Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 2885

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 05/14/2019 09:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 05/13/2019

Current Version - as introduced

Line numbers 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5
1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 2.1 2.2 2.3
2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9
2.10 2.11
2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 3.30 3.31 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5
4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9
4.10 4.11
4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 4.26 4.27 4.28 4.29 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30 5.31 5.32 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19
6.20 6.21 6.22 6.23 6.24 6.25 6.26 6.27 6.28 6.29 6.30 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17 7.18 7.19 7.20 7.21
7.22 7.23 7.24 7.25 7.26 7.27 7.28 7.29 7.30 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 8.9 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 8.16 8.17 8.18 8.19 8.20 8.21 8.22 8.23 8.24 8.25 8.26 8.27 8.28 8.29 8.30 8.31 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 9.9 9.10 9.11 9.12
9.13 9.14 9.15 9.16 9.17 9.18 9.19 9.20 9.21 9.22 9.23 9.24 9.25 9.26 9.27 9.28 9.29 9.30 9.31 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 10.14 10.15 10.16 10.17 10.18 10.19 10.20 10.21 10.22 10.23 10.24 10.25
10.26 10.27 10.28 10.29 10.30 10.31 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 11.9 11.10 11.11 11.12 11.13 11.14 11.15 11.16 11.17 11.18 11.19 11.20 11.21 11.22 11.23 11.24 11.25 11.26 11.27 11.28 11.29 11.30 11.31 11.32 11.33 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.8 12.9 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.13 12.14 12.15 12.16 12.17 12.18 12.19 12.20 12.21 12.22 12.23 12.24 12.25 12.26 12.27 12.28 12.29 12.30 12.31 12.32 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 13.8
13.9 13.10 13.11 13.12 13.13 13.14 13.15 13.16 13.17 13.18 13.19 13.20 13.21 13.22 13.23 13.24 13.25 13.26 13.27 13.28 13.29
13.30 13.31 13.32 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 14.7 14.8 14.9 14.10
14.11 14.12 14.13 14.14 14.15 14.16 14.17 14.18 14.19 14.20 14.21 14.22 14.23 14.24 14.25 14.26 14.27 14.28 14.29 14.30 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 15.8 15.9 15.10 15.11 15.12 15.13 15.14 15.15 15.16 15.17 15.18 15.19 15.20 15.21 15.22 15.23 15.24 15.25 15.26 15.27 15.28 15.29 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 16.7 16.8 16.9 16.10 16.11 16.12 16.13 16.14 16.15 16.16 16.17 16.18 16.19 16.20 16.21 16.22 16.23 16.24 16.25 16.26 16.27 16.28 16.29 16.30 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 17.7 17.8 17.9 17.10 17.11 17.12 17.13 17.14 17.15 17.16 17.17 17.18 17.19 17.20 17.21 17.22 17.23 17.24 17.25 17.26 17.27 17.28 17.29 17.30 17.31 17.32 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 18.7 18.8 18.9 18.10 18.11 18.12 18.13 18.14 18.15 18.16 18.17 18.18 18.19 18.20 18.21 18.22 18.23 18.24 18.25 18.26 18.27 18.28 18.29 18.30 18.31
19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6 19.7 19.8 19.9 19.10 19.11 19.12 19.13 19.14 19.15 19.16 19.17 19.18 19.19 19.20 19.21 19.22 19.23 19.24 19.25 19.26 19.27 19.28 19.29 19.30 19.31 19.32 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4
20.5 20.6 20.7 20.8 20.9 20.10 20.11 20.12 20.13 20.14 20.15 20.16 20.17 20.18
20.19 20.20 20.21 20.22 20.23 20.24 20.25 20.26 20.27 20.28 20.29 20.30 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 21.6 21.7 21.8 21.9 21.10 21.11 21.12 21.13 21.14 21.15 21.16 21.17 21.18 21.19 21.20 21.21 21.22 21.23 21.24 21.25 21.26 21.27 21.28
21.29 21.30 21.31 21.32 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6 22.7 22.8 22.9 22.10 22.11 22.12 22.13
22.14 22.15 22.16 22.17 22.18 22.19 22.20 22.21 22.22 22.23
22.24 22.25 22.26 22.27 22.28 22.29 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 23.5 23.6 23.7 23.8 23.9
23.10 23.11 23.12 23.13 23.14
23.15 23.16 23.17 23.18 23.19

A bill for an act
relating to water; establishing the Municipal Water Consumer Protection Act;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 116A.22; 444.075, subdivision 3e;
456.33; proposing coding for new law as Minnesota Statutes, chapter 444A.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 116A.22, is amended to read:


116A.22 SERVICE CHARGES; SPECIAL ASSESSMENT AGAINST BENEFITED
PROPERTY.

Charges established for connections to and the use and availability of service from any
water or sewer or combined system, if not paid when due, shall, together with any penalties
established for nonpayment, become a lien upon the property connected or for which service
was made available. On or before July 1 in each year written notice shall be mailed to the
owner of any property as to which such charges are then due and unpaid, stating the amount
of the charges and any penalty thereon and that unless paid by October 1 thereafter, or unless
a hearing is desired on the question whether such amount and penalty is properly due and
payable, the same will be certified, extended, and assessed as a tax or special assessment
upon the property for collection with and as a part of other taxes in the following year. Any
property owner requesting notice shall be notified of the time and place of such hearing,
and the county board, or the commission appointed pursuant to section 116A.24 shall then
hear all matters presented by the owner and determine the amount and penalty, if any, which
is properly due and payable, and shall cause the same to be certified, extended, and assessed
as stated in the notice. The county board or the commission may also provide by resolution
for discontinuance of water services to any premises in the event of nonpayment of charges
for any water or sewer service provided to the premisesdeleted text begin, upon reasonable notice to the owner
and opportunity for hearing upon any claim that the charges are not properly due and payable
deleted text endnew text begin
as provided by section 444A.12
new text end.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 444.075, subdivision 3e, is amended to read:


Subd. 3e.

