To serve you better, we've assembled a list of our customers' most frequently asked questions. If you don't find your answer here, feel free to contact us.
How could I have used this much water?
You may not have - the numbers on your meter may have been transposed or hard to read. You could possibly have a leaky toilet or faucet that's difficult to detect. Just call the office and we'll work with you to solve the problem.
What do I do if I am experiencing low pressure?
Check your meter and the surrounding area for possible leaks. Next, call our office and report low pressure for your area.
Why is my water discolored?
A repair could have been completed recently allowing air to enter the line, causing the milky look.
What chemicals does our utility district add to the water?
Only chemicals that are approved by the National Safety Foundation for treatment of drinking water.
My water tastes, looks, and smells funny. Is it safe to drink?
All public water systems are required to maintain a minimum chlorine level of 0.2 mg/L (tested at the end of each line) by state law. Systems that use chloramine as a disinfectant must maintain a level of 0.5 mg/L by state law. Our disinfectant levels are tested daily to ensure safety.
Why does debris come out of the faucet when running hot water?
Most likely your water heater needs to be flushed. CAUTION: Most manufacturers recommend hiring a professional to flush your water heater. If you plan on doing this yourself, read the owner's manual to keep from being hurt and or damaging the water heater.
Why do I have a previous balance when I know I sent in my payment?
We may have received it after the due date or we may not have received it at all. Call our office and we will help you solve the problem.
Where does the District's water come from?
The District provides you water from the City of Ottawa, the City of Wellsville and Hillsdale Lake. This water is treated and softened before being sent out into the District's distribution system.
I suspect a leak...how do I find it?
More often than not, the fixture in you home that is leaking is your toilet. Even though you may not hear the toilet refilling, it may still be quietly and frequently "topping off" the water level in your tank. Checking for a leak in your toilet is as simple as adding several drops of food coloring to the tank of the toilet and then waiting for an hour or two. If the colored water in the tank appears in the bowl of the toilet, without flushing, then that toilet is leaking.
Other appliances to check include your hot water heater, a water softener, washing machine and dishwasher. Check these regularly for water leaks.
You can also check for a leak by watching your water meter. Shut off all water using appliances in your home and then go take a look at your water meter. For a period of 10 to 15 minutes watch the numbers on the dial of the meter. If the last number is moving, even slowly, then water is being used somewhere! Another test is to write down the meter reading before you leave for work and then check it when you get home. If no one has been home and the meter reading has changed, then you have a leak somewhere.
Why is my water bill so high this month?
If your water bill this month seems much higher than it did the previous month, we recommend you call the office. We will send someone out to double check your meter reading to ensure its accuracy. If the meter reading is accurate, then you may have a leak. Here is more information on what to do in the event of a leak.
I have a leak...what do I do now?
Your first step after finding out that you have a leak, is to fix the leak. If it is somewhere that you can't fix it on your own, you will need to call a plumber. The District will repair problems that exist from main line to the meter. The homeowner is then responsible for the water lines from the meter to the home (typically called your service line) and all the plumbing lines within the home.
If you experience a sizable water bill due to your leak, call the office at (785) 242-5508 to make payment arrangements or to discuss any other options.
How do I know if I have a leak?
Unfortunately, some people are unaware they have a water leak until they get a higher than usual water bill. When you receive your water bill and notice that the monthly water consumption is markedly higher than the previous billing period and you have not increased your water usage by irrigating or a swimming pool, it is time to start looking for a leak.
Another way that leaks are sometimes detected is by a loss in pressure and volume that exists throughout your house. If you notice that your water pressure in your shower or kitchen is decreasing steadily, you should start to do some investigating. Check all the faucets in your home, including your outside hydrant. If you notice the same decreased water pressure at all faucets, call the District Operator at (785) 418-1323. We will double check to make sure that your pressure problem is not related to a problem in the water main.
Why do I need to test my Backflow Prevention Device every year?
In conformity with K.A.R. 28-15-18, patrons in the District are required to test their backflow and cross connection control devices annually. Backflow devices are found on underground sprinkler systems and pressure boosters, as well as some other irrigation devices. If you have one of these, you will need to have your device tested and checked annually by a certified tester (most plumbing companies have someone certified to test backflow devices). We ask that these devices be tested in April of each year, before you begin irrigating or using the device. See the Backflow Prevention Test Report here. To read the District's Regulation for Backflow Prevention, please refer to our Rules and Regulations.
How much water is my leak wasting?
A drippy faucet can waste 7 gallons per day, or just over 2,500 gallons of water every year. A leak in a pipe or service line can be much more wasteful. A pinhole leak can waste 170 gallons of water per day. As that pinhole leak gets larger, water loss can exceed 13,000 gallons per day.
What is the hardness of my water?
The total hardness of water tested by the District is 100 ppm, which is equivalently 6 to 6.5 grains. Most people in the District don't need water softeners because of the high quality and softness of the District's treated water. If you are having a water softener installed, the person selling you the appliance will need to know the hardness information. For more information about the quality of your water, as well as the regulated and unregulated contaminants that the District tests for, please review our annual Consumer Confidence Report which details your water's quality.
How can I conserve water inside my home?
There are several things that you can do to conserve water inside your home without spending thousands of dollars on brand new appliances. For starters, reducing your shower time by one minute will save 2,000 gallons of water per year. Multiply this by each person in your household increases your savings. another way to save on inside water consumption is to simply shut the water offr. Don't let the faucet run while brushing your teeth or doing the dishes. By filling the sink instead of allowing water to run you can conserve as much as 50%. Other simple solutions include waiting until you have a full load of clothes or dishes to run your washing machine and dishwasher.
If you are in the market for new appliances, look for washing machines and dishwashers that offer "high efficiency". This option will save you on your water bill as well as on your energy bills. If you have a water softener or are buying a new one, look for one that offers a "hardness sensor" that will automatically trigger regeneration as needed, instead of constantly recycling.
What is a Benefit Unit Certificate?
A Benefit Unit is what the land owner is actually purchasing when he or she applies for water service. The Benefit Unit Holder is the individual(s) or corporation that is the title holder to the parcel of land upon which the Benefit Unit was applied for. By holding the rights to a Benefit Unit, the land owner has a right to vote at the Annual Meeting of Participating Members held each year by the District. The Benefit Unit holder is subject to the Rules and Regulations of the District and must adhere to the By-Laws of the District.