Valley Water District
14515 Pioneer Way E
Puyallup, WA 98372
253-841-9698  
888-205-0118  After Hours
253-770-8959  Fax
info@valleywaterdistrict.com
Valley Water District
Mission Statement

To provide safe and reliable water to all of the District's customers.

Hours: 8:00am - 4:30pm

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Frequently Asked Questions

All questions are good questions. Here are Valley Water District's responses to those most commonly asked.

When is my payment due?

Your bi-monthly water bill is a statement for water service charges covering dates already passed.  Per Washington law, your balance is due upon receipt.  The due date of the 10th of the month is set to accommodate the collection of delinquent charges according to regulations for municipal corporations.

Therefore payment is due on the 10th day of the month following the bill date.  Payments not received in the office by the 25th of the month are assessed a 10% late fee.  Penalty Notices are mailed when this charge is incurred.  See the Billing Procedures section of our website to read the full billing policy or call the office at 253-841-9698 if you have any questions about your billing cycle or current balance.

What is this CIP Surcharge on my bill?

The CIP Surcharge began appearing on all Valley Water District bi-monthly bills as of January 2010.  CIP Surcharge is a temporary surcharge to collect additional income needed for bond payments until the economy and construction industry recover from the current recession.

The Base Rate (itemized in the top portion of the blue box, on the left side of your water bill) is structured to collect income to cover the District’s Public Works Trust Fund Loans and Bonds.  Historically, the Capital Improvement portion of the rate collects 50% of the bond payment.  The other half of the income needed for bonds comes from growth – that is new water service connections and meter purchases as homes and businesses are constructed and connected to the water system.

When the recession began in 2007, with it came the slowing of the construction industry, and the District began supplementing the decline in growth-related income with monies from the District’s cash reserves.  Cash Reserves are required to be maintained as part of the Bond Covenant.  Valley Water District continued to support bond payments with cash reserves through December 2009.  Unfortunately at the end of 2009, the economy had not improved.

The 50%-50% ratio of ratepayer revenue and growth revenue has been a widely recommended standard amongst municipalities.  Since these two sources of income - rates and new connections - are the only sources of revenue for the District to operate, the Board of Commissioners established the CIP Surcharge to supplement missing growth-related income.

At this time, the District has projected zero growth for 2010 and 2011.  As the construction industry recovers, and the District is able to replenish depleted cash reserves, the CIP Surcharge will be able to come off of the bi-monthly bills.  Should this not happen in the near future, the CIP Surcharge will remain longer than anticipated, since presently the rate structure as-is covers 100% of the District’s liabilities.

What is 'Plant Acquisition' and how long am I going to be paying for it?

When Valley Water District purchased the original water systems in 1994, money was borrowed for acquisition costs and funds were obtained via Public Works Trust Fund Loans to finance immediate needs to remedy the water systems. In 1998, the District closed on the sale of a 20-year bond and paid off loans and bank notes associated with the start-up of the District.

Bonds and Public Works Trust Fund Loan payments are made with monies collected from the Base Rate. Every property with a connection to a District water system is billed equally for the cost of the acquisition and ongoing improvements. Customers of water systems that joined the District after the initial start-up are billed similarly for costs related to the acquisition of their water system.

On October 1, 1998, Valley Water District closed on the sale of a 20-year bond.  These monies were used to pay off loans and bank notes associated with the start up of the District as well as the acquisition of, and capital improvements to, the original five water systems.

 Payments for this bond are collected as the Plant Acquisition and Capital Improvements portion of the Valley Water District Base Rate.  Every property with a connection to a District water system is billed equally for the cost of the acquisition and ongoing improvements to that water system.  Customers of systems that were added after the 1998 bond purchase are billed similarly for the costs related to acquiring their system.

The District’s Base Rate is structured to accommodate the payments to the Bonds and Public Works Trust Fund Loans, as well as the Maintenance and Operation costs of the District.

Who do I call to find buried utility lines?

Valley Water District maintains all water infrastructures up to the meter and does not have any information on the location of water lines on private property. Before you dig, you are required by law to call the local "One Call Center". Call 1-800-424-5555 or visit Call Before You Dig at least two (2) days before you intend to dig.

How many gallons are in a cubic foot?

There are approximately 7.5 gallons in a cubic foot. The 800 cubic feet per billing cycle, that is included in the Base Rate, translates to about 3,000 gallons a month or nearly 100 gallons a day.

Is water usage over 800 cubic feet in two months typical?

The Valley Water District Base Fee portion of the Base Rate includes the first 800 cubic feet of water used in a two-month period. Additional water is billed based on a tier structure (see Billing Procedures). 

800 cubic feet in two-months is not necessarily a standard or expected usage for most households. How much and how often water is used varies from family to family. You need not wait until your billing statement comes to determine the amount of water you use in your home. In fact, we recommend if you are concerned with the amount of water usage appearing on your bill that you rule out the possibility of a leak and then consider ways you might be able to conserve. See How to Read My Water Meter

Determining if There is a Leak

  • When water is not in use, look at the water meter, it should be still.
  • The meter's "leak detector" will help you determine if even the smallest trickle of water is passing through the meter. On your meter the leak detector may look like a black triangle, a silver gear, or a white circle.
  • Watch the meter for movement or record the meter reading and recheck after a short time.

 Investigating the Source of a Leak

  • A leaky toilet or one that doesn't stop running is a very common contributor to high water usage.
  • For outdoor water line breaks, Leak Detection & Locate services can be found in the yellow pages. Remember to Call Before You Dig.

If No Leak is Apparent and you are concerned about high usage, you can:

  • Record your own meter readings over a period of time.
  • Determine highest usage areas in your home.
  • Discuss with your family ways to work together to conserve water.

Is there fluoride in our water?

No. None of the six Valley Water District systems is currently treated with fluoride (except in the event that water is temporarily provided via a City of Tacoma Intertie).

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