RURAL WATER

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

 

WHAT IS RED ROCK RURAL WATER SYSTEM?  It is a system of pipelines, storage reservoirs, pumping stations, wells and treatment facilities located in Cottonwood, Jackson, Redwood, Murray, Lyon, Martin, Brown, Watonwan and Nobles counties.  It serves farms, rural residences, small towns and unincorporated communities.

IS RED ROCK RURAL WATER SYSTEM A COOPERATIVE?  No.  Red Rock Rural Water System is a public body organized under Minnesota State Statute 116A.

ARE RURAL WATER SYSTEMS NEW?  No.  Minnesota has six rural water systems.

WHY IS RURAL WATER NEEDED IN OUR AREA?  There are many reasons, but the most important ones are contaminated or poor quality water supplies, and in some cases, a lack of adequate quantities of water.  Water quality is poor or very bad in some cases.

WHAT IS POOR WATER COSTING ME NOW?  It’s not difficult to determine what the cost of hauled water is, but we more easily overlook the all too frequent work done on our present wells and pressure systems.  Poor water can shorten the life of pipes, water heaters and other water-using appliances.  Poor water may be causing you the loss of gain on feeder stock.

WHAT KIND OF WATER QUALITY CAN I EXPECT FROM RURAL WATER?  Troublesome minerals such as iron and manganese will be removed if necessary and other treatment will comply with state and federal health standards for public water supply systems.

IS RURAL WATER A GOOD INVESTMENT?  We think so.  A rural water system means an assured supply of good water.  If you choose to continue using your present source for livestock, the rural water system is there to serve you during any period of pump or well failure. The value of your real estate will be enhanced too, by the connection to the system supplying an abundant quantity of quality water.

WHAT DO HOMEOWNERS HAVE TO SAY?  Most would not do without it.  They do not have to worry about staining problems during clothes washing.  Bathroom fixtures stay clean.  Less soap is used because the water is generally softer than what they had before.  And most importantly, they can be assured that the water is safe for cooking and drinking.

WILL I BE ABLE TO WATER LIVESTOCK IN ADDITION TO USING THE WATER IN MY HOME?  Yes.  The system is designed to provide water for domestic consumption (that is, within homes) and for livestock consumption.  Lawn and garden watering is also permitted.

CAN I AFFORD TO WATER ALL OF MY LIVESTOCK FROM THE SYSTEM?  This is a decision that you will have to make.  Users have reported better gains in livestock, fewer problems with scours and other problems that they had encountered previously with poor water supply.  New well construction cost, maintenance costs of well and pump, and electrical bills for pumping should also be considered and evaluated.

WILL I HAVE TO REPUMP THE WATER AFTER IT IS DELIVERED TO MY FARM OR RESIDENCE?  You will not have to re-pump the water since it will be delivered under pressure.  Cisterns or pressurization units are not required.

WILL I BE REQUIRED TO USE ONLY WATER FROM THE RED ROCK RURAL WATER SYSTEM?  No.  You may continue to use your own well if you wish.  For example, some users may only want the rural water for their homes but continue to use their existing wells for livestock watering.  We must caution you, however, that your private water supply may not be interconnected with the rural water system.  This is a Health Department regulation.

HOW WILL I BE BILLED FOR MY WATER?  You will be asked to read your own meter and mail in the reading along with the payment each month.  The water bill that you pay each month reflects the cost of operation and maintenance of the system.

I AM INTERESTED IN ESTIMATING MY WATER USAGE.  WHAT ARE SOME AVERAGE NUMBERS THAT I CAN USE TO MAKE THESE CALCULATIONS?

Our engineers tell us that you can use the following year-round daily usage figures:

People – 60 gallons per person
Feeder Cattle – 8 gallons per head
Hogs and Sheep – 3 gallons per head
Poultry – 5 gallons per 100 birds
Dairy Cattle – 12 gallons per head

I’VE FIGURED OUT HOW MUCH WATER I USE.  WHAT WILL IT COST ME EACH MONTH?  The current rate (as of October 2015) consists of a minimum monthly charge and a commodity charge of $3.10 per 1,000 gallons. Please refer to rate chart.

WHAT DOES IT COST TO SIGN UP FOR A RURAL WATER SERVICE?  A $500.00 Feasibility Study Fee.  This amount is used to defray the cost for a feasibility study and preliminary engineering study.  It will be the only cost to you until construction is completed.  After construction, an assessment will be placed on your property taxes as a special assessment, principle amount based on project cost.

HOW WILL THIS ASSESSMENT BE REPAID?  It will be repaid on the period of the loan.  On past projects this has been for a period of 30 years (40 years may be considered).

