Rates and Fees
Why is there a minimum bill when I don’t use water?
The base water and sewer fee is used to cover the fixed costs of running the Utility operations. You incur similar minimum charges for cable, electricity and phone service.
What are fixed costs?
Fixed costs are expenses necessary to maintain the operation of the utility. They include, but are not limited to utilities, staffing, taxes, vehicles, professional fees, analytical requirements, insurance, permit fees, and general supplies.
Why is the minimum bill more for the larger meters?
The minimum charge is based on available flow capacity through the various size meters. Our smallest meter is a 5/8” x ¾” meter which delivers 20 gallons per minute (gpm).
The fee established by the Public Service Commission (PSC) is based on the following formula for water:
(Maximum recommended meter capacity (gpm) x $36.65 per month) / 20 gallons per minute (gpm)
The sewer formula is:
(Maximum recommended meter capacity (gpm) x $28.00 per month) / 20 gallons per minute (gpm)
An example for a 1″ meter: (50 x $36.65) / 20 = $1,832.50 / 20 = $91.62(water)
How many gallons per minute (GPM) can I expect my meter to provide?
The normal flows are listed below by meter size:
5/x” x ¾”: 20 Gallons per minute
¾” x ¾” meter: 30 Gallons per minute
1” meter: 50 Gallons per minute
1 ½” meter: 100 Gallons per minute
2” meter: 160 Gallons per minute
3” meter: 350 Gallons per minute
Is my sewer usage fee based on water consumption?
Yes. If you are a residential customer your consumption is charged at a rate of $0.74 per thousand gallons up to 11,000 gallons per month or $8.14. Eleven thousand gallons is used since that is the average domestic consumption for a residential customer.
Commercial and Hotel sewer rates are based on all water consumed primarily because their irrigation usage is metered separately and all water going into these facilities is returned to the sewer for disposal and treatment.
Why am I charged a late fee?
Our rates are regulated by the SC Public Service Commission. A 1.5% late fee is charged automatically if your payment is not received prior to your next billing cycle.
What is the customer initiation fee on my bill?
A charge of $25.00 is used to defray cost of initiating service
If I am away for an extended period of time can I disconnect my service to avoid the monthly minimum bill?
You are entitled to have your service disconnected for this purpose but you will be charged a reconnect fee of three (3) times the minimum water and sewer charge to re-instate service as described in the PSC approved Schedule of Rates and Charges.
What is the customer portal and how is it useful?
The customer portal is a place where you can make payments on-line via Visa, MasterCard or check, view your statement, request paperless billing and review payment history.
How can I access this customer portal?
You will first need to create your account through the customer portal at myaccount.swwc.com . You will need your 10 digit account number and your 4 digit account identifier. If you do not know what your 4 digit identifier is, please call us at (843) 768-0641 and an agent will be happy to assist you with that information.
Can I pay my account with a credit card?
Yes, you can process a payment using a Visa or Mastercard either through the customer portal or the automated phone system by calling 877-405-1742.
What tools do I need to turn my meter on and off?
No one other than our personnel is permitted to turn your meter off. You are encouraged to install a valve on your supply line so that you have easy access to isolating your service in the event of an emergency or need to make repairs at your home.
Why do you restrict me from turning my meter on or off?
When someone other than your water provider operates the isolation valve there is potential to cause damage to the curbstop. When this occurs we are forced to turn water off to entire sections of customers in order to make the repair.
What is backflow?
Backflow is the undesirable reversal of flow of non-potable water or other substances through a cross-connection and into the piping of a public or consumer water system
Can you help me with a power outage or schedule for trash collection?
No, we are a water and wastewater utility.
Berkeley Electric Coop provides electrical service to Kiawah Island. They can be reached at (843) 559-2458.
The Town of Kiawah manages the trash collection for Kiawah Island. They can be reached through their website, www.kiawahisland.org or by phone (843) 768-9166.
Common Water Quality Issues
What is the reason for the periodic discolored water?
There are generally two scenarios in which you may see discolored water at your tap.
The color of water is caused by naturally occurring compounds from decaying vegetation and organic matter that enters source water through runoff, falling vegetation, etc. While discoloration is rarely a health concern, it is an aesthetic concern. Color is measured in platinum-cobalt units (PCUs). Charleston Water System’s lab is equipped with state-of-the-art spectrophotometers to obtain exact color level measurements.
A second common reason for discolored water is when the fire department conducts their semi-annual flow test of each hydrant. This will occasionally stir up the water in the line for a short period of time. You can clear your supply by flushing your water until it is clear again.
When I installed a new dishwasher I had to set the water hardness for proper operation. Can you tell me what the average hardness is?
Kiawah Island Utility and Johns Island Water Company do not treat the water received from Charleston, therefore the Charleston Water System results are reflective of the water delivered to the residents of Kiawah Island. According to Charleston Water System the average hardness is 56 parts per million (ppm). You may go to their website at www.charlestonwater.com for up to date analytical results.
What is the difference between a Boil Water Advisory and a Boil Water Notice?
A Boil Water Advisory is issued to notify users that the water may be contaminated and to boil for precautionary purposes. During the advisory, customers should bring water to a vigorous boil for at least one minute before use. This will kill any harmful organisms that may be in the water.
A Boil Water Notice is issued by the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) or the owner or operator of a public water system, notifying users of the water system that there is a strong potential for contamination and to boil all water for at least one minute prior to using for drinking or cooking.