Frequently Asked Questions

Answer: Please call the business office at (425) 222-7003.  We will be glad to assist you with questions about your account or other information. If you have a water emergency during or after normal business hours, you will be referred to our on-call Water Operator who can assist you.

Answer: The business office located at:

27905 NE 33rd ST
Redmond, WA 98053
[Click here to view a map of this location.]

Answer: Please use one of the following addresses to send mail to the Association. Correspondence should be sent to our office. Payments should be sent to our P.O. Box in Seattle.

Correspondence address: Payment address:
27905 NE 33rd ST
Redmond, WA 98053
PO Box 94229
Seattle, WA 98124-6529

Answer: Yes. With this program, you can electronically debit your water bill from your bank account and view or download a copy of your billing statement in PDF format. For details, please click here.

Answer: Yes. For details, please click here.

Answer: Yes. Many banks and credit unions offer online bill payment as a service to their customers. Simply add Ames Lake Water Association as a payee and be sure to include your four-digit Service ID Number when you set up the payee information. Please remember that your bank or credit union will be issuing a check payment and mailing it, allow for mailing time when making a payment. Our payment address is:

PO BOX 94229
SEATTLE WA 98124-6529

Answer: Yes. There is a locked drop box outside the business office. It is labeled “drop box” and located near the front door. For security reasons, please do NOT put any cash payments in the drop box.

Answer: Yes. We accept credit cards or debit cards as payment for water bills.

Answer: No. For security reasons, the Ames Lake Water Association discontinued accepting cash payments in its business office effective 06/01/2012. To make a payment, please send a check or money order to our payment address. Alternatively, you may want to consider using your bank or credit union’s online bill payment service to mail a check to our payment address or signing up for our monthly automatic payment program. For details on how to sign up for recurring, monthly ACH payments, please click here.

Answer: Click here to view a map of our service area. Click here to see an aerial view.

Answer: Click here to obtain a copy of our fee schedule and for information about our general facilities charge.

Answer: There are four basic components on your water bill:

  1. Water – This is the cost of the water that you consume during a billing period. The Association’s rates cover the cost of producing water in the first two tiers shown on the current fee schedule and promote conservation in tiers three and above. The water usage fee by itself does not cover all of the ALWA’s expenses like office overhead expense, amortization or depreciation.
  2. Base – The base fee covers the ALWA’s basic office overhead expenses (i.e., payroll, benefits, rent on the ALWA’s office, the electric bill for the main office, etc.).
  3. Amortization – Amortization covers the cost of paying back loans used to expand the water system infrastructure (i.e., wells, pumps, pipes, etc.). The ALWA has obtained a number of loans over the years to accommodate housing growth and new Members in our service area. The Association must pay off existing loans in order to obtain new loans necessary for further growth in our service area in the coming years.
  4. Depreciation – Depreciation covers wear and tear on fixed assets including wells, pumps, pipes, etc. (basically all of the hardware infrastructure used for getting water out of the ground and to a Member’s property). As the components of the water system wear out over their useful lifespan, the ALWA must replace them.

For other charges that may appear on your bill, please refer to the current fee schedule.

Answer: No. The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) does not regulate the Association. For more information on whom the UTC regulates, see Section 480-110-255 of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC). The Board of Directors is responsible for governance of the Association within the framework of laws and regulations covering non-profit organizations, public water systems and water rights granted by the State of Washington. For more information, see WAC Chapter 246-290.

If you are a Member in good standing, you can vote for and/or become a candidate for the Board of Directors which governs the operations of the Association including setting rates and fees.

Answer: Click here to view a copy of the ALWA’s By-Laws. Click here to obtain a copy of our Rules and Regulations.

Answer: Yes. Each year, the Board of Directors appoints an independent Certified Public Accounting firm to audit the Association’s books. Representatives from the independent audit firm attend the Association’s annual meeting to discuss the audit report and answer questions from the floor. Click here to review our annual audit reports.

Answer: No. Individual Members do not have any water rights per se. The Washington Department of Ecology determines the water rights attributed to the Ames Lake Water Association as a whole. The amount of water rights is fixed by the Department, and it is unlikely that the Association will be able to obtain any additional water rights in the future. It is up to the Association to determine how best to use its water rights on behalf of all its Members.

Answer: A cross connection is defined as any actual or potential physical connection between a public water system or the consumer’s water system and any source of non-potable liquid, solid, or gas that could contaminate the potable water supply by backflow.

Types of cross connections include, but are not limited to:

  • Irrigation systems
  • Fire sprinkler systems
  • Boiler heating systems
  • Swimming pools
  • Hot tubs
  • Ponds
  • Auxiliary Well

Drinking water systems may become polluted or contaminated in the distribution system through uncontrolled cross connections.   If you have a cross connection, Ames Lake Water Association requires that you have it inspected and tested annually in accordance with Washington Administrative Code (WAC), Chapter 246-290-490.

Answer: No. Currently, the Association does not add fluoride to its water.

Answer: You can monitor your water use by reading your meter. Almost all water meters have a built-in low-flow indicator or leak detector.

If you look at your meter, there will be a small star-shaped wheel on the face. This little wheel turns when there is water flowing— even a very small amount.

To perform your own test for leaks, turn off all of the following:

  • Water faucets (inside and outside the house)
  • Showers
  • Washing machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Irrigation system

If the star-shaped wheel is moving slightly, you may have a leak.

Next, you can narrow down where the leak is by turning individual valves on and off.  For example, if you turn off a valve to an outdoor irrigation system and the low-flow indicator stops, then you know the leak is downstream from that particular valve.

Toilets are often a source of water leaks in the home. An easy way to check whether your toilet is leaking is to place some food coloring in the tank when it is full. Then wait a minute or two and check whether you begin to see colored water in the bowl.  If so, then there may be a problem with the toilet.

Once you find the possible source of the leak, you will have to decide whether you can repair it yourself or need to call a professional for further assistance.

A leaky toilet may waste up to 200 gallons per day.  That’s approximately 73,000 gallons per year.

Finally, consider the following example. You have a single, leaky faucet in your home. It drips 20 times per minute. That’s 28,800 drips per day (i.e., 20 drips/minute x 60 minutes/hour x 24 hours/day). In one year, you will lose approximately 925 gallons of water from this one faucet.

Answer: According to the King County Water Conservation Program, consumers use the following amounts of water on average in the home:

Flushing a toilet 1.5-7 gallons per flush, depending on the design of the toilet
Taking a shower 3 gallons per minute, or 25-45 gallons for an average shower
Taking a bath 50 gallons
Running a faucet 3 gallons per minute
Running the dishwasher 25 gallons per wash
Running the washing machine 30-35 gallons per wash
Washing a car 100-300 gallons
Watering a yard 7 gallons per minute, or 420 gallons per hour
Average number of gallons used per person per day 66 gallons