Who may be charged; unpaid charges.

The governing body may make the
charges a charge against the ownerdeleted text begin, lessee, occupant or all of themdeleted text endnew text begin or customer as defined
under section 444A.02, subdivision 6, or the guarantor as defined under section 444A.02,
subdivision 9,
new text end and may provide and covenant for certifying unpaid charges to the county
auditor with taxes against the property served for collection as other taxes are collected.

Sec. 3.

new text begin [444A.01] SHORT TITLE.
new text end

new text begin This chapter may be cited as the "Municipal Water Consumer Protection Act of 2019."
new text end

Sec. 4.

new text begin [444A.02] DEFINITIONS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Applicability. new text end

new text begin The terms defined in this section apply to this chapter.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Applicant. new text end

new text begin "Applicant" means a natural person applying for new service.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Authorized personnel. new text end

new text begin "Authorized personnel" means a person employed by,
or under contract with, the municipal utility who wears a distinguishing uniform or insignia
designating the person as an employee or contractor of the municipal utility and who displays
an identification card with the photo of the person.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Business day. new text end

new text begin "Business day" means Monday through Friday and excludes a
holiday as defined under section 645.44.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Completed application. new text end

new text begin "Completed application" means a written or oral
application that contains all the information required by the municipal utility to make a
determination whether to extend water service to the applicant.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Customer. new text end

new text begin "Customer" means a natural person or persons contracting with a
municipal utility for water service.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Disconnection. new text end

new text begin "Disconnection" means the involuntary termination of water
service for nonpayment of charges or violation of law, ordinance, rule, or policy.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 8. new text end

new text begin Existing service. new text end

new text begin "Existing service" means water service that is currently being
provided or has been provided within the previous six months.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 9. new text end

new text begin Guarantor. new text end

new text begin "Guarantor" means a person other than the customer who guarantees
payment of charges for water service incurred by the customer.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 10. new text end

new text begin Health care professional. new text end

new text begin "Health care professional" means a licensed medical
doctor, a licensed physician assistant, an advanced practice registered nurse as defined in
section 148.171, or a registered nurse.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 11. new text end

new text begin Inside meter. new text end

new text begin "Inside meter" means a device for measuring water consumption
that is placed inside a living space that requires access to the living space for meter reading,
maintenance, repair, or replacement.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 12. new text end

new text begin Municipal utility. new text end

new text begin "Municipal utility" means any local unit of government,
as defined under section 18B.01, subdivision 14a, that contracts with or bills customers for
the provision of water service.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 13. new text end

new text begin Municipal utility equipment. new text end

new text begin "Municipal utility equipment" means any
equipment owned, leased, or controlled by a municipal utility for the purpose of providing
water service, including but not limited to meters, curb boxes, curb cocks, valves, valve
boxes, service pipes, outlets, treatment plants, pumps, lift stations, service connections,
mains, hydrants, wells, reservoirs, and tanks.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 14. new text end

new text begin New service. new text end

new text begin "New service" means water service that is not currently being
provided or has not been provided within the previous six months.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 15. new text end

new text begin Owner. new text end

new text begin "Owner" means the person holding legal title to a property that is
provided with water service by the municipal utility. Owner includes an agent of the person.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 16. new text end

new text begin Person. new text end

new text begin "Person" means a natural person.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 17. new text end

new text begin Remote meter. new text end

new text begin "Remote meter" means a device for measuring water
consumption that is placed in a location external to the living space that does not require
entry to the living space for meter reading, maintenance, repair, or replacement.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 18. new text end

new text begin Remote transponder. new text end

new text begin "Remote transponder" means an electronic device
located outside the living space being provided with water service that enables meters to
be read remotely through a telecommunications device.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 19. new text end

new text begin Service connection. new text end

new text begin "Service connection" means the equipment, including
pipes, necessary to connect a property to the municipal waterworks system.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 20. new text end

new text begin Single-metered residential building. new text end

new text begin "Single-metered residential building"
has the meaning given in section 504B.215, subdivision 1.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 21. new text end

new text begin Voluntary disconnection. new text end

new text begin "Voluntary disconnection" means disconnection
of service at the request of the customer.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 22. new text end

new text begin Water service. new text end

new text begin "Water service" means the connection, availability, and use
of residential water and sewer service, and all municipal utility equipment and appurtenances
necessary for the installation, delivery, metering, and billing of service.
new text end

Sec. 5.

new text begin [444A.03] POLICY.
new text end

new text begin It is the policy of the state that water service, being essential to life and critical to human
health and well-being and provided exclusively by local units of government, is a right to
which all Minnesotans are entitled provided they meet established terms and conditions.
new text end

Sec. 6.

new text begin [444A.04] APPLICABILITY.
new text end

new text begin This chapter applies to the provision of residential water service by a municipal utility.
new text end

Sec. 7.

new text begin [444A.05] PROVISION OF NEW SERVICE.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Obligation to serve. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility must provide new service to
any applicant unless the municipal utility has a permissible reason under section 444A.06,
subdivision 2, to deny service.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Permissible reasons. new text end

new text begin (a) A municipal utility may establish reasonable
requirements as a condition of obtaining new service, which may include, without limitation:
new text end

new text begin (1) completion of a written application;
new text end

new text begin (2) provision of sufficient proof of the applicant's identity;
new text end

new text begin (3) provision of information sufficient to identify the owner or agent of the owner of the
property to be served;
new text end

new text begin (4) the conspicuous display on the property of an official house number in accordance
with the records of the local unit of government, provided that temporary official numbers
will be accepted on new buildings; and
new text end

new text begin (5) a prerequisite that the customer obtain necessary permits or approvals.
new text end

new text begin (b) A customer with existing service who is moving to a new residence within the territory
served by the municipal utility and requesting service at the new location must not be asked
or required to complete a new application, provided that the municipal utility may require
that:
new text end

