Water Theft Policy

Across the nation, an accepted utility practice indicates that the customer is responsible for payment of service and other authorized charges. CUD exists for the benefit of all present and future customers in Rutherford County. While no customer shall intentionally be treated unfairly, no customer shall be treated in a way that compromises the interests of other customers.

The customer should understand that the costs of any water service not paid for are indeed paid for by all the other customers. This means CUD does not tolerate water theft or the manipulation of water meters. We make every effort to assure all the water we produce is metered and sold. If you suspect someone is using water that is not being billed, please contact CUD immediately. We will send a technician to investigate and secure any potential violation.

Because of the possibility of damage to infrastructure and because of the effect on measurements of water usage, any illegal connections will receive a citation and will be billed a cost recovery fee.

The following provides a description of water theft, how notices of violation are processed, and terms of discontinuance and reinstatement …


Tampering with utility equipment or stealing service will be grounds for discontinuance of water service. Theft of water service includes, but is not limited to, the following:


A notice of violation may be mailed or delivered if:

No notice of violation will be mailed or delivered – and customer service is subject to immediate cut-off – in any of the following situations:

Service will not be restored until all payments for the following are received by the utility:

If CUD must replace or reset any equipment due to customer negligence, charges will be assessed to the customer’s account, in line with current market value.


Because water service is so vital to our county’s infrastructure and continued growth, CUD makes great efforts to ensure all customers are treated fairly. When water service is stolen, it has the following impacts on CUD and our customers …