Copyright 2001-2005 by Oak Bay Technologies, Inc.
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Terms and Conditions

Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains answers to common questions handled by our support staff, along with some tips and tricks that we have found useful and presented here as questions.

Note: In these answers we will follow a few shorthand conventions for describing user-interface procedures. Key combinations will be presented like this: Ctrl+Alt+Delete, which means that you should press and hold down the Control key, the Alt key, and the Delete key at the same time. Menu selections will be presented like this: File->Open, which means that you should open the File menu, and then make the Open selection.

What Operating Systems are Supported?

Microsoft Windows XP SP3, Vista, Win 7/8 & Win 10 upgrade or pre installed.

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How do I Register my copy of Water Solutions?

Start Water Solutions.

Version 2: Click on Company, Click on Company Information.

Version 3,4 ,5 or 6: Click on TOOLS -> PROGRAM SETUP -> GENERAL -> COMPANY

Fill out the indicated company information. Your Company name must be the same as indicated on your registration code card or email. You must fill in Name, Address, City, ST, ZIP and your Phone number.

After you have successfully entered your company information return to the main menu. Click HELP on the MENU Bar at the top of your program window. Click on About. Click on Register. Enter your registration code. Double-check it for accuracy. Click on REGISTER, a message will appear thanking your for registering. Acknowledge the message and return to the main menu.

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My water company has a flat rate billing structure.  Will Water Solutions handle this?

Yes, Water Solution is capable of billing a simple flat rate or combining a minimum billing amount with 4 tiers of billing based on user consumption.

How do I set up my tractor printer to print post card invoices?

1. Align the post card at the top of the print area.
2. Click on File, Page Setup.
3. Enter the following margins: Top=0, Bottom=0, Right=.25 and Left .25.
4. Click on the Page tab.  Click on Use Specific Printer and then Printer.
5. Choose the tractor printer and click on properties.  Change the paper size to custom and enter the custom size of 6.5"W x 4.0" H.  Make sure the paper source is set to 'tractor'.
6. Click on OK until the normal Water Solutions screen is displayed.
7. You can now print tractor fed postcard invoices.

Will Water Solutions handle multiple water districts / companies?

Yes.  Water Solutions is available in a multiple company version.  When ordering please be sure to specify the version you need.
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How do I print just one invoice?

Click on the Print Invoice button.  Select either the paper invoice or the post card invoice and click on the appropriate button.  Shortly the invoices will be displayed in a preview window.  Using the right and left arrows in the lower left corner of the preview window locate the invoice you wish to print.   Note the page number.  Click on file and print, this time instead of the invoices printing a standard Windows print dialog box appears.   Select print range and enter the page number you wish to print and select okay.
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I get a Spooler error when I print.  What's wrong?

The Spooler error is most likely due to a large amount of data to print and running out of temporary spooler space on your hard drive.  There are two ways to resolve this problem.

1.  Break up the printing into smaller chunks.  Instead of clicking on the printer icon after the preview of the invoices appear, click on FILE on the menu bar and then on PRINT.  The normal Windows print dialog box will open.  In the lower left corner is an option to print a range.  Select this option and print your invoices in two or more groups i.e. 1-75, 76-150 etc.

2. Use the Print Directly To Printer option to print invoices from Water Solutions.   To set the Print Directly to Printer option, do the following:
            1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Printers.
            2. Right-click your default printer, and then click Properties.
            3. On the Details tab, click Spool Settings.
            4. Click the Print Directly To The Printer option, and click OK.
            5. Click OK, and then close the Printers window.
Now when you print, the invoices will go directly to the printer, bypassing the spooler.
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How do I Backup/Restore my data?

Water Solutions Pro & Pro Plus- click on File->Backup Data or Restore Data.  Acknowledge the data to be restored or backed up. Choose a location for the files. And click OK. We recommend the use of a USB Pen Drive.

Water Solutions Basic - use Windows Explorer and copy the .mdb files found in the c:\Program Files\Water Solutions or c:\program files\oakbay\water solutions folder to a floppy disk or other location.
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Where do I find Post Cards or Perforated top tearing paper?

Perforated Postcard stock is available in white and colors from us. Call our sales department at 1-360-437-0718 for more information.
8.5" x 11" perforated invoice paper may be found at Quill.
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I can not enter transactions and my button is grayed out?

