Utility Billing

Many people who drink water from wells in Minnesota think that their drinking water is pumped from a huge lake or stream underneath the surface of the earth. Actually, in most cases, this is far from the truth. Ground water is located in porous rock beneath the earth's surface. This water-bearing layer of rock is called an aquifer.

Water in underground aquifers flows in a definite direction. Just as water flows on the surface from higher elevations to lower elevations, ground water also flows "downhill". Ground water flow direction is determined by measuring water levels in wells drawing water from a particular aquifer. Ground water will flow from the higher water level elevations to lower elevations. It is the surface area directly above the flow to a well and the land uses in that area that are of major concern because of the risk of contamination from those land uses.

Contamination can filter through from the land surface to the aquifer as quickly as a few hours, or it may take many years. If the contamination gets into your water supply, you may be drinking it someday. Some areas in the Midwest have 10% of wells showing signs of serious contamination.

One of the ways we can protect groundwater is to learn more about it. Below are some misconceptions about groundwater.

Fiction: Groundwater always flows from north to south.
Fact: Depending on location, groundwater can flow in any direction, but usually follows land contours.

Fiction: Groundwater comes all the way from Canada and
Lake Superior.
Fact: Most groundwater originates as local precipitation that seeps into the ground and reaches the water table.

Fiction: Groundwater flows in underground caverns and rivers.
Fact: Groundwater flows through cracks and pores between soil and rock particles.

Fiction: Most groundwater drawn from wells has been under ground thousands of years.
Fact: Most ground water drawn from wells has been under ground a few years to a few decades.

Fiction: Groundwater is always pure because soil filters out
all impurities.
Fact: Harmful bacteria in water can be filtered out by soil, but many chemical pollutants are not changed and remain in the water.

In the next few years towns in Minnesota will be addressing the issue of drinking water protection by developing a plan for "Wellhead Protection." Look for more information on this in the near future and become involved in keeping your water clean.

F.A.Q.

How does a resident set up or cancel water services?

Please call City Hall (763-428-2253) for utility billing to set up or cancel service before moving in or out. This will allow us to calculate your bill accurately.

Am I billed for recycling even if I don't recycle?

Yes. Recycling is billed to every residential customer in the city. It is your choice to recycle or not, however no credits can be given for choosing not to recycle.

Do I have to pay sewer on water I am using outside in the summer?

No. Sewer charges are based on water usage for your winter reading, so that you are not paying for sewer on water you use outside in the summer months. This would include irrigation, watering of plants, washing vehicles, and filling swimming pools.

How can I pay my bill?

There are drop boxes at 12913 Main Street and 22350 South Diamond Lake Road. You can drop off your payments at City Hall during regular business hours (8:00am to 4:30pm).

You can not pay by credit card over the phone or through the website, but you can stop at City Hall and pay with a credit card at the front desk. Direct payment plan (ACH) is also available, which is an automatic payment plan with your checking account.

Are there late fees?

The City does charge a penalty for late payments. Any annual unpaid utility bills are assessable and will be applied to Hennepin County Property Tax statements with interest and possibility of additional fees.

How do leaks effect my bill?

Leaks can be costly, even the smallest leak can cause a spike in water bills. A pin hole size leak can amount to losing 185 gallons per day which is 5,550 gallons loss per month. It is highly recommended to have any leak repaired by a licensed plumber.

How much iron is in the water?

The iron ranges from 1.3 to 1.6 milligrams per liter.

What is the hardness of the water?

22 grains

How often do I receive my bill?

You will receive a bill every other month for residential customers and monthly for commercial accounts.

My bill has the "(e)" , what does that mean?

When looking at your bill if there is an (e) next to either number (previous usage, current usage) it indicates an estimated reading. If this happens for more than two consecutive bill cycles please contact City Hall at 763-428-2253 to schedule an appointment for investigation and or repair.

What is the storm water utility fee?

The storm water fee is different from the sanitary sewer in that, it is the fee for storm water runoff (water that travels thru the storm sewer system, ditches or drainage ponds). As with recycling, it is also charged to every residential and commercial customer. Residential customers are billed a flat fee, whereas commercial customers are billed based on a calculation of acreage and hard surface area

What is the Card that I received on my door for?

The utility department may leave a card for several reasons. The most common reasons is that there is a problem with us getting a meter reading and that you will need to call City Hall at 763-428-2253 to set up an appointment to have it repaired. It is important that you call as soon as possible to make sure taht you are not having estimated readings for an extended period of time which may cause an over or under billing for your water.

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