At BCWSA we aim to please. That’s why we provide friendly support to help you resolve everyday questions, issues or problems. Check the Help Centers below for quick answers to common questions.
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Service Help: Trouble shooting common service issues
Will I be notified if there’s a problem in my service area?
BCWSA has implemented a Rapid Response Emergency Notification automated system in concordance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent mandate. Should the occasion arise, you, the customer, will be contacted with important information about your service area. Providing BCWSA with your most up-to-date contact information will supply you with an automated phone notification. These messages range from temporary suspension of service due to local construction work, to major water main breaks.
If you see water suddenly flowing in the street, in your yard, or in areas not commonly associated with flowing water, please contact BCWSA. We will dispatch someone to check out the cause of the running water and respond accordingly. If it is determined to be a water leak in a water main, Authority personnel will repair the leak and any damage caused by the leak. If it is determined to be a leak in the service line, it is the responsibility of the property owner to repair.
Customers whose service is located on dead-end streets such as a cul-de-sac, or the end of a parking lot, from time to time may experience odorous water. This is caused by the water becoming still and allowing mineral deposition to build up. These minerals, such as iron and manganese, sometimes cause taste and odor problems to develop. To remedy this condition, Authority’s personnel will flush the water to remove the mineral buildup and freshen the water. Please contact BCWSA to schedule an appointment to investigate this condition. Should chlorine odor appear, please let your water run for five (5) to ten (10) minutes to reduce its presence. If this does not improve, please contact BCWSA.
Discolored water is water containing an accumulation of mineral deposits which has precipitated from the water. These depositions are usually iron, manganese, or calcium deposits.
Discolored water poses no health concerns. It is free from harmful bacteria and safe for most household uses. You should not do laundry until the discoloration ceases since staining on white or light colored clothing is possible. While you can drink the water, it may not taste good. You probably do not want to use it to make baby formula.
Discolored water is usually caused by a sudden change in the normal flow of the water in the mains servicing your connection. This can be caused by turning off main valves, a broken water main, turning on a fire hydrant for fire fighting or filling a water tanker, or pumping problems.
If after allowing your water to run for five (5) to (10) minutes the discoloration has not ceased, please contact BCWSA and report the problem.
High water pressure problems
High pressure is generally described as too much pressure causing your internal plumbing lines to bang, your hot water pressure relief valve to trip, or wearing out faucet washers very quickly.
A malfunctioning pressure reducing valve (PRV) can cause both high and low pressure problems. PRV’s are the homeowner’s responsibility to install and/or maintain. The plumbing code recommends PRV’s be installed where the service pressure is 80 psi or more. Since the pressure at your point-of-use is determined by the difference between the elevation of the water level in the water tank serving your service and the elevation of your service connection, the higher the difference between these levels, the higher your pressure.
Please contact BCWSA to schedule a pressure check at your service.
Low water pressure problems
Low pressure is generally described as not enough water in the system and is often confused with low flow.
Low pressures or flows can be caused by:
1. Pipe restrictions, such as your main valve being partially closed, or the screens on individual faucets needing cleaning.
2. A malfunctioning pressure reducing valve (PRV). Pressure at your point-of-use is determined by the difference between the elevation of the water level in the water tank serving your service area and the elevation of your service connection. The higher your service connection, the less your pressure.
After you have investigated to see if any of the above causes are restricting your flows or pressure, please contact BCWSA to schedule a pressure check at your service.
Billing Help: Check here for answers to common bill questions
Reading my bill
Why is my bill so high?
However, if your bill seems inconsistent with historic usage, we will be happy to discuss this with you in person.
What does the money from my monthly bill go towards?
Your monthly bill consists of the following:
- Minimum Charge. This is the minimum charge, irrespective of usage, that everyone pays to cover debt payments on the money borrowed and spent on existing facilities and infrastructure upgrades.
- Usage Charge. The usage charge measures the amount of water consumed and/or sewer treated and it covers the costs of conveying the sanitary sewer and/or providing the water to a property. It also covers the cost of maintenance and operation of the water and sewer systems.
What does the money for tapping fees go towards?
The cost for a tapping fee is incurred when a new customer is added to the system and pays for the existing capacity and existing infrastructure improvements. This fee is charged on an EDU basis or an Equivalent Dwelling Unit basis, which is measured at 250 gallons per day. This is a onetime charge for each EDU required for the property.
Understanding Rate Structures
BCWSA rates vary according to your specific usage and situation. For a detailed explanation about your area call us and we’ll be happy to help you.
Why do I get water and sewer bills from two providers?
There are a number of areas where this is the case. However, if you feel you have received a bill in error, don’t hesitate to call.
Homeowner Help: Homefront Tips
Reading my meter when I’m not home
Most of meters are state of the art and equipped with radio-read technology. This allows the meter to transmit a signal to a reading device as our technician drives by your home.
Checking toilet performance
Put food coloring in the tank in the back and don’t flush the toilet for awhile. If the color runs through to the bowl, then your flapper is not sitting over the opening and water is seeping from the tank.
Replacing missing or broken covers
Please call if you notice the cover on a meter pit or sewer manhole is loose or missing, or if you have The $afeGuard™ Program and your vent stack is damaged or broken.
Installing a deduct meter
This is an optional installation for BCWSA customers. As outlined in resolution 2011-07 BCWSA will grant the installation and billing credit for a deduction meter to measure landscape irrigation. The cost for this service is $840.00, which includes $540.00 for the meter and $300.00 for the necessary engineering review. If you wish to pursue this solution please send a written request to our main office.
Getting sprinkler and pool credits
If you have a sprinkler system, you can get a “deduct meter” installed that will measure water not entering the sewer system. Please call to learn more about the fee for this service. However pool credits are not available.
Requesting final meter reads for home sales
Your title company should request a sewer certification which will “settle up” the final bill. You may be asked to provide water reading the day of or the day before settlement to facilitate the process.
BCWSA Neptune Readers
Here is an information sheet on the Neptune water meters that BCWSA uses.