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The customer service pipe extends from the water main corporation stop (in the city right of way) to the meter located in your building. This pipe was designed solely for the purpose of delivering water to your home plumbing fixtures, i.e. sinks, toilets, showers, etc. This line has valves on it to allow your water to be turned on or off.
Where are my shutoff valves?
There are actually two shutoff valves in your water service. The first valve, called a curb stop, is generally located near the property line and is normally housed by a cylinder with a cap on it called the curb box. The other valve is located in the home next to the water meter. Other valves may be near plumbing fixtures such as sinks and toilets.
What part of my service is my property and my responsibility?
The resident's responsibility for maintenance begins immediately at the water main up through the entire home. However, the water meter itself is the property of the Sheboygan Water Utility. More importantly, the curb stop and valve adjacent to the meter are the responsibility of the resident.
Keeping your meter valve in good working condition makes it possible for you to turn your water off in an emergency, such as a water pipe break. Older style gate valves should be turned periodically due to possible corrosion build-up. Newer Teflon coated ball valves should stay in working order without any regular turning.
What if my meter valve does not work in an emergency?
Your best course of action is to call a licensed plumber. Maintaining or replacing the shut off valves is the responsibility of the home owner.
In an effort to eliminate clearwater (storm or rain water) from entering the sanitary sewer system, the City of Sheboygan has implemented a clearwater inspection program.
With the current changes in the 2015 State Budget, the City of Sheboygan will no longer being requiring a Clearwater inspection to be completed prior to the transfer of the property. Instead, the City will be revising our ordinances that a Clearwater inspection is required every time a building, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC permit is issued.
In the interim, the City encourages voluntary participation in the Clearwater Program. Please contact City of Sheboygan's Building Inspection Department. with any questions or to set up an appointment.
Who do I contact for a "Clearwater Inspection"?
Contact the City of Sheboygan's Building Inspection Department Monday thru Friday, 7:30am to 5:00pm at 920-459-4064.
Water pipes will usually be more susceptible to freezing when the outdoor air temperature is below freezing for more than a few days. Special attention should be given when the outdoor air temperature does not rise above zero degrees during the daytime hours.
Some reasons include:
- Unheated basement where the water meter and pipes are located.
- Uninsulated pipes which are against outside walls.
- Open windows near water meters or pipes.
- Openings or cracks which allow cold outside air near the water meter or pipes.
- Water meter pipes enclosed or boxed in against outside wall.
How do I know if my pipes are frozen?
Generally, when a pipe which feeds a certain fixture such as a shower, sink or toilet freezes, you will no longer be able to get water through that fixture. This would be the case if the pipe is frozen solid. Remember it is possible for only one or two fixtures to freeze with the rest of the home’s fixtures still flowing.
Why do frozen water pipes break?
When water freezes within a pipe, the volume of the water expands. That is, the same amount of water takes up more space as a solid than as a liquid. This causes the pipes to expand and possibly break at a weak point. This may not be noticed immediately, however. The pipes may thaw from the inside out with the pipe actually breaking only when the full water pressure is restored.
Do only pipes inside the house freeze?
No. Not only is your inside plumbing susceptible to freezing, but your water service could also be subject to freezing. This is caused by frost in the ground encasing your service in ice, thereby freezing your service. This is especially typical of shallow (less than five feet deep) services.
What should I do if my pipes freeze?
If your pipes freeze, your best course of action is to call a licensed master plumber. Improper thawing could cause your pipes to burst. There are, however, some procedures that you can follow to try to thaw them. The quicker the problem is recognized, the better chance that damage will be minimized.
Some techniques for thawing frozen pipes include:
- If possible, expose a boxed-in area to the inside heat.
- Use a heat gun. However, be extremely careful as the heat from the heat gun will ignite any wood or paper it contacts.
- DO NOT use torches to thaw pipes!
- Rubbing the pipes with warm, damp rags may slowly thaw the line.
- If you do not have water for an extended period of time, special attention should be given to water heaters and boilers.
