2019 New York Laws
PBS - Public Service
Article 4-B - Provisions Relating to Water
89-B - Safe and Adequate Service; Just and Reasonable Charges; Unjust Discrimination; Unreasonable Preference; Protection of Privacy.
§ 89-b. Safe and adequate service; just and reasonable charges; unjust discrimination; unreasonable preference; protection of privacy. 1. Every water-works corporation shall furnish and provide such service, instrumentalities and facilities as shall be safe and adequate and in all respects just and reasonable. All charges made or demanded by any such water-works corporation for water, or for equipment furnished or for any service rendered or to be rendered shall be just and reasonable and not more than allowed by law or by order of the commission. Every unjust or unreasonable charge made or demanded for water or for equipment furnished or for any such service, or in connection therewith, or in excess of that allowed by law or by the order of the commission is prohibited. 2. No water-works corporation shall directly or indirectly, by any special rate, rebate, drawback or other device or method, charge, demand, collect or receive from any person or corporation a greater or less compensation for water, or for equipment or for any service rendered or to be rendered or in connection therewith, except as authorized in this article, than it charges, demands, collects or receives from any other person or corporation for doing a like and contemporaneous service with respect thereto under the same or substantially similar circumstances or conditions. 3. No water-works corporation shall make or grant any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any person, corporation or locality, or to any particular description of service in any respect whatsoever, or subject any particular person, corporation or locality or any particular description of service to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage in any respect whatsoever. 3-a. No water-works corporation shall discontinue or disconnect the supply of water for non-payment of water rents, rates or charges, unless such water-works corporation shall have first given fifteen days' written notice of its intention so to do to the owner of the premises thereby affected, or in lieu thereof, to the person, firm or corporation to whom or which the last preceding bill has been rendered and from whom or which the water-works corporation has received payment therefor, and to the superintendent or other person in charge of the building or premises thereby affected, if it can be readily ascertained that there is such superintendent or other person in charge. Such notice in every case shall be served either personally on the person, firm or corporation to which it is directed, or by mailing the same in a postpaid wrapper to the address of such person, firm or corporation. 3-b. (a) No water-works corporation can effect the discontinuance of residential service for nonpayment of bills rendered for water service on Friday after twelve noon, Saturday, Sunday, public holiday, or day on which the main business office of the corporation is not open for business.
(b) Discontinuance for nonpayment of bills rendered for water service of residential services can only take place between Monday and Thursday between the hours of eight a.m. and six p.m., and Fridays before twelve noon.
(c) The term public holiday refers to those holidays enumerated in the general construction law. 3-c. It shall be unlawful for any water-works corporation to discontinue the supply of water to any person or entity receiving public assistance, for nonpayment of bills rendered for service, if the payment for such service is to be paid directly by the office of temporary and disability assistance or the social services official in such locality. 4. Nothing in this chapter shall be taken to prohibit a water-works corporation from establishing a sliding scale for a fixed period for the automatic adjustment of charges for water, or any service rendered or to be rendered and the dividends to be paid to stockholders of such corporation, provided the sliding scale shall first have been filed with and approved by the commission; but nothing in this subdivision shall operate to prevent the commission after the expiration of such fixed period from fixing proper, just and reasonable rates and charges to be made for service as authorized in this article. 5. Nothing in this chapter shall be taken to prohibit a water-works corporation from establishing classifications of service based upon the quantity of water used, times when used, purpose for which used, duration of use, or upon any other reasonable consideration, and providing schedules of just and reasonable graduated rates applicable thereto. No such classification, schedule, rate or charge shall be lawful unless it shall be filed with and approved by the commission, and every such classification, rate or charge shall be subject to change, alteration and modification by the commission. 6. No water works corporation shall sell or offer for sale any list of names of its customers. However, upon request by a municipality, a water works corporation shall provide water usage data by property address to such municipality where: (a) such municipality is within the service territory of such water works corporation; (b) such data shall only be used for municipal purposes related to the financing of clean, storm or drinking water infrastructure projects and service; and (c) the provision of such data shall be pursuant to a written agreement between the water works corporation and the municipality which adequately provides for customer privacy safeguards and is approved by the commission. The water works corporation may provide for reimbursement of any nominal administrative costs which result from this provision of data in the written agreement. Property water usage data shall be used solely for the calculation of assessments or bills for municipal services for which water usage is a relevant indicator of the cost of such municipal services and such data information shall not be sold or shared with any other person or corporation. If a private vendor is used by the municipality in association with such municipal purposes, the restrictions related to municipalities on sale or sharing of water usage data shall apply to such private vendor. Upon request by a municipality, the commission may commence a proceeding to: (a) establish a written agreement between the municipality and a water works corporation; or (b) review any written agreement entered into between the municipality and a water works corporation, and make any modifications to such agreement as would be in the public interest. Any agency, as defined under section eighty-six of the public officers law, shall not disclose any personally identifiable information contained within such water usage data to the public. For purposes of this subdivision, "municipality" shall only include the cities of New Rochelle and Rye; the towns of Eastchester, Greenburgh, and Mount Pleasant; and the villages of Ardsley, Bronxville, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings-on-Hudson, Pelham, Pelham Manor, Port Chester, Rye Brook, and Tuckahoe. 7. Every water-works corporation providing service to the residents of a county with a population of one million two hundred fifty thousand or more which is not wholly contained within a city shall meter service to its customers within two years of the effective date of this subdivision.