Syringa Policies

Syringa Heights Water District Policies

adopted 10/18/2022

These Policies do not override stipulations set forth in the By-Laws of the Syringa Heights Water District

Who can connect to and purchase water from Syringa Heights Water District?

The District was formed to provide water service to residential users only.  Any property, that is wholly within the established boundaries of the District, may connect for residential use.  If your property is bisected by the District boundary you must either annex the remainder of the property into the District or split the property such that only the portion within the District is being served.  Please refer to the latest map (Here).  Note that if you are within the District it will also be indicated on your property tax bill.

Properties immediately adjacent to the existing District boundaries may petition to be included in the District.  There are costs associated with this petition. (Please contact the District for up to date costs.)

In some cases, our boundaries overlap those of the City of Dover and the City of Sandpoint.  In that case, please talk with us before you initiate any application.

Properties outside the District boundaries, and not immediately adjacent to the District, cannot be annexed into the District will not be served by the District.

What does having a connection provide?

It provides clean, sanitized water to each residential parcel at a minimum pressure as required by State Statute. 

How does one initiate a connection?

Fill out a brief application form (connection application) and submit it to the board at this address:

Frank Cafferty
PO Box 2401
Sandpoint, Idaho 83864

If approved, the applicant shall pay a capitalization fee and the cost of connecting to the water main including associated permitting, roadway repairs, water meter installation, etc.  You may of course call us, in particular Mr. Cafferty, before you submit the application for an estimated fee and installation amount.  We are happy to talk with you about your project/plans.

Currently, as of July 2018, the capitalization fee is $6,185 for a single-family home.  If the property has a duplex or an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) connected through the same meter the capitalization fee is multiplied by 1.5 for a total of $9,277.50.  Each property being served shall have its own water service and meter.  Put simply, like any water system in Idaho the capitalization fee is determined by an engineering firm that calculates the monetary value of the system and that amount is divided by the number of potential users within the district. Sometimes this capitalization fee is referred to as a New User Facility Fee or “NUFF”.  In short, this is a fee that helps maintain the existing system. You are “buying in” as it were with your share of all the costs that have occurred in building the system.

Under certain circumstances the board will consider amortizing the equity over a period to time to help facilitate you getting water.  In other words, we can spread out the costs of the capitalization fee over several months.  If you wish to have your capitalization fee amortized, please indicate it on your service application.  Interest rate for this option is 10% per Anum.

We will hold your check for the capitalization fee until our water manager has an opportunity to assess your situation and describe to you what you and/or Syringa need to do to serve your property.

Although every property can present different opportunities and difficulties, the following is the base line we follow:

If your property line touches the road right of way in which one of our water mains is situated, then the connection is relatively simple.

  1. You, the owner, will contract with Syringa’s contractor that will make the connection to our water main and place a remote meter/valve near your property.  Please note: Our approved contractor is insured and can provide insurance documents at your request.  You will pay for this work.  Known as “connection fees,” this work includes all work up to and including the meter installation.
  2. You are also responsible for digging and placing the curb stop valve and lines from the meter to your house.  Our water manager and the construction company you hire will give you good advice on how to do that.
  3. The installed meter becomes property of Syringa Heights Water District.  All leaks on the public side of the meter are the responsibility of Syringa.
  4. All leaks on the delivery side of the meter are your responsibility.  We will advise you when we can.  You will be charged for any and all gallons of water used or lost to broken or leaking pipes on the customer’s side of the meter.

Once you have paid the capitalization fee then it becomes attached to the property in perpetuity.  When and if you sell your property, the new owner will have use of your (former) water meter.  He or she will not have to buy into the system again.  He or she will follow the rules and policies of every user.

Please note that the property owner has the responsibility to maintain access to and readability of the meter.

