualify for a courtesy credit:
- Private Line Leak – A repair to the customer’s private line - Repairs must meet all of the following criteria to qualify:
- The leak must have gone unnoticed, unheard, or unseen and is generally a leak that occurred underground or inside a wall requiring disturbance of the wall to view and repair
- Once noticed, the leak must have been repaired and usage returned to normal in a reasonable amount of time.
- Consumption (water usage measured) because of the leak must be 200 percent or more of the normal usage baseline. The City of Tulsa staff will review your request. If the consumption doesn’t meet this requirement, you will be notified that the leak was not high enough to meet the additional consumption requirement (Did not affect consumption)
Repairs that would NOT qualify:
- Your account has 2 or more courtesy credits in the past 24 months
- Usage caused by malfunctioning fixtures such as toilets, faucets, and outside spigots
- Usage caused by malfunctioning equipment such as ice machines, hot water tanks, pool auto-fill devices.
- Irrigation system issues such as timer malfunctions, backflow preventors, and broken sprinkler heads that are not underground
- Leaks caused by excavation or digging
- City Repair – A repair in the meter can/vault that occurred after flowing thru the meter to be measured for billing purposes. City repair events must meet all the following criteria to qualify.
- The City has a work order that documents work done at the meter can for the property being serviced.
- There is no evidence of unauthorized access to the meter can.
- Usage wasn’t caused by private line leaks occurring at the same time.
City repairs that do not affect consumption and therefore would not qualify because the water is lost before it passes through to register on the meter:
- Curb stop repairs
- Repairs made to the bypass
- Any leaks between the city main and the meter
Requesting a Courtesy Credit
- A request must be made in writing using the following options. Be sure to include your account number or address.
- Mail – Utility Billing Department, 175 E 2nd Street, Suite 1580, Tulsa OK 74103.
- Email - UtilitiesCS@cityoftulsa.org using the subject line “Courtesy Leak Credit Request”
- Fax – (918) 596-3170
- In person at City Hall, 175 E 2nd Street, Tulsa OK 74103 on the 2nd floor
- Include relevant documentation with your request which would include one of the following:
- A copy of a plumber’s receipt for repair or inspection
- A statement with the date of repair, description of the issue, receipt of supplies bought to repair the leak, photo of the leak and/or repair (if available)
- If the leak was repaired by the City (such as a leak in a meter can, or a general contractor that was doing work that caused the meter leak), include the relative date and time of the repair (if known) and the individual/contractor’s name and company name that did the repair
The City of Tulsa will file the paperwork and review the consumption on subsequent bills to confirm that the usage has returned to normal. This process may take up to 60 days for the usage to return to normal during the monthly read cycle for your meter. You will also want to review your consumption compared to preceding bills to confirm that the usage has returned to normal.
How will I know the outcome of my request?
City of Tulsa staff will evaluate, and if qualified, calculate the courtesy credit. A letter or email will also be sent to inform you of the decision. If you qualify for the credit, a credit will be made to your account. If the event does not qualify, the reason will be stated on the notification.
How Credits are Calculated
The Courtesy Credit Program is designed to offset some of the cost of additional usage caused by an event. It is the responsibility of the customer to monitor high consumption in their billing, and therefore the courtesy leaks are limited to the two highest consumption months affected by the event that also meet the percentage qualifications. (Credits for City repairs may be for more than two months)
- Residential customers that have their sewer billing limited by the Cap (or Winter Quarter Average) will only receive credit toward their water usage, as their sewer treatment billing was already limited
- Customers billed for factored sewer usage (Non-Residential, Multi-Family, Commercial) upon qualification for the courtesy credit will also be credited 100 percent of the excess sewer treatment billing over the baseline (Formula below)
The following formulas are used for calculating credits:
- Private Line Leaks
(Highest Usage Month(s) – Baseline usage) X 50% X Billing Rate = Courtesy Credit
- City Repairs
(Affected month(s) – Baseline usage) X 100% X Billing Rate = Courtesy Credit
If Sewer credit applies:
(Highest Usage Month(s) – Baseline usage) X Sewer Factor % X Billing Rate = Courtesy Credit
Dealing with Higher Bills
Tulsa water customers are responsible for the balance of their bills during the waiting period after a courtesy credit is applied for. If the bill is not paid by the normal cut-off date, the water service will be interrupted, which may further delay the courtesy credit process. Payment arrangements are available to every customer to spread the large account balance over 3 months and are often setup while your courtesy leak credit is being evaluated. There are no fees to make an arrangement. However, there are a few conditions that can make your account ineligible for an arrangement:
- Your service has either been cut off or has a pending service order to cut off your service.
- Your account currently has an arrangement that has not been completely paid.
- Your account has an outstanding deposit requirement that has not been paid.
- A previous arrangement on your account was broken in the past 90 days.
To make a payment arrangement:
- Use the automated phone system by calling 311 to arrange equal monthly installments for 30, 60, or 90 days
- Speak to a Customer Care representative by calling 311
- Speak to a representative in City Hall located at the public entrance at 2nd & Cincinnati
Some items to keep in mind with your arrangement are:
- If you currently utilize the Auto-payment option with the City of Tulsa, you will want to speak to a representative and suspend the automatic draft until your arrangement payments are completed
- Along with your payment arrangement due dates, any future bill must be paid by the due date
- It is your responsibility to remember your payments. There are no notifications or callouts to remind you. If a payment is late, an order will be generated to pull your meter until the full balance is paid. (Fees apply)