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Leaks

Unexpected leaks can occur in plumbing systems and cause high bills. Cobb County Water System encourages the prompt and complete repair of leaks. The Water System has a Leak Credit Policy that provides a partial credit for eligible leaks once in a rolling 12-month period. The credit can be applied to no more than two affected months. The purpose of the policy is to assist customers with a partial offset of the costs associated with certain plumbing failures, not to fully compensate a customer for the costs of a leak.  Customers are responsible for paying the water bill while waiting for a leak credit to be processed.

    Leak Credit Application 
    Click here to apply online. 

    • Address and Account Number
    • A brief explanation of the type of leak
    • A plumbing repair receipt, or a receipt for parts, or at a minimum a letter explaining what was done to correct the problem
    • For Pool Leak Credits Only: Volume of the pool

    Leak Credit Eligibility

    In some instances, Cobb County provides a nominal credit for charges associated with a leak on a private plumbing system.  Credits are provided in response to the related policy adopted by the Cobb County Board of Commissioners.  The purpose of the policy is to assist customers with a partial offset of the costs associated with certain plumbing failures, not to fully compensate a customer for the costs of a leak.  The maintenance and repair of private plumbing systems as well as any costs associated with its failure are the responsibility of the customer.

    Leak in a home or business service line: In the event of a leak that results in loss of water that does not enter the sewer system, residential customers may qualify for a partial credit for wastewater once in a rolling 12-month period if repair of the leak is documented.  A customer may also qualify for a partial water credit.

    Leak in a pool: You may receive one pool credit per year if the pool must be drained and refilled because of a repair.  The pool credit will be on wastewater charges only.

    A new pool fill or filling a pool for the season: Consistent with regional water conservation guidelines, Cobb County does not give a credit for pool filling unless it has been drained to facilitate a repair.  Cobb County recovers the costs of the extensive wastewater system by billing wastewater equal to metered water use. Pool filling is a discretionary use of water and the water used to fill a pool is not readily available to us for future use.

    Credit for irrigation use:  Consistent with regional water conservation guidelines, Cobb County does not give a sewer credit for outdoor water use.  Cobb County recovers the costs of the extensive wastewater system by billing wastewater equal to metered water use.  Outdoor irrigation is a discretionary use of water and the water used to irrigate outside is not readily available to us for future use.

    Leak Credit Policy

    1. Authority
    Approved by the Director. Presented to the BOC on May 12, 2009. Revision Recommended by the Leak Credit Committee and Approved by the Director on February 1, 2013

    2. Purpose
    To define a water and sewer charge credit policy where unusual charges are incurred as a result of a leak or other problem on the customer's side of the water meter.

    3. Definitions
          a. CCWS – Cobb County Water System
          b. Credited Usage – Calculated as the difference between the usage during the month(s) for which a credit is considered and 150% of normal usage. 
          c. Leak Credit – A credit issued to a customer account reducing a portion of the charges against that account relating to a documented leak occurring within 12-months of the request for credit. 
          d. Leak Credit Committee – An internal CCWS committee charged with interpreting this Policy and considering appeals thereto. 
          e. Non-residential Customer – All customers that are not defined as residential (see below). 
          f. Normal Usage – Usage during the billing month(s) for which a credit is considered during the previous year. For example, if a credit is considered for January,  2013, Normal Usage would be the usage recorded for January 2012. If this comparison is not possible or not representative, use the average consumption chart. 
         g. Residential Customer - Single family residence individually metered by CCWS. 
         h. Sewer Cost – The calculated actual cost to treat collected wastewater; established at $1.00 per thousand gallons as of July 1, 2009. Subject to change by the Leak Credit Committee. 
         i. Sewer Rate – The commodity sewer rate charged to the customer during the period for which a credit is sought. 
         j. Water Cost – The rate paid by CCWS to the Cobb County Marietta Water Authority for potable water. 
         k. Water Rate – The commodity water rate charged to the customer during the period for which a credit is sought. 
         l. Credit for County Caused Problem – This is defined as a leak that is our responsibility such as a leaking washer at the meter or a leak caused by County action.

