+ What are your business hours?
Monday - Friday 8am - 4:30pm, but our reception desk is open to accept payments until 5:00pm.
+ What is your fax number?
+ What is your mailing address?
PO Box 44427 Tacoma WA 98448
+ What is your physical address?
5410 189th St E Puyallup WA 98375
+ Where is your main office located?
Fredrickson area on the corner of Canyon Road and 189th Street East
+ Which option should I select when calling in to set up a NEW account or to ask billing questions?
Select option 3 for Billing.
Billing - Payments - Account
+ If I have a leak, is there any billing recourse?
We do a one-time adjustment based on consumption if the repair is done within a reasonable period of time. Please contact the billing department to see if you qualify.
+ Why can't you just bill the reconnection fee?
For New Customers: It is required that you pay in the office while completing paperwork to get the meter unlocked and to legally accept you as our customer.
For Existing Customers: The $20.00 is a tariffed reconnect fee that must be paid on top of your current balance prior to getting service restored.
+ Can I pay over the phone?
Not at this time. We do have the option to pay online via Xpress Bill Pay. If this is an option that you would like to pursue please create an account on Xpress Bill Pay's website by clicking here. You will need your Rainier View Water account number, which is on your statement, as well as your bank information when setting up an account for the first time. As an alternative, many banks do have bill paying services, so you might want to check with your bank.
+ Can you provide any financial assistance for people on fixed incomes?
The WUTC requires us to provide equal service to all customers without special accommodations, concessions, privileges or provisions to unique individuals or groups. We can, however, direct those in financial distress to an outside resource. Their coordinator can help match eligible applicants to appropriate charities that may be able to provide modest assistance.
Housing & Shelter Coordinator
(253) 383-3056 - Work
+ What can I do if I know I won't be able to pay my bill this month?
Call our billing office immediately (prior to disconnection) at (253) 537-6634. They will help you make arrangements
+ If I have been disconnected due a delinquent balance, may I make an online payment to get reconnected?
Reconnections can only be scheduled once the payment is received in our office. Online payments through Xpress Bill Pay take one business day to be received in our office. Online payments through banking institutions can take several days to be received in our office. If you are not in a hurry to be reconnected, then an online payment may be acceptable to you. If you need to be reconnected as soon as possible, then paying in our office or asking us to collect payment at the door (cash, check or money order) would be the better option.
+ I am leaving for 3 months. Can you suspend my account?
Unfortunately no, we recommend paying in advance the minimum amount to cover 3 months. Prior to departure and upon return, please notify our office any mailing address updates/changes that you would like us to make for your statements. To prevent unauthorized use,leaks, etc., you may turn your water off at the house or meter. Upon request, we can turn your water off at the meter for a $10.00 dispatch fee.
+ Do you really need my social security number to open an account?
No, if you wish to refuse to give your social security number you may provide your Washington State Driver's License. If you do not provide one of these two items, you will be required to pay a $60.00 deposit, which will be applied after 12 monthes of service with no more than 2 delinquency notices during that time.
+ I just bought a house and need to set up an account. What do I need to do?
A completed and signed Application for Existing Single Family Residence and Water Use Questionnaire form must be submitted at least one business day before the date you need water service. We recommend e-mailing forms to info@RainierViewWater.com so that we can confirm receipt more quickly, but you may also fax to 253-537-7896 or mail to P.O. Box 44427, Tacoma, WA 98448. Forms that are faxed or mailed will be acknowledged by mail with an approved copy. Please be aware that we do not connect service on weekends or most holidays.
+ I am moving out of my home. What do I need to do to close my account?
Contact our billing department three business days before you want your account closed so that we can schedule your final read. Since service is disconnected when we get the final read, it is important to choose a day that you will not need access to water. Please be aware that we do not get final reads on weekends or most holidays.
Water Use Efficiency
+ Why is there a higher charge for high usage when there wasn't a drought this year?
Many people mistakenly believe that higher rates for high use is related to drought. In reality, the purpose of water use efficiency (with or without drought) is to implement effective use of water. To discourage the overuse of water, a higher rate is applied for water used in excess of normal consumption standards.
