FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE10-04
January 13, 2010
Michael Saucier/Mercedes Padilla (718) 595-6600
DEP Begins Enforcement of New Denial of Access Charges
Customers Who Repeatedly Fail to Allow Inspectors To Access Meter Face $250 Fee
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection
(DEP) today announced that it has begun enforcing a new regulation that allows
it to impose a fee of $250 and a special rate on customers who repeatedly fail
to provide access to their property to perform water meter inspections.
Ratepayers who refuse access could see their water rates quadrupled. Inspectors
need access to meters to get accurate readings of water consumption, which
allows DEP to issue accurate bills to the City's 834,000 ratepayers. Water and
sewer revenues fund the day-to-day operation of the City's water and sewer system and the capital investments — like Water Tunnel 3 and the construction of the Croton Water Filtration Plant — necessary to continue delivering the nation's best water to 9 million New Yorkers every day.
"While the vast majority of DEP customers allow access to their water meters,
some ignore this important obligation," Environmental Protection Commissioner
Cas Holloway said. "This new enforcement tool will help ensure that all New
Yorkers pay their fair share to supply and distribute the best drinking water in
the country, and to treat the 1.2 billion gallons of wastewater that the City
produces every day."
DEP requires access to inspect, test, upgrade, repair or replace meters or
remote meter reading devices that may be malfunctioning. The new regulation
raises the Denial of Access fee to $250 from $50 and, if access continues to be
denied, DEP can impose a flat rate based on anticipated water consumption. In
some cases, this could mean the water and sewer rate would quadruple for
customers who fail to give access to inspectors.
The change in the Denial of Access regulation is part of DEP's goal to ensure
that the new regulation will also help inspectors gain access to homes in DEP's
citywide installation of automated water meter reading (AMR) technology, which
will end the use of estimated water bills, giving homeowners and small
businesses more accurate and timely records of usage.
DEP manages the City's water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of
water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8 million in New York
City, and residents of Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties. New York
City's water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from
the City, and is comprised of 19 reservoirs, and three controlled lakes. 6,600
miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses
throughout the five boroughs, and 7,400 miles of sewer lines take wastewater to
14 in-City treatment plants.