Water & Sewer Maintenance
Fire Hydrant Flushing
Fire hydrants are flushed regularly to remove iron deposits and settlements from the system, check water flow, inspect and repair the hydrant. Sometimes during this process, residents may see discolored water or laundry stains. When hydrant flushing is being done in the neighborhood, check for clear running water before using for laundry. Rust on laundry items caused by hydrant flushing can often be removed with a produce available free from the City. Call 425-1896.
Rising water bills, with no increase in use (watering lawns, washing cars, etc.), may mean a leak in the system.
Small leaks can waste a lot of water and significantly increase water bills:
- 60 drops of water per minute wastes 186 gallons of water per month.
- 1 1/2 inches drip leak wastes 603 gallons per month; this is enough water to wash the dishes from 30 meals.
- A pencil lead diameter (1/16 inch) stream wastes 1,263 gallons per month; this amount could clean 28 loads of laundry.
Easy to Repair Leaks
Most toilet leaks can be traced to the overflow pipe. If overflow is a problem, a screw or knob on the valve or valve column will adjust the float arm down so the valve shuts the water off about a half inch below the top of the overflow pipe. If that doesn't solve the problem, the valve may be worn and need replacement.
The best way to spot a flapper leak is to drop a little food coloring into the tank and see if it shows up in the bowl after about 10 minutes. If this occurs, the flapper valve needs replaced or re-aligned.
Sewer Maintenance Policy
The property owner is responsible for all maintenance and repair of the sewer line from the structure to the sewer main: cleaning and removal of obstructions such as tree roots, grease, etc. The City is responsible for maintenance and repairs within the right-of-way.
Preventive Maintenance Tips
To minimize water surprises such as flooding, wet basement, sewer back-up, etc. by taking a few precautions.
Street and yard flooding is often caused by clogged street inlets and culvert pipes or poor yard grading. To help avoid flooding problems rake leaves and grass clippings out of gutters and away from culvert openings. To report a clogged inlet or culvert, call 425-1896 or use the online Request for Service.
Ground water or improper drainage around the home can result in a wet basement. Make sure all downspouts direct water away from the house.
83% of sewer back-up calls investigated by City crews are blockages of the lateral (the pipe running from the house to the sewer main in the street). To avoid costly repairs, at the first sign of trouble, contact a reputable plumber or sewer cleaner. If the plumber or sewer cleaner reports the blockage is in the City's main, City crews will respond quickly (often within 1 hour) to check the public sewer for any blockages. If the main is clear, City crews on-site will assist with identifying the problem.
- Maintenance: To avoid sewer backup problems, regular maintenance is recommended, such as tree root treatments, regular cleaning of the lateral lines and drains, ensuring downspouts are not connected to the lateral, vent stacks on the roof are clear of leaves, nests, etc.
- Combination Storm / Sanitary Sewer: If the property is served by a combination storm/sanitary sewer, make sure plugs are in the basement drains or backflow preventers are installed and in working order. For more information, call 513-425-1896.