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The water meter is typically located in the basement towards an outside wall with pipes coming from both sides. If you do not have a basement, the meter could be located in a utility closet. The water meter is the property of the Water Utility, so access to the water meter must be maintained.
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Your water bill is based on actual consumption. If it is noticeably higher and you are unaware of a reason for higher usage (such as watering lawns, filling pools, or more people living in the residence) you probably have a leak.
Over 95% of leaks occur at the toilet. These leaks can be very expensive if left unfixed. Many toilet leaks are silent. Very often you do not hear the water dripping or running. Even a pinhead size drip can account for over 17,000 gallons in a quarter.
If you have food coloring put several drops into the toilet tank. Do not flush. Wait ten to twenty minutes. If the color appears in the bowl - you have a leak.
You can also read the meter in your basement before you retire for the night (or sometime when you know no water will be used for several hours). Reread the meter first thing in the morning before any water has been used. If the numbers on the meter have changed that means water has moved through the meter. Our service employees can not repair leaks but they would be glad to come by and help locate it.
View the How to Read Your Non-Digital Meter (PDF) for more information.
Yes, a one-time late payment charge of 3% but not less than $0.50 cents will be applied to any unpaid balance for the current billing period’s usage. An additional 10% penalty will be charged if the utility has to transfer any unpaid delinquent balances at the end of the year to the tax roll.
Per Public Service Commission guidelines, the Utility is not allowed to reverse or waive late fees.
The Brown Deer Water Utility does not perform final readings for utility bills for sales of property. The buyers and sellers should have the utility charges prorated, you should contact the Finance Department ted as part of the closing process. If you are currently signed up for automatic withdrawal payment, you should contact the Water Department to make sure this is removed and the bill is mailed to the correct address moving forward.
Depending on what type of service you have with the village, you may have one or more of the following charges.
See a typical residential bill breakdown (PDF).
There are many factors that go into determining what the average consumption should be, so it is difficult to give an average amount for a residential home. Some factors include household size, if guests are visiting, if you have filled or are maintaining a pool or hot tub, or if you irrigate or water your lawn. A good rule of thumb is approximately 6,000 gallons per person per quarter.
The meter in your basement should be replaced or tested every fifteen to twenty years. This meter accuracy test is a requirement of the Wisconsin Administrative Code section Public Service Commission (PSC) 185.65.
In order for us to comply with this state code and to best serve your needs, we simply remove your old meter and replace it with a new one. The procedure takes approximately 20 minutes to complete and is done at no charge to you.
The Department of Natural Resources requires that all wells be properly abandoned if they are not operational. If the well is being used, the homeowner must have a permit. Ground water preservation is a major concern. One improperly abandoned or unsafe well can compromise ground water quality over a significant area. When a well is abandoned, a form must be submitted to the state and village verifying proper abandonment.
If you are using your well a permit must be issued. There is no charge for the permit. And it is good for five years.
The water in Lake Michigan is very cold. At certain times of the year water comes into the mains and service lines at a cold temperature but warms up as it travels through the distribution system. Cold water captures extra oxygen. As the water warms, the extra oxygen is released. However, while the water is in a pipe there is no place for this oxygen to go. When you fill your glass from the tap and it appears milky or cloudy this is the extra oxygen in the water escaping.
Do you have galvanized steel plumbing? If so, some of the pipes in your home may be obstructed with corrosion deposits - limiting the flow of water. If you have a drop in pressure at a specific faucet, check the screen on the spigot, it may be filled and slowing the stream of water.
Is the pressure at neighboring residences also low? If so, contact the Utility at 414-371-3080. There may be a main break in your area temporarily reducing pressure in your neighborhood.
The Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) governs all the water utilities in the state. Visit the PSC Homepage for general questions and contact information, or peruse the Rules and Regulations.