Where does my water come from?
City water is pulled from 3 wells located within the City limits. The City is able to store 300,000 gallons of water by means of our water tower. The city treats on an average 300,000 gallons of water a day. That would equate to an average of 10,950,000 Gallons of treated water per year distributed throughout the city. If the water system were to have a failure and the city was dependent on stored water supply; based on the amount that is consumed by the consumer on an average that supply would last approximately one day. Water testing and monitoring would be conducted to determine the longevity of the stored waters quality.
Groundwater is created from rain that soaks into the ground, which absorbs it like a sponge. It is a natural resource that is used for drinking, household purposes, irrigation, business and industry needs.
Water that soaks into the ground is filtered as it passes through various layers of sand, clay or rock, before discharging to streams, rivers or lakes. Too often groundwater is taken for granted because it cannot be seen.
Groundwater is vulnerable to pollution by livestock areas, abandoned mines, salted roads, farming and industrial areas. Homeowners also contribute to groundwater contamination by dumping household chemicals down the drain if they have a septic system or by pouring them on the ground.
Groundwater contaminated with bacteria, chemicals, pesticides, gasoline, or oil can result in serious human health problems. Those who consume contaminated groundwater may suffer bacterial diseases, nervous system disorders, liver or kidney failure, cancer or other ailments depending on the contamination.
To protect groundwater be proactive in the upkeep of your home and yard:
- Limit the amount of fertilizer used on plants.
- If you own a septic system, service it according to local health department or manufacturer recommendations.
- If you own a water well, get a yearly maintenance check to ensure sanitary seals are intact.
- Consider having your water tested every couple of years or if you notice a change in color, odor or taste.
- Check for leaky faucets and have them fixed.
To protect groundwater make simple changes to your everyday activities:
- Take shorter showers.
- Shut off water when brushing your teeth.
- Run full loads of dishes and laundry.
- Properly store hazardous household substances like paints, paint thinners, petroleum products, fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and cleaning products in secure containers and do not empty hazardous household waste down the drain or the toilet.
- Mix hazardous household substances over concrete or asphalt where they can be cleaned up or absorbed.
How do I know my water is safe to drink?
City water is tested daily by Public Works operators and monthly by an independent lab. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) also provides us with an annual sample schedule we are required to follow. For more information regarding water quality visit http://www.michigan.gov/deq/
Aren’t water and sewer bills taken care of by my mortgage company?
Your water bill is similar to an electric or gas bill that would be billed to the customer monthly. You may make arrangements for your water bill to be paid by an outside vendor. Unless the homeowner has made arrangements to have the bill paid by a bill pay service all bills are to be paid by the customer.
What is on my bill?
Past Due Balance
Date the Meter was last read
Amount Due if paid after the due date
Current read previous meter read
Your usage is calculated by subtracting the current read by the previous read. The number shown is the number of 1,000 gallons you used. Example: 151-144= 7 (7,000 gallons)
Water rate = $4.56 per 1,000 gallons used
Sewer rate = $6.71 per 1,000 gallons used
Water Debt = $9.35 per month
Sewer Debt = $21.35 per month
If you do not have any usage on your water bill the total balance due is $30.70 because the water and sewer debt fees.
The debt service fees are used for improvements on the water and sewer system.
How do I read my water meter?
How to read your meter:
- Locate your water meter (generally in the basement or crawl space closest to the road).
- Record the number displayed on the meter. (New meters require a flashlight to activate the digital display. Shine a flashlight at the digital display for 3-5 seconds to activate the display.)
Example: 09/16/2017 Meter Displayed: 0000220
- In 30 days record the number displayed on the meter.
Example: 10/15/2017 Meter Displayed: 0000224
- Take the number that you most recently recorded and subtract it from the number that you recorded at the beginning of the month.
00000224 -00000220= 0000004
- Water usage is billed for every 1,000 gallons used. This number never gets rounded up
****Your number on your water meter will never go down. It is like the odometer on your car it will always go up showing you how many gallons have passed through since it was installed.*****
Example: Meter reading * 1,000 = gallons used since meter installation
8/16/2016 – 10*1,000 = 10,000 gallons used since installation
8/16/2017 – 224*1,000= 224,000 gallons used since installation
8/16/2018 – 1457*1,000= 1,457,000 gallons used since installation
How can I pay my bill?
By Credit Card
The City of Cedar Springs takes credit card payments at the front counter at City Hall. We also accept credit card payments online at the Utility Billing Online Payment Service. Both options are safe and secure.