+ What is considered normal consumption and what is considered excessive consumption?
The Washington State Department of Health has determined that an average family of four consumes 255 gallons (34 cubic feet) of indoor water use per day (x 30 days = 7,650 gallons or 1,000 cubic feet for the month). Summer use can double that amount (15,300 gallons or 2,000 cubic feet), depending upon watering patterns. 22,440 gallons or 3,000 cubic feet is considered excessive by average standards, and therefore, subject to higher rates.
+ How much water does and average family of 4 use?
Of course, every family manages their water consumption differently, but the average family of 4 uses 1,000 cubic feet. Summer usage is higher and varies more depending upon watering habits, size of yard, pools. etc.
+ Why was the Conservation rate originally put in place?
The Washington State Department of Heath requires us to file an approved water system plan that includes a water use efficiency program. Their focus is on maximizing existing resources to allow for future growth and population expansion. The absence of water use efficiency and planning could result in an inability for our natural resources and the services that provide them to sustain the population. Since the Washington State Department of Health is not authorized to control growth and population expansion, their solution to conserve water became a mandate to water utilities and their customers.
While other utilities use a multi-tiered conservation rate that affects all of its users, our water system plan uses a rate method that affects only the people who actually use quantities that exceed average use. Since 15% of our customers use 80% of the water during summer months, they become responsible for the excess use, instead of charging people who utilize conservation methods and stay below the range of excess use.
+ How can I control my water consumption?
Here are a few basic tips.
Follow our watering calendar carefully.
Use timers on your sprinklers.
Use rain sensors on sprinkler systems.
Take shorter showers (10 minutes or less).
Shut off water while brushing your teeth.
When washing dishes by hand, fill a sink with clean water for rinsing dishes, instead of rinsing them under running water.
There are also several web sites that can offer excellent suggestions, here are a few:
+ How can I keep track of how much water I use and what my bill will be?
Read your meter. It is usually located near the property line near the road. It reads like a car odometer - the two numbers on the far right represent tenths - we bill in hundredths. We have a publication that we can send you if you would like or your can click here to see our rate structures.
+ The fire hydrant in front of my home needs painting, who do I contact about that?
Generally speaking, the fire department is responsible for the maintenance of fire hydrants; however, there are some that we have accepted responsibility for maintaining. Please speak to our operations department, option 4, for specific information.
+ Why does the water company keep removing my landscaping around fire hydrants?
Fire code requires that a three foot clearance be maintained around all ports of a fire hydrant.
+ Where is my meter located?
In most cases, your meter is located near your property line near the street.
+ I think my meter is not reading correctly. How do I get it checked and what will it cost?
Once a year, meter test are available upon request at no charge. If the meter is broken, our maintenance department will take the call and address the issue. If the concern is about the possibility of an incorrect reading, our customer service department will try to send out a different meter reader to confirm the read.
+ What is the best way to remove mineral residue?
Try using "Iron Out," a granular detergent which can be found in most stores. It can also be used to clean objects and in the laundry to protect clothing. Also try "Kitchen Block" - a pumice like block that takes off mineral as content well.
+ I filled out a Water Use Questionnaire with my Application for Service, but I have had the Water Use Questionnaire sent to me more than once. What is that program all about?
This is to ensure that we are keeping up with any changes that my affect cross connection conditions. For further explanation, please call our cross connection program manager at extension 1239 at any time.
+ Why do you guys charge so much?
Our normal billing rates actually fall in the average range. We are not the most expensive, nor the least expensive. We are a small, privately owned company. As a privately owned company, our rates are regulated by the WUTC. Rates, however, are high when excessive use occurs, and this is to discourage excessive use of our resources. Some water companies pass this expense on to all customers, but our rate plan, which is approved and regulated by the WUTC, is to charge the people who actually consume excess water.
+ How much does it cost to fill a swimming pool?
It depends on the size of the pool. Please contact our office and have the dimensions of the pool available when calling.