The transaction button is grayed out because Water Solutions believes that you have started the process of billing your customers. Water Solutions does not allow you to mix the process billing your customers and receiving payments at the same time. Water Solutions watches the ENTER READINGS button and when it sees that you have clicked on this button it signals that you are starting a new billing period. However, if you have not entered any meter readings you can reset the Enter Transaction button.

  1. Click on Reports.
  2. Click on Detail Report - Click on print report. If no readings have been entered a window will be displayed indicating "No Data to Print".
  3. Close the Reports window.
  4. Click on Post Invoices. - Since there is nothing to post, no information will be changed in your customers accounts.
  5. Acknowledge the posting warning.
  6. Your Transactions button should now be enabled.

If an actual report is previewed follow the following

  1. Close your report and Reports Menu .
  2. Click on Enter Readings
  3. For each customer remove the Current Reading Date.
    • Check your manual for short cut keys that will help e.g. ctrl '
  4. Once all the dates have been removed repeat the process above until you receive the "No Data to Print" message in Step 2
  5. Complete steps 3-6.
  6. Your "Enter Transactions" button should be enabled.

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I am having trouble printing my graphs, what should I do?

Please use your update wizard and download the latest software update.

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I entered my meter reading but the customer's bill didn't print

If you entered your customer's meter reading in the Enter Readings form and your customer's bill did not print, it is because the Current Date is missing from the customer's meter reading. Without this date the program does not have an ending period and will ignore the entered reading.

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What double window envelopes should I use?

Our software formats customer invoices and statements to fit into a number 9 double window envelope manufactured by Columbian model(s) C0165, C0168, Staples #266759 or Quill # 901-75042.

I am having trouble installing InstallShield based programs after installing Water Solutions?

This problem occurs when an incompatible version of a DLL is installed on your computer. An example if Oleaut32.dll, Olepro32.dll, Asyncfilt.dll or Stdole2.tlb is replaced by a version which is used by Windows XP only.

To correct this problem choose one of the two options below:

If Microsoft Office 2000 or an Office 2000 component IS installed on your computer, Install the Office 2000 Service Release 1.

If Microsoft Office 2000 or an Office 2000 component IS NOT installed on your computer, download and install the mcrepair.exe tool. When this program prompts you to overwrite Newer file, make sure you choose YES for each file.

I am having problems with Water Solutions other than what is listed in FAQ's. What should I do?

    1. Back up your data.
    2. Use the Update Wizard and download the latest version and build for your software.
    3. Follow the instructions during the software update process.
    4. Restart Water Solutions and try to duplicate your problem. If the problem reoccurs you will need to contact Technical Support.

How do I reprint my invoices after I have posted?

You may reprint your invoices by batch mode or individually.

Reprinting by batch is accomplished by clicking on Tools (Ver 3, 4 or 5)->Batch Reprint Invoices or Company (Ver2)->Program Utilities->Batch Reprint Invoices. Select the printing options. Enter the original Invoice date and choose the printing method.

Individual Invoices may be reprinted on 8 1/2 x 11 paper by clicking on Customers->Customer History. Select the Invoice row by clicking on the gray button left of the row of interest. When the row highlights (turns black) press F10 on your keyboard. Individual Email bills may be resent in Version 5 by pressing Shift F10.

How do I estimate customer usage during winter?

Click here for a white paper on the subject.

When I start Water Solutions I get an error relating to an OLE Server. What's Up?

You most likely installed or updated your copy of Norton Anti-Virus or potentially some other anti-virus program. This is a known problem with Norton Anti-Virus and Not Water Solutions. To correct the problem uninstall Norton Anti-Virus and install a different Anti-Virus program such as Avast, AVG, Bitdefender or Nod32. For more information see Microsoft's TechNet answer.

I am doing my first billing and the program is not charging late fees. How do I correct this?

Be sure that you have enable late fee charges for each customer.

Ensure that you have entered the date on which your customer last made a payment. If you customer has never made a payment enter the date you set up their account.

Ensure that you have entered the late fee information for each type (residential etc.) customer.

I just did an Update Wizard and updated my software and my data disappeared.

This may happen if you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7 and had previously installed Water Solutions without the mandatory Vista/7 install disk.

Vista and 7 have a feature (?) where they will virtualize a program's folder and instead of writing program data to its folder it will write data to a virtual folder.

Your data is most likely not destroyed but just misplaced by Vista/7. You will need to locate the virtual folder and copy the data back to the programs folder. Your data is most likely stored at the following location; c:\Users\{your name}\Appdata\virtual source\local\water solutions\wsdata.mdb (or sampledata.mdb). Copy this file to c:\program files\water solutions if this folder exists or to c:\programdata\oakbay\water solutions. Note: the c:\programdata folder is likely a hidden folder. You will need to turn on viewing of hidden files and folders.