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE PROPERTY ASSESSED IS SOLD?  The assessment stays with the property.

WHAT CAN I DO NOW IF I WANT RURAL WATER?  Contact the Red Rock Rural Water office at (507) 628-4201.  They will assist you in:

1.  Paying the Feasibility Study Fee.
2.  Completing an information sheet showing how much water you use.  This information is needed for our engineering firm to plan the design of the system.
3.  Signing a Water Users Agreement form.
4.  Signing a Petitioner’s/Water User’s Statement.

IF I DO NOT WISH TO SIGN UP AT THIS TIME, CAN I OBTAIN SERVICE FROM THE SYSTEM AFTER IT IS CONSTRUCTED?  Red Rock Rural Water System cannot assure you of service at a later date.  The system is designed to serve those who subscribe to it first, with very little reserve built in.  In order for our engineer to properly design the system and establish accurate costs, it must be known who is serious about being served by the system.

WILL LAND OWNERS ALONG PROPOSED PIPELINE ROUTES BE ASKED TO GRANT RIGHT-OF-WAY OR EASEMENTS?  Yes.  Ideally, the pipe is installed in private easement.   If the lines are placed on private property, we will not have to be responsible for the cost of moving the pipelines if roads are widened or improved.

WHAT ARE OTHER REASONS FOR NOT INSTALLING PIPELINES IN ROAD DITCHES?  Some of the reasons are lack of adequate room to work, other buried utilities such as telephone line, wet areas, driveways, culverts, etc.  It is also more difficult for the Contractor to properly reshape a ditch after construction.

HOW MUCH CROP WILL BE DESTROYED AND WHAT IS THE WIDTH OF THE EASEMENTS REQUIRED FOR THE CONSTRUCTION?  The normal easement widths are thirty feet.  However, the contractor will generally disturb no more than twenty feet of crop land during construction.  The contractor is normally held responsible for crop damage outside the easement.

WILL FENCES AND DRAINAGE TILE BE REPAIRED DURING CONSTRUCTION?  Yes.  The contractor is required to repair fences and tile lines to equal or better condition.

WHEN DO I NEED TO READ MY METER?  You should read your meter on the 1st of each month.  Be sure to send in your card and payment by the 15th of each month.  To avoid a $10.00 late payment charge, card and payment must be postmarked by the 15th of each month.  If you have enough credit on your account to cover the month’s payment, you still need to send in the card with the readings so that the office can keep accurate records.  If you fail to send in the one month’s card, you are still responsible to send it in the following month with readings and a payment.  You cannot combine 2 months usage onto 1 card.

HOW DO I READ MY METER?  You will have either an inside basement meter or a meter pit outside with a remote above ground.  Both of these meters have 7 digits listed on the face.  Some numbers move and others are permanent.  Your billing cards also have 7 boxes printed on them.  When filling out your cards you should put the 4 numbers on the left side of your meter into the empty boxes.  The 3 numbers on the right side of your meter automatically become zeros on the card.  You pay for your water by the 1,000 gallons.  If you have any questions please give our office a call and we will help you do your cards over the phone.

WHAT DO I DO IF MY METER SHOULD STICK?  You need to give us a call to repair it right away.  During the time it is stuck, you are required to take an average of the previous 3 months gallons and use that usage for your monthly payment.  It is the customer’s responsibility to inform the office of a bad meter.

WHAT DO I DO IF I AM NOT USING WATER?  If you are not using water you can request to have your water service turned off.  We ask that you contact us 48 hours in advance to set up a service call for winterizing your meter or having your service reconnected.  There is no charge for this service call.  You are responsible for paying the minimum charge of $26.00 per month even if your water service is disconnected and you are not using any water.  Pre-paying your water bill is an option; please contact the office for further information.

WHAT IS YOUR DELINQUENT ACCOUNT POLICY?  Monthly water usage payments are due by the 15th and will be considered delinquent if the payment is not received or postmarked by the 15th of each month.  If payment is not received or postmarked by the due date, a $10.00 late charge will be added to the total due.  If payment and late charge is not received within 14 days of due date, a disconnect notice will be sent.  This will be the only notification given in advance of the service being disconnected 30 days after the disconnect notice is sent.  To avoid disconnection, delinquent month, current month and late charges must be paid in full.

Reconnect Policy:  If payment in full is not received after the 30 days notice of disconnection, a $60.00 reconnect charge will be added to the total due.  All monthly charges, late charges and reconnect charge must be paid in full prior to reconnection of water service.  If you claim that the charges are not properly due and payable, you may request a hearing in writing before expiration of the 30 days.