    4. Leak Credits
         a. Leak credits are available to all customers who suffer a leak that exceeds 150% of their normal use. 
         b. A customer may qualify for a leak credit only once in a rolling 12 month period. 
         c. In the event that a leak appears to have impacted the billing for two consecutive months, both months may be considered. 
         d. Customer must provide evidence of leak repair; e.g. repair bill, letter from plumber or repair company, and receipts if self-repaired, or, at a minimum, letter from the customer to describe the situation. 
         e. The sewer credit shall be calculated as the credited use times the sewer rate for outdoor leaks or credited use times the difference between the sewer rate and the sewer cost for indoor leaks (i.e. when the lost flow enters the sewer system). 
         f.  The water credit shall be calculated as the credited use times the difference between the water rate and water costs.

    5. Pool Credits
         a. No water credit is provided. 
         b. Only available for refilling pool following a needed repair. 
         c. No more than one pool credit per year. 
         d. Documentation of repair and pool size must be provided. 
         e. Sewer credit calculated as volume used to fill pool times the applicable sewer rate. 
         f. No credit available for ponds, hot tubs, topping off, or routine pool maintenance.

    6. Credit for County Caused Problem  
          a. Sewer Charges - credited at the current retail sewer rate for all consumption exceeding normal use provided the customer has sewer service. 
          b. Water Charges - credited at the current retail water rate and correct tier for all consumption exceeding normal use.

    7. Administration
         a. Changes to this policy may be recommended by the Leak Credit Committee and approved by the Director. 
         b. Notes regarding all leak credits requested shall be placed with the appropriate account in the CCWS billing system. 
         c. Documentation of requests and their resolutions shall be maintained by the Customer Service Manager.

    Leak Detector Loaner Program

    Think you might have a leak? Have a higher than normal monthly usage amount and wondering where your water is going? Cobb County Water System will loan CCWS customers a Flume Smart Home Water Monitor for up to 90 days to track your real-time water use. The Flume Water Sensor straps around your existing water meter and sends real-time water usage information to the Flume Bridge, even separating indoor use from outdoor use.  No cutting of pipes or plumbing is needed.  The sensor straps easily around the water meter at your property and communicates water use in real-time to the Flume app through a Wi-Fi bridge. In order to qualify for this program, you must:

    • Be a Cobb County Water System residential customer. You pay your bill directly to CCWS.
    • Have Wi-Fi at your property and have a smartphone (iOS or Android) or other mobile device compatible with the Flume Smart Home Water Monitor.
    • Be willing to download the Flume app onto your phone.
    • Be able to plug the Flume Bridge into a power outlet inside your home and be able to connect it to your property’s Wi-Fi. This process is similar to the installation of other smart home technology.
    • You are the water account holder of the property where the Flume Smart Home Water Monitor will be installed and have authority to track the water usage of the property where the device will be installed.

    Customers participating in this program must meet in person with CCWS staff to check out and to return the device. Failure to return all parts contained in the loaner kit by the due date will result in a $300 charge to your water account.

    To schedule an appointment, please click here.  A CCWS employee will be in touch to schedule the appointment. 

    Flume Rebate

    Cobb County Water System is offering a $100 bill credit for the purchase and installation of the Flume Smart Home Water Monitor. Flume Smart Home Water Monitor captures whole home water use. To install the Flume system, no tools are needed, no pipe cutting is required, and no experience is necessary. The Flume system consists of three parts:

    1. The Flume sensor that is installed by you, the customer, directly onto your water meter. 
    2. The Flume bridge that is kept inside your home and connected to your Wi-Fi. 
    3. The Flume app that is installed on a smart device such as your cell phone. 

    As water travels through your meter, the Flume sensor sends real-time water use data through the Flume Bridge and then to the Flume app. In the Flume app, water use is separated into indoor and outdoor use, and further broken down into usage increments by time.  That use is allocated to fixtures and appliances, as the device learns the typical consumption patterns of the home environment. 

