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    BILLING

    How often do the water bills come out?

    Water bills are sent out quarterly (every 3 months.)

     

    Why is there a basic service charge? Canít I just pay for the water I use?

    The basic service charge covers the maintenance of your meter and the mains and hydrants which give you fire protection.  These are services everyone gets, no matter how much or how little water they use.

     

    My water bill seems unusually high. Is it possible that I used that much water?

    If the weather has been hot and dry, you may be using more water than you think.  And remember that your bill covers a period starting almost four months before you get the bill in the mail - what has the weather been like in that time?  Find out more about how to save on water use and check for leaks in your system on our Conservation Tips page.

     

    Why do I get two bills?

    You may get a water bill from the Authority and a sewer bill from your town, Walworth, for instance.  This is because the Authority operates the water system in your town, but not the sewer system.  The Authority does provide a billing service for some town sewer systems, so  the bills look similar.

     

    What do I need to do when I move?

    Contact the Authority at 315-986-1929 or 800-410-1929 prior to your closing date. We will ask for the following information:

    • the closing date

    • the name of the new owner

    • a billing address for the seller

    • the name of the attorney(s) handling the closing

    If your meter is a radio read meter, we do not need to come into your house.  If it is not a radio read, we will make an appointment with you to change your meter.

     

    What if I donít pay my bill?

    The Authority makes every effort to remind customers to stay current with their bills.  Authority rules state that water service will be discontinued for non-payment.   There is a charge for reinstatement of service.  Service can only be reinstated during normal business hours.

    If you are having problems paying your bill, please call the Authority office and ask about payment options.  We do not like to turn off our customersí water!

     

    WATER QUALITY

    Where does my water come from?

    The Authority buys water in varying amounts from a number of suppliers: the Monroe County Water Authority; the towns of Ontario, Williamson, Sodus and Rose; the villages of Palmyra, Newark, Wolcott, Lyons, Red Creek and Fair Haven and the Cayuga County Water and Sewer Authority. This water comes from a variety of sources: Lake Ontario, Canandaigua Lake and various drilled wells. More information for each service area is available on the web page Water Quality Reports.

     

    What is the hardness of our water?

    Lake Ontario water has a hardness of about 7 grains per gallon or 125 mg/L. This is generally considered moderately hard. Well sources are much harder, with a hardness of 20 or more grains per gallon. When lake and well sources are blended, hardness is in the neighborhood of 17 grains per gallon.

     

    Is the water fluoridated?

    Yes, all of the water the Authority supplies is fluoridated to 1 part per million, the level recommended by the New York State Department of Health. Water supplied to Authority customers by the Cayuga County Water and Sewer Authority on Ingersoll Drive and by the Village of Red Creek on Route 104A, both in the Town of Wolcott, is not fluoridated.

     

    A Boil Water Advisory has been issued for my area. What does it mean, and what should I do?

    A Boil Water Advisory (BWA) is a preventative measure issued to protect the health of the community from waterborne infectious agents.  A BWA does not necessarily mean that a contaminant has been found to have entered the drinking water supply; in fact, most BWA's are initiated as precautionary measures only.

    To create a supply of water for cooking, drinking and tooth brushing, bring the water to a rolling boil and boil for 1 minute.  Cool the water and use or refrigerate.

    Hot soapy water can be used for dishwashing and kitchen / bathroom surface cleaning.  Water from the tap can be safely used for laundry and showering.

     

    My water is discolored. What causes this, is it safe to drink, and what do I do to get rid of it?

    Discolored water results when water traveling through the water mains stirs up the iron and manganese sediment lying in the bottom of the mains. Water main breaks and fire fighting activities are typical causes of discolored water.

    There are no health risks associated with this type of problem, as the particulates causing the discoloration are simply iron and manganese oxides, and not harmful.

    If you experience this problem, the easiest way to eliminate the discolored water from your system is to run as many cold water faucets as possible at the same time, including bath tubs, sinks and outside spigots. This should flush any sediments which may have found their way into your service line.

     

    My water is cloudy. What causes this and is it safe to drink?

    Cloudy water is caused when dissolved gases in the water are released under atmospheric pressure and increased temperature, or when a faucet aerator mixes air into the water.  The gases present are mostly oxygen and carbon dioxide and do not pose a threat to public health.  If the water is left in a glass for a minute or so, the air will dissipate, although drinking the water without letting the air escape is not harmful.

     

    Why does my water smell like dirt?

    During the summer, the top water of Lake Ontario becomes warmer than the bottom and the lake forms two layers, with the top one warmer and lighter and the bottom one cooler and heavier. During the fall as the temperature drops and the top water reaches about 40įF, it sinks to the bottom and the bottom water moves to the top. This natural occurrence is known as fall turnover. This condition stirs the bottom mud and releases the anaerobic decomposition products such as sulfur dioxide and other odor-causing chemicals that cause severe taste and odor problems. Some types of algae emit a musty, earthy odor, and fall is when algae growth has reached a maximum and the organisms begin to die, giving the water an unpleasant odor.

    Our suppliers of Lake Ontario water treat these problems with activated carbon filtration, but sometimes the algal growth and other odor causing components are greater than this process can effectively handle. The water is completely safe to drink and use.

    Some people notice these odors only in hot water while others can detect them even in cold water. Because water will release more of the unpleasant odor when warmer, chilling the water in the refrigerator may make it more palatable.

     

    I smell chlorine in my water! Why?

    Sometimes you may find your water tastes or smells like chlorine. The water is safe to drink. We are required by the Department of Health to maintain a chlorine residual in the distribution system to prevent the growth of bacteria. To eliminate or reduce the taste of chlorine in your water, simply store tap water in a container overnight in your refrigerator. An inexpensive carbon filter will also remove the taste and odor of chlorine.

     

    SYSTEM OPERATION

    Why would I see someone from the Authority near my home?

    You will see our trucks and personnel in your neighborhood if we are reading or replacing meters, doing stakeouts, flushing and servicing hydrants, or repairing or installing water mains, valves or services.  All Authority service vehicles are identified with our logo and our service personnel carry identification as Authority employees.  Donít hesitate to ask any employee to identify him- or herself and find out what they are doing in your area.

     

    Why are colored flags, stakes, or paint marks on my lawn or sidewalk?

    These show the location of utilities in that area. All utility companies are required by law to mark their facilities any time a contractor will be excavating near them. This is commonly called a stakeout.  When these markers appear, it means excavation work has been scheduled (or has just been completed).  White paint markings may designate the area where excavation is expected.

    Standard colors are used to indicate the location of different utilities: 

         blue = water
       red = electric 
         yellow = gas 
       orange = TV and cable
         green = sewer

     

    What if I am going to excavate on my property myself?

    Call Dig Safely | New York at 1-800-962-7962 before you dig. They will notify all utilities to stake out their lines at the address you note. Check out their website www.digsafelynewyork.com for more information.

     

    Can I use a fire hydrant to fill my swimming pool?

    In general, no; but if you believe you have extenuating circumstances, call the Authority office at 315-986-1929 with your request.

     

    I donít have water on my road.  Can the Authority install a water main there?

    The Authority doesnít have the power to create a water district.  That must be done by the Town in which you live.  Call your Town Hall for more information on getting water to your road. 

     

 

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