How can I prevent my pipes from freezing?
There are many ways to help prevent your water pipes from freezing in extreme weather.
Some suggestions include:
- Keeping the water meter area or pipes exposed to outside walls heated.
- Providing ventilation to pipes allowing warmer air to circulate around them.
- Insulating your pipes.
- Caulking and sealing any openings near your water pipes.
- Keeping some tap water running. (Moving water is more difficult to freeze, but this will affect your bill.) If no one will be home for an extended period in extreme weather, it is best to turn your main valve off and have a plumber drain your system. This way, there will be no water in your pipes to freeze. Even if your pipes have not frozen in the past, severe cold can cause electricity blackouts and thereby disable your furnace.
The Convenience Fee is charged by Payment Service Network to cover the cost of processing the payment transaction and is not negotiable. The Sheboygan Water Utility does not receive this fee.
How do I know that the credit card or electronic check payment made on the Web Page has been done successfully?
You will be given a confirmation number within seconds of submitting the payment as proof the transaction was completed successfully. Payment Service Network will also send you an e-mail confirmation within minutes of processing your payment, provided you have supplied them with your e-mail address.
How can I avoid having my water shut off because of a delinquent bill?
The easiest way is to pay the bill by the due date. We now have online payment options and an Auto Pay Program to make it simple. If you are already past the due date, call the Utility to make a deferred payment agreement.
How do I get a final water bill for the sale of the property or I have a tenant moving and want to give him a final bill?
Call the Sheboygan Water Utility at 459-3800 to make arrangements for a final meter reading.
What if my tenant doesn’t pay their water bill?
Utility arrearages ultimately become the responsibility of the property owner. According to Wis. Stat. § 66.0809(3), if the arrearage is not paid on or before November 15th, the arrearage, along with any late charges and penalties, will be transferred to the tax roll of the current property owner.
Why do I have rusty water and what can I do about it?
Rusty water is usually due to a water main break or hydrant flushing because the sudden opening stirs up sediment and rust. Just run the cold water tap until it is clear. Contact the Water Utility if the problem persists.
Why should I flush my water heater?
There are several reasons why you should flush your hot water heater: Flushing will save you money on energy costs. Additionally, the sediment in the bottom of the tank displaces your hot water volume, so you have less available hot water, not to mention the calcium, scale, rust, dirt, and iron in the tank bottom. Bacteria can also grow in the older tanks and you may smell sulfur or rotten egg odor. (source: www.superhomecenter.com/attic/articles/flush_water_heater.htm)
The usual cause is a leaking toilet. Put a few drops of food coloring in the tank when it is full. Do not flush and let it sit for an hour. If the color appears in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak. A small leak can easily amount to 700 gallons per month!
One of the hoses on my washing machine broke and the clean water went down the drain. Can I get an adjustment on my water bill?
Unfortunately, no. The Water Utility is required to bill for all water passing through the water meter and for all water entering the sanitary sewer system.
The simplest and most economical way is to add a slice of lemon to your drinking water. Another method is to fill a clean pitcher or container with cold tap water and leave it uncovered overnight. The chlorine content will dissipate.
In 1946, the Sheboygan Water Utility became the first in Wisconsin to fluoridate municipal drinking water (and third in the United States) for the prevention of tooth decay.
For many years, the Utility fed a powdered form of fluoride. In 1996, the Utility switched to liquid hydrofluosilicic acid. This is fed at 0.70 parts per million (ppm), which is the minimum within the recommended range for drinking water. In recent years, due to ongoing research, the recommended dosage rate has been reduced. By comparison, most toothpastes have a fluoride concentration of more than 1,000 ppm, but these are not intended for ingestion.
The American Water Works Association (AWWA) supports the fluoridation of municipal water as a public health benefit, while also committing itself to regular review of current research on fluoridation.
The Wisconsin Dental Association and its more than 3,000 member dentist and dental hygienists are committed to promoting quality oral health care and support community water fluoridation. Additional information is available here.