new text begin (1) the customer provide information sufficient to identify the owner or agent of the
owner of the property to be served; and
new text end

new text begin (2) the official house number is conspicuously displayed on the new residence in
accordance with the records of the local unit of government, provided that temporary official
numbers will be accepted on new buildings.
new text end

new text begin (c) A municipal utility must honor any payment or other agreement with respect to
existing water service that is in effect at the previous residence at the time the customer
moves to the new residence within the service territory.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Form of written application. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility may determine the form of
a written application.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Eligible applicants. new text end

new text begin (a) An owner or agent of the owner or a tenant may apply
for new service, except that an application can only be made by the owner where more than
one tenant is supplied with water service in a single-metered residential building.
new text end

new text begin (b) If the application for new service is made by a tenant, the municipal utility may,
before extending the service:
new text end

new text begin (1) verify the information supplied by the applicant, including the identity of the owner
or agent of the owner of the property to be served; and
new text end

new text begin (2) take reasonable steps to verify that the owner or agent of the owner is aware of and
consents to the application.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Guarantor. new text end

new text begin (a) An applicant has the right to designate a guarantor. The
municipal utility must provide new service if all conditions of new service have been satisfied
and the guarantor does not owe money to the municipal utility for gas, electric, or water
bills on an account in the guarantor's name.
new text end

new text begin (b) A municipal utility is not required to accept payments from a guarantor, or provide
copies of bills and disconnection notices to a third party, unless the guarantor or third party
provides, either directly or through the applicant, written consent to act in the designated
capacity.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Third-party notice. new text end

new text begin An applicant has the right to designate a third party, which
may or may not be the guarantor, to receive copies of bills and disconnection notices.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Information to applicants. new text end

new text begin At the time application is made, a municipal utility
must provide applicants with summary information, in plain language, about customer rights
and responsibilities, including, at a minimum, information about deferred payments, cold
weather rule protections, deposit rules, when disconnection is permissible, the right to
designate a guarantor, the right to designate a third party to receive notices of disconnection,
and dispute resolution procedures.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 8. new text end

new text begin Service connections. new text end

new text begin (a) A municipal utility may require the applicant to obtain
any permits required by law, rule, ordinance, resolution, or written policy prior to installing
a service connection.
new text end

new text begin (b) A municipal utility may:
new text end

new text begin (1) establish technical specifications for the installation of service connections; and
new text end

new text begin (2) require that installation be performed by a duly authorized person or a person with
a specific type of credential, including but not limited to a plumber or master plumber.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 9. new text end

new text begin Initiation of service. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility must initiate service within a reasonable
time after receiving a completed application, unless prevented by weather or other extenuating
conditions.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 10. new text end

new text begin Implied contract; implied consent. new text end

new text begin An applicant who applies for new service,
if approved, is deemed, by virtue of acceptance of service, to:
new text end

new text begin (1) enter into an implied contract with the municipal utility for the provision of water
service; and
new text end

new text begin (2) consent to abide by all rates, laws, rules, ordinances, resolutions, and written policies,
as they exist at the time of acceptance or as they may be amended.
new text end

Sec. 8.

new text begin [444A.06] DENIAL OF SERVICE.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Notification of applicant. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility denying new service must,
within seven days after receiving a completed application:
new text end

new text begin (1) notify the applicant of the denial;
new text end

new text begin (2) specify the reason or reasons for the denial; and
new text end

new text begin (3) specify what steps the applicant may take, if any, to qualify for new service.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Permissible reasons to deny service. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility may deny new service
only if the applicant:
new text end

new text begin (1) fails to:
new text end

new text begin (i) submit a completed application;
new text end

new text begin (ii) provide sufficient proof of the applicant's identity;
new text end

new text begin (iii) provide information sufficient to identify the owner or the agent of the owner of the
property to be served;
new text end

new text begin (iv) furnish a safe and suitable location for a meter;
new text end

new text begin (v) pay a lawfully required deposit;
new text end

new text begin (vi) comply with any written policy or requirement for the provision of water service
not in conflict with this chapter; or
new text end

new text begin (vii) conspicuously display the official house number on the property in accordance with
the records of the municipality, provided that temporary official numbers will be accepted
on new buildings;
new text end

new text begin (2) knowingly provides false information on an application;
new text end

new text begin (3) owes money to the municipal utility for charges on a previous water account in the
applicant's name; or
new text end

new text begin (4) violates any law, rule, ordinance, resolution, or written policy for the provision of
water service.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Impermissible reasons to deny service. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility must not deny
new service:
new text end

new text begin (1) notwithstanding any other provision of law, for unpaid water bills incurred by a
previous customer or owner on an account that was not in the applicant's name or for which
the applicant was not a guarantor, provided that the previous customer no longer resides in
the property to be served; or
new text end

new text begin (2) based on credit history unrelated to the payment of water bills.
new text end

Sec. 9.

new text begin [444A.07] DEPOSITS FOR NEW AND EXISTING SERVICE.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Restriction on requiring deposits for service. new text end

new text begin (a) A municipal utility
must not require a deposit as a condition of extending new service unless the applicant owes
money to the municipal utility for water, electric, or natural gas charges on an account in
the applicant's name, provided that no deposit may be required:
new text end

new text begin (1) if the outstanding charges were accrued more than six years prior to the date of the
application;
new text end

new text begin (2) if the applicant and the municipal utility have agreed on a repayment plan for the
outstanding charges; or
new text end

new text begin (3) until any dispute as to the liability of the applicant for the outstanding charges has
been resolved.
new text end

new text begin (b) A municipal utility may require a deposit as a condition of continuing existing service
only if a customer:
new text end

new text begin (1) is two consecutive billing periods in arrears;
new text end

new text begin (2) has been involuntarily disconnected within the previous 12 months for nonpayment
charges for water service or a willful violation of law, rule, resolution, written policy, or
written conditions of service;
new text end

