Residential Water Concerns
High Utility Bills
Leaks are usually the primary cause of high utility bills. A high bill due to leaks can be brought under control if residents keep up the maintenance of the plumbing in their homes. Residents can contact the Utility Department and request assistance in checking for leaks. However, the department is NOT authorized to perform any repairs on residential plumbing fixtures.
Low Water Pressure/Bad Odor/Discoloration
Residents may on occasion experience low water pressure or discoloration of water due to maintenance/repair work that is done by the Department of Public Works (D.P.W.). If residents experience discoloration of water or bad odor, residents are advised to let their faucets run cold (cold, not hot) for one to three minutes before using the water. If the bad odor or discoloration is present when no work is being done by D.P.W., residents are advised to check their own plumbing to ensure that all pipes are clear of debris and other build-up. If necessary, a resident may schedule an appointment with the water department for a D.P.W. staff member to do an inspection.
The department of public works handles all complaints regarding sewer backups. Residents are advised to call 691-7497 between the hours of 7:30 am and 4:00 p.m. to talk to D.P.W. personnel who can help them resolve these issues.
Did You Know?
Things you were wondering about your water, but were afraid to ask!
- Water use is measured in Cubic Feet. 1 cubic foot equals about 7.5 gallons. You are billed for each 100 cubic feet (748.5 gallons) of water you use.
- Leaks are usually the primary cause of high utility bills. A continuous leak from a 1/16" inch hole, can waste about 74,000 cubic feet (or 9,850 gallons) of water over a three month period. This translates to approximately $321.10 for a three month utility bill!
- A leaky faucet can waste 20 gallons of water or more per day! To determine if you have a water leak, turn off anything (i.e. appliances, garden hoses) in your home or business that uses water. Watch your water meter for approximately 15 minutes. If the meter reading has not changed, you should not have any leaks. If your reading does change, check your faucets, toilet and garden hose spigots. After examining these connections and you are sure they are not leaking, you may have a leak in a pipe. In this case you may need to contact a professional plumber. Residents can contact the Utility Department and request assistance in checking for leaks. However, D.P.W. staff members are not authorized to perform any repairs on residential plumbing fixtures.
- A leaky toilet can waste hundreds of gallons of water per day. To find out if your toilet has leaks, put a little food coloring in the tank. If ,without flushing, color appears in your bowl, you have a leak.
- In 1996 Congress amended the Safe Drinking Water Act, and added a provision requiring that all community water systems deliver to their customers a brief annual water quality report. The City of Oak Park distributes these consumer confidence reports by July 1st of each year to all residents. Copies are available at the Utility Department. If you have any questions regarding the quality of water, please contact the Department of Public Works at 691-7497.
- You can easily read your own meter and keep track of your water usage. Call the Utility Department for instructions!
- Shutoff valves are located near your water meter. They are easy to turn on and off if you have an emergency or need to make repairs. Give us a call if you have any questions.