(1) The following general rules shall be effective for all privately owned water utilities subject to the regulatory jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission. For the purposes of these rules, where the term "utility" is used, it shall mean privately owned water utilities, and where the term "commission" is used, it shall mean the Montana Public Service Commission.
(2) Certain of the following general rules allow a utility to adopt, subject to the approval of the commission, special rules to fit the utility's local conditions. If a utility adopts any special rules, and an apparent conflict arises between the special rules and these general rules, the general rules shall govern.
(3) All privately owned water utilities must have commission-approved tariffs filed with the commission, pursuant to Title 69, MCA, and its corresponding administrative rules, including penalties as provided by statute.
(4) All privately owned water utilities must file a rate application in accordance with the minimum rate case filing standards of ARM 38.5.101, et seq., or in accordance with the simplified regulatory treatment options rules of ARM 38.5.2527.
(5) As good cause appears and as justice may require, a utility may petition the commission to waive the application of any rule, pursuant to ARM 38.2.305.
(6) Nothing contained in these rules shall be construed to limit the statutory and constitutional authority of the Montana Consumer Counsel to participate and represent the interests of the utility ratepayers in these proceedings.