FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL INFORMATION:

How many gallons per minute (GPM) do the meters provide?
Standard flows are listed below by meter size:
5/8″ x 3/4″ meter = 20 gallons per minute
3/4″ x 3/4″ meter = 30 gallons per minute
1″ meter = 50 gallons per minute
1 1/2″ meter = 100 gallons per minute
2″ meter = 160 gallons per minute
3″ meter = 350 gallons per minute

What tools do I need to turn my meter on and off?
Property owners are not permitted to turn meters on or off as it is the property of Kiawah Island Utility. Property owners are encouraged to install a valve on the supply line, which allows for easy access to isolating service in the event of a break or for repairs at a residence.

Why does KIU restrict me from turning my meter on or off?
If property owners were able to control their meters, the curb stop valve which KIU has installed to control water service can be potentially damaged. If the curb stop is damaged, KIU must turn off service to an entire section of property owners to make the repair.

What is Backflow?
Backflow is the undesirable reversal of flow of nonpotable water or other substances through a cross-connection and into the piping of a public water system or consumer’s water system.

Can KIU help me with a power outage?
KIU is a water and wastewater utility only. Berkeley Electric Cooperative provides electrical service to the Island. In the event of a power outage, please call 843.559.2458.

Can KIU help with scheduling trash collection?
The Town of Kiawah manages the trash collection for the Island and can be reached online at KiawahIsland.org or by phone at 843.768.9166.

RATES AND FEES:

Why am I charged a late fee?
Rates and fees of Kiawah Island Utility are regulated by the South Carolina Public Service Commission so a 1.5% late fee is charged automatically if payment is not received prior to your next billing cycle.

What is the customer set up fee on my bill?
To initiate service, property owners are charged a fee of $25.00.

Is my sewer usage fee based on water consumption?
Yes. If you are a residential customer, usage is charged at a rate of $0.60 per thousand gallons up to 11,000 gallons per month or $6.60. Eleven thousand gallons is the average domestic consumption for a residential customer.

Commercial and hotel sewer rates are based on all water consumed because irrigation usage is metered separately and all water going into these facilities is returned to the sewer for disposal and treatment.

BILLING:

Can I pay my account with a credit card?

Visit our new Customer Portal to make payments online (via Visa, MasterCard, or check), view your statement online, request paperless billing, and review payment history.

Customers may also pay via bank draft: Simply download the bank draft application form below and fax it to 843.768.1816 or email the form to Vicky Dyke, Senior Accountant, at VDyke@nullswwc.com.
Bank Draft.pdf

Can I see my bill online?

Visit our new Customer Portal to view your statement online, make payments (via Visa, MasterCard, or check), request paperless billing, and review payment history.

Can I disconnect my service if I am away for an extended period of time to avoid the monthly minimum bill?
Customers are entitled to disconnect service for this purpose but will be charged a reconnect fee of three (3) times the minimum to reinstate service.

Why is there a minimum bill when I don’t use water?
A base water and sewage fee is charged in order to cover the fixed costs of maintaining Kiawah Island Utility operations. Customers 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. Expenses 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 on your bill is based on available flow capacity through various sized meters. The smallest KIU meter is a 5/8″ x 3/4″ meter which delivers 20 gallons per minute (gpm).

The minimum fee, established by the Public Service Commission (PSC), is based on the following formula for water:
[Maximum recommended meter capacity (gpm) x $29.92 per month 20 gallons per minute (gpm)] / 20

The sewer formula is based on the following:
[Maximum recommended meter capacity (gpm) x $22.86 per month 20 gallons per minute (gpm)] / 20

An example for a 1″ meter: 50 x $29.92 = $1,496.00 / 20 = $74.80 (water)

COMMON WATER QUALITY ISSUES

When I installed a new dishwasher, I had to set the water hardness for proper operation. What is the average hardness I should set the water to?
According to Charleston Water System, the average hardness is 58 parts per million (ppm). Visit the Charleston Water System website at www.CharlestonWater.com for up-to-date analytical results. KIU does 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.

Periodically I receive discolored water. Why is this?
There are generally two reasons in which you may see discolored water from your tap. While
 discoloration is rarely a health concern, it can be an aesthetic concern. The color of water is a result of naturally occurring compounds from decaying vegetation 
and organic matter that enters source water through runoff, falling vegetation, etc. 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.

Another common reason for discolored water is due to the fire department conducting
 its 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.

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 an 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, 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.

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