However, there is a convenience fee to pay by credit card. This fee does not go to the City; but rather to Point and Pay Electronic Payment Solutions for processing the payment. Normally a vendor would absorb the administration cost of credit card payments; but by law, the City is not allowed to absorb these costs or pass them onto the taxpayers as a whole. The City continues to accept cash and check at no additional charge.
Processing fees for water and sewer bills and other payments are $3.00 per $100.00.
You may mail a check to the City, come on in with your payment during open hours, or drop off your payment in our box (located by the front door of City Hall) when the offices are closed. Please make checks payable to City of Cedar Springs.
By Automatic Withdraw
Residents have the option to have water and sewer bills automatically deducted from their bank account at no charge. Customers signing up will continue to receive a bill indicating the amount due, but the amount will be automatically deducted from your bank account on the last day a payment can be made without penalty, which is the 7th of each month. You may fill out the ACH Application and return it to City Hall. If you have any further questions please call and speak with the Utility Billing Clerk (616)696-1330 Ext. 199.
Unfortunately, you cannot make payment over the phone.
Is there a service charge?
There is no service charge for cash, check, or automatic withdraw payments. However, there is a convenience fee to pay by credit card. This fee does not go to the City; but rather to Point and Pay Electronic Payment Solutions for processing the payment. Normally a vendor would absorb the administration cost of credit card payments; but by law, the City is not allowed to absorb these costs or pass them onto the taxpayers as a whole.
Why am I required to have a water meter?
In 1970, the City Council approved Ordinance 22 which required water meters be installed in every property within the City. This allows for safe and clean water to be delivered to the residents of the city. The meter is how the water department is able to calculate how much usage there is for specific building.
Additional information regarding water meter requirements visit Chapter 38: Utilities in Code of Ordinances.
Who is responsible for the water meter?
The City is responsible for replacing the water meter if it fails. If the size of the water meter needs to be increased the owner of the property is responsible for cost.
The city is responsible for making necessary repairs to the water main. Connections coming off the main to the residence/business are the responsibility of the customer.
The city is responsible for the replacement and repair of the meter. There are some occasions where the property owner may be responsible – and all newly constructed or renovated properties must install water meters at their own expense.
Property owners, however, are responsible for protecting the water meter, ensuring that it is not damaged by freezing weather or negligence.
Property owners may also be responsible for replacement of the meter if it is illegally removed.
Where is my water meter?
Water meters are generally located where your water service enters you house or business. Basements or crawl spaces are the most common location of your water meter. Department of Public Works staff can help you locate your meter if you are unable to locate your water meter.
How can I check if I have a leak?
Turn off all water sources inside and out. Locate the water meter and observe the meter reading for an hour. If your water meter is increasing you likely have a running toilet or a leak in your home. If you have a leak please contact a Plummer to make the proper repairs.
How can I get a water meter installed in my property?
New businesses/residents would need to contact the Department of Public Works Director to install a new water line/water meter on a property. The Department of Public Works Director can be contacted by phone at 616-696-1330 Ext. 108 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Radio Meter Reading?
Radio reading is obtaining meter read by radio frequency.
Who do I speak to about water and sewer bills?
Please contact the Utility Billing Clerk at 616-696-1330 Ext. 199 for water and sewer bill questions.
How are water rates determined?
Water rates are determined by rate studies which compares costs of producing water with money returning through billing. The city does not profit by offering water and sewer.
When and how do I get a bill?
You will receive a postcard on or around the 10th of each month. Please note if you have a PO Box please inform the Utility Billing Clerk to ensure that you receive your bill. The City of Cedar Springs is not responsible for lost or undelivered utility bills. If for some reason you do not receive a postcard bill in the mail you may call the Utility Billing Clerk at 616-696-1330 Ext. 199 or click here to view your bill online.
My bill says “Estimated”, what do I do next?
You may wish to check the usage on your meter and compare it to your bill. An actual read will still be done quarterly. This will take care of any difference in the form of a credit or higher bill. If you find an unusually high usage please contact the city immediately.
How long will it take for my payment to be posted?
All payments made in person at City Hall will be posted to your utility account immediately.
All payments placed in the Drop Box at City Hall during business hours will be posted at the end of the day. All payments placed in the Drop Box after business hours will be posted the next business day.
Online payments are posted by 5 pm the next business day.
Unfortunately, you cannot make payment over the phone.
The City does not have any funds to assist residents with utility payments. Please contact Kent County United Way services for resources available to help you pay your utility bill. United way can be contacted by dialing 2-1-1 from any phone. You can also visit the online resource to explore other services provided.