Water users get new rules on quality and interruptions

The nation’s regulating agency has released a plan to improve water quality and also give consumers additional protection.

The Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos said that the new rules cover all water distributors in the country from the giant Instituto Nacional de Acueductos y Alcantarillados to the smallest local community supplier.

One rule is that a bill should be provided at least 10 days before it is due. Water firms are prohibited from cutting service on holidays or weekends. Firms also cannot cut water if the customers owe them for some other service.

Customers who receive water that is below the required quality can get a 50 percent reduction in their bill, according to the rules.

Companies also must give notice of suspension of service for construction or similar. If the cutoff is for more than eight hours, alternative supplies of water must be provided, the rules said.

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