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Water Billing Department

6045 Fenton
Dearborn Heights, MI 48127
(313) 791-3450

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Pay Your Bill

Home Maintenance Ideas

How to Check for Leaks

Water Tap Procedures and Rates

Service Fees

 

Responsibilities of the Water Billing Department

The water billing department is responsible for calculating and distributing bills to all residents and businesses in Dearborn Heights. Our water meter readers take actual readings from each house and business and we record them into each customer's account. From there, bills are sent out on a bi-monthly basis to all residents.

The main functions of the department are to maintain customer accounts, investigate high or low water consumption, prepare final bills, answer phone calls from customers, and set up service appointments for stopped meters, final reads, and other types of repairs. Our staff also assists residents in helping to identify leaks at a property. The water billing department works collaboratively with the Department of Public Works to obtain readings and perform repairs throughout the city.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What to do if you are moving in / out of a Dearborn Heights residence?

Typically, a final read is done at this time. If you are purchasing a home or moving in a new tenant, a final read allows the prior occupant to obtain a final bill for all water usage prior to the sale.

To get a final reading: Please contact the Water Billing Department at (313) 791-3450 to schedule a final reading. Final reading appointments are done every Thursday. The final bills can either be picked up from City Hall or mailed per request. If a resident had signed up for automatic payment withdrawal, that will be canceled upon the final bill being processed. Final bill payments will not be taken through automatic withdrawal.

 

 

Can I have a separate meter installed for my sprinkler system to avoid sewage charges?

Unfortunately, this is not possible due to the fact that the city of Dearborn Heights is charged sewer fees by our supplier, the city of Detroit, for all water units consumed, whether or not they go through the sewer system.

 

 

Why is my tap water rusty or reddish and what do I do?

When the water in the lines is agitated (for example from a large water main flush, road work, or hydrant use) this can stir up sediment (primarily iron) from the bottom of the water lines. In the course of normal maintenance, the hydrant flushing and water gate exercising can stir up this sediment. If your tap water does appear reddish or rusty in color, it is recommended not to use your water for one hour, and then run the cold water at the lowest point in the house for several minutes. If water is still not clear, wait for another half hour then run the water for several minutes again. Repeat waiting for a half hour then run water for several minutes until water runs clear. The water is still potable but the discoloration may affect the washing of clothes.

 

Why is my read estimated?

We attempt to read each meter every cycle. Your bill is estimated if we have not obtained a reading. Several factors can contribute to your bills being estimated:

Our readers may not have access to the ARB box due to a locked gate or a vehicle blocking our access. The ARB box needs to remain visible and free from any obstructions such as bushes or fencing.

Sometimes, the wires that attach your ARB box to the meter in your home may come undone. If you see repeated estimates on your water bills, please contact the billing department at (313) 791-3450 to schedule a meter repair appointment.

 

My house is empty. Why do I still receive a water bill?

As long as the water is on to the property, the account remains active and a minimum bill will generate. If the property is going to be a vacant for an extended period of time, the owner does have the option to schedule an appointment to have the water turned off at this property. The fee to turn off the water is $15.00; however, you will no longer receive minimum bills once the account is inactive. There would be an additional fee of $15.00 if and when the water would be turned back on at the property.

 

How many gallons of water are in each unit?

One unit of water equals 748 gallons.

 

What happens if I don't pay my bill?

If a bill is not paid by the due date, a 10% penalty is placed on the last billed amount. For example, you could have a total balance due of $1,000, but your last bill was only for $35.18. If this goes unpaid, your penalty would be $3.52.

Each year we review the delinquent water accounts on October 1st. Any delinquent amount would need to be paid by April 1st otherwise it is in jeopardy of being placed on the taxes for the home or business.

 

How often do I receive a water bill?

Residential customers receive a bill approximately every two months. Commercial properties are billed on a monthly basis.

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How to Pay Your Water Bill

 

There are several options available to pay a water bill.

  • In person at the Treasurer's Office in City Hall (Monday-Thursday 8:00am-5:00pm) – payments accepted are cash, check or money order

  • If you are visiting City Hall during non-business hours, there is a drop box located to the right of the main City Hall doors. Payments placed in the drop box will be posted the following business day.

  • All bills include a return envelope when they are mailed to residents. If you utilize this envelope, the payment goes directly to our bank. This process speeds up payment posting and eliminates delays.

  • Dearborn Heights participates in automatic withdrawal from your savings or checking account. Residents would still receive a copy of the water bill and the balance amount would be taken out of your account on the due date. This is the best option to avoid paying late penalties! Applications are available at the Water Department in City Hall or by clicking here.

     

    Applications can be mailed to:

    Treasurer's Office

    6045 Fenton

    Dearborn Heights, MI 48127

     

  • Most bank and credit unions participate in online bill paying. Contact your financial institution for more information.

  • The only option that allows you to pay with a credit or debit card is through our website. Dearborn Heights utilizes a third party company for payments received by credit card. There is a $1.50 fee to view your water bill plus a 3% fee when you make a payment. You may also contact (855) 340-4490 to make payments with a credit card – the same fees would apply.

To make an online payment, please click here.

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Home Maintenance Ideas

 

 

Here are some tips to reduce water consumption and lower your water bills:

  • Install aerators on water faucets and shower heads to reduce water flow

  • Purchase water efficient washing machines and dishwashers – Operate only with full loads

  • Inspect the furnace humidifier overflow valve for excessive water flow (if equipped)

  • Water your lawn during off-peak hours such as early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid evaporation

  • A limited number of rain barrels are available for purchase at City Hall. Consider using rain barrels to help irrigate your lawn and plants during the summer months.

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How to Check for Leaks

 

New types of water meters have a leak indicator on the face of the dial. It is a triangular or diamond shaped indicator that revolves 354 times for every gallon of water that passes through the meter. You may see what looks like water on the face of the dial. It is oil that prevents corrosion and increases the life of the dial mechanism. It does not enter the water supply and does not affect the quality of the water delivered to the customer.

To check for leaks, look at the indicator when no one is drawing water. It should not be moving. If it is moving, check every plumbing fixture at the property: toilets, sinks, outside sprinklers, washer, hot water heaters, etc. Shut off the valves that supply each fixture, one by one, and check the indicator after each shutoff. When closing a valve stops the indicator from moving, you have found the location of a leak. But remember, there may by more than one leak!

 

Toilet Leaks and Fixes

As much as 200 gallons of water per day can be wasted by a silent toilet leak. You can check for leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. Without flushing, wait 30-60 minutes. If the color appears in the bowl, you have a toilet leak. Toilet leak repairs should be made immediately.

Check the toilet overflow valve for the correct water level in the tank by removing the tank lid and verifying that the water level is approximately one inch below the overflow valve. Always make sure that the water in the tank is not running into the overflow tube. Normally, the arm of the ball float can be adjusted in order to bring the water level to the desired height. Check the positioning of the refill tube in relation to the overflow tube to ensure that there is no siphoning effect when the tank is refilling.

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