new text begin (3) has falsified information on an application;
new text end

new text begin (4) has been found in an administrative or judicial forum, or has admitted in writing, to
have committed any acts listed under section 325E.026; or
new text end

new text begin (5) has damaged any municipal utility equipment used in the provision of water service.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Notice. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility must notify applicants or customers in writing:
new text end

new text begin (1) of the reason a deposit is being requested;
new text end

new text begin (2) what actions, if any, the customer may take to avoid the necessity to pay the deposit;
and
new text end

new text begin (3) the procedures to follow to dispute the request for the deposit.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Amount of deposit. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility may establish the amount of a deposit,
provided it does not exceed 1/12 of the actual or estimated annual usage.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Payment of deposit by certain customers. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility may waive the
requirement of a deposit for any new or existing customer who receives public assistance
or who demonstrates a hardship. A municipal utility requiring a deposit from any new or
existing customer who receives public assistance or who demonstrates a hardship must
allow the customer to pay the deposit in equal monthly installments over a period of at least
12 months.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Return of deposit. new text end

new text begin (a) A municipal utility must return a deposit within the time
period provided under section 325E.02 to a customer:
new text end

new text begin (1) who makes timely payments for one year following the full payment of the deposit;
or
new text end

new text begin (2) following a voluntary or involuntary disconnection of service, provided that the
municipal utility may perform an inspection of the inside or remote meter prior to returning
the deposit and may withhold any amounts necessary to replace or repair a meter damaged
by the customer.
new text end

new text begin (b) A municipal utility may determine the instrument used to refund the deposit to a
customer terminating service, provided the municipal utility may retain any portion of the
deposit required to cover:
new text end

new text begin (1) unpaid balances; and
new text end

new text begin (2) the cost of repair or replacement of municipal utility equipment damaged by the
customer.
new text end

new text begin (c) A municipal utility must provide the option to an existing customer to have the deposit
returned in full directly or through the issuance of a credit against future bills.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Interest. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility must pay interest on a deposit on the conditions
and at the rate specified under section 325E.02.
new text end

Sec. 10.

new text begin [444A.08] METERS AND METERING.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Meter required. new text end

new text begin All water to a residential property must be supplied
through an accurate water meter. A water meter is accurate if it registers water consumption
within a tolerance of plus or minus two percent.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Installation. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility, using its own authorized personnel or
contractor, must, at its own cost, furnish and install all inside meters and, if deemed necessary
by the municipal utility, any remote meters and transponders.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Ownership, maintenance, repair, and replacement. new text end

new text begin (a) All transponders and
meters, other than remote meters not deemed necessary by the municipal utility, must be
owned by the municipal utility and must remain municipal utility equipment.
new text end

new text begin (b) A municipal utility is responsible for the ordinary maintenance and repair or
replacement of all meters, other than remote meters not deemed necessary by the municipal
utility, and transponders, except as provided under section 444A.15, subdivision 4.
new text end

new text begin (c) A municipal utility may remove a meter for testing, recalibration, replacement, or
to change the size or type of the meter.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Meter deposit. new text end

new text begin (a) A municipal utility may request a reasonable meter deposit
as a condition of extending new or continuing existing water service.
new text end

new text begin (b) The municipal utility may waive the requirement of a meter deposit for any new or
existing customer who receives public assistance or who demonstrates a hardship. A
municipal utility requiring a deposit from any new or existing customer who receives public
assistance or who demonstrates a hardship must allow the customer to pay the deposit in
equal monthly installments over a period of at least 12 months.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Remote meters installed by customers. new text end

new text begin Where a remote meter is not deemed
necessary by a municipal utility but is desired by a customer, the customer, with the approval
of the municipal utility, must furnish, install, own, and pay the installation, repair, and, if
necessary, replacement costs for the meter.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Reading. new text end

new text begin (a) A municipal utility must make all reasonable efforts to obtain
actual readings. A municipal utility may provide for readings provided by customers via
postcard, phone, e-mail, or other means the municipal utility deems suitable.
new text end

new text begin (b) The inside meter reading takes precedence over a reading of the remote meter if there
is a discrepancy between the two meter readings.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Testing. new text end

new text begin (a) A customer may request a meter test if the customer is dissatisfied
with the municipal utility's response to a billing complaint based on an allegation of meter
inaccuracy. No charge may be demanded or collected for the first test within any 12-month
period. The results of the meter test must be reported to the customer.
new text end

new text begin (b) A customer must be informed of the right to be present at the meter test. If the results
show that the meter was operating outside the acceptable tolerance, the municipal utility
must make a billing adjustment as provided under section 444A.09, subdivision 6.
new text end

new text begin (c) A reasonable fee may be charged for a second test requested within any 12-month
period, except that the fee must be refunded to the customer if the meter test shows the
meter is inaccurate and a billing adjustment is warranted.
new text end

new text begin (d) During the test period, a municipal utility must bill the customer based on consumption
during the corresponding billing period of the previous year or, if no substitute measuring
device is used, on any other reasonable means of estimation.
new text end

Sec. 11.

new text begin [444A.09] BILLING.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Responsible party. new text end

new text begin No person other than the customer or a guarantor
may be held liable for charges for water service, except that a municipal utility may provide
and covenant for certifying unpaid charges to the county auditor with taxes against a property
served for collection as other taxes are collected pursuant to section 444.075, subdivision
3e.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Due date. new text end

new text begin A bill for water service must be due no earlier than 23 days after the
billing date, provided that if the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, or any
day that the business office where payments may be made is closed, the due date must be
the next business day.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Nonreceipt of bills. new text end

new text begin The failure of a customer to receive a bill does not relieve
the customer of the obligation to pay for the water service provided, but a municipal utility
must not impose a late charge for any bill not received.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Estimated bills. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility must make diligent efforts to obtain actual
meter readings, but may render estimated bills if access to the customer's meter is
unobtainable, the meter fails to register or accurately measure actual consumption, or the
customer fails to supply the meter readings. Estimated bills must be based on consumption
history for a corresponding period, or, if insufficient history is available to make a reasonable
estimate, on any other reasonable means of estimation.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Budget payment plans. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility that bills monthly may offer
customers the option to pay bills under a budget payment plan that divides annual estimated
consumption into approximately equal monthly payments and may offer a budget payment
plan encompassing past and future estimated charges for water service for an existing
customer in arrears.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Overcharges and undercharges. new text end

