Can you be charged for sewer services you have not received?

UPDATED: May 21, 2012

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Can you be charged for sewer services you have not received?

Wondering the legality of my borough charging me for sewer services I have not received as I am not connected to public sewage system. Am I liable for these charges when I have received no services? I have not connected to public sewer as have fully functional septic tank and lack of money to do so. Also, can they mandate you tie into the public sewer system if you have a fully functional sewage system at your home? I have had civil complaint filed against me by borough.

Asked on May 21, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) Can they mandate you tie into public sewage? Yes, if  the law allows them to do so, or requires you to tie into public sewage.

2) Similarly, can they charge you for services which you are not in fact using? Yes, if the law makes sewer charges an assessment that all property owners pay, regardless of actual usage (basically a tax, even if they call it something else) and not a fee for usage (so, not like paying for water or electricity, which is based on metered use).

In short, what the borough can do depends on your local ordinances. You need to check those ordinances to see your rights and responsibilities.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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