Monthly Fees

Each year in November the Water Board meets to develop a budget. Based on how much it will cost the coming year to run and maintain the system, it determines what the monthly base fee will be for the coming year.  For example, the base fee for 2022 is $34 for a single home and $51 ($34 x 1.5 = $51) for a home with an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) or duplex.  Even if your property doesn’t use any water, you will pay the monthly base fee if you have a meter.

Currently we get our water from the City of Sandpoint.  We charge no more than does the City of Sandpoint.  In other words, we don’t add a surcharge.  The Sandpoint water rate charges as of May 2023 are as follows.

  • $2.93 per 1000 gallons for the first 6000 gallons
  • $3.75 per 1000 gallons from 6001 to 20,000 gallons
  • $7.51 per 1000 gallons from 20,001 to 40,000 gallons
  • $8.45 per 1000 gallons for over 40,001 gallons

Your monthly bill will include 3 charges; the base fee, the water used, and the Sandpoint Base Fee.  For example, if you have a single-family home and you use 7000 gallons in a month. You would pay $2.93 per thousand gallons of water for the first 6000 gallons used ($2.93 x 6 = $17.58).  The additional 1000 gallons would be charged at the next higher rate of $3.75 ($3.75 x 1 = $3.75).  The Sandpoint Base Fee is currently $4949.00, divided by 225 users in the District, is $22 per month.  Your final monthly bill in this example is $51.22 ($34 + $17.58 + $3.75 + $22 = $77.33).

Our certified water operator reads everyone’s meter at the end of each month. He does it remotely with a device in his truck that picks up your meter. Your bill is typically due by the end of the following month.

How much water can I use?

Most customers use between 3,000 and 5,000 gallons per month.  Of course the more water you use the more the water costs to promote water conservation.

The District reserves the right to reduce the amount of water each customer gets based on our supply from the City.  Every user will be treated the same.

The water provided by the District shall be used for domestic purposes, unless otherwise approved by the Board.

The Board shall have the power to declare an emergency and provide for the rationing of water when appropriate

Late Fees/ Penalties

All fees and charges by the District not received by the 30th day of the month shall become delinquent.  The date in February is the 28th. Postmarked by the 25th will be honored.  Late charges of $15.00 per billing cycle will apply and continue until the account is current.  Notice of termination may be given after two consecutive late charges with an accumulative balance.  Notice may be given by mail or door hangar, if not able to contact personally.  If water service is terminated a charge of $60.00 will be levied to turn water back on

The Board shall assess as additional fees any costs incurred by the District in enforcing any of the provisions of the by-laws, including a reasonable attorney fee.  Any uncollected fees will be levied as property taxes as allowed by law.

Service Piping on User’s Premises

Ownership and Maintenance

You will install and maintain at your own expense all pipes and other plumbing within the boundary line of your property and private easements.  In short, all the piping downstream of the meter is your responsibility.

The plumbing will be furnished and installed per current applicable plumbing codes and maintained in good order and condition such that they do not pose a threat to the integrity and quality of the District system. If you don’t properly maintain private plumbing the District can terminate your service.


All meters installed during the initial water service connection shall remain the property of the District.  The District shall have final authority as to location of the water service connection.  The meter should be conveniently located within the road right-a-way.  The location of the water service must be on a parcel, belonging to the Owner, which the meter is servicing and parcel must be adjacent to the District main line.  If a water main extension is required to serve a property or properties it is at the expense of the property owner and shall be within a right-of-way or easement dedicated to the District.

The District shall maintain meters and repair, at the District’s own expense, due to ordinary wear and tear.  Each user shall notify the District of any damage to or malfunction of a meter as soon as it comes to the user’s attention.  In the event a meter is damaged by freezing or the negligent or intentional act of a party other than the District, the user shall pay the cost of repair.

In the case of a disputed account involving the accuracy of a meter, the meter shall be tested on request of the user.  Such testing shall be conducted as deemed appropriate for the situation by the District, with results documented for record.  Only in the event the meter tested is found to have an error in registration of five (5%) percent or more, will the user’s account be adjusted accordingly.