    This real-time feedback empowers the customer to manage water use proactively. The Flume measures water use in increments as small as .01-.03 gallons per minute. This allows the customer to understand and recognize normal water use and any variations. Customers can set leak notifications, by text and/or email for any suspected leaks, allowing you to take action before damage or high-water bills occur. 

    The Flume app also features an “Away Mode.” If you plan to be away from your home for an extended period of time, Flume can automatically notify a friend or neighbor if there is water usage in your absence. Emergency Contacts don’t need the Flume app installed, and they won’t have access to your account or see your water use data. They will be notified via an email message if your Usage Alerts are triggered.

    The Flume Smart Home Leak Detection System retails for $199 + shipping but with purchase through Flume’s CCWS customer landing page, flumewater.com/cobbcounty, you pay $180 + shipping. After purchase and installation, you will receive an email from Flume with a link to the short CCWS online application to apply for your $100 bill credit, making your out-of-pocket cost $80.

    In order to qualify for the Flume bill credit, you must: 

    • Be a Cobb County Water System residential customer. If you pay your bill directly through CCWS (not through an HOA or with your rent) you are a customer. 
    • Be the active water account holder for the property where the Flume Smart Home Water Monitor will be installed. 
    • Purchase a Flume Smart Home Water Monitor at flumewater.com/cobbcounty. Purchases from other retailers will not qualify for the bill credit.
    • Install the Flume Smart Home Water Monitor.

    For more information on the Flume Smart home Water Monitor, visit Flumewater.com. For more information on this customer incentive program, contact the Water Efficiency Office at waterefficiency@cobbcounty.org.

    Water Leak Tips

    In your home, you have a water system. All the pipes and fixtures after the water meter comprise your water system. Maintenance of that system is essential in order to prevent water loss and excessive water bills. It is important to understand your plumbing system and be able to detect and recognize potential plumbing problems and leaks.

    The most common leak inside the home is a toilet leak. It can use hundreds of gallons of water a day. Many people believe they can hear a toilet leak but some are silent. The primary cause of toilet leaks is a malfunctioning or damaged flapper. Replacing a flapper is an easy affordable way to save money and water. There is no such thing as a universal flapper. Click www.plumbingsupply.com flappers to find your flapper and information on how to replace flappers.

    Additional Resources

    Videos

    Leak Credit FAQs

    How long will it take for the Water System to apply the credit to my account?

    If you qualify for a leak credit, it may take up to 30 days for a leak credit to be processed, so it may not show on your next bill. Customers are responsible for paying the water bill while waiting for a leak credit to be processed. If the leak is catastrophic and paying the bill will cause a hardship, please contact customer service for additional assistance at 770-419-6200.

    Will I receive any notification from the Water System about my credit?

    Yes, you will receive a letter stating whether it was approved or denied. If your request for a leak credit is approved, your notice will be sent after the credit is applied so we can provide the amount of the credit. It may take up to 35 days to receive the notice. (See response above.)

    If I have a water leak, does the County make repairs?

    No, the Water System is not responsible for leaks between the meter and the house or in the house. The maintenance and repair of pipes and fixtures after the water meter are the sole responsibility of the customer. This includes any charges associated with a leak.

    Can the County provide a list of plumbers?

    No.

    Why do I have to pay the water bill when I have a leak?

    Cobb County Water System is not responsible for any private plumbing system issues. The Water System has a Leak Credit Policy that provides a partial credit for eligible leaks once in a rolling 12-month period. The reason that we only provide partial credits is that we purchase water from the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority so there is a real cost to us for the water that goes through your meter. If we provided full credits for leaks, then we would be transferring these costs associated with your leak to our other customers. The reason that we limit leak credits to one credit in a rolling 12-month period and only credit up to two months per leak is to encourage our customers to be good stewards of water by repairing leaks quickly and maintaining their plumbing.

