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.