In the event a user requests to have a water service connection relocated, and if the District has the capability of delivery to the new location on existing parcel, the user shall make a written request to the District and the District shall advise the user of the estimated cost and scheduling for relocation.  In the event the relocation is acceptable to the District, and upon payment by the user of the construction fees, the water service connection will be relocated.

Each user shall cut and dispose of weeds, grass and brush from the road to, and around, the user’s meter vault. No user shall block or otherwise limit convenient access to a meter or shut-off valve by District personnel.  A four-foot radius from the meter vault is to be kept clear of all obstacles including fences.  Nothing is to be attached to the meter post, and will be removed by maintenance personnel.  Any maintenance required by the District will be billed to the property owner including actual cost plus an overhead fee not to exceed $200.

Curb Stop Valves Required

A curb stop valve is required to be installed by the user on the user’s service line in a place always accessible and located as to permit shutting off water service for the entire premises with the least possible delay.  Installation of a curb stop valve by the user is required by the District to have personal control of water in order to avoid special service call charges as outlined above as well as alleviate damage done by broken water lines and fixtures.

Pressure Relief Valves

All persons having boilers, water tanks or other equipment supplied with direct pressure from the District’s mains shall install a backflow prevention and pressure relief valve to prevent excess pressure back flowing hot water and steam back into the water meter and mains of the District.  All damage to the District’s property resulting from failure of the user to properly equip plumbing with a relief valve shall be billed to the user.  Users shall notify the District of any potential back-flow producing equipment or plumbing.

Cross Connection

Cross connection control will be in accordance with Ordinance #18-01 adopted June 12, 2018.  Properties that are found to be out of compliance shall have 14 days from the date of notification by the District to remedy any cross connection issue.  If the issue(s) are not remedied the District shall terminate water service until the issue is resolved.  A $60 fee shall be charged to turn the water back on.  

Leaks on User’s Premises

The District shall not be obligated to perform any services whatsoever in locating leaks or other piping limitations on or inside the user’s premises and property, and shall not be liable for any damages resulting from the same.

Special Service Calls

If the District is requested to turn a user’s water off to enable repairs to be made to the user’s pipes, to allow service work by others, or for user vacancy the user shall be charged $60 to turn the water back on.  Turning the water off is free.  During the time that the water is turned off the user will not be charged the base fee, water fee, or meter fee.  Private curb stop valves are required on new installations as outlined above to avoid special service call charges.

Access to Property

All properly identified employees, officers or agents of the District may contact the owner or occupant of each user’s premises to request access at all reasonable hours to any and all parts of property and buildings supplied by water, for the purpose of installing meters and other appurtenances required by the District, reading meters, inspection, or repairing or removing any property of the District which may have been installed thereon.  The water supply shall be shut off from all premises where such access is unreasonably refused and not turned on again until such access is allowed, pursuant to the procedures outlined in these Policies and Procedures.

Private Water Supply

When the premises served by the District is also served in any manner from another or private water supply of any kind, the user’s plumbing shall be so constructed that entirely separate plumbing systems shall be provided for each water source.  Separation of at least 10 feet is required from District water services to non-District water sources.  Cross-connection of the District’s water system with a private water supply of any kind is expressly prohibited.  A copy of the Idaho State plumbing permit shall be presented to the District for all new connections that have an existing well and for all existing connections that have a new well drilled as an additional source for the property.  The permit shall address the separation of the two water sources. 

Change in Grade

Any user changing the grade level of the connection to the District’s system, or District main lines, by excavation, back-fill, landscaping, or other cause, shall be liable for all costs of moving the connection or accessibility to main line to comply with the newly-created grade level which may reasonably be required by the District.

Service Connection Damage

Any damage done to meter vaults, curb stops, meter posts, or any other parts of the service connection due to construction, snow plowing, etc. is the responsibility of the property owner or user and repairs may be billed at cost.