    Can I get a credit for filling my new pool or filling my pool for the summer?

    No. Consistent with regional water conservation guidelines, the Water System does not give a credit for pool filling unless it must be drained to facilitate a repair. Leak credits for pool repairs are only for wastewater charges.

    How do I find leaks at my home?

    For more information on detecting, repairing, and preventing leaks, visit our leak page.

    Flume FAQs

    Can I purchase my Flume from Amazon and still get the bill credit?

    No. In order to qualify for the reduced purchase price of $180, and the $100 bill credit, you must purchase your Flume on flumewater.com/cobbcounty.

    I just got my water use report from Flume for the month and it is not the same as my billed use. Is my bill wrong?
    • CCWS water meter is the official measuring device for all purposes, including billing and compliance with applicable laws governing use and conservation of water.
    • The Flume’s monthly report measures water use from the first day of the month until the last day of the month. 
    • Cobb Water’s billing periods are based upon when the meter is read and do not necessarily coincide with the calendar month. 
    • Most Cobb Water Customers’ bills reflect a portion of two separate months. 
    • Cobb Water only bills in 1,000 gallon increments and the Flume measures down less than a 1/10th of a gallon.  Consumption for Cobb Water is only billed when the 1,000th place rolls over.  This may reflect water use that is greater than billed or less than billed consumption.  For Example.
      • The meter may read 4,670 Gallons (the billed consumption would be 4,000 gallons)
      • The next month the meter may read 9,180 gallons (the billed consumption would be 5,000)
    How does the Flume measure water when it is strapped to the outside of the meter?

    Your water meter has an internal magnetic disc that spins when water passes through it, directly correlating to the water flow rate.  Magnets in the Flume sensor measure the magnetic field from the meter and sends the information to your Flume bridge.

    How accurate is the Flume?

    When correctly installed the flume is about 99% accurate in measuring the flow through the meter.  For most CCWS residential customers, Flume can measure water use to .03-.01 gallons per minute. There may be slight variations from billed consumption due to billing period and flow variations.

    How does the Flume determine where my water is being used at my home?

    Flume uses a proprietary flow analysis platform to separate your water use to indoor and outdoor use based upon the flow pattern. Using this technology, your Flume device is able to determine where your water is going.  It learns while installed and determines the most likely appliances and fixtures where water is used.

    How can Flume help me detect leaks?

    Customers can set customized alerts and notifications within the Flume app to send them a text and/or email if water use falls within specified parameters.  Continual use or a sudden spike in water use can indicate a possible leak.  

    I get a bill every month, how will the Flume help me?

    Cobb Water bills are sent once a month and only provide the total water amount that passed through the meter during the billing period, not when and how it was used.  With Flume, customers can see water use broken down by minute, hour, day, week, and month.  This helps to better track and monitor water using appliances and fixtures, receive early notification of plumbing issues, or make efficiency improvements to lower water bills.   

    I don’t want a credit on my water bill. Can I receive a check instead?

    No. No checks are issued for this program.  The $100.00 will appear on your next water bill as a credit.  The monthly water bill will be deducted from the credit until it is completely used.  

     

    Will CCWS have access to my water use information?

    No. CCWS will not have access to any information associated with your Flume system. This includes, but is not limited to, your water use data, your WiFi information, or your water use fixtures at your home. 

    I want to purchase a Flume for someone else? Can I still get the discounted price and bill credit?

    No. The discounted price and bill credit are available to CCWS customers for installation of the Flume device at the address of the applicant. 

    Can I receive the bill credit on my rental property?

    Bill credits will be issued to the account holder at the address of installation. If your tenant pays their water bill directly to CCWS, they will receive the bill credit.

    Will Flume work on my apartment building or multi-family home?

    Because Flume records all water as it passes through the meter, Flume will be unable to differentiate what unit, apartment, or building the water is coming from. CCWS commercial and multi-family meters are not compatible with the Flume device.