+ How much longer will the surcharge be in effect? What is the surcharge for?
The surcharge is for the specific expense associated with treatment. The surcharge ends when the debt for that expense is repaid. No exact date can be determined, because the rate of repayment varies with the number of customers we have at any given time.
+ How do I tell if I have a leak?
Turn off all water using appliances and faucets in the house, and then go look at the meter. If it is still spinning, that is an indication of a water leak somewhere. Locate the shutoff valve in the house (often next to the hot water heater) and turn the water off. Check a faucet first to make sure it is off. You may get residual water, but it will stop very shortly if the water valve has been turned off. Now check the meter again, and if the meter is still spinning then there is a leak between the meter and the house. If the meter stops spinning, then the leak is in the house. Your next step should be to call a plumber and explain your situation. They may not be able to help with a leak if it is between the meter and the house. If that is the case, look in the phone book under Leak & Pipe Locating in the yellow pages.
+ I need a water main located on the water line on my property, how do I go about that?
Call Locate, Inc. at 1-800-424-5555. Washington State law requires 2 days before you dig. For further information, see www.callbeforeyoudig.com.
+ I see water bubbling or spraying out of the ground outside of my property, what should I do?
Call us at 253-537-6634, option 4, and we will investigate.
+ Does Rainier View Water Co. refer any plumber to repair leaks?
Sorry, this is not a service that Rainier View Water Co., provides. You should be able to find some phone numbers in the yellow pages for plumbers in the Pierce County Area.
+ What repairs is the water company required to make?
The water utility is responsible for all repairs up to the back side of the water meter. The reason being, the utility did not install the line from the meter to the home.
+ I need some work done (meter fixes, repair/location, water flushing, etc.), how long will it take?
It is usually a two day turnaround for our service orders to be completed, depending on the nature and urgency of the issue. Date, time and scope of work will be noted by maintenance personnel on a hanger form left on your front door.
+ Who is responsible for the repairs on the water service for my home if I discover a leak?
Any leak and/or repair prior to the customer's service is the responsibility of Rainier View Water Co., and would not show usage on the customer's meter. A leak past the meter, on the customer side, whether it is inside the house or the line that connects the meter to the house, is the responsibility of the customer to repair.
+ How do I shut off the water going into my home?
Although the valve is the property of the utility, and for the purposes of maintenance, there may be times when you need to shut off water to your home. There are two places the water can be shut off. There is usually a shut off valve inside the house on the water line, before it gets to the hot water heater (often in the garage). The water can also be shut off at the meter. Open the meter box, and on the road side of the meter there will be a valve. Using a 3/4 inch wrench and a screwdriver, face the road and spin the valve clockwise until the two holes line up.
+ How do I call to complain about my water?
Please call (253) 537-6634, option 4. Please be prepared to let them know the nature of the problem.
+ My water is foggy, perhaps a bit white. What is the cause?
This comes from excess air in the water lines. Letting the water sit for a couple of minutes would result a dissipation of the fogginess and discoloration.
+ There is a blue tint and/or residue to my water, what is the cause?
We currently treat the water with Sodium Silicate for corrosion control in the Southwood/Sound system only, but there is always potential for copper leeching from pipes. Such leeching lends a blue tint or residue to the water.
+ My water looks brown and/or rusty in color, what is the cause?
This indicates a high level of manganese, a naturally occurring mineral. Our area has a higher saturation of minerals, and at times, these minerals can collect in the water main outside of the house (distribution system). Such a buildup is not harmful to our health, and can often be resolved through flushing the system.
+ What additives or chemical does Rainier View Water Co. add to the water?
We add Chlorine to nullify any potential harmful organic elements in the water, and Sodium Silicate, a sand-salt solution that bonds to pipes to protect them from wear.
+ Is there Fluoride in the water?
Rainier View Water Co. does not currently add Fluoride to the water, although naturally occurring trace amounts can be present. The Pierce County Public Health Board has shown interest in requiring Fluoridated water, so this status may change based on those results.