How is the sewer charge on my water bill calculated?
Sewer charges are based on water usage during the winter months. To calculate sewer use, the city reads your water meter during the winter months to determine a quarterly average. This is beneficial to residents because water use is substantially less in the winter. However, if a resident's current actual water use is less than the winter average, the sewer charge is then based on actual water use.
I received a letter that I may have continuous water flow (a water leak). How can I detect the leak?
Homeowners are responsible for all water use, even if it results from a leak, so it’s important to find out what causing the continuous flow. First, check your water meter to confirm the continuous flow. Your water meter is inside your home and has two indicators showing water use. Follow the steps below or watch the video to see how to check it:
Open the black cap on top of the meter.
Shine a flashlight on the solar panel. (It’s important to use a flashlight, not a smartphone – the smartphone light isn’t strong enough to activate the panel.)
The screen below the solar panel will then display the current water meter reading in gallons.
It will also flash other indicators such as “Leak” or “Rate of Flow.” If you see a light in the shape of a faucet, this indicates an intermittent flow (flashing faucet) or continuous flow (faucet light stays on). The rate of flow should be 0.00 if there is no water flowing through the meter.
Once you’ve determined you have a leak, check common leak sources like toilets, water softener malfunctions, indoor and outdoor faucets, humidifiers attached to furnaces and irrigation systems. You may be able to hear a leak before you see it, so listen carefully for water flow or leaks. If you can’t find anything, you may want to hire a plumber to investigate.
When I move out of my house, does the city turn off the water?
No. The city does not turn off the water when someone moves out. City staff will obtain a meter reading and send out a final bill.
Why is my water bill so high?
Water bills are based on how much water is used. Watering the lawn or garden will increase water usage, as will the addition of occupants in the home. Leaks can also lead to an increase in your water bill. If a water meter detects continuous flow (a water leak), the city will send letters detailing the steps that should be taken.
Why was I asked to provide a drinking water sample?
The city occasionally hears reports of residents being asked to provide water samples. A small bottle is left at a resident's home with a form asking for personal information. The city believes these requests are coming from third-party companies selling water products, such as softeners. When the city conducts occasional water testing, residents are notified well in advance with a letter on official city letterhead. Please don't give out personal information if you're unsure who's asking for it. Also, some third-party sources have used local water safety statistics out of context in an effort to sell products. If you have questions about local water quality, please review the city's annual Drinking Water Reports or visit the Minnesota Department of Health's website.