Frequently Asked Questions
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Sewer charges are based on water usage. This practice, as opposed to installing separate water and sewer meters on every home, reduces installation and maintenance costs, ultimately resulting in lower rates for customers. Previous attempts at allowing a separate deduction meter resulted in unintended water theft that added costs to all customers. The Frederick Water Board of Directors has determined that deduction meters are not permitted. Additionally, the rate system is designed to balance treatment capacities and cost recovery. Therefore, sewer credits would result in increased sewer costs. A dedicated irrigation meter could be purchased with the associated water-only availability fee, but this usually does not prove to be economical for the average residential customer.
Your house may be susceptible to flooding by the backup of sewage, especially if plumbing fixtures are located below ground. You can obtain insurance coverage for losses of this type. State laws require that backup and overflows coverage be provided as an optional add-on to your homeowner’s policy. Upon request, Frederick Water personnel will assist in determining if your dwelling is subject to this type of flooding. Frederick Water is not responsible for any loss caused by the backup of sewage unless it is determined such loss was caused by the negligence of Frederick Water.
In the event of a sewer stoppage, the customer should notify Frederick Water. Frederick Water will check its mains or the lateral. Should the stoppage be in the sewer main, Frederick Water will clear the stoppage as quickly as possible. If the stoppage is in the service lateral, the customer will be notified and will be responsible for clearing the stoppage.
Occasionally, your service may be interrupted due to a water main break, a power outage or during long periods of freezing temperatures when meters freeze. Please call customer service if you are without water or call our after-hours emergency number.
Outdoor leaks are often the culprit for large, one-time spikes in your bill. Silent toilet leaks are another common leak.
Chlorine is used to disinfect your water. A slight taste of chlorine is a good thing – it means that likely no bacteria are alive in your water. You may notice a more intense chlorine taste and odor in your water when we flush the lines in the spring. This is because during flushing we use a stronger form of chlorine. Keeping an open container of water in the refrigerator for drinking helps dissipate a strong chlorine taste and odor.
If your tap water appears milky or cloudy, it is usually an indication of air in the system. This just means that somewhere in your area, we are flushing the system or a new line is being installed. Water mains are flushed by opening fire hydrants and allowing them to flow freely for a short period of time. The flushing cleans out sediment, which accumulates normally in the water mains. Another cause of air in the system is cold weather. Your water is still safe to drink and use. Allowing the water to stand for a minute will help clear it.
We do not endorse any particular plumber. We recommend that you select a plumber by checking references, comparing prices and using information available from consumer affairs organizations.
If a customer finds a leak in the water line between the meter and the house, after repair and written notification, Frederick Water may adjust the customer’s bill by removing the charges for sewer lost by the leak. Frederick Water will have the final determination as to the amount of water lost by the leak. Bills will not be adjusted for more than two billing periods.
Yes, we can help you determine whether you might have a leak; we just can’t fix it for you. Call us to set up a leak check appointment.
A sudden drop in water pressure can be an indication of a water main break. Please call our office to report this immediately. Outside of business hours, please call the emergency line at 540-868-1061 opt. 7. To see if our crews are already responding to an issue in your area, check the News & Announcements section of this website or our social media pages.