new text begin (a) When a customer has been overcharged
or undercharged as a result of a billing error or inaccurate meter, the amount of the overcharge
must be refunded to the customer or the amount of the undercharge may be billed to the
customer as provided in this subdivision.
new text end

new text begin (b) In the event of an overcharge, a municipal utility must refund the difference between
what the customer was charged and what the customer should have been charged, plus
interest at the rate specified under section 325E.02, dating back:
new text end

new text begin (1) three years from the date of discovery of the error, if the municipal utility ascertains
the overcharge occurred for more than three years from the date of discovery; or
new text end

new text begin (2) to an earlier date if the date the error first occurred can be fixed with reasonable
certainty.
new text end

new text begin (c) Where an undercharge was not caused by tampering, fraud, or theft by the customer
or a resident of the customer's household, a municipal utility:
new text end

new text begin (1) may recover the difference between what the customer was charged and what the
customer should have been charged, dating back:
new text end

new text begin (i) one year from the date of discovery of the error, if the municipal utility determines
the undercharge occurred for at least one year from the date of discovery; or
new text end

new text begin (ii) to an earlier date if the date the error first occurred can be fixed with reasonable
certainty;
new text end

new text begin (2) must not bill or recover for any undercharge incurred after the date of a customer
inquiry or complaint concerning the billing if the municipal utility failed to timely investigate
the inquiry or complaint and the inquiry or complaint resulted in the discovery of the
undercharge;
new text end

new text begin (3) must offer an installment payment agreement for the amount of the undercharge that
covers a period equal to the time over which the undercharge occurred or a different time
period that is mutually agreeable to the municipal utility and the customer, except that the
duration of the installment payment agreement offered by a municipal utility to a customer
whose household income is at or below 50 percent of state median household income may
be extended and must be based on the financial circumstances of the customer's household;
and
new text end

new text begin (4) must not charge interest or any delinquency fee.
new text end

new text begin (d) Where an undercharge occurred as a result of tampering, fraud, or theft by the
customer or a resident of the customer's household, a municipal utility:
new text end

new text begin (1) may bill and recover the difference between what the customer was charged and
what the customer should have been charged dating back six years or an earlier date if the
date the error first occurred can be fixed with reasonable certainty;
new text end

new text begin (2) is not obligated to offer a payment agreement for recovery of the undercharge; and
new text end

new text begin (3) may charge interest at a rate provided under section 325E.02.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Return of overpayments and refund of overcharges. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility
may provide any refund resulting from an overpayment or overcharge in the form of a credit
against future billings, unless service has been either voluntarily or involuntarily
disconnected, in which case the refund must be provided directly to the former customer.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 8. new text end

new text begin Partial payments. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility must accept partial payments on an
account and, if there are arrears on the account, may determine how to apply them provided
that payments:
new text end

new text begin (1) must not be applied to arrears for which a payment agreement is in effect; and
new text end

new text begin (2) must be applied in the manner most likely to avert disconnection.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 9. new text end

new text begin Early payment discount. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility may offer a discount for early
payment, but must not recover the difference between the actual rate and the discounted
rate from other ratepayers.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 10. new text end

new text begin Request for voluntary contributions. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility may solicit and
accept contributions from customers or from private, nonprofit, or philanthropic
organizations. Voluntary contributions must be dedicated exclusively to support either
low-income rate discounts established under section 444A.13, subdivision 1, paragraph (b),
or affordability programs established under section 444A.14.
new text end

Sec. 12.

new text begin [444A.10] INSTALLMENT PAYMENT AGREEMENTS FOR ARREARS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Installment payment agreements required. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility must
offer customers in arrears the option to repay unpaid balances under an installment payment
agreement. Payment agreements between a municipal utility and a customer whose household
income is at or below 50 percent of state median income must be based on the financial
circumstances of the customer's household.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Modification of existing agreements. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility may require an
upward modification of an existing installment payment upon actual knowledge that the
financial circumstances of the customer have changed to enable a larger installment payment.
A municipal utility, upon the request of a customer with an existing payment agreement,
must renegotiate a downward modification of the agreement if the customer documents an
adverse change in the customer's financial circumstances.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Customer default. new text end

new text begin (a) After a customer first defaults on an installment payment
agreement, a municipal utility must offer the customer one opportunity to cure the default
by:
new text end

new text begin (1) reinstating the agreement; or
new text end

new text begin (2) modifying the agreement, if the customer meets the conditions set forth under
subdivision 2.
new text end

new text begin (b) A municipal utility may proceed with a disconnection that complies with section
444A.12, if the customer fails to cure the default or defaults after reinstating or modifying
the agreement.
new text end

Sec. 13.

new text begin [444A.11] COLLECTION OF UNPAID BILLS; LIENS; ASSESSMENTS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Legal action. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility may bring a civil action to collect
unpaid water service charges, provided the charges are not in dispute. A municipal utility
taking a legal action under this subdivision is not precluded from pursuing collection under
section 116A.22.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Effect of failure to request deposit on lien. new text end

new text begin The failure of a municipal utility
to request a deposit has no effect on the creation of a lien under section 116A.22.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Effect of lien on application for new service. new text end

new text begin The existence of a lien on a
property does not impair the rights of an applicant for new service, unless:
new text end

new text begin (1) the new applicant was a customer at another property where an enforceable lien was
created; or
new text end

new text begin (2) the customer whose unpaid charges for water service created the lien continues to
reside in the property for which the new applicant seeks service.
new text end

Sec. 14.