This should restore your data.

I use an automatic folding machine for my plain paper bills and the addresses don't show correctly.

If your automatic folding machine is non-adjustable try the following;

When your invoices preview to the screen, click on File->Page Setup. Adjust the top margin to either increase or decrease the amount of white space at the the top of the invoice thus adjusting where the automatic folding machine will place the fold. Remember this number as you will have to enter the change each time you print your invoices.

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Is it okay to open my data file with Microsoft Access?


NO! If you attempt to open your data file in a version of Access it will become corrupted. Instead, use the Export Data Function with in your program and export your data in Excel format. If you already have and your program has quit working, we may be able to restore your file for a fee as this goes beyond normal program support.

My Palm PDA will not HotSync with my version of 64 bit Windows. What should I do?

Oak Bay Technologies,Inc. has a solution that will allow Oak Bay Technologies customer's Palm™ PDA to hotsync over USB correctly. Please call our Technical support personnel for more information or check out the information here

I installed my program on a new computer and my Program Setup Treeview does not display Correctly.

This is most likely caused by a defective touch screen driver on your computer.

Existing applications written in VB6 or any of the MS Office VBA languages and use the common controls comctl32.ocx or mscomctl.ocx to create list views and treeviews are likely to error if any program runs that implements WinEvent hooks like touch screen drivers. We have not tested other development languages that may use these controls but, they too may have issues.

To correct this problem go to your computer's Device Manager. Look for a grouping called HID or Human Interface Devices. Look down the list until you see an entry associated with your touch screen. Right click on the entry. Click on Disable. This should take care of the issue.

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What about Windows 10? Is there anything I need to know?

Your Water Solutions program should work with the new Windows 10 upgrade or pre installed. However, you should be sure you have backed up your data file(s) to a flash drive before you upgrade to Windows 10. Failure to do so may cause loss of data!. After Windows 10 has been installed over your existing version of Windows, starting Water Solutions may cause an error window to appear stating "Can't be started was unable to initialize the Windows Registry. Rerun Microsoft Access or Microsoft Office Setup to Reinstall". This error is the result of Windows 10 not migrating certain registry settings and permissions correctly from your original version. If you receive this message you must fill out a Technical Support Request and a Support Representative will call you back. You will need an Internet connection.

BTW our recommendation is to wait for a couple of months for Microsoft to finish working out Windows 10 driver issues and other bugs. We have also heard from some of our other customers that at least one popular accounting program is not working correctly as well. Privacy is another concern. Please read this article and this article examples. For more information Google windows 10 privacy issues.

How do i Bill a SurCharge?

How do I Bill a SurCharge - If you are unable to bill a surcharge using the tax and tax rate functions, you may use the bottom Additional Charge box on the Customer's Rates and Charges Tab. Enter the surcharge in the bottom or second description box. The format of the description field and the surcharge rate are important to make this option work correctly. The Description field must start with the keyword "SurChg". After after which a surcharge code must appear. Use "A" for a surcharge on both sewer and water. Use "S" for a surcharge on Sewer only and use "W" for a surcharge on Water only. The keyword and code may be followed with a hyphen and further explanation i.e. TCEQ. The surcharge rate must follow the description and be in the format 0.050. In this case the surcharge amount would be 5%. The full syntax would be as follows "SurChgA - TX TCEQ 0.050" On you customer's bill this description will appear along with the calculated amount equal to 5% of the total water and sewer amounts combined. Again, it is important to follow this syntax carefully for the surcharge feature to work correctly. Only the second additional charge box will bill for the optional surcharge.

My program no longer tells me that an update is available. What's up?

This only applies to Water Solutions Pro Plus. Please click on Help->About and check your current build number. If the number is 3.45 or greater your good to go. If your Build number is 3.44 or less and your program indicates your program is current you will need to initiate a update check from the start menu. To do this please click on the START Button. Click on All APPS or All PROGRAM or you may see a list of program names arranged alphabetically. Scroll down near the bottom of the list where the 'W's are. There you should see a Folder (Not the WS icon). Open the folder. Within the folder there is an option 'Check for UPdates'. Please click on this option to check for and install the latest updates for your software.

If you do not have a Check for Updates option, you will need to call Oak Bay Tech Support to correct this issue.