4.3 Balancing the LOS Agreement and Cost

There is a direct link between the level of service provided and the cost to the customer. When a higher level of service is provided, the costs to the customers will likely increase. This relationship provides an opportunity for the utility to have an open dialogue with its customers regarding the level of service desired and the amount the customers are willing to pay for this level of service. For example, customers may complain about contaminants that cause taste, odor, or color issues in the water, but are not health concerns. The water utility could install treatment to remove these contaminants but the cost of this treatment will have to be passed on to the customer. The water utility can have a dialogue with the customers to explain what the treatment would entail, what the finished water quality would be, and how much it would cost the customers. Following the discussions, the customers could decide whether or not they are willing to pay for the additional treatment.