new text begin [444A.12] DISCONNECTION OF WATER SERVICE.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Grounds. new text end

new text begin (a) Except as provided in subdivision 4, a municipal utility
may disconnect water service only for the following reasons:
new text end

new text begin (1) nonpayment of charges for water service;
new text end

new text begin (2) willful violation of law, rule, ordinance, resolution, or written policy for the provision
of water service;
new text end

new text begin (3) if a condemnation order is issued or no valid certificate of occupancy is in effect; or
new text end

new text begin (4) failure to:
new text end

new text begin (i) comply with the terms of an installment payment agreement under section 444A.10;
new text end

new text begin (ii) make or pay for repairs as required by the municipal utility on customer-owned
equipment necessary for the provision of water service after the municipal utility has provided
written notice to make or pay for the repair;
new text end

new text begin (iii) pay charges imposed under section 444A.13;
new text end

new text begin (iv) display the house number of the residence after written notice has been provided to
the owner of the premises; or
new text end

new text begin (v) cure a nonwillful violation of law, rule, ordinance, resolution, or written policy, after
notice.
new text end

new text begin (b) A municipal utility must not disconnect water service:
new text end

new text begin (1) while a dispute or appeal is pending, provided the customer has paid the undisputed
portion of the bill;
new text end

new text begin (2) before the municipal utility has offered an installment payment agreement that
complies with section 444A.10 and the customer has failed to enter into the agreement;
new text end

new text begin (3) for nonpayment of charges incurred:
new text end

new text begin (i) for goods or services that are unrelated to the provision of water service;
new text end

new text begin (ii) for residential utility service other than water service;
new text end

new text begin (iii) for nonresidential water service; or
new text end

new text begin (iv) by a previous customer or owner of the property served, provided the customer or
owner no longer resides at the premises;
new text end

new text begin (4) to a guarantor of service for nonpayment of the customer's bills; or
new text end

new text begin (5) if a customer provides payment of the amount necessary to avoid disconnection at
the time of actual disconnection.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Notice and opportunity for hearing. new text end

new text begin (a) Before disconnecting water service
to a single-family dwelling for nonpayment, a municipal utility must serve personally, or
by first class, certified, or registered mail, a written notice to the customer and to the owner
of the property, if different from the customer, of the impending disconnection and of the
opportunity for a hearing upon any claim that the charges are not properly due and payable.
The notice must be in an easy-to-read format that uses clear and simple words with common
and everyday meanings and that contains, at a minimum:
new text end

new text begin (1) the reason for the disconnection;
new text end

new text begin (2) the date of the scheduled disconnection;
new text end

new text begin (3) the amount due;
new text end

new text begin (4) a telephone number at the municipal utility to contact an employee with authority
to resolve disputes and enter into payment agreements;
new text end

new text begin (5) a summary of rights and responsibilities, including the procedure for disputing a bill
and the opportunity for a predisconnection hearing; and
new text end

new text begin (6) the steps the customer may take to avoid disconnection.
new text end

new text begin (b) During the period from April 16 through October 14, disconnection may take place
no earlier than at least ten business days after a notice is personally served or at least 13
business days after a notice is served by first class, certified, or registered mail.
new text end

new text begin (c) During the period from October 15 through April 15, disconnection may take place
no earlier than at least 20 business days after a notice is personally served or at least 23
business days after a notice is served by first class, certified, or registered mail.
new text end

new text begin (d) The notice becomes void if the municipal utility has not disconnected water service
within 30 days of the disconnection date specified in the notice.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Disconnection for maintenance or repairs. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility must give
sufficient advance notice of a disconnection of water service for planned maintenance or
repairs that will cause an interruption in water service. To the extent feasible, the municipal
utility must give advance notice of unplanned maintenance or repairs that will cause an
interruption of or will restore water service.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Disconnection without notice. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility may involuntarily disconnect
water service without notice only:
new text end

new text begin (1) if the municipal utility, after reasonable inquiry, determines that there has been
demonstrable:
new text end

new text begin (i) tampering with the meter or other municipal utility equipment; or
new text end

new text begin (ii) unauthorized use of water;
new text end

new text begin (2) in the case of fraud or material misrepresentation on an application;
new text end

new text begin (3) if the municipal utility, on credible belief and information, believes the property is
abandoned;
new text end

new text begin (4) in the event of a condition or emergency determined to be hazardous to the customer,
other customers, public or private property, municipal utility equipment, or the public; or
new text end

new text begin (5) if the customer has been found to have resold water services to another without
authorization from the municipal utility.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Health or safety threat. new text end

new text begin (a) Notwithstanding any other provision, a municipal
utility must not disconnect, or refuse to reconnect, water service for nonpayment where:
new text end

new text begin (1) the customer's household income is at or below 50 percent of state median income
or the customer demonstrates an inability to make full payment for water service provided
within the time period allowed for payment;
new text end

new text begin (2) disconnection or failure to reconnect would cause a threat to the health or safety of
any resident of the customer's household;
new text end

new text begin (3) the municipal utility receives written certification, or initial certification by telephone
and written certification within five business days from a health care professional, that
failure to reconnect or continue service will impair or threaten the life, health, or safety of
the customer or a resident of the customer's household; and
new text end

new text begin (4) the customer agrees to enter into an installment payment agreement.
new text end

new text begin (b) A certification under paragraph (a), clause (3), is effective for one billing cycle.
Disconnection may proceed, with notice, unless a health care professional renews the
certification.
new text end

new text begin (c) The issuance of a certification does not relieve the customer of the obligation to make
full payment for all charges incurred.
new text end

new text begin (d) A municipal utility must not disconnect service to a customer where a health care
professional certifies that the disconnection of water service constitutes an imminent threat
to the life of the customer or any resident of the customer's household, regardless of any
arrears owed. A municipal utility may proceed with disconnection, with notice and consistent
with the other provisions of this section, after receiving certification from the health care
professional who issued the initial certification that there is no longer a threat to life.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Dishonored check. new text end

new text begin (a) Prior to disconnecting water service for nonpayment
due to a dishonored check, a municipal utility must notify the customer that the check has
been dishonored and provide an opportunity to the customer to make payment. A municipal
utility may disconnect water service if payment is not made within five business days after
providing notice of the dishonored check, provided that the municipal utility has previously
complied with notice requirements under subdivision 2.
new text end

new text begin (b) A municipal utility is not required to comply with this subdivision following a second
incidence of receiving a dishonored check from the customer within any 12-month period.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Restrictions on disconnection. new text end

new text begin (a) A municipal utility must not disconnect
water service:
new text end

new text begin (1) on a Friday, unless:
new text end

new text begin (i) the municipal utility, in person or via personal contact by telephone that day, has
offered an installment payment agreement; and
new text end

new text begin (ii) the customer has declined to enter into an installment payment agreement;
new text end

new text begin (2) on a weekend, holiday, or the day before a holiday; or
new text end

new text begin (3) when municipal utility offices are closed.
new text end

new text begin (b) A municipal utility may disconnect water service after the close of business on a day
when disconnection is permitted, provided either a field representative or office personnel
offers, and the customer declines to enter into, a payment agreement that complies with
section 444A.10.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 8. new text end

new text begin Extreme weather rule. new text end

new text begin (a) Between April 15 and the following October 15, a
municipal utility must not disconnect water service if:
new text end

new text begin (1) the customer's household income is at or below 50 percent of state median income;
and
new text end

new text begin (2) the customer enters into an installment payment agreement based on the financial
circumstances of the household, provided that the customer's installment payment toward
current and past due bills must not exceed ten percent of the customer's household's monthly
income.
new text end

new text begin (b) A municipal utility may verify the customer's income:
new text end

new text begin (1) through its own investigation;
new text end

new text begin (2) by accepting the signed statement from the customer that the customer meets the
income eligibility requirements; or
new text end

new text begin (3) by obtaining verification of income from a government agency that provides and
verifies eligibility for public assistance.
new text end

new text begin (c) A municipal utility must not disconnect water service when an excessive heat watch,
heat advisory, or excessive heat warning issued by the National Weather Service is in effect
for the county in which the customer resides.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 9. new text end

new text begin Declaration of moratorium. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility may declare a moratorium
on disconnections for all or a portion of the service area for any period of time if it determines
a moratorium is necessary to protect the health, safety, or welfare of the affected customers
or residents.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 10. new text end

new text begin Reconnection of water service. new text end

new text begin (a) Unless prevented by circumstances beyond
the municipal utility's control, water service must be reconnected within 24 hours of the
removal of the cause for the disconnection.
new text end

new text begin (b) A municipal utility must not require a customer disconnected for nonpayment to
repay the entire unpaid balance as a condition for reconnection, unless the customer has
refused to enter into an installment payment agreement that complies with section 444A.10.
new text end

Sec. 15.

new text begin [444A.13] RATES AND OTHER CHARGES.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Rates. new text end

new text begin (a) All rates established or adjusted must be just, equitable, and
reasonable. Ability to pay must be considered a component of just, equitable, and reasonable
rates.
new text end

new text begin (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a municipal utility or a public
utilities commission created under section 412.331 may establish lower or discounted rates
for low-income and elderly customers.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Other charges generally. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility may establish fees and penalties
the municipal utility deems necessary for services and activities, except as limited by this
section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Connection and availability fees. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility must offer a reasonable
installment payment plan to customers with incomes at or below 50 percent of state median
income for payment of:
new text end

new text begin (1) connection, hook-up, set-up, administrative, and installation fees; and
new text end

new text begin (2) availability and standby charges.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Late payment fee. new text end

new text begin (a) A late payment fee must not exceed 1.5 percent per
month.
new text end

new text begin (b) If a late payment fee is assessed on a disputed bill and the dispute is resolved in the
customer's favor, the late payment fee must be canceled if uncollected and refunded if
already collected. The refund may be applied as a credit against future bills, provided water
service has not been permanently disconnected, in which case the refund must be provided
directly to the former customer.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Reconnection fee. new text end

new text begin (a) Notwithstanding any other section, a municipal utility
may charge a reconnection fee. The reconnection fee must not exceed the cost of
reconnection.
new text end

new text begin (b) A municipal utility must not charge a reconnection fee to reconnect service
disconnected by the municipal utility in the event of a condition or emergency determined
to be hazardous to the customer, other customers, public or private property, municipal
utility equipment, or the public.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Prohibited fees and charges. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility must not impose a fee or
charge for:
new text end

new text begin (1) the provision of a bill or disconnection notice; or
new text end

new text begin (2) a voluntary disconnection.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Waiver of fees and charges for hardship customers. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility may
waive any or all the fees or charges set forth in this subdivision for a customer with a
demonstrated hardship, which may include inability to pay.
new text end

Sec. 16.

new text begin [444A.14] AFFORDABILITY PROGRAMS.
new text end

new text begin (a) A municipal utility may establish an affordability program for customers who receive
public assistance or who can demonstrate they have income at or below 50 percent of state
median income. The affordability program must be designed to accomplish one or more of
the following objectives:
new text end

new text begin (1) enable the customer to maintain water service by paying an amount that is less than
the full amount owed but that is reasonable based on the financial circumstances of the
household; or
new text end

new text begin (2) increase the frequency or regularity of participating customer payments by establishing
a payment amount that is consistent with the customer's ability to pay.
new text end

new text begin (b) A municipal utility may take any steps necessary to timely recover the costs of the
program from other ratepayers.
new text end

new text begin (c) A municipal utility operating an affordability program should coordinate the program
with other available low-income bill payment and water conservation programs.
new text end

Sec. 17.

new text begin [444A.15] DUTIES OF CUSTOMERS AND OWNERS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Duty to notify municipal utility. new text end

new text begin (a) A customer or owner must notify
the municipal utility, to the extent the customer or owner is aware, of:
new text end

new text begin (1) any damage to municipal utility equipment or appurtenances;
new text end

new text begin (2) the inoperability, malfunction, or inaccuracy of a meter;
new text end

new text begin (3) a broken seal; or
new text end

new text begin (4) a leak in the service line.
new text end

new text begin (b) A customer must provide notice to the municipal utility no less than five days in
advance of the date of a voluntary disconnection. The customer is liable for all charges
associated with consumption up to the date specified in the notice.
new text end

new text begin (c) A municipal utility may, by ordinance, impose other notification duties on customers
or property owners as deemed necessary.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Duties with respect to meters. new text end

new text begin (a) Every customer and owner must furnish a
safe and suitable location for, and ensure easy access to, the inside meter that measures
water consumption.
new text end

new text begin (b) Customers must take all reasonable measures to protect meters from frost and freezing.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Duty to provide access. new text end

new text begin (a) Between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday and 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, a municipal utility may
request that a customer provide authorized personnel access to any area owned by the
customer, or of which the customer has a possessory right, where municipal utility equipment
necessary for the provision of water and sewer service is placed for the purpose of:
new text end

new text begin (1) meter reading;
new text end

new text begin (2) connection, disconnection, or reconnection of water service; or
new text end

new text begin (3) installation, removal, maintenance, repair, servicing, or inspection of municipal
utility equipment.
new text end

new text begin (b) To the extent possible, a municipal utility must provide at least 24 hours prior notice
of the intent to enter the property and the purpose for which entry is required.
new text end

new text begin (c) If the customer refuses to consent to entry by the municipal utility employee or
contractor to the property for the purposes allowed under this subdivision, a municipal utility
may obtain an administrative or judicial warrant. A municipal utility is not required to obtain
consent or a warrant for entry in cases of an emergency.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Liability for damage. new text end

new text begin (a) A customer or owner is liable for the reasonable cost
of repair or replacement, whichever is least expensive, of any municipal utility equipment
or appurtenance that is damaged by the customer or a resident in the customer's household
as a result of the customer or resident's intentional act or reckless negligence.
new text end

new text begin (b) Amounts for repair or replacement of damaged municipal utility equipment for which
the customer or owner is liable may be added to the bill for water service. Amounts that are
unpaid may be collected in the same manner as other unpaid charges, including through
civil action or certification of unpaid charges to the county auditor with taxes against the
property served for collection as other taxes are collected.
new text end

Sec. 18.

new text begin [444A.16] PROHIBITED ACTS.
new text end

new text begin (a) A person must not:
new text end

new text begin (1) permit water from the municipal system to be used for a purpose not authorized by
ordinance;
new text end

new text begin (2) violate section 325E.026; or
new text end

new text begin (3) willfully obstruct, break, injure, mar, deface, destroy, disturb, or cause damage to
any municipal utility equipment associated with the provision of water service.
new text end

new text begin (b) Without authorization from the municipal utility, a person must not:
new text end

new text begin (1) resell water from the municipal waterworks system;
new text end

new text begin (2) turn on or shut off water at any curb cock, curb stop, or curb stop box;
new text end

new text begin (3) take water from a fire hydrant or use water from an unmetered source; or
new text end

new text begin (4) tap any water distribution main or pipe or insert stopcocks or ferrules on the
waterworks system.
new text end

new text begin (c) No person other than an authorized municipal employee or, if authorized by a
municipal utility, a licensed plumber, shall break or remove a meter or other seal.
new text end

new text begin (d) A municipal utility may, by ordinance, establish prohibitions or restrictions not
inconsistent with this chapter, in addition to those enumerated in this section.
new text end

Sec. 19.

new text begin [444A.17] WATER EMERGENCIES.
new text end

new text begin (a) A municipal utility may declare a water emergency and impose and enforce a
restriction or ban on the use of water, including but not limited to lawn sprinkling, car
washing, and irrigation. A water emergency includes but is not limited to drought or shortage
of water supply for other reasons, inadequate supply to provide fire protection, malfunction
of the water supply system, or the endangerment of public health, safety, or welfare.
new text end

new text begin (b) A municipal utility imposing a ban or restriction on water use must take all reasonable
and necessary steps to inform all citizens affected of the existence of the emergency, the
reasons for the restriction or ban, the period during which use will be restricted or banned,
and the specific uses that are restricted or banned.
new text end

Sec. 20.

new text begin [444A.18] TORT LIABILITY AND IMMUNITY.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Liability. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility providing water services is subject to tort
liability as provided in section 466.02, except as limited in subdivision 2.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Immunity. new text end

new text begin A municipal utility is not subject to tort liability:
new text end

new text begin (1) if the water supply is interrupted, disturbed, deficient, or insufficient due to:
new text end

new text begin (i) establishing connections;
new text end

new text begin (ii) making repairs;
new text end

new text begin (iii) providing extensions;
new text end

new text begin (iv) disconnecting water service, provided that the municipal utility complies with the
requirements under section 444A.12;
new text end

new text begin (v) reconnecting water service;
new text end

new text begin (vi) pressure fluctuations; or
new text end

new text begin (vii) flushing; or
new text end

new text begin (2) for the water quality, if the quality is within the guidelines set forth by the Department
of Health and the laws of this state.
new text end

Sec. 21.

new text begin [444A.19] EFFECT ON OTHER LAW.
new text end

new text begin Sections 444A.01 to 444A.18 preempt and supersede conflicting local and municipal
rules or ordinances. Nothing in this chapter is intended to preempt any provision of a local
or municipal rule or ordinance that provides greater protection for residential water customers
than a provision in this chapter.
new text end

Sec. 22.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 456.33, is amended to read:


456.33 WATER AUTHORITY MAY MAKE RULES FOR PAYMENTS.

The governing body of a waterworks owned by a city of the first class may adopt and
enforce rules that it considers advisable on when payments for its water are due and payablenew text begin
consistent